garrard 301/401

Woodsong Audio manufactures extremely high quality plinths for the Garrard 301 and 401 turntables, as well as offering full service restoration of these legendary decks. I love the Garrards! These are excellent turntables when correctly set up. Given a choice of only one deck, the ‘buy all end all’, it could very possibly be a nice 301/401!

My favorite designs for the Garrard 301/401 are of the ‘CLD’ type, (Constrained Layer Damped), available in either single or dual arm configuration, and utilize an articulating armboard which allows the use of almost any 9” or 12” tonearm. This design is available finished in a variety of ‘shop-cut veneers’ (see ABOUT WOOD page for description), true ‘cut and rubbed, show quality automotive finishes, ‘industrial finish’, ( which leaves the layers exposed on the sides and a nice veneer on the top) as well as a few other finishes. I have done extensive listening to a number of plinth designs including some from other plinth manufacturers, and this is the best I have heard yet.

I can also provide Skeletal, two-layer plinths, as well as plinths similar to the Loricraft design. Please look through the GALLERY page for more plinth options for your Garrard 301 and 401.

Occasionally, I have refurbished Garrard 301 and 401 motors for sale, contact me to check current stock.

full refurbishment srevice:

I offer full refurbishment service for the Garrard 301/401 decks.

If desired, complete disassembly of the linkages, and electroplating in Yellow Zinc, restoring the poisonous cadmium finish to new, bright and shiny. Then, properly lubing, and assembling with new rivets. This is a ‘no holds barred’ restoration.
While this process is not necessary, and is time consuming and expensive, it is the best way to really properly clean and lube the internal bits of the linkages. A satisfactory lubrication can be done without disassembling the linkages, but the very best option is to disassemble, clean, lube, re-rivet.

The process involves:
  • A full strip down of all parts of the deck, down to the chassis.

  • Ultrasonic cleaning of the linkages, spindle bushings, sealing the oil gallery plugs on the spindle housing(commonly a source of leaks, and a process recommended by Loricraft), polishing the spindle bearing and lapping the spindle base to a mirror sheen, lubricating with the correct oil, or grease in the case of grease bearing decks, and reassembly. Spindle bearing assembly is checked for leakage during the run-in process.

  • Replacement of all springs, and motor spring dampers

  • Wiring loom is checked, and can be replaced if necessary.

  • Switch contacts replaced, and the contact gap adjusted for optimum operation.

  • Replacement of the idler tower bushings

  • Idler wheel inspection/replacement. I sometimes use the idler wheels from Perfect Sound, but have found on numerous occasions that the original idler wheels can be quieter than these new replacements. The idler drive assembly is the major source of noise on these decks, and occasionally the motor coils.

  • Conversion to 120v or 220v if necessary, electrically, and with the proper drive pulley.

  • Spark suppressor/s replaced. This is done by soldering at the power block, rather than splicing wires like some people do. Cardas solder is used.

  • Motor disassembled and cleaned, motor bushings ultrasonically cleaned, and re-lubed. Field coils checked, new felt bushings installed, and the bushing cover plates drilled and tapped, and installed with low profile socket head fasteners replacing the original rivets ( this is a superior solution).

  • If necessary, repainting of the platter is available. A very high quality metal finish is used which matches the original finish exactly in durability, sheen, and color. It matches so well, that, once, just for fun, I sprayed the edge of the platter only with very little preparation, it was difficult to even see that the platter had been ‘touched up’.

  • Broken on/ off/ speed select levers replaced.

  • If necessary, new face plates can be installed.

  • All moving parts lubed with the correct lubricants.

  • Eddy brake wheel cleaned, polished, and adjusted for concentricity and flatness.

  • Speed checked and adjusted to run true at 33, 45, and 78rpm with the speed adjust knob at center.

  • Platter inner drive surface cleaned.

  • Finally, the deck is installed in a plinth and given a listen, the ultimate test. Massive improvements in quiet and correct operation are possible, and expected.
Custom paint to either closely match the original, or to match your dreams is available, however, I do not recommend repainting these decks unless they are truly in bad shape. The original finish is a very durable enamel. Automotive paint, no matter how skillfully applied, is not as durable as the original finish, no matter what anyone tells you.

I can do any level of refurbishment to match your budget, or intention. In many cases, cleaning, replacement of a few items, re-lubricating, going through the motor, and other minimally invasive processes is all that is necessary to bring your 301 into a fully functional, quiet state of operation.

Garrard Service starts at $350 for inspection, strip down, cleaning, assembly, adjustment, and testing for proper operation. Parts are additional. I can give a close estimate prior to doing the work. Most of the time, service costs between $500, and $650, depending on the condition.

Please contact me to disucuss your specific needs.

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