Platter Upgrade for Garrard 301

I am toying with the idea of upgrading my analog system to the next level up from my VPI scout. I've heard alot of talk about great performance from a Garrard 301 coupled with a upgraded plinth that I could buy from various sources, such as Oswald Mill Audio or Shindo, among others. However, I rarely hear about other upgrades for the Garrard. Isn't the platter a key component that should be a contender for an upgrade? I know Shindo makes such a platter, but they seem to be ultra expensive. There must be a less expensive alternative? Also, what other upgrades should I consider to a Garrard? Thanks, Mark
I think that Audiogon member Vetterone makes a platter for the 301 (and plinths as well). Hopefully he will chime in here.
With the 301, the first consideration is getting a deck in perfect mechanical working condition. These decks are old enough that even a unit found new in the box will need to be refurbished. As we are now the new US representative for Garrard/ Loricraft, Oswaldsmill Audio can supply factory restored 301 turntables from England. The second consideration is the plinth, which is extremely important. Our experience has shown slate to be an unparalleled material for making plinths. And finally the motor controller/power supply is a significant upgrade- OMA can supply the different models currently made by Garrard/Loricraft, as well as a new unit that will be custom made for OMA for the 301 and 401.
The platter would not be the first thing I would be looking at in setting up a 301 system.
Jonathan Weiss
Oswaldsmill Audio
i just recieved Steve Dobbins plinth design to try on my 301. i cannot yet say how it sounds but i am told by Steve and one of his 301 customers that it is the way to go and lowers the noise 4db or so. i'm waiting for a couple of cartridges to show up so i can do some A/B comparisons on the plinth (one of the cartridges is identical to my vdH Colibri on my Rockport).

i would recommend contacting Steve for details on the plinth.
Hi Mike. I've read your review and look forward to hearing about your new plinth. I'm also very happy to hear from you, Jonathan. I think its great the you are working directly with Loricraft/Garrard. In fact, I already had a plinth, such as yours, in mind, as well as a Loricraft power supply. What type of modifications do you do to it? However, after doing these, would a platter upgrade make sense? It seems to me that most turntable manufacturers (e.g. VPI Super Platter, Teres/Galibrier) and many commentators (e.g., Arthur Salvadore) emphasize the importance of the platter and bearing. Are these components less relevant on a Garrard?
ooops! i just realized i wrote 'plinth' in my post.....i meant 'platter'...Steve has sent me his new 'platter' design to try.

sorry. they say your mind is the second thing to go.....
The 301 has a fine platter and bearing, provided it is in top condition. If it is not, then the bearing needs to be replaced. The platter was well designed for the table, and would be the last thing I would recommend looking at, placing attention on a proper plinth (the 301 was not sold with a plinth anyway) and a power supply and motor controller (OMA will have an exclusive Garrard Loricraft model out shortly, which addresses issues beyond the scope of this thread.)

At a certain point, with this kind of topic, you invariably encounter the "Baby and the Bath Water Syndrome." Meaning, at what point do you stop replacing the components of your turntable with upmarket replacements, at which point you no longer have a Garrard 301 at all, as everything has been replaced but the badge. I can see why you would want to do that with a Lenco, for example (OMA makes a plinth system with Peter Reinder's steel plate for the Lenco, which gets rid of most of the turntable you started with) but the 301 is a great sounding classic which just needs servicing, and a great plinth to sound wonderfully. A power supply adds further refinement, but if you find yourself curious about the sound of a different platter after you get your 301 up and running, why not ask Steve Dobbins if he can let you try one of his new platters? He's a great guy and I'm sure he would oblige.

