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SME 3009 Series 2 Improved alignment issues

Discussion in 'Turntables' started by vinylaudio, Aug 10, 2018.

  1. vinylaudio

    vinylaudio New Member

    Messages:
    13
    For the life of me, I can't get this darned thing aligned. I have a 3009 Series 2 Improved (non-detachable headshell) tonearm on a Thornes TD-125 with an original Thornes cut SME armboard. I have an early 3000 Series 2 Improved (serial# 129xxx) and I'm using the early SME protractor from VinylEngine. With the arm slid all the way toward the platter, the alignment is quite a ways off. Any suggestions on how to get this thing aligned? The needle is sitting in the hole on the protractor.
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  2. Blue Shadow

    Blue Shadow I gotta get me a new title

    Messages:
    20,399
    Location:
    SE PA
    You don't mention the cartridge which may be one that has the nail close to the mounting screws which would make alignment difficult. The armboard could be wallered out to allow the arm to be mounted closed to the table to get an alignment that would fit the SME protractor. Of course, this could be done easily with a proper drill bit and a drill press instead of wallered out.
     
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  3. Hifiler

    Hifiler AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    66
    Location:
    Iowa City
    From your photo, it looks like the arm needs to slide back the other direction to become aligned.

    I've never had a 3009 S II align all the way forward.
     
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  4. vinylaudio

    vinylaudio New Member

    Messages:
    13
    Cart is a Denon DL-110. The needle does sit quite a bit further back than other carts that I've owned. If I slide the base of the arm back, it becomes more misaligned.
     
  5. Hifiler

    Hifiler AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    66
    Location:
    Iowa City
    I apologize, from your photo it does seem like you need it to go more forward.

    I just threw an S2 improved (135xxx) on a Thorens 125 that I haven't got around to refurlbishing yet.

    This is a quick alignment with a Shure V15 III using the early SME protractor.

    IMG_0014.JPG IMG_0015.JPG
     
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  6. Hifiler

    Hifiler AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    66
    Location:
    Iowa City
    I don't know if this helps, but with my arm all the way forward, here is what the headshell looks like, first with the stylus in the hole, and second with the cart aligned with the grid, which puts the stylus about 1 cm ahead of the hole.

    You can see in the second photo that my head shell appears much more forward than yours, with the line indicating the stylus hole actually behind the head shell mounting screws.

    Dumb question, but is your protractor printed to scale?

    Apologies if this isn't helping!

    IMG_0016.JPG IMG_0017.JPG
     
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  7. bobins08

    bobins08 AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    5,817
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    @vinylaudio

    Never used that protractor but it looks like the headshell is not aligned in between the grid lines either.

    Rotate the tool more ccw, then move the arm more towards the middle of its adjusting slot.

    Look at the headshell orientation in the lines, I think the tool needs to move.
     
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  8. vinylaudio

    vinylaudio New Member

    Messages:
    13
    This is helpful. Thank you! Any idea if the arm tubes are different on the fixed and removable headshell models? I'm guessing the tube is shorter on the removable ones? I wonder if mine was originally removable headshell and converted to fixed. I got it used and no information about its history. I stuck a ruler against the one from the download and things match up, so I believe the protractor is to scale. I was careful to print it at 100%.
     

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  9. bobins08

    bobins08 AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    5,817
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    So moving the tool in the ccw direction does not help?

    I have the same arm. I use Conrad Hoffman’s alignment program to make a protractor. Stevenson is correct for the early serial numbers arms.
     
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  10. AudioJag

    AudioJag AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    378
    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    You might want to use the newer protractor with the Two alignment holes.... I believe it's Baerwald. I have a Shure 3009 Type 1 and it does not need to go more than 1/3 from the rear on the teak type mounting board for a TD124.

    I don't use the single hole protractor for any of my Shure tonearms. Just my thouight.
     
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  11. vinylaudio

    vinylaudio New Member

    Messages:
    13
    It is as far CW as it will go. It becomes more misaligned as I go CCW. From what I read, the break point between new and old is in the 4XX,XXX serial number range. Mine is 123.XXX so it should be the older arm. Thanks for the tip! I'll search for that program.
     

     

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  12. Hifiler

    Hifiler AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    66
    Location:
    Iowa City
    Here are a couple more photos that hopefully help

    I printed the VE protractor without adjusting scale, and compared it to my actual SME on cardstock, you can see they are not exactly the same.

    The caveat now that I think about it, is that I'm not 100% certain this protractor is from an S II Improved. There is a *small* chance it is from my Non-Improved.

    As others have suggested, I would print an arc protractor with the S II Improved data, and use that just to be sure.

    It seems very unlikely that it is not possible to align your Denon cart on your table, where everything else looks to be correct.

    Hope you get this sorted soon!

    IMG_0019.JPG IMG_0020.JPG
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2018
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  13. vinylaudio

    vinylaudio New Member

    Messages:
    13
    I used a Stevenson protractor and was able to align the outside point and have slight misalignment on the inside point. This is with the arm adjusted as close as possible to the platter. Good enough is good enough, I guess. I'm not getting any audible distortion, so I guess that's what's important. Thanks for the help, everyone!
     
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  14. AudioJag

    AudioJag AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    378
    Location:
    SF Bay Area
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