the home of the turntable
Reviews Turntables Tonearms Cartridges

Turntable Reviews: 3228

To add a review or rate a turntable, browse for the model and use the review form.

Manufacturer

Model

Garrard LAB 80 Reviews

displaying reviews 1 to 7 of 7

Garrard LAB 80

Garrard LAB 80

9/10 by Cooler2k

I have only spare tonearm from that beauty. Bought it cheap, installed it second to 3009 s2 on my Lenco l75. And you know, after some time i sold SME and leave only LAB 80 arm. With Shure M3D, Denon 110 - it is superb arm! Tight bass, no resonances, low IGD, everyghing great.
Highly recommended!

10/10 by hurdy_gurdyman

I have two Garrard Lab 80 turntables. One has parts missing and only plays as a manual turntable. I loved what it does so much that, after a month, I located and bought a refurbished one that everything is working great on. The platter is heavy at about 6 pounds, and motor is very quiet. Speed is very stable. Platter bearing noise is audible when listening close beside the turntable, but isn't coming out of the speakers when using a Shure test record's silent grooves for testing rumble (subwoofer goes quite flat to 24 Hz). No more apparent noise than my Denon DP75. To be safe, I replaced the platter bearings with ceramic ones. Noise is barely audible with my ear right beside the deck now.
The tonearm was the big surprise. I keep reading comments about how massive it is and is obsolete and not to be taken seriously. Well, this ''heavy'' arm isn't as massive as one might think. I tried it with an AT 95E, a Grado Blue and a Shure M91E. Worked great on all of them. I read where someone was having a great experience with a Shure M95ED. I happened to have one and ordered a new stylus for it. It is playing great and tracking excellently at 1.25 grams. Plays every record I have tried on it beautifully, even a couple of my torture records that my other tables can't always get passed the bad spots.
Other tables I currently own can't outdo it. I have a Dual 1019, a Rek-O-Kut Rondine B12 with both a Grado wood arm and an Infinity Black Widow arm, a Garrard SL 95b and a Denon DP75 with a VM Pro arm. The Denon is the only one with as steady of speed, but doesn't have the rock solid feel while playing music. I attribute some of this to the heavy idler driven platter, and some to the very well damped tonearm. Music is just more real with a rock solid image in front of me using my open baffle speakers. My Rek-O-Kut came close to this, but the Garrard Lab 80 is noticeably better. I have not owned a turntable that performs this well before. Thinking of trying an even better cartridge for it. I have a Shure RS IV (Rat Shack version of type IV) that needs a stylus, or maybe try one of those newer NAGAOKA mm carts I've been reading about. I'm sure the Garrard will get the most out of either one.

It's been almost 30 years since I've had a turntable that will pick up the arm and return it at the end of the playback of the record. It's been a while since I've had a good deck with a working cuing device. These features can downright spoil a person. :D

I am just soooooo happy with this table!

Dave

10/10 by FACUPVINYL

This is a real Gem. I bought mine off ebert for £35 and couldn't be happier with its performance. Once i had wet/dry the idler wheel to freshen up the rubber a bit it produces little or no rumble at all, something I was scared of. Coupled with a Shure V15 mkiv and a contemporary system (rogers cadet mkiii/tannoy golds) it really delivers and is an incredible buy. When I couple it with a more modern amplifier and speakers it keeps up and in many ways betters my Thorens td125/sme 3009/ortofon blue and has become my main listening deck. I still can't believe how cheap these units are and I'm buying them up when i see them. If you see one, BUY IT..Clean it up Stick a decent cart on it and enjoy!!

7/10 by youngf

As a lover of Garrards, I had to have one of these in my collection. When I got it, it was in pretty sad shape, but I knew I could bring it back. These things are tanks. They are also a gorgeous example of mid sixties styling. The mechanism on these is quite different from other Garrards, especially the cam for the long spindles. The little plastic tip on the slider had broken off, but I managed to fabricate a fix. One has to be careful when taking the long spindles in and out to avoid this damage. I generally use it in single play mode anyway. It also took a while to get the auto trip and cueing to function properly, and I had to replace the cool neon indicator bulb, but all seems to be well now. I love it's beefy industrial character yet simple, elegant styling. I built a solid oak plinth for it to add to it's mass, and it now looks and sound quite imposing. I figured it needed an imposing cartridge, so I chose the legendary Shure M44-7 with its tremendous 9+ mV of output. When I demonstrate this monster to my friends, they are truly amazed.

10/10 by DSJR

'Clunk, click, every trip!' On the face of it, the noisy, clunky old mechanism and massy arm should prevent this deck from working at all these days, but in reality, it's a great sounding old machine, which runs quietly thanks to the superb motor and its isolation, a precision idler drive (softer rubber compound on the idler 'tyre' compared to earlier decks with idlers that look the same) and if the main bearing is carefully serviced and lubricated, the heavy platter will rotate smoothly and quietly with little rumble.

If the auto-trip linkage is correctly adjusted and cleaned, the arm will track down to a gramme and a quarter. My mk2 tracks an ADC Phase IV and a Shure v15 IV (using the damper) with no issues at all. Currently, I have a vintage Grado F1+ in it, playing at 1.5g with absolutely no stability issues. Sounds great too.

Couple of points - DON'T run the auto mechanism backwards, especially the mk1 issue, as bits can break. The arm gently slopes downwards with a single record and my trick of adding a 3mm approx. cork mat to the existing one sorts it, the arm then being level.

The auto functions are ok and fine for cartridges tracking over 1.5g. The umbrella stacker is frail, but works well although it's a pain to have to remove it when changing records (UK singles have normal size centre holes).

Garrard scaled their engineering down after this model, everything offering reduced mass and reduced tolerances in my opinion, the later decks (up until the Zero 100 anyway) working well in spite of themselves in my opinion.

This one's really for collectors who know about these things, but good ones still play records to a surprisingly high standard and should be treasured in my opinion.

8/10 by sberger

Cleaned up right and given some TLC and this table is a real keeper. Slap a vintage cart on it(think Shure M3D/M7D) and this table will pound you into the ground. Incredible drive and thump, exactly what you'd want from an idler. Plus, it looks great. I will never sell mine.

5/10 by Ito Nurarito

Finally finished restoring after long time stacked out on attic, So amazed with its warmth sound and wood arm. Motor is still great and after found lost ball bearing... there it goes Spin steadily. Instaled a Stanton cartridge and there it goes... a sound from 70's Radio turntable. Really worth it for project restoring.. RECOMENDED


To post a review for the Garrard LAB 80, please login or register a free account