Jonathan Weiss
Ok. Thank you very much.
How does one contact Steve Dobbins???


see my first post above....or
Dear Jonathan, The Lenco is a "great sounding classic" too. There are those (not me, necessarily, because I haven't done the experiment) who would argue that there is not much difference between a well tuned Garrard 301 and a Lenco L75 in stock form (except you have to throw out the Lenco tonearm and use the same tonearm and cartridge on both tables). But you raise an interesting semantic issue as regards when do you stop calling your turntable a Garrard OR a Lenco, if either have been subjected to extensive parts replacements. It's not something I would lose sleep over, as long as the upgrades actually do improve performance.

Mcmprov, In addition to the Steve Dobbins and Shindo products, there is or was also a machinist in Australia who makes (or made) replacement (solid aluminum) platters and bearing assemblies for the 301. I've seen photos and the workmanship looks excellent. Total cost was under $2000. He sent me an e-mail last year but seems to have disappeared thereafter, and I've seen no mention of his product since then on any threads. I can probably dig up his old e-mail, if you're interested in following up.
Lewm, Thanks. Well, Jonathan's advice makes sense, to focus first on getting in unit in great condition, then plinth, then power. Looking at how much all of this would cost (more than I had expected), it will be quite sometime before I could afford all of these upgrades. I will revisit this issue in the future, and we will see if the guy in Australia resurfaces. I noticed that Thorens has a new top of the line. I wonder how it would compare with a tricked out Garrard 301...

All the best, Mark
Not sure why you would think of the "new top of the line" Thorens (whatever that table may be), over all the other myriad of possibilities, in lieu of the Garrard 301. Perhaps I and others shouldn't have distracted you from what was a good idea of yours in the first place. The Shindo and Steve Dobbins platters must be very expensive, and so is the Australian product, if it's still available. I would suggest you forget all about platters and just get yourself an idler (preferably Garrard or Lenco) before you spend a great deal of money on another belt drive. If you are not happy with a well tuned Garrard or Lenco in a decent plinth, you can probably get your money back out of it and go forward with another belt drive at a later time. If the cost of a professionally made plinth for an idler is also daunting, then perhaps you'd want to build one for yourself, for starters. If you are partial to Thorens products, then go for a TD124. In any case, I encourage you to take the leap. BTW, a basic used Lenco is considerably cheaper than a Garrard 301/401 OR a TD124.
I have one of Steve's Garrard 301s with his custom platter. I compared Steve's platter to the stock Garrard platter, and found that Steve's platter noticeably lowered the noise floor and improved the high-end. I recommend contacting Steve. In addition to building the plinths and providing custom platters, he does a number of mods to the 301 itself, such as improving the bearing assembly, motor speed, etc. Also, his plinths have removeable armboards, so you can optimize the armboard material for you tonearm and change tonearm size without affecting the plinth. There's a bunch of stuff he does to optimize the unit for your particular application.
I have tried a lot with Garrards the last 18 years. When I tried the Shindo bearing and platter upgrade for the 301, I have to admit that I heard it in a non-Shindo plinth, so I guess I might have missed the system synergy. It is just that I preferred the musical presentation of the original bearing+platter in my setup. I love the Shindo SPU, though.

Before you change plinth or platter, consider the Kokomo bearing. I found that this is a very cost effective, but nevertheless effective improvement over the original to such an extent, that a Kokomo'd Garrard sitting in a DIY CLD plinth was preferred by the audience to a non Kokomo'd Garrard sitting in a slate plinth some month's ago at a local Munich turntable shootout.

best regards, Hartmut
Hello Hartmut,

Was that the shootout I heard about where you used stacks of magazines, periodicals, etc, to support the armboards to get the height correct?

I always felt that Garrard got the 301 right the first time. An audio buddy of mine says that the series 'one' platters (grease bearing tables) are the heaviest and to him sound the best. He has one matted to his oil bearing Garrard along with a 12" Audio Technica arm and a Denon 103. It provides an amazing presentation, and is dead silent. So... I am not sure that the Garrard really needs an upgrade... just having the table is an upgrade for most!
I do find the 301 platters ring. The original rubber mat is what I end using after trying modern alternatives, this helps a lot. What I have done recently to improve my 301 platter to add 3 x 5mm dia nitrile o-rings around the circumference of the platter. For strobe versions using 2 works well between the strobe markings. I made the o-rings from 88cm lengths of o-ring cord, this results in 28cm dia rings. You can buy ready made o-rings too.

