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  #11  
Old 4th May 2018, 01:24 AM
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Greg. Greg. is offline
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Default Re: SME & Garrard

Well Baggo, youíve made a sweeping criticism of idler drive without presenting any evidence. Why is the idler drive so bad? Maybe you are not aware of the discovery several years ago that mounting a idler drive in a heavy CLD plinth, sinking the decks energy resulting in a much improved sound compared to when they were mounted in light weight plinths.

I use a Garrard 401 and I would never go back to any turntable driven with a rubber band. My experience is the 401 is simply superior and several years ago replaced my Michell orbed Gyro SE. A package that now costs several thousand pounds. There are many very happy 301 and 401 users who are pleased they have good performing deck for life.
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  #12  
Old 4th May 2018, 02:22 AM
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Phil Y Phil Y is offline
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Default Re: SME & Garrard

Baggo,
I can only echo Greg's comments,
For many years I happily used a Pink Triangle LPT which was arguably the best of the mid-priced decks of its era. I became aware of the interest in idler drive decks but was not especially curious. Then, a Lenco L75 came my way for free so I thought I might as well have a play with it. I built a plinth out of chip board and MDF, some of it from the back of the shed and borrowed the arm from the PT. Within half a side, much to my surprise, I realised I had a new record deck. It was superior in every area. Cleaner more extended treble. Deeper more articulate bass, clearer more detailed midrange. No contest. I then spent more money on filler and paint than the plinth cost, to make it look good enough to sit in my lounge.

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  #13  
Old 4th May 2018, 07:49 AM
bob orbell bob orbell is offline
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Default Re: SME & Garrard

I am sure you all know my attempts many months ago with my 401, I got one because of the comments from others about how good they are, I still have the 401 and solid plinth, but it sits waiting for it's execution, I now ask all who have stated how good they are to answer me a question, I did some simple tests to try and find ware the buzz was coming from, so, I removed the idler wheel, replaced platter switched on motor and lowered the arm onto the platter, no buzz, almost total silence, from the speakers with the volume at almost max, I then replaced the idler and machined a simple aluminium block to rest on the chassis to lower the arm onto with again the motor running, the resulting buzz was bad, my conclusion is that the motor pulses are getting through to the platter and chassis via the idler, the same test with my LP12 resulted in silence, so would you fans of your 401's do the same test and report. BOB
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  #14  
Old 4th May 2018, 09:50 AM
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Default Re: SME & Garrard

Bob, how is your arm mounted onto your solid plinth?
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  #15  
Old 4th May 2018, 02:02 PM
bob orbell bob orbell is offline
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Default Re: SME & Garrard

The arm was a SME 3009, and was fitted, first solidly to the plinth, later I removed it and fitted the four SME rubbers, no difference at all, it is/was the motor vibration being transferred through the idler to the platter, and in turn to the cartridge, the motor was removed dissembled cleaned and re-lubricated, new motor springs and damping rubbers fitted, idler wheel first reground, latter replaced, nothing I did would change the problem, my LP12 in comparison is totally silent and a pleasure to use, I don't see any point in continuing with the pill of junk and why anyone would spend loads of money on one is beyond me, I ask again, if you would do the test as I have mentioned and post your results, it would be interesting. BOB
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  #16  
Old 4th May 2018, 06:56 PM
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Baggy Trousers Baggy Trousers is offline
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Default Re: SME & Garrard

Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg. View Post
Well Baggo, you’ve made a sweeping criticism of idler drive without presenting any evidence. Why is the idler drive so bad? Maybe you are not aware of the discovery several years ago that mounting a idler drive in a heavy CLD plinth, sinking the decks energy resulting in a much improved sound compared to when they were mounted in light weight plinths.

I use a Garrard 401 and I would never go back to any turntable driven with a rubber band. My experience is the 401 is simply superior and several years ago replaced my Michell orbed Gyro SE. A package that now costs several thousand pounds. There are many very happy 301 and 401 users who are pleased they have good performing deck for life.
I am confused. I was convinced I had seen references to Scotts, Healeys and something else in this thread; this was why I had continued the biking analogy. Now I cannot find anything at all about them. Probably another senior moment.

