Considering selling my restored Garrard 301

AG used to be my go to source until the dealers took over but I am hoping for some  thoughts. I restored a nice 1958-9 Creme Garrard 301 oil. Fitted it with an SAEC 308L  w/Ortofon Cadenza Blue. Built a plinth using 2 layers of butcher block. 


While I love the deck, I am considering a more modern alternative. My question is...

Would there be people interested in buying it at a price that would enable me to purchase a comparable alternative or a trade.

Maybe I'm crazy, and perhaps it's the "bug", but I am open to queries. 

I also own a Micro Seiko BL-51 with an Acos Lustre GST 1 arm and Denon 103r


Hope people engage 


I would love to help you but no one could possibly help you with such scant information. I took every possible path with a Thorens TD124 I inherited from my Dad. I had it "restored" by someone who seemed to know how to properly restore it. He did not. I had it set up by someone who seemed to know how to do turntable set-up. He did not. I had a plinth built that seemed beautiful and more than adequate. It was not. None of these people were hacks. They just did mediocre jobs. I found someone who REALLY knew how to restore a TD124 and found a great tonearm that mated well with the TD124 and then found someone who REALLY knew how to do proper TT set-up. I had an incredible plinth built. Only then did everything fall in place.

After having the TD124 restored, I bought the same version of 301 you list and again, it was all about having a true Garrard expert recondition and modify it.

The message I am trying to convey to you is that you with vintage decks you can’t half-ass it. The devil is truly in the details. See my profile and system for pics and details. When properly executed, these two classic drive units can compete with all but the exotic top tier stuff. They have a certain flavor though that is not for all. 

As to your question about what price you might be able to sell it for and what you in turn could buy with it, well, that too is impossible without seeing what you have. That 301 if not trashed usually will sell for a minimum of $1,500 but could fetch $3,500-$4,000 if perfectly restored for the drive unit only.

If the 301 wasn't "restored" by a recognized vendor, you may only get the usual unrestored pricing. 

Your table/tonearm combination is pretty nice.  Assuming that you properly restored the table, it would be hard to beat with any modern alternative at the price you can expect to get for it.  There are a lot of listeners who prefer the 301, or 401, or Thorens TD 124 over almost anything else.  A local dealer in my area reconditions these tables and recommends then for use in systems well north of six figures.  Good tonearms are getting hard to find and your SAEC are is also hard to replace with anything near its going used price.

What do you want from a modern table that you don’t think you are getting from your 301?  That answer might help someone in suggesting alternatives.

I have in the past been very loyal to the ID Motor TT's.

Nearly 20 Years with a Garrard 401- Martin Bastin Overhauled - 9 Stone in Weight Granite Plinth, which was swapped out for a PTP Solid Nine with PTP Bearing.

I see from your post there is not a dedicated Platter Bearing Upgrade or Speed Controller referred to.

I am an advocate of the dedicated Platter Bearing Upgrades and the use of the SC.

I still own the PTP Solid Nine, but have today found the DD TT's that are overhauled with a modern design concepts for the Speed Control and Platter Bearing much more attractive to my tastes.

As for a valuation of your own TT, the SAEC has a value of approx' $550 if a price is chosen to rouse immediate interest.

The Cadenza Blue will be a difficult sale, if too much is wanted, Trade In Value and a few 100 Hours of usage life should rouse a interest?

The Beauty of the Plinth and the Value of the Plinth is in the eye of the Beholder, think maybe in the area of $150, as a means to saving a DIY Project for somebody wanting to experience this Plinth Type.

The 301 will be best assessed if looking at the Link and the Historical Sales available to be seen as well. 

If it is off any interest, there are Idler Drive TT owners who own in conjunction Vintage DD TT's. Maybe this might help with your making a decision on where to look into for the next TT.    



Yes. List the combo with clear, in focus photos. But you'll get what the market will bear.  Curious what the "comparable alternative" would be.

Would there be people interested in buying it at a price that would enable me to purchase a comparable alternative or a trade.