Some have reported only subtle improvements from this tweak, in my SE and OB based system the effects were significant. Without it the sound seems slightly murky, rather like a slightly cloudy beer - still taste good though! Sounds with the o-rings are more distinct, less cluttered and more liable to "come from nowhere". Tight and controlled too. There seems greater stability (less smearing), the sort of thing you'd expect from a direct drive.
Hello Jonathan,

yes it was that shootout. But the slate plinthed Garrard was the only one having its Schick tonearm on a slate tonearm board, so it should work in favour for the slate plinth, if anything.

To me, the Kokomo bearing modification is night and day in performance, and outperforms any other modification to the Garrard.


Thats awesome. Once again your true colors come through via Weisselk. You never stop embarrassing yourself!
Vinyljh, would you please stop your business talk. The emperor has no clothes, regardless what you pretend.
Try o-rings around your 301 platters, you may be very surprised!
Jonathan: now that you have listened to the 3 idler wheel classics with your slate plinth, for you wich one you like better of them: Garrard 301, Thorens TD 124 or Lenco L 75, with same arm, cartridge and system ?
Try o-rings around your 301 platters, you may be very surprised!

Try them around your volume control knobs too, you may be surprised!

The link back to my previous post didn't work. Did you read my original post?
Hello everybody,

did you know there is a pictured report on the setup Hifidaddy describes?

The approach to use a simple layer of wood is definetly a good approach to support the Garrad's strengths like slam and dynamics.
See the article "DIYing a time machine" on Analog dept.

That was pretty much what I used before I used the OMA slate plinth, which added much more refinement and spatial exactness to my setup, but luckily the slam and dynamics were preserved. Come and visit me.

The setup Hifidaddy used was at least half of my slate plinth to allow a proper setup of his 301 in a multiplex board. To prevent motor and mechanical components from touching ground. The CLD was some wine gum animals from the catering table ;-) Actually worked, I love audio meetings.

To me the differences were very little, the speakers at the festival were not very revealing. I could not draw any conclusion of any setup sounding clearly better than another.

The Kokomo bearing gets a lot of good comments, so it might be worth a try. There is also a cheap imitation around which I had for a test. Can't remember the name or maker. It is a fixed ceramic ball on a stainless? steel platform. I mounted it and the sound was totally destroyed. The difference of the bearing is much bigger than I thought. Though in my case the version I had here into the negative side.
Nice subject for a next audio fest; main bearing mods. Just change one parameter at a time to find out about the differences.

Jloveys is asking about differences in the idler wheel decks.
I have these three, 301, 124, L75 as well, here are my 2 cents:
301: best sound overall. Dynamic by nature and astonishingly exact and precise, yet not clinical if set up properly.

L75: the main bearing and platter, idler and motor combo are definetly underrated.
You need to buy a couple bfore you finde one unrestored with intact main bearing AND good condtion idler wheel.
then a complete rebuild is necessary to achive a top result, getting rid of anything but platter motor, main bearing idler wheel.
Mounted on a new top plate with non rattling main bearing and good idler wheel it gives a quietest idler wheel I am aware of. (Stetoscope listeng on the plinth)
check for more info.

124: The most complex and sophisicted of the three designs, yet the noisiest.

All comments are 100% subjective and certainly depend on the condition after restoration. My 124 is fully restored and the bearings are all fine, but it has for example still the old belt. We are talking of moving mechanical bits and pieces that are doing their job for 40 to 60 years. Just look at cars that old.

Platter 301:
the mat is again a thing which changes a lot in the sound.
Check a Vileda synthetic cloth, cleaning tissue which replaced the real leather pieces to clean windows.
Amazing record deck mat material and cheap enough to try.


thanks for the link to schall and rauch. It made me remember the passion.


