What Does It Take To Surpass A SME V?

Thinking about the possibility of searching for a new tonearm. The table is a SOTA Cosmos Eclipse. Cartridge currently in use is a Transfiguration Audio Proteus, and it also looks like I will also have an Ortofon Verismo if a diamond replacement occurs without incident. 

The V is an early generation one but in good condition with no issues. Some folks never thought highly of the arm, others thought it quite capable. So it's a bit decisive. 

The replacement has to be 9 to 10.5 inches. I have wondered if Origin Live is worth exploring? Perhaps a generation old Triplanar from the pre owned market?

 Any thoughts on what are viable choices? 








@rauliruegas Thanks for the welcome.  I've been distracted from audio by other projects for the past few years, and now have more time to participate.  The better of my two 3012R arms was worked over by


Dear @dgarretson @peterayer : Thank’s for the link.

Now, even that’s not exactly the same the today SME M2-12R is theSME 3012R response where mainly they fixed the main " trouble " in the vintage tonearm because in the M2 there is no knife bearing any more along that SME improved the internal damping and internal wire.


Other than the good look 12" tonearms really can’t gives us a true advantages even its lower tracking error. This example speaks by it self.

Löfgren A IEC standard. Tracking distortion in between/around null points for a 12" against what for me could be the best EL compromise 10.5" and against 9" too:


12 "....... 0.420%

10.5"... 0.485%

9"........ 0.58%


Who in this thread can detect: 0.065% or 0.16% against the 9" difference?

I know I can’t do it. We have to take in count too that at each single mm. the tracking distortion is changing all over the LP recorded grooves:


same premises but 1mm. after:

12"....0.419% vs 0.420% 1mm. before, difference of 0.001% tracking distortion that even a bat can’t be aware of it.

Those measurements are when the cartridge/tonearm alignment has 100% of accuraccy ! !


So where is the 12" big deal? along that this is what the SAT designer says about in favor of shorter arms vs 12"+ ones:



Makes sense the 12" EL tonearm design other that its look?, certainly not for me.


and we have to think in the higher inertia moment in the 12" and its effect in the cartridge stylus tip/cantilever by that added dynamic mass that needs to handle along all the LP imperfections.




2 0 2 3   YEAR   !  !  !








There are measurements and there is listening.  People choose what sounds right to them.  

@peterayer , You choose what sounds right based on, design considerations and measurements especially when it comes to tonearms.

@neonknight , I also have a Cosmos. The TriPlanar is a great arm but it will not fit on a Cosmos. That dropped rear end runs into the plinth. The SME 5 is a great arm. Origin Live arms will fit but I prefer the 4Point 9 and the Schroder CB. I have a Schroder CB and the only bad thing I can say about it is it does not come with a tonearm rest. Mr Schroder thinks they resonate and will not put one directly on the arm. I made a locking one and mounted it on the Sota's plinth. You can see it on my system page. I have both walnut and cherry in stock if you would like one. Otherwise the CB is as good as a pivoted tonearm gets. It is neutral balance, is adjustable for different cartridge compliances and has a wonderful frictionless, magnetic anti skate mechanism. It's geometry is also right on the money and it lines up Lofgren B perfectly. The 4 Point nine is less expensive. The wire leads out over the plinth instead of under and usually has at least one additional connection. The Schroder is one wire clips to RCAs or XLRs. Otherwise the Kuzma is an excellent arm.

Dear @peterayer  :  " There are measurements and there is listening.  People choose what sounds right to them.  "


I posted several times that when an audiophile says: " that's what I like it " then the dialogue is just ended because what we like is untouchable subjectivity and useless argue against it.

I gave you some 3012R characteristics that goes against the sounds reproduction og the LP recorded grooves not matters what.

Well, certainly for you it does not matters and difference with me is that those characteristics that goes against the quality reproduction levels tells me is not a good choice to achieve my MUSIOC/SOUND target that's stay truer/nearer to the recording. My common sense is what analizing subjectivity/objectivity takes the rigth choose according my end target.

You can't prove with subjectivity alonethat you are rigth even f  you are rigth that you are notttttttsing the 3012R.

That's what you like and is clear for me but   issue is not that.


In the other side your room/system speaks for your subjectivity or maybe the " objectivity "/$ of the ones that just  made with your system a change of 180°  when you pass from SS to tubes electronics, from dynamic/moving coil speakers to vintage horns, from SME TT to that way heavy weigth metal TT and so on. Nothing wrong with that because ws and is your choice privilege as for any one of us.

I think that a mix of subjectivity/obejectivity is a very good path for any audiophile, certainly not for you and its fine with me.


Anyway, continue your MUSIC enjoyment as I and other audiophiles like to do because the name of the game is " MUSIC enjoyment no matters what.