Enquiring minds want to know. Ask these guys. http://www.sme.ltd.uk/html/conpage.html
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SME responded but not directly to my question. They said the 312 bearings are of the same class as the V. I replied with the basic question of: Were one to have damaged bearings can the 312 use series V bearings as a direct part replacement? The bases look the same so it should work I would think but I am only an accountant....
Finally; a concise and succinct response to my query from SME itself. Looks like for about 500 US you get your series 300 arm rebuilt with series V specification bearings. The next question is if this is something we can do ourselves; of course SME will say NO.
A full service (including bearings) to SV standard would cost GBP279.16
VAT and carriage.
All work is carried out by our expert assembly team and the arm would
fully rebuilt and returned in excellent order throughout,the cost
above would also include rewire with silver (SV standard) wire.
If you require any further details or clarification do please contact
The standard 312 bearing is not a problem and is indeed of the same high ABEC rating as the Series V. You can have Series V bearings fitted as an option but I would recommend you put the additional cost toward the purchase of a Series V (unless of course your requirement is only for a 12 inch arm). Also with the SME 300 series headshell, it can be "fiddly" as it is not the usual pattern and uses a locking screw at the side. Regards, Richard.