Jim Cambell did the restore for me as I live east coast- the deck was original owner and other than a single dust bunny, it is chip and scratch free (no paint needed. I had Jim do a top to bottom restore. The arm came in the original box. I bought it from someone whom I know well and has more turntable knowledge than most I have met. 

The arm/cart combo is a flavor I like and I have spent years learning how to set up tables correctly.

I'm simply not a woodworker and my plinth lacks the correctness required to make a 301 sing. It's big and heavy but that does not make it right. 


I really am being a bit foolish thinking of selling it, I love the pace and would think only a good DD what have the same ability.


Maybe I just need to have a pro build the plinth.


I'm simply not a woodworker and my plinth lacks the correctness required to make a 301 sing. It's big and heavy but that does not make it right. 

What is your plinth lacking that another would have?  I keep hearing that some plinths are wrong and others are right, but never what differentiates a mediocre one from a great one.



looks nice but transmits energy- I have been told the layers of ply will yield better results. Had the cadence retipped by SS. Love the outcome.


I suspect I will keep it as I hate shipping tables and push for a professionally built plinth. I will look into an upgraded bearing as I understand the benefits.

For your Plinth, if it allows, there is a not too expensive treatment that can be an concealed addition, where there is 2" Diameter Holes x 1" Drilled into the underside and fill the holes progressively in depth with Newplast Modellers Putty. Newplast has exceptional damping properties and should work very well in conjunction with the energy dissipation offered by the Butchers Block, 1/4" - 1" in depth should be more than enough to discover the attenuation that most suits ones tastes.

The Spacing between the Holes will be approx’ 1". This as a method is commonly seen on a Idler Drive Plinths both Professional Designs and DIY , but usually other materials are used to fill the holes, i.e, Lead Shot, Oil Soaked Lead Shot, Sand, Oil Sand, Rice.

The above is Old Skool and has been Superseded.

To get with the modern approach the use of a Resin Impregnated Densified Wood as the methodology is the one getting the most success and demanding the super high Plinth Prices from Professional Producers.

The other point of interest is that it is not Idler Drive TT’s alone benefitting from the use of Densified Wood as a Plinth Material, there are now well known Branded TT’s with it utilised as an important material for the Damping Dissipation values it offers.

The good news is that Densified Woods such as Permali and Panzerholz are not expensive to Source. If a design for a Top Plate for the Plinth can be foreseen, it should be possible to have a P’mali - P’holz Board as the Plinth and using the Butchers Block as a Sub-Plinth. Of the new Plinth dimension is oversized to the Butchers Block, Side Panels could be attached and the whole of the Structure is then Veneered.

This as a idea, can be found with a search on Google, there are a selection of very similar projects undertaken to be found.

Also important not to overlook the idea of a Speed Controller they are Transformative for a ID, and once experienced, I don’t know of any who wished to revert to no SC in use.

The link has a sensible discussion on approaches to a ID Plinth Design.



@famoej  Jim Campbell does good work. He built 2 plinths for me. Ask him about his slate or Panzerholz plinth. 

I don't want to be accused of "scamming AG for a free ad". 

As I said above, the devil is in the details. 

Was your motor truly torn down piece by piece and rebuilt by someone who knows how to make it "new"? Was it rebuilt with upgraded parts such as this ?

I will drop two names for you to consider consulting-Greg Metz (outside of Nashville) and Steve Dobbins (Xact Audio). I will warn you that neither are arse-kissers; they will tell you what they really think and in rather succinct fashion. What they can both do is lead you to where you want to be. Greg is the guru of rebuilding motors and all associated parts, Steve is the expert on plinths, platters, and mating the 301 with a complimentary tonearm. 


After you get the basics ironed out you can consider going the extra mile to get the. best out of the 301 which might include Stillpoints installed under the plinth, an LDA (Long Dog Audio-what a name!) power supply to smooth out the induction motor

and the Eclipse Roadrunner now sold by SOTA to monitor speed which can then be adjusted with the power supply. 

Is the Roadrunner compatible with the AF power supply? Both Phoenix Engineering and now SOTA pair the tachometer with their dedicated power supply, if you want the tach to control speed. Also I wonder whether the SOTA Eclipse components work with an induction motor. Mark Kelly made controllers for the 301, once upon a time.

