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.
I'm late to this thread but wanted to stick up for the fit and finish--and sound quality--of Jean Nantais's work, and to tip my hat to the sound of restored idlers. I see that Jeremy72 has been largely discredited as a shill for AF but I want to set the record straight on Jean's current offerings.

I have a Reference Lenco by Jean, his TOL restoration. The 105 lb plinth is sheathed in solid Santos mahogany, including the top and armboards. Everything about the woodwork is first class, from its tight joints and rounded edges to its hand-rubbed finish. Despite the size, I find it beautiful, as does my wife. The flame and grain in the mahogany has a subtle 3D effect and lovely reddish color, which deepens with age.

I am equally happy with the sound, which has terrific drive, rhythmic grip, coherence, and detail retrieval. A high-grade stethoscope to the armboards (it has two) reveals virtual silence, something I could not say of my Michell Orbe SE or Clearaudio Innovation Wood, both of which are very fine turntables. But I prefer the Lenco. The noise floor is extremely low and the speed, as measured with a KAB strobe, holds precisely when adjusted--easily as well as the Clearaudio, which boasts a highly-advanced, optical speed control circuit, and far better than the Orbe with a Pabst AC motor. I haven't heard any of the slate-plinth restorations, which might be better yet, but I haven't found my plinth to introduce noticeable coloration.

Next week I take delivery of a Brinkmann Oasis and I'm eager to hear how the Lenco stacks up against a quality contemporary direct drive 'table. So far, I'm finding the well-restored idlers to be hard to beat.
It seems that Artisan Fidelity is being unduly promoted here. It has been said that the promoter is an employee. Could be. By the way, the owner of Artisan Fidelity has been banned from another site I frequent for self-promotion. Like here, those posts were blatant.

Of course, everyone who makes a product likes to see it in the forefront, and the temptation to promote it certainly exists. However, it is a different matter altogether when such promotion primarily consists of denigrating the work of others. That tells me that maybe the emperor has no clothes, or at least the product being promoted cannot stand on its own. A truly good product can talk about itself only, or even mention worthy competitors in a favorable light.
Don't know who Jeremy is, but it's pretty obvious he is shilling for Artisan.

I often get emails when Artisan releases a new "product" to the effect that- "do you know this guy is ripping off your designs?" I consider imitation a sincere form of flattery, so I really don't care, but here are some things you should know:

Slate is not sterile or neutral, it is an ideal material for making a plinth. Take a look over at Lenco Heaven- half the DIY projects there are slate. Perhaps all the Lenco guys prefer "sterile" sound?

Two of the best tonearm makers in the world, Frank Schroeder and Thomas Schick both use 301's personally, and both use OMA slate plinths for their 301's.

Furthermore, neither Schroeder nor Schick, nor myself, use a "fully restored" 301. The idea that you have to do a frame off Pebble Beach level restoration to get the most out of a 301 is nonsense. Even Loricraft did not do that, when they were still selling refurbished decks. Many companies are doing it now because sourcing cosmetically acceptable 301's has become so difficult and expensive. So its easier to find beater decks and repaint them, and then you have to do a complete restoration.

Finally, why do you think all of the wooden plinths are so massive looking? They have to be that large to get the necessary mass to run an idler like the 301 quietly. Slate is far more massive, a heavier, better damped material than any wood product, but companies like Artisan cannot copy what OMA does, because they don't have a $300,000 five axis Flow Waterjet and they don't have the slate, nor the ability to put an appropriate finish on a stone plinth. Which is why their 301 systems may look like OMA's, but it ends there. Remember, an OMA slate plinth, double layer, weighs over 100 lbs.

Jonathan Weiss
Mosin, don't forget to add Sonny1930 to your conspiracy list and any other hobbyists you wish to pick on. Don't forget about the Nantais fanboys and all others..... J