Garrard 301-Worth the effort?

A friend very generously gave me his Grandfather's Garrard 301 to restore or sell. It's not in bad shape, but won't play yet as it looks like it needs a new idler wheel and spindle (so far). I'm not crazy about the tonearm (Garrard with unknown Shure Cartridge) or plinth (plywood box). My dilemma is whether it's worth the effort and money to fix or would I be better off selling it and putting the money towards something new, possibly a VPI classic with a better tonearm? I currently use a Harman Kardon T-65C with a Grado Statement Sonata II and am very happy. But maybe I don't know any better. I've read great things about the 301, but I'm more into the music than collecting antique pieces.
Any opinions would be appreciated.
Listen to one and see if you like it. I have a nice belt TT (Nottingham Ana-log) that provides wonderful detail and frequency extention but the Idlers I've listened to just have more swing and drive that make you want to tap your toes more. I've caved in and am currently in the beginning stages of putting one together. For now I'm planning to keep both tables as they have a nice complementary yin/yang thing going that gives me a lot of options.
I am tempted to say sell the Garrard 301 and find a Lenco L75, because IMO the latter is potentially just as good sounding and represents a miniscule investment compared to the value of a Garrard. But I won't say that. My advice would be to keep the tt you now have or buy a low end Nottingham. (I agree with Sibelius, they are very good sounding tt's.) Meantime, learn about how to restore a Garrard and go about the work at your leisure. If you sell your useable tt and find yourself in the position of having to restore the Garrard in order to be able to listen to music from your LP collection, you will grow to dislike the project immensely and to resent the time you have to spend. Trust me; this happens. (Not only with a Garrard restoration but with potentially any vintage gear that needs TLC.)
Look at it another way. If you spend around a third the amount that you had planned to spend for a new turntable on fixing up the Garrard, after decent research on the possibilities, of course, you'll be out a couple of grand. That's the going price of a 301 without a plinth or tonearm. You could pull off completing it with trimmings by buying a nice used tonearm and decent cartridge. For that money you would have a really nice setup that would sell for more, if you ever decided to get rid of it. That's the key. It is an investment piece that sounds good. You will always be able to recover your money because it is a very good audio investment, especially when there was no initial cost for it. If you are handy, keep it.

Do you happen to have the anti-skating weight (on a string) and the counterbalance weight that slide on the two thin aluminum posts located at the back of the tonearm?

I just bought a used T65C that is missing both of them - it has the black counterweight to balance the weight of the cartridge and apply the proper tracking weight, but not the other two smaller weights.

If you do not have these two small weights, does the TT work well without them?

.and am very happy. But maybe I don't know any better

That is absolutely ok. There are lots out there who know nothing and are happy with their stuff. Be lucky, this year analog has started to go back to yesteryear. Lots believe in these old designs and are willing to spend a fortune for it. Polish and hug it, or much better, find someone who can drill a plinth from any wood in your area and sell it. Or go in Production with that. You will become wealthy. 10k$ for such a woody unit shouldn't be a big problem. Find some friends at Audiogon who support you and will create a Fangroup. And don't sell to anyone. Offering money is not enough, they have to be worthy to buy it.
as it was said in another thread the Garrard301 is a nice Mini Cooper- nothing more. It depends where you are heading too. Regarding Quality and listening pleasure you may end up somewhere else but if you are enjoying crossing technical barriers this is a `must do project`.

Best @ Fun Only
I fully restored a 301 last year, put it in a nice 2" slate plinth and added a 12" Moerch DP-6 on seperate arm base out of brass. I'm using Loricrafts motor controler to supply 220 volt @ 50 Hz. Done right, the high torque idler will become your best friend - I love mine and will not sell it again. You need a heavy and good plinth for the garrard. A separate arm base makes it even more quiet. I'll be glad to give you som tips if you decide to restore.

I am a huge believer in the 301, but if you want it to sing, it must be restored and recommissioned. If you plan to do it on the cheap- forget about it- there are better options.

Steve Dobbins is probably the best person in the US to tweak it and refresh the linkage and idler.

A proper base, made with resonant absorbing material such as panzerholst or slate will tame the idler vibration, is essential. A power supply, although not mandatory, adds another increment of quietness to the motor by making it run smoothly.

