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manual custom model A? is it possible?

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manual custom model A? is it possible?

Postby plexi » 04 Oct 2017 03:19

Does anyone know about the model A. Can it be stripped down to basic idler spindle n platter, and be made into a simple manual one speed or two speed table/ and would it be a quality table and compare to a lencol75 ? or is there some reason why I cannot find any pics o f someone making z stripped down manual A model custom?
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Re: manual custom model A? is it possible?

Postby A70BBen » 04 Oct 2017 06:57

You could. But that does not mean you should.

The Type A can be converted to full manual but it won't be at the level of a Lenco L75 once you're done. The tonearm is good down to about two grams if well serviced, and lacks overhang adjustment to minimize tracking error...and it was designed for cartridges from the 1960s with a different dimension between mounting center and stylus tip, than what is current. It is also relatively high in mass, which makes it suitable for heavier-tracking cartridges anyway.

The main bearing is a circular ball race since it's a record changer and needs to have a spindle in the centre. Lenco is a single ball rotating on a plastic thrust plate, and is quieter, though the Garrard Type A does exceed NAB broadcast standards for rumble, wow and flutter.

If someone were to ask me to convert a Garrard Type A to manual, I'd suggest retaining the automatic workings anyway. They do not interfere with the tonearm in any way in manual play if the link between tonearm and the auto trip mechanism is disconnected so as to eliminate the forces needed to operate the trip...some cutting of a metal lever is necessary and it's irreversible...but retain the REJECT function so you can lift the arm at the end of a record without touching the arm and possibly damaging the record or stylus. Semi-automatic arm lift and shut off are still a great convenience even if commenced by pushing a lever to REJECT.

All in all it seems a shame to do it. The Type A (and its successors Type A70 and 70 Mk II) are the best record changers for 78rpm playback because of the Garrard pusher platform record changing mechanism. The A70 and 70 Mk II have better tonearms and lighter, more sensitive automatic trips but those differences do not make a difference in 78rpm play. I note that your equipment list includes a Garrard 401 already; I would not expect a manual Type A to approach my Garrard 301, and am content to keep the Type A for what it is (though I do have the Type A70 auto trip mechanism into one of my Type As).
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Re: manual custom model A? is it possible?

Postby plexi » 04 Oct 2017 19:57

I see, i was originally planning on a totally different arm which would remove thta problem, but the spindle i did not know about. One would need to source a standard spindle (which should not be too difficult I'd think)...the reason I ask is because I see these locally for $50 and under. no one is using them as changers or anything else it seems so turning it into semi high end custom may at least get it into rotation/use for someone maybe
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Re: manual custom model A? is it possible?

Postby plexi » 05 Oct 2017 09:39

ben. Could you verify, does the dual 1015 share the same spindle as the model A ?

I have a 1015 running and it sounds quite nice so I'm wondering if this spindle (if they are the same) would be fine to my ears. thanks
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Re: manual custom model A? is it possible?

Postby A70BBen » 06 Oct 2017 01:23

plexi wrote:ben. Could you verify, does the dual 1015 share the same spindle as the model A ?


By "model A" if you mean Garrard Type A, the answer is NO.
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Re: manual custom model A? is it possible?

Postby plexi » 06 Oct 2017 02:52

I don't mean they are the exact same but they do appear to be basically the same design philosophy no? If so, why are the duals not lacking (i've not read that anyone suggests they are in any case) whereas the garrard's spindle is a issue/ contributes to lower fidelity for standard single play (this is what I read from your comment a few posts back in any case)
The main bearing is a circular ball race since it's a record changer and needs to have a spindle in the centre. Lenco is a single ball rotating on a plastic thrust plate

Or do duals share this same sonic compromise (is it just a noise issue?) resulting from not using a ball bearing/spindle....not sure what is meant by 'ball race' but am researching

....I'm basically trying to determine if the garrard A will sound basically the same as my dual 1015 because that is a table i have and can listen to. I have not heard an old garrard A. Is there a significant impact from this multi play suitable type spindle other than noise because I am not noticing an issue with my dual. that is what i'm wondering
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Re: manual custom model A? is it possible?

