Garrard AT60 help?

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nlhatch17
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Garrard AT60 help?

Post by nlhatch17 » 24 Nov 2016 22:13

About a year ago I purchased an AT60 off of eBay. I'm 19 and wanted to experience the music I listen to on something that came from the same era instead of buying one of those hipster Urban Outfitters suitcase turntables. Im pretty in the dark on a lot of things, and though I put in hours of research at the time of my purchase, I've been away from vinyl for months because I didn't want to bring my turntable to college and run the risk of someone trampling it in my dorm. Point being, dumbing your posts down for me would be very nice. So a few things: I have it hooked up to a Samsung Blu-Ray/Surround sound system. There's a power cord, red and yellow audio cables, and a green wire. It works but there's always a humming sound emitted, and I don't have the wire connected to anything. Where does that green wire go, and would it solve he humming problem?
Also, the turntable itself seems to bounce whenever a record is dropped on to it or whenever it's touched in general. Is this avoidable?
Does the Samsung player I have it hooked up to function as a preamp? (And do I even need a preamp?)
Is a sound system like this good, or what sort of setup would you recommend?
Thanks for your attention. I don't know where else to ask these questions to learn a little bit.

paul401
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Re: Garrard AT60 help?

Post by paul401 » 25 Nov 2016 00:57

Hi,
welcome to VE, plenty of good advice on offer here, so just ask. :)

A pat on the back for not succumbing to the dreaded 'hipster suitcase' decks, there's no snobbery here at VE, but those things are just awful. Your AT60 is a solid workhorse, which your posts suggests is working ok, mechanically. Any mechanical issues are usually down to old and solidified grease. There is a user manual here in the library: https://www.vinylengine.com/library/garrard/at60.shtml which will help you out re adjustments and settings.

The red and yellow (usually white - maybe it yellowed with age!) cables are indeed audio out - with Red = Right signal and White (yellow) = Left signal. The green wire is a ground wire, this would normally connect to a ground terminal found on the amplifier, certainly on older amps with a 'phono' (turntable) input. Connecting the green wire to such a terminal would most likely remove the hum.
However the hum might a bad connection at the cartridge or in the audio cables. Worth removing the headshell and checking the small pins/wires that connect to the cartridge, just look for anything loose or broken.

I assume you have the turntable plugged into the 'AUX' sockets on your Samsung system? As you are getting sound, it would suggest you have a 'ceramic' cartridge fitted to your deck. The Samsung won't have the grounding post fitted.
Ceramics are not the best cartridges, though many are still in use. It might be worth considering an upgrade to a magnetic (MM) cartridge, something that tracks around 2-3g, an Audio Technica AT95 is a popular budget MM (Moving Magnet) cartridge.
To use an MM cartridge you will need a 'phono pre-amp' aka 'phono-stage', this will boost the very low level signal output up to 'line level' and allow it to be plugged into an AUX input on an amp or sound system. Many of these pre-amps will have a ground terminal for the connection of your green wire!
The decks works at present as 'ceramic' cartridges have much higher output than MM's and will drive an auxillary type input.

The headshell on your deck has a single centre screw fixing for the cartridge, this was a common fitting when your deck was first produced, however modern cartridges are ( mostly) 'half inch' fitting with two fixing screws, one on either side of the cartridge. The Garrard may have an adaptor supplied, or it may be fitted in the headshell already, if not it should be possible to obtain one.

The deck will 'bounce' a little as it sits on three springs, this provides isolation from footfall and feedback etc. and will help to avoid the stylus jumping if knocked, records are a mechanical system so sit your turntable on something heavy and solid, not light and wobbly! Isolating the deck from external vibration is the aim.

Your Samsung will work ok (select 'straight' stereo, for replaying vinyl), the surround effects might be interesting but probably won't add much. - A dedicated stereo amp will be better and you could consider new or secondhand, budget will play a part in that choice.

That's probably enough to start. Any further questions, report back! :)

Paul

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Re: Garrard AT60 help?

