Of course I wouldn't buy a 301/401. I have all of 5 records now
To be honest I am more interested in the engineering part of these turntables but have to say both sound good, The Thorens 115 is better so my self imposed challenge is to bring the Garrard up to level (plus I love the look of it).
I have just been in contact with an american ebay outlet which apparently sells Jico replacements (non SAS). I believe Pfannenstiel is preferable to the Mexican copies too. May even put a Rega Carbon on it.
Pretty ... and pretty proud of it
Or save £8 and put the Audio Technica AT91 on it instead. (Same cartridge without Rega badge.)
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Yes, I did notice that but thanks chebby.
Yesterday, late at night, I looked at the Shure stylus of the Garrard and noticed it was bent sidewards by approx 15-20 degrees. Careful manipulation did not rectify it. Anything more hamfisted would probably break the stylus but I have more reason to replace it now. Previous mileage of the needle is not known but it was an original Shure with slim, elliptical cantilever a little bit of research showed.
Question now is do I replace it with good quality (Swiss made pfannenstiel) which is equal in price to the AT you've suggested or get the AT?
Being a newby with all vinyl I have no reference on which to judge. All I can say is that I did like the short time the Garrard was playing with the Shure (not properly set up) other than weak bass. That could have been down to misalignment as well as a damaged/bent cantilever, dunno. Tracking was absolutely fine with little end of record distortion and no skipping.
This is interesting stuff.
Story continues ... I have ordered a Pfanstiehl Switzerland replacement stylus for the shure. There are conflicting information about this one (as are there for any styli, even Jico ones and I certainly can't afford an SAS).
So, with the garrard awaiting the stylus arrival I turned my attention to the Thorens. I have decided to leave the arm alone. What a beautiful piece of engineering it is too; high precision, close tolerance totally shock proof jewel bearings and magnetic anti skate, It moves/floates without any friction and is, according to the service manual, 'maintenance free'. - As long as I dont experience any problems, it will be left as is apart perhaps from a silicon f damping paddle but that is a project for another time.
The table has an interesting 'floating' subchassis. Thorens calls it 'orthodirectional' or something like that. Instead of the conventional, spiral vertically wound springs often used (as in the Garrard and many others) this one has four suspension pots which involve horizontal, flat springs. Adjustable brass legs extend through these. Near the bottom of these are nylon grommets which can be separated to hold a high density foam disk to control side ward movement and oscillation/bounce.
These foam discs where perished when I opened the pods. I noticed that all wasn't probably wasn't as it is supposed to be when the subchassis 'floated' to easily. Whilst impressive to play with it was surely subject to to much movement. - Long story short, new foam was cut into shape, the pods and assembly cleaned and it now functions as intended.
Interestingly, having read an interesting article about the new AVID decks and the thought behind their suspensions I have a modification in mind which should address the problems associated with 'omni-directional' suspensions without taking away the good bits. Details to follow.
On to the motor, a relatively small sized DC unit, at least compared to the large synchrolab of the Garrard. It ran reasonably smooth though there was a very faint ticking noise, audible when placing the ear next to the motor itself only. Applying just a minute amount of sideward pressure to the spindle silenced it. I assume that having been mounted in the same position for years has resulted in slightly uneven wear, minute at worst. Lubricating the motor and turning it around on its three rubber suspended independent mounting point by 120 degrees has solved the issue completely. With the belt tension applied it now runs completely silent and smooth.
The main bearing of sintered self lubricating type is, according to the manual, maintenance free for many thousands of hours. Again, because of its age, I decided to thoroughly clean it out and check for wear and tolerance. No problems. There was no platter oscillation/play and the bearing is still very tight. - In goes the same Mobil 0-40 oil as in the garrard ... . Spins for minutes on end with no problems but then had the foresight of reading up about this particular type of bearing and learned that using oils such as mine, with detergents can actually, over long periods of time cause some damage by blocking the the poreous, sintered bearing. - A quick look at the service manual recommends special sintered bearing oil so I'll have to rectify that.
The fun continues
Here's a link to some quickly scrambled photos taken with a phone, pls disregard bad quality
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