Garrard SL-72b cartridge alignment adjustment?

the jewel in the crown
DSJR
long player
long player
Wales
Posts: 2826
Joined: 01 Feb 2009 20:29
Location: Suffolk

Re: Garrard SL-72b cartridge alignment adjustment?

Post by DSJR » 30 Mar 2019 13:55

Do not worry. The difference is tiny and only seriously anal people would give this a second thought on this deck and cartridge. With an audiophile deck and arm then maybe, as it's all part of the fun and games, but PLEASE don't worry with an AT95E in this arm!

At some point soon, I'll get my AP76 out of storage for some use and see how Garrard set the overhang with these models.

KentT
long player
long player
Posts: 4291
Joined: 13 Mar 2008 19:44
Location: Athens, TN

Re: Garrard SL-72b cartridge alignment adjustment?

Post by KentT » 30 Mar 2019 13:59

I do not recommend an AT 12 anything on this Garrard. Remember, this is an AutoSlim (yes, a higher end one). But I'd stick to no better than an AT 95E tracked at heaviest. Want to use a higher end cartridge, replace the turntable.

A70BBen
senior member
senior member
Posts: 796
Joined: 16 Feb 2014 21:56

Re: Garrard SL-72b cartridge alignment adjustment?

Post by A70BBen » 01 Apr 2019 00:27

There is no adjustment but there is a mark, moulded into the cartridge slide, that shows the position of the stylus of a properly mounted cartridge corresponding to the dimension for which Garrard designed the arm. You can see it in the photo posted by Jmoog.

But do remember that cartridge alignment in a pivoted arm will always be a compromise. It can never be perfect across the whole record.

DSJR
long player
long player
Wales
Posts: 2826
Joined: 01 Feb 2009 20:29
Location: Suffolk

Re: Garrard SL-72b cartridge alignment adjustment?

Post by DSJR » 01 Apr 2019 11:52

KentT wrote:
30 Mar 2019 13:59
I do not recommend an AT 12 anything on this Garrard. Remember, this is an AutoSlim (yes, a higher end one). But I'd stick to no better than an AT 95E tracked at heaviest. Want to use a higher end cartridge, replace the turntable.
The 72B is NOT an autoslim derivative - nothing at all like these cheaper models and from tonearm bearings to mechanism, there's no similarity at all that I can see, sorry!

My personal experience of the autoslims, is that the earliest top models could track at 2.5g if carefully fettled and by the SL65B and SP25 III era of 1970 or so, 2g was an easy task for this chassis. Later again, the SB models were further refined to work at 1.5g and tonearm mass was reduced accordingly, confirmed in 1976 HiFi Choice measurements of tonearm friction, mass and resonances.

From the Lab 80 onwards and the following large format decks, the tonearm friction could be low enough for all but the most delicate of 1970's cartridges and by the early 70's, most could safely stably tack at 1.25g with no effort. The 72B and AP76 tonearm was a genuine attempt to reduce mass and I remember most of them in UK 'built in' systems, tracked happily a Goldring G800E at 1.75g or so

KentT
long player
long player
Posts: 4291
Joined: 13 Mar 2008 19:44
Location: Athens, TN

Re: Garrard SL-72b cartridge alignment adjustment?

Post by KentT » 01 Apr 2019 13:58

I'd call a Goldring G800E a practical Garrard changer cartridge for a SL72b, in the USA, the Shure M 75 EJ would be a similar popular cartridge. Nice value for the money, tracks and performs well, and an ideal match for this application. In the USA, the SL95b and Zero 100 family were the last successful Garrard offerings. The old Garrard headshell system used on the AutoSlim family, should have been kept instead of that ghastly slide mount (intermittent problems galore).

DSJR
long player
long player
Wales
Posts: 2826
Joined: 01 Feb 2009 20:29
Location: Suffolk

Re: Garrard SL-72b cartridge alignment adjustment?

Post by DSJR » 01 Apr 2019 18:29

i do know how the sometimes sloppy tolerancing messed up an otherwise ok design (and I have nearly fifty years now of knowing Duals to know where garrard went wrong back then, due to penny pinching from the xompany owners). Somehow, they clawed it back and if you look at the 86SB and Zero 100SB, you'll notice many benefits that should have gone into the SL72/75/95/AP75-76-96 and so on. It's tragic that they didn't do it as soon as the superbly tough and basically solidly engineered Lab 80 models were replaced, but I'm digressing hugely.

