Garrard 401 Transcription Turntable



The successor to the extremely popuplar Garrard 301, which sold by the lorry load until 1964, when the 401 was launched.

The new Garrard 401 borrowed heavily from it's predecessor in that it still used a high power heady duty motor to power the idle wheel, had a large cast aluminium platter and no plinth. Add to this superb over engineering and you have something that was built to last and sounded superb providing it was set up properly and that is where a lot of people went wrong and why so many ended up in junk shops and left in the loft for 25 years or more, until people started digging them out and using them again fuelled on by a media interest in them in the early 90's.

I was lucky enough to pick up one for £50 in a second hand shop, and thought it would be a good restoration project. Because of the superb build quality, they are not difficult to dismantle and essentially it is only the motor and probably the bearing that will need attention,the rest will just need cleaning although even these should be in very good condition providing they have not been starved of oil. In fact there are still a large number of these decks that have hardly been used because people never set them up properly and were unimpressed the sound quality.

But if you set them up properly, build a half decent plinth, add a good quality tone arm and cartridge and you have something that can compete with the very best.

The plinth that I built for my Garrard 401, was 7 layers of machine carved 18mm MDF with an 18mm slate base which although it weighed in at around 15kgs gave superb results and cured any rumble issues that plagued many Garrard 401s.

For the tone arm, I used a Rega RB300 which gives excellent results with almost any type of turntable and at £150 in 1992 was hard to beat. I also forked out £200 on a Goldring Elite moving coil cartridge which was highly regarded at the time and had a lovely smooth midrange and clear sweet treble something that all moving coil cartridges possess in abundance.

The Garrard 401 is still part of my current set up, although I have admit I tend to listen to CD more now given that my LP collection over 15 years old.

The Garrard 401 can still be bought on Ebay, but beware of quality issues as it is important that the motor and bearing are in good condition otherwise you can end up paying ten times as much to replace these worn items.

Anyone wanting more information on Garrard should contact Loricraft Audio

This entry was posted on Saturday September 2nd, 2006 at 1:49 PM and is filed under Turntables. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Comments are now closed.

3 Responses to Garrard 401 Transcription Turntable

Alan overton Says:
October 5th, 2007 at 10:13 PM

is it at all possible to replace the front panel (under switches) on the 401?
mine is looking a little moth eaten now and as it is in daily use deserves a little cash thrown at it. thanks

Steve somers Says:
May 22nd, 2009 at 3:42 PM

I have a 401 - It's done about 10hours playing!
It was a 21st birthday present to me - along with the SME 3012 arm
I nearly sold it many times in my cash strapped youth - I finally mounted on a plinth (thick kitchen top about 15 years ago.
I get it out about every 5th Christmas - play a couple of tracks from a couple of LPs and then - back in mothballs
BTW - my D.O.B?

Dec 1950

Vladimir Says:
February 23rd, 2012 at 5:10 PM

Здравствуйте! Очень понравился supper плинтус-TRANSCRIPTION PLINTH SHEFFIELD под стол Garrard-401 под тонарм 12"-ХОЧУ КУПИТЬ! Можете помочь купить и стол Garrard-401 и тонарм 12"?

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