Pivoting Linear-Tracking Tonearms

ddk

Industry Expert
May 19, 2013
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uytt
Hi David

I greatly respect and value much of what you post - but Graham Tricker is neither a 'babe in the wood' nor somebody that is informing you of a falsehood.

I used to buy hifi from stores such as Walrus Sytems in central London (sadly no longer around) and i know categorically that he could obtain the SME variation from GT Audio who imported the Verdier.
Hi Lohan,
There are many aftermarket mods for the 30xx-R tonearms arms and are there still several companies offering some modified version of them with some type of wiring and/or parts manufactured in different materials like bronze or brass as a way to upcharge without specificity, Nothing new or uncommon but an official version manufactured by SME with a completely different bearing design and replacing theirs in some markets is novel. I'm simply curious about this different bearing design that replaced SME's original long established knife edge bearing that's the cornerstone of 3012-R sound quality. I found no trace of this arm and Graham can't supply any details of what he did, do you have any actual specs on this factory 3012-GTA tonearm specially about this unique bearing that replaced the knife edge design?

:D
On the contrary I worked with SME over 25 years ago and got them to produce a special version of the SME 3012-R which I sold here and also in the USA as the 3012-GTA. It was an improved version of the 3012-R with all the work done by SME exclusively for me. It used a different bearing and also some special internal wiring which I supplied to SME. It was also my work here in Europe with Jean Verdier and Avantgarde Acoustic exhibiting at shows in the UK and in Germany with a Verdier and SME 3012-GTA and SPUs, and the press this received that generated the interest in the SME 3012-R (circa 1997 onwards), because the US Importer of SME at that time wasn't interested in the older designed SME tonearm models. So those interested in the SME 3012 contacted and brought these through me in the UK. At the time, it was mostly to owners of Verdier, Teres, Galibier and Redpoint turntables, but more followed and many went on Garrard 301s/401s. I have lost count at the number of 3012s I have set up and sold both here and in the US and as good as they are, and they are good tonearms, sonically they are never going to compete with a good modern tonearm like a Schröder or Thales in terms of detail retrieval and layering of the soundstage, assuming the appropriate cartridge is used.

Can it be that you just simply like this arm for what it does in your designs and set-ups more than anything else?

As to linear tracker tonearms - i personally love the automatic Garrard - randomly scratched reecords and sounded rubbish - looked cool though.

Lohan
I've been using and promoting the 3012-R almost exclusively with many high end turntables since the late 80's, AS-2000 simply provided the 3012-R with a higher level of resolution and neutrality for it to show off it's abilities next to some of the most expensive tonearms made.

david
 

Loheswaran

Well-Known Member
Dec 20, 2014
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I didn't go into the minutiae of detail to be fair as I wasn't interested in the Platine following an audition and I would only have bought the arm had I got the turntable, but when asking les wong about suitable arms (having choked at the price of the mounted Schroeder) he said there was a modified non-standard 3012R from the importer of the Platine (GT Audio).
That said SME (Sussex Model Engineering) are traditionally known for the bespoke manufacture of items - why are you so skeptical that GT Audio - based in a home county on the opposite side of london wouldn't get a bespoke product from SME? For instance they even manufacture their own screws. That said I am not in the trade and don't want to get too involved in this stand-off when on a thread about linear tracking tonearms.
Out of interest has anyone tried the linear tracking headshell?
 

ddk

Industry Expert
May 19, 2013
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I didn't go into the minutiae of detail to be fair as I wasn't interested in the Platine following an audition and I would only have bought the arm had I got the turntable, but when asking les wong about suitable arms (having choked at the price of the mounted Schroeder) he said there was a modified non-standard 3012R from the importer of the Platine (GT Audio).
That said SME (Sussex Model Engineering) are traditionally known for the bespoke manufacture of items - why are you so skeptical that GT Audio - based in a home county on the opposite side of london wouldn't get a bespoke product from SME? For instance they even manufacture their own screws. That said I am not in the trade and don't want to get too involved in this stand-off when on a thread about linear tracking tonearms.
Out of interest has anyone tried the linear tracking headshell?
A rewired 3012 isn't a big deal and I can see SME doing it but considering the popularity and lifetime sales of the 3012 a bespoke version with a redesigned bearing and still keeping the model designation is very interesting and would love to find one if it ever happened.

david
 

hplovecraft52

New Member
Oct 20, 2021
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Let us not forget the Sony Biotracer arm from years past! I have one on the Sony DD TT. Someday I will take it out of storage and set it up! The Biotracer arm is quite an advanced device! Probably the best tonearm for use with the very problematic Decca London cartridge (high compliance in one plane, low compliance in the other plane). The Biotracer can actively compensate and allow the Decca to track more accurately than a typical arm.
 

Rensselaer

VIP/Donor
Mar 23, 2021
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It would be absolutely amazing to read a sonic comparison between the 5A and the 5T on an apples-to-apples basis! That would be original, groundbreaking research!
Agree, but if you could add the Schroder LT as a third variable :p
 

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