Garrard 301. Slow starter?

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MilesOnVinyl
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Garrard 301. Slow starter?

Post by MilesOnVinyl » 25 Jan 2020 13:18

Hello, recently, somewhat overconfident and impulsive, I bought a Garrard 301 from 1958 (grease bearing). It takes a while before this 301 has a stable speed; in the beginning the Garrard turns a little too slowly (this applies to both 33 and 45 rpm). Is this common (with a "Grease bearing")? What could be the cause of this?

The bearing has recently been completely cleaned and re-greased. The engine was thoroughly overhauled a few years ago. Of course I also looked at pulley and at the Idler wheel.

I hope you can help me. Please let me know if you need some further info.

Thanks in advance!

DSJR
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Re: Garrard 301. Slow starter?

Post by DSJR » 25 Jan 2020 23:24

Even 401's (brand new and freshly serviced ones) could take ten minutes or so for the speed to speed up a little and stabilise. Not sure how much drag the grease bearing adds though and this will depend on the grease used. Make sure the motor bearings are properly lubricated with a recommended thickness of oil. Old induction motors like this can start slightly slow and speed up to correct speed as they warm up (Garrard motors can run very warm).

Please remember these decks were designed for pretty much 24/7 use for extended periods of time and I don't think domestic start-stop sessions were ever part of their portfolio to be honest. Might be worth getting in touch with Loricraft to see what they say - Loricraft probably know more about these decks than anyone else now...

A70BBen
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Re: Garrard 301. Slow starter?

Post by A70BBen » 26 Jan 2020 02:21

Speed drift on the Garrard 301/401 is totally normal. It is part of the characteristics of their induction motor. It even is mentioned in the instruction manual. A synchronous motor would not allow for variable speed using the eddy current brake.

And, wasn't the Loricraft Garrard operation sold to SME, trademark ownership and all?

MilesOnVinyl
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Re: Garrard 301. Slow starter?

Post by MilesOnVinyl » 26 Jan 2020 07:18

Hello DSJR and A70BBen, thanks for your reassuring answers. I also have a Garrard 401 and therefore know (also) from experience that small speed differences can occur.

With the 301 the differences are greater than with my 401 and it takes longer (than 10 minutes) to reach a stable speed and therefore I was surprised. I didn't know if this is common for the older Garrard 301.

With my Garrard 301, I have to set the speed to roughly plus 5 immediately after the start (the fifth line to the left of the center). After fifteen minutes the switch can go back to position plus 2.5, after 45 minutes I have a stable result with the speed set to almost the center (plus 0.5). This entire time the engine runs wonderfully quiet ;-)

It would be nice if I could reduce the speed differences and the warm-up time of the 301. Could it improve by overhauling the engine again?

DSJR
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Re: Garrard 301. Slow starter?

Post by DSJR » 26 Jan 2020 12:53

Thanks for PM...

All I can suggest is perhaps a lighter grease and a clean and relube of the motor bearings? Modern lubricants do have benefits over the old stuff of sixty plus years ago but it seriously would be best to contact those who work at properly rebuilding these things.

The owners of SME and Loricraft (Spendor too?) do seem to want their pound of flesh, but I suppose there are distributors now which need feeding as well. I hope the remanufacturing skills are still there for help and advice though.

A70BBen
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Re: Garrard 301. Slow starter?

Post by A70BBen » 27 Jan 2020 04:13

I have had less speed drift on induction motors when old oil is thoroughly washed out with solvent and the sintered bronze bearings and oil reservoir felts are soaked in synthetic oil rather than refined petroleum oil. I have used Mobil turbine oil, sourced from my now-retired aircraft mechanic, for years. This characteristic may be because that particular oil has less viscosity change with temperature. I don't know where you could get it now, particularly in smaller than 55 gallon drums! Some claim that 0W-20 synthetic automotive motor oil is good, while others say...however, without any credible testing, only anecdotes...that additives in automotive oil are not good in turntable motors. There are many selling expensive "special turntable oil" who I believe to be marketing "L'huile du serpent."

In the centre bearing of my 301, I use 80W-140 gear oil. The original Garrard "grease" was more fluid than modern-day greases. The big problem with using oil in a Garrard grease bearing is that you must take pains to eliminate air, else the top bearing sleeve will run dry. The 301 grease bearing has no fill port to which one adds oil to keep the bearing full, and the pressure-lubrication knob does not work properly with even a very thick oil, because it will leak!

DSJR
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Re: Garrard 301. Slow starter?

Post by DSJR » 27 Jan 2020 16:46

UK eBay - seller 'Lubefinder' does the Mobil DTE medium-heavy (it's almost transparent and runny) oil that Thorens recommend for their motor bearings (admittedly lower speed) as well as the DTE-Heavy (slightly thicker and yellowish) which looks and 'feels' identical to the crown? turbine oil Thorens used in their main bearings. I've also bought a bottle of the Mobil Vactra ISO 68 slideway oil which I was told is a good alternative to the renotac oil Dual used in their main bearings.

The DTE is available in 30ml bottles for six quid or so..


In the 401's I had, too much oil would result in the lower thrust assembly creaking round and causing audible and visual on the strobe speed drag 'glitches.' Keeping the bearing sleeves lubed and not flooding the bottom kept the rest of it stable.


You really would be better off with a current spec new Technics 1200 you know :D No rumbles and grumbles which all these Garrards suffer from, pretty decent tonearm and great sonic potential if you site it right. Won't look as nice as a Garrard 301/401 though ;)...

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