SME 3009 II Improved upgrade and Transcriptor Hydraulic Reference refurbishment part 1

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Last year I’ve bought legendary Turntable Transcriptor Hydraulic Reference with SME 3009 II Improved tonearm and ruined Shure M111HE. One gotta count on few problems with 40+ years old equipment. All was in quite nice visual condition, but very poor mechanical condition. One gotta count on few problems with 40+ years old equipment.

I was lucky to get one. they going very expensive nowadays. TT was purchased from Londoner – very nice gadget guy who kept it for fifteen years and bought it from firs owner. I like things with nice heritage. No scratches or major dents, that’s the main thing I thought. By my opinion, refurbishing old stuff is the best to take everything apart, cleaned and service it back to its original spec. Then you don’t get more troubles later.

Transcriptor Hydraulic Reference with SME 3009 II Improved

Sweep arm with brush made of fine squirrel hair. Funny, but true.
Transcriptor Hydraulic Reference with SME 3009 II Improved

SME 3009 S2 improved tonearm need proper setup
Transcriptor Hydraulic Reference with SME 3009 II Improved

Shure M111HE might been pretty good MM cartridge in its time, but this one is absolutely gone. Little brush is useless.
Transcriptor Hydraulic Reference with SME 3009 II Improved

Transcriptors hydraulic is trully beautiful turntable
Transcriptor Hydraulic Reference with SME 3009 II Improved


Before you start any refurbishment I recommend to download user, service manual and schematics for your equipment. It’s much easier when you know what to do and how to adjust it properly.

Thorough research on Internet was made, before I actually bought bought all needed parts and start renovation. For more information search for Transcriptors, SME 3009 rewire, etc.

Analog Tube Audio
Classic SME tonearms
SME 3009 series 2 arm rewire and SME phono conversion
 
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So far the best guide how to rewire SME tonearms
Restoring An Audio Classic, The SME 3009 Series II Tonearm By Brian Kearns

What upgrades have purchased?

Original metal knife edge bearing from SME instead of nylon one. Unfortunately I haven’t realized, that this is for SME 3009 S1 tonearm, so one of the chamfer edges need to be filed off. Kinda butcher, but believe me – it’s working.
Transcriptor Hydraulic Reference with SME 3009 II Improved

SME Bed plate made of aluminium which I bought from eBay.
Transcriptor Hydraulic Reference with SME 3009 II Improved

Bearing oil from Michell.
Mitchell bearing oil

Cheap Silicone oil from eBay to fill oil resevoir.

Silver plated cartridge pins / connectors including silver solder (My guess is cheaper 2-4% of silver).
cartridge silver plated pins

Silver “tonearm wire” Really cheap from eBay. I was cheapskate and didn’t want to spend £85 money for proper Van Den Hul tonearm wire, but It was big mistake. I strongly recommend you to buy proper stuff. For great copper wire kit Google for: “Iso kinetik ISOTone SME 3009 internal rewire kit”
Mitchell bearing oil

RCA conversion SME 3009 kit from US Search on eBay.com for more

JA Mitchell England Ltd. record clamp – it was making sense, because these two companies ware closely collaborating.
Transcriptor Hydraulic Reference with SME 3009 II Improved

Transcriptor Hydraulic Reference with SME 3009 II Improved

Of course there is new ground wire (I bought Technics) and signal cables made of Klotz mono microphone cable. (I bought the best microphone cable I could be get + Neutrik Profi connectors)

Major objectives:

  •  cartridge upgrade
  •  tonearm service and upgrade
  •  base plate cleaning ad polishing
  •  motor and belt mechanism
  •  suspension
  •  oil bearing and reservoir
  •  original lid re-polished

need to be taken apart, cleaned / exchanged and put together again, then set up properly.

Have I forget something? Oh yes… Follow part 2 and 3
 
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10 thoughts on “SME 3009 II Improved upgrade and Transcriptor Hydraulic Reference refurbishment part 1

  1. Hi

    Great article as I am just about to do the same thing assuming that I can get hold of an SME arm to replace my original Transcriptors Fluid Arm. Just a quick question; what polish did you use for the Perspex parts as the photographs show a fantastic finish? I have looked on e-bay but there are loads to choose from so your advice would be much appreciated!

    Thanks in advance

    Tony

  2. Hi Martin, i’ve just finish to read your transcriptor hydraulic ref. refurbishment guide,
    I have a question for you, my transcriptor has been cleened as described in your guide, but when i put on the belt (the silicone oil is in the well) all the engine suspension vibrates too much.. it looks a trascriptor with alzheimer.. hi have to underestand two things, silicone oil may be not the right or the motor suspension plate has some problems ?
    i bought silicone oil on e-bay it is an high density oil, and i bought a new belt on e-bay too, and now i don’t underestand what to do, have you some suggestion for me please?

  3. one last thing…
    silicone oil is selled as specific for transcriptor hydraulic reference and belt too..

    • I have had a very same problem, It’s probably coursed by tension of new belt. When I re-installed old belt, problems were gone. Do you have old belt? You can also try to help it by hand when TT start running, it should stop when speed is stabilized. (Obviously your described problem could be somewhere else.)

      • Hi Martin, thanks for answer me, unfortunately no, i don’t have it, i’ve bought tt on ebay and it was without oil and belt, to refurbisher, the motor is ok , i think has to be the belt , it has a strong grip, and for example it does’nt start directly with the swich but you have to start the plate handily..
        but when motor start and plate run it is hard to stabilize speed and it suspension plate of motor vibrates , if i put a water glass on the board you can see vibration in the water…
        the only two things changed is the belt and well oil.. and if increase the speed at 45 rpm it looks stabilized…
        this is all…
        Andrea

  4. Pingback: Transcriptors Hydraulic Reference vintage turntable wallpapers | Audio Tweak

  5. Pingback: Transcriptors Hydraulic Reference vintage turntable wallpapers | Audiophile Vintage

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