Although the consensus is to use a vintage tonearm like an SME, in my opinion it really sings with modern lively tonearms such as the Triplanar- an exceptional combination.

If you make the commitment, you have a top level vinyl rig.
"Steve Dobbins is probably the best person in the US to tweak it and refresh the linkage and idler. "

Not true. I'd try Chris at Artisan Fidelity, rumor has it they are currently working on a new 301 restoration which is going to be out of this world. Their plinths and restorations are top notch quality and they are said to be building the highest performing Lenco based idler drives available at this time. They're better built and certainly have much better fit and finish compared the the Canadian nantais modifier/builder. His work looks like it was built in someones shed by a high school woodshop student with a can of spray paint imo.

A buddy told me Artisan has been working on a design and prototyping a plinth and all new bearing designed especially for the 301/401 Garrard for over a year and its ready now and they are taking pre-orders. I will grab either a Lenco L75 based idler or 301 grease bearing model from Artisan Fidelity once I decide which way I am going to go. I know of a cable mfg. who even uses one of Artisan Fidelity's early model modified Lenco's as his reference unit.

On a side note, those Slate plinths are awful sounding in my opinion, definitely not for me, heard one made by oma on a Lenco. Give me a well designed wood based plinth any day over that sterile Slate. Hope to never hear Slate mated to a 301, bet its rough.

Back to the posters original question though, yes a 301 can be well worth the investment if it is properly restored, modified and mated to a really high quality and well tuned/designed plinth. Its not as easy as you would think restoring these things and building the plinths these guys like Dobbins, Thornton and Porter make. There is a mountain of work and effort involved.

I completely rebuilt and restored a vintage motorcycle once down to the frame and back up again and let me tell you, there is much work involved when you are doing a top notch restoration - modification project of any kind.
"His [Nantais] work looks like it was built in someones shed by a high school woodshop student ..."

This is an unfair comment. If you look on his website gallery, his latest tables are beautiful. You may be referring to his early work. And he deserves respect for being the guy who told the world of the potential that these old tables have and started this refurb trend, which others (including Artisan) have simply copied.

BTW,I also think most of Artisan's tables look great.
Hello from France . Jeremy ,how would you describe the sound of a slate lenco ?. I personally had a plinthed one and am very satisfied. I was thinking of building one with slate and PTP.
Thanks Gilles
Gilles, the slate oma Lenco I listened to was cold and sterile to my ears, at least in comparison to a well build wood plinth setup with the same tone arm. Too coolish neutral sounding at just not all musical or tonally pleasing. Definitely not my cup of tea. ymmv
"This is an unfair comment. If you look on his website gallery, his latest tables are beautiful."

Sorry, I see nothing about the fit and finish of those tables on his site that are anything to write home about at least in my opinion...mediocre finishes maybe at best, but even that may be stretching it a bit.

Now these are some beautifully finished Lenco's-
Jeremy: I agree the finish on the Artisan's is very nice - certainly more "highly polished" than the Nantais Lenco's but the more satiny finish on the Nantais is still excellent in my opinion (I prefer the more satiny look). I also think the Artisan Lenco's are proportionally too bulky looking - I haven't heard either, so I can't comment on the sound difference ( I suspect they would both sound great).

To Heyraz: It might be a good idea to sell the Garrard as is and buy and refurbish a Lenco. Garrard's sell for alot more than Lenco's so you save some money. From what I can see the Lenco's seem to be easier to refurb as well.
Aesthetically, the Artisan Fidelity stuff is really ugly to me. Its proportion, gloss, and dimensions are all so tacky to me. Your mileage may vary.

Why does the damn thing has to be so damn thick? Yuck.

Hiho, It's well documented that the best designs of Lenco plinths (check Lenco forums, various audio forums all over the web) usually call for super high mass plinths which use certain materials (like various plywoods and other materials). This is why the nantais and artisan Lenco's plinths are so huge.

Btw, if you think the Artisan tables are ugly because they have glossy acrylic clear coats, auto grade finishes and are well polished, then what in the world IS good looking to you? A jank rough unfinished wood plinth having jagged edges and splinters?? Geesh...

You must own a top of the line Rockport or Goldmund Reference 2 to have fit and finish standards so high.
I do believe that mass matters in certain designs, and I also agree that proportion counts for a lot. I suppose it comes down to how the best case scenario is accomplished.

