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Garrard 301/401 owners club!

Discussion in 'Turntables' started by jeremyjustic, Nov 28, 2011.

  1. AtticRat

    AtticRat New Member

    Messages:
    17
    Location:
    The Shore of Lake Superior
    Garrard 301 virgin here. My first tt was a stack-able record Garrard given to me by my brother when I was 14, 43 years ago. I had completely forgotten about it until recently when I got back into listening to my record collection, after a 15 year hiatus. Last weekend I was out searching for vinyl at yard sales when I happened on a Garrard tt "for free to anyone who can fix it". Cool! The lady got $3.00 for it. I got my socks knocked off when I googled Garrard 301, as you might guess.
    Since then I have been reading through this wonderful discussion learning how to bring this poor neglected gem back to life.
    Garrard.jpg Garrard1.jpg Garrard2.jpg Garrard3.jpg Garrard4.jpg Garrard5.jpg Garrard6.jpg Garrard7.jpg Garrard8.jpg
    I've oiled the spindle and motor, damn they were thirsty! The linkage is in great shape, just thick grease slowing it all up, easy fix. It is quiet as a mouse, can't wait to spin a record on it! I plan on bringing the original plinth back to its original glory, but intend to make a solid plinth in the future, (I love 89rpm's plinth)
    Needless to say, I will be picking your brains for tricks and suggestions that I haven't already gotten from this discussion.
    Cheers!
    Karl
     

    Attached Files:

     

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  2. Dandy

    Dandy Super Member

    Messages:
    4,489
    Location:
    North West, UK
    Surely a once in a lifetime score! Glad you're enjoying restoring it. There are kits available to restore parts of the motor, suppressor cap, etc. It's the only table you'll ever need.
     
  3. Redboy

    Redboy a few good watts Subscriber

    Messages:
    11,042
    Location:
    Twin Cities, MN
    Congrats, Karl! That's a wonderful find!

    I sold my 301 a couple years back and quickly came to regret that decision. But I've since set things right! :)
     
  4. GP49

    GP49 Super Member

    Messages:
    1,147
    But every time you do that, it's liable to cost you more!
     
  5. AtticRat

    AtticRat New Member

    Messages:
    17
    Location:
    The Shore of Lake Superior
    Thanks Dandy, Table is scrubbed and polished, ready to start on the plinth.

    Thanks Redboy, do you know any place in the states that has spring kits for the 301? I'm up in Ashland, WI, and the only electronics store is a Radio Shack...not much tt parts available.
     
  6. Redboy

    Redboy a few good watts Subscriber

    Messages:
    11,042
    Location:
    Twin Cities, MN
    eBay is your friend, here. Or CTC in Europe, maybe.
     

     

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  7. Redboy

    Redboy a few good watts Subscriber

    Messages:
    11,042
    Location:
    Twin Cities, MN
    This is true! I paid more for a hammertone grease bearing model this time, but it came with a handful of extra goodies that I sold. At the end of the day, this is my “free” gray grease 301. :)
     
  8. Redboy

    Redboy a few good watts Subscriber

    Messages:
    11,042
    Location:
    Twin Cities, MN
    Speaking of CTC...

    (That’s the Classic Turntable Company, by the way)

    This came up on my FB feed today — Ray's newest solid chassis model. This is probably the Garrard to beat!

    (Image borrowed)

    B14949FB-EE26-4492-ABA5-69C9B9D8FF98.jpeg
     
  9. AtticRat

    AtticRat New Member

    Messages:
    17
    Location:
    The Shore of Lake Superior
    The restoration of the "for free to anyone who can fix it" 301 is near completion. The wires for the tonearm were brittle and needed to be replaced, done. Unfortunately, the stylus is collapsed and I cannot spin an album without damaging it! Does anyone know where I can get a replacement stylus for the TPA tonearm, or have a spare working tonearm they could loan a poor bike mechanic so he can listen to some classic jazz on this old gal?
    Garrarda10.JPG Garrarda11.JPG Garrarda12.JPG Garrarda14.JPG Garrarda15.JPG Garrarda16.JPG
    Oh, and where can I download a printable and effective speed strobe disc to dial in the table?
     
  10. Dandy

    Dandy Super Member

    Messages:
    4,489
    Location:
    North West, UK
    Is it the tonearm or the stylus that is broken? Can you post a picture of the cartridge and its make/model.

    You should be able to get a replacement stylus online, if you ID the cartridge.

    Or, you should be able to fit a new, basic MM cartridge with a new stylus--but I don't know the tonearm.
     
  11. AtticRat

    AtticRat New Member

    Messages:
    17
    Location:
    The Shore of Lake Superior
    The tonearm is a TPA 12, must be entry level US table. There is no ability to set the weight of the cartridge/stylus. In truth, I need a better quality tonearm, unless all I play are my ancient 78's that came with my Columbia Grafonola..

    Columbia Grafonola.jpg
    What I have is a Garrard head with a VR-1000 stylus. DSC00385.JPG DSC00386.JPG the body of the stylus sits on top of the album, not good. I get sound, but the scraping sound sucks!
     

     

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  12. Dandy

    Dandy Super Member

    Messages:
    4,489
    Location:
    North West, UK
    It's an old tonearm, but a respected one. I think there is a screw to set tracking force at the back. Get the manual on Vinylengine.

