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Garrard Type AII tonearm

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Garrard Type AII tonearm

Postby Pure_brew » 20 May 2018 19:08

Hello,
After years of headshell swapping, I think I finally wrecked something in the tonearm bearings, either with the pivot bushings, pins or both.
I don't know about you, but I really have to tug on those headshells to remove them from the arm. While I usually grasp the tonearm the best I can, it really jars the whole mechanism pretty hard.

I'm pretty sure this last time was the last straw, as the tonearm wouldn't completely lower down anymore unless there was at least 5grams or so of VTF. Any less, and it would just sit in balance. I checked the weights, with or with using the force of the spring, checked clearances.

Fortunately, I held on to a bunch of extra parts, so I had another set of these bushings, bearings and pins on hand.

Swapped these parts, put it back together, problem solved!

The only thing should have checked though was lubrication- whether to use any- or not.
I added a very small amount with a toothpick. (Singer sewing machine oil) but I wonder if it'll just gum up later?

Thank you.
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Re: Garrard Type AII tonearm

Postby A70BBen » 20 May 2018 21:20

I am presuming this was a problem with the vertical-movement tonearm pivots. Although Garrard claimed they were "needle pivots," in the Type A they were not; they were simple shafts machined onto decorative screws. Their flat ends pressed against steel balls in the tonearm bracket. One was spring-loaded so the setting of the pivot screws did not have to be precise. The actual needle pivots into miniature ball bearings came a year later, on the (cheaper) Autoslim DeLuxe which was quickly renamed to AT6, to much success in the marketplace.

Those pivots are pretty sturdy but it is possible that they got bent, or one of the steel balls disappeared, or the internal spring got fouled.

I generally would find that those vertical pivots had more friction than I would like. Two things I would do: (1) Insert small flat washers, selected for thickness by trial/error, to JUST eliminate any looseness and BARELY push on the spring preload, and (2) lubricate with light machine oil. In this usage, with virtually no heat, a good oil should be fine.

The horizontal-motion pivotry was Garrard's (in)famous loose steel balls; infamous not for poor performance...they remained through the SL95 and SL75... but for what would happen if an unknowing servicer tried to remove the entire tonearm, and found tiny steel balls rolling out and hiding everywhere. That design was rugged and unlikely to be damaged short of the unit being dropped on its tonearm or its linkage below.

Something else to check: the lifting pin in the centre of the tonearm shaft. Was it stuck so that the lifting linkage behind the arm wasn't free to move? Or was that linkage sticking or jammed?

Now that it is fixed, I would rub some silicone grease on the plastic of the headshells and on the inner bore of the tonearm fitting, and spray some DeOxit or other lubricating contact cleaner on the headshell pins and in their sockets to ease removal. I've also forgotten, at times, to flip up the headshell locking lever on these! Prior to the Type A, that same headshell fitting was used on the RC-series but with a steel ball on a steel leaf spring; the lever was needed to stiffen the fitting.
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Re: Garrard Type AII tonearm

Postby Pure_brew » 20 May 2018 22:50

Thank you for the reply. Looks like I could make some improvements based on what you are saying, but for now, all is well tracking at 1.75 grams. So I guess I won't worry about the little bit of lube in there.

I did check out the linkage and it was free and clear.

I'll definitely take your advice on a bit of lube/cleaning of the headshells- thank you for that.
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Re: Garrard Type AII tonearm

Postby A70BBen » 20 May 2018 23:13

Singer sewing machine oil is fine. I doubt that you will have problems with it.

1.75 grams is very good for a Type A, with its original steel auto trip levers. Garrard went to aluminium in the levers in the Type A70, and Delrin® in the friction plate as a result of the Lab 80 design project. With those, the Type A70, or a Type A retrofitted with them, can do under one gram; though the Type A tonearm is too massive for a pickup cartridge that compliant.
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Re: Garrard Type AII tonearm

Postby Pure_brew » 20 May 2018 23:55

It has the A70 trip- I probably got the idea from you

=)
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Re: Garrard Type AII tonearm

Postby A70BBen » 21 May 2018 05:20

Pure_brew wrote:It has the A70 trip- I probably got the idea from you

=)


O-kay....and I may be the only one who has ever mentioned doing that!
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Re: Garrard Type AII tonearm

Postby Pure_brew » 21 May 2018 11:17

Perhaps I did hear this somewhere else first, but looking back, I performed the mod not long after this thread:

viewtopic.php?f=23&t=85869

So I'm saying I appreciate your advice- cheers!
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Re: Garrard Type AII tonearm

Postby DSJR » 21 May 2018 16:41

He's not bad is he? :D :respect:

These decks can be surprising with just a little fine tuning. Now that cartridges no longer track at a gramme and more like two grammes (the popular stylus profiles are fine at 2g and even more depending on type), these old arms are coming back into their own as long as they're carefully adjusted :D

A70BBen will conform, but if you ever see a Lab 80 being parted out ( :( ), grab the trip parts as they may well fit and are lower mass and lower friction too...
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Re: Garrard Type AII tonearm

Postby A70BBen » 21 May 2018 21:53

I've never tried to swap Lab 80 ones into a Type A. But it might be worth trying since Lab 80s are much more common than the Type A70/70 Mk II, whose parts drop right into a Type A.

