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Mystery Garrard? I can hardly find it

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Mystery Garrard? I can hardly find it

Postby DandySandy » 18 Apr 2017 22:07

I got an old Garrard from a friend of mine and am having a hard time finding any info on it. It has a sticker on the bottom and the plaque both say "sl-x". If it's called something else I would live a heads up. And from there I should be good.
Garrard SL-X https://imgur.com/gallery/QmEar
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Re: Mystery Garrard? I can hardly find it

Postby DSJR » 18 Apr 2017 22:49

The SL-X was a valid model, but the pic looks like a 3500 to me. Different versions for different markets and I suspect the SL-X was a 3500 basic model with a synchro lab motor. This tonearm went into an SL72B chassis and it was called the SL-X3, but I'm unsure about the SL-X2 model..

Cartridges for this counterbalanced tonearm would be single-hole ceramic types such as the rather good (to me) KS41C/Sonotone 3559, as well as the low mass Acos GP104. Not sure if any magnetic types could be used, but Pickering may have made a special version for these slim-head arms...
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Re: Mystery Garrard? I can hardly find it

Postby DandySandy » 18 Apr 2017 23:52

Thank you so much. This is exactly it! And thanks for the info on the arm too.
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Re: Mystery Garrard? I can hardly find it

Postby A70BBen » 19 Apr 2017 07:04

The Garrard SL-x was a USA-only model produced for importer British Industries Corp. who wanted a module-packaged record changer, ready to plug in and play without requiring installation of a cartridge and balancing/adjusting the tonearm. It was based on the Autoslim-chassis Garrard 3500, with the substitution of a synchronous motor and a custom-made Pickering magnetic cartridge in a special plug-in mount. It was sold only with the BIC plastic base and dust cover.
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Re: Mystery Garrard? I can hardly find it

Postby DSJR » 21 Apr 2017 17:37

That arm had some promise from memory. Better vertical bearings than the cheaper decks, a sleek counterweight with trusted spring-downforce and I suspect all it needed was a headshell similar in concept to the 3000 model to offer half-inch fixings for medium compliance mm cartridges and not just the Pickering/Stanton V15/500.
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Re: Mystery Garrard? I can hardly find it

Postby A70BBen » 23 Apr 2017 08:22

DSJR is right!

A version of that tonearm not only went into the SL72B chassis with dedicated Pickering V-15/ATE-4 cartridge as the SLx-3, but also in a version which DID have a standard 1/2" mount. Model 74M was normally sold with preinstalled Shure M93E cartridge but allowed the user to change cartridges, as a tonearm head with 1/2" fixings was designed for the same basic arm.

Attached photos show Model 74M with original Shure, and retrofitted Pickering and Audio-Technica cartridges.

74M with B2P and cover.jpg
74M with Shure


74M.JPG
74M with Pickering


74M tonearm head and panel.JPG
74M with Audio-Technica


The tonearm with dedicated tonearm head for the plug-in Pickering cartridge was re-introduced in the Model 6000, which also differed by having the 12" platter from the SL95 instead of the smaller platter of the SL72B, SL-x3 and 74M. However, Model 6000 did not have the synchronous motor, but the induction motor of the AP75 and AP76.

6000.JPG
Model 6000


SLx-2 differed very little from SL-x. British Industries and Garrard scored a success with the SL-x, and expanded the line with the SLx-2:

SLx2(2).JPG
SL-x2


(to be continued)
Last edited by A70BBen on 23 Apr 2017 09:04, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: Mystery Garrard? I can hardly find it

Postby A70BBen » 23 Apr 2017 08:37

The "new" model SL-x2 shown at the end of the prior thread was part of the expansion of the Module line, which included a base and dust cover. It differed from the SL-x only in name but allowed the introduction of an upgrade model in the series, built on the SL72B chassis but with the simpler-design tonearm of the 3500 and SL-x: the SL-x3, which had a Shure cartridge pre-installed in a dedicated mount:

SLx3 (6).JPG
SL-x3


SL-x3 wasn't that great a seller, as the higher-echelon buyer wanted more versatility, particularly in cartridge choice, which brought about the Model 74M previously discussed, with standard 1/2" cartridge mount.

The following two models are going afield from the ones above, whose tonearms were related. The next ones had tonearms far less advanced in design, and two-pole instead of four-pole induction or synchronous motors:

The expansion of the Module line also went the other way...downmarket. This model did not have a synchronous motor so it could not be called "SL" and was instead dubbed the X-10. It had a two-pole motor, a tonearm without weight counterbalancing; all the counterbalancing to proper tracking force was done by spring. It was sold with preinstalled ceramic cartridge, base and dust cover:

X-10.jpg
X-10


Further downmarket...but confusingly so because its model number was HIGHER than that of the X-10...was the Module X-11, a Garrard Demi minichanger with very simplified tonearm, and sold with ceramic cartridge, base and dust cover:

X-11(2).JPG
X-11
X-11(2).JPG (163.63 KiB) Viewed 86 times


The low-cost Garrard Demi/X-11 would rear its cheap, ugly head later on, as Garrard used its mechanism to build a cheaper full-size line of record changers, the Unimech series, clumsy to use and feeling cheap, with clunking, balky controls; they were also very difficult and expensive to maintain, due to poor access to often-serviced parts. The Unimech was a cheapening of the Garrard line, an effort by its owner, Plessey to save on production costs, but which was the beginning of the sad decline of Garrard which would see it sold to a Brazilian company, as Plessey tried to recoup the losses it had itself created.
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Re: Mystery Garrard? I can hardly find it

Postby DSJR » 23 Apr 2017 17:53

You didn't half have them in the US!!!

The last one was called CC10 over here, but I don't think it was ever marketed as a stand-alone player-in-plinth. As for the 3500 chassis with 'T' tonearm, I've never seen them before, but since the Autoslim chassis was the basic raw donor, I don't see why not. The 3500 tended to be fitted to better quality portable Bush record players and their better radiograms I believe and by the early 70's, the 2025TC seemed to be the 'changer of choice for almost everyone else using Garrards. My 1970 Hacker GP42 record player had a 2025TC with softie Acos GP96 cartridge. I really wish Garrard had carried on with the 3000 deck as it was still UK-current then - just. A 3500 with four pole motor and 3559/KS41C cartridge would have been a useful upgrade and audible in this record player as it was so good otherwise. Instead, Hacker introduced the GP45 Grenadier if I remember correctly, fitted with a 2025TC but with Acos 104, a very good sounding ceramic if my surviving sample is anything to go by.

I do hope the OP doesn't mind this history lesson, but Garrard were a huge manufacturer for many years and many hundreds of thousands of models, all broadly related to the 'Autoslim' original, were made. I find it fascinating :D
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Re: Mystery Garrard? I can hardly find it

Postby Dougallh » 26 Apr 2017 01:33

DSJR, I have 2 vintage 1969 Bush record players (SRP51 & SG55) both of which use a Garrard 3500/Sonotone 9TAHC. As you say the tonearm is superior to those fitted to the other autoslim models. Both decks still work perfectly & I also acquired another for potential spares. Amazingly, the 9TAHC (with specially selected stylus)fitted to the 3500 in the SG55 will track the 'torture' band on the HFS75 test disc.
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