Over the last 6 years, Woodsong Audio has become proficient in rebuilding and fine adjusting the Garrard 301 and 401 idler drive turntables for optimum performance, and is now officially offering this service.
Services range from a simple cleaning, with replacement of the minimal parts necessary, like springs, bushings, oil, etc, to the full on, top level service which basically goes through every aspect of the deck, and returns it to a better than original state, in many cases.
A simple cleaning starts at $350, and parts and additional services are added from there.
The full-tilt process involves a complete dis-assembly of the deck. Every fastener and rivet is removed. The linkages are ultrasonically cleaned to remove the years of dust, dirt, residue, and some of the toxic cadmium plating. Ultrasonic cleaning is no magic bullet, like it may sound, but is an efficient method for the initial preparation of the parts for stripping and electroplating in Yellow Zinc, remiving the toxic Cadmium, and restoring the linkages to better than original. Every screw, nut, and washer is inspected. Often, the old screw heads show signs of tools that have touched them over the years. These heads can be cleaned up by careful grinding and polishing., prior to plating in Yellow Zinc. Every rivet is removed, every Cadmium plated nut, screw, linkage piece, or chassis piece, is cleaned and re-plated in gleaming Yellow Zinc. The linkages are then properly greased, and riveted back together with the proper rivets on a 1 ton press. This might seem excessive, but really, due to the design of the linkages, the only way to properly lubricate them is to go through this process. I believe that the film of fresh grease in the linkages actually helps minimize metal to metal contact, thus further minimizing the pathways for motor noise and rumble to make it into the LP playback system. Yes, it makes a difference. No, it is not absolutely vital in every case. Yes, it is absolutely top shelf in every aspect.
After the linkages and fasteners have been dealt with, the chassis itself it cleaned. The enamel used on the old decks was very good, and in most cases still looks decent. I polish the chassis with a fine polishing compound which leaves no trace, except for a markedly improved surface. Stains of all sorts can be minimized, including the dreaded dust bug marks. (Dust bug marks can generally only be improved, in most cases, not completely eliminated) If the customer desires, or if the deck is really beat up, it can be repainted in top quality automotive finish, in most any color.
The motor is then completely disassembled, the bearing cover rivets are removed, new bearing bushings installed if necessary, new felt lubricating pads installed, the holes in the case tapped, and screws installed in place of the rivets ( a better option!) The armature is inspected, cleaned, the coils tested, and the motor assembled. In every case of working with an old motor this process has resulted in a smoother spinning motor.
All springs and bushings are replaced. New switch contacts are installed. A new spark suppressor is installed, soldered to the correct location in the switch location, not just spliced in, like is commonly seen. Any damaged or ailing wires are replaced. A new idler wheel is installed. The eddy brake disc is inspected, and adjusted, also, I have just located a source for eddy brake discs that are supposedly better than the original. This is a source for vibration in the Garrards, and often they are slightly bent.
The main platter bearing is removed, ultrasonically cleaned, lapped, and polished. The oil gallery plugs in the bearing housing are sealed, The bearing unit is assembled, and recharged with the correct lubricant as recommended by Terry at Loricraft, and he should know!
New idler tower bushings are installed, and the idler wheel adjusted as necessary to ensure smooth, quiet running.
Every part of the deck is carefully built back up. Attention is paid to the correct torque of all fasteners in the deck, not all are supposed to be tight. A precision torque driver is used for the main bearing housing.
For the platter, if it is in tatty shape, I have found a flat black metal coating that matches the original black EXACTLY. This is not a rattle can finish, or automotive finish that shows light abrasions. This is an industrial metal coating that is as durable as the original finish, and matches exactly. Unstrobed platters are easy, strobed platters require more work, carefully filing the tops of the strobe 'platforms' after painting. In either case, the platter is completely stripped of it's old finish, the surface made paint ready, and then sprayed with the flat black finish.
Finally, the deck is completely built, and run in for several days with careful attention , and fine adjusted to minimize noise. This is an art with the Garrard idlers, and not something that is necessarily intuitive at first. I have spent many, many hours studying and learning the sources for noise with the Garrards, and how to quiet them.
Turnaround time depends on the depth of the service, my schedule, and in case I need to order any parts. I generally have all parts in stock.
Please contact me for complete details, and how exactly to proceed with your deck. Also, often customers will have decks sent to me, directly from where they are purchased in the UK, to have them serviced, and then built into a complete deck with a custom, top quality Woodsong Audio plinth. I inspect the deck thoroughly on it's arrival, and advise on it's condition.
Thank you for looking.