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Garrard 401 plinth

Discussion in 'classic' started by wylton, May 24, 2021.

  1. wylton

    wylton Naim and Mana member

    I have a Garrard 401/Aro/Troika/pre-fix in a Loricraft Skeletal plinth, which I am generally happy with. The problem that I have with it is that it's no looker! Normally, I can ignore that aspect of the design, but every time I look at it, I think that it deserves better. I know that Terry released this plinth to keep the cost down & also because he believed that this design was best for sound quality.

    My Lenco 88 sits in a hybrid slate / aluminium plinth of my own design, but I'm wondering what I could do as a future project for the Garrard? I'm not keen on the guts of the turntable being on view tbh.

    I would be interested in what you guys have done for your 401, be it something bought in or DIY; eBay is awash with ready made plinths and I know that many go for the multi-layer ply approach, but I wonder how this compares to the lighter skeletal design?
     
    Graham H likes this.
  2. starbuck

    starbuck pfm Member

    How about taking the other Loricraft approach, of a solid wood frame plinth with a top plate that sits on yellow dot squash balls which are mounted inside the corners of the solid wood plinth? I am in the process of doing this for a Lenco 88, not sure how it will suit the Lenco (which you generally only find in high mass plinths) but I have the wooden frame here already and some MDF cut to the correct size to make a top plate, so thought it worth a try.
     
  3. wylton

    wylton Naim and Mana member

    Yes, that is one approach & one that I have adopted on one of my other turntables.
     
  4. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    If I was going back to a Garrard I’d definitely return to the Lorricraft full plinth with suspended ply top-board approach. In hindsight I’m pretty sure I prefer it to both high mass and slate. Not everything about idler decks is about sinking motor noise IMO and the Lorricraft allows for really nice traditional aesthetics with a reasonably low-mass top-plate. It might be interesting to try a Lorricraft-style plinth with another material for the top plate, e.g. slate, acrylic, aluminium or whatever, but I suspect 20mm ply is actually the right answer.

    PS I have actually still got my old walnut Lorricraft-style plinth stashed away just in case I ever want to return to a 302, or to use a 12” arm on the TD-124 (I think it might just be big enough!).
     
  5. wylton

    wylton Naim and Mana member

    Yes, I think that the ply would be preferable to the MDF, which the skeletal plinth is made of. That would be relatively easy to do. I could use the existing top and bottom plates as a pattern. Maybe I could partially box in the bottom plate up to the level of the aluminium pillars.

    The two things that I don't like about the current plinth:

    1. you can see the guts of the turntable side on.
    2. The edges of the top plate are not finished very well

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    I ended up not liking my 301 plinth for the same reasons. These decks are absolute design classics, they need to be sited in an appropriate plinth IMO. It would actually be rather interesting to internally over-engineer/upgrade the classic SME plinth of the era, e.g. 20mm ply top plate, replace the springs with squash balls etc. Classic looks, modern performance, plus an actual lid!
     
    Graham H and wylton like this.
  7. mjkelshaw

    mjkelshaw pfm Member

    After experiencing uneven 'settlement' with both the original and later replacement sets of 'squash' balls in both my Loricraft plinths (401 & TD124 II), I finally installed sets of 'sorbothane' spheres (Nov.2018), and both motor boards have remained level since.

    Regards
    Mike Kelshaw
     
  8. starbuck

    starbuck pfm Member

    Apologies for the thread diversion but what size sorbothane spheres did you end up using, Mike?
     
  9. stevec67

    stevec67 pfm Member

    That's very similar to the one I made from 2 Ikea chopping boards.
    Oh, and mine looks absolutely awesome. A friend of mine, a one time carpenter, didn't actually believe it was DIY.
     
  10. wylton

    wylton Naim and Mana member

    I did a search & found the pictures of your 301; it looks as if it had the same issue as mine; they look ok from certain view points, just not sideways on.

    @stevec67 Yes, I did a search when I started the thread and saw your post from 2018, but unfortunately the Photobucket image has disappeared; can you repost?
     
  11. Craig B

    Craig B Re:trophile

    An SME Model 2000 Plinth System drinks trolly conversion would be well cool, too.

    There was a picture of such floating round the interweb that I wish I'd saved.
     
  12. docstocker

    docstocker pfm Member

    I have my refurbished 401 in a piano black plinth bought off a well known auction site
    Looks good and sounds pretty good to my ageing ears
    John
     
  13. Stuart Frazer

    Stuart Frazer pfm Member

    I actually like the Loricraft Skeletal plinths and I don't mind seeing the motor etc. Loricraft did not believe in the mass plinth approach and favoured a light decoupled plinth solution.

    SMD Acoustics do a Motor Cover @ £67.50 which may fit or be adapted to fit your existing Loricraft plinth and hide the motor.

    SMD's Skeletal plinth is along the Loricraft approach, but they use stone/slate for the plinth and steel/brass for the support legs with bespoke sorbothane isolation gaskets:

    [​IMG]
     
  14. wylton

    wylton Naim and Mana member

    Yes, something along those lines would be worth considering. Loricraft used to do something similar, but had discontinued it when I ordered my plinth.

    Yes, there are some nice ones to be found at reasonable prices; I don't really want to throw too much money at this, but I would like it to look a bit more of it's era as it were.
     
  15. Graham H

    Graham H pfm Member

    SMD did a very nice skeletal plinth in veneered plywood - which I’d have thought was ideal. Unfortunately this was recently deleted in favour of three options - quartz composite, granite or slate. They start at about 1K for quartz.

    I’m watching this thread with interest as I use a 301 slate skeletal plinth and a 401 in modified SME plinth (as in Tony’s description - using SMD hemispheres). Dithering big time on how to move forward on the SME plinth, one of the problems being the 401 sounds so good as it is. Happy with the 301 combo.

    The new Layers of Beauty site is great with some lovely plinths, but has become less helpful IMO. The stock plinths with various options and prices appears to be no longer available. I’m sure there is probably a good reason for this, but it would be nice to see how much some of the plinths in the galleries actually cost without having to make a vague enquiry. I do like the look of the square cornered 401 layered cherry plinth in the gallery.

    Good luck Wylton - keep us up to date with your choice and findings.
     
  16. wylton

    wylton Naim and Mana member

    Yes, my thoughts exactly! Not sure why the price has to be such a secret, but as you say, there's some nice stuff to be seen there.
     
  17. Craig B

    Craig B Re:trophile

    Nice to hear of someone using an SME 2000.

    Looking at the motor board options list might lead one to believe this to have been the most versatile turntable product of all time. Certainly a great vehicle for helping move both 9" and 12" tonearms.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Hoopsontoast likes this.
  18. scolarest

    scolarest pfm Member

    Trying not to thread crap but u/m video shows a stunning 301. I presume and hope the £13k is the all up cost for the complete turntable, arm and cartridge.
    For those interested no doubt he will be able to do the same for a 401. The workmanship is incredible.



    On rewatching the video I noticed he had 401 templates on one of his shelving units
     
    YehIknow likes this.
  19. wylton

    wylton Naim and Mana member

    Yes, I've seen that. It is impressive, but I'm not looking to spend that much; in fact I want to spend as little as possible tbh!
     
  20. Yank

    Yank Bulbous Also Tapered

    Did it ship from Moldova?
     

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