I Know the owner of Long Dog Audio and was demo’d a pre-production quartz power supply on a Garrard 401, it got a Hand Clap from the attendees, the impression it made was quite something, especially as prior to adding the LDA, the TT was being supplied Power through a Multi £000? Mains Conditioner Unit.

I was also loaned a Production LDA Quartz Power Supply, to use as a Comparison to a Power Supply/Speed Controller I Use that was built by its designer.

The LDA was the most attractive on my system.

The LDA was also used in another system with my own SC and another SC Design produced by the system owner for a 401 and Lenco.

The Lenco GL75 TT, has its own Bespoke Plinth Design and was the used TT, the LDA was preferred by myself and the system owner on this occasion as well.

Note: A DD TT with a built in Speed Control design will offer all that a ID TT can offer when it comes to having the Speed Control utilised as an extra.

The DD TT in many cases can be acquired for the cost of a ID's add on SC. 


What's a "quartz" power supply, especially as it might apply to a Garrard 301/401?  Quartz crystal oscillates at a constant very high frequency and is used as a reference to regulate speed typically of DD turntable motors. Any decent DD TT made since the late 70s uses a quartz reference and a DC motor. I'm just not aware of how a quartz reference would be used in a basic PS for an induction motor.

I can only vouch for my experiencing the LDA Quartz Power Supply and how it made a impression in the two different guises of the build I was able to encounter and have demo's off.

As for the Electronics and their Value, I can only vouch for the sonic changes encountered, as for this, the design is without doubt, using my well documented recollections and assessment, making it known the LDA has been out in front of other Power Supplies experienced in use on Idler Drives.

Is the Roadrunner compatible with the AF power supply?

It is not an Artisan Fidelity PS, it is an LDA (as specified) that AF happens to sell. I have no doubt you mean "does it work with the PS the same way it worked with Phoenix Engineering’s PS?" and the answer to that is "no". It will not automatically monitor and adjust the speed. But it does stabilize the speed such that after a brief warm up I rarely need to adjust it.

The primary benefit, as described by Artisan Fidelity, it NOT to offer speed control but to instead smooth the running of the very powerful but prone-to-noise induction motor. 

fsonic, My question was prompted by your statement, "...and the Eclipse Roadrunner now sold by SOTA to monitor speed which can then be adjusted with the power supply."

I now see that you meant speed can be manually adjusted, if the Roadrunner tach shows it to be off. I originally took your statement to mean that the RR can feed back to the Artisan Fidelity supply, as it does feed back to the Phoenix Eng supply for automatic speed adjustment. I briefly owned a Mark Kelly tube-based PS for Garrard 301/401 motors. After waiting for years for Mark to finish the build, I sold it soon after taking delivery, because I realized I was not going to move forward with a Garrard 301 project. That was one of the fastest and easiest sales of audio gear, ever. It was snatched up. I am sure those units are superb.

I now see that a "Quartz LDA" is a linear power supply for Garrard induction motors, supplied by Artisan Fidelity, and that the quartz reference is to stabilize its 50Hz output frequency.  Pretty cool. AF are a pretty smart bunch of guys with their choice of products and marketing.

Pretty cool. AF are a pretty smart bunch of guys with their choice of products and marketing.

FWIW, I have never purchased a thing from AF. I am not sure if you are applying the word "marketing" with respect or snark. They do have a glitzy website for a lot of glitzy drool-worthy products. I bought my LDA PS from another dealer (in upstate NY who told me he had been a good friend of Art Dudley's) and to support my TD124. I have a different PS feeding smooth current to my 301-one that I bought from Greg Metz who in turn obtained it from Ray of Classic HiFi that looks and is the same as this

Before buying the LDA I tried to buy a second one of the Garrard-styled units linked above and Ray told me that he could no longer source them. In the eBay listing the box says "Made in England" but I recall Ray stating that they are actually made in Russia. 


