SME 3012 Series II tone arm

Classic Vintage Audio Auction – great sound for a great cause.

We’ve recently had a generous client turn up with two very special components. Rather than sell them for our own benefit we consulted the client and have agreed to auction both, with all the proceeds going to our favourite charity – The New Zealand Antivisection Society.

SME 3012 Series II tone arm

The SME arm is legendary and still stacks up in modern systems. This particular example is in exceptional condition and comes with a Shure cartridge fitted, original manuals and documentation. As you can see from the pics the wires from the base are exposed but this allows termination on the plinth of the turntable it ultimately ends up on.

Here’s a review that gives you the full background on the arm. The difference between the 3009 and 3012 is length – the longer 3012 delivers lower distortion and tracking error. I’m more than happy to answer any questions you may have and send more pics.

To give you an idea of the real market value here’s the current eBay listings. But we don’t want to see this special tonearm as just a commodity – it’s the chance for some enthusiast out there to give a piece of audio history a new life and build it onto a turntable of their own choosing, to make music and enjoy. Plus we’re also about supporting a good cause; combine the two and we can do something that’s unusually worthwhile.

When the SME tonearm was originally set up in the 1960s it was with the turntable below – these were the days where you really did do it yourself.

The Connoisseur belt drive turntable is of the same vintage but closer to what we might consider entry level today – it’s a great enthusiast project and does have all the basics right – good motor and bearing solid platter. Yet it was built to last and is relatively easy to get fully operational again – some basic woodworking skills combined with the insights gained in the last 50 or so years mean you could actually turn it into a seriously good new turntable – especially if combined with the SME 3012 above or any other separate tonearm. With both, you’ll get vastly better results by adding a modern cartridge, cabling, isolation feet and electronics such as a phono stage or modern turntable compatible amplifier.

We’re running a simple on-line auction for each – it’s not automated so just email your bids to us and we’ll post them on this page as the come in. The auction will run for 3 months so we’ll notify the lucky bidders on October 31st 2023.

SME 3012 Bids – July 25th BP $500. July 25th GD $800.

Connoisseur Bids – July 25th BP $100


The New Zealand Anti-Vivisection Society (NZAVS) is Aotearoa’s primary charity defending animals used in science. Our mission is to end animal experimentation and the harmful use of animals for research, testing and teaching in Aotearoa for animals, humans, and science.

I’ve been volunteering as a director and the secretary of NZAVS over the past year after a long stint as finance manager with the Deep South Green party. With NZAVS I’ve come to learn that there is still an alarming amount of animal testing and experimentation going on in New Zealand. Even more upsetting is the fact that much of it is unnecessary. While the focus used to be on the cosmetics industry, today it’s agriculture and some branches of science that persist with needlessly cruel practices. NZAVS is at the forefront of advancing ethical and often better animal-free research methods. Rather than taking an adversarial approach, NZAVS seeks to work with the institutions involved, educate and inform politicians of all stripes, and help the public understand that animals don’t have to suffer for our benefit.

So – while you may think the connection between classic vintage audio and animal rights may be tenuous – there it is. Who wouldn’t want to recycle and breathe new life into their musical world while helping make the world a better place for animals! 😻

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