The Lab 80's aluminium auto trip operating lever has a magnet where the A70's has a felt pad. That is easy to change, and swap with some felt sccounged from someplace. The Delrin® friction plate on the Lab 80 has an extra strut in it but you can either use it as-is or remove the strut. The transfer lever underneath might interchange; I don't know. One would think the geometry would be the same among all three; I would not think Garrard would redesign that.
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Re: Garrard Type AII tonearm

Postby Pure_brew » 23 May 2018 02:25

DSJR wrote:He's not bad is he? :D :respect:

These decks can be surprising with just a little fine tuning..


The only reason I keep posting about this thing is just that.
It is surprising. At least for what I get out of it. I enjoy the "tone" of
This turntable. I'm not looking for the ultimate audiophile-3D-like
Your-there-truth. I've heard stuff like that, nice but way beyond my reach.
Just the truth of what I like, which is how it sounds compared
to anything else I've listened to for media play back. The bass
Is deep and powerful, the rest is pretty mellow. But it never sounds
Thin or weak.

Now, if I can just get the speed/wow/flutter corrected to my liking....
Then I would find it much more surprising. Maybe I just like the sound because of ancient
Tonearm wire adding some resistance to roll the top off.

Ok- I admit I like it because it's a bit of fun to work on too.
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Re: Garrard Type AII tonearm

Postby DSJR » 23 May 2018 19:28

In the UK, these decks aren't hugely cheap any more, but elsewhere, they're bargains as they lack the cachet of say, the Lab 80. One or two things you could check though as the Lab 80 was directly descended from this generation of models I understand...

The main bearing has a fixed spindle and a removable rotating inner hub which I believe the platter itself sits on. There should be five balls in the ball race which are grease lubricated. I'd suggest a viscou oil for the main spindle and bronze sleeves and in the Dual room here, chainsaw oil seems to be a good safe formulation for bearings like this.

The idler in the Lab 80, if you can find one on good order, is a softer formulation than previous similar looking ones and should offer more grip as well as reduced noise transmission from the motor. if none can be found, the original idler tyre may respond to careful cleaning and maybe a restoration treatment?

lastly, the motor needs to be taken apart and the bearings thoroughly cleaned and re-oiled with a light machine oil (sewing machine oil used to be the thing to use I remember). This should restore good speed stability - the motor spindle should take ages to run down after power I disconnected.
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Re: Garrard Type AII tonearm

Postby Pure_brew » 28 May 2018 14:03

DSJR wrote:In the UK, these decks aren't hugely cheap any more, but elsewhere, they're bargains as they lack the cachet of say, the Lab 80. One or two things you could check though as the Lab 80 was directly descended from this generation of models I understand...

The main bearing has a fixed spindle and a removable rotating inner hub which I believe the platter itself sits on. There should be five balls in the ball race which are grease lubricated. I'd suggest a viscou oil for the main spindle and bronze sleeves and in the Dual room here, chainsaw oil seems to be a good safe formulation for bearings like this.

The idler in the Lab 80, if you can find one on good order, is a softer formulation than previous similar looking ones and should offer more grip as well as reduced noise transmission from the motor. if none can be found, the original idler tyre may respond to careful cleaning and maybe a restoration treatment?

lastly, the motor needs to be taken apart and the bearings thoroughly cleaned and re-oiled with a light machine oil (sewing machine oil used to be the thing to use I remember). This should restore good speed stability - the motor spindle should take ages to run down after power I disconnected.


I've done pretty much everything here, multiple times. But I'm going to try another idler one last time. I have a "new old stock", retread and a complete rebuild. The complete rebuild was nice for awhile, but it was a bit thicker on the contact edge. I always got bad mechical vibration from it, enough to get turntable parts rattling. In my efforts to modify it, let's just say I did more harm than good.

I couldn't even image how one would go about getting a NOS Lab80 idler, with a formulation that hasn't changed over decades, and has no warping. Seems unlikely if not impossible?
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Re: Garrard Type AII tonearm

Postby DSJR » 29 May 2018 09:04

The softer formulation seems time-stable and a good used one should be fine here - it looks similar to the earlier one and fits the same. I played mine recently and it's quiet with no nasties. I have an earlier one and it's far noisier.
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Re: Garrard Type AII tonearm

Postby A70BBen » 29 May 2018 14:42

There are two Lab 80 idler wheels (also for the Type A, Type A70, RC88 and others) on the infamous auction site now, from the same seller. He describes one as having a harder drive surface; it is offered as a Buy It Now, starting at half the price of the other, softer one.
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