SME V service manual/parts list

I had no problem finding these for an SME 3009 S2, but SME V?

My google-fu is weak. I can't find a single page or image anywhere.

Anyone throw me a bone here?

I just bought an SME V and the VTF knob isn't calibrated. 1.5 gm is really 1.75-ish. Yeah, I'm sure I could send it back for R&R, but I figure there's a set screw somewhere and don't really want to go poking at it just yet without having a schematic.

Plus, I like having as much information as possible on my stuff.



Thanks. Looks like that’s where this is headed.


interesting though that This information is available for the older arms.

If bought it new it is strange, if secondhand check with previous owner if by any reason the counterweight has been altered in some way.




... if secondhand check with previous owner if by any reason the counterweight has been altered ...

The SME V applies VTF dynamically using a spring, so the counterweight isn’t a factor in the calibration. I don’t know about the OP, but I wouldn’t be comfortable servicing a fine watch and I’d be just as uncomfortable trying to service an SME V.

Have you rebalanced the arm (VTA/A-S set to Zero) and then rechecked VTF?

Do you have an extra scale?

The balance on my old 3009 has gone off a few times for reasons unknown.



Rather than do any risky surgery I'd use a $25 digital scale - which is what I do anyway with my Series V.

I'm really good at following graphic instructions. I can't fault the SME user manual in that regard, step by step this is the easiest setup I could hope for.

Yes, @dekay, I did rebalance - dead nuts neutral, just a HAIR forward (but not 0.25gm worth) per manual instruction.

Extra scale? Here you go:


As you can see, the weight is a LITTLE over 1.5 gm



Ortofon scale:




Seller was as surprised as I was to find his 2.0 gm setting was really only about 1.5 something (I forget, that was days and many gm scale readings ago).


so I've done the drill twice, just now - for assurances' sake - and got the same outcome. Dial is set at about 1.55 gm, actual tracking force is 1.75 gm.


I can live with this, but should I? That's why I've asked about a SERVICE manual.

This isn't a fine watch, neither was the 3009 and I had that completely disassembled, rewired and back in service in a day (I also do 1911 trigger jobs, and S&W too for a hobby).  From an engineering standpoint, there SHOULD be a means of CALIBRATING the TFA but, knowing engineers, I think this is the one category of sinner Dante Alighieri never dreamt of making a special circle of hell for all eternity; there might NOT be a "simple" set screw calibration setting anywhere (not that I can find, anyway).


Thanks again everyone.


Yup, you were spot on, on how much it's off.

You might try for a consultation with this company in Canada (they may even tell you that it's fine "sonically" as is).



Out of curiosity try ajusting it to higher/lower VTF settings and then measure how much it's off.

Wonder if it's consistent.


DeKay are no longer authorized SME dealers. They used to be the distributor for Canada too (and there is much bad blood about them losing that to Bluebird Music!)


I turned the wheel back and forth several times, MAX, slightly above 3,0 hits 3.36-3.37 consistently. 

Then I backed off a bit.

3+ = 3.36


2.5 = 2.61

2 = 2.10

1.75 = 1.87

1.5 = 1.60

1 = 1.25


Then again, and again, “forcing” it a bit at the 3.36 end.


1.7 now = 1.81

1.6 = 1.75

where 1.55 used to be 1.75


it’s a LOT harder to turn than I would expect. Feels like some old guns I’ve rebuilt where the lighter, more volatile components of the 50-200 year old oils/grease have gone to smog, what’s left behind stiffer than a double shot of Maker’s Mark.

The bearings in the horizontal plane/tower are FINE, loose as a goose or great aunt Lucy, but how to approach a “fix” maybe with modern synthetic oils in the right spot I’ll ponder while I just play the heck of out this setup, break in that Benz Glider.


I’ll live with it for now. I’ve emailed SME canada and Bluebird Music, I’ll see what they think.

To be honest, doesn't everyone use a digital scale nowadays rather than trust a knob and markings? BTW, even though VTF is by spring, you can zero out dynamic force and apply static force with the weight only.


I think that’s about right. The digital scales are So much better than the old beam-balance devices in general. Ortofon makes a digital for around $120 that is accurate to about 0.001gm - 1 mg - (IIRC, there are several cheaper digitals that boast this level of sensitivity), I’m not sure the difference is audible or at all significant, the two beams I have I’ve compared at lower numbers and they’re about equal. A thirty dollar SME scale with a 1.5 gm upper limit and a plastic Ortofon scale (free with $2875 cartridge or $15 from Amazon) both as accurate with visual interpolation as a $20 Amazon digital scale.

But that $3,000 tonearm has a dial that SAYS 1.75gm, which actually weights about 15% more (off the top of my head). One would think a simple mechanical spring gadget would have an easy fix, a calibration mechanism, which leads back to my original question.

It’s my professional nature to worry about small details like this, and an academic question I find interesting at its core.

I recall a story - many say apocryphal - about some poor sod who was summarily let go from a job at Rolls Royce auto when he used the expression “good enough.”



@normb Can't argue with you about small details. I'm in that unforgiving business too where it either works or it doesn't.


Here's a suggestion - what about reverse calibrating the dial  -

Set the VTF to 1.75g using the dial.

Now adjust the counterweight so that the VTF is actually 1.75g at the stylus tip - using your scales.

Now check 1.5g & 2.0g using the dial and scales to see if it is accurate enough to rely on.

Personally I prefer to set VTF with a combination of static and dynamic VTF. A ratio of 2:1 works very well - for example if you want 1.5g tracking force - set static downforce using counterweight to 1.0g and then spring force of 0.5g to bring it up to 1.5g. 

This is recommended by Grado after conducting tests - and JCarr also has found a mix of static & dynamic to be optimum.






Long talk with Alfred Kayser at SME tonearms just now. Sage advice: don’t F with it, use a digital scale. May send in for rebuild/wiring soon.

thanks for all the suggestions and feedback.

Gotta say it really helped talking to someone who has rehab'd hundreds (thousands) of these tonearms and discuss some of the details of the workings of the things.

THAT made a world of difference.

Kudos to Alfred for not trying to make me out to be a rank amateur and giving some other advice on the turntable to boot.

I had bought some parts from him a few years back, have full confidence in sending the TA in for a complete overhaul/renewal.