New purchase: Garrard AT6 Mk II

the jewel in the crown
RKnack
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Re: New purchase: Garrard AT6 Mk II

Post by RKnack » 29 Dec 2017 03:29

A70BBen wrote:You can get 78 styli for it, readily. They plug in and out, easily. They work well. But he says he does not want to chsnge styli to go beteeen LP and 78s.
To tell the truth, my main concern about swapping styli is the possibility of damaging one during the swap, or losing the one that is not currently in use.

Looks like that particular cartridge is meant to track rather heavily (4-7 grams, no matter which stylus I use). I'll try to set it at 4 grams and hopefully it won't mis-track. Don't want to damage my vinyl and styrene records with too much pressure, but I also don't want to damage them because too LITTLE caused it to mis-track.

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Re: New purchase: Garrard AT6 Mk II

Post by DSJR » 30 Dec 2017 22:05

The Pickering my Dual 1214 came with (P/AT?)is a 3g tracker as is the sibling Stanton 500A. Going to 4g shouldn't be an issue for a conical stylus type and try to trust me, sliding one stylus out and replacing it isn't a big issue for one of these.

You could of course get a replacement M7 headshell and an identical cartridge and swap out the entire headshell when playing 78's?

RKnack
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Re: New purchase: Garrard AT6 Mk II

Post by RKnack » 31 Dec 2017 02:36

Out of curiosity, what sort of lubricants should I use, and in which places, on the player? Obviously being a Garrard, the old grease will have turned to epoxy resin. I have been told that the grease used on the trip cam surfaces is no longer available but that powdered graphite is fine, but what about elsewhere? Anything that I might already have around (like automotive bearing grease), or can be gotten in SMALL quantities from a local source (hardware store, auto parts store, etc.)?

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Re: New purchase: Garrard AT6 Mk II

Post by Spinner45 » 31 Dec 2017 06:55

RKnack wrote:Out of curiosity, what sort of lubricants should I use, and in which places, on the player? Obviously being a Garrard, the old grease will have turned to epoxy resin. I have been told that the grease used on the trip cam surfaces is no longer available but that powdered graphite is fine, but what about elsewhere? Anything that I might already have around (like automotive bearing grease), or can be gotten in SMALL quantities from a local source (hardware store, auto parts store, etc.)?
Any trip assemblies should be cleaned and dry, totally free, no lubricants other than a very slight smear of grease on the "friction link", exactly as documented in the service manual.
All "grease" points stated use a light smear, including the cam track, all rotating parts/stems/pivots use a light oil including the cam follower rotating stud which seizes on all of them.
Of course, a suitable de-greaser, rags, cue-tips, and time are involved to clean all this stuff beforehand.
For oil, I suggest "Zoom Spout" oil, for grease, "Super Lube with PTFE".
Motor flushed, cleaned, and Zoom oil in the bearings.
Tonearm horizontal pivot shaft removed, the ball at the bottom cleaned, oiled.
All deteriorated/sagging motor mounts replaced with new ones.
Idler refinished carefully or replaced - all these rubber parts are available online from Gary at VM.

Usually, a complete teardown of the underside mechanism is required after 40-50 years.
I doubt anyone can say otherwise, if a proper servicing and reliability is to be had.
Of course you'll get those that insist on skimping, or doing a shortcut of some sort - and that's because they don't fully understand or care about doing "the right job".
And the job takes hours to do.
It's like the guy who does service on your car, and you don't know you've been ripped off until the car breaks down later on because of "shortcuts".

A70BBen
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Re: New purchase: Garrard AT6 Mk II

Post by A70BBen » 31 Dec 2017 23:27

Absolutely. No Shortcuts!

However, Gary does not have the rubber motor grommets for the AT6... his Garrard ones are the larger ones for the Type A, A870, RC series. He has one that is the same outer diameter but the inner bore is tapered instead of stepped.

My AT-6 "project" had a motor that was 5% slow when cold, 2% slow when warm. After disassembly, flushing of the bearings with Methyl Ethyl Ketone and relubrication, it is 1/2% fast cold, 1% fast warm. And that is with one record, which allows for the load of a stack of them. Just because it runs does not mean it is OK.