That should be no problem and you will increase your signal to noise ratio. ID turntables were a necessity in the past because there was no other way to adjust the speed of the platter. All motors were AC and clocked the mains frequency. Then the AR XA came out and blew everybody's minds. A dirt cheap turntable that out performed all those ID tables. I owned a TD 124 a combination belt ID table with an SME arm and even without antiskating the AR XA was seriously quieter. People will tell you that if you upgrade these old turntables you can make them quieter and you can for a short period, but the rubber idler wheel develops flat spots quickly and the rumble starts and gets slowly worse. The other problem is every bearing makes noise, some less than others, but they all make noise. The more bearings you have the more noise you make and ID tables have two unnecessary bearings. With idler wear and multiple bearings you have a rumble machine. This is the reason belt and direct drives stole the entire market dumping these old ID drive tables, which were in the beginning very inexpensive until audiophile mythology took over. If you go to any modern belt or direct drive turntable with an isolation suspension built in or added you will notice a very significant drop in noise. Whether or not you can cover the expense by selling the Garrard depends on which turntable you are looking at. It is not going to cover an SME, Avid, Basis or Dohmann, but it might cover a Sota Sapphire which you can upgrade later with the new motor and drive. It does not matter what you do with a plinth for the Garrard. There is no idler wheel turntable that will outperform a Sapphire as it ages (that statement is going to be.....very popular :-) But, if I spend a billion dollars on a plinth, new bearing and idler wheel..... You still have a turntable with too many bearings and an idler wheel that develops noise almost immediately. Why do you think ID turntables almost became extinct? Why are there not any modern ID turntables with one or two exceptions. Are you telling me that Dohmann, Basis, SME, TechDAS and Technics could not build an ID turntable if they are so much better? Old ID turntables can make wonderful music, but they are noisy which is one of the main reasons many old preamps had rumble filters. With the advent of boosted subwoofers and digital filters rumble filters are becoming popular again. 

Now I am going to get ripped into tiny pieces. 

Do these things have a 60 hz option for US. power or do they convert 60 hz AC to 50 hz AC?

Larry, I had the same question. If memory serves, the Garrard motor was available either way. Yet the LDA is said to produce 50Hz. I saw no mention of a 60Hz option but I only scanned the website. I do know that 301 purists prefer 50Hz, which I believe is standard in the UK.

Mijo, true your TD124 had 3 bearings but how do you count more than 2 in conventional idlers? And by the way BD TTs also have 2, one of which is spinning very fast and more prone therefore to becoming noisy. I auditioned a TD124 and did find it had a coloration that I ascribed to its noise. Only the Lenco (after treating the platter and installing a massive custom bearing and replacing the structure) in my experience could be unobtrusive. (Everything has a noise floor. Nothing is dead quiet.)

The motors are all the same, but there are different pulleys for 50Hz and 60Hz.

fsonic, I used the word "marketing" with respect. They have been very canny about producing plinths and ancillary devices to enhance the performance of very popular products.  Good choice of what products to make and how to sell them is what I had in mind when I used the term "marketing".

It is not clear how the motor controller works and whether it is compatible with 60 hz AC.  If all that it does is clean up the power, whether it is 60 hz or 50 hz, it may not matter what kind of power is fed into the unit.  If it regenerates the AC power, it might matter what is fed to the unit.  But, in any case, a properly designed power feed that cleans up the wave form, or somehow reduces cogging (an bigger issue with AC motors than DC motors would be welcome).  


This is the reason belt and direct drives stole the entire market dumping these old ID drive tables, which were in the beginning very inexpensive until audiophile mythology took over. 

No need to tear you into pieces. When a fool stands up at a party and starts saying idiotic things, polite people just walk away. 

Btw, your syntax is as faulty as your point of view. Maybe worse. 

Larry, I am pretty sure the LDA is a power regenerator that puts out variable voltage at 50Hz, referenced to a quartz oscillator to keep the frequency perfectly stable. The platter speed of the induction type motor can then be controlled by varying the voltage output. It therefore would run off our 120V/60Hz mains, just like any other amplifier, which is what it essentially is, an amplifier that makes only one frequency. This has been done before, although I do not know if others were referenced to a quartz crystal oscillator.  So it doesn't just "clean up" the power, although I am sure it does do that in passing.