For me, coming to something like an AP76 or SL72B from a proper top end turntable 'system' via the slick and pretty solid top Duals, which showed largely how it could be done to then audiophile standards, I have little expectation of a good sound quality. My delight at how reasonable my AP76 actually is in practise (after a damned good service), fitted with a 1.4g tracking AT120E my Duals didn't like as much, always brings an affectionate grin to my face and believe me, I have a good few Philips and DG pressings that sound far better with a sparkly cartridge such as this, and their often muddy bass seems better balanced ;)

Pure_brew
member
member
Posts: 99
Joined: 15 Nov 2011 07:14

Re: Garrard SL-72b cartridge alignment adjustment?

Post by Pure_brew » 03 Apr 2019 11:59

Jmoog wrote:
30 Mar 2019 12:50
I've got the 95E but I notice that the cantilever and stylus don't match up between the two carts when lined up side to side with the 12S in the headshell. The 95's stylus is further out physically from the headshell wires than the 12S. Does this make a difference? I don't see how that can be adjusted in the headshell.
Any luck?

DSJR
long player
long player
Wales
Posts: 2826
Joined: 01 Feb 2009 20:29
Location: Suffolk

Re: Garrard SL-72b cartridge alignment adjustment?

Post by DSJR » 03 Apr 2019 16:39

At this level, absolutely nothing to worry about - honestly!

Jmoog
junior member
junior member
Posts: 23
Joined: 30 Jan 2018 01:30

Re: Garrard SL-72b cartridge alignment adjustment?

Post by Jmoog » 03 Apr 2019 22:41

Pure_brew wrote:
03 Apr 2019 11:59
Jmoog wrote:
30 Mar 2019 12:50
I've got the 95E but I notice that the cantilever and stylus don't match up between the two carts when lined up side to side with the 12S in the headshell. The 95's stylus is further out physically from the headshell wires than the 12S. Does this make a difference? I don't see how that can be adjusted in the headshell.
Any luck?
Sorry, it's been a busy week. I got the 95E installed on the SL-72b and it is, to my ears a marked improvement over the 12S. I haven't had much time to listen to it since the cart swap but the inner groove distortion issue seems to have cleared up.

I'm not sure if the exaggerated surface noise issue with the 12S was from a faulty cart or the stylus. I'm going to buy some better stylus cleaner and see if that improves matters. The records I played on the sl-72b before the cart swap were all in very good shape and had been recently cleaned so I don't think that was the issue. The same records sounded so much better with the 95E.

I have to say though that I am not that impressed with the sl-72b overall. I swear that I hear very minute fluctuations in speed at times when playing music with sustained chords and such. Additionally it just seems fragile. The switches seem like they could snap at any time and it's not a very smooth working unit mechanically. I was thinking of taking the assembly out of the flimsy plastic casing and building a better wooden plinth for it but I'm starting to think that it's not worth the effort. My Pioneer PL-S70 is my main table. I've had it for 25 years and never had an issue with it.

Anyway thank you kindly with your help and advice getting this thing straightened out.

DSJR
long player
long player
Wales
Posts: 2826
Joined: 01 Feb 2009 20:29
Location: Suffolk

Re: Garrard SL-72b cartridge alignment adjustment?

Post by DSJR » 04 Apr 2019 18:35

First, the deck sounds like it needs a proper service as wow and slight instability shouldn't be in its portfolio, or even the cheaper Autoslims in fairness. The only time I've heard wavering of any kind with my Garrards was with the Zero 100 where the motor had sagged slightly on its mounts (fortunately without adding any rumble associated noises) and a previous owner or service bodger had tilted the idler bracket down so the idler was weaving up and down while running against the tapered motor pulley (the speed can be fine-tuned on this model unlike the lower SL models). This was fixed by straightening out the idler bracket and 'doing a Dual' on setting the motor pulley height, taking advantage of the threaded insert in the top of the Zero's motor pulley, but again, I digress! the SL motor should have good torque and lock itself to the mains frequency and as long as th eidler is clean, rotating smoothly and the turntable main bearing is running smoothly and quietly, speed instability should be the last of its woes..

