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Garrard Zero 100S tonerarm - channel drop

Posted: 18 Jun 2019 18:22
by emlt
I am in the process of restoring a Garrard Zero 100S, and after resolving most issues, I’m left with a peculiar one. When I play an LP, I get a channel drop (left channel) when the stylus reaches the last track, or tracks. On the outer perimeter, or the first four tracks,say, both channels come through loud and clear, till, suddenly, no sound from the left channel. Now, when I resume playing the same LP from the first track, once again there’s no issue - both channels fine. And, there are also times when both channels play right through.

I have cleaned with sandpaper, and Deoxit, the four contact strips on the cartridge holder, and the four contact shims at the back of the headshell. I have tested electrical continuity across all points, within the headshell, from the soldering points beneath the chassis to the RCA jacks - all fine. But, as the arm swings inward, something odd is happening, and I suspect it has to do with the area beneath the arm pivot where the aluminium strips inside the length of the tonearm get finally soldered to the fine wires that make their way to the RCA female jacks beneath the chassis. This area, is out of reach, unless one totally removes the tonearm, something outside my limited mechanical ability. Also, If I move the arm inwards, and then gently up and down, I get a brief sound from the left channel, as though some contact is being made and broken.

Any ideas? Thanks in advance.

Re: Garrard Zero 100S tonerarm - channel drop

Posted: 19 Jun 2019 08:12
by vanakaru
It really sounds like the tonearm wire for left channel is damaged - insulation compromised and connects with the chassis at some point or the leads inside the cable are broken and get separated in twist. This may be the part that physically moves/twists ie. at the length from tonearm exit to the soldered connection plate.
Try to follow the L lead and see if you spot the damage.

Re: Garrard Zero 100S tonerarm - channel drop

Posted: 19 Jun 2019 16:38
by emlt
Thanks! Will check the lead wire, though I suspect the damage may have occurred in an area not easily accessible. But that seems to be the most logical explanation.

Re: Garrard Zero 100S tonerarm - channel drop

Posted: 14 Aug 2019 21:46
by Hdonly
I have the same problem with my Zero-100. I have decided that the wiring is breaking down where it travels from above to underneath. where is a good source for this very small wire and has anyone replaced it on a Zero-100 before? I haven't tried yet until I can get some wire to replace it with. Thanks

Re: Garrard Zero 100S tonerarm - channel drop

Posted: 14 Aug 2019 23:01
by macshifi
It might be the headshell leads on the cartridge slide, or sled, if you will. I had the same trouble with the headshell slide on a Garrard SL 95 B that I have, and the solution to the problem was mount the Empire 1000 ZE/X on a new headshell slide.


Re: Garrard Zero 100S tonerarm - channel drop

Posted: 15 Aug 2019 03:13
by A70BBen
The early Zero 100s had a problem with the wires inside the tonearm head. With the movement of the pivoting head, they would break inside their insulation. Garrard had a retrofit harness and contact strip assembly of revised design. You would pry out the chrome medallion covering the tonearm bearing, drop the head out by removing it's fixing nut, and pry off the trim plate on the head, to expose the contact strip. Under the unit, you would unsolder the tonearm wiring and, with a spare piece of tonearm wire attached, pull.out the tonearm head and wiring. Using that extra length of tonearm wire, you would pull the new wiring back through, then reattach the head, and solder in the new harness underneath.

But the replacement head and wiring harness may as well be made of unobtainium, now. I laid in a good supply back in the 1970s. But they are all gone.