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Old 6th Nov 2012, 12:04 am   #41
GP49000
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Default Re: Garrard record player deck identification.

Garrard OEM Turntable Units

In September 1969, Garrard issued a pamphlet with a list of radiograms and integrated audio systems using Garrard record changers. The list was by no means complete (I think a page is missing from the Radiogram section...can the list of manufacturers have ended at "Murphy?") but gives an idea of the price ranges and variety of equipment where Garrard had been specified.

Sorry if the lists are a little difficult to read. The forum has a restriction on image size and these are as large as can be displayed.
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Last edited by GP49000; 6th Nov 2012 at 12:11 am.
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Old 6th Nov 2012, 6:43 pm   #42
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Default Re: Garrard record player deck identification.

The Garrard 3500 begat the "Autoslim-B" series of autochangers and the SP25 Mk III (previously discussed). In fact, the Service Manual that was issued by Garrard when the "Autoslim-B" series was introduced was that for the Garrard 3500 with supplement sheets.

Its lack of automatic record size selection in record-changer mode signalled both a money-saving move and an increased attention to single record play. While fully automatic single-record play with the short spindle was present only in the SP25 Mk III, the record-changer models did have the facility to swing the overarm to the rear, for better access to the platter. However, doing this put the overarm into its DOWN position, same as if there were no records on the multiple-play spindle; pushing the control to AUTO on the autochanger models would simply result in the arm lifting up and returning to its rest. Records had to be played manually, with the arm positioned by hand.

Life was made easier by the lever-operated cueing device, which for the first time on the Autoslim-chassis was damped with viscous silicone fluid, for gentle lowering to the record surface. The early implementation of this feature, however, was not ideal. When the stylus was lowered to the record, the lifting platform was pushed downward only by the arm via its lifting pin, which meant that once the stylus touched the record, it didn't go down any farther. This could result in a drag on motion of the tonearm; no matter how slight, it was still there. When the "Autoslim-B" series record changers were introduced and I saw this, I was alarmed, finding it incomprehensible that a company like Garrard could have overlooked this design detail. Within a few months, a revised design was issued: a vertical extension was added to the moulded plastic lift platform and a hole was placed directly beneath in the tonearm base casting. In between, a small spring was installed to assist the lift platform in returning all the way down, totally clear of the tonearm lift pin so there would be no chance of any interference.

A spring-operated, adjustable antiskate device on the higher-priced models replaced the weight-operated design on the AT60, 60 Mk II, SL65, SP25 and SP25 Mk II.

The models in this series introduced the "Cartridge Clip," a lower-cost design replacing the plug-in headshell. Its sliding contact strips would be a source of intermittent signals, hums and buzzes afflicting Garrards for as long as the system was used. The version of the cartridge clip in the Autoslim-chassis "B" series was the C2.

Styling was more angular than in the prior years' models, in keeping with then-current trends.

The 40B was the "entry-level" model in the "Autoslim-B" series. It had a four-pole induction motor in the USA and a two-pole motor elsewhere. It had cueing, but no antiskate. Its tonearm was partially counterbalanced; the user-accessible tracking force adjustment required an external gauge but once so calibrated, markings at one-gram intervals aided adjustments.

The SL55B had the Synchro-Lab motor and antiskate, with the same arm as the 40B (and the SP20B, photo shown on an earlier post).

The SL65B had the Synchro-Lab motor and antiskate, and a fully counterweighted, dynamically balanced arm of the basic AT6-SP25 design.

The 60B was an SL65B but without synchronous motor and the round badge on the left front of the chassis.

The Garrard large-chassis "B" series will be discussed later.

Photos:

40B
SL55B
SL65B
60B
Cueing lift platform detail showing modification with extension and spring (partly hidden). This is from SP25 Mk V but the modification was the same on all applicable models.
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Last edited by GP49000; 6th Nov 2012 at 7:06 pm.
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Old 6th Nov 2012, 6:57 pm   #43
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Default Re: Garrard record player deck identification.

More photos of the Autoslim "B" models:

The C2 cartridge clip (catalog illustration).
SL65B tonearm detail, showing new adjustable spring-type antiskate (catalog illustration).
SL65B, showing overarm swung to the rear for single-record play with short spindle (catalog illustration).
SL55B arm detail, showing antiskate and tracking weight adjusters.
SL55B with original box, including Garrard "World's Finest" slogan.
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Last edited by GP49000; 6th Nov 2012 at 7:17 pm.
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Old 7th Nov 2012, 6:31 am   #44
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Default Re: Garrard record player deck identification.

