Garrard 401 plinth recommendations

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by googlymoogly, May 15, 2018.

  1. googlymoogly

    googlymoogly Forum Resident Thread Starter

    I'm looking for plinths for a newly-refurbished Garrard 401, and am checking out a variety of makers: Acoustand, Vinylista, and a combination slate/wood plinth by Jim Campbell here in the U.S. I know several forum members have Vinylista plinths. Can anyone who owns any of the above comment about their experiences, or if anyone has other recommendations, throw in an idea?
     
  2. Dubmart

    Dubmart Forum Resident

    Location:
    Bristol, UK
    My 401 is awaiting restoration, but when I get a plinth I'm almost certainly going to go for a Russ Collinson Layers Of Beauty plinth identical to the one my 301 is in which you can see here: My Restored 1954 Garrard 301

    I'm sure Vinylista, Acoustand and many others all make plinths that help your deck sound at it's best, but there's also an element of how you want your finished deck to look and for me the Layers Of Beauty combines great looks with something that allows my 301 to sound great.

    Russ is currently overwhelmed with orders and has taken his site down until June 20th, but if you aren't in a desperate hurry it's well worth checking out the options he offers: http://layers-of-beauty.co.uk/

    The good news is that you have a better choice of plinths now than at any time in history and whatever you choose the 401 should be a fantastic sounding deck that will last you for years to come.
     
    googlymoogly likes this.
  3. googlymoogly

    googlymoogly Forum Resident Thread Starter

    I found the Layers of Beauty site, but had ruled them out because they aren't taking orders currently; but that's certainly not a long wait.
     
  4. IanL

    IanL Forum Resident

    Location:
    Oneonta, NY USA
    I use a Vinylista plinth. Very happy with it. I had great email exchanges with Martin and I also bought my Thomas Schick 12" tonearm (plus graphite headshell and heavy counterweight) from him. The price was the same, but with no wait. The other plinth options (at least the non-budget ones) that you are probably considering all look beautiful too. I assume they all differ somewhat in sound presentation. In my case, I purchased an Auditorium 23 Homage record mat and ever since have been ecstatic with my setup. It just seemed to be the final piece in my situation. Probably what it did was eliminate any vestiges of rumble that remained (which can be an issue with these vintage idlers). Just wanted to share my great experience with the Vinylista, but if you are drawn to a different design, you should pursue it as I think these guys making these high quality plinths see it as a labor of love.
     
    Dubmart and googlymoogly like this.
  5. googlymoogly

    googlymoogly Forum Resident Thread Starter

    I must admit the Vinylista plinth design is attractive to me, mainly because it's a simple, suspended model, and I've found that sound to be very musical in other suspended turntables I've heard. I'm proceeding slowly here, because I'm looking at this as a "one and done" purchase, and I want to do it right upfront. I've used a modified Technics 1200 for 10-plus years, and am looking at this Garrard 401 as an even longer-term investment in listening pleasure.

    Does the A23 mat have a damping quality? I just thought their mats were a kind of stitched fabric, and wouldn't have thought them to work well at quelling a potentially "ringing" turntable platter.
     
  6. Rolltide

    Rolltide Forum Resident

    Location:
    Vallejo, CA
    I too was attracted to the simplicity of the Vinylista plinth. One of the things I like about it is that it looks a little more like a turntable that was mass produced. I can understand why some would cringe at that wording, but to me it feels a bit more like good industrial design vs. "art". Beautiful in the way the Garrard itself is beautiful - simple and understated. I like looking at the more elaborate plinths made by Woodsong and AF, but for some reason its hard to picture having one in my home.
     
    googlymoogly likes this.
  7. IanL

    IanL Forum Resident

    Location:
    Oneonta, NY USA
    I think that is exactly what it is doing. I started with a CTC reproduction 401 platter mat (rubber) but it was still missing something. And for some reason, I accurately judged it to be the platter/record interface. I read some comments by fellow SHF Garrard owners about the A23 mat (and I had been happy with their SUT) and decided to shell out for their mat. It ain't cheap for a record mat. But it did the trick perfectly.
     
    googlymoogly likes this.
  8. googlymoogly

    googlymoogly Forum Resident Thread Starter

    No, I get what you're saying - it looks of a piece with the styling of either the 301 or the 401 models. Simple and complementary.
     
  9. googlymoogly

    googlymoogly Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Well, if it works, it's a less expensive alternative to the heavy copper or gunmetal mats available. I believe the Shindo 301 uses a relatively light lead-backed cloth as a damping adjunct to its platter.
     
  10. Rolltide

    Rolltide Forum Resident

    Location:
    Vallejo, CA
    Where does one buy an A23 mat?