A high mass plinth can be designed, so that its visual features are attractive by leading the viewer's eyes in a desired direction while achieving the result needed to meet the physical requirements of mass. It is a daunting task to do both, however. That's why you see so many clunky turntables out there, in my opinion. Then again, look hard enough and you will find some very pretty ones.
In contradistinction to Jeremy's observation, I went from a Jean Nantais wood plinth using a stock Lenco chassis to a Lenco in slate cum PTP top plate, and I think the latter is somewhat superior sounding in every way. It is more neutral to my ears. One can always add flavoring via one's choice of tonearm, cartridge, phono stage. I prefer my tt to be as neutral as possible.
Hifi in general is subjective and comes down to personal preference. I personally felt the Slate plinths with the Lenco were cold and sterile, lacking tonality and emotion. I can see why you would want your turntable to be as neutral as possible, it makes sense. One thing is for sure, this is not a "one size fits all" hobby....ymmv as they say
Like everything...It is worth whatever someone ELSE is willing to pay for it! :)
I've owned, worked on, and know intimate details of the Garrard 301 first hand.

First step: determine exactly what you have from your friend's Grandfather.
First versions, and most desirable (aka fetch high $$$), are the grey "Schedule 1" classics. These had a plain grey platter (no strobe).
Second versions were creme colored and had a strobe platter.
In general, the grey versions have a grease main bearing and the creme colored ones have the later oil main bearing. There are some transition creme ones that have a grease main bearing and some creme ones have a plain black colored platter instead of the strobe platter.

Yes, the original wheels after 40-60 years are shot.
It's the laws of materials so do not let anyone convince you otherwise about old idler wheels. Buying a new one from the U.K. is not too bad and a worthwhile investment.
Especially if it gets the table running properly again.

IMHO at this point, get the deck running properly and sell it - especially if it is a grey one. In any case it is best to not modify, re-paint, restore, etc. any of it in any way. Leave it as orginal as you can and have it running properly. First and foremost you are presumably HELPING your friend. So UNLESS you simply love vintage stuff, enjoy tinkering with your turntable endlessly and have a "reference level" sound system. If you are more of a consumer and music lover (listener) and want something that once it is set up properly just works and works there are far better turntables made nowadays.

Now before some folks go bombastic and say WTF ...Yes, the old Garrard, Lenco, and EMT/Thorens tables have their place but they have their limits and require SUBSTANTIAL upgrade investment. Remember that they were built during a certain period of available technology and engineering. Plus their are no original warranties and service support is rather sketchy depending on where you live (and how much you like packing your turntable up and shipping it!).

Basically the older turntables require a great deal of money and proper knowledge to get the most out of them.
These are not really turntables to be fiddled with by novices or intermediates - either technically or financially. However they do produce some tasty results.
OTOH...when all is paid for, restored, modified, installed and you REALLY have a vintage turntable any longer? eh....probably not.

So I say Keep It Simple and help your friend sell their Grandfather's turntable and have some extra cash in the New Year. If you need ANY free advice, insight etc. I would be delighted to provide it.