RKnack
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Re: New purchase: Garrard AT6 Mk II

Post by RKnack » 28 Jan 2018 18:05

Got my AT6 up and running. It needed a replacement idler - the old one was hard and glazed. I also needed to shorten up the idler tensioning spring, as it was stretched out. Player works and sounds great, with the Pickering P/AC-1 cartridge and a Pfanstiehl 0.7 mil conical stylus. I have the vertical tracking pressure set at just over 4 grams, according to the digital stylus pressure gauge I bought (I got one of the Riverstone ones with the detachable record-height pressure plates).

A couple of things I have noticed: First, it occasionally drops two records at once (usually it's the same two records, if I put the same stack down either way).

Second, it seems to be prone to jumping grooves. Not when it is playing normally - that seems to be fine - but it will jump if someone takes a heavy step nearby, or if I go to use the off/manual/auto switch to turn the player off, or if I lower the dust cover a bit too hard (I have to use a feather-light touch), or if I bump it directly. Don't know if this is a fixable thing, or if it is simply the "nature of the beast". I adjusted the tracking pressure, by the way, by first balancing the tonearm with the sliding weight, then using the sliding "gauge" on the side of the tonearm in conjunction with the digital gauge to set the final vertical tracking force.

A70BBen
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Re: New purchase: Garrard AT6 Mk II

Post by A70BBen » 29 Jan 2018 02:31

Congratulations on getting your AT6 Mk II running. Mine isn't done yet, but it is a junkbox salvage which is going together with the "assistance" of Garrard parts interchangeability. When done it will have an overarm from a 40 Mk II, the platter from an SL55, the plastic Garrard logo from a Type A, a newer cutaway headshell and various AT60 bits combined into the tonearm!

That series of Garrards... Type AII, AT6 Mk Ii and Autoslim Mk II...were among the first Garrards with compression-type suspension springs. They tended to be bouncy which could cause pickup jumping. Later models such as the AT60 and Lab 80 had damping in the suspension...resilient foam stuffed into the springs. Garrard isn't around to sell you the foam inserts but you probably have some grey foam packing material lying around if your wife doesn't make you throw it all away. Hack off three chunks that can be stuffed into the springs to reduce bounciness, see if that helps. It did in 1964 when the AT6 was succeeded by the AT60. Good luck.
Last edited by A70BBen on 29 Jan 2018 02:48, edited 4 times in total.

RKnack
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Re: New purchase: Garrard AT6 Mk II

Post by RKnack » 29 Jan 2018 02:38

A70BBen wrote:Congratulations on getting your AT6 Mk II running. Mine isn't done yet, but it is a junkbox salvage which is going together with the "help" of Garrard parts interchangeability. When done it will have an overarm from a 40 Mk II, the platter from an SL55, the plastic Garrard logo from a Type A, and various bits combined into the tonearm!

That series of Garrard s... Type AII, AT6 Mk Ii and Autoslim Mk II...were among the first Garrards with compression-type suspension springs. They tended to be bouncy which could cause pickup jumping. Later models such as the AT60 and Lab 80 had damping in the suspension...resilient foam stuffed into the springs. Garrard isn't around to sell you the foam inserts but you probably have some grey foam packing material lying around if your wife doesn't make you throw it all away. Hack off three chunks that can be stuffed into the springs to reduce bounciness, see if that helps. It did on 1964 when the AT6 ws succeeded by the AT60. Good luck.
Not married (again), yet....but working on it! :D Don't have any of that stuff around but I'm sure i can scavenge some from somewhere eventually. Think it would help, too, if the player wasn't sitting on a dresser on a carpeted floor in a mobile home (which is the only place I have for it right now...).

A70BBen
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Re: New purchase: Garrard AT6 Mk II

Post by A70BBen » 29 Jan 2018 02:46

True, a more stable footing would be better!

Fabric stores sell foam rubber, and some household cleaning sponges (but not the ones that are stiff until wetted) will do. It's just that I like "no-cost" options!

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Re: New purchase: Garrard AT6 Mk II

Post by Spinner45 » 29 Jan 2018 03:09

RKnack wrote:Got my AT6 up and running. It needed a replacement idler - the old one was hard and glazed. I also needed to shorten up the idler tensioning spring, as it was stretched out. Player works and sounds great, with the Pickering P/AC-1 cartridge and a Pfanstiehl 0.7 mil conical stylus. I have the vertical tracking pressure set at just over 4 grams, according to the digital stylus pressure gauge I bought (I got one of the Riverstone ones with the detachable record-height pressure plates).