The "Large Chassis 1968" Garrards

I'm using "Large Chassis 1968" to identify the chassis that began as the SL75/95. I don't know of an OFFICIAL name for it.

The prior large-chassis Garrards dated from the 1950s, a lineage that went from RC80 to RC88 to Type A to Lab 80. They were big, complicated machines with many mechanical parts in the automatic workings, all of which were assembled, one by one, by skilled hands in the Newcastle Street factory.

It has been said by some in Swindon that Garrard were content with slim profits, or perhaps even some losses, on the high-end products like the 301 and 401 transcription turntables, and perhaps even the high-priced automatics Type A and Lab 80, because their prestige would stimulate sales of the mass-market, high-profit models on the Autoslim chassis. But by the early 1960s, Garrard was no longer its own master, having sold itself to Plessey, which saw in Garrard a cash cow. Some of those same Swindonites say that Plessey didn't realize that even a cash cow needs feeding, but regardless, the high cost of manufacture resulted in the Lab 80, as revolutionary as it was, being the end of its line.

A new chassis, whose design would provide for lower cost assembly, and for incorporation of modern features integrated into the mechanism rather than added on (as an example the Lab 80's cueing, no matter how effective and elegant to use, was a mechanical kludge), was needed. The new design would put equal emphasis on single-playing as on record-changing. Key among its operating features would be a tonearm that could be moved freely and placed back on its rest in automatic play, something that could never be done on the old models. The old pusher platform was banished to history, and the complicated tripoise automatic spindle of the Lab 80 was also abolished.

The resulting design used only a few parts that were interchangeable with the Autoslim, and reflected its simplicity more as a principle to be followed than as a starting point for the actual mechanical design.

The first generation was represented by three automatic turntables. Two of them were multiple-record players, the SL75 and SL95. They both were powered by the new Synchro-Lab induction/synchronous motor. Their platters weighed only about half as much as the heavy cast platter of the Lab 80. They consisted of a steel inner drive platter and an aluminium outer platter which brought the final diameter to 12 inches. The claim was made that the synchronous section of the new motor made unnecessary the stabilization of speed through inertia of a heavy platter. For single play with a short spindle, their clean decks were to be unobstructed by mechanisms for automatic play. Record-changing was accomplished with a pusher spindle similar in principle to that on the Autoslim changer models, and much cheaper than the Lab 80's spindle, but it was felt that a record-stabilizing overarm would be out of character for these high-line models. The record stack would be stabilized by a platform toward the right rear of the unit, called "Auto-Rise," which would pop up at the push of a button for automatic play, and retract to clear the unit for manual play. Controls for manual play, automatic play, and speed/size selection were rotary types; and like the 3500 and "Autoslim-B" models, the speed-size selections for automatic play were limited: all three sizes at 33rpm, 7-inch as 45rpm, and 12-inch only at 78rpm (which differed from the 10-inch only selection on the 3500-based models because the side platform could not accommodate 10-inch records). Manually, any speed or size record could be played, and at the end of a side, the arm would pick up automatically and return to its rest. The cueing device was integrated into the Manual control and was usable at any time while playing, whether manually or automatically. The short, single play spindles did not entirely rotate with the platter, but had a small rotating collar beneath a tip of low-friction DelrinŽ.

The SL95 and SL75 differed only in minor trim colors and their counterweighted, dynamically balanced tonearms. The SL75 arm was an extruded aluminium inverted dual-channel, the SL95 arm was an aluminium channel with an Afrormosia wood trim inlayed into it and a simulated gimbal mounting for its pivots. Oddly, the lower-priced SL75 had a vernier counterweight adjustment and an infinitely adjustable dial for setting tracking weight, while the costlier SL95 had a sliding counterweight and its tracking weight control could only be set to 1/4 gram clickstops. Both had antiskating operated by weights, though they were implemented differently. Both had slide-in cartridge clips, replacing the expensive magnesium plug-in shells of the Lab 80 and Type A70. Inexplicably the cartridge clips differed between them; the SL75 used the C1, the SL95 the C2.

