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  1. #1
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    Garrard Turntable

    A friend of mine is going to give me an old Garrard 770S or 630S TT. These were cheap TT's. Does any one know anything about them? I know that the 770 has a low mass Tone arm and that it will need a high compliance cartridge. If it works, I was thinking about a Nagaoka cartridge and a Bellari VP130 phono preamp.

    Here are some specs on the 770m-

    Garrard 770M Turntable - Technical Specifications - Vintage Turntable Resource - A Stereo Record Player or Audio Phonograph Guide

    The pictures below are for the M models, not the single play S models

    https://www.google.com/search?q=garr...ml%3B300%3B268


    Google Image Result for http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2622/3786424655_fd74f40797_o.jpg





    Nagaoka Phono Cartridges



    Bellari VP130 Tube Phono Preamp
    Last edited by blackraven; 06-15-2013 at 01:34 PM.
    Pass Labs X250 amp, BAT Vk-51se Preamp,
    Thorens TD-145 TT, Bellari phono preamp, Nagaoka MP-200 Cartridge
    Magnepan QR1.6 speakers
    Van Alstine Ultra Plus Hybrid Tube DAC
    Martin Logan Original Dynamo Sub
    Parasound A21 amp
    Vintage Luxman T-110 tuner
    Magnepan MMG's, Grant Fidelity DAC-11, Class D CDA254 amp
    Monitor Audio S1 speakers, PSB B6 speakers
    Vintage Technic's Integrated amp
    Music Hall 25.2 CDP
    Adcom GFR 700 AVR
    Cables- Cardas, Silnote, BJC
    Velodyne CHT 8 sub

  2. #2
    Retro Modernist 02audionoob's Avatar
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    It's hard to go wrong with Nagaoka cartridges. They're good value. The MP-110 is terrific for its price. The Bellari, on the other hand, doesn't do it for me. I'd rather have something like the Musical Fidelity V-LPS II. In fact, I do have one. I've had the Bellari, too. The V-LPS seems quieter and more neutral.

    The information that the Garrard's tonearm is low-mass probably warrants a little more investigation. It could be low by the standards of its day, but still on the heavy side by today's standards. But even so, it could turn out to be a good match for the MP-110, which does not have very high compliance.

  3. #3
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    I read that the tone arm on the 770 needs a moderately high to very high compliant cartridge and that the Nagaoka's are recommended for it. I will probably try to find one that is more moderate. The TT itself is not worth much but I will give it to my son if I don't like the sound. I appreciate the tip on the Phono preamp. I think that I will take it to the local Needle Doctor here and buy a cartridge and see if I can try it out with different preamps.
    Pass Labs X250 amp, BAT Vk-51se Preamp,
    Thorens TD-145 TT, Bellari phono preamp, Nagaoka MP-200 Cartridge
    Magnepan QR1.6 speakers
    Van Alstine Ultra Plus Hybrid Tube DAC
    Martin Logan Original Dynamo Sub
    Parasound A21 amp
    Vintage Luxman T-110 tuner
    Magnepan MMG's, Grant Fidelity DAC-11, Class D CDA254 amp
    Monitor Audio S1 speakers, PSB B6 speakers
    Vintage Technic's Integrated amp
    Music Hall 25.2 CDP
    Adcom GFR 700 AVR
    Cables- Cardas, Silnote, BJC
    Velodyne CHT 8 sub

  4. #4
    Retro Modernist 02audionoob's Avatar
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    The page for the 770 at the Vinyl Engine site says the 770 shipped with a Shure M93E. The Shure user guide for the M93E lists the recommended tracking force as 1-1/2 to 3 grams. This is not the tracking force of a high compliance cartridge by today's standards. It would be like today's Shure M35X. Shure's current popular high compliance model is the M97XE which tracks at 3/4 to 1-1/2 grams.

    It might still be true that a Nagaoka will work fine, but the terminology is perhaps misleading. Like I mentioned before, low mass back then is probably different than low mass in the era following the very low mass arms like the Dual ULM and the SME 3009 II Improved. These are relative terms.

