Just won a Zero 100s - let the fun (?) begin!

the jewel in the crown
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T68
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Just won a Zero 100s - let the fun (?) begin!

Post by T68 » 18 Jun 2019 22:05

Never thought my low, maiden bid would last. But it did so 30 bucks just bought me a Zero 100s in a local online auction.
Don't know if it runs but it looks halfway decent on the pics on the auctioneer site.
Being a Dual guy I don't know what got into me. Must have been them golden buttons.
Y'all probably here more from me here once I go collect this puppy :-)
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vinyl master
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Re: Just won a Zero 100s - let the fun (?) begin!

Post by vinyl master » 19 Jun 2019 05:25


T68
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Re: Just won a Zero 100s - let the fun (?) begin!

Post by T68 » 19 Jun 2019 15:16

Picked the beauty up earlier today. Nice to get an original box and user manual included!
Of course I couldn't wait to plug it in, anticipating all sorts of bad things (after all I read about these contraptions).
Result? Well it sings!
Spead is dead on (yup the strobe works)! Luckily it's fitted with a Shure M75 cartridge so I could swap in a good stylus from my Dual 601. Right now it tracks fine at 1.75 gees rocking Dire Straits like nothing. No hum or audible rumble (gotta do more careful listening to rule check that off entirely).
All levers and speed switch work.
The only but is (of course) the auto function.
Start work but upon finish tonearm returns only to enter start cycle again (so it's stuck in repeat sort of). Probably old grease jamming a shut off lever somewhere.
But guess I could be off to a much worse start with a Zero 100.
And the looks are gorgeous!
So far seems like 30 bucks well spent

Gonna pop the hood now and start getting acquainted with the innards and try doing a little servicing. But maybe not a full teardown just yet since it works so fine.
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emlt
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Re: Just won a Zero 100s - let the fun (?) begin!

Post by emlt » 19 Jun 2019 16:44

There’s a detailed 6-part video on YouTube that covers general maintenance and servicing. In Part 4, there’s a process that helps sort out the auto arm return problem.

T68
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Re: Just won a Zero 100s - let the fun (?) begin!

Post by T68 » 19 Jun 2019 17:07

emlt wrote:
19 Jun 2019 16:44
There’s a detailed 6-part video on YouTube that covers general maintenance and servicing. In Part 4, there’s a process that helps sort out the auto arm return problem.
Thanks, I'll check it out!

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Re: Just won a Zero 100s - let the fun (?) begin!

Post by DSJR » 19 Jun 2019 22:07

Have fun :D Loads of threads here about sorting these and I've said far too much over the years.

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Re: Just won a Zero 100s - let the fun (?) begin!

Post by vinyl master » 20 Jun 2019 04:00

She's definitely a beauty, T68...Oh, and the videos emlt was talking about? Look here...and YOU'RE WELCOME! :mrgreen:







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Re: Just won a Zero 100s - let the fun (?) begin!

Post by T68 » 20 Jun 2019 09:32

Thanks, those videos really look informative and will be of great help once I get going. Might save the service until some rainy days during my vacation. Will post results further on

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Re: Just won a Zero 100s - let the fun (?) begin!

Post by T68 » 26 Jun 2019 19:47

Today I spent a couple hours under the hood getting acquainted with the "Garrard glue" (man, that grease really had turned to glue in some places!). And after cleaning and freing up some stuck parts (and sparingly regrease): wow, a fully working Zero 100!

All auto functions seem to operate as they should. It's clanky and clonky but gets the job done.
Tone arm seems ok. Did the Dual blow-and-stamp-test and she passed.
And this thing sure puts out some really decent sound.
Of course more stuff to do like a proper re-oil of lower motor and platter bearing.
Also have a scetchy RCA cable that needs fixing. But all and all I'm pretty happy with this purchase.

Yes regarding that RCA: should I go for new connectors and keep the cable or swap the entire thing?

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Re: Just won a Zero 100s - let the fun (?) begin!

Post by DSJR » 27 Jun 2019 12:34

I'd look to (Stihl?) chainsaw oil for the main bearing and sewing machine style oil for the motor bearings. Chainsaw oil as it's slightly viscous but not too heavy and it is apparently sintered bushing safe too. The Zero 100 returned to pretty full depth main bearing sleeves (the others followed I believe as my current AP76 has these but the earlier one I owned in the 70's didn't) so platter rock on my Zero 100 is no worse than any Dual with similar bearing layout.

In this case, I'd suggest fresh RCA cables. If they plug into RCA sockets you're laughing...

To quieten down the mechanism, check my library pics for the infamous O ring that sits round the very bottom of the platter bearing hub just beneath the geared part. I forget the main diameter (it mustn't be too tight a fit as it'll age and fracture quickly) but the cross-section diameter of the ring is fine at 1.6mm. Cleaning off the old rubbery goo and replacing with a fresh ring quietens down the mechanism no end and mine is quieter than my 601 subjectively apart from the usual garrard 'clonk' as the cam is locked into the rest position - I didn't clean the tab pivots on mine, so they return to the rest position very gently without chatter or loud clunks as my AP76 and 86SB plastic ones do! :D

https://www.vinylengine.com/turntable_f ... 39019/mini

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Re: Just won a Zero 100s - let the fun (?) begin!

