View Full Version : Garrard 301 questions

The Vinyl Adventure
04-10-2010, 23:15
Right, this is a realy premature thread being as I'm skint I can't really see me having an aweful lot of spare cash for a while, but...
Basically whilst mooching around on the net for a turntable I found a picture of a Garrard 301 in a teak and black plinth... Not so long ago, Hannah mentioned that if I get a new turntable can she help me choose it ... I agreed based on her overwhelming succes at helping me find speakers (I just dont learn... She's pretty, what can I say). So anyway, she said she would like a black and White one with a teak trim of some sorts, so I showed her the Garrard and guess what, we have a winner on the design front!
She was even more exited when told her the plinths were custom and she could effectivly have final (to a point) say in the shape and colour of it!
She has even suggested she could put a bit of money into the pot for it for me for Xmas

Unfortunatly I know nothing at all about Garrard decks other than the platter spins because of a rubber wheel thing and thatthese plinths get rid of the main inherent problem with that as a design...

So what else do I need to know?
What is a good way to go about looking for one of these decks?
I assume I can buy just the turntable bit and get the other bits when money permits ... Is that a good idea?
Am I likely to like it?
And a slightly more "out of the box" question... Are there any other shiney White vintage looking turntables of a similar design that a similar plinth could be made for that might be an alternative?

04-10-2010, 23:24
Lol - what are you like? :eyebrows:

I'll get back to you on this tomorrow, as I'm just about to go to bobos....

In the meantime, though, I'm sure some of our resident vintage T/T gurus will come to your rescue!



The Vinyl Adventure
04-10-2010, 23:32
This is not me, hannah has made this get out of hand! I was looking a cheap thorens decks, and stumbled accros a site with Garrards on... It's not my fault! :)

05-10-2010, 08:41
The wonderful thing about 301's and 401's is that they can be fully restored (at a price) and will probably be better than new afterwards with all the close tolerance "blue-printing" that's done to them. Loricraft know more about these decks than anyone else I think and any mods, updates or servicing should be addressed to them in the first instance.

Remember that most 301's for sale today have been through several owners tinkering with them by now, but don't despair, for the reasons above. The deck plates can even be repainted/enamelled if necessary and trims and controls replaced.

Technically speaking, the 301 would be outclassed by the techie (wow, flutter and rumble), but there's something emotional about owning ancient gear like this and getting a modern performance out of it.

Good luck with your search for a good 301. I'm sure you'll love it :)

The Grand Wazoo
05-10-2010, 08:47
Glad to see you're not planning to paint one blue Hamish.........you're not are you?
No, you're not

05-10-2010, 08:52
This is not going to be cheap and if you putting out this kind of dosh I go for the 1210 or Salvation myself But lovelly looking deck
You need to consider adding a service to the costs also. The plinth can make a huge difference.
Might be worth considering something like of the Goldring 88 it be a bit cheaper and will give you a similar performance. http://www.hembrow.eu/personal/goldring88.html

05-10-2010, 09:02
As a long time owner of a remanufactured early version 401, which I understand is not a million miles away from the 301, the main thing I would say to look out for is rumble, especially if you are using a sub. They have a powerful mains induction motor coupled to the platter with a rubber coated wheel, and the amount of breakthrough seems to depend on idler wheel spring tension, state of balance of the motor, trueness of the eddy current brake disc and the prevailing mains voltage. Modern plinth designs and special stabilised lower voltage power supplies are supposed to fix this, so perhaps I am being too pessimistic. But even specialist rebuilt ones in proper plinths can still rumble, as I found out out lately.:doh:

05-10-2010, 09:04
I owned a G88 with original 1960 12" SME arm way before they were fashionable in any way and before people made up bespoke plinths. It's another "white coloured" classic with idler wheels still available and many parts like motors shared with the ever popular GL75 and siblings. Main bearings could be a bit variable though on the 75's at any rate, so a check for platter wobble should be made (there shouldn't be any)... Again, easily fettled and quiet running with a new idler from Technical & General

05-10-2010, 09:12
Yup the Lenco was a nice turntable, though perhaps a slight step down from the Garrard and a much cheaper proposition today. But I am sorry DSJR, Technical & General are gone as the guy retired.

05-10-2010, 09:14
Agree you never will truly overcome the motor issues of the 301 but you can reduce to a more acceptable level

Rare Bird
05-10-2010, 10:01
Go for a TD124 Hamish

05-10-2010, 11:39
Yup the Lenco was a nice turntable, though perhaps a slight step down from the Garrard and a much cheaper proposition today. But I am sorry DSJR, Technical & General are gone as the guy retired.


So, where can you get Lenco bits from now??????

05-10-2010, 12:19

I have had both a 301 and a 401. Foolishly I sold my 301 for £15, and the guy I sold it to seemed quite happy with it as he rode off on his bicycle. I still have the 401, but it's not currently being used, and unfortunately the previous owner took a hacksaw to part of the baseplate - which spoils the appearance a bit.

My 301 had a booklet with it showing the various measurements of wow, flutter, rumble etc., but I figured it had been tested in days when mono LPs were the norm. The major issues I had were with the idler wheel, and the main bearing. There may also be issues with electrical induction, and possibly also variable playing weight due to the powerful motor under the platter. I was aware of rumble when playing stereo LPs, but speed stability sounded OK, unlike some other decks.

Re the actual power etc of the 301 or 401 units - it's very good. My understanding of some of the refurbished units (the kind that get's sold to Japan) is that they may be very good - with upgrades to the bearing and idler wheel etc (maybe new bearing designs), but correspondingly very expensive (£ks).

At current prices I suspect that this one - http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Garrard-301-Transcription-Turntable-/110592863089?pt=UK_AudioTVElectronics_HomeAudioHiF i_Turntables&hash=item19bfd92b71 might still be worthwhile at up to £500 - but I can't say more than that.

I'll be interested to know how your search turns out, and whether you go for one.

05-10-2010, 13:01
301's were crippled by their plinths back then and also by the manufacturing tolerances, especially in 401's in my personal experience - they were still being made in small numbers when I started. I'd respectfully suggest that a thorough service and proper understanding of the bearing (rather than wholesale replacement of supposedly inappropriate parts) will transform it for the better. A good plinth all but removes the motor harmonics and I doubt the bearing was that noisy anyway.

05-10-2010, 20:58
Mighty Ant is selling a really nice 301 in a Russ Collinson plinth with a jelco 12" arm on the Wam.

05-10-2010, 21:14
not to bad a price either

06-10-2010, 02:31
Now don't go yelling at me, but if you really wanted a "black and White turntable
with a teak trim of some sorts," could you not just have painted the technics
and fashioned a wooden frame for it.