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Tip of the Week, October 31, 2011

I have been a lover of vintage SME tonearms for a long long time. At first, I admired them from afar, but after I owned my first, I realized that were not all just great looks…they were also great at reproducing sound.  Over the past ten years since I owned my first, I have seen the prices on these vintage arms almost double.  Now, with prices averaging close to $600 for a complete arm in the revered 3009 Series II (et al) , I have come to the realization that it’s now better to spend your money on a new SME arm, in the M2 line-up.   This fact was driven home to me recently when I spent $350 dollars to have one refurbished and rewired.  When all was said and done, I’d invested close to $900 dollars in an arm that was 30 years old.  So…lately I have begun recommending to customers coveting a vintage SME to investigate the M2-9 line instead.  If you shop shrewdly, they can be had for around $1000.  That’s NEW. It’s hard to argue with that price given the M2-9 comes with many of the features best loved in the 3009 Series II lineup, but it also adds better wiring,  better design, and a WARRANTY.  Having installed and tested four of these arms in the past few months, I can say unequivocally, they are a better arm than the 3009 Series II, even after “upgrading.”