Best Garrard Turntable to get?

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Jdurr
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Best Garrard Turntable to get?

Post by Jdurr » 18 Oct 2018 13:36

Excluding the 301 and 401, which would be the Garrard turntable to purchase?

thanks
J

Pauw
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Re: Best Garrard Turntable to get?

Post by Pauw » 18 Oct 2018 13:57

Sadly the 301 and 401 are the outstanding Garrard tables. The others can be good but not as good as those. :D

Landolaman1
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Re: Best Garrard Turntable to get?

Post by Landolaman1 » 18 Oct 2018 15:25

Jdurr wrote:
18 Oct 2018 13:36
Excluding the 301 and 401, which would be the Garrard turntable to purchase?

thanks
J
Hi, i am currently running a Garrard SL95-B. A "brand new" loft find which after a thorough de-grease, re-lube and mounting in a decent plinth is performing superbly as my go to table for 78's via a Pickering cart, although it could also out perform many TT's out there. Perhaps overkill but i also mounted a Pioneer PC-MC5 on her, for regular 33.3 albums with wonderful results. Regards, Neil.

themisto462
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Re: Best Garrard Turntable to get?

Post by themisto462 » 18 Oct 2018 15:39

Except the Zero 100 (with its interesting tonearm), I was always more interested in the younger Garrards like the DD75 or DD130.

Regards.

smee4
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Re: Best Garrard Turntable to get?

Post by smee4 » 19 Oct 2018 07:00

Jdurr wrote:
18 Oct 2018 13:36
Excluding the 301 and 401, which would be the Garrard turntable to purchase?

thanks
J
Maybe a 4HF? The Type A is good. The LAB 80s are nice. Also, many of the single play and changers with a counterbalanced arm (such as the AT6) that can handle a magnetic cartridge can be nice.

Jdurr
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Re: Best Garrard Turntable to get?

Post by Jdurr » 20 Oct 2018 00:03

Thanks for the info.

nat
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Re: Best Garrard Turntable to get?

Post by nat » 22 Oct 2018 00:10

A somewhat quixotic search, at least in my opinion. The 301 and 401 are clearly in a different category than the rest of the Garrards, but various other models have their enthusiasts. Of course, they also all have vociferous detractors.
My suggestion is that the best Garrard is one that works smoothly. It's a pain to get them cleaned, lubricated, with a good ball race, and reidlered (if that is a word) so that they behave themselves. Without that, though, you may not know how the table actually sounded when new. But in good operating order, the better Garrards are quite nice. They tend to have vigor rather than finesse, but that isn't a bad thing in my view.
Almost universally, they are let down by their plinths - many wooden ones sag (though Duals are much worse), and the plastic ones are appalling in every way. And that diabolically wretched two piece dustcover doesn't Help. But plinths and dustcovers can easily be fabricated.
The 4HF has the same bearing as the 201, and is cute as all get out, but really isn't a good choice with modern cartridges (but if you are using age appropriate ones, it can be fine, though you have to be comfortable with high tracking force). The 80 and 95 both are obvious best of recommendations for standard Garrards. The Zero series actually can be audibly better than similar tables with conventional arms, but the Zero arms are prone to friction, resonance, sloppy bearings, and all those parts increase the mass of the arm, which may be an issue for some cartridges. A good one has a lot to recommend it, but note that the the lower models have worse bearings in the arm. The GT series address the mass and slop issues pretty well, but my GT 55 had weird issues with the motor/automatic functions - if you spun the record to clean it, it changed the speed of the motor - it actually moved the controller.
The direct drive Garrards like the DD75 can be good (the 75 uses a Technics motor) but they suffer from the same potential capacitor problems that other early direct drives suffer from. Given that a major part of the appeal of Garrards stems from their durability (cleaning and lubrication can get almost all of them running), this is an unwelcome novelty.

smee4
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Re: Best Garrard Turntable to get?

Post by smee4 » 22 Oct 2018 00:27

nat wrote:
22 Oct 2018 00:10

The 4HF has the same bearing as the 201, and is cute as all get out, but really isn't a good choice with modern cartridges (but if you are using age appropriate ones, it can be fine, though you have to be comfortable with high tracking force).
4HF's look superb. The bearing is indeed robust (201? did you mean 301, the 201 is a very old 78 era machine). The idler is also large like it's big brothers. The platter is only pressed metal though. The thing is they have that conveniently rounded left hand side that makes it very easy to mount extra tonearms around the platter. Keep the original tonearm with a heavier tracker for old mono LPs, 45s and 78s, and add I modern arm for a 'good' cartridge to play modern records.

vinyl master
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Re: Best Garrard Turntable to get?

Post by vinyl master » 22 Oct 2018 04:16

The AP76 looks like a nice machine! And every once in a while, I see an older RC88/4...I myself have an interesting 74M that I might want to play with some more in the future...It came with a Shure M91ED, so it can't be all bad, although I bought it mainly for the cartridge...Not too keen on the plastic plinth models, but there certainly are some other nice ones...One of our members, gorlokrg, even had a 630S, IIRC...

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Re: Best Garrard Turntable to get?

Post by Chiltern » 22 Oct 2018 10:38

The 4HF is probably now the next expensive Garrard to the 301/401 series.

A favorite of mine, they can often be found in console units in the UK and if you are lucky for little money. However ebay prices have risen for the chassis, sometimes to extreme highs.
41903

The 4HF pictured, from a console (cost, last year £10), now in a solid type of plinth, mounted without the springs, works well, little rumble (the solid mounting helps with this especially for stereo discs) fitted with a Stanton 500.

Alan

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Re: Best Garrard Turntable to get?

Post by Beobloke » 22 Oct 2018 12:50

Personally, I've always felt one of the 'sleepers' of the Garrard lineup is the 86SB Mk2. It has belt drive but with the proper Garrard motor, and a more modern s-shaped arm that will take a decent cartridge. Still undiscovered, so still cheap as chips, but a very fine performer.

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