Thomas: thanks for your input. Most valuable as you have the 3 decks.
I agree Lenco L75 is the quietest of the 3 due to the very smart idler design, Thorens is effectively a complex design and needs very careful and expert tuning to give it's best needs at least slate plinth to absorb rumble, but sounds very very good if all this is done. Garrard is build like a tank and gives explosive dynamics , a must for rock'n roll !!! Needs also heavy plinth and best with 12" tonearm. TD 124 is working well with 9" tonearm as is Garrard 401.
My own experience here.
Excuse me for being late to chime in on this thread, but I have traveled down the Garrard 301 path and thought you might enjoy my experience.

I acquired a grease bearing Hammer-tone version straight from England; Loricraft fully serviced the unit and it was ready to play. I felt truly fortunate to find such a vintage unit that it had been properly restored by the "experts."

The next step was to have a base built utilizing baltic birch layers, which was a design popularly supported by a number of Garrard threads. It turned out to be around 30 lb. and this motivated me to purchase 2 tone arms for it, a Schroder DPS and an SME 3012 II. I also found a NOS Ortofon SPU GT/E.

I could hardly wait to assemble the pieces and experience the bliss of a legendary idler wheel turntable and the classic 12" SME tone arm. The Schroder showed up on Audiogon and I thought it would show me how this classic sounds with a highly respected modern tone arm.

After months of planning the weekend finally arrived and with the help of a friend we spent 2 days assembling and tuning the system.

First: The 301/SME/Ortofon-performance was polite, soft but non resolving and to say the least-dissapointing. It was musical, but at the expense of giving up resolution, speed, leading edge attack and bass to a modern system. I was shocked! What went wrong?

Second: 301/DPS/Allaerts Finnish-sounded modern, sweet strings nice mid range, but limited dynamics and little if any drive, something you wouldn't expect from an idler wheel turntable. Better that the first setup but not even close to my main rig, which at that time was a Walker/Koetsu Jade.

I am thinking, I over estimated my knowledge and don't know what I am doing, or this whole process is being over hyped. How could things have gone so terribly wrong?

After trying different tone arm cables and stands, the performance improved somewhat, but still way below my expectation and certainly not enough to justify all this expensive equipment.

I proceeded to sell off the cartridges and tone arms and stored the Garrard in it's shipping box for 6 months with plans to sell it as well.

Coincidently, a fellow audiophile, Albert Porter, was building his "Manhattan Project," a top secret base for his Technics SP10 Mk II. At the time, 2 years ago, no one was sure how this would sound, and with my experience I didn't expect much. Albert engaged a master craftsman and the base was simply amazing, marching the Technics up to the front of the class. It weighted in at around 100 lbs! with staggering performance. Albert now builds these bases for the audiophile community.

I asked them to build a base for the Garrard, but this one incorporated panzerholst wood an industrial wood from Germany and other layers with different materials. I would estimate around 75 lbs!

Around the same time I talked to Steve Dobbins, also mentioned in this thread, and he shared with me some of his experiences in building a 301 system. Steve was kind enough to recommend the Loricraft Power supply and a ceramic bearing noted in this link. He also shared with me his love for the Triplanar which he personally tweeks and Dynavector with the Garrard. Steve also builds a state of the art base for the Garrard and Technics.

Once again the moment of truth, putting it all together, but this time I felt equipped with the knowledge of Porter and Dobbins, sounds like a Law firm, to take me through the process, the results would be different.

They were different as this time everything fell into it's proper place. Incredible dynamics, leading edge speed and transparency, bass and bloom in the mid range, etc.
And to think, I was within a wisker of selling the Garrard.