  5. #5
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info!
    Pass Labs X250 amp, BAT Vk-51se Preamp,
    Thorens TD-145 TT, Bellari phono preamp, Nagaoka MP-200 Cartridge
    Magnepan QR1.6 speakers
    Van Alstine Ultra Plus Hybrid Tube DAC
    Martin Logan Original Dynamo Sub
    Parasound A21 amp
    Vintage Luxman T-110 tuner
    Magnepan MMG's, Grant Fidelity DAC-11, Class D CDA254 amp
    Monitor Audio S1 speakers, PSB B6 speakers
    Vintage Technic's Integrated amp
    Music Hall 25.2 CDP
    Adcom GFR 700 AVR
    Cables- Cardas, Silnote, BJC
    Velodyne CHT 8 sub

  6. #6
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    I had to jump in here and add my two cents. From your previous posts on this forum, I get the impression you are a serious listener, and want equipment that will provide you with decent performance and good sound.

    That being said, I don't understand why you're even considering either of these two turntables, even for free. "Cheap" hardly begins to describe them, and they certainly don't belong in the roster of fine equipment listed in your profile.

    The 770 model was a less expensive version of their once touted, then universally panned Zero-100 model, but leaving off the "tangential" portion of the massive (most decidedly NOT "low mass" tonearm). The 630 was a fairly cheap model made by Garrard after their U.S. distributor, British Industries, dropped them in favor of the far superior B.I.C. lineup of belt-drive automatic turntables.

    Garrard enjoyed tremendous business in the U.S., largely due to the successful business relationship between British Industries and Lafayette Radio, but once British Industries brought about the B.I.C. line, the only successful Garrard models were the real cheapies, and the new distributor, Plessy, direct from England, despite herculean efforts to improve the quality of Garrard turntables, never achieved much success with the Garrard name.

    I can remember the GT-55 model - the supposedly "corrected" and "improved" version of the Zero-100, and how shunned it was by most of the industry. A Garrard sales manager actually gave me one for free in an attempt to sway me over, but after a quick listen, I packed it up and gave it back.

    To be even more blunt, adding a Garrard model - any Garrard model - to one's lineup of equipment is like adding a Nash Rambler to one's "classic" car collection. Why bother?

    Sorry to be so blunt, but Garrard is a name for which I once had, and no longer do have any respect.

  7. #7
    Music Junkie E-Stat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by emaidel View Post
    To be even more blunt, adding a Garrard model - any Garrard model - to one's lineup of equipment is like adding a Nash Rambler to one's "classic" car collection. Why bother?
    I pretty much agree having started out with a 40B. It started out with a ceramic cartridge and I modified it to install a Shure M44.

    One unit, however, that still draws favor with some folks is the 301 when equipped with a good arm like a SME.

  8. #8
    Music Junkie E-Stat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackraven View Post
    I was thinking about a Nagaoka cartridge and a Bellari VP130 phono preamp.
    I'm with the Noob on the Bellari as I also had one for a while. It was decent, but not really a tube unit. Gain and equalization is provided by two op amps per channel with the shared dual triode serving more as buffer/eye candy. I spent the same $250 on a used NAD C-160 preamp that I found to be much better and far more flexible.

    I think you should have Frank put a phono stage in your preamp.

  9. #9
    Super Moderator Site Moderator JohnMichael's Avatar
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    When I was selling audio equipment we were selling Garrad turntables. Not only were the tables built cheaply they were having labor issues in England. The workers would sabotage the tables beyond the design. We opened one for a display model and there was a screwdriver jammed through the table. If I remember correctly the screwdriver was better quality than the table.
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  10. #10
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by emaidel View Post
    I had to jump in here and add my two cents. From your previous posts on this forum, I get the impression you are a serious listener, and want equipment that will provide you with decent performance and good sound.

    That being said, I don't understand why you're even considering either of these two turntables, even for free. "Cheap" hardly begins to describe them, and they certainly don't belong in the roster of fine equipment listed in your profile.

    The 770 model was a less expensive version of their once touted, then universally panned Zero-100 model, but leaving off the "tangential" portion of the massive (most decidedly NOT "low mass" tonearm). The 630 was a fairly cheap model made by Garrard after their U.S. distributor, British Industries, dropped them in favor of the far superior B.I.C. lineup of belt-drive automatic turntables.

    Garrard enjoyed tremendous business in the U.S., largely due to the successful business relationship between British Industries and Lafayette Radio, but once British Industries brought about the B.I.C. line, the only successful Garrard models were the real cheapies, and the new distributor, Plessy, direct from England, despite herculean efforts to improve the quality of Garrard turntables, never achieved much success with the Garrard name.

    I can remember the GT-55 model - the supposedly "corrected" and "improved" version of the Zero-100, and how shunned it was by most of the industry. A Garrard sales manager actually gave me one for free in an attempt to sway me over, but after a quick listen, I packed it up and gave it back.

