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Old 5th December 2006, 10:55 AM   #1
DavidSC is offline DavidSC  United Kingdom
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Default Decca FFSS

I'd welcome some advice on this:

I have a Garrard 301 with Decca FFSS arm and carts - one for LPs, and one for 78s. It's all in nice working order but the leads from the arm are a bit stiff (with age, I suppose) which is tending to restrict the arm's movement and hence the stylus jumps.

I could replace the arm with an SME or similar, and use a FFSS adaptor so I can continue to use the 78 head, but before I do this, is there any way I can rewire the arm with a more flexible lead?

What are your thoughts on the FFSS arm/cart combination? Is it just a historical curiosity? I have to say that it still sounds pretty good still to my ageing ears.
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Old 5th December 2006, 12:03 PM   #2
AMV8 is offline AMV8  United Kingdom
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Hi

If you are pleased with the sound of the arm and deck I would replace a part of the arm lead near the arm pillar with a couple of coils of very soft and non rigid wire.

I do not think that there is a right sound; I settle for what I find enjoyable.

Having said that I think that the 301 is a fine deck and will be hard to better. Arm design is probably better understood now than it was when the decca arm was designed but the decca still produces good music if the leads do not cause a restriction.

I also play 78's some times. In my case I use a Hadcock unipivot arm. That has a couple of coils of loose arm lead near the arm pillar to avoid restricting the arm movement. When I want to play 78's I unclip the arm ( it has a 4 pin connector in th arm lead near the arm pillar ) and put on another arm with a 78 cartridge already fitted.

If you need some thin wire and do not have any e mail me and I will sort out some for you and put in the post.

Don
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Old 5th December 2006, 12:37 PM   #3
DavidSC is offline DavidSC  United Kingdom
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Thank you Don

I don't have any very fine soft screened lead at present, but I would think that I could find enough by cannibalising any deck I could pick up at a jumble sale. If not, I will certainly email you for some - thank you for the kind offer. I'd like to keep the combination together if only because it was left to me by a dear friend and I'm only the second owner since 1959, so it's kind of sentimental!

Kind regards,

David
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Old 5th December 2006, 12:43 PM   #4
AMV8 is offline AMV8  United Kingdom
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David

Good luck with the modifications. I think, and hope, you will find it works ok. I have used the same system for many years - a coil of wire offers so little resistence to the arm movement.

if you can not find any wire do e mail me.

Don
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Old 5th December 2006, 06:04 PM   #5
owen is offline owen  United Kingdom
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Headphones are a cheap, good source of light, flexible screened cable...


Owen
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Old 6th December 2006, 09:03 AM   #6
DavidSC is offline DavidSC  United Kingdom
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Thank you Owen - truly lateral thinking: I would never have thought of that!

Regards,

David
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Old 11th December 2006, 11:15 AM   #7
DavidSC is offline DavidSC  United Kingdom
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Just to close this thread off - I had a closer look and found that the lead from the arm was snagging on an earth lead, so I didn't need to replace the wire at all. I have now freed it, and I can't believe that something nearly fifty years old can still sound so good!

Thanks to you both for your help and suggestions.
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Old 13th December 2006, 09:27 PM   #8
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Hi, a word of caution.
The Decca cartridges have a deservedly great reputation, but the originals are also known for carving up grooves, so maybe avoid risking any valuable records!

For a sympathetic rebuild of the Deccas, try Len Gregory (the cartridge man) who's very enthusiastic about them.

regards, Jeff
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Old 14th December 2006, 09:19 AM   #9
DavidSC is offline DavidSC  United Kingdom
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Thanks for the warning Jeff - I will follow up.

David
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Old 17th December 2006, 02:06 AM   #10
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Hi there, I too use a Decca cartridge. It is a Decca super C4E.
I had mine rebuilt by Len Gregory some time ago, and the resulting sound is absolutely wonderfull!
I am no stranger to Decca and the new London cartridges and have always found them musically satisfying.
I HAVE NEVER DAMAGED ANY VINYL USING DECCA OR LONDON CARTS. The important thing to do is NOT TO TRY USING THEM IN TOO LOW A mass pick up arm.
I f you are using a Deccaa ffss arm this is ideal for any of the Decca carts.
I too have tried them in SME arms as well, awfull sound coz the effective mass of the arm is far too low!!!
Len is one of the freindliest guys I have met in years in our industry. Dont be afraid to phone him, but not on Mondays, he will guide you correctly.
S
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