But the moral of the story, there is no substitute for experience and professionalism and people who know how to do it right!
Porter and Dobbins, sounds like a Law firm

actually, sounds like a Whisky. anyway; i agree and have also learned much from those two Gentleman.
Logenn, I have to ask, but you don't really have to answer - which plinth did you ultimately buy, the one from Porter or the one from Dobbins? You cleverly omitted to mention that, and I can understand why you might not want to offend either party or appear to boost one vs the other. I quite agree that they are both worthy in all ways.

My favorite name for a law firm, their sign seen by me personally, in London: Reason and Doolittle.
Whisky...I like the idea of that MUCH better than a law firm. The down side is, working with me, I think Albert would drink all the profits. Hi Albert.

Since the original topic of this thread dealt with 301 platters, I will add my two cents. I have been experimenting with different 301/401 platters for a couple of years now. Let me assure you that after everything else in the Garrard is optimized, the platter can and will make a major difference. Not always for the better but the latest platter adds upper end air and detail, and not in a small quanity.
The Garrard projects are certainly about knowledge and compatibility. The matching plinth/ platter/ arm/ cartridge is a trial/error matter to say the least and finding the winning match can be very expensive, sharing experiences with each other is a valuable shortcut.
Logenn: you did not mention how your Whisky plinth / Garrard 301/ Triplanar/ Dynavector (model?) sounds compare to your Walker / Jade.
Thanks for your input.
Mark.Your conjecture that the platter is 'important' I will
modify in 'the most important part' of an TT. My advice is
read first Pierre Lurne (Googel:Pierre Lurne;analog thoughts,e.a). It is also the most difficult part to design and manufacture. I personaly never 'mess'
with 'upgrades' (see my 'upgrades' by Linn-LP-12).
To me the TT as Garrard,Thorens 124.etc are outdated TT
and more the objects of 'nostalgia' than something else.
The 'paradox' of updates:there is no 'final one' I.e. one
is never satisfied.


I am anxious to hear Veterone's platter for the 301 as he really is in tune with the positive energy of this iconic turntable and how supremely musical it is.

I have never compared the plinths directly, with or without whisky, that is why I didn't offer an opinion, but it sounds like it would be a fun event.

As for the Walker, it is a great turntable, but for me it was time to move on to other experiences. I am finalizing the installation of a Fidelity Research FR 66S on a Technics Sp 10 mk III and Koetsu Coralstone.

......are outdated TT and more the objects of 'nostalgia' than something else.

if one has as a reference a current SOTA tt (such as me with my Rockport or Albert with his Walker among a few who have gone down this road) and we listen and voice comparitive opinions regarding performance, then the age of the tt does not reduce it to merely 'nostalgia'. of course; were you to put together one of these vintage tt's and then compare it to a current top tt then maybe you might come to a different conclusion.

i was slow to warm to this direction myself and am not yet fully to the point of a conclusion. but my mind is certainly open to any result. a year ago i might have written exactly what you did.

ya gotta listen.
Mikelavigne;you stated your opinions very eloquently and,even more important, openminded.
But if one owns such an TT as an Rockport and is still
not fully satisfied then,I am afraid,I have no answer to
your surch-expedition. I have no problem at all with your
'lead' in time (a year in front)but I have some trouble
with your intention to go back (in time) to the Garrard.
BTW I was to onesided with my 'nostalgia' qualification
so I will add the 'handyman' who enjoys fixing things.

I ignored your negative comment because I didn't want the thread to deteriorate, but if all these people are more than amused with the 301,
Some with walkers others with rockports, maybe where there is something to it.
But if one owns such an TT as an Rockport and is still not fully satisfied then,I am afraid,I have no answer......

you are not the first to question why i am traveling down this road....but 'not fully satisfied' with the Rockport is not the answer to the question. curiosity and wanting to be involved with a fun direction is most of it. after i have fully experienced what the Technics and Garrard and such have to offer then we will see what i do long term. it's all good. i have also dived into RTR decks, but again not because the Rockport did not satisfy.

