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Thread: Heavier headshell....

  1. #1
    Join Date: Jun 2017

    Location: London UK

    Posts: 66
    I'm Dee.

    Default Heavier headshell....

    What are the benefits ,if any ,of having a heavier headshell on an SME 3009 11 improved with a Denon cartridge or a Shure V15.....?
    Thanks Dee

  2. #2
    Join Date: Oct 2017

    Location: Coventry

    Posts: 117
    I'm Mick.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Papa Dee View Post
    What are the benefits ,if any ,of having a heavier headshell on an SME 3009 11 improved with a Denon cartridge or a Shure V15.....?
    Thanks Dee
    Hi Dee It will effect the arm / cart resonance. discussion here.
    https://forum.audiogon.com/discussio...s-to-a-tonearm

    Is there anything wrong with your current set up?
    The SME / shure is a classic combination, I guess this is with the standard head-shell.
    Ive got a moving coil cart on a magnesium head-shell on my 3009 unimproved.

  3. #3
    Join Date: Jun 2017

    Location: London UK

    Posts: 66
    I'm Dee.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mixc View Post
    Hi Dee It will effect the arm / cart resonance. discussion here.
    https://forum.audiogon.com/discussio...s-to-a-tonearm

    Is there anything wrong with your current set up?
    The SME / shure is a classic combination, I guess this is with the standard head-shell.
    Ive got a moving coil cart on a magnesium head-shell on my 3009 unimproved.
    Iím probably not making myself clear.... I want to experiment with a moving coil cartridge
    ..the Denon dl103 to be precise.What I want to know is ..if I use a heavier headshell.. not add
    weights to my existing original SME headshell..will the moving coil Denon dl103 work correctly
    in my setup and will there be a marked sonic improvement..
    Thanks Dee

  4. #4
    Join Date: Oct 2017

    Location: Coventry

    Posts: 117
    I'm Mick.

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    hi Dee, If you add weight - a heavier head-shell or a weight of any sort - to the arm at the head shell end the outcome is the same, you change the characteristics. (arm / cart resonance) (See link above)
    As far as i know the knife edge bearings on an SME will not allow a moving coil cart to work at its best.
    The 3009 mk2 improved is a very light arm, Lighter than the unimproved and not the best arm for a MC cart.
    In my setup i use an MC on an SME but i know I could improve the sound by upgrading the arm,
    Have you tried any of the online calculators? http://www.resfreq.com/resonancecalculator.html

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  5. #5
    Join Date: Sep 2014

    Location: brighton uk.

    Posts: 3,920
    I'm jamie.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Papa Dee View Post
    I’m probably not making myself clear.... I want to experiment with a moving coil cartridge
    ..the Denon dl103 to be precise.What I want to know is ..if I use a heavier headshell.. not add
    weights to my existing original SME headshell..will the moving coil Denon dl103 work correctly
    in my setup and will there be a marked sonic improvement..
    Thanks Dee
    you will also have to balance the extra weight at the rear too,you may not have enough weight to do that.
    why not experiment first with blu tak to add weight.
    the denon 103 needs about 16g of effective in a tonearm.
    My System
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  6. #6
    Join Date: Sep 2016

    Location: Brussels, Belgium

    Posts: 108
    I'm Tim.

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    First correction 'Papa Dee'; I understand you want to swap for a heavier cartridge like a DL-103 maybe. So i guess your SME 3009 'Improved' has a detachable headshell, right ? If so, it's the 'Improved' S2. With fixed headshell it's the 'Improved' SII. Mine originally was an 'Improved' SII. Totally agree with 'Mixc' comments and 'karma67'. Although I will also present my testimony.

    My DL-102 (no manufacturers compliance specs what so ever given) was first fitted on my SME3009 'Improved' S II as is on the Thorens TD160 'Super'/146 it came with. It sounded "good" and since i had no notion of what these were. I kept it as for 2 years almost. Then digging on the net and understanding my cart should benefit from more tonearm effective mass, I started my DIY tweaks.

    Through the years on a tight budget, I gradually enhanced it's effective mass talking the time to truly evaluate each tweaks individually. Both the tonearm and turntable are indeed a classic combination that i have learn to appreciate their build in design from close. Appreciating their "decoupling" designs to use the "good" resonances and prevent "bad" vibrations transmission is top I find.

    Both those Thorens and SME models are so evolutive it's spectacular. And even though I still don't know what the DL-102 compliance is, it truly sings better than ever before with a stunning effective mass for my SME with headshell and cartridge reaching 50 grams or about I remember. My guess is that the DL-103 compliance (5) is not as low as my DL-102. So start to test with coins and blutak.

