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Old 15th Nov 2012, 8:59 pm   #61
GP49000
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Default Re: Garrard record player deck identification.

Thanks to those who posted the kind words about the Garrard information and pictures posted thus far. I agree with Sue that this kind of thing needs to be preserved for future reference; so much has already been forgotten since Garrard in Swindon shut down. Precious little appears to have been saved in the way of archives from the company's past, and about the history of Garrard's products. Perhaps this is because not only is Garrard itself no more, but the corporate entity that was Plessey was bought up and dissolved, too. Or perhaps Gradiente has saved something of Garrard's heritage? Considering it would have had to be moved to Brazil, I would not be hopeful.

One member has referred a Garrard that was overlooked. It is a version of the Autoslim Belt Drive, with manual record size selector like the SP25 Mk V, 125SB and 35SB; instead of their S-shaped arms it has a fully counterbalanced, straight tonearm resembling that of the SP25 Mk IV and with its 60 Mk II-style pivot housing and tracking weight adjuster, but with a different, fixed headshell, lacking provision for a removable cartridge mount. It is claimed to have been in a Garrard-branded GA150 stereo music centre; reference to that model shows it used an Audio-Technica magnetic cartridge, which would have required a high-quality tonearm. See photo, below.

ANYONE who has further reports about Garrard models that we haven't discussed, please contribute! While I know little or nothing about the inner workings and details of Garrards prior to the 1953-era RC80, I have collected a modest number of photographs of the earlier models, and plan to post them later. Anyone with personal knowledge of these earlier models could be very helpful!

Garrard "Belt Drive" from Garrard GA150 stereo music centre:
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Old 15th Nov 2012, 10:55 pm   #62
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Default Re: Garrard record player deck identification.

GA49000, have you got any additional pearls of wisdom re. the TA MkII etc. as discussed in this thread to which you contributed?

https://www.vintage-radio.net/forum/...ad.php?t=81643

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Old 16th Nov 2012, 1:00 am   #63
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I'll take my response to that other thread.

By the way, when I get to the old single players in the T-series, I'll probably use the photos you took of yours, especially the ones that illustrate the internal workings.
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Old 17th Nov 2012, 8:10 am   #64
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Zero Tracking Error and Belt Drive

The next step for the Zero 100 generation was belt drive, first applied to single-record players only.

The Zero 100SB - S for Single Play, B for Belt Drive - took the inverted thrust bearing of the AP76 and combined it with belt drive from the Synchro-Lab motor. A flat belt running on a motor pulley with crowned steps (to retain the belt in a central position on each step) was shifted between speeds by a plastic "fork" linked to the speed change control, which was combined with record-size selection for automatic single-record play. There was no speed adjustment. The Zero Tracking Error arm was almost the same as that on the Zero 100C, with magnetic antiskate and record-side counter; it only lacked the vertical tracking angle control, since a setting for multiple-record play was not necessary.

Automatic multiple-record play and user-adjustable speed were addressed in the next generation of the Zero Tracking Error models, the Z2000B. The platter bearing reverted to the ball-race type because the Z2000B had to accommodate a record-changing spindle using the proven mechanism from its predecessors such as the SL95B. Combining belt drive with user-adjustable speed proved more complicated. A tapered motor pulley drove an idler which moved up and down on the taper, as controlled by the user-accessible speed control knob. The idler carried a sheave, which drove a round rubber belt that in turn drove the platter.

The Z2000B record-changing system was the same as that in the SL95 series and the Zero 100: a center record-changing spindle and a side platform providing two-point record support.

I have found no evidence of a single-play version of the Z2000B; its logical name would have been "Z2000SB."

Those who read specification sheets and advertising on the large-chassis SL models, the Zero 100 idler-drives and the belt drives would have noticed that Garrard touted lightweight, 3-pound platters for the Synchro-Lab idler drive models, claiming that the synchronous motor reduced the need for flywheel action such as in the 6-pound platter of the Lab 80, and that the lighter platter put less stress on the ball-race platter bearing. But with belt drive the weight of the platters increased again, to five pounds. Garrard itself said this was necessary because while belt drive was quieter, further isolating motor vibrations from the platter, it also was a less direct coupling of the motor's driving force than idler drive, due to the elasticity of the belt. So mass had to be added back to the platter to maintain flutter as low as that from Garrard's idler wheel drives.

Zero 100SB photos:

Zero 100SB
Zero 100SB, platter removed
Zero 100SB, belt and speed change detail
Zero 100SB, underside
Zero 100SB, platter bearing
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Old 17th Nov 2012, 8:17 am   #65
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Z2000B photos:

Z2000B, USA catalog illustration
Z2000B, an unusual "split-image" illustration
Z2000B, combination idler-belt drive
Z2000B, control panel
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Old 18th Nov 2012, 9:48 am   #66
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The ultimate Zero Tracking Error models: GT-55

The Zero Tracking Error tonearm in the Zero 100 and its offspring was higher in mass than tonearms on many competitive turntables. This was at a time when ultra-high compliance cartridges had to be matched to ultra-low mass tonearms. Garrard responded to this issue by slightly reducing the mass of the arm on the Z2000B, but the real reduction in mass was achieved on the last Zero Tracking Error models, the GT-55 and GT-55P.

