i have heard that some audiophiles used to glue the counterweight in position for better sonics. that may be the case with your arm. can you see any signs of glue? if so, i'm not sure what the next step would be....
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I've set up some pretty old 3009s, and every one had adjustable counterweights . . . I agree with Corby in that something must be modified or missing.
Try going to www.vinylengine.com and downloading a 3009 manual; from there you should be able to figure out what's going on. They work great with fairly lightweight MM cartridges BTW.
I have an early SME 3009 as well. I checked my manual and the counterweight should be adjustable (not fixed). Perhaps a little heat from a heat gun or blow dryer would be enough to free it up.
I have a Ortofon 2M Bronze on my SME (on a Technics SL1200 Mk. 5) and it's a great sounding and tracking match.
Do you have a split (two section) counterweight?
All my 3009's (I, II non-improved and R) have had a rubber fitting inside the counter weight.
Perhaps the rubber piece has degraded and fused to the metal?
I used to see this part for sale on Ebay and @ A'Gon (dealer in Canada I think), but I do not see any listed @ the moment.
Anyway, my current II works fine with Ortofon and Grado's that are not too heavy and I'm using the the cut out/light weight Sure-SME headshell.
Thanks for the answers. I think I didn't describe well enough. On the arm that I have, the rear small counter weight is fixed at the very end of the arm and has no hole in it to allow it to move forward. The rider weight is hung from it. There is a center counter weight that does slide, but with it as far forward as it goes and with the rider weight as far forward as it can go it won't balance . I think I just made a mistake of inexperience in not realizing that this arm probable used a SPU head shell that is much heavier . At this point I think I will have to just chalk it up learning. Unless I thought maybe if I could find a rear counter weight that has a hole in it, like ones I have seen on later models, but that seems remote from what I 've seen so far. Thanks again.