The third member of the new team was the AP75 automatic single-play turntable. It had the tonearm of the SL75, including the C1 cartridge slide...in advertising, the low profile of its pivot housing was touted...and a smaller, 10 1/2 inch platter made of aluminium, recessed into the unit plate, contributing to the low-profile look. The AP75 did not have the Synchro-Lab motor, but the Laboratory Series induction motor. Its controls were identical to those of the SL75 and SL95, except for lacking the interchangeable multiple-play spindle and the retractable record support platform. A major difference: the AP75 platter rotated on a single thrust ball at the top of a stationary shaft, while the record-changing models with provision for a multiple-play spindle needed ball-race thrust bearings, which were slightly noisier in use.

Photos:

AP75
AP75 tonearm detail (antiskate lever flipped to its OFF position)
SL95, note wood-trimmed tonearm
SL75, note aluminium tonearm identical to AP75
SL95, with short single-play spindle and record support platform retracted
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Last edited by GP49000; 7th Nov 2012 at 7:00 am.
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Old 7th Nov 2012, 7:25 am   #45
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Default Re: Garrard record player deck identification.

Some more photos related to the "large chassis 1968."

Lab 80 underside. Note complexity compared to:
SL75 underside
SL95, etc. platter, showing steel inner platter and large aluminium outer platter
SL95, platter removed. Idler wheel and rubber motor mounts are common with the Autoslim chassis.
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Old 7th Nov 2012, 8:17 am   #46
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The Autoslim goes belt-drive, then bows out

The Autoslim-chassis was designed as an idler-drive and remained that way for most of its life. However, the market began to favor belt drive, which was also cheaper to build than idler drive, having many fewer parts.

In the late 1970s, Garrard re-engineered the Autoslim chassis to belt-drive, in single-play automatic turntables priced above the SP25. Both were powered by Garrard's Synchro-Lab motor, with a rubber belt driving an aluminium platter made out of multiple stampings...no die casting, no machining. Speed change was accomplished by a "fork" which shifted the belt between different-sized steps on the motor pulley according to a lever at the left front of the unit.

The 125SB had an S-shaped tonearm, with an adjustable counterweight with calibrated scale to set tracking weight. Antiskate was by an adjustable spring. The 125SB shared the C5 cartridge clip with the DD75 and 86SB Mk II single play turntables and the 990B multiple-play model.

Automatic single play was possible at either 33 or 45rpm. Any of the three standard record sizes could be chosen through a record size selector lever, located where the speed selector was on the early Autoslim models. Another lever alongside the tonearm at the rear, allowed the user to select automatic repeat play, if desired. Its viscous fluid-damped cueing control was by a lever identical to that on the SL65B and similar models.

The 35SB was like the 125SB but had the straight tonearm of the SP25 Mk IV, fully counterweighted and dynamically balanced, with a separate dial for setting tracking weight. It took the C2 cartridge clip. Drive system was identical to that of the 125SB. Specifications for rumble, flutter-wow and minimum tracking weight (1.5 gr.) were the same.

At the introduction of the 125SB and 35SB, the SP25 Mk IV remained in the line as the last Autoslim-chassis model with idler drive. That changed with the SP25 Mk V, which took on the same two-speed belt-drive as the 125SB and 35SB. It also adopted the S-shaped tonearm, combining that armtube shape and the C5 cartridge clip with the familiar AT60/SP25 tonearm pivots, and a new counterweight on a rubber mount that slid along the armshaft, without a locking screw. The SP25 Mk V tonearm continued to be fully counterbalanced with a spring for applying tracking weight, controlled by a calibrated knob. A minor revision in decorative trim to the SP25 Mk V resulted in the SP25 Mk VI.

Photos of the SP25 Mk V and SP25 Mk VI were in one of the earlier posts about the SP25 series.

Photos:

125SB
125SB tonearm detail
35SB (catalog illustration)
35SB tonearm (catalog illustration)
35SB tonearm detail showing repeat/single play switch, same as on 125SB
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Old 7th Nov 2012, 8:33 am   #47
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Default Re: Garrard record player deck identification.

A few more photos of the belt-drive Autoslim-chassis models.

