Garrard 86SB questions

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melb
Australia
Posts: 2
Joined: 26 Oct 2019 11:02

Garrard 86SB questions

Post by melb » 02 Dec 2019 08:44

Hi everyone - first time posting.

I have recently purchased two (not one, but two) Garrard 86SBs, one for $80 on eBay and the other for $25 at an op shop here in Melbourne (second hand charity shop).

I have brought one back to life (the $80 one) after reading various posts here and elsewhere. I dismantled the motor, lubricated the bearings with machine oil and re-glued the two washers (cast iron and the other plated [stamped steel?] one) after realising that I could match the patterns of the old glue and thereby maintain the original balancing. I bought a new belt for it, lubricated the mechanism underneath (I mean the joints that I could see and reach) and earthed the chassis to remove the mains hum. It has a Pickering V15 AT2 cartridge.

I seem to have been lucky with this one. It works perfectly, as far as I can tell. The auto mechanism works, the motor is silent and seems to be balanced and there is no mains hum. I have been enjoying my old vinyl.

I don't have audiophile ears, but I did play for many years in soul and Latin bands (sax and percussion). To my ears, at least, the sound is good. Strong, tight bass and clear, warm, mids. The treble sounds a little thin to me, but that may be hearing damage due to standing in front of a four piece horn section for years. I've been particularly enjoying Steely Dan's "Gaucho" through this. I don't have expensive gear - I have a Sherwood RX-4508 receiver and 1980's Australian kit speakers (Scan Audio) with Vifa drivers.

I have three questions regarding the other one which I intend to restore for my daughter:

1) It doesn't have a headshell. Does anyone know of anywhere I might find one, besides eBay and Gumtree?
2) Does anyone have cartridge recommendations? I am thinking of Audio-Technica AT120E or Sumiko Black Pearl (both are available locally here in Melbourne to audition at Hi-Fi shops).
3) I'm curious about the plinth on the one I have working (see pictures). It's different from what I have seen in all other pictures of the Garrard 86SB that I have found online. Is this a variant that Garrard sold at the time? Or is it a special that some one has made for it? It is nicely made from actual wood, includes a bottom closure and is quite heavy - a lot heavier than the other 86SB which appears to be completely standard.

I appreciate any help.

John
Melbourne, Oz




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nat
long player
long player
Posts: 4506
Joined: 07 Nov 2002 19:05

Re: Garrard 86SB questions

Post by nat » 03 Dec 2019 23:50

Looks like someone replaced the fiberboard bottom - a good thing, I would suspect.
Cartridge carriers are often available on Ebay. Garrard made several different carriers so you need the identifying number, which is molded on the top of the carrier.
Your other table may be the source of the extra carrier if you find it isn't worth getting it up and running.
A new stylus for the Pickering, perhaps with a more sophisticated shape, might be a cheaper and easier way to good sound. I have a high regard for how good many of their cartridges can sound. They have the additional merit of not being too good for the table/arm they are on - you probably don't want a very low tracking cartridge because friction levels on these arms are a wee bit high.
Its also worth checking the alignment of the cartridge, if you have not already.

melb
Australia
Posts: 2
Joined: 26 Oct 2019 11:02

Re: Garrard 86SB questions

Post by melb » 08 Dec 2019 23:08

Thanks for your reply, Nat.

>Looks like someone replaced the fiberboard bottom - a good thing, I would suspect.

That fibreboard bottom is nasty, and doesn't age well.

>Cartridge carriers are often available on Ebay. Garrard made several different carriers so you need the identifying >number, which is molded on the top of the carrier.

Yes and I've been looking for it for weeks. The other table doesn't have a cartridge carrier.

>A new stylus for the Pickering, perhaps with a more sophisticated shape, might be a cheaper and easier way to good >sound. I have a high regard for how good many of their cartridges can sound. They have the additional merit of not being >too good for the table/arm they are on - you probably don't want a very low tracking cartridge because friction levels on >these arms are a wee bit high.

Thanks - I'm looking for replacement styli, for which there does seem to be a good selection online. I've got it tracking at around 2 1/4 grams.

>Its also worth checking the alignment of the cartridge, if you have not already.

That's next on the list :-)

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