Blackbird / SME


Hi all,
will a Sumiko Blackbird fit an SME 3009 improved ( non detach ) ? It is on a Thorens TD 125 mk II . Goes to a Manley Stingray through a Lounge Audio LCR. Thanks.

Mike
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It's compliance the Birds is on the low side with the light 
SME non removable head shell version 3009.

That said compliance can be a strange "bird" pun intended.
Probably work with some additional weight added to both headshell (brass bolts) and counterweight.  As your headshell is fixed, be real careful with that naked cantilever.
It should be fine. The 3009 arms have a range from 6.5 to 12 grams. Find out the mass of that arm and do the math!
http://www.mh-audio.nl/Calculators/RF.html
Go on Amazon and search for Technics Head shell weight. One should do it. If your resonance frequency winds up too low you can shave parts of the weight off with a Dremel tool to get it right 8-10 Hz. get the Hi FI News test record.
The 3009 improved with non detachable headshell has an effective mass of 6.5 grams and composite knife edge vertical bearing. IMHO, I would not go there. And it has more to do with the secondary resonances and bearing integrity than with the primary arm/cartridge resonance.
Viridian, the effective mass of the detachable head shell version is 12.5 gms. This version is 9.5 grams not 6.5. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that vertical bearing it is just expensive to make. Every arm has some "secondary" resonances the better tonearms are usually well dampened as I am sure the SME is. The Blackbird has a compliance of 12 X 10 -6 cm/dyn which is on the lowish side. This arm is a little light for this cartridge. The detachable shell version would have been a better match but that can be fixed with a little added weight and a test record.
MI, I didn’t think that I would have to make a citation but below is the link to Analogue Classics. Scroll down the page to the chart with the various arms and their effective mass. The improved arm without detachable headshell is clearly 6.5 grams effective mass. These are measured figures, contrary to those provided by the SME literature which are not borne out by testing:

http://www.analogue-classics.com/html/sme_3009___3012.html

The Improved S2 being the removable headshell version and the Improved Series 2 being the fixed headshell version.

I never said there was anything “wrong” with a knife edge bearing for the vertical plane. But now that you bring it up. IMHO, they chatter with low compliance cartridges. That it my opinion, based on experience with the SME arms garnered over 40 years. Enjoy yours.

As far as secondary resonances goes, I have both an unimproved arm with removable headshell and a couple of unimproved arms, also with removable headshells. They ring like a bell when struck with a pencil eraser. To me this indicates secondary, undamped, resonances. I would speculate that the non removable headshell version would be worse as it lacks the compliance between tonearm and headshell conferred buy the rubber washer. Lower compliance cartridges put more energy back into the arm and will aggravate any resonant behavior. To you it may indicate otherwise. We are all entitled to our opinions.

As I said, I do not think that primary resonance is a concern, as weight can be added at the headshell, but of course, this only increases any bending modes within the light, minimally damped, tonearm.



The resonance frequency with that arm and cartridge is 11.27 HZ. Those numbers are damn good! Why would you need a headshell weight?
You might look @ some of the high compliance models offered by Soundsmith. They have a few models in the $500-$1000 range.

DeKay
Viridian I would tend to trust SME's specs more than Analog Classics
Chatter is a figment of some peoples minds for some reason. I doubt this can happen even with loose bearing races. Forget about tapping the arm tube. Tap the cartridge body. If that rings you have a problem. Yes, a stiff cartridge might reflect a little more energy but actually unless the cartridge body weights less than than the effective mass of the diamond and cantilever extraordinarily little energy is reflected back to the arm. In reality the effective mass of the diamond and cantilever are so low in a modern cartridge in relation to the mass of the cartridge I would be surprised if the arm see's any energy other than the linear force that moves the arm across the record. I love these myths perpetrated by people who think they know what they are talking about. Unfortunately, these myths frequently get wings because they seem to make sense.
Beware of people who seem to make sense. 
Viridian I am 65 and have own over twenty tonearms. I never bothered to count and at least twice as many cartridges all the way back to 1965. 
OK Viridian now it is your turn. Prove to us that a tonearm can chatter and we want to know exactly how you determined this and we want to see the data.
MI first of all, I have nothing to prove as I said “IMHO” which means it was an opinion, certainly as valid as yours. You have proved precisely nothing other than you are old and have a lot of tonearms (being 62 I fall into the former category as well), the rest being completely speculative.

Yogiboy, when mounting hardware is accounted for I get approximately the same primary resonant frequency you do for the unimproved arm. As I said in my first post, I don’t really consider the primary arm/cartridge resonance to be an issue here.
MI:

The SME data @ Analog Classics is correct and the OP’s arm with non-detachable HS has an effective mass of 6.5 grams in its standard configuration.

