There are more Zero 100 threads now than there used to be

the jewel in the crown
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62vauxhall
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There are more Zero 100 threads now than there used to be

Post by 62vauxhall » 17 Jul 2019 18:30

Just a happenstance or an overdue acknowledgement that they are good turntables?

They are certainly one of the more handsome vintage record spinners.

JDJX
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Re: There are more Zero 100 threads now than there used to be

Post by JDJX » 17 Jul 2019 20:37

I got suckered into buying one by Garrard's advertising for it when first released.. before I knew better .

Yes, they cut down on tracking error but, at the cost of requiring a low compliance cartridge.

Even though it uses hi quality bearings for the tone arm, there were just to many of them and the collected friction of the bearings added up

When all is said , it is now a vintage novelty and probably worth getting as a project as a spare
TT.
Just keep all this in mind . :)

BTW, I eventually abandoned my Zerro 100 in favor of a new Thorens 145 .. What a great difference the Thorens made over the Z-100 .

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Re: There are more Zero 100 threads now than there used to be

Post by DSJR » 17 Jul 2019 23:40

There have been many Zero 100 threads here over recent years but maybe greater exposure to this one in recent times as well as idiots like me posting all over...

Mine has very low tonearm friction laterally and the lighter spring loading on the vertical bearings helps too. I agree that it's a great looking conversation piece and the fact it plays records at all well is a bonus in my book.

I've too many decks now, but I'd like to try a SL95B or AP96 again. The arm was massy, but pretty rigid (I have no experience with the 75 tonearm and this may be similar) and I loved the 95B 'Module' I had for a short time back in 75-76 (six months was a very long time back then). I gather that the trip refinements that went first into the Zero 100 were carried over eventually in one form or another to the lower models in this related range and my late issue 95B tracked flawlessly at 1.25g right to side end with none of the stiction my early AP76 suffered (it may have been a duff one though).

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Re: There are more Zero 100 threads now than there used to be

Post by T68 » 18 Jul 2019 13:38

I must say I really enjoy my recently acquired Zero 100s.
Sounds much better than its reputation and is gorgeous to rest your eyes on while enjoying a good record.

Once this vacation-being-outside-doing-domestic-projects-all-the-time-nonsense is over I have to have a peek att the idler and the bearings. I bit too much rumble going on somewhere in this thing. Probably a hardened idler, it seems to go away if I spin the platter without the idler being engaged.

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Re: There are more Zero 100 threads now than there used to be

Post by Gravitar8 » 18 Jul 2019 14:35

Specifically which ones? The "B" or the idler drive version? Regardless i think both are valid tt's and under-rated. Likely because many still in service are not set up properly- that's a buzz kill no matter what brand/vintage tt. I've heard same arguments about Triumph TR7 cars and others- that they didn't (don't) live up to the marketing hype/promises. But ask an owner or a member of the Triumph auto fan club and get the real skinny. The Zero 100s are great tt's. Misunderstood? Yes. Difficult to properly setup and calibrate? Yes. Quirky in their Britishness? Yes. Worth the bother? Absolutley.

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Re: There are more Zero 100 threads now than there used to be

Post by anmpr1 » 06 Aug 2019 18:16

JDJX wrote:
17 Jul 2019 20:37

a) Yes, they cut down on tracking error but, at the cost of requiring a low compliance cartridge.

b) Even though it uses hi quality bearings for the tone arm, there were just to many of them and the collected friction of the bearings added up

c) ... I eventually abandoned my Zerro 100 in favor of a new Thorens 145 .. What a great difference the Thorens made over the Z-100 .
a) The Z-100 did not 'require' a low compliance cartridge. I am using one now with a Pickering XSV-15 1200e (aka Stanton 681eee), and it works fine. In any case, the best cartridges are not crazy compliant, so that is not a good argument. At least today. When the Z-100 was released, low tracking was the buzz.

