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Garrard 4HF Reviews

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Garrard 4HF

Garrard 4HF

9/10 by plaka_king

My Garrard 4HF is actually my father's turntable back in 1970's. It was dirty, almost all rubber parts like idler wheel and mat hardened already with time. Speed selector stuck. Pitch control is also defective. But what really made me resurrect this beast is the fact that the platter, the motor and the tonearm were still in good condition. Now, the pitch control I'm using is a 25 watt rheostat from OHMITE and it serves pretty well. I reconditioned the idler wheel with rubber tyre lotion and a bit of sanding work to soften the hardened rubber. re-lubed all the moving parts, pivots and bearings. I even almost dismantled the whole unit for a repaint job (all white, almost the same as the original). Custom made it an 8-layer 3/4 inch plywood plinth which i mounted the TT without the suspension springs. I started using it with a vintage Shure M44-7, then shifted to a Shure N55E improved (NOS), to JICO N55E and then finally an ORTOFON 2M RED. Yes, the stock tonearm is a heavy tonearm but the Ortofon (usually for medium mass tonearms) seems to handle it fairly well. I set the tracking force to 1.8 grams. Compared to Shure, the soundstage and highs are more evident without sounding too harsh or fatiguing. Never had problems with the lack of bass on this beast for it always has this big bass reservoir! Had to turn the bass down one or two notch just to balance it with the mids. Just never used the auto stop function because it produces some tracking error at the last songs, similar to IGD. Well, I suppose that function may only be applicable if used with high tracking forces cartridges with which the 4HF was originally designed to. But with the Ortofon, it just won't work very well so might as well not use it at all, which personally I really don't mind in the first place. I'm really amazed on the build quality of this turntable, the machining of parts were really top notch. Gave it a 9 instead of 10 simply because of the defective pitch control. They could have implemented a higher powered rheostat instead. But to sum it up, My 4HF now sings and even dances everytime I spin some vinyls on it. Very relaxing and pleasing to look and hear.

10/10 by Damien Taylor

This is an absolutely classic piece of British engineering and they are especially fetching in the matching white enamel and red/black rubber trim. As with many Garrards of the era they are quite resilient, and a clean up, re-grease and oil change will usually see one of these units fit for many more years of faithful service. The arm on these things is heavy, and it likes to track that way. It plays well with a cart that likes running around 3-5 grams, something like a Stanton 500 Mk3. It has been mentioned before that the 4HF and 301 are similar, but this likeness is almost completely superficial. It is however, worth noting that there are several interchangeable parts. This is a really fun, and seriously cool looking 4 speed vintage deck that can play almost any record including 16 transcriptions.

10/10 by Danny Dub

This is a must for all those who love to hear the smooth deep base tones from your vinyl recordings. I've been using the Garrard 4hf for a few years now along with a Technics SL-121MK2. Both fitted with the Shure M44-7 cartridge. The 4HF outperforms the Technics every-time especially at high volumes. The heavy duty robust build and the suspension springs makes it almost immune to feedback and it is still the benchmark for many reggae sound systems.
The only problem with these nowadays is finding a good one. You can expect to pay around £200 for them now. If your in the market for one make sure you give it a thorough test before you part with any cash.


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