Garrard AT6 needle help

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ErikJordan
Canada
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Joined: 04 Oct 2019 19:40

Garrard AT6 needle help

Post by ErikJordan » 04 Oct 2019 19:48

I am a super newbie, recently purchased an Admiral low stereo cabinet with a Garrard at6 installed inside.
I took the Garrard out, cleaned it and lubed it back up, still needs some work but she runs.

My goal is to restore it back up to be able to play new LPs.
I also want to wire in Bluetooth but that’s another project for another day.

My question is: does anyone knowledgeable know what needle I should replace on the turntable that won’t hurt my new records?

I’ve done some research and I believe I have an M7 on mine? I’ll add pics.

Any help is super appreciated! Thank you in advance.
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circularvibes
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Re: Garrard AT6 needle help

Post by circularvibes » 04 Oct 2019 21:44

That has an Astatic n41sd stylus. It is widely available on ePay or by contacting https://www.canadianastatic.com for a replacement. It might also be found at your local TV/Stereo repair shop if the person has been in business for a couple decades. It will sound okay if it is in working order. It is a ceramic cartridge and I do not recommend using it on modern records. If it is in a console, you are stuck with ceramics. You could add a magnetic preamp inside but I don't think it is worthwhile soundwise and you would have to use a low compliance cartridge like a Stanton 500 or an early Shue M3D.

ErikJordan
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Re: Garrard AT6 needle help

Post by ErikJordan » 04 Oct 2019 23:08

So fixing up and getting this Garrard back to newer working order for my goal isn’t possible then and if I did the sound wouldn’t be good?

Apologies for being a newbie, why would the sound of new records be bad? Are they made that much different now?
Again apologies, any information is good knowledge for me.

circularvibes
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Re: Garrard AT6 needle help

Post by circularvibes » 04 Oct 2019 23:36

The sound will be reasonable for an old console. You may find it acceptable and even pleasing. It won't sound like modern equipment, that wasn't the intention of the designers. I am not suggesting you give up on it, just don't have the wrong expectations from it. Modern records made in the last 20-25 years have softer vinyl and heavier modulation in the grooves from extended bass response and may cause anything from distortions to skipping and exagerated wear. Today's 180+gram pressings will be too thick for some changers to drop properly if you choose to stack as well. If you are playing thrift shop finds and classic LPs and singles (45 and 78 rpm), it will be more than okay. The arm wasn't designed for modern cartridges. I don't know what your music tastes are but some types of music are not likely compatible with the console either, such as rap or techno/rave/dance music. Those old consoles were made more for background listening of stuff heard on radio decades ago and typical parental unit music like Percy Faith or Ray Conniff or Readers Digest box sets. Us young'uns would have played our Beatles/Stones records on consoles and louder than our parents liked and they were capable but after the 1980's records changed to reflect current technology and trends.

circularvibes
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Re: Garrard AT6 needle help

Post by circularvibes » 04 Oct 2019 23:40

I should have asked if you have a tape or auxilliary input on the back of the stereo. If you do, then go on Amazon and buy a Bluetooth eceiver and just plug it in. If you want to run more stuff like a cassette deck or CD player, you can get switch units to make one input multiply. Changing internal wiring can be done but I prefer to leave things original and add externally. Oh, and BTW, welcome to VE!

ErikJordan
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Re: Garrard AT6 needle help

Post by ErikJordan » 05 Oct 2019 13:33

Thank you for the welcome :)

So the console has a button for tape but there is no tape player installed in this cabinet and it does have the auxiliary ports, this is where the Garrard plugs in. (I’ll include more photos)

If I was able to restore things to play my current records I wouldn’t be upset by anything sounding like old timey but I definitely don’t want to potentially hurt my new records as some are rare/signed by bands that I’d hate to diminish any value of them.
My tastes are more heavy music/rock, the cabinet came with some old records that are in no good condition but these are my tester at the moment, Alice cooper, billy idol, a compilation records of 80s rock hits.