    I've been looking at the Tenuto, as I love the way it looks and it comes highly recommended.
     
  11. googlymoogly

    googlymoogly Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Whetstone Audio in Austin, TX carries them. ACCESSORIES | Product Categories | WHETSTONE AUDIO

    The Tenuto looks good, but at that price, I'd be thinking of just replacing the platter entirely with a newly-machined one.
     
    Rolltide likes this.
  12. Just Walking

    Just Walking Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Abingdon
    googlymoogly likes this.
  13. dogilv

    dogilv Active Member

    Sorry if I'm not on subject but am thinking others here might be interested in this option...

    Does anyone know of a shop (US) that has the 301/401 plinth CNC codes and would be willing to just charge for the cuts?

    I want to put together the blank block using my wood.
     
  14. IanL

    IanL Forum Resident

    Location:
    Oneonta, NY USA
    Check with Matt Rotunda at Pitch Perfect Audio. I think he can sell to you. He was the first person I contacted about the mat and he said that he does sell them, but he put me in touch with a NYC dealer as the most appropriate for me. They seem to take these territorial rules very seriously.
     
  15. Rolltide

    Rolltide Forum Resident

    Location:
    Vallejo, CA
    Thanks, I might do that. I'm using a CTC mat as well. It does its job and looks the part, but aside from any sonic concerns, even with a dust cover it just gets a lot of gunk in those deep grooves that gets transferred to records. One of the appeals of the Tenuto is a flat metal surface that can be easily brushed off.
     
  16. Erocka2000

    Erocka2000 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY, USA
    Would they be able to make an 11.5” A23 Hommage Mat? I’d love to get one for my 1200G, but the current 12” diameter is too large. I’ve been trying to figure out what type of material it is, to attempt making my own.
     
  17. harmonica98

    harmonica98 Forum Resident

    Location:
    London, UK
    Have you been able to compare this to any other plinths? It looks great but I have a hard time thinking about paying about the same for a plinth as my fully serviced 401!
     
    googlymoogly likes this.
  18. googlymoogly

    googlymoogly Forum Resident Thread Starter

    @Erocka2000, I see in your profile you're using the new knife edge bearing Jelco. Are you liking its performance? The 12 inch version is one of the tonearms I'm considering for a new plinth.
     
  19. Erocka2000

    Erocka2000 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY, USA
    I am liking it so far, but I'm still deciding on a final phono cable solution. I have the Audio Sensibility Impact SE and a pair of Auditorium 23 interconnects that I'm using via a Sumiko DIN to RCA adapter. I may just get a custom Auditorium 23 phono cable to eliminate the adapter, but I'm still deciding.

    As for the sound, it's not quite as tight as the stock 1200G arm, but it's a bit more fluid and full bodied.
     
    googlymoogly likes this.
  20. googlymoogly

    googlymoogly Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Didn't you once have a Thorens 124? What prompted you to move on, if I may ask?
     
  21. Erocka2000

    Erocka2000 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY, USA
    I did have a 124 for a few years. I just wanted something a bit more modern and without the occasional maintenance that the 124 needs. I also wanted a table that didn't really have a warm up time before listening.
     
  22. googlymoogly

    googlymoogly Forum Resident Thread Starter

    The Technics definitely gets that part of vinyl playback right!
     
  23. Just Walking

    Just Walking Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Abingdon
    Yes. Original SME wooden plinth - rumble rumble.

    They my own design of slate plinth, made by :: Welcome to Abingdon Stone and Marble, headstones, Stonemason Abingdon Oxfordshire-Natural Stone Fireplaces-marble-stone garden furniture, memorials:: using an early SME3009 with a vertical entry plug, which sounded great. Zero rumble, clean sounding. That cost me UKP400. When I sold that arm and bought the SMEIV I needed to modify that plinth, since the cable entry is horizontal. So I designed a large cutout in the slate, and made up an arm board out of bog oak, which I French Polished (looked stunning). Unfortunately Abingdon Stone and Marble had a lot of work on, and four weeks on could not even give me a completion date. So I was stuck with the arm and 401 and no plinth.

    So I sold my original plinth on eBay to a guy who had a suitable early SME. And bought the Peak plinth. Best thing I've bought. Forget about the plinth costing the same as the 401 - if you want that deck to really sing, you've just got to pucker up the wallet.

    And anyhow, you need to consider not just the cost of the deck - you need to compare the cost of the plinth to the deck, arm and cartridge taken together.
     
    googlymoogly and harmonica98 like this.
  24. googlymoogly

    googlymoogly Forum Resident Thread Starter

    I've put in an order for an Acoustand Solid Plinth 2.
     

Share This Page