Garrard 301 or 401

Discussion in 'Hi-Fi and General Audio' started by scroggie, Nov 6, 2005.

  1. scroggie

    scroggie

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    All,

    I am new to this forum, which I have so far found very informative, having read many of the posts and references out.

    I have just sold my Gyrodeck, via Ebay, and I am now looking to replace this with a top-end deck. My initial thoughts were to buy the Orbe as my Gyrodeck has been so reliable over the past 14 years. However, I thought that I should check-out some other options and I have already had a demo of the Nottingham Analogue Studios (NAS) Hyperspace and Dais. I was impressed with the NAS decks and was very surprised that a non-suspended deck could sound that good - very quiet backgroud etc.

    Having now read the many threads on the Garrard 301/401 I am seriously considering this option and wondered if any owners of these decks could give me some feedback. If I do go for a 301/401 then I will get a completely restored one from Loricraft, as I haven't the knowledge to do the restoration myself.

    The arms that I am considering to use on the 301/401 are either a rega based (tecnoarm or OL 250) or possibly the new SME M2. I already own an SME V and although this is a great arm I find that it doesn't give good orchestral string tone, a bit hard and sharp, and I play mostly classical. Any views on arms with the 301/401 would be welcome.

    The difficulty with the decision to go for the Garrad option is that I probably will not be able to hear one first and your feedback will be a most welcome.

    Thanks

    Scroggie
     
    scroggie, Nov 6, 2005
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  2. scroggie

    Paul Dimaline

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    Morning Scroggie and welcome.

    My only caveat in going the Loricraft route would be that they are notoriously difficult to deal with, reluctant to answer the phone and as for e-mails....forget it.
    If you do manage to contact Terry (phone is your best bet) you will find him incredibly enthusiastic and helpfull and I am sure he must have something down there you could have a listen to.
    As to wether you will like one I cant say, it is up there with the very best in my opinion. You may also wish to get in touch with Dr Martin Bastin (I dont have any contact details), a differant aproach but equaly rewarding from what I have heard.


    Paul.
     
    Paul Dimaline, Nov 6, 2005
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  3. scroggie

    Anex Thermionic

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    I got a pair of 401s from a friend who replaced them with a spacedeck. He also had a 301 which was sold to help fund it too. I replaced the 401s with an Avid. They're great decks but they can be a royal pain to keep running, they're big and very ugly. You'd have to be prepared to put more effort in ime. Oh and they'll sound very different too. I reckon the NAS do pretty much everything to Garrards do and have better treble. I also don't think the hyperspace is worth paying for when you could buy a Project speedbox SE and the heavy upgrade for the spacedeck for less than the price of the hyper but there you go.
    I don't think you'd get the sound your looking for using a technoarm or a 250 over a V. Don't know about the M2 but I'd imagine if the V doesnt do it then that wouldn't either. The SME's work really well with garrards, or Nottinghams or most things really,you should definately try it before you go and buy another arm.

    EDIT: I should say my 401s were restored and plinth'd by me, not lorricraft or anyone so it maybe that they're much better, don't know. Not that mine were bad, they were just a pain. And I find the Avid miles miles better in every way. But it cost alot more so it should be.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 6, 2005
    Anex, Nov 6, 2005
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  4. scroggie

    Mr.C

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    IME the Garrards are only limited by how, and how well, they are built up - the potential is there it just needs to be realised. Personally I think that neither Loricraft nor Martin Bastin can maximise what these units are capable of. I'm using an SME 309 with my 401 without any hardness or sharpness issues, so a V should be fine, although taste being what it is...
     
    Mr.C, Nov 6, 2005
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  5. scroggie

    Garrardman

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    I have now owned my 301 for 18 years - it was originally fitted with an SME3009/Shure M75ED but about 12 years ago i had a new lead-lined plinth built for it and fitted an Audio Technica AT1130 arm, which is currently sporting an Ortofon MC10 Supreme.

