New idler for Garrard 401


I fitted the AudioSilente idler wheel to my Garrard 401 last night. It took 2 days to get to the East Coast from Italy. $106 inc. shipping. Took 3 mins to fit. Cleaned with alcohol. Oiled both bushes. Home-made packaging is pretty lame. I listened to a few sides before I swapped it in. Alberta Hunter Blues Serenaders live in Chicago 1961 and The New Black Eagle Jazz Band live in Boston 1981. Both great recordings with lots of audience vibe. The 401 has slightly recessed highs with cymbals not as lit up as I’d like. Not anymore. As some (@dover) have noted, it is not only more detailed, there is a noteable improvement in the coherence of the structure of the music. Playing those albums again with the new idler was ridiculous. I thought I’d put on the wrong side! Wider soundstage. Venue size cues revealed themselves. Morgana King is singing to /me/ whereas before I didn’t exist.
Those who have compared idlers with a nice LP12 and hankered after a little of that sublime delicacy that can be a little absent from a Garrard need look no further. I am not kidding. This is a substancial improvement in the portrayal of music. Extended highs that fade forever into silence. Bass is cleaner too -clearing away some mid bass bloom. Then I remembered I hadn’t checked the speed, and it did sound faster. Nope. Perfect. One other thing; surface noise is reduced by an order. Friends, if you have a 301/401 with a perfect rubber wheel, drop everything and buy this idler wheel. It literally changes everything.
noromance
Which of the supplied O rings did you start with?
@totem395 I believe they are for the Lenco wheel. The Garrard ring is ground specifically for the 301/401 with a warning not to take it off.
I am lucky to have 2 refurbished 401 turntables. Last night, I compared the two - one with an almost perfect rubber idler and the other with the Audio Silente idler. Oh dear. No comparison. Piano is stable like I've never heard it from a turntable. The original rubber is so bad, it's not funny.
Hi, I have also purchased the AudioSilente idler wheel for my 401, based on your review! The fitting instructions are a bit basic- can you please describe how you fitted the new wheel, I would be most appreciative.
Regards
Nick
@cracker63
Hi Nick, Sure.
Do NOT remove rubber o-ring from new idler for any reason.
Remove platter.
Remove 2 screws holding the idler wheel assembly.
Lift off straight up gently so not to damage scintered bushing..
Lift out rubber idler.
Clean area with isopropyl alcohol.
Add one drop sewing machine oil to lower bushing.
Place new idler wheel in straight down.
Replace upper housing and re-screw.
Add one drop of oil to upper bushing.
Clean new idler rubber and inside of platter rim with isopropyl alcohol.
Refit platter.
NOTE - if your idler bushings are worn/wobbly/packed with grease, do not fit new idler.


Many thanks noromance!

Ill have a go this weekend & let you know how it goes.
Ok noromance, followed your instructions, and it was an easy `excerise .

Switched on the table, and it’s running smoothly & silently. 

1st album up was my mono copy of Jimi Hendrix ‘Axis:Bold as Love’ .

What an eye (ear) opener. The punch & dynamic drive that the new idler wheel delivered was incredible! I was and still am, blown away. 

listening to Bo Didley right now, and he is in the room! 

This is the best up-grade on a turntable that I have ever experienced. 

Thank goodness i read read your post- many thanks for the review & your mounting instructions.
Nick

.
Guys, is there any improvement in the areas of transparency and noise floor ? These are the 2 main areas where the Garrard falls short of many good BD and DD turntables. 
@noromance ,

Thanks for the installation directions. I bought one and will now get it installed.
Noise floor has reduced-it was already low with the old idler as the table has been recently refurbed, the new idler just dropped it even more.  Before, with my ear to close to the platter I could hear noise-a soft rubbing noise, now I struggle to hear anything. I don’t have access to a stethoscope to confirm. Will buy one and have a go next week. There wa no motor noise before or after I fitted the new idler wheel.



Thanks for the follow-up, Nick. Glad it worked out.

@jperry
 report back when you fit and listen!

The AudioSilente wheel has gone up fron $89 to $100. Artisan Fidelity also sell one for $365. It is reportedly better but I haven't heard it. Maybe for my birthday...

I have to say that the Artisan Fidelity wheel looks almost identical to  AudioSilente!
Do any of you fellows know anyone who has installed an Audiosilente idler on a Lenco L75?  Or do I have to be the first, even though my Lenco is mechanically silent as is? I bought it NOS and then changed the plinth (to slate) and the bearing (to a massive and clamped one made by Jeremy in England) and am controlling the motor with Phoenix Engineering components.  Only things left from the original are the idler arm and wheel and the motor itself, plus the platter, which I have heavily dampened.
You are not the first. But you'll have to check over to Lenco Heaven. There seems to have been some issues with the rubber o-ring on the AS Lenco wheel according to some posts from a few years ago. So make sure to ask Simone at AS for the silicone ring.
If you have an older idler, they can be refurbished by Russell Industries for about $40.00.

They do an excellent job and can also refurbish capstan idlers for Ampex and other tape machines. They bought out the old Projector-Recorder Belt Company which used to do this decades ago.

http://www.russellind.com/
That is the oldest website ever! 1998 and last updated in 2002.
cracker 63

I have to say that the Artisan Fidelity wheel looks almost identical to  AudioSilente!

Big difference between these idler wheels!  Artisan Fidelity's Garrard 301 idler wheel is made from a machined, non magnetic solid stainless steel hub with a permanently molded and bonded outside rubber edge, then cnc ground.  Whereas the Audiosilente consists of plain aluminum with a square surface ground rubber outside ring, which I believe is removable, but cannot recall offhand with certainty.
That is the oldest website ever! 1998 and last updated in 2002.
Yeah- looks like it was written in Crayolawrite 1.0.

But their product is excellent. I would consider auditioning one of their idlers as they are a whole heap less cash, and they literally have decades of experience making idlers.