125SB, mat removed showing stamped aluminium platter
125SB, platter removed showing Autoslim-type mechanism gear
35SB in an alternate-trim version
125SB in an alternate-trim version
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Old 7th Nov 2012, 9:00 am   #48
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And that was it for the Autoslims. The long-running design had ushered in Garrard's most prosperous era, proving to be reliable, efficient, versatile, stylish and profitable. But in a move intended to reduce production costs even further, it was superceded by a new platform called the Unimech, which will be discussed later. Here, we'll see a few more photos of Autoslim-chassis Garrards. We could really go on, almost forever with them!

Garrard in a Columbia phonograph built by Pye. American makers seemed to think their buyers wanted curved tonearms. Garrard was glad to comply.
AT6 in a British metal base.
Autoslim made for Westinghouse, with their "W" logo.
Autoslim with the platter-shaped instruction sheet, typical for lower-priced models.
745D, a custom AT5P for which the buyer specified the fancy mat from the SL65, and a "Laboratory Series Automatic Turntable" medallion.
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Old 9th Nov 2012, 8:13 am   #49
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The "Large Chassis B" Garrards

The new "large chassis" introduced in 1968...the SL95, SL75 and AP75...had its problems, and this all came at a particularly inopportune time for Garrard, as its major competitors in automatic turntables, Dual and Miracord, were refining and improving their products, while at the same time the large Garrards did not seem to feel as solid as did their predecessors, particularly the Lab 80.

Among the problems that arose (a lot of this is from my own memory, as this all happened when I became keenly interested in hi-fi):

The rotary controls for automatic play and manual play/cueing tended to shake the unit too much when the user turned them, particularly to operate the cueing device or automatically reject a record. The Lab 80's tab controls were gentler to operate, Dual's function controls were feather-light, and Miracord had its soft-touch pushbutton controls since 1961. The new Garrards just seemed clunky.

Tonearm lowering in automatic play was abrupt, no more gentle than that of ordinary record changers. This probably wasn't as dangerous to delicate, light-tracking cartridges as it looked, but then again, it looked bad.

The much-touted "Auto-Rise" record support platform, which when functioning provided stable two-point record support as advertised, seemed flimsy. Sometimes, upon pushing the button to raise it, the platform would not lock in place and the stack of records would push it down again. Canny users soon learned that it was best to leave it up all the time; it provided virtually no impediment to placing single records on the platter.

The cartridge slides proved to be susceptible to intermittent contact. At the low voltage levels at the phono cartridge level, the results ranged from hums and buzzes to outright loss of signal.

On some samples of the SL95, the tonearm had a built-in azimuth error: a cartridge installed into the C2 cartridge clip would be tilted slightly when playing a record. How this got past Garrard remains beyond belief today. It could easily be "fixed" by shimming the cartridge to compensate, but the SL75 (at $20 less in the USA) and AP75 had a different tonearm...and it had no tilt.

Styling, always a matter of opinion, had gone from the chaste simplicity of the Lab 80, which seemed to imply quality by its very elegance, to a rather garish mix of shiny knobs, chrome-edged panels and control panel labels in both white and colors. The products of major competitors remained conservative and understated.

On the positive side was the patented Synchro-Lab induction/synchronous motor. Garrard had it all to themselves at first, but that was not to last long, as licensing of the patent allowed competitors to bring it to market. So Garrard was faced with having to update its brand-new product, beginning practically with its introduction.

The result was what I'm calling the "Large Chassis B" models SL95B, SL75B, SL72B, AP76 and AP95.

In all of them, the tab controls returned, though they were not sleek brushed metal as on the Lab 80, but moulded plastic; either plain black on the lower priced SL72B or chromed on the deluxe SL95B. They handled smoothly, with much less jarring of the unit; much better than the rotary controls of the older models. Additionally the control for the cueing device was separated from those for manual and auto play. Only the speed/size selector, which would normally not be used while playing a record, remained a rotary control.

The retractable record support platform became a non-retractable record support platform. Undoubtedly this saved cost in addition to being less fussy.

Tonearm lowering in automatic play was damped linking the auto function to the cueing device, so the arm and cartridge would descend gently to the record.

Styling was simplified; the control escutcheon had less chrome and blended more effectively with the black chassis.

Underneath the revised styling, the tonearm bearings for horizontal motion were changed. Previously the "large" Garrards used loose ball bearings in a race; with the "Large chassis B" models, an enclosed ball bearing assembly from a precision bearing supplier was used, resulting in lower bearing friction.

Nothing was done about the cartridge clip.