Postby A70BBen » 06 Oct 2017 03:26

The RECORD spindle has no effect on rumble in itself, but the mechanical arrangement it requires, does.

Both the Dual and Garrard require ball-race main bearings rather than a single ball as in a Lenco and most other single-play turntables. The Dual has its autochange mechanism from below, operating the record changer spindle. The Garrard Type A spindle has no mechanism, but the design for its 45rpm autochange spindle has its operating cam at the bottom of the platter bearing, operating the spindle through a shaft. Both require a stationary center shaft around which the platter rotates, necessitating the ball-races. The ball-race design is at a disadvantage as to noise and rumble; though both the Dual and Garrard are well-engineered and perform perfectly well, an equally well-engineered single ball will be quieter. The difference may be below the audible threshold, less than record surface noise, but instruments can measure it.

About fifteen years after the Type A, Garrard built single-play automatic record players based on record changer designs...the AP75, AP76 and AP96, based on their record changers SL75, SL72B and SL95B. As single record players they did not need the auto spindle and thus Garrard converted the design to a single-ball thrust bearing, and their own published specifications were for very slightly less rumble from that single-ball design, which was repeated in later upper-level single play Garrards vs. their record changer siblings.

None of this is meant for you not to convert your Type A to fully manual operation, however. As I said before, it is up to you. I wouldn't, because there are other ways to attain fine turntable performance and I admire the design and engineering that goes into a well-designed automatic...and feel it is a shame to toss that into the bin.
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Re: manual custom model A? is it possible?

Postby plexi » 06 Oct 2017 03:37

perfect info. that is what i was wondering. I admire the dual's engineering as well. Seems they put alot of thought into and had little left over for cosmetics, which is admirable actually. That being said, the garrards I see on craigslist never sell and are basically being unused. Unless using turntables for parties that require multiple records playing, I don't see multi record tables coming back into vogue. but who knows.
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Re: manual custom model A? is it possible?

Postby DSJR » 07 Oct 2017 17:44

The more I read this thread the more alarmed I became!!!

Both decks here - the 1015 and A, are veritable audio antiques and although the 1015 lacks the cachet of the top 1019 model, I can assure you it's no sonic slouch. I currently have a 1019 and a 1009SK2 (bias, cueing device but no fine speed adjustment as in the 1019) and the 'fine tolerance engineering' is superb. Garrard were almost at a turning point by the mid 60's top models but with the 'A' they weren't 'quite' there yet in my opinion.

ALL idler drive models (and I'm including the 301, 401, TD124, Duals, Lencos and so on) add noises to the bass and lower midrange of the records being played. Sorry, but they do and it's very audible on headphones and larger speakers in a near field environment, especially so when compared with decks that don't do this! It's possible to *minimise* most of it, but you can never eliminate it all in my experience. Belt driven models aren't immune from some of these added noises either and I've been shocked how Pro-ject and even Rega decks can add transmitted hums and 'whines' to the background noise of records. It's these spurious noises that made so many people abandon these kinds of idler decks first time round and go to the better direct driven models (many of which had feedback and 'dynamic wow' issues of their own, but I digress).

I'm stating the above not to troll this thread, but to try to put some perspective on things if you'll let me please. A now also classic Technics SL150mk1 or even SL1200mk1 if carefully sited (sorbothane boots added to the feet?) may be too slim for many tonearms possibly, but SME alternatives can be used and various armboards made and fitted. These decks can offer silence at low frequencies and the only background noise is the vinyl itself. I get this from my own Dual 701 which also has a tonearm far better sounding than the audio-band resonance measurements suggest.

So after the reams above, where does this leave 'us?' I currently have a pile of Garrards and Duals, a Rega 3/R200 arm plus a couple of others in my warm and dry loft and I love them all dearly. As reference quality vinyl reproducers? NAH, not a bit of it, but once fettled, most can allow me to 'suspend disbelief' and not worry too much.

