Garrard 301 Bare Bones ! Help please!


I guess some stuff will sound good on the 301 and some with the Linn…I’m fancing an SME arm I think though Bobs suggestion looks okay


The 301 was designed in 1953 and released in 54 (Pre STEREO) this meant that Garrard had to play catch up with the new fangled ‘illusion’ of STEREO throughout it’s production. Changes to the motor and spindle housing made some headway (The BBC changed their 301’s to oil bearing for this reason). Garrard eventually brought out the 401 to meet with the requirements of STEREO (in culmination with the fact they had been flogging the same product for over a decade) Jump forwards in time and people began to realize that much of the 301’s rough spots could be ironed out if the units were housed in the correct plinth. The sound of a well plinthed Garrard is engaging, energized and musical. I’ve heard lots of criticism but I’ve not heard the word dull or boring being directed their way. Rough & Ready might be one way to describe them. Very few people would venture to appoint the 301 as spectacular in detailed presentation. It is however possible to achieve some of this but it does come at a cost (detaching the motor from the chassis a la Bastin / RJC is a very good way to go) I can say with a decent Mono cartridge the sound of a 301 can be very nice indeed. However what you suggest as a goal is a good all rounder on a budget. Often you will see 301’s paired with 12" arms and there is good reason for this the motor vibration is high and keeping the arm as far away as possible from this is logical and audible. A traditional pairing in terms of cartridges with the 301 is the Ortofon SPU. These cartridge are not neutral by any description I have heard or personally experienced. Coloured, warm, rosy, musical, tinted etc are often mooted as descriptors. Personally I think they have a nice flavor but perhaps not an every day flavor, rather like blue cheese - I love the stuff but I don’t gnaw on it every day. The Low output MC Hana cartridge is a solid offering and good all rounder - Think cheddar. In terms of arms a second hand 12" Jelco may well suit, alternatively the Audio Creative Groovemaster MKII is an excellent, arm although potentially out of price range.
My apologies for the above cheese analogy, I am clearly peckish and acutely aware I have some crumpets and decent cheddar lurking in the kitchen.


Don’t say leisurely LOL

I’ve got Tabriz or Audiomods V to get the plinth set up and give you a feel for the deck. Most put 3009 on it coz it looks ‘right’, but given your high spec Linn I think a modern arm would be a better start?

Given the budget, I’d stick with 9/10" arms, I thought 12" Jelco dull, but I’m in a minority with that opinion :slight_smile:


I just can’t add anything to this, other than

It’s a design classic
It looks cool
It’s not the best turntable in the world, but it IS engaging


Oh, and I like my SME M2-12R arm on it (although not in budget)


This one looks Funzie


If the plinth is being set up for a 9 inch arm, you will struggle to better the Xenon that was/is for sale on here, at a great price. Great arm and would leave plenty of your budget for a decent cartridge.


Good call


That’s a very descriptive take on the 301,for which I would like to thank you for the time and effort that you put into this.
The 301 that I bought belonged to Brian (Take 5) known to many who have attended his past Bakeoffs.
I think that at the moment ,I will research all the recommendations that you guys have gave me,
decide whether to put a 12in arm on but for now just try one of the arms Mark ddd…suggested to get a feel for the sound …I have heard Pauls (Pmac) and loved the sound and same goes for Jacks (BD Audio ) the latter at Cranage and that sounded superb…
My project over the next year or so will be to upgrade it to a top notcher…
Many thanks to all for the suggestions ,they are appreciated.
Watch this space !!


Mick didn’t Ian have an SME 12 inch arm for sale a month or so ago. Perhaps it might be worth dropping him a PM.
Just a thought.


No idea if it’s any good,but like the look of them.


I finally have a tone arm and soon to have a phono stage…I plumbed for a Morch DP-6 and a Paradise phono stage…Just a cartridge now and then get them over to Mark to assemble etc …
Taking shape nicely…


Did I see the Moerch had the blue wand? This is the heavier wand, a brighter mind than mine needed to recommend a cart. I’m afraid i don’t go much further than the usual AT suspects?


I’m useless so don’t ask me.
Just don’t forget a toilet roll holder on the plinth.


It is the blue one Mark … any recommendations for a suitable cartridge ?


I’ve been recommended Hans SL or Benz micro wood…
Has anybody any views or experience of the above …other recommendations welcome…


The Hana is very good,not heard the Benz


The paradise stage is said to be excellent. I’d be interested to hear it one day.
Have you got a budget in mind for your cart Mick?


Micky if youre thinking of using the hana on your moerch it would be worth dropping an email to moerch regarding compliance as the blue is the heaviest of the moerch arms and as far as i can recollect the hana are fairly light. There is nothing on their list regarding hana


Thanks for that info ! I will try to get in touch after I sort my email problem out …(I can receive emails but not send them).