The Synchro-Lab 95B (SL95B) was the leader of the line. In addition to the overall changes in the "B" models, it had several improvements over the SL95. The counterweight was provided with a threaded fine adjuster replacing the sliding arrangement on the SL95 which was a retrograde step from the Lab 80. The tracking weight adjuster still could only be set by 1/4 gram increments but a calibrated scale in the Afrormosia wood insert made it easier to read. The azimuth error in the tonearm was visibly reduced. The SL95B was made in two versions: for the USA and other 120-volt territories a single-voltage version, labeled "SYNCHRONOUS MOTOR" front-and-center on its plastic trim panel; for other areas, a dual voltage version, labeled "INTERNATIONAL."

The SL75B had one minor change of its own. SL75 already had a fine, vernier counterweight adjuster. SL75B added a locking screw to prevent accidentally moving it.

The new SL72B was built to be a transcription-quality multiple-play unit with Synchro-Lab motor, at a lower cost. It had the small platter of the AP75, with a brand-new tonearm. A hexagonal aluminium tube supported a C2 cartridge shell. It had a simulated gimbal bearing similar to the SL95B's at the rear, a simple; rubber-isolated counterweight that was adjusted by turning it; and a tracking weight adjuster controlled by a knob on the back of the tonearm tube. A built-in tracking weight scale was mounted on the side of the arm. Although lower in cost, the SL72B's arm with its exceptionally low mass was probably the best-performing in the line with the high-compliance cartridges of the day.

The AP75 single-play automatic turntable was replaced by the AP76. It was created from already-existing parts: the large platter of the SL95B and SL75B and the tonearm of the SL72B. As was the AP75, it was powered by the Laboratory Series induction motor. It retained the inverted-ball thrust bearing of the AP75.

About a year later, the deluxe single-play automatic turntable AP96 was introduced. It also was made up from existing parts-bin items: the large platter, the inverted-ball thrust bearing, the Synchro-Lab motor, and the wood-trimmed tonearm of the SL95B.

The Module SLx-3 combined the small platter and Synchro-Lab motor with a simplified tubular tonearm based on that of the Garrard 3500 (but longer to suit the large chassis and with less tracking error), with a dedicated Shure M93E cartridge. In the USA it was prepackaged with a USA-sourced plastic plinth and matching dust cover.

Photos:

SL95B (USA version)
SL95B tonearm detail (early version before dual antiskate calibration for spherical and elliptical styli)
SL95B International
SL75B in UK base
SL72B in USA base and cover
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Old 9th Nov 2012, 8:26 am   #50
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Default Re: Garrard record player deck identification.

More photos of the "Large Chassis - B" models.

SL72B tonearm detail, with dual antiskate calibrations for spherical and elliptical styli.
Module SLx-3
Module SLx-3 tonearm detail
SL72B control panel, showing tab controls
AP76
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Old 9th Nov 2012, 8:42 am   #51
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Default Re: Garrard record player deck identification.

Still more photos of the "Large Chassis - B" models

AP76 underside. Note slider mechanism for autochanger spindle (with blue steel blade) even though the AP76 cannot accommodate that spindle.
AP76 tonearm, showing blank spot where record support platform would be on autochanger models.
AP96 advertising leaflet. I have never seen a sample of the AP96.
SL95B in an expensive integrated phonograph, the Marantz 25.
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Old 9th Nov 2012, 12:05 pm   #52
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Default Re: Garrard record player deck identification.

I once had an AP96, it was the same a the AP76 except for the wood insert in the arm.
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Old 9th Nov 2012, 5:23 pm   #53
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Default Re: Garrard record player deck identification.

THANKS, Michael. I did see a reference to the AP96 having the Synchro-Lab motor but by then, many Synchro-Labs no longer had the plate on the bottom that proclaimed their identity, so they looked like the regular induction motors. Did you happen to notice which motor it had?

I actually prefer the SL72B/AP76 arm to the SL95B/AP96.

As the thread progresses to Garrard's Unimech and "Delglide" models, I'm going to have less data to draw from. By the mid-1970s, Plessey dumped the longtime Garrard importer British Industries Corporation and went at it themselves, with less than sterling results. Garrard entered a period of decline in the USA which accelerated to a tailspin, so there just are not that many Garrards from the 1980s in the USA. First Dual became predominant as the industry's main source of automatics, and then along with the trend away from automatic turntables, the Japanese vanquished all the European brands and BIC's American models, built in Michigan by V-M (Voice of Music).

