refurbishing a SME 3012 I-A (pre prototype of first series, handmade – not produced under standardised production schemes) is somehow a project if you are going for a redesign of the termination etc. Using a special RCA adapter and some other small parts you only have to take into account that you are dealing with two groundings.
Maybe you also check the rubber connection between tube and rear weight pipe. Usually the rubber is in a better condition than at the other vintage SME models but I was tempted experimenting with a new rubber pipe, a silicone pipe and a specially ordered Teflon piece from Melbourne. In the end I went for the Teflon piece as it allows more stability and the material is perfectly dampening.
Checking the lift I discovered that I will need new silicone oil (500.000). In the beginning I could not move the arm`s head between the SME and the EMT position discovering that I got a unit which rested in peace for a long time. Checking again after a special treatment I had no problem twisting the head which enables the usage of SME and EMT headshells both. In the end WD 40 solved the issue.
I also repositioned my arm board construction being specially dampened and fixed by two large screws to the EMT chassis taking up all Micro Seiki bases.
The SME I-A is a perfect partner for the Denons and all the other heavy weights I am using. On the images you see a Zu Denon and a brass body taking up the 103-R. There is no need for changing the tonearm wiring – unbelievable after more than 60 years – and this tonearm is singing wonderfully…