    To be even more blunt, adding a Garrard model - any Garrard model - to one's lineup of equipment is like adding a Nash Rambler to one's "classic" car collection. Why bother?

    Sorry to be so blunt, but Garrard is a name for which I once had, and no longer do have any respect.
    I certainly appreciate you being blunt and I agree with you. I have no illusions of grandeur about the sound.

    My issue with buying a high end TT is cost (the set up that I would like to have is the music hall MMF 7, pro-ject tube box IIse and Virtuoso or Maestro Cartridge) and the fact that my 300 or so LP's are in poor shape from my college days. In addition, the next major purchase for my system will be an upgrade from my Parasound A21 amp to something in the $4K-5K range, probably a used CJ or Pass amp. As far as the Garrard TT is concerned, I know that it is a piece of Dreck! But it is free and spending about $300 on a cartridge and phono preamp that can be used later on lets say a sub $1K Pro-Ject debut or Rega TT is worth it to me. The guy that has the Garrard also has a couple of 1970's Marantz TT's and he may eventually give me one.

    Estat, thanks for reminding me about Frank's phono preamp. I just may have him add it to my preamp. His phono preamps are well respected.
    Pass Labs X250 amp, BAT Vk-51se Preamp,
    Thorens TD-145 TT, Bellari phono preamp, Nagaoka MP-200 Cartridge
    Magnepan QR1.6 speakers
    Van Alstine Ultra Plus Hybrid Tube DAC
    Martin Logan Original Dynamo Sub
    Parasound A21 amp
    Vintage Luxman T-110 tuner
    Magnepan MMG's, Grant Fidelity DAC-11, Class D CDA254 amp
    Monitor Audio S1 speakers, PSB B6 speakers
    Vintage Technic's Integrated amp
    Music Hall 25.2 CDP
    Adcom GFR 700 AVR
    Cables- Cardas, Silnote, BJC
    Velodyne CHT 8 sub

  11. #11
    Aging Smartass
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackraven View Post
    The guy that has the Garrard also has a couple of 1970's Marantz TT's and he may eventually give me one.

    .
    Why not just wait until then? The cheesy tonearms (which were usually crooked, and had the cartridges tilted sideways on the record surface) of the Garrards could ruin any cartridge you might wish to use later, which the Marantz tables wouldn't.

    I sold hundreds of Garrard turntables in my 14 years with Lafayette Radio, and rarely had QC problems with any of them. They were just plain lousy to begin with. I actually bought a Zero-100, believing the tangential tonearm made a difference. It did all right: it was so massive that on playing warped records, it actually bounced up off the record's surface, and then came crashing back down.

    We at Lafayette wrongly believed in Garrard's superiority over Dual models, mostly because of the enormous difference in servicing costs and replacement parts when either needed repairs. All that flew out the window, when I replaced my Zero-100 with a Dual 1229Q, and marveled at how much better it sounded, and how it played warped records with ease. It lasted for years, and I sold it to someone who never had any trouble with it either.

    It's amazing how wrong an audio salesman could be, and I sure was (as were many at Lafayette, swayed as we were by the spiffs we were paid on profitable items, and the lack of same on higher quality stuff).

    As another historical note of interest, when I started working for Pickering, we used to have slide shows we presented to dealers. We'd rent a large hotel suite, offer either a dinner, or wine and cheese, and present a slide show, mostly silly fluff that rarely ever had anything to do with what made any of the Pickering cartridges work. The part that started me was that most of these cartridges in the shows were mounted in a Zero-100 tonearm, which was instantly recognizable to anyone watching. I had no idea the revulsion audio salespeople had for the Zero-100 until gales of laughter erupted with the shots of this tonearm, and the nasty comments about "why did you use that piece of ***t for your presentation?"

  12. #12
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    Ok you guys have convinced me to give it!
    Pass Labs X250 amp, BAT Vk-51se Preamp,
    Thorens TD-145 TT, Bellari phono preamp, Nagaoka MP-200 Cartridge
    Magnepan QR1.6 speakers
    Van Alstine Ultra Plus Hybrid Tube DAC
    Martin Logan Original Dynamo Sub
    Parasound A21 amp
    Vintage Luxman T-110 tuner
    Magnepan MMG's, Grant Fidelity DAC-11, Class D CDA254 amp
    Monitor Audio S1 speakers, PSB B6 speakers
    Vintage Technic's Integrated amp
    Music Hall 25.2 CDP
    Adcom GFR 700 AVR
    Cables- Cardas, Silnote, BJC
    Velodyne CHT 8 sub

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