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Another Garrard 401 restoration thread

Discussion in 'classic' started by Tim Wilmot, Jun 8, 2021.

  1. Tim Wilmot

    Tim Wilmot pfm Member

    Is it ever possible to have too many Garrard 401 restoration threads? Maybe… in any case, I could do with some assistance with mine if at all possible!

    [​IMG]

    I picked up a reasonably clean flush strobe model yesterday. I say reasonably as it seems as if someone’s taken a slice off the top of the platter! Certainly doesn’t look like other 401 platters I’ve seen. So first question, has anyone seen one like this before? Trying to work out why someone would go to that length… permanent VTA adjustment?

    [​IMG]

    Second question, the shipping label on the side of the box shows “Ha… 124/130… Islington N1”. Any old timers know of any shops that would have been around at this time? Just for curiosity’s sake.

    [​IMG]

    Any assistance or info gratefully received!
    cheers
    Tim
     
    gavreid and torstoi like this.
  2. divedeepdog

    divedeepdog pfm Member

    Re: platter, the centre boss is usually brass/bronze, that looks different? May be a mod to reduce transmission of rumble? As you say, seems odd length to go to skimming the surface and the outer lip off.
     
  3. wd40addict

    wd40addict pfm Member

    Tim Wilmot likes this.
  4. Barrymagrec

    Barrymagrec pfm Member

    Given that both the lip and most of the centre well have been removed that`s a really significant amount of mass that`s been removed, it would significantly alter the resonant frequency of the platter.
     
  5. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    Does the bottom edge of the platter run true? Trying to figure out if it had been dropped and someone attempted to machine a ding or warp out. I have to admit if it was mine I’d be looking to replace that platter. They do crop up now and again.
     
  6. Tim Wilmot

    Tim Wilmot pfm Member

    Thanks all. Agreed, I’ll be on the lookout for a new platter for sure, although the existing one may work to get me up and running. Upgrade platters seem to be available from a few places, which means there will hopefully be a stock of original ones somewhere!

    I think tomorrow I’ll try to get the platter off, assuming it’s still removable in the same way as a normal one. Then I can weigh it and check the bottom edge as you suggest, and also check the idler and spindle etc.

    It’s very curious as they rest of the deck is unmolested (barring control panel wear). One clue might be that it came with a Thorens TP25 arm and a TD124 arm board. Maybe someone was bodging to get heights right? I don’t suppose I’ll ever know. It’s definitely not been done on a whim, you don’t slice up Garrard platters for kicks.



    That’s brilliant, thank you! Small world, I used to walk past that office daily as I lived up the road and was fascinated by it even then. It definitely looked like a Garrard wholesaler, in retrospect, beautiful sixties modern interior. I moved in 2010 so hadn’t realised it was gone, but it was an anachronism among all the shiny cheap redevelopment that was going on so not totally surprised.
     
  7. Craig B

    Craig B Re:trophile

    Although the old Thorens turntable manuals didn't mention it, adjusting VTA on TP25 via the TP50 headshell wasn't the only option, as the arm pillar was quite tall and the mounting collar grub screws easily accessible by lifting the plastic trim ring up off from the collar.

    One just needed to be careful with the internal arm wiring that extended out from the end of the pillar to the usual terminal strip below deck. I've a theory that it was because of this classic wiring method that Thorens typically provided headshell spacers and/or the likes of the TP50 headshell with its vertical swivel adjustment, rather than mentioning that the whole arm could be raised or lowered.

    If this were the tonearm in use with the 401, there would definitely be no need to machine the platter down for height adjustment.

    [​IMG]

    P.S. No, it is not possible to have too many 401 restoration threads.
     
    Tim Wilmot likes this.
  8. Tim Wilmot

    Tim Wilmot pfm Member

    It doesn’t look quite like your picture so maybe I was wrong in calling it a TP25? It’s definitely a TP something though:

    [​IMG]

    Here’s the platter underside, looking innocently like a normal 401 platter:

    [​IMG]

    Centre boss still intact, seemingly. A couple of marks to the paintwork but otherwise I can’t see anything untoward from there. However, weighing 2.075 kilos, against Garrard spec of 2.5kg. Nearly a pound lighter!

    [​IMG]

    Around 31-32mm high:

    [​IMG]

    Lastly here’s the spindle and thrust plate:

    [​IMG]

    Not exactly pristine, but nothing catastrophic either.

    That’s as much as I’ve been able to figure out for the time being…



    [​IMG]
     
    Craig B likes this.
  9. Craig B

    Craig B Re:trophile

    Looking at your picture, this appears to be a TP14 on PL-104 arm board, also available factory assembled and adjusted for TD-121, TD-124 and TD124/II installation. These assembled kits had both the arm height and novel cueing mechanism adjusted to work straight out of the box on those decks, with VTA adjustment being made via the swivel adjust mechanism of the TP-50 headshell.


    This may very well be the reason why the 401 platter had been machined down, after all.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2021
    Tim Wilmot likes this.
  10. Tim Wilmot

    Tim Wilmot pfm Member

    :D
    Thank you Craig. You know, the breadth and depth of the knowledge on this forum is astonishing, it’s not credited nearly enough. I wouldn’t feel nearly as confident about taking on this project without it!

    Although on balance I think I would rather the owner had just fitted an SME 3009 and been done with it… :D
     
    Craig B likes this.
  11. John_73

    John_73 pfm Member

    Wondering if perhaps this platter was also used at some point with a mat made from aluminium or brass (etc), that was possibly screwed to the top.
     
  12. awl

    awl pfm Member

    I don't recognise the black rectangular block on the underside of the platter as standard either. Anyone know what it is?
     
  13. Barrymagrec

    Barrymagrec pfm Member

    May be a weight to re-balance the platter after skimming.
     
    Stuart Frazer and awl like this.
  14. Craig B

    Craig B Re:trophile

    You're welcome, Tim. I've learnt a lot on here myself over the years too.

    In case you haven't noticed it yet, that hole in the board that is a roughly at the 4 o'clock position relative to the base of the arm is for the anti-skate mechanism monofilament to pass through, such that the weight ends up below deck.

    The anti-skate weight must have been swinging when this photo was taken...

    [​IMG]

    These are quite lovely looking things when all cleaned up...

    [​IMG]
     
  15. matt j

    matt j pfm Member

    Was gonna say, I wonder if the owner had some Heath Robinson mat either DIY or man-in-a-shed job, thick enough to require a decent lopping of the platter.
     
    John_73 likes this.
  16. Craig B

    Craig B Re:trophile

    Not the best photo, but here is another TP-14 in original box that came factory installed on TD-150 arm board. I suspect that the lift mechanism below board would have made for a snug fit in TD-150 plinth.

    [​IMG]
     

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