Tonearm mass was reduced substantially, to a level competitive with other contemporary tonearms and suitable for the most compliant cartridges, by reducing the cross section of the tonearm beam and manufacturing the arm and pivoting headshell of magnesium instead of aluminum. The new C6 cartridge slide was reduced in mass from the C3 in the prior models, too. Further improvements in bearings reduced friction in the arm's four pivots.

Although the GT-55 models were built on a familiar-looking steel unit plate fitting the same plinth cutout as the Zero 100 and SL95 models, there were even more sweeping changes underneath. The platter was driven by a belt but gone was the Synchro-Lab motor. In its place was a 1000rpm DC servo motor from Matsushita, speed-controlled by an integrated circuit governor built by Garrard using a Matsushita integrated circuit. Speed adjustment was wholly electronic, 3%. An illuminated stroboscope, identical to that in the Zero 100, was provided.

Although record changing on the multiple-play GT-55 model was done with a pusher-type spindle and a side platform almost identical to that of the earlier models, the works that operated the machine were totally new. The metal levers, and the cam gear that drove them, meshed with a pinion on the hub of the platter, were all banished. Replacing them was a modular mechanical assembly mounted under the tonearm. A plastic slide reached to the bottom of the spindle to trigger the record-changing spindle. A cogged belt extended from the platter's hub to the mechanical module, providing the drive to cycle the tonearm and change records. Careful design and tensioning of the belt resulted in its contributing infinitesimal noise and vibration to record playback.

Moving parts in the new modular mechanism were made of low-friction, self-lubricating plastics. It required no lubrication for life (cleaning out hardened, dried-up grease on the old metal mechanisms and relubricating them were an every-few-years maintenance task on the older models). Their operation was near-silent. The modular mechanism, in one form or another, would be incorporated in future Garrards but in one aspect of operation, that in the GT-55 models was unique: their tonearm cueing was accomplished by a back-and-forth motion of the main operating cam within the module. A dial on top of the chassis adjusted a brake, to provide for adjustment of the rate of descent of the cueing system.

The GT-55 model with provision for playing multiple records was supplemented by the GT-55P single play unit, which had the same inverted thrust bearing design as the single play models AP75, AP76, Zero 100S, SB and SC. Other than the different bearing, the lack of a side platform and of a multiple-play spindle, the GT-55P was the same as the GT-55.

The GT-55 models were built with their steel chassis painted in both a silver colour, and in black.

Unfortunately, while the GT-55 tonearms have performed splendidly, their motor/governor system has not aged well. Many units have been discarded because of severe speed variations which developed as units aged. The fault was in the Matsushita-design motor and governor, which would lose its speed stability as certain parts aged. Most can be fixed by replacing all the electrolytic capacitors on the governor board; some have had problems with the Matsushita integrated circuit itself. Garrard also used this same drive system in the GT-35 and GT-35P (to be discussed later), Matsushita itself put it into many Panasonic and Technics models, and several other makers used it, too. The same problems afflict every single model using this particular motor and integrated circuit governor. Matsushita itself ran out of supplies of the integrated circuit, the UPC1003, years ago.

Photos:

GT55, black
GT55, silver
GT55 magnesium Zero Tracking Error tonearm
GT55P single record player (note lack of record side support platform)
GT55P underneath, showing modular mechanism at upper left, and its cogged belt drive. Slide to operate record-changing spindle is not installed on single-play model, but the lever on the mechanism to operate it on the GT55, still exists.
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Old 23rd Nov 2012, 5:23 am   #67
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The Garrard CC10 record changer

In the 1960s, BSR introduced a "cheap and cheerful" record changer which has been popularly referred to as the BSR Minichanger. It featured a chassis that was substantially smaller than the regular BSR (and Garrard Autoslim). To achieve its small size, it had a miniature platter and a downsized control layout...the speed change control was inaccessible during play of a record larger than 7". But functionally it was the equal of the larger record changers, playing records at any of the four standard speeds, and having automatic record size sensing (though not full record-size intermixing).

It really couldn't be installed in as small a space as its compact dimensions may have suggested, because a 12" record would overhang its chassis on three sides. Nevertheless the BSR Minichanger became popular on many low-priced phonographs.

Garrard followed with an equally compact four-speed minichanger called the CC10. It differed from the BSR in having manual record size selection, and in putting all its controls on a unified panel that was accessible during play of any size record. Otherwise its appearance was similar to that of the BSR Minichanger.

The CC10, which was marketed in the UK as a standalone record changer under various names, "Elfin" being among the more frequently seen, didn't prove as popular as the BSR minichanger. It was said that it cost more, so phonograph manufacturers, seeing the two competing models as commodities of equal value, opted for the lower price. It arrived just as Garrard's USA representatives, British Industries Corporation, was entering the lowest-priced market with its "Module" series of record changers, with cartridges preinstalled, and the unit prepackaged with base and dust cover. The CC10 minichanger was sold in the USA as the incongruously-named Module X-11; incongruous because the lower-numbered Module X-10, sold at the same time, was a larger, more expensive record changer built on the Autoslim chassis. The biggest impact the CC10 minichanger made at Garrard was as the basis for the next design of full-sized record changers. That's a story to be discussed in a future installment.