A couple of things I have noticed: First, it occasionally drops two records at once (usually it's the same two records, if I put the same stack down either way).

Second, it seems to be prone to jumping grooves. Not when it is playing normally - that seems to be fine - but it will jump if someone takes a heavy step nearby, or if I go to use the off/manual/auto switch to turn the player off, or if I lower the dust cover a bit too hard (I have to use a feather-light touch), or if I bump it directly. Don't know if this is a fixable thing, or if it is simply the "nature of the beast". I adjusted the tracking pressure, by the way, by first balancing the tonearm with the sliding weight, then using the sliding "gauge" on the side of the tonearm in conjunction with the digital gauge to set the final vertical tracking force.
I never had to mess with the idler spring on any Garrard unless someone previously fooled around and damaged it.
And a lot of people seemed to think that shortening it for more "grip" was the answer to hardened or glazed idlers slipping.
Wrong, and foolish.
The proper fix was replacement of the idler, because that spring tension is more than enough from the factory.

Multiple record dropping is either from stacking thin records, or a bent up stabilizer arm.
That happens when someone yanks on it to lift it incorrectly - at the front end, instead of the pivoted rear end.
Records should sit on spindle notch perfectly horizontal with the platter, not tilted in any way.

Needle hopping is due to missing sponge dampers in the spring suspension - and lever movement being "stiff' from lack of service/lube.

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Re: New purchase: Garrard AT6 Mk II

Post by RKnack » 29 Jan 2018 03:18

Spinner45 wrote: I never had to mess with the idler spring on any Garrard unless someone previously fooled around and damaged it.
And a lot of people seemed to think that shortening it for more "grip" was the answer to hardened or glazed idlers slipping.
Wrong, and foolish.
The proper fix was replacement of the idler, because that spring tension is more than enough from the factory.

Multiple record dropping is either from stacking thin records, or a bent up stabilizer arm.
That happens when someone yanks on it to lift it incorrectly - at the front end, instead of the pivoted rear end.
Records should sit on spindle notch perfectly horizontal with the platter, not tilted in any way.

Needle hopping is due to missing sponge dampers in the spring suspension - and lever movement being "stiff' from lack of service/lube.
The idler has been replaced, since the original was not in good shape, but the spring was definitely stretched out and NEEDED to be shortened to get rid of the stretched-out section. The player had been "messed with" before I got it - lots of excess grease (though thankfully all of the fossilized Garrard grease had been removed, too). Everything moves freely, now. I need to find a replacement for the platter retaining clip, though, since that was missing when I got the player. It otherwise seems to be in good shape. Oh, and the double record dropping problem seems to have been caused by a sticking record guide on the changer spindle. Freed that up and it seems to be okay now. The jumping needle I will have to deal with until I can put some damping material inside the springs, and can put it on a more solid surface (as I mentioned in another post, the only place I have for it right now is my bedroom dresser).

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Re: New purchase: Garrard AT6 Mk II

Post by A70BBen » 03 Feb 2018 17:22

Yes, those two little sliding bits at the top of the automatic spindle create a "gate" that permits only one record (adhering to international standards for thickness at the centre hole) to drop. They "reset" by gravity which is why, if you want to replay a stack of records, you must lift them clear of the spindle, then put them back on the spindle before restarting.

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Re: New purchase: Garrard AT6 Mk II

Post by RKnack » 03 Feb 2018 17:51

Got the replacement retaining clip, and it seems to be a lot more reliable now. I think the changer spindle was pushing up slightly during the change cycle. Nice to have a decent (if somewhat elderly) record changer, at last! :)

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Re: New purchase: Garrard AT6 Mk II

Post by Spinner45 » 03 Feb 2018 18:07

RKnack wrote:Got the replacement retaining clip, and it seems to be a lot more reliable now. I think the changer spindle was pushing up slightly during the change cycle. Nice to have a decent (if somewhat elderly) record changer, at last! :)
Yes, the "flat" side of the spindle depends on the friction/locking effect of the clip to hold it in place.

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Re: New purchase: Garrard AT6 Mk II

Post by A70BBen » 04 Feb 2018 23:19

Spinner45 wrote:
A70BBen wrote:For LPs this is good and a fine match for your AT6. Less than twenty bucks:

http://www.thevoiceofmusic.com/catalog/ ... ategories=
Indeed, a simple solution.
Except that they have now sold out! Phooey...