@gunners01 I may be repeating myself. If you do go for the Garrard, make sure your plinth can accommodate a 12" arm.
- 105 posts total
- 105 posts total
Thanks for sharing your feelings about experiencing a comparison between a rebuilt Garrard and a Rega, etc.
The main thing that guided me on my desire/quest to own a nice 301 comes from my friendship with the great music producer/record company owner, Winston Ma. Specifically, the rather incredible fact that Winston used his personal 301 as the source for one, or more, of his incredible $50+ “gold label” CDs. Before I actually owned my Woodsong (shout out to Chris), I always thought of Winston’s “master 301”. And over the years conceptualized the reality of the Garrard 301/401 sound as stemming from the solidity of the deck and, mostly, the idler drive producing the physical “meat” stored in the groves unlike ANY belt drive. Not to negate the reality of the “super tables” but not many of us can afford tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands. I scored my Woodsong 301 with a $3500 Ortofon 309 arm for $5300 and feel grateful every time I listen and hear that wonderful, unique physicality that is a beautifully reimagined 301. In a real way, I was not surprised. A legend is not created without substantial cause!
I have reached a point in my audiophile life where the purely objective aspects takes second chair to the sensory. A prime example would be my Manley Steelhead. When I power it up and watch the blue lights come on and can see in an instant which of it's three inputs (one MM and two MC) is switched on, I smile. I know right away if it is my Thorens TD124 or my Garrard 301 that is ready to go. It's not just the visual but also the tactile. When I turn that input knob on the Steelhead, it again is with a certain sense of satisfaction. Remember the 1949 Buick Roadmaster featured in the movie Rain Man? It is like that; taking pleasure in the sensory masterpiece of something well designed and crafted with care and love. It is a classic for a reason. That reason includes but is not limited to objective performance. It gives a lot of people subjective satisfaction and joy. The very same thing holds true of the design and build of the two turntables I mention above. The same holds true of the incredible cocobolo veneered plinth that Russ Collinson crafted as a one-off for me.
I can appreciate and I do accept smatsu's love for his Rega P10. I don't doubt his summary of it's performance level for a second. But I would never swap either of my decks for a Rega P10. Art Dudley has written about this very same topic and he is a much better writer with a much wider audience than I am. He has written about the obsessive devotion to detail that went into the manufacturing of both the Thorens TD124 and the Garrard 301. Each and every part was designed and built only for that single deck; no parts were shared from other models. Each part was built to endure and they have proven their durability over 60 years time, often with abuse and/or neglect somewhere along the way. Do you think that 60 years from now a Rega P10 could be rescued from an attic and refurbished to better-than-new condition with minor effort? Back to the car analogy, we all know that they don't build cars now the way they were built in '49 with that Buick Roadmaster and likewise, a modern day Honda Accord will be un-salvageable waste in 60 years whereas a '49 Roadmaster discovered in some dilapidated barn in Iowa-even 60 years from now barring the apocalypse- could be restored back to it's magnificence.