it's a hobby, and it's fun. all these machines hopefully bring us closer to the magic of music in some way.
I feel the same way as Mike. This is a fun adventure that does not really cost much in the long run. Of course, I don't have a Rockport or anything comparable to fall back on. What got me going was the surprising sonics of my Lenco L75 in a custom designed CLD plinth. Holy cow! I figured if the Lenco, my first sample of a vintage tt, sounds so good, I ought to do some further investigation. Nandric, if you can bring yourself to make a dispassionate assessment, you too will be surprised at the music that can be made by these nostalgia-provoking pieces of gear. (I think all this is off-topic; sorry.) Two years ago, I thought those who tinkered with idlers and DD tables were interesting troglodytes.
Mike,Logene,e.a. I feel very uncomfortable with semantical
issues because my English is the worst of my languages.
Despite of this I will underline that 'worning' is not
the same as 'allowing' (I was desperate for an more adequate expression but alas).
So I refered to P.Lurne an phisicist who is longer then
30 years in TT development. The so-called 'context' was
the complexity of design and manufacturing of the platter
(the bearing of course included). I.e. not something one
does in hes garage in hes leisure time.
But it is,it seems to me,an totaly onother issue if my
'worning' (in technical sense) is interpreted as some kind
of 'not allowing' my forum-fellows the pleasure of chasing
whatever they like.I.e thy 'adventure'.
I see our forum also as a 'place' for exchange of information. So I am sorry to see that nobody refers to
Lurne (qua context) but I know of course that all in this
forum is 'voluntary'.

Nandric, I get it (finally), you are a big fan of Pierre Lurne' (hope I've spelled it correctly) and his turntable designs, which I think are suspended, belt-drive types. That's fine. In this case, the question of what upgrades work best for the Garrard 301/401 probably does not really interest you. As for me, I hope you will forgive me for saying so, but I heard some of his very early commercial products (probably 10 to 20 years ago) and did not like them at all, as compared to the belt-driven competition at that time. His products are probably a lot better developed by now, so my memory of their sonics is probably irrelevant. But in this thread we are talking about Garrard idler drives.
Lewm,I am glad that at list somebody 'get it' regarding
Pierre Lurne (you spelled it correctly). But I have no
idea how you 'get' the conclusion. I was explicite with my
reference to the platter and the bearing design (aka the
complexity) and so far I know even an Gerrard 301 needs
one. I even stated that the platter is 'the most important part' of an TT.I deed not mention 'belt' or other drive types.
I am a big fan of Lurne but I discovered dat Kuzma is even
better so I sold the Meca J1 and bought an Kuzma Stabi Reference. What your experience with Lurnes turntables was Ican't comment on unless you experinced Audiomeca J1.
I would agree that the Kuzma Stabi Reference is a superb choice. Don't recall the model name of the Lurne' that I once auditioned, but I do think it was an early effort. Anyway, peace be with you.
Mikelavigne. There is doubtless great beauty in and joy
from the artistic descriptions that we call literature.
But as Frege clirified to us there is some difference with,say, science.So he wrote hes 'Sense and reference' so
that an writer my compose an beatuful story about,say,
Pegasus without worry about the 'bearer' of this name
(aka the reference).So look with me,if you care,to the
beaty of the sentences Mike composed:
"but 'not fully satisfied'with the Rockport is not the
answer the question.curiosity and wanting to be involved
with a fun direction is most of it..."
I was realy moved and longed to join the club.
But then came an sentence with 'entailment' in logical
sence:'after I have fully experinced what Technics and
Garrard have to offer the we will see...'.
The 'entailment' is,it seems to me,the expectation,hope or
even the 'pretention' to surpass the engineers from Rockport by the force of hoping,so to speak.
I tryd to help the 'adventure' by providing some 'theoretical grounding' and refered to Lurne,an
physicist who wrote about 'design philosophy' for TT AND
the PLATTER but nobody was interested.
So my mind made some kind of an leap to an French cardinal
and 'the lady'.
The lady:'Sire is it an sin that I admire my own beauty
all day long?'
Richelieu:'ceartanly not my lady,ceartanly not.An illusion
is not a sin'.