    Still you would need a heavier counterweight at one time to start to get closer to a heavier effective mass meeting the DL-103 compliance requirements. This to counter balance a heavier headshell evidently with heavy shims and likely a heavier bias weight and rider weight. I kept these last two (but likely not efficient anymore) until the last "tailor made" super heavy counterweight addition...

    The DL-102 was commercialized in 1962 for air-wave broadcast. The STEREO version, the DL-103, some ten years later. Since set right, my DL-102 sounds very musical, presenting a well balanced and wide frequency spectrum and some depth. Likely it lacks some detail and precision for the Hi-Fi people, but it's not as bad or dull as some claim to have experience. Likely not on a proper arm.
    - Cart Denon DL-102 in bakelite Ortofon SPU 'G' type headshell
    - TA SME 3009 'Improved' converted in heavy mass with detachable headshell
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  7. #7
    Join Date: Feb 2013

    Location: W Lothian

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    I'm Grant.

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    I've used heavier headshells and heavy carts and as long as you add some weight to rear it works very well with carts tracking nearer 2grams
    Regards,
    Grant ....

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  8. #8
    Join Date: Jun 2017

    Location: London UK

    Posts: 66
    I'm Dee.

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    Hi guys ...thanks for all the input,this is exactly what I was looking for.As I stated ,there is nothing wrong with my current setup,I’ve tweaked and fettled it over the years and for me it’s very musical and articulate.I have the facility to enjoy
    a moving coil cartridge in my setup and wanted to enjoy this for my own personal experience.After some research I have opted for the Denon dl103...being very well reviewed with plenty of admirers on this forum.If it doesn’t gel in my system or it’s just not for me there should be no problem moving it on.
    I’m searching for a heavier magnesium headshell and will be heading to the wanted section and have put in a bid to pickup a 130gm counterweight for the SME on flea-bay.
    Once I’ve setup and trialed the Denon I’ll report my findings.. Cheers again.Dee
    System... Thorens TD160 Super in Marble plinth.. SME 3009 S2 improved with detachable head ,Van Den Hul hybrid interconnect and rewired by
    J7 at Audio Origami with Vdh silver wire
    Denon dl110 HoMc cartridge....Shure v15 111
    Yamaha Cr2020 receiver overhauled and upgraded by Select 45rpm
    Denon dvd 3910(transport) ...Audio Alchemy Digital Decoding Engine
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    Pioneer ct F950 cassette deck
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  9. #9
    Join Date: Jan 2009

    Location: Essex

    Posts: 19,513
    I'm openingabottleofwine.

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    I have used a Denon DL103 fitted into a 20g Fidelity Research headshell on an SME 3009/S2 arm. It worked very well, as do all of my moving coil cartridges in 3000 series II arms (variously 3009/S2, 3009 (improved)/S2 and 3012)
    Have you listened to this month's choice in the Album Club?

    Barry

  10. #10
    Join Date: May 2008

    Location: A Strangely Isolated Place in Suffolk with far away trains passing by...

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    I'm David.

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    The Improved SME arms aren't the best for MC types in my experience. The thing is too resonant a structure, although a massier headshell may blank some resonances affecting the pipe (the vertical bearings don't usually rattle but this has also been cited... Maybe a Denon 304 would be ok as it's a 1.25g tracker. The only V15 I'd really rate *these days* is the VMR and relatives, which in their slightly smaller scale way, need apologise to nobody. I have a V15 III here and it's a bit hard and relentless - the VN35HE stylus (red coloured mount) was far better for whatever reason.

    Even the previous and follow-up SME's (with J shaped arm tube) weren't resonance free, although SME did beef up their distinctive headshell.

    There are some bloody good top MM's around now you know, should you stay with the SME 'Improved.' Ortofon 2m Bronze or Black, OM40 which used to come in 'Concorde' form for detachable shell arms, AT540 and 700 models (the metal body of the 700 may make it slightly more headshell-immune and I believe pal Alex_UK still has an MP30 in his detachable shell 'Improved' arm (with Sumiko shell), thus meaning the current top Nagaokas should be good to go. make sure you get the massiest counterweight you can, so it can be screwed as close to the pivot block as possible for best stability (the fixed shell counterweight is pretty useless, even with a V15 III...).

    Such an effin' shame SME prices are so high these days (added margins for distributors don't help apparently). A M2-9 (not the 60's revamp 9R model) with cast headshell would be such a good update on the concept and the more modern cast headshell will enable all sorts to be mounted to it. I'm a huge fan of the 309, but it's far more expensive.
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