    I have owned this turntable since way before they were "rediscovered" and the only deck i have ever heard that could tempt me away from it was an Orbe/SME V/Ortofon MC7500, however last time i checked my piggy bank i was approximately £4500 short of the £5000 i reckon it would cost!

    It is quite true that they tend to need more periodic maintenance than more modern units, but i have only ever felt the necessity to strip the bearing and motor down once during my ownership and i would think you'll be off to a good start anyway if you buy a restored one.

    As a final thought, the 401 was built during an era when Garrard was starting to decline and quality standards were falling, so many people (me included) feel that the 301 was better built - just food for thought!
     
    Garrardman, Nov 7, 2005
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  6. scroggie

    Garmt

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    It really is a shame you sold the GyroDec... It is a very good turntable... Could have given its best still with a better arm/cart.
     
    Garmt, Nov 7, 2005
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  7. scroggie

    Anex Thermionic

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    Yes the early 401s are definately better, when they painted them properly for a start :)
     
    Anex, Nov 7, 2005
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  8. scroggie

    scroggie

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    All,

    Many thanks for the feedback. I am thinking of buying a used 401 first, rather than initially going for the fully-rebuilt Loricraft version, and see how I get on. You mention that the early 401's are better built - by early do you mean 1960's rather than 1970's and does the serial number indicate the age of the deck?

    By the way, I got no reply from my eamil to Loricraft.

    Thanks

    Steve
     
    scroggie, Nov 8, 2005
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  9. scroggie

    lordsummit moderate mod

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    Try phoning?
     
    lordsummit, Nov 8, 2005
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  10. scroggie

    Markus S Trade

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    Think of it as a filter. Those who want to just use Loricraft's resources without giving them their business will be deterred. Those who really want to buy something will eventually find a way of getting through to Terry or Nigel.
     
    Markus S, Nov 8, 2005
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  11. scroggie

    sweeney

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    here's an idea

    Dear Scroggie

    As a sad little bugger it has taken me quite some time to define what turntable/tonearm/cartridge will work best with my present combo. Naturally, the rest of the system will need to be taken into account together with the 'other' important part of your system which most people forget to take into account (i.e. your room!!), BUT, if you play classical/symphony/oratoria/opera/ yadda, yadda, yadda then I don't think you could go wrong with the following;
    garrard 401; because this has a natural 'rumble' do not use a solid plinthe if possible- try to get a modern variant with a cavity inside, but not lightweight.
    SME 3009 or 3012
    Ortofon SPUGTE (aka 'THE SPUG') or Shure V15 111/1V/V but NOT the MXR.

    I think you'll be amazed at the sound. I myself have only recently narrowqed this combo down for my own use and will be used in my Quad11 forty/QC24/ESL63 set up; so it's the solution I am going for but I do stress it does depend on the other elements of your system.

    all the best
     
    sweeney, Jan 17, 2007
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  12. scroggie

    bottleneck talks a load of rubbish

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    another idea..

    when I had my gyro I went down to Michell in Borehamwood and asked what ex-dem, near-perfect, second etc bits they had to upgrade it.

    A couple of hundred quid later I had latest suspension, an Orbe platter, new pwr supply and a few other bits.

    What you've got is good enough TBH.
     
    bottleneck, Jan 17, 2007
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  13. scroggie

    rollo

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    Just for your info NIcholas at Promitheus owns a Garrard and is very familiar with the table.He also makes a custom plinth for it.
    rollo
     
    rollo, Jan 22, 2007
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  14. scroggie

    murray johnson

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    If you are looking for the solidity of a Garrard but with a little more refinement consider an SP10. Also consider trying some different (better) arm cable attached to your SMEV. Mine does string tone very nicely so it isn't a mechanical issue.
     
    murray johnson, Jan 22, 2007
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  15. scroggie

    bottleneck talks a load of rubbish

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    whoops, hadn't read the "I've just sold" part of the post.
     
    bottleneck, Jan 23, 2007
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