Bearing quality

I am restoring an SME 3009 ver.2 imp. I have the new brass knife edge bearing, the bronze groundplate, (from Analog Tube Audio) New coupling rubbers, RCA conversion kit and Cardas 33ga. tonearm wire, as well as various missing nuts bolts and pieces that didnt come with it from Ebay. nothing has been installed yet I am just about ready. I am a accomplished DIY
and a very experianced electrician so between my researching and experiance I feel confidant in the outcome.
My question pertains to the two bearings in the piller tube (top and bottom). Has anyone got experiance in verifying these bearings in usuable shape? References I have found say basically feel is how people judge their shape, this is fine but on what axis am I supposed to be feeling, am I just looking for obvious looseness as I push the arm end to end,
am I feeling for roughness as I rotate the arm? the directions In which I look for play or roughness seem ok to me the only real concern is that I can lift up at the counter weight and the base end seems somehow in disconnect from the piller. any help,comments, critiques would be apreciated.