I read that if using the LDA unit, you must use the 240volt motor connetion and remove the eddy brake disk.

Perhaps but that doesn’t mean it work off our 120V/60Hz AC mains. Stands to reaso it would generate 240V/50Hz as the purists say that is best for the motor.

I have also heard the LDA connected to a Belt Drive TT with a non A synchronous Motor, where the improvement was notable for the betterment.

Some LDA owners also reported it was quite impressive when attached to a CD Player.

Pindac, I think you live in the UK, where 240V/50Hz is the standard mains voltage and frequency. So it makes sense that a CDP could work off the LDA, if the current demand does not exceed its capability.  But one probably could not use the LDA to power a CDP in the US, where we are on 120V/60Hz (and therefore the CDP sold in the US would be built to run on 60Hz).  That is assuming the LDA has a fixed output frequency of 50Hz.

In my post of 12-06 at 9:35AM, I meant to write, "Perhaps but that doesn’t mean it WON'T work off our 120V/60Hz AC mains."  I left out the key word, "won't".  That happens when I type on my cell phone.

The LDA unit can run on 120VAC 60Hz and provide 240VAC at 50Hz for the motor.


Thank you for the compliment. I am dyslexic probably from a head injury when I was 5 years old. My spelling and punctuation are still pretty bad, but I do OK considering. 

I download high resolution files to an SSD and the best of them are superior to any analog including 15 ips analog tape. I also have a very large record collection started in 1958. Playing records for me is more natural than shifting a car. I have never owned an automatic car, only pickup trucks and my first two were also manuals. My right arm is my automatic transmission and record cuing device. 

Mark Dohmann, who makes what I believe to be the finest turntable available has said that if you can not afford his table buy a Sota. The Cosmos with its inverted suspension, magnetic thrust bearing, and Eclipse belt drive is so much quieter and accurate than any idler wheel drive turntable one has to wonder why on this earth anyone would buy an old idler wheel table. I could understand when they were dirt cheap, but now? Boggles the mind. 


In an idler wheel table the stepped pully drives the idler wheel, the idler wheel has a bearing, the idler wheel bears on the platter. That is actually 3 points of solid contact. The TD 124 has the same three points plus a belt.  In a belt drive there are no points of solid contact. Belts do not generate noise, they generate wow and flutter when they wear. The Eclipse drive ramps up slowly so the belt does not wear out as fast. I change it when I start to see a rise in wow and flutter. I have a spare belt for the Cosmos, but I have not used it yet in over a year. A good idler wheel table can be relatively quiet when new but they deteriorate rapidly mostly from idler wheel wear then they become rumble generating machines. Wow and flutter also suffers. The more interesting comparison I think is with direct drive tables. I have been trained to avoid direct drives because of the poor performance of the early units. Occasionally I get the urge to try a modern unit, but you know how I feel about suspensions and there is only one direct drive table I know of that is suspended. Otherwise, you would have to buy an isolation platform in addition. I also an enamored by vacuum clamping and there is not one DD tables that I am aware of that has it. I do not even know of a DD table that has reflex clamping although you can add it.

As an aside, I have a friend who is a CS Port dealer. He has the CS port table with a Kusma Sapphire arm on it. It had to have a custom mounting plate for the arm which is a bit weird because the platter is 13" in diameter and the Sapphire is short. Anyway, it has a huge very heavy record weight and it does not use a mat. Then It looked to me that the platter was not flat. I put a straight edge across it an low an behold the platter surface was concave with the center about 3 mm down (1mm for the label) The weight pushes the record into the concave surface of the platter with as much clamping force as a reflex clamp without adding stress on the center of the record. Very clever. I wonder how that effects azimuth. 

I am aware of all you’ve written and I don’t disagree that an ID is more prone to noise than a BD, for reasons you mention. I already indicated I’m not a fan of especially the TD124, not only because of the design ((ID and BD in one package) but also based on listening to one that had been expensively refurbished.