I have a modern remake record player/Bluetooth player that I originally thought maybe I could somehow splice it into place if I could cut the old wire from the stereo that connects to the bottom of the Garrard and splice it to this new guy.
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And this is the admiral phonograph low and loud is what it was called
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The Garrard runs from the attached motor to here in the stereo (I assume this is to power the record player)
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The left and right ports connect to the bottom of the Garrard here
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Auxiliary ports (I hope) they’re labeled L and R so I assume
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circularvibes
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Re: Garrard AT6 needle help

Post by circularvibes » 05 Oct 2019 18:08

OK, first things first. The place you see in the last photo is the phono input, not the auxilliary. There should be RCA jacks on the rear of the cabinet possibly marked tape or auxilliary. A significant number of consoles had tape inputs but not outputs for recording. You can hook up anything from a CD player or tape player to a bluetooth adapter or modern phono preamp. You might certainly enjoy your current collection on this unit but use a modern turntable and phono preamp to negate any possble and likely harm to hard to replace and expensive records. Save the record changer for old records and thrift store finds. Could we get a photo of the back of the cabinet? If worse came to worse, you could unplug the changer and use longer RCA cables to connect a phono preamp or a multi input switch. The only issue with using this input might be that the changer might be the only way to turn on the receiver when you select phono. You could try turning it on manually by unplugging the power to the changer. There should be a four wire connector under the changer. Just firmly pull it out and see if you can power the radio in phono setting.

ErikJordan
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Joined: 04 Oct 2019 19:40

Re: Garrard AT6 needle help

Post by ErikJordan » 06 Oct 2019 00:32

Well hot damn! That worked! Currently listening to Bluetooth through the cabinet right now and it sounds gorgeous, I didn’t realize my audio cords had worn out at the end but when I plugged it in my records played through the cabinet too just didn’t sound as crisp as Bluetooth does. Ordered a new pair and hopefully tomorrow I’ll have it all set up exactly how I was hoping.

Now new question; is this Garrard sellable? Do people still buy these older model?

circularvibes
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Re: Garrard AT6 needle help

Post by circularvibes » 06 Oct 2019 02:06

They aren't terribly desirable on their own unless you find someone who needs to replace a damaged one. There isn't that much of a market regrettably. If it doesn't get in the way, just leave it there to plug the hole. That way if you pass the console to someone else in the future, you can say it isn't molested. I am glad the input worked out for you. Enjoy the tunage!

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Re: Garrard AT6 needle help

Post by smee4 » 06 Oct 2019 04:11

ErikJordan wrote:
04 Oct 2019 23:08
So fixing up and getting this Garrard back to newer working order for my goal isn’t possible then and if I did the sound wouldn’t be good?

Apologies for being a newbie, why would the sound of new records be bad? Are they made that much different now?
Again apologies, any information is good knowledge for me.

My opinion is different. I think is worth fixing up and it can certainly be done. Adding a magnetic cartridge, one that can track at the higher tracking forces expected (3 or 4 grams - maybe lower with careful adjustment) would be a big improvement, but as said, you'd need a phono preamp (which you could buy for $50 or so at the cheap end). It could just sit in the back of the cabinet and you'd run cables to it from the Garrard, then back to the console's amp.

These old consoles are lovely and can sound quite good. OK, not high-end hifi, not close, but still nice.

KentT
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Re: Garrard AT6 needle help

Post by KentT » 06 Oct 2019 14:26

An AT-6 can track as light as 2.5 grams, and can use a magnetic cartridge. An AT-3600L is fine in one. Providing it is serviced properly and in good mechanical order (all the old grease must go, and proper lubrication where necessary, not unusual for idler wheel rebuilds to be needed). It's a decent record changer.

circularvibes
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Re: Garrard AT6 needle help

Post by circularvibes » 06 Oct 2019 20:03

My advice was based on the OP having current pressings (which are thicker and heavier) and some being rarer as well as autographed/limited editions. As such I would not play them on a changer. 180 gram pressings are more difficult for a changer to drop properly and most changers will eventually leave marks where the stylus is lowered automatically. It is still my preference that an outboard turntable with preamp be used. I am not anti changer, but I do not play my most cherished discs on my Dual 1009, 1218, 1225 or Glaser-Steers GS-77 for that reason.

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