Nandric, Great post. You've added a little high class culture to my day. That Richelieu was a card. (Means "comedian" in English slang.) But don't worry about Mike; he knows very well what he is doing and why.
Lewn. I admire the capability of Mike to compose or produce
beautiful sentences (I assume he is an writer).
But the issue between us was the opposition between Rockport and Garrard 301 'project'.I.e. not about my
worry about Mike.
So we have the so-called 'initial conditions' or the state
of affairs at present.
Jean made a kind of contribution about(present) 'knowledge
and compability' but sayd nothing about the 'capability'.
Weisselk used the metaphor of the 'Baby and the Bathwater'
to warn about the 'Baby' (aka 'save the Baby).
So the 'picture' one can see or can deduce about the state
of affairs is,at least, very confused.
I used,so to speak, the logical approach and analysed the
statements made. So for me there was the implication that
the 'club' intends,hopes,etc to surpass the engeenirs who
made the Rockport without ,say, the necessary qualifications to realize such an project. I.e. those are
'mechanical matters' that must 'obey' phisical Laws and
are as such not something 'subjective' in the sense of
our 'intending','hoping for'.etc.
So x can hope that y in some garage can produce an better
platter then the engeneers by Rockport but this is,at least, very problematic.
BTW the issue is not about persons but about the arguments.
But the issue between us was the opposition between Rockport and Garrard 301


Nandric; i don't really see any issue between us. we are simply having fun enjoying communicating about wonderful tt's that make great music. for my part; i am lacking in both technical knowledge and the desire to aquire much technical knowledge. i am simply an observer of cause and effect.

i listen to the Rockport which has many interacting pieces and parts; one of which is the platter. however it does it; i hear more musical message communicated thru the Rockport than any other tt i have been exposed to. is that because of the 55 pound platter? i really do not care. one cannot substitute platters on the Rockport so we will never know cause and effect of that platter with any certainty. i suppose we can guess about it.

OTOH on the Garrard you can substitute a platter and therefore judge one against the other. which i plan on doing. is this a thing worth doing? for me yes; i am interested in seeing just how good the Garrard can be. to me it is an enjoyable and satisfying endevour to mess with the Garrard. i love the way it plays music. the damn thing is beautiful.

it does not need to compete directly with the Rockport; that issue is not significant to me. at some point in the future when i am at a point where i think the Garrard is optimized i will sit back and decide whether the Garrard is a 'very' long term keeper or not. but until then i'm going down this path.

understand; at the University i dropped out of my Classic Mythology class because the subject did not hold my attention sufficiently. i am but a simple man enjoying music and life.

best regards,
In other words, Nandric, messing about with platters is good, clean fun. Plus, having two turntables that both sound great but are qualitatively different from each other, is also fun.
do your self a favor and buy a platter and bearing upgrade. At very least do something about the thrust plate. I have a 301 with a newly machined platter and completely new bearing assembly. Total cost was $1500, not cheap but cheaper than some of the options floated here. No contest to the old set up too. The old platter and bearing do have a magic to them, and honestly I missed that at first. But what the original set up can't do is present an lp the way an upgraded bearing can. The bass is way more intricate and defined or tuneful. The old bass was great but a lot more towards the single note variety and not nearly as articulate. Plus the highs have been totally cleaned up, arguably the Achilles heel of the garrard. You can spend the $3000 on a overpriced piece of slate from Oswalds Mill and of course their newly designed super power supply that will surely cost you a few grand too. And remember do all this BEFORE you upgrade the platter and bearing, unless of course they start selling platters and bearings then I think the advice might just include the new platter and bearing as well! good luck.
Kozzmo, so whose platter and bearing are you using, or is it a secret?