I’ve seen (WWW) what seems to be a scan of an SME info sheet with incorrect figures, and this has been well researched in the past by others as well as myself.

I have been using SME arms from 1971 to present and in that I am not too young (62) or too old (65) my opinion rules.

This said, the OP’s combo does work "on paper" if the knife bearings condition and the setup are both tip-top.

Edit" Whoosh, just noted that the OP's deck is the same as my current Thorens/125II.

DeKay
Viridian, experience is everything in this life. Yes I am old and have had a lot of tonearms which does not explain you backing out of an argument because you have no idea what you are talking about and are intensionally misleading everyone in this forum. It is people like you that make having intelligent conversations almost impossible. Again, where is your proof that knife edge bearings chatter. I'll tell you where it is. Only in hearsay. 
Thanx dekay. Is this SME's data and why should I believe Analog Classic's data? How are they measuring EM? 
There is only one way to set up a tonearm, Tip Top. Oh and 62 is much stupider than 65. You are not even on Medicare yet:)
MI:

The investigation into the contradicting SME spec's took place both here and @ AudioAsylumn years ago and AC's data was proven to be correct.

You might want to research Medicare as well considering that I have been covered by such since 2009 (details, details, details).

DeKay
MI, I’ll give you that 62 is definitely stupider than 65. But to look into my mind and state that I am intentionally misleading anyone lacks credibility and is an ad hominem attack without merit. I am wrong perhaps, as I said it is an opinion, but your presumptuousness is exceeded only by your presentation of opinions as fact.

Experience is everything, as you say, and I currently have three 3009s, though none with fixed headshells. They have helped me to develop my opinions. Or mislead me, as the case may be. There is no argument to back out of. I present my opinions as just that. You present yours as decrees. No argument, no Medicare required.
I have a Decca Super Gold on my year old Jelco knife edge bearing arm and I hear no indication of this chatter you speak of. If a Decca doesn't induce it, then perhaps it is a well-executed knife edge. Or is that becuase it's not old and worn? Time will tell.
NoR, thanks for adding another data point. Are those Jelco arms using a composite knife edge like the Improved and R model SME arms or are they using a metal knife edge bearing like the unimproved SME arms and was optional on the R series?
Viridian, Some things are demonstrable facts and others are opinions. I have no problem stating facts for what they are unless someone can give me data to the contrary. Saying that a tonearm "chatters" is a rather derogatory comment sure to bother insecure SME owners. I have never heard a tonearm "chatter." I have never seen a method to test for tonearm "chatter." Until someone shows me repeatable data to the contrary I will hold "chatter" as just anther one of those audiophile myths
this endeavor is ripe with. As for experience. Do you know what being a prison inmate is like? I hope not. You have to have been in that position to understand it, same for being pregnant. Hard to explain to a male what that is like. Experience is the best teacher of all followed by making mistakes.
noromance, great combination. Not even an old and worn knife edge bearing will chatter. To much weight on it. Only if you shake the turntable can you induce chatter. Now a really worn ball bearing race may click if you twist it back and forth. Lets see if I can draw an analogy. A moving stylus causing a tonearm to chatter would be like a fighter plane causing an aircraft carrier to chatter. That should be about right. 
You have to looks for the cartridge dynamic compliance, but not at the compliance measured at 100Hz (like everything from Japanese cartridge manufacturers). You need at compliance figure measured at 10Hz to make correct calculation !!!

I can’t find that information in the manual from Sumiko.
So i have no ideal was it 15 cu @ 100Hz ... or 15 cu @ 10Hz ?

If it was 15 cu @ 100Hz you have to convert it to 10Hz first !
15 cu x 1.7 = 25.5 cu @ 10Hz

25 cu is NOT a low compliance, but a medium-high compliance.

Posters above told you it’s a low compliance, but do they know for sure was it 15cu @ 10 Hz to say so ???

Or it was 15cu @ 100 Hz which makes all your calculation wrong.

To make all the calculation after you will be able to confirm a compliance figure go here on Ortofon website and read this.

And yes, Hi-Fi Test Record is a great tool to measure the actual resonance of your arm/cart combination in realtime.
@viridian As far as I can glean from the Jelco website, it is a "hard metal" knife.
See image
Very cool, thanks for the info and glad you are enjoying it with the Decca. I always wanted a Decca. Almost seems a right of passage, like owning Quad 57s, Maggie’s or an SPU cartridge. Thanks again.