Happy Holidays!
Agreed with JHendrixfan to keep it to the pro restoration companies like Artisan Fidelity (thornton), Dobbinss ect, ect.. to get the most out of these vintage decks. I heard a modded Lenco in a big modern system before and it was just incredible and spectacular but it was also modded and plinthed by a pro who clearly understood what to do with the thing to make it sound that way. People think sometimes you can head to your garage, take your hacksaw, drillpress, sandpaper and whatever and do what the top restoration mod companies do but they are totally wrong. It would be like saying that since I can fiddle with a Chevy LS1 small block V8 that I can do what Lingenfelter does with Corvette, which is guys get the idea.
Wow! I didn't realize this thread was still active. First, it is a creme colored, greased bearing, schedule 1a unit with a black platter in excellent shape. Really excellent, so it didn't need much work other than cleaning the dried grease and re-lubricating the bearing and linkages. I think I will go with white lithium grease for the bearing or possibly gun grease as the lower viscosity seems to be a benefit. It came to me plug and play with a vintage Garrard tonearm and Shure cartridge mounted on a homemade (weren't they all) plinth of 1/2" pine. Actually not a bad job.
It seems I will be making 2 plinths for this 301 and use the SME 3009 tonearm (non improved) I already have. I will see which plinth sounds better and possibly sell the other.
This plinth project is on hold for the winter as my outdoor woodshop isn't well heated and I prefer the warm weather.
The sides and tops of each plinth have been glued up and cut to dimension and only need to be joined. The delay is that I hate to cut dovetails while shivering. So for the winter, I will enjoy my HK T65C while I refurbish a vintage Dynakit ST-70.
First plinth is made of glued up 2" solid red oak. No plywood veneers for me. Weighs a ton and I may also load any void spaces within with more oak. Not sure if this is overkill, time will tell. Joinery will be glue and biscuit butt joints throughout.
Second plinth is the artsy one, glued up 1x curly maple with different patterns and colors to resemble inlay work. Left and right sides of the carcase will be half-blind dovetailed to the front and rear boards, while the entire carcase will be half-blind dovetailed to the top. The goal here is to use no mechanical fasteners other than the dovetail joints and glue to assemble.
Slate, marble or other similar materials were never considered as I believe they have a greater potential to ring and resonate.
From a resonance standpoint, the solid oak plinth should be superior. Although maple wood is a little "livelier" than oak when tapped by my fingers, we'll just have to see how it sounds.
Initial listening tests of the 301 on it's original pine base were encouraging. Barely any rumble or friction noises from either the plinth or cast chassis of the 301 listening with a stethoscope. Strobe test also looks good and steady, another pleasant surprise.
My next biggest decision will be how to stain and finish the final product to maximize it's character for the most visual "pop". A minor study will probably be necessary to research and determine the best way to mount the chassis and Tonearm to the plinth as well as providing isolation from the assembly's "environment".
Of course, a mock up version will also be constructed out of "off the shelf" materials till practice makes perfect.
Measure twice, cut once.
So yeah, it looks like a go, I mean, how can I pass up this opportunity. My plan is to keep 2 turntables, my dilemma is where to put them and keep the cats from messing with the anti-slate weights.
Thanks for keeping the thread alive, I appreciate the input. Sorry I didn't check back earlier.
HiFiGuy (Dave)
I just saw your post last night, sorry I haven't paid attention. I think you need to fashion the weight on the string for your anti-skate if you already haven't. Otherwise, I don't know how you can set the anti-skate. If you need to know the particulars, let me know, I'm a pharmacist with access to accurate scales, so I can weigh mine and measure the length. I also have an SME tonearm that uses a similar setup, I can check to see if the parts are interchangeable or similar. SME parts are available over the net.
The lateral balance is in my opinion not as critical as the anti-skate. Imagine the shaft of your tonearm as the fuselage of a plane and the cartridge as an engine on one wing. The lateral weight balances the tonearm like putting the weight of another engine on the opposite wing.
I have read the pros and cons of anti-skate, some people don't use it at all so I think you can still operate your tonearm safely. I personally believe in using anti-skate so I would recommend making or purchasing a weight.
The lateral weight is a nice idea but even Harmon Kardon was vague about calibrating it in the manual. I also have a T60 with a tonearm by ito that lacks the lateral weight. It plays fine.
Between the two tables however, I definitely prefer the sound of the T65C, so maybe there's something to those 2 weights, maybe it's something else. Good luck and let me know if you need the measurements. Rich
First off, I like your username. Surprisingly, the 301 is in excellent shape considering it's age. No dust to speak of, the only problems were the hardened grease and cracked original mat. Didn't see any other problems such as spindle run-out even when measured with dial indicator. I couldn't even measure a flat spot on the idler using that method but planned on replacing it anyway due to it's age. The mat will also be replaced. I'll check the other spindles for run-out when I devote myself to the project again and replace as I see fit. Electrically, the arrestor seemed fine, but honestly I haven't checked it with a meter yet. Otherwise, this thing's a cherry.
Jeremy..Really? I'm not some guy with a hacksaw and drill press. I've been woodworking and cabinet making for over 20 years and don't generally compromise or cut corners. I really do measure twice and cut once and quit at the first sign of fatigue. The key to woodworking is patience. I planned on measuring for the resonant frequencies of each assembly as well to tune the plinth. I wouldn't think of damaging such a finely engineered instrument by modifying it having trust and respect for the designer's choices. Interestingly, the 301 was provided with plans for a plinth, so I guess they thought it was possible for a guy in his garage to pull it off.
My original post was whether or not it was worth it. In automotive terms, I would liken it to a Corvette Stingray that needs a new set of tires and a good once over. I realize now of course it's worth it. In my experience, owners usually make the best restorers, viewing their projects as labors of love. I don't really want anybody else messing with "my baby".
Will the final product be "The Best", who knows? Can someone else do it better? Why not? Every "pro" I've met is in it for the money, just because they charge an arm and a leg doesn't make their work any better than another individual with skills. In my experience, owners can do the best work and know their stuff inside and out, if they take the time.
"If you are more of a consumer and music lover (listener) and want something that once it is set up properly just works and works there are far better turntables made nowadays."

