SME release new Garrard 301

Price is 12,500GBP (c.$16500)

Showing 10 responses by audiofun

Artisan Fidelity designed and machines their own billet chassis for the 301 and 401. It is not an O.E.M. This is quite readily available information on their site along with the videos of their machine shop in mid process of producing the chassis.

I have a one-off (4 arm capable) SP10 mk3 NGS from AF along with a 401 which is going to get the steel version of their billet chassis.

I’m not quite sure why people keep claiming Technics made a mistake with the styling. One may not like the styling but the fact remains that they sold out of the first batch of GAE’s in 30 minutes and it continues to be a very sought after table. I’d say that’s a resounding success. Styling is another thing, I’m not enamored of the styling on plenty of tables including the Techdas AF1 but I wouldn’t dare call it a mistake, just my taste runs differently.

I sold my GAE for more than I purchased it for new and that after owning it for two years. I only sold it because I wanted to play with an idler and I don’t want three tables also I didn’t feel like another project (was going to internally disconnect that crap SMPS) and supply an outboard regulated linear. Too many other audio projects going on :)

no romance:

This is how misinformation gets started. A.F. does not use anyone else’s chassis. They designed and have their own billet chassis made for them at their shop. I’ve been to the shop and Chris’s home more times than I can count.

They did do a custom build for a magazine reviewer who supplied them (AF) with a  CTC chassis that he (the reviewer) purchased for the build. 

I noticed when I responded to you auto correct rearranged your moniker to “no romance” which I found funny based on the specifics of the exchange :)

Interesting that you you have one of his tables as well, may I ask what model ?

Concerning the Kokomo, the answer is no. It has been redesigned and now has a polymer fly-disc that sits between the ceramic ball and spindle face. It is so far beyond the stock old style bearing with its mandatory flat-spot :) that its impossible to miss the step up in sound across the board.

I see. I love the 401, it is a no fuss awesome sounding table when it is correctly sorted. I prefer it to my former GAE primarily because I can easily change arms and there is no SMPS to deal with. The first order of business with these tables is to get a modern bearing into it. Focus will snap into place, the noise floor will plummet but the power delivered by the idler drive is still on tap and present. I did a lot of back and forth comparing the stock bearing with the newer more modern bearings. At the minimum get a Kokomo mk 2 (I think the latest is a Mk 2) but if you can swing it go for the higher end bearings offered by some of the restorers out there. Mine is slated to eventially receive the AF inverted statement bearing/platter.

My SP10 MK3 is my Grail turn table. I listened to the Techdas AF1 recently and that was nice.

You’ll notice that the platter will spin more freely thus faster when going from the stock bearing to a Kokomo or any other better bearing. If everything else is mechanically up to spec, you will most likely need to turn the breaking power up (slow the platter down) a little.

I checked out your system profile. I love your man cave. I bet you’ve got good sound. Also I noted your a Decca fan :) I also have a London Ref in my stable and its on my 401 at this time on a Jelco. Trying to figure out if it will work better with a Kuzma Airline, 14” 4 Point or my EPA 100 mk2 which is being redone with lab grade ruby bearings.

Those speakers can sound live like nothing else, and with your Decca I can only imagine!

Hi, all that noromance has stated is true. Having said (written:) that, I’m at a loss for why your platter is immediately coming to a stop. The break will slow it down but even with the stock platter which weighs what, say 5-6 lbs if memory serves, it still takes a few seconds to come to a complete stop. BTW, I’m not referring to the eddie brake here, I’m referring to the platter brake which engages when the turntables on-off switch is placed in the off position. A little brake pad (felt pad on a lever) comes up and meets the inside of the rim and slows it via drag.

The idler should disengage when the 301 or 401 is off (using the mechanical switch). If you are using your PSU as the sole control system, i.e. leaving the physical switch on the 301 chassis on and turning it on off using the PSU, that would most likely explain your resulting platter action. If that is the case I might suggest this is bad for your idler wheel and may, if it hasn’t already done so, result in a flat spot on your idler wheel.

Ah-ha, I missed this the first time I read your response:

At least on my 301, the platter will not spin freely-the idler wheel-mine is the Audiosliente btw-is always engaged against the inside platter rim.

This is the culprit! I don’t know if the unit has a fault or if someone purposely disabled some of the linkages but I would say this is a sure fire way to create a flat spot on your idler wheels rubber periphery and hence noise in the form of rumble.

I can tell you with confidence that this is not the way the 301 or 401 was designed to behave.

Hi, ok based on what you are saying it appears that your brake may just be set a bit high. This should not be an issue. I was under the impression that when you turned it off a 26 lb platter came to an abrupt and immediate halt. If it takes a few seconds then your platter brake is just doing its job a little better than mine.

Your unit is probably all good!

Also I agree with your assessment of the SME guy, it is nebulous as to whether they are going to produce from scratch the 301 or get into the business of refurbishing these units.