The tab controls are sturdy if clattery in use, but if everything they're connected to is lubricated properly, they won't break and the same goes for the speed/size control, which is the first to jam up with dried grease. Mine rotates pretty well without undue slop or rattle and the click-stops are clearly defined.


Now, by todays 'digital' standards, maybe your playback system is rather 'above' the SL72B's capabilities and despite my raving about my related AP76 in previous posts, I'm not sure I could live with it as a 'main' turntable... The best auto decks I know of which have a hope in hell of servicing and ample used spares around and about are Duals and the better idler decks Dual made are rather like Swiss watches in comparison (I exaggerate, but handle one of each make side by side and you'll understand). Thing is and if you look in the Dual room here, they also now suffer from drying greases, the infamous 'steuerpimpel' and other ills and in the case of the best idler models they made, some of the two position arm-height (auto or manual) parts can age and if forced without service, breakage occurs and a fiddly, very awkward, horrid and hugely time consuming stripdown and repair is called for, worth it because the decks are so bloody good to start with and give so much pleasure both in reproduction potential (they can take some very exalted cartridges) and in the delightful way they operate!

Hope I've been fair here. I'm hugely fond of me old Garrards (two are Autoslims as well), but obviously, you can do better with more money to spend.

Jmoog
junior member
junior member
Posts: 23
Joined: 30 Jan 2018 01:30

Re: Garrard SL-72b cartridge alignment adjustment?

Post by Jmoog » 05 Apr 2019 11:15

DSJR wrote:
04 Apr 2019 18:35
First, the deck sounds like it needs a proper service as wow and slight instability shouldn't be in its portfolio, or even the cheaper Autoslims in fairness. The only time I've heard wavering of any kind with my Garrards was with the Zero 100 where the motor had sagged slightly on its mounts (fortunately without adding any rumble associated noises) and a previous owner or service bodger had tilted the idler bracket down so the idler was weaving up and down while running against the tapered motor pulley (the speed can be fine-tuned on this model unlike the lower SL models). This was fixed by straightening out the idler bracket and 'doing a Dual' on setting the motor pulley height, taking advantage of the threaded insert in the top of the Zero's motor pulley, but again, I digress! the SL motor should have good torque and lock itself to the mains frequency and as long as th eidler is clean, rotating smoothly and the turntable main bearing is running smoothly and quietly, speed instability should be the last of its woes..

The tab controls are sturdy if clattery in use, but if everything they're connected to is lubricated properly, they won't break and the same goes for the speed/size control, which is the first to jam up with dried grease. Mine rotates pretty well without undue slop or rattle and the click-stops are clearly defined.


Now, by todays 'digital' standards, maybe your playback system is rather 'above' the SL72B's capabilities and despite my raving about my related AP76 in previous posts, I'm not sure I could live with it as a 'main' turntable... The best auto decks I know of which have a hope in hell of servicing and ample used spares around and about are Duals and the better idler decks Dual made are rather like Swiss watches in comparison (I exaggerate, but handle one of each make side by side and you'll understand). Thing is and if you look in the Dual room here, they also now suffer from drying greases, the infamous 'steuerpimpel' and other ills and in the case of the best idler models they made, some of the two position arm-height (auto or manual) parts can age and if forced without service, breakage occurs and a fiddly, very awkward, horrid and hugely time consuming stripdown and repair is called for, worth it because the decks are so bloody good to start with and give so much pleasure both in reproduction potential (they can take some very exalted cartridges) and in the delightful way they operate!

Hope I've been fair here. I'm hugely fond of me old Garrards (two are Autoslims as well), but obviously, you can do better with more money to spend.
I'm still scrutinizing the speed issue. It's weird, sometimes I think I hear speed fluctuations during music passages but when vocals are heard on a song the speed always sounds right on. Maybe my ears are playing tricks on me.

One thing I have noticed is that the spindle on the 72b is noticable thinner than the spindle on my Pioneer S70. Records with tighter spindle holes that I have to sort of force onto the Pioneer just drop onto the 72b's platter. Most records on the 72b seem loose on the platter to the point where I can move them a little from side to side horizontally. Is it feasible that the record spinning loosely on the platter could cause an audible fluctuation in speed?

smee4
long player
long player
Posts: 1079
Joined: 04 Jul 2004 08:07

Re: Garrard SL-72b cartridge alignment adjustment?