Which ones are those? I ask as a user of a 301 which "just works and works".

regards, Dave
Thanks. Like everything in life it is a matter of time, money and effort. I fiddled with 301's to my heart's delight and ultimately moved on (TW Acustic Baby Raven). Why?
Because the 301 appears simple but is actually quite complex and needs a BIG investment to reach its full potential - even when doing the work yourself.
Plus in the end I realized that I love music and not "fiddling" around all that much. I wanted to spend my time listening instead of constantly feeling like I was "auditioning" my turntable set-up.
Enjoy! :)

IMHO, the biggest "trick" is the idler wheel. If nothing else - buy a new one one from the guy in the U.K. ($100?).
The lower/bottom main bearing replacement made by Kokomo in Germany is another "most bang for the buck" upgrade as well.
301/401 idler wheels are quite intense from an engineering & manufacturing standpoint BUT they are rubber and they ALL outgas, shrink and harden with age. So unless they spent all their time in a cold place (dry ice, liguid Nitrogen, etc.) then they are are bad after 50+ years. Yes they may still run & have no flat spots but believe me the property of the material has changed significantly.
So why the controversy?
Well it is the idler wheel bearing that causes the confusion when changing idler wheels. So sometimes a new wheel needs to be burnished to fit an old bearing. Not a biggie but it is important to do it. The wheel must spin very freely and be of proper diameter to DRIVE the inside face of the platter properly. That is where the PRAT is at!
As for Plinths - old adage is very true. First separate/isolate the tonearm from the deck (most designs do not do this!) and heavier is better (the 301 base plate itself is VERY light!
Lastly, NEVER touch-up the platter - especially an early one! Whether grey or black those bare platters have a resonance to them (like a bell) and repainting will kill it! Do NOT paint them, add copper, etc. etc.. Nor do you need clamps or spindle weights!
MATS - get the Loricraft neoprene/cork strobe cut-out mat.
It is the absolute best - bar none! The original mat is BLAH! Nice to look at but not great sound. The neoprene cork is terrific and the the hole for the garrard strobe disk has a "pull down" effect on the record towards the spindle. I simply used some two-sided plastic tape in a few spots to keep it positioned on the platter.

Oh, one last thing...301 LOVES mass (no not the Catholic type! although... Gregorian chants by Enigma 1990("turn off the lights...") do sound very good on it!). By that I mean medium-heavy mass tonearm/lower compliance cartridges. So a modern example would be a Schick tonearm with a Denon DL-103R cartridge. Older example would be an ESL or FR-66 with an SPU cartridge.
I'm presuming that your friend GAVE you the turntable?
Or you purchased it from them?
Either way it is a very nice & worthwhile piece of vintage HiFi.
The 301 was totally free! Of course I couldn't pass it up. I'll start out with the SME3009 (non improved) for now and match a cartridge accordingly when the time comes. There is no rush here. Thanks for the pointers.
PS-did you get the new Winterland Set?
WOW - that's one helluva nice friend to give you a grease bearing 301!

Nope...not yet.

3009 is an OK start but preferably a Type II.
I do not know much about the type V on up.
All depends on the cartridge that you want to mate it with.

Ironically my listening room was damaged (water incursion)by the torrential rains of Hurricane Irene.
Fortunately no equipment was damaged at all but the carpet, walls, etc. got badly damaged. Still working on finding people to fix it up (to better than it was).
I run all tube equipment into stacked QUAD ESL57s with IMF/KEF subs.
Sad to have my system down right now with the Holidays and all - so enjoy yours when you can.

