SME M2-9R tone arm test review

Tony Bolton (HiFi World) writes:  Updating a tried and trusted product can be a risky thing to do, especially when an item has enjoyed nearly half a century of production. In the world of hi-fi, Quad have been successful with their updates of the old Quad ll amplifiers and SME have now joined this select group with the new M2-9R. This is an update of the 3009 based upon their successful M2 series of arms. The old SME 3009, in its various forms, achieved sales of over 450,000 examples between its introduction in 1958, and the cessation of this model in 2003. so the new M2-9R has a very hard act to follow.

Whereas the M2 is a straight arm, the M2-9R follows the shape and style of the old 3009 series with a J shaped arm. However, although it looks very similar to the old 3009, there are very few components that have been carried over, apart from the classic black headshell.

The arm tube is made of thin-walled stainless steel (previously it was made of anodised aluminium) and the counterweights are now made of tungsten instead of brass. The bearing assembly is completely different, with the old knife edge bearings replaced with 10mm ball races.