Greg, in all conscience I have to admit to being a little naughty for I knew that someone would be provoked into the defence of the Garrard decks. I've never liked them and all the examples I have heard exhibited mechanical noise to one degree or another. Perhaps I was just unlucky.

And no, I am not aware of the developments you have mentioned but tend to take a critical view of many of the claims made of such things, particularly by their manufacturers. Clearly, mounting these things in different ways and on materials of different densities and compositional properties will provide differing results. However, my point is that any effective combination of these variables will owe its success to satisfactorily disguising the deleterious consequences of a deficient prototype and not to a cure of the condition, per se.

If I may extend the biking analogy, I would suggest that the physics involved with subduing the unwanted energies of the Garrard essentially are the same as those confronting Erling Poppe's S7 Sunbeam and Stefan Bauer's Norton Commando. The resultants of the first and third order harmonics characteristic of parallel twins generated unpleasant vibrations which were amplified by the frame. The vibrations were not eliminated by the adoption of the elastic suspension of the engines employed in these models, they were merely absorbed by the compliant medium and so the problem was disguised, not cured. Mounting a 301 on a gold-plated Hiduminium plinth may well give the impression that mechanical influences have been eliminated and that the mass of one element seems sufficient to absorb the uncontrolled energies of the other; everyone is happy. Except me!

I shall avoid involving hysteresis and other physical properties but suffice it to say that it always is preferable to avoid these things at the design stage rather than be forced into compromising solutions later.

My contention remains that the idler wheel concept is flawed and that Garrard were unwise to persist with its production. Garrard adopted the system because it was cheap to manufacture - something already appreciated by Birmingham Sound Reproducers and others making no pretensions to hi-fi. That others are pleased with their turntables is fine and I would not wish to spoil their fun. Conversely, I have never owned a 301 but I have been very happy with several BD2s. What that says about my judgment I'll leave to you to determine . . . ..

And does anyone know where I found the motorbike thingies?
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  #17  
Old 4th May 2018, 08:01 PM
bob orbell bob orbell is offline
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Default Re: SME & Garrard

Well, I am so glad I am not the only one who has a negative for idler drive turntables. To answer Baggo's question, ON TWO WHEELS. what is the prize Baggo, and don't say a Garrard. BOB
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  #18  
Old 4th May 2018, 10:15 PM
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Default Re: SME & Garrard

Bob, I would be happy to replicate your experiment and report honestly my findings. I have no axe to grind in this matter and readily acknowledge that even a well serviced 401 has mechanical running noise. The question is, if a well mounted 401’s noise impinges on the sound quality of the output signal. To do it properly (particularly because I don’t have the materials), please can you send your lump of aluminium to me to use. I ‘ll PM you my address incase you no longer have it. I’ll respond to Baggo’s post shortly.
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  #19  
Old 5th May 2018, 01:16 AM
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Greg. Greg. is offline
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Default Re: SME & Garrard

I have just spent an hour writing a detailed response to Baggo. On upload, my reply disappeared into the ether. Bugger it. I’m not going to do it again. I have other things to do. Come on Matthew, set the forum so that replies are not subject to a limited or definite time out. Most frustrating waste of a considerable part of my evening
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  #20  
Old 5th May 2018, 10:18 AM
bob orbell bob orbell is offline
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Default Re: SME & Garrard

Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg. View Post
Bob, I would be happy to replicate your experiment and report honestly my findings. I have no axe to grind in this matter and readily acknowledge that even a well serviced 401 has mechanical running noise. The question is, if a well mounted 401ís noise impinges on the sound quality of the output signal. To do it properly (particularly because I donít have the materials), please can you send your lump of aluminium to me to use. I Ďll PM you my address incase you no longer have it. Iíll respond to Baggoís post shortly.
Posted this morning. BOB
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