"The Thorens TD125 table in combination
with the SME3009 arm has provided years
of excellent service. The one major fault
the difficult and imprecise adjustment
of VTA. The VTAF is the solution and it is light
enough to allow the turntable
to work correctly."
- Ron Barbee
$276 USD in engine turned Lacquered Brass finish.
Options: Add $36 USD for engine turned Smokey Silver finish. Add $36 USD for
Teflon Upgrade. Includes a VTAF Sliding Mounting Plate perfectly fit to the VTAF Bronze
Bushing, to replace the SME sliding base plate. Owner provides phono cables.
Installation of the VTAF for SME arms
is technically challenging. We will provide installation for $120 USD.
VTAF.SME.1 For SME 3009, 3012, and Series III arms.
Order VTAF.SME.2 For SME 309 arms, SME 310 arms, SME 312 arms SME Type IV arms, and SME Type V arms.
shots included here are for an SME 3009. Eventually we will add glamour images for the Series III, the 300 series arms and
for the Type IV and V arms.
Please see our web page on the Standard VTAF for details on how the VTAF works, the advantages provided by the VTAF, the construction of the VTAF,
and the finishes available.
The VTAF for SME requires an arm board
mounting slot 1.25 wide by 2.25 inches long. In addition the VTAF for SME requires assembly skills not possessed by everyone.
Certain parts of the SME arm system are set aside and remain
unused in the VTAF for SME installation. Parts not used include 1) the SME sliding mounting plate, which is replaced by a
VTAF sliding mounting plate, 2) the phono cable plug at the base of the mounting pillar, 3) possibly the phono cables, if
they are to be replaced, 4) the shield can at the base of the mounting pillar, 4) the wire ring around the mounting pillar,
and 5) the circular SME mounting base.
Ron Barbee, Thorens TD125, SME
3009: As the recent recipient of a version of your product which affords vertical tracking angle adjustment for my recently
restored 1967 Thorens TD125 turntable with an SME 3009 tone arm, I want to encourage you to continue manufacturing this fine
innovation and to recommend the incorporation of the VTAF capability to anyone with similar equipment.
The TD125/SME3009 combination has provided years of excellent service but the one major
fault has been the difficult and imprecise adjustment of VTA. The VTAF is the solution and it is light enough to allow the
turntable suspension to work correctly.
The advent of new
cartridge technology caused me to set aside this turntable and arm combination for a number of years because vertical tracking
angle became an important adjustment to attain the best performance from the cartridges I chose to use. The arrangement modified
with the VTAF provides precise, repeatable setups and allows me to enjoy my recordings on vinyl without the need to guess.
In addition, to change cartridges or perform inspection or even cleaning I can just lift
the assembly out of the base and have easy access to all aspects of the tone arm.
The sound has taken on another set of parameters previously not experienced. The Thorens/SME now challenges
my other turntables and requires a serious decision as to where to place it in my three listening areas. It easily competes
with my Linn Sondek, Panasonic SP10, and VPI tables with various top notch arms. I use Denon, Dynavector, Myabi, Pickering/Stanton,
Grado and Spectral cartridges currently with great satisfaction and am going to branch out to see how other applications work
with this system.
My sound systems are very high resolution
and have only been enhanced by the ability to precisely and repeatedly attain the VTA required for the best sound at the moment
Thanks for a fine product and a wonderful enhancement to
my old new playback system.
Abilities Required for
Proceed with knowledge of your own
abilities or those of a good friend or available technician. The primary challenge is working with and soldering the very
thin wires internal to the tonearm.
of installation of the VTAF on a 3009 arm are provided here. These were taken for the prototype. The production hardware is
a little prettier. The brass extender tube shown in the images has portals in the sides. These portals are not present in
the production units.
To get an idea of the installation
of the VTAF for SME, consider the following steps: 1) unplug phono cable, 2) remove shield can held in place by one small
screw) 3) unscrew 2 screws holding phono cable socket and snip the 4 signal wires and the ground wire close to the phono cable
socket; 4) lift out wire ring stop from the mounting pillar, 4) use Allen wrench to loosen mounting collar set screw; slide
mounting collar off mounting pillar, 5) strip the ends of the very small diameter wires exiting the mounting pillar, expose
about 1/8" of wire, 6) remove about 3/4 inch of the outer wrap from the phono cable where it will enter the VTAF strain
relief, revealing the signal wires, 7) strip the insulation to reveal about 1/8" of the phono cable signal wires and
the phono ground wire, 8) tin the ends of the five fine tonearm internal wires; tin the ends of the phono cable signal wires
and ground wire, 9) slide the VTAF brass mounting pillar extension over the phono cables with the slotted end of the tube
closest to the tone arm assembly, 10) insert the phono cable signal wires and ground wire through the holes in the VTAF nylon
strain relief, and superglue the insulation of these wires into the holes in the nylon strain relief using standard superglue
(not the gel superglue) 11) stabilize the tone arm assembly so that it can not move, 12) bring the tinned phono cable wire
ends within reach of the tonearm internal wire ends and stabilize the phono cable so it can not move, 13) solder the wire
ends of the tonearm internal wires to the related wire ends of the phono cable wires, 14) using thin tape provided, wrap a
fold of tape over each solder joint, and trim away excess tape, 15) slide the VTAF brass mounting pillar extension over the
nylon strain relief and over mounting pillar of the SME arm, making sure that the fine tonearm internal wires are not trapped
or pinched in the process.
At this point the cable is securely connected to the tone arm mounting pillar. The balance of the installation
is quite easy compared with the above.