    You could just sell the arm to part fund a replacement. It needs a low compliance cart, but an M75 Shure with a new stylus would work and let you assess it. Edit: I've read that the Shure SC35C works well with this arm.

    Or a new, cheap mm cart would also get you going, to see if you like it. E.g. Google 'Cartridge Stylus Phonograph Pickup for Turntable Vinyl Records Moving Magnet New' for a cheap option, which has received favourable comment on AK, though cheap postage is very slow.
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2018
  13. GP49

    GP49 Super Member

    Messages:
    1,147
  14. AtticRat

    AtticRat New Member

    Messages:
    17
    Location:
    The Shore of Lake Superior
    I did a full rebuild of the tonearm...yes there is screw that works off a coil spring, it is not doing it's job...the manual is there, but not helpful. Thanks, eh?
     
  15. AtticRat

    AtticRat New Member

    Messages:
    17
    Location:
    The Shore of Lake Superior
    Thanks! My 301 is turning at optimal speeds! Hope to have a tonearm and stylus to spin an album soon.
     
  16. GP49

    GP49 Super Member

    Messages:
    1,147
    The GE VR-1000 has a problem with old, dried-out rubber suspensions. The aftermarket replacement styli (GE is long gone from the audio business) are of poor quality, as though the makers didn't know how the VR-1000 worked! Some were glued together with adhesive that hardened, eliminating compliance! By now, replacement styli are old, and most are deteriorated even if they were properly assembled to begin with.

    I want to experiment with one, so if you decide you don't want it any more, I may want to buy yours. But I'm a cheapskate and given the low chance of success, wouldn't pay a whole lot for it.

    Meanwhile, I'm happy you have your Garrard up and running. The Garrard 301/401 is a lifetime turntable. It will never need replacement and will probably outlive you!
     
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  17. dmsheehan

    dmsheehan AK Subscriber Subscriber

    After years of lusting after one, I finally picked up a Garrard idler. I have always wanted a 301 but I did see a 401 in pristine condition from a knowledgeable, honest owner so I pulled the trigger on the 401. It is in a skeletal plinth, and will need to be re-plinthed, but I mounted a Fidelity Research FR-54 tonearm on it and gave it a spin. I am glad that I pulled the trigger. Love that dynamic idler wheel sound! I have a few Elac Miracord idlers and I do love them. My Elac 770h is a wonderful machine, as is my 50h ii, but they do not compare to the Garrard 401.

    I was so impressed with the 401 that I pulled the trigger on a new plinth with multiple arm boards from a company in Hungary. I will be waiting for 6 weeks to take delivery, but it will be worth it. It is a beautiful black piano gloss full body plinth for a pretty reasonable price compared to plinths of similar quality that I have seen in my search quest for 401 plinths. Link below:

    http://www.dasacoustic.com/en/gallery/garrard-401-9/

    note: I am not affiliated in any way with the company that I purchased this plinth from.

    Image of my current skeletal plinth 401:

    garrard401_firstspin.jpg

    So happy to now be a member of this club.

    Dennis
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2018
  18. Dandy

    Dandy Super Member

    Messages:
    4,489
    Location:
    North West, UK
    Welcome to the club Dennis. Many would say that the 401 is better sonically than the 301. Personally, I can't tell the difference in sound.

    While you are waiting for your new plinth, you might experiment with the Loricraft skeletal plinth approach. This uses a light top plinth, resting on squash balls which rest in turn on a sub-plinth. I have found that arrangement to be most musical.
     
  19. dmsheehan

    dmsheehan AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Thanks for the greeting. I still might do just that, but I fell in love with the looks of the plinth from the person in Hungary. All of the reviews that I read from people who had purchased plinths from that company were glowing. His plinth uses the Baltic birch full enclosure approach. I love the fact that I will be able to easily swap tonearms with this plinth and the fit and finish look astounding.
    I have a friend who is a wood worker who can do some nice work. I may have him do the Loricraft version of the 401 plinth, but after taking possession of the 401 and seeing how pristine the table was, and how really good it sounded in the basic skeletal plinth, I had to put it into a beautiful plinth.

    This truly is a wonderful turntable. It bests my Technics SL-1100a, Luxman PD-441, and VPI HW-19. These are all fine turntables. I absolutely love my Technics SL-1100a, but it does not produce that dynamic sound that I get from the Garrard. I was kind of hoping that the Garrard would not sound as good as it does because I love the looks and sound of my Technics SL-1100a with a Fidelity Research FR-24 mkii tonearm mounted on it. But the Garrard, with a Fidelity Reserch FR-54 mounted on it does sound better to my ears. I had to play around with the FR-54 to get the alignment roughly into an acceptable position by moving the cartridge around in the head shell so that it was able to hit the null points on the Fidelity Research alignment disc. I can only imagine how it will sound when I have it properly set up. I will also be mounting the FR-24 on the Garrard when I get the new plinth as I like the sound of the FR-24 a tad more than the FR-54. Either way..the table is a joy.
     
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  20. johnjhazel

    johnjhazel PhxJohn Subscriber

    Messages:
    448
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    I don't use no stinkin' glue in my rebuilds. LOL. WP_20180722_002.jpg
     
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