Last edited by GP49000; 9th Nov 2012 at 5:29 pm.
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Old 13th Nov 2012, 6:42 pm   #54
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Default Re: Garrard record player deck identification.

This is a step back to the Autoslim decks...belt drive types.

Already discussed: 125SB, 35SB and SP25 Mk V.

SP25 Mk VI was mentioned briefly but some information was omitted; it had changes from the Mk V model other than differences in trim. Another, almost identical model is discussed here, too.

Garrard simplified the controls on the belt-drive Autoslim chassis models by linking speed selection with record size selection. These were the only Autoslim-chassis with only a single control lever (OFF MANUAL AUTO) on the panel at right-front of the chassis. The speed control had migrated to the left front corner with the advent of belt drive after the SP2 Mk IV; the record size selector had replaced it in the 125SB, 35SB and SP25 Mk V generation, but it now disappeared, too.

Without a manual record size selector which could choose any of the three standard record sizes in automatic play, the new, linked control only permitted automatic play of 12" 33 rpm, and 7" 45 rpm records. Of course, any size 33 or 45 rpm record could be played manually.

For the first time in the SP25 series, the SP25 Mk VI did not have a fully counterweighted, dynamically balanced arm with tracking weight applied by a downward-pulling spring, using the design first introduced in the Garrard AT6 and updated in the 60 Mk II; even the SP25 Mk V which adopted the S-shaped armtube, had retained this feature. The SP25 Mk VI was fitted with the tonearm based on the 125SB, with tracking weight adjustment by an adjustable, calibrated counterweight and no springs; and a gimbal assembly in black instead of silver as on the 125SB. It was much simpler than the AT6-derived design and undoubtedly a less-expensive arm to build.

Another model, almost identical to the SP25 Mk VI in appearance and completely identical in function, was identified simply as "Belt Drive," lacking any SP25 identification (the SP25 Mk VI carried the "Belt Drive" logo, too).

Photos:

SP25 Mk VI
Belt Drive
Belt Drive tonearm detail (SP25 Mk VI identical)
Belt Drive instruction manual cover
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Old 13th Nov 2012, 8:34 pm   #55
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Default Re: Garrard record player deck identification.

The belt-drive Autoslim chassis provided the basis for Garrard to build dedicated disco decks, as was mentioned by "Ben" earlier in the thread. THANKS to him for bringing up the subject.

This was the "Disco driver 80." It had no idler wheel to flat-spot, so the drive mechanism could be engaged all the time, with AC power switched to start and stop the deck. There were no mechanism controls and probably no mechanism at all. The only controls were for speed (33/45), and the counterweight adjustment for tracknig weight. Antiskate was omitted.

Earlier disco machines had used various SP25 models.

Photos:

Disco Driver 80, this is the photo posted by Ben, earlier.
A rather dusty Disco Driver 80
The same dust...and the entire dual Disco Driver 80 setup
Citronic Hawaii disco console, using Garrard Disco Drive 80
Earlier Citronic Hawaii, using Garrard SP25 Mk IV
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Old 14th Nov 2012, 6:27 pm   #56
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Default Re: Garrard record player deck identification.

Zero Tracking Error: the Garrard Zero 100

Garrard tackled the issue of tracking error with their famous Zero 100 automatic turntable. It was based on the "large chassis B" models like the SL95B. Its most obvious advance was its tonearm, designed to adjust its offset angle as it played across the record. This was done with a headshell that pivoted , the pivoting controlled by an auxiliary arm attached to the headshell and to a fixed point near the tonearm's main pivot.

The idea wasn't new (the B-J...Burne-Jones...arm from the 1950s used the same idea), but the execution differed from early attempts. Most commentary attributed this to improvements in bearing technology, but there was a significant difference in the geometry...the location of the auxiliary arm and the pivots.

Both the B-J and Garrard solutions were in the form of a tetragon (four-sided shape) but there was a fundamental difference in that the B-J placed its stylus tip midway between two pivot points; the Garrard placed it directly under the main headshell pivot point. This difference was sufficient so that Garrard was issued patents on its design in Europe and in Canada. In the USA, it was found to be similar to prior Patent 2983517 and a patent was not granted. Illustrations showing the similarities and differences among the three designs are provided below.

