Garrard Lab 80

the jewel in the crown
A70BBen
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Re: Garrard Lab 80

Post by A70BBen » 02 May 2019 04:02

Be sure...check the platter speed when warmed up, 15-20 min. or so, uding a strobe disc, Download one from the Internet if you don't have one.

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Re: Garrard Lab 80

Post by Pure_brew » 03 May 2019 03:11

A70BBen wrote:
02 May 2019 04:02
Be sure...check the platter speed when warmed up, 15-20 min. or so, uding a strobe disc, Download one from the Internet if you don't have one.
It looks like what may have happened, was when I took apart the whole mechanism for the full cleaning earlier, I must have dinged a bronze insert, in the platter spindle. Only thing I can think of because I could feel a little drag spinning by hand after re-assembly. Didn't think much of it at the time. So it wasn't so much that it was slow, it was creating problematic wow/flutter. Taking things down, changing lube, swapping between several idlers, bearings- all seemed about the same.

Put a few drops of the heaver oil on the spindle without taking apart and voila, improvement. So after running for a good number of hours, things have stabilized some more. Strobe actually looks a tad fast, even with record in play.

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Re: Garrard Lab 80

Post by DSJR » 04 May 2019 09:49

Mine runs ever-so-slightly slow as judged by an accurate 300Hz strobe. Nothing like as bad as your average Rega deck though (all slightly fast on most when new).

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Re: Garrard Lab 80

Post by DasherF » 04 May 2019 13:58

I remember our local underground-turned-Classic-rock-station played their music just a bit slower than everyone else in town...kinda liked it, so, having pitch control, I turned my Dual down a bit...made the sound a little more laid back.
I have plans to work =D> on my Lab among other "toys". I Have 3 days off work next week, so I don't want to waste it. :raining: 8) (<yeah, even if it rains!)
Keep me up on the ins/outs of the 80.

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Re: Garrard Lab 80

Post by DSJR » 04 May 2019 18:45

Just went to bring my 86SB down as a motor-harmonic 'hum' in the background through the speakers and headphones when playing was bugging me and I'd found some spare motor grommets of the right type (two softer, one original) to try. While up there, I checked my Lab 80mk2 to find the cam wouldn't engage the platter hub when asked to cycle by unlocking the cam. I 'encouraged' the cam to engage and all was well thereafter on repeated cycles. Storage obviously doesn't suit old turntables ;)

Oh, and the 86SB is working flawlessly and has never sounded so quiet through the speakers.... Cartridge currently a VMS5E... I'm running it for a few hours to see what happens.

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Re: Garrard Lab 80

Post by Pure_brew » 04 May 2019 20:20

I'm pleased with the noise level, being well below anything I could achieve on my AII.

Curious- how loose are the tonearm bearings on y'all's Lab 80's? There seems to be a bit of play on mine, or somewhere lower in the assembly.

Can't be right. I've noticed some channel instability and I'm thinking it's the cause?

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Re: Garrard Lab 80

Post by A70BBen » 04 May 2019 22:50

Looseness is probably "down below.". The vertical shaft, for lateral motion, is a slack fit in its bore but that doesn't matter because gravity holds the arm assembly down onto the ball bearings. The vertical-motion needle bearings are designed to be spring loaded to take up any slack.

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Re: Garrard Lab 80

Post by DasherF » 04 May 2019 23:47

Reading this, I went upstairs to check mine out as well...yeah, there is a bit of play in it, maybe barely a millimetre, with a slight >tick-tock< sound as you pull and release lightly on the back of the arm...just a hint of sideways motion, not a lot to be too concerned about, unless, as you said, Pb, it shows up in the stereo image. That's only my experience, but it seems to be similar to yours...
Oh, by the by, that's the 2nd-3rd time I heard gravity mentioned on this turntable...I 'm glad IT'S still working! =D> :lol:

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Re: Garrard Lab 80

Post by DSJR » 05 May 2019 11:37

WOAH for a minute PLEASE!!

What's the matter with mentioning gravity? It's this force which keeps these things working and hopefully our feet on the ground rather than stuck to it with our own bullshit! It's not as if the tonearm has a gimbal bearing stable in all planes (even upside down) as top Duals had.

The horizontal bearings on these decks are indeed GRAVITY LOADED and only have ONE ball race at the top, with 'shaped' races to aid stable centring in a loaded state (by the downward gravity force of the tonearm with cartridge and counterweight fitted). In ALL these decks up to (I think) the 990 and Z2000 and maybe the GT55 as well?, the bottom 'bearing' is a sleeve around the tonearm 'shaft,' a fibre? washer and then the auto-linkage screwed on (sideways screw) offering a small amount of vertical 'end shake' and basically preventing the arm cradle assembly being pulled out. I'm stunned how low the horizontal friction/drag is in all these arms to be honest.

Under working conditions with a sensible cartridge choice, the arm won't 'rattle.' It's just that man-handling the bearing cradle shows rather more 'play' than tonearms using needle or double ball-race bearings have. Do please remember the era that this deck was made... d

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Re: Garrard Lab 80

Post by DasherF » 05 May 2019 12:47

(I was just being kidding about the gravity-thing, sorry...)
The era-part you mentioned makes perfect sense to me...I looked at how the tonearm of the AT-6 and a couple other makes/models feel and as I know they're a different design, it seemed as if some had no play in any direction, yet swing freely...but as we agreed, the Lab is a design from different era. The Lab is massive. The very slight, yet tight, play seems allowable. I wasn't too concerned.
I'm glad for all the input to this thread...where I just meant to ask a question for my own Lab, it turned out to be a thread where other owners of the 80 offer their own experiences with it. As mentioned before, it can only help get my own up and running. Keep talking! Thank you!
Last edited by DasherF on 05 May 2019 13:06, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Garrard Lab 80

Post by DSJR » 05 May 2019 13:04

The Autoslim series has basically a 'C' section horizontal pivot rotating around a fixed casting - two machined tapered 'rods' (top one screwed in to aid disassembly) running in well greased bronze? sleeves with balls for the ends of the 'rods' to act on and the top one firmly spring loaded if memory serves. It's the grease and the 'friction link' which really adds friction and drag here, but later models (belt driven final models especially) were capable of quite low friction and drag, even at end of side. Garrard often spring-loaded the vertical tonearm pivots and this got slightly less in later models, reducing drag and 'friction' for 1.25g tracking - my Lab 80mk2 could track an ADC Phase IV at 1.3g as checked by an external balance, but it was borderline on the auto trip friction lever adjustment. Very happy though with an old Grado F1+ at 1.6g or so

More modern tonearm designs used double ball races for the horizontal bearings (often pre-loaded by adjustment) which all but remove any 'slop' and usually keep friction low. Dual use(d) needle pivots in all planes and dynamically balanced the tonearms using springs for tracking force and bias correction (anti-skate) so tilting or even inverting the decks (bloody 'gravity' again) used to have no effect at the stylus - the 1229 had a special display made with specially modified platter bearing thrust assembly and the deck mounted *and playing* upside down in the top of a display case, a mirror on the bottom for the viewer to watch it play.

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Re: Garrard Lab 80

Post by Pure_brew » 05 May 2019 19:57

Good to know there are folks here familiar with the tonearm mechanics on these

The M97xe with the stabilizer down running at 1.5g is fine. Trip mechanism is fine. I prefer the sound at 2.0g though. Tracks good. Decent on the inner grooves.

Perhaps what I'm hearing is wow/flutter that isn't ironed out completely, and/or old wiring, unclean contacts.