Post by Guest » 25 Nov 2016 03:22

The AT60 by now will need an overhauling - they ALL do now, after decades of aging.
This means cleaning of old grease, and re oiling/lubing of the mech/bearings.
Motor mounts and idler wheel will need checking/replacing.
Foam inserts in the suspension springs are now dryrotted and need replacing.

Red/White RCA cables need to be plugged into a "dedicated" phono input, NOT aux.
If no phono input is available, an RIAA preamp for magnetic cartridges is required.
The green ground wire needs to be connected to the ground terminal of the amp.

UNTIL that is all done, proper sound and performance is not going to be had.
Best to contact someone experienced in changer repair to do this job.

DSJR
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Re: Garrard AT60 help?

Post by DSJR » 27 Nov 2016 21:34

Many threads here on servicing these old decks. The main chassis was shared with a number of different models and they only differed in detail, along with a few fairly gentle modifications done over the years. Sorry, you're going to have to trawl through. Service manuals for most models are in the library here, so feel free to have a look. The main one I use is the SL65 one, as it's so similar to the AT60, but the others do have extra sections which are relevant to most of not all the others.

These decks were sprung from their often wooden frames/boards by coil springs. there were foam inserts which prevented excessive bounce and it's my experience that the foams don't usually crumble away. They can be squashed up though, so worth carefully removing and replacing.


Now, about ceramic cartridges... They're NOT rubbish at all and the best vintage ones can sound tremendously good in a kind of 'direct' and 'raw' sense. I cite the BSR SC11/12M, Sonotone/Garrard 3559/KS41C and famous 9TA-HC and Acos GP96 series and GP104 as evidence - there are others too with which I'm less familiar. The thing is, they need a 1M - 2M loading which won't be provided by a typical amp 'Aux' input. The GP104 was claimed to be able to work into a modern magnetic 'Phono' input, but it's output can be too high for this.

If I haven't put you right off by now (apologies), The AT60 in properly serviced condition will work with many good modern magnetic cartridges, tracking at 2 - 3 grammes. Some pics of your deck at the tonearm end would be nice and we can take it from there...

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Re: Garrard AT60 help?

Post by mgambuzza » 29 Aug 2017 14:04

I just acquired an AT60 from a vintage HiFi shop in Syracuse. I also noticed the bounce but it does seem to settle by the time the tonearm settles on the record. This outfit did a great job de-greasing and re-lubricating the unit so it operates at peak performance. It has a Shure M44 cartridge and so far everything from Moody Blues to Bing Crosby's Leader of the Band (78 with proper 78 needle) sound great and operate fabulously!!

I previously had Duals for this secondary system and became frustrated with the changer mechanism not working consistently and this system (Pioneer SX-6000 - yes the PITA speaker connectors)is one that I primarily use for 78s and stacking. I had been searching for a local turntable, as decks shipped from ebay usually experienced damage from not being properly packed, and rough handling from shippers. I am very happy on my initial experiences so far on my AT60 and hope for many good years of service.

DSJR
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Re: Garrard AT60 help?

Post by DSJR » 29 Aug 2017 17:27

Nowt wrong with Duals you know, if properly serviced and set up - and they usually stay that way unless grease dries up as happens with Garrards too :D but the Garrards are less delicate and great to 'cut your teeth' on.

A70BBen
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Re: Garrard AT60 help?

Post by A70BBen » 31 Aug 2017 04:16

All of what's been said about the Garrard AT60 is true. The first part to give trouble is usually the automatic trip mechanism. If the AT60 arm starts to skip toward the end of a record side, or won't pick up the arm and enter auto cycle, whether at the end of a record or by pushing the operating control to REJECT, the auto trip is jammed and preventing the arm from tracking further and/or the auto cycle from commencing. It's not hard to fix...

Go to this thread...a few posts down from the top are the instructions for servicing the auto trip in the AT60 and all other Autoslim-chassis units. It's too bad this forum does not have provision for "sticky" posts which contain important information such as this.

viewtopic.php?f=23&t=79056

But in a unit built in 1964-65, there could be other problems caused by original lube grease drying out.