Some have thought that the Zero 100 headshell rotates such that it always remains in the same position, like a parallelogram. It doesn't, and that is what is clever and different about it: it rotates in counter-synchronism with the tracking error generated by its curved path across the record, nulling out that error. Also, unlike the earlier efforts at similar designs, the Zero 100's tonearm is designed SHORTER than a conventional arm, so as to have no overhang (the distance the stylus would extend past the spindle, were the arm to be placed there). This was a requirement of the design because it places the tracking error all in one direction, whereas conventional arms' tracking error varies in both directions from their two null points.

Another new invention in the Garrard Zero 100 was the magnetic antiskating system. Others had used magnets for antiskating previously, but Garrard's differed from the others in that its adjustment was done by a critically shaped shield of magnetically permeable material that selectively blocked the magnetic field and also shaped it, so that antiskate would vary properly across the record. Garrard was granted worldwide patents on this design.

There were other advances in the Zero 100 from the SL95B on which it was based. The Zero 100, for the first time in Garrard automatics since the RC98, had adjustable speed. It was based on a tapered motor pulley and an idler wheel bracket that could be adjusted by the user to operate at different diameters on that tapered pulley. This was the same variable-speed system that Dual and others had already been using. The Zero 100 also had an illuminated strobe built-in, to aid the user in properly setting the speed. The motor was the same Synchro-Lab induction-synchronous as had powered the higher-priced Garrard automatics for the prior four years.

Tracking weight was set without springs; the user would balance the arm first, using the counterweight that moved along its shaft when rotated, a less-expensive way of providing fine adjustment that was introduced first on the SL72B; then the user would then slide a precision brass weight along a calibrated scale on the tonearm's front shaft, thus unbalancing the arm by the correct amount to apply tracking weight.

For the first time on a Garrard automatic multiple-play model, the short, single-play spindle rotated with the platter and the record; the prior version had a rotating collar on a fixed spindle.

Slots in the C3 cartridge slide and an adjusting lever on the front of the headshell provided for precise mounting of the cartridge so its stylus tip was directly under the main headshell pivot, as required by the Zero Tracking Error arm; and for setting the correct vertical tracking angle for either single record play, or halfway up a stack of records.

Functionally the Zero 100 operated exactly the same in both record-changing and single record play as its predecessors.

Underneath there were some improvements in the automatic trip mechanism, further reducing its already very low friction and moving mass, thus resulting the resultant drag on the tonearm to trigger the automatic workings. These improvements could be retrofitted to the other models built on the same chassis, and were probably incorporated by Garrard in their production; I have seen a late SL72B with the Zero 100 automatic trip parts. A new lower-friction main tonearm bearing from an outside supplier of precision bearings, designed-in during research and development of the Zero 100, had already been introduced with the SL95B and its sibling models.

Styling of the Zero 100 was entirely different from the SL95B, which remained in the line, and the other Garrards. It was built on a chassis that was painted pure white, not black as were the others. A stylish, clear plastic housing carrying the magnetic antiskate system surrounded the tonearm's pivots at the rear; the tab controls, the counterweight on the tonearm, and the tonearm rest were finished in brushed brass.

There was criticism of the Zero 100 as to the additional bearing friction and mass that the Zero Tracking Error tonearm introduced, at a time when ultra-high compliance, absolute minimum tracking weight, and low tonearm mass were popular among hi-fi enthusiasts. Sellers of competitive products which could not match the zero tracking error tonearm, claimed that tracking error had already been made almost insignificant in conventional tonearms and that its further reduction was not worth the compromises in friction and mass. That was "salesman talk," but the pivoting headshell did cause some reliability issues, in that in a significant number of samples, the very thin tonearm wiring would fracture from continual flexing as the headshell pivoted. A redesigned wiring harness was introduced; it was retrofittable to those units with the earlier harness and it did help cure the problem, along with special instructions to technicians in the field as to how it was to be installed. The Zero 100's C3 cartridge clip did nothing to cure the problems with intermittent contacts that had been an issue with the earlier C2 clip, and which would plague Garrards as long as the various cartridge clips were used.

B-J tonearm patent drawing, showing its geometry
Garrard Zero 100 arm geometry
US Patent 2983517, showing similarity to Zero 100
Garrard Zero 100 in USA solid wood base
Garrard Zero 100 tonearm detail
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Old 14th Nov 2012, 7:01 pm   #57
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Default Re: Garrard record player deck identification.