Enjoy the Type A and the 1015, fettle the drives and mechanisms as best as possible (DualCan in the Dual 'room' here has a wonderful website with full pictorial evidence of a total strip and rebuild to the last screw and c-clip of this generation of chassis) and fit to the Garrard something like a Stanton 500V3, Ortofon OM Pro or if you want a rough kick like a mule, a Shure M44-7 or SC35C and just kick back and enjoy the fun of watching it cycle and the sheer 'art' of it playing records. The 1015 should happily take modern mid priced mm types around £100 and I'm thinking a Shure 97XE or Goldring E3 perhaps, although an AT95E is fine with arms such as this - all 1.7 to 2g trackers if the Shure damper-brush is used...
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Re: manual custom model A? is it possible?

Postby plexi » 08 Oct 2017 07:23

I can assure you it's no sonic slouch


that is exactly why I am turning it into a manual table, so I can use it. I recognize its great sound. I dislike using automatic tables in any way however so there is no option unfortunately. I listen to vinyl/analog, to be fully present and auto cues/stops etc prevent this for me and just remind how the world is turning into automotanic machine experience. Sacrilige it may be but these tables (10 inch idler and garrard A) are a dime a dozen and they do not sell on ebay at all let alone over $50 from my search. At least once i get the table all stripped down, I will be using it and isn't that more important or at least as important than unnecesary nostalgia? unecesary because there are still thousands of dual idlers out there that will remain a testament to their stock form imo/to each his own etc

then why even use the dual tables if you don't use automatic tanles - one might ask. and the reason is because the dual idler sounds different than my other idler tables and the 701 sounds much different. Each drive system has its own sound and I appreciate many different solutions that companies have come up with over the years.

as to idlers creating 'bass noises' I'm not quite sure i've experienced that in my dozen idler experiences, and exclusively use headphones. I do hear a bit of overblown-ness to the bass on many idlers, if that is what you mean by 'bass noises'
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Re: manual custom model A? is it possible?

Postby Chiltern » 08 Oct 2017 09:24

Hi, you could always consider a Garrard 4(HF here in the UK, LF in the US).

From the same era as your model A, it is exactly what you describe, a manual idler Garrard. 12" platter, 4 speed with speed adjustment, even takes (depending on model) the same headshell.
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Re: manual custom model A? is it possible?

Postby DSJR » 08 Oct 2017 20:42

Trouble is, 4HF's are known as once high quality products and their age makes them collectors items. A's and so on aren't currently looked on so fondly.

Just buy a vintage Lenco 75! So many get butchered to high heaven and it seems I'm but a lone voice in defending the old tonearm and no engineering-based person yet seems willing to make an after-market tonearm tube and cartridge mount for the existing good bearing black and bias arrangement...
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Re: manual custom model A? is it possible?

Postby plexi » 08 Oct 2017 20:46

already have 2 Lenco. A stock and a PTP. it has a totally different motor/idler arrangment and likely sounds different. it sure sounds different than the 401 (I like the Lenco better fwiw) but the Lenco are even now quite rare to find under $300. All these reasons where what led me to the model A. they are free and could be made to sound good it seems. but....

Will likely forgo getting a free model A (here they are giving them away)and put it into use. They will continue to collect dust under beds.

Seems like the 4LH is rare and sells for $500
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Re: manual custom model A? is it possible?

Postby DSJR » 08 Oct 2017 20:54

All the idler decks I've heard have a similar 'driven' sound except the Thorens 124, which is rather more delicate sounding in my experience, if no less noisy with all the parts whirling away underneath. Lencos definitely have this sonic quality if they're in good order and in fact can be extremely quiet with clean idlers - amongst the quietest in fact depending on sample -, well lubricated motors (the main bearing is greased, or used to be when new) and any slight noise is 'out-of-phase' so only in the extreme left and right channel, mono images being clear and free of noise - hence the vertical idler running.

Anyway, if you can get an 'A' for peanuts where you are and they're very common (they're not so cheap in the UK it seems), then who am I to try to further dissuade you? Sorry to interfere :oops:
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Re: manual custom model A? is it possible?

Postby plexi » 09 Oct 2017 02:11

I've seen them for less and/or free. not just the model A but similar looking vintage garrards. they are common on ebay as well for $50 as well

https://seattle.craigslist.org/see/ele/ ... 31689.html
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