The Garrard AT60 is a good example of how Garrard engineering prowess was able to elevate the Autoslim, a basic, low-priced record changer intended to compete with cheap BSR changers, to a deck with a valid claim to medium-level hi-fi. The AT60's predecessor, the AT6, was originally named "Autoslim Deluxe" but the influence of the American distributors caused that to change, to AT6..."AT" for "Automatic Turntable" to set it apart from ordinary record changers.

Here is a USA advertisement for the Garrard AT60. The claim that the AT60 arm system could track flawlessly at 1/2 gram was conceived by the imagination of the advertising department!
AT60_Ad.JPG
(535.89 KiB) Downloaded 753 times

Johnhagenmaher
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Re: Garrard AT60 help?

Post by Johnhagenmaher » 18 Aug 2019 05:32

New member and newbie here...awesome to see so many enthusiasts! I just inherited my Dad’s Gerrard AT60. This now compliments a vintage Philips 977 acquired at a garage sale and a newer Denon that I treated myself to in 2012. I’m still learning, a lot. Thanks to all. John

DSJR
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Re: Garrard AT60 help?

Post by DSJR » 18 Aug 2019 18:13

Hope all the stuff I and others post here helps. These things ALL suffer the same, so the same basic servicing tips apply.

You know, looking at the SP25 I and II and the 'changer versions of them (AT6, AT60, 60mk2 and SL65) brings back all the feelings I had well fifty years ago. They really did look like precision lab instruments for playing records on in the days before I began to investigate higher-up HiFi gear. It's high time I rescued my own (SL motor) 60mk2 from exile and put it back to some use before it seizes up again. It sounds great with a smoothie Stanton 500V3 and sparkly Ortofon GT...

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Re: Garrard AT60 help?

Post by Michaelgg » 28 Oct 2019 10:42

Is anyone able to tell me if the chassis of the AT60 and the 60 are the same as I was hoping to use the coordinated D1 base which will accommodate the 60 model but I’m wondering if the AT 60 would fit also? Many thanks

DSJR
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Re: Garrard AT60 help?

Post by DSJR » 29 Oct 2019 12:59

I think they are. The original AT6 could have the older spring suspension (mine has) but I think this changed to the later common type in its life before it was replaced by the AT60. The AT60 and 60mk2 are the same fittings I believe.

Michaelgg
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Re: Garrard AT60 help?

Post by Michaelgg » 31 Oct 2019 10:00

Thanks for your help

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Re: Garrard AT60 help?

Post by Michaelgg » 11 Nov 2019 12:42

Ok so I have another question - I have an AT60 that I am restoring that I bought as new old stock still in the original box etc so everything thing seems new. I went to plug in the head shell and it appears to sit at an angle almost like it is twisted slightly to the left. I have made sure that the ring is locked in tight. The slot that is cut into the tone arm where the head shell slides onto is straight, I believe that the tone arm pipe it straight it’s the head shell it’s self. I am wondering if this is normal for the AT 60?

mrclean98
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Re: Garrard AT60 help?

Post by mrclean98 » 11 Nov 2019 16:42

Check this out:
viewtopic.php?f=23&t=110614&p=959237#p959237

Is it something like this? I never did find a real fix for it, other than to add a small washer under one side of the cartridge to compensate and make the cartridge parallel to record.

Michaelgg
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Re: Garrard AT60 help?

Post by Michaelgg » 12 Nov 2019 02:21

Thanks for the response, yes my head shell looks twisted like in the second photo. In my case I still don’t believe the tone arm is at fault as the slot in the tone arm where the head shell slots into is perfectly straight. I am starting to think that the head shell it’s self may have a manufacturing defect when the pin was not aligned correctly. So because of this I am reluctant to pull apart the actual tone arm tube off the block that it’s attached to. I think my options at the moment would be to use a washer as you described or perhaps see if I can find another head-shell to see if I have the same problem. If you have any other suggestions I’d be keen to hear them. Thanks again.

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