Photos:

Garrard CC10 "Elfin" minichanger.
Garrard "Elfin" control panel
Garrard "Elfin" tonearm head
The competition: a BSR Minichanger
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Old 1st Dec 2012, 5:43 am   #68
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The Zero Tracking Error models had their conventional-tonearm counterparts on the same chassis.

The Zero 100 was introduced during the production run of the SL95B and SL72B (the SL75B was discontinued at the same time), but when it was "freshened" as the Zero 100C with its lower-priced sister model Zero 92, the rest of the line was updated with new models in the Zero 100's white-themed styling, creating a unified, "family" appearance. Next down from the Zero 92 in the new line was the Model 82, the "replacement" model to the SL72B.

From the SL72B it inherited the smaller-sized platter. Its tonearm was fixed-offset, but mimicked the styling of the Zero Tracking Error models with a decorative but otherwise nonfunctional clear plastic housing for the tonearm's pivots. It had the same C3 cartridge slide as the Zero models, and the same adjustment for vertical tracking angle in single-play and multiple-play operation. It had the same Garrard-patented weight-on-lever antiskating as the Zero 92; like the Zero 100C and Zero 92, and tracking weight was adjusted by a weight that slid along the tonearm. Under the unit plate, it had the new automatic trip parts from the Zero 100, that permitted lower tracking weights than in the SL95B and SL72B (though, as mentioned, the new parts had very probably been installed in late production of those models); and the revised cueing mechanism that provided damped operation in both lifting and lowering the tonearm. Otherwise it retained the same Synchro-Lab motor and three fixed speeds as in the SL72B, with record-size selection linked to speed selection, and the same record changing mechanism, with a restyled side platform for supporting a stack of records.

When Garrard switched to a new scheme, with black replacing white, the Model 82 remained in production with the new colour.

The single-play, belt-drive Zero 100SB also had a lower-priced sibling: the 86SB. It had the fixed-offset tonearm of the Model 82, with its decorative gimbal housing rendered in smoked grey instead of clear plastic. It had minor trim differences from the Zero 100SB but shared its belt drive and heavy nonferrous alloy platter.

When the Z2000B was introduced, it had a sister model with a non-Zero Tracking Error tonearm, too: the 990B. Its tonearm was billed as the finest conventional tonearm Garrard had ever built. It was S-shaped and introduced a new cartridge slide, the C5. Tracking weight was adjusted by a calibrated counterweight. Its antiskate was by an adjustable weight on a lever and though it did have the idler-belt drive with speed adjustment of the Z2000B, it lacked the built-in, illuminated stroboscope. Its heavy cast alloy platter and specifications for rumble, flutter and wow were the same as those of the Z2000B.

Photos:

Model 82, white
Model 82, black
Model 82 tonearm detail
86SB
86SB in "plinthless" mount, as supplied by a Singapore dealer.
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Old 1st Dec 2012, 5:57 am   #69
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Photos:

86SB tonearm detail
86SB, platter off
990B
990B idler-belt drive system
990B tonearm detail
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Old 1st Dec 2012, 6:38 am   #70
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Default Re: Garrard record player deck identification.

I had an 86SB with the Synchro-Lab motor. To be honest, I never liked belt-drive turntables. They take too long to get up to speed. The cartridge slide was always unreliable, needing removing and refitting if the machine was left longer than a few days between uses.

I replaced it with a direct drive turntable (SoundLab far-Eastern SL1210-lookalike; not bad but nothing special; generic magnetic cartridge that will track anywhere from 0.5 g. up to 4 g.) when the automatic mechanism became temperamental, probably due to solidified grease, and it wouldn't even let me play records manually. It's still up in my loft somewhere.
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Old 2nd Dec 2012, 3:58 pm   #71
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajs_derby View Post
I had an 86SB with the Synchro-Lab motor. To be honest, I never liked belt-drive turntables. They take too long to get up to speed. The cartridge slide was always unreliable, needing removing and refitting if the machine was left longer than a few days between uses.
Belt-drive turntables do typically take longer to reach speed than idler-drive because of their looser coupling between motor and platter. This wasn't so much an issue with high-torque, high-speed motors such as that in the Garrards discussed here thus far, and the Pioneer PL-12 types (on all, the belts need to be in good condition), as with low-torque, low-speed motors such as those in the Linn, AR, Dunlop and similar turntables. Those DO take a comparatively long time to reach speed, and even a record cleaning brush will often stall them.

The tonearm on the 990B was a good one. Garrard would re-run it on later models, in their "parts-bin engineering" style, often seen.

As for the cartridge slides, thousands of Garrard users will agree with you (and so would thousands of Dual users, about the cartridge mounts on their turntables). Garrard finally "cured" some models by using the "SME" type headshell.

In my last post, I typed a wrong word in a sentence, which should have read, "It had the same Garrard-patented weight-on-lever antiskating as the Zero 92; like the Zero 100C and Zero 92, its tracking weight was