Help with a Garrard 401/SME 3012 Combo Please - diyAudio
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Old 5th November 2007, 10:53 PM   #1
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Default Help with a Garrard 401/SME 3012 Combo Please

Hi everyone. Sorry to do this to you all but it is my first post and i need some help. ( i bet you've never seen that first line before). Can i give you a little background first a couple of months ago my son left home and a seed was planted in my head to turn his room into a 'Vinyl Room'. I have a couple of thousand albums but no record player as i'd given my old Waltham music centre (remember them ) away years ago. I was toying with the idea of buying a cheap one from Richer Sounds when a friend of mine who knows as much about record players as me (ie nothing) said he had an uncle who wanted rid of his as it was in his garage taking up room so i could have it . Next morning this arrived.

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The deck is a Garrard 401 and the arm is an SME 3012. Now im sorry but this means nothing to me but according to a friend this is "a nice bit of kit". As you can see it was pretty distressed and i was about two minutes from putting it in the bin till i checked out this forum . As you can see from the next picture i managed to clean it up and would really like to get it working but i was told this would cost me a few quid to get it done professionally so you can see where im going with this post now. I need to get a stylus for it plus i have no idea to start with the mound of leads and cables that came with it. If anybody could help me id be eternally grateful as id love to hear it working.

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Old 6th November 2007, 11:20 AM   #2
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the Manual with connect power is here:

If there are problems make a picture from below.

You need a new Cartridge or a new Stylus for your Cartridge ?
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Old 6th November 2007, 04:18 PM   #3
kevinkr is offline kevinkr  United States
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You lucky devil.. "Nice bit of kit" is the understatement of the century, take a look at what these go for on eBay and you'll understand.

You should plan on a new cartridge and there are plenty to choose from for the old SME 3012. SME incidentally is very good about stocking spare parts for old arms - you'll probably need to replace the rubber isolation bushing (decoupler - SME calls it something else, but I can't remember the term and my service manual is at home.) that separates the main part of the arm from the counter weight.

All of the manuals for the arm and table are available on the vinylengine website. You'll find a lot of helpful (and jealous - like me) souls to help you out.

Expect to do some work to get the 401 back into shape, but most if not all of the work you can do yourself with some patience.

You know of course that you are going to need some good electronics to go with this table. You will need a phono stage if your current amplifier does not at least having mm inputs. (moving magnetic)

Cartridge choices are various, but Goldrings, Grados, Ortofons, and the higher compliance Benz Micro moving coils will all work well.

There are lots of modders selling parts on eBay for the 401. Analog Tube Audio has good mods for the SME arm - I have installed a number of their mods on my Thorens/SME combo..
"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead." - Thomas Paine
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Old 6th November 2007, 05:06 PM   #4
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It all depends on what expectations you have. For maximum performance of the kit you need:

- new rubber for the arm as Kevin mentioned

- rewiring the arm or at the very least replacing the external cable

- new plinth

- a minimum of DL-103 cart. Surprisingly, quite a few MC carts work in the 3012. An SPU is a very safe choice unless you prefer more modern sound.

If your budget for upgrades is limited it may be a wiser decision to sell the kit on Ebay and buy something new and low maintenance for $1.5-2k.
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Old 7th November 2007, 07:40 AM   #5
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You could talk to Darren at Slatedeck. He does plinths, refurbs Garrards, some useful parts for SMEs etc. And he's in Wales!
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Old 7th November 2007, 10:10 PM   #6
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Thanks for all the great advice chaps looks like i'll have to put the next few months of my life on hold to get it to the condition she deserves.
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