Post by smee4 » 05 Apr 2019 23:48

Jmoog wrote:
30 Mar 2019 12:50

I've got the 95E but I notice that the cantilever and stylus don't match up between the two carts when lined up side to side with the 12S in the headshell. The 95's stylus is further out physically from the headshell wires than the 12S. Does this make a difference? I don't see how that can be adjusted in the headshell.

You are right. Alignment is never exactly correct on non-adjustable arms. Cartridges have different mounting hole to stylus tip distances. Maybe the 95 cart will be closer to correct alignment?

Pure_brew
member
member
Posts: 99
Joined: 15 Nov 2011 07:14

Re: Garrard SL-72b cartridge alignment adjustment?

Post by Pure_brew » 07 Apr 2019 16:38

@Jmoog- if the center spindle has a little wiggle-room, it could exaggerate pitch issues, more or less depending on how perfect or imperfect the pressing is.

The ear will pick up pitch variations on sustained notes, especially on piano. You won't notice it much on vocals because of how or ears work. I don't have a more scientific explanation- but what you describe is normal.

Imperfection in the drive system/idler can cause these variations as well. It could be a tough exercise to try to perfect this deck.

Compared to your Pioneer, which is a much less fussier direct drive - I would suspect it would beat most budget oriented belt or idler drive turntables when it comes to speed accuracy/pitch variations.

On the 12s, I suspect, if the diamond is good, but if the rubber holding the stylus is no good, then it may explain the noise.

DSJR
long player
long player
Wales
Posts: 2826
Joined: 01 Feb 2009 20:29
Location: Suffolk

Re: Garrard SL-72b cartridge alignment adjustment?

Post by DSJR » 07 Apr 2019 20:54

The centre spindle is usually true and accurate, but might be worth checking that the single play spindle has a properly rotating outer 'cylinder' that doesn't catch. It appears that chainsaw oil is a good lubricant for the main bearing as it's viscous, sinter-safe I gather and it won't run off as motor oil can do. The ball race assembly used to be lightly greased I believe, but it's a major strip-out to access it for cleaning.

The idler must obviously be clean and the driving surface smooth and 'grippy.' Most are, but some not and these idlers can be carefully removed, spun in a drill chuck and the driving edge lightly buffed carefully with emery paper/wet-n-dry. The motor pulley must be tight on the rotor spindle obviously and when running, if the platter is slowed by hand, there should be a fair old 'pull' as it's a pretty high torque drive.

Two issues with many direct drive decks of the 70's I found. One is varying amounts of acoustic feedback LONG before the inevitable high volume 'howl-round' many of us have experienced. Air, space and depth effects can be diluted long before the deck lets go. My Garrards using this chassis may not be the best in reproducing this, but they're not bad at all imo. The other issue with *some* direct drives is servo speed hunting, the higher the tracking force of the stylus the worse it can be and the worst I ever saw and heard was the Technics SL2000, which despite the less than exalted tonearm, couldn't track a Shure 75-EJ as the speed started hunting back and forth so badly with a 2g tracking weight it was all but unusable - we tried a few samples and all were the same. I've got back my SL150 with retro-fitted 1500 tonearm (same plinth and it pops straight in) and it took some messing with to get it to 'sound' really good, most of it feedback related even at lower volumes...

Jmoog
junior member
junior member
Posts: 23
Joined: 30 Jan 2018 01:30

Re: Garrard SL-72b cartridge alignment adjustment?

Post by Jmoog » 08 Apr 2019 02:07

Pure_brew wrote:
07 Apr 2019 16:38
The ear will pick up pitch variations on sustained notes, especially on piano. You won't notice it much on vocals because of how or ears work. I don't have a more scientific explanation- but what you describe is normal.
This is exactly what I'm hearing. Not constantly but at certain times it's unmistakable.

I'm tracking the 95E at 2 grams. I was wondering if I should ease up the tracking force a bit to see if that relieves the pitch issue but it sounds great at 2 grams so I've left it that way.

I'm leaning towards that it may be a case of the spindle being too thin and there being too much play in the position of the records on the platter while spinning. Is it possible to swap out the spindle? Is it worth it?