Rather, in the Z-100 what really matters is tracking force. If you set it too low, I'm guessing the threshold is at one gram, you will likely have problems, especially with high velocity grooves. The culprit will likely be lateral friction interacting badly with the cartridge suspension. But even in a low mass arm design, such as the four point gimbal Grace 707 arm, low tracking forces will lead to problems if the record is not perfectly flat.

In my system, using the front brush, tracking force set at 2.25 g (nominal 1.25 g), the Pickering sounds very high quality. On the Shure TTR-117 test record, resonance peak is 8Hz. This could be considered a bit low (Shure suggests optimum resonance would be above 8 Hz); however, at resonance, there is no mistracking or pitch change. On trackability tests, the arm/cartridge combination shows no mistracking at any level.

If I can find another C3 slide, I will try it with a lower compliant cartridge, such as the Denon 103, but I suspect the arm will be good with that, too.

b) How many are 'too many', and how much 'collected friction' is 'added up'? Ideally, mass/impedance values in both the lateral and vertical planes should be equivalent. This is certainly not the case in the Zero arm. At what point such a mismatch becomes audible in an arm, causing FM distortion, I don't know. There were concerns about this sort of thing with the Dynavector arm, where the mass mismatch between the two arm sections created significant motional impedance imbalances, resulting in an upward arm displacement with warps. That said, higher mass arms tend to be less prone to external groove excitation, which result can act as a sort of resonant damper. It is one reason why arms such as the old Fidelity Research (or the modern version from Ikeda Sound) sounded so nice with low compliant MC cartridges. The stayed put in the groove. It is the same reason people swear by Ortofon SPUs in long arms.

With that in mind, you never want to track much below 1.5g, with any cartridge. Heavier tracking forces tend to be indicated in almost all cases. Even AT, which used to promote lower values, now suggests 2 g minimum in their latest and greatest designs. So appropriate tracking force in the Z-100 arm should not be the main issue.

c) FWIW, I owned two examples of the TD-160, with the TP-16 arm. Both had loose bearings. Much looser than the 'too many' bearings on my current Garrard. This was disappointing to me, given the otherwise decent design of the Thorens arm. Whether in your case the difference (improvement) you experienced was due to arm/cartridge problems, the different mechanical isolation the Thorens suspension offered (essentially, the old Ed Villchur AR suspended chassis design), or both, is something I can't comment on.

In a better world, Garrard would have teamed up with a company such as Japan's Shinagawa Musen in order to create a pantograph arm with better overall construction. And put it all on a state of the art turntable, instead of an idler drive changer. Doing it all in-house, with typical British stodginess, in order to make a changer at a price point, was not the best thing they could have done, although I give them a lot of credit for doing it as well as they did.

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Re: There are more Zero 100 threads now than there used to be

Post by Gravitar8 » 07 Aug 2019 02:20

Don't forget about the Zero 100SB- a very underappreciated BELT drive non-idler changer version ;) Mine sounds so lively and round...it holds its own against my SL-15.
anmpr1 wrote:
06 Aug 2019 18:16
JDJX wrote:
17 Jul 2019 20:37
And put it all on a state of the art turntable, instead of an idler drive changer.

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Re: There are more Zero 100 threads now than there used to be

Post by DSJR » 08 Aug 2019 10:46

The 681EEE was quite kind to massive tonearms and I used one sans it's awful brush thing (which 'plays' the records as well as the stylus) in my SL95B at 1.2g or so with no issues. It's also stable enough in my Dual arms (which aren't low mass at all)

The Zero 100 arm has stability issues though as I believe the cartridge is set too low relative to the bearings - maybe bullsh*t on my part, but higher compliance cartridges aren't stable on warps with this arm. The AT120E I have is fine in my AP76 but wobbled alarmingly in the Zero 100.

When new, the SB models were much quieter than the idler ones but now, motor grommets may be sagging and my 86SB has to be fought somewhat to keep motor drone away when playing. Great thread on 'audiosciencereview' regarding someone's times at Garrard in the 70's, and how vibration nulling (or somesuch) was being looked into - using researched techniques rather than brute force to deal with it.

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