BSR and Garrard Commonalities?

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hi_torq
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BSR and Garrard Commonalities?

Post by hi_torq » 23 Nov 2019 18:35

I'm just wondering if there were any known links between Garrard and BSR. For example, both had parts made by ADC (the same ADC of cartridge notoriety?), the similar way in which their auto-return systems worked (cast cam-wheel) - and so on.

And, the 6-200 looked like a BSR - at least in terms of it's L-shaped control layout. (Borrowed deckplate?)

Thoughts?

(I'm still trying to obtain a copy of the Garrard Story, but no luck so far.)

DSJR
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Re: BSR and Garrard Commonalities?

Post by DSJR » 23 Nov 2019 19:13

They may well have looked carefully at each other, but Garrard's top auto decks of the 70's looked to the superior Dual brand for inspiration as in the trip design of the better 'SB' models and in motor technology, Dual licensed the Synchro-Lab arrangement from Garrard I gather..

The Garrard Autoslim mech was totally different to the BSR's I remember, due to the semaphore record size arrangement on the Garrard where BSR majored on the 'flipper' which they'd used since the mid 50's at least. BSR were still using rotary controls (albeit disguised) when the Autoslim came along.

I'm sure some cross pollination took place as costings were fierce and sales to portable record player and cheaper music centres/stereograms manufacturers was important and it was common for one generation to have a Garrard and the next a BSR and so on.

By the time of the Unimech Garrards, I'd lost touch with BSR apart from the belt driven BDS80 version of the MP60/HT70/P128 ancestor and the totally different and very unreliable 800 auto machine. Garrard went all jap-influenced and starting with the GT55 deck, I don't think they were much like anything else at all - PLEASE correct me if I'm wrong..

aardvarkash10
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Re: BSR and Garrard Commonalities?

Post by aardvarkash10 » 23 Nov 2019 20:42

they are similar in that they both adopted the manufacturing ethos of the UK in the 1970s, ie "Made in England - finish it yourself"

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Re: BSR and Garrard Commonalities?

Post by A70BBen » 24 Nov 2019 16:18

From the book "The Garrard Story" by Garrard Chief Engineer Edmund Mortimer, Garrard were pressured on the low end by competitor BSR, and a designer was hired to develop a new, cheaper-to-build autochanger, Garrard designs then being oriented to the high quality market. The result was the Autoslim, which was the basis of Garrard designs in that market segment, even after the company was sold to Gradiente. Later under Plessey control (abuse), Garrard developed its own minichanger in response to BSR's design; it resulted in the disastrous Unimech chassis, which undermined Garrard's reputation for quality and utter reliability. The company never recovered from that.

But while Garrard may have been "inspired" by BSR, mainly into making competitive products at low prices, they could not imitate design concepts and execution. Patents on key design features meant that licensing fees would wipe out any savings from doing so. But a truly encompassing patent for a very significant design, such as Garrard's 1967 synchronous/induction motor, would be licensed to others; Dual, Elac, BSR and the Japanese all licensed that one, and it significantly rewarded Garrard.

As for the use of ADC cartridges, BSR did that very significantly, and finally acquired ADC. After that, Garrard, which had always used many more Pickering cartridges, increased that business and also Shure's. ADC was not significant after that at Garrard, though dealers and phonograph makers could still use what they wanted and order their units that way.

In ceramic cartridges, Garrard used mostly those of the USA company Sonotone and were licensed to build their cartridges in house for Garrard units and for sale by Sonotone in the UK market. BSR used others, though Sonotone were better.

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Re: BSR and Garrard Commonalities?

Post by DSJR » 24 Nov 2019 17:45

We had Acos crystal and ceramic cartridges then, so although the Garrard 3000 often came with a factory fitted? Sonotone 9TA-HC and the later 2025TC's often came with the KS40A 'family,' my Hacker record player with 2025TC had an Acos GP96-1, a mono-stereo flip-under tipped softie of a cartridge and later models I think, had the rather good 104 slimline cartridge fitted (sadly the coupler from stylus assembly to the ceramic elements hardens I think, giving a coarser sound then initially, where my GP96 is as soft toned as it always was).

The 70's larger-format decks Garrard had to build into plinths (the 'Module range in the UK) came with Shures I remember, the 125SB the M75-6S and the Zero 100SB (and others?) with the M93E, which was the same 6S universal body but with a larger-format stylus housing (as the 91ED but in pale green) and 'EJ' mechanicals tracking stably at a very safe 2g or so.

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Re: BSR and Garrard Commonalities?

Post by Chiltern » 24 Nov 2019 23:52

The designer hired by Garrard to produce the autoslim was Lawrence Guest, who had been the chief designer at BSR. leaving in 1960 to join Garrard.

He later re-joined BSR but still living near Swindon was tragically killed in an auto accident travelling to work at BSR. It is not surprising that there are similarities in the mechanism of the 'volume' changer designs. BSR going on to produce changers in vast quantities, peaking in 1977 at 260,000 per week.

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