Post by T68 » 27 Jun 2019 16:39

Ah, there's supposed to be an O-ring there! That explains the black goo I se om top of the upper bearing washer. Gotta be remains from that.
Think I got an assortment of o-rings somewhere. Hopefully something will fit.
Thanks for the info, DSJR!

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Re: Just won a Zero 100s - let the fun (?) begin!

Post by anmpr1 » 06 Jul 2019 16:30

Thought I'd add some comments. I've owned 2 Z-100s over the course of the years, but never kept them. I recently picked up a 3rd (first generation), which was in excellent mechanical shape. The plastic frame over the strobe window had cracked, but I found a NOS replacement for ten dollars. Hard to believe people are still selling parts for these things. The drive wheel is good, and the arm bearings are tight; I really couldn't find any loose play in the bearings. I swapped the original RCA cables for some Mogamis I had, and that was that.

The changer mechanism is still as rube goldberg/mickey mouse as I remember. I don't use that. The idler drive and strobe (paper markings pasted to the underside of the platter) is kind of laughable, at least compared to what you were getting on Japanese (non-quartz) turntables of the era. That said, I don't hear any turntable rumble, wow or flutter, and the deck holds speed acceptably--not quartz PLL timing, but acceptable.

The pantograph arm works very well. Reduced tracking error makes the sound 'crisper and cleaner' compared to any of my pivoted arms. In order to get that '70s vibe' I bought a NOS era cartridge (Pickering XV-15 1200e--brush and all, which is supposed to be the same as the Stanton 681eee). Frankly, I'm amazed at how good the sound is. I don't recall those carts sounding as good, but my system has changed a lot over the years, and memory is not the best arbiter of these things. I now rate the Pickering as one of my favorites.

Garrard came out with a magnesium alloy version of the arm, but I have no experience with that. Again, the elimination of tracking distortion is a big plus. My system now has lowest distortion as anything I've owned hitherto (Benchmark DAC3HGC preamp and Benchmark power amp + Paul Klipsch La Scala horns). The phono stage is an inexpensive ProJect box, nothing fancy, however I find nothing about it to criticize.

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Re: Just won a Zero 100s - let the fun (?) begin!

Post by DSJR » 06 Jul 2019 19:48

The GT 55 tonearm did offer rather lower mass which was important back then but perhaps less so now.

My own Zero 100 auto mech is actually rather good once I found the binding washer (grease issues as usual) which all but threw up the arm at the beginning of the cycle (the lifting/cueing platform shouldn't rise with a jerk).

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Re: Just won a Zero 100s - let the fun (?) begin!

Post by A70BBen » 06 Jul 2019 23:22

The GT55 arm was lower in mass and the unit had a totally different mrchanism, its cam, followers, levers, trip assembly moulded almost entirely of Delrin which requires no lubrication and thus virtually eliminated the old, dried grease bugaboo. But its DC servo, low voltage DC motor drive had problems. As electrolytic capacitors (the least stable kind, and those made by Plessey, which owned Garrard at the time, were worse than most) drifted off value, speed variations...wow...took effect, the audible effect at first mildly unsettling, but worsening to unlistenable. It was nothing that a handful of good Japanese replacement capacitors would not usually cure, though Panasonics of the same era should be avoided, as they used the same circuit, licensed to Garrard, and their Technics decks had the same problem. Many turntables of both brands and others too, with the same exact drive circuit, got junked instead of fixed. Some even got a new UPC1003 integrated circuit, which didn't fix the problem, before being junked. The Garrard GT55 and GT35, their derivative models and many more Panasonic, National, Technics, Kyocera and other turntables suffered this fate. My own GT55, GT35 and GT35P had this problem and cost me nothing. The 55 and 35 are fixed, the 35P will be.

The lower-line GT models from Garrard were not affected. GT25 on down had AC synchronous motors.

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Re: Just won a Zero 100s - let the fun (?) begin!

Post by anmpr1 » 07 Jul 2019 17:06

A70BBen wrote:
06 Jul 2019 23:22
though Panasonics of the same era should be avoided, as they used the same circuit, licensed to Garrard, and their Technics decks had the same problem.
FWIW, I still own my original Technics SL-110, circa 1975. I'm a little surprised myself, but it has never required any electronic parts replacement, and speed remains spot on. Not quartz lock PLL solid, but no audible drift. Certainly less drift than my Garrard. Drift is slow, so I doubt anyone would ever notice, over the course of a record.

In any case, back in the day long term drift was usually not measured by the audio press. Just speed variation with line voltage changes (along with wow/flutter/rumble). By the early '70s, speed variation due to line voltage was never much of a problem with good turntables. A comparison of the Z-100 and the original SP-10 [both contemporary] showed remarkably similar wow/flutter figures. Where the Panasonic DD excelled was rumble, measured by Audio at 57dB against the Garrard's 41dB (both unweighted values). That's idler drive, for you. If they had measured long term drift, the DD would have certainly beaten the Garrard.

Subjectively, I prefer the Garrard to the Technics/Grace G-707 combination, although I do think the latter is overall quieter. If I can find another C-3 headshell slide I intend to try the Garrard with my Denon DL-103, a '60s era low compliance moving coil that doesn't mind heavier arms.

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