More photos illustrating the Garrard Zero 100 (and its somewhat-predecessor).

The Burne-Jones tonearm, in a 1958 advertisement.
Zero 100 under the platter.
Overhead view of a Zero 100.
The Zero 100's C3 cartridge clip. Note slots for adjustment of cartridge mounting.
Zero 100 was produced in an "International" user-changeable voltage version, like the SL95B.
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Old 15th Nov 2012, 5:35 pm   #58
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Default Re: Garrard record player deck identification.

Zero 100's first offspring

The Zero 100 was a sales success for Garrard. Over the next years, Garrard introduced successor models based on it.

Zero 100C added a record-size counter. Each time the tonearm returned to its rest, it triggered a ratcheted mechanism that incrementally advanced a pointer on a scale inside the clear plastic tonearm housing. Full-scale was 1600 tonearm cycles, with subcalibrations at 400 cycles and at 100 cycles in the last 1/4 of the scale. The assumption was that each tonearm cycle represented one side of an average LP record, with the total of 533 record sides being an estimate of how often the stylus should be checked for wear. The pointer could be reset to zero, though the process was rather tedious, by releasing the ratchet with a suitable tool and manually turning its notched wheel in reverse. Zero 100C also had a change to its cueing device, the same time as on the other new models based on the same chassis. Formerly the lifting action of the cueing was directly linked to the action of the CUE tab; pull it slowly and the arm would rise slowly; pull it abruptly and the arm would rise abruptly. The new cueing mechanism incorporated a spring in the pushrod that operated it, so that if the user operated the CUE tab too quickly, the spring would slow down the action and the arm would lift slower, more smoothly. This change could easily be retrofitted to older models (but its actual functional advantage was almost nil); I suspect it was fitted on the assembly line in late production of those prior models.

Zero 92 was a lower-priced model with the basic Zero Tracking Error tonearm. It substituted Garrard's patented weight-on-lever antiskating, similar to what had been used in the SL95B-72B and AP76-96, for the magnetic antiskate on the Zero 100 and Zero 100C. It retained the earlier models' three speeds, interlocked with record size selection for automatic play, with no adjustable speed (and thus no stroboscope). Platter, Synchro-Lab motor, automatic multiple record play, and styling were all the same as the Zero 100.

Zero 100S was a single-play version of the Zero 100, built from Garrard's parts bins. It had the inverted thrust bearing of the AP76 on the two-speed Zero 100 chassis, without multiple-play spindle and record side support. It retained the Zero 100's magnetic antiskate.

Zero 100SC was another "new" model engineered from the parts bin: a Zero 100S, single play with the Zero 100C's record-side counter and new cueing with damped lift. Companion model Zero 100SB, belt drive, will be discussed later.

The styling of the Zero 100C and Zero 92 was at first the same as that of the Zero 100, with the distinctive white unit plate, black mat, brushed chrome and brass accents. Garrard dedicated its entire 1973-74 line to this styling but then changed to a new scheme, with black replacing white. We'll see photos of those, and some more Zero 100 descendants, in a later post.

Zero 100C
Zero 100C, arm detail showing record-sides counter
Zero 100 (white) vs Zero 100C (black) undersides, showing spring-damped cueing on Zero 100C
Zero 92
Zero 100S single-play
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Last edited by GP49000; 15th Nov 2012 at 5:59 pm.
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Old 15th Nov 2012, 5:53 pm   #59
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Default Re: Garrard record player deck identification.

More photos of the Zero 100S and Zero 92:

Zero 100S
Zero 92 in black
Zero 92 tonearm detail. Note the plain plastic housing without magnetic antiskate and record-side counter.
Zero 92 weight-on-lever antiskate
Zero 92 counterweight. Common with all the Zero 100 variants, it has a simple rubber insert providing vibration isolation and fine adjustment by turning it. Cheap, simple, effective.
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Old 15th Nov 2012, 6:22 pm   #60
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Default Re: Garrard record player deck identification.

More photos

Zero 100SC; unusually, in USA base; Zero 100SC was not officially imported to the USA.
Zero 100SC control panel
Zero 100C in black
Zero 92 in black
Zero 92 black, control panel
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