Merry Christmas! :^)
Talk about a serious Garrard 301, they just launched a new reference model 301 at Artisan Fidelity I emailed Christopher about the design features, am eagerly awaiting his answer :) I am totally drooling over this table about now...price has yet to be announced. I know this one has a buyer already unfortunately...that is one lucky guy.
Be careful with the Kokomo bearing with the ceramic ball. There have been numerous accounts of the ceramic ball wearing a dimple into the thrust surface of the Garrard spindle. Apparently it doesn't take much time, either. You would be better off using a ball that's softer than the bearing spindle so you don't damage that expensive part.
The AF products look beautiful, no doubt about it. Beauty is what they are selling and rightfully so. However, I really do not think that they have a bunch of physicists working for them who scientifically calculated the design of the plinth so as to maximize the performance of the Garrard or Lenco. I think it is much more likely that they are following after information that was/is made available to them mostly via the internet, that provides guidelines for how to construct a decent plinth. (See Lenco Heaven, for example.) Of course, that same information is available to any and all of us, as well. Much of it came from Jean Nantais and others and was freely given on the various chat sites. My point is that if one is strapped for cash but skilled in wood and metalworking (and/or knows a good water-jet guy), terrific plinths can be made for a fraction of the cost of an AF plinth, plinths that equal in performance what can be bought for high cost from companies that make plinths (not to single out AF; I too love their work). Such plinths usually will not look as good, however.
"Lastly, NEVER touch-up the platter - especially an early one! Whether grey or black those bare platters have a resonance to them (like a bell) and repainting will kill it!"
Just curios, why would a resonating platter be desirable? Is there a resonant frequency that makes it sound better?
Rccc, congrats, you picked up on one of the many "facts" posted in this thread.
Here are a few more...

**The wheel ... and be of proper diameter to DRIVE the inside face of the platter properly. **

**the 301 LOVES mass**

How many more can you find?
"However, I really do not think that they have a bunch of physicists working for them"

Neither do any of the other modifiers of Lenco or Garrard for that matter.

I somehow seriously doubt the majority of diy folks could build anything like the Artisan Fidelity 301 or Dobbins plinths in their home work shops, these guys are pros imo. And I really don't think you have any idea of the amount of design work and time that goes into an Artisan F turntable construct. If you spoke with them directly as I have, you would know exactly what I am talking about regard their research and development process. I can assure you there is nothing quick and easy about it. This outfit is really serious about their work. When I spoke directly with Chris, he explained part of the process involved prototyping the many different plinth materials for their Lenco and Garrard's and I was quite impressed to say the least. If you had any idea of how many different materials they use to achieve the proper tuning in their cld plinth construction you would be shocked.
Here is a testimonial. Audiogon's feedback does not allow for enuf. I was lucky enough to find a Garrad 301 at a decent price and after researching and speaking with many restoration experts I choose Chris. I could not be happier with this decision. Of course, the most important part of the restoration is the sound of my turntable. I can say that listening to my favorite recordings now is like hearing them for the first time. Everything sounds as if it should and the soundstage places everything where it should be. The second part of the restoration is the communication of the process. Chris was very attentive and provided updates both verbally and through emails, including photos, along the way. His service went beyond what I expected even for the cost of the restoration. The third part is the craftsmanship of the the piece. Suffice it to say that my listening room WAS a spare bedroom. When my wife saw the finished product she suggested that I move everything to our living room making Chris' creating to focal point. Thank you Chris for everything.
Dear Jeremy, If you will take the time to re-read my post that seems to have offended you, you will see that I am not guilty of having said some of the things you impute to me. As for the rest, I apologize to anyone who was offended. I am not one of those guys who hates expensive products just because they are expensive. I am sure that AF does a lot of R&D to create their products. But note that others who also do extensive R&D come up with different builds and materials as optimum. Hence, there must be more than one path to plinth Nirvana. I was additionally trying to say that if one cannot afford an expensive plinth, one can still get to enjoy a Lenco turntable in a plinth of one's own making. Actually I am kind of in awe of AF, because I realize that they are up against a lot of resistance from die-hards like me, and yet they carry on. I admire that.
Don't feel too bad, Lewm.

If the username's anything to go by, then Jeremy72 is not a neutral enthusiast but, rather, an employee of Artisan Audio. Indeed, based on the investigations on another site (Lenco Heaven) where a "jeremy72" was also active (in promoting the artisan fidelity lenco), it was discovered that he was already registered as Chris74, the owner of Artisan. Needless to say, Jeremy72/Chris74 was subsequently banned from that site.

Anyways, back on topic, I think the 301 is a wonderful machine and, with respect to Thuchan (and Heiner Jacobi from whom Thuchan gets the mini cooper comment), i find that the 301 (suitably serviced, plinthed and armed) can sit comfortably next to an EMT (930st in my case). Of course, at this point you're not really comparing motor unit with motor unit but, rather, one TT system with another.
Rahman, Thanks for the info. I nevertheless did not mean to "diss" the AF plinths; that would be grossly unfair since I have never heard an AF Lenco or Garrard. I only meant to point out that their physical beauty is built into their cost.

Rahman: "Needless to say, Jeremy72/Chris74 was subsequently banned from that site."

Hmm... well, well, well... Thanks for the info!

Lewm, I agree and my apologies also for any misunderstandings in regards to my earlier post. I'll admit that at first I was under the impression that you were indeed offended by expensive products but I was obviously mistaken. If you refer to any of my other posts regarding modifiers of vintage decks, I always give respect and credit to these enthusiasts which undertake such things, including the other well known members within the community ie. Porter, Dobins, ect. (refer to my older posts). Not everyone will ever agree on everything in this hobby but that is just the nature of things. So much is subjective, like everything else in life - not everything is for everyone - as they say. I just appreciate the extensive work these outfits do and with all the seasoned audiophiles out there using vintage modified decks, I think they do deserve serious consideration to those in the market for a new analog front end. Something else that is neat about these decks imo is they don't look like modern decks (mostly) which gives them some added appeal. To me, its like comparing a cherry hot rodded Harley D. motorcycle to a new Honda sportbike, both totally different machines for totally different enthusiasts but both are worthy of respect. In addition to some of the vintage decks, I also am a fan of modern tables, such as the Redpoint audio, Feikert Woodpecker and the incredible looking and big $$$ NVS direct drive but these appeal to me in a different way than the others and I openly admit a bias toward some of the modded vintage idler drives and direct drives but thats a personal opinion of course. By the way, sorry to disappoint theory conspirators posting above but I am not employed by any hifi outfit and was never a member of a lenco hi end audio site but am a member of DIY audio and recommend it btw, great site. Forums are really something, don't ever mistake the gossip on these sites for Good listening to you, J.
Ah yes, the NVS. I wonder what's up with that product. Definitely the Honda Superbike to the cherry hot-rodded Harley that is an AF Garrard/Lenco. I have the same predilections as you. The price differential is huge.
Before I get to my question, I just wanted to say that although my name is also Dave and my username is HiFiGi, there is no connection to HiFiGuy.

Coincidentally, I also have a Harman Kardon T-65C with a grado Statement Sonata (but a I not a II) and wondered if you had any challenges with tracking force. I cannot get the cartridge to drop down far emough on the outer edge of the record. It sounds great and tracks well from the middle of the record to the label, but not on the outer edge.

I believe I may have a dry or damaged tonearm bearing, but before I try to repair it, I wanted to see if you (or anyone else) has ever corrected this type of issue with a turntable.

Have you checked out the Q-ing device? It may be bent. If the Q is preventing the LP from sitting down on the outermost groove, it can usually be re-adjusted (or in this case, straightened, if bent). Most have a set screw of some kind that permits height adjustment, altho I have zero knowledge of your specific TT/tonearm.
FYI, I was able to adjust the tracking force and correct the problem. The Ito tonearm has a sub-counterweight that screws into the rear of the tonearm. It is only supposed to be used if needed (for heavier cartridges).
I also learned that, if this Ito tonearm is resistant to movement, it id probably the vertical adjustment, not the tonearm's bearing.
Once I adjusted the tracking force and tonearm height, I learned how great this turntable is!
Before we set it up, my audio dealer (who used to own one of these H/K T-65C turntables) thought I would need to spend $1500 on a new table, like the traveller, to outperform the T-65C, but once we got it properly set up, he said I would need to spend at least $2500 on a new table to get better results. I am would be very happy with this TT if I bought it for $1200, but am estatic to have found one for $300.
I have learned a lot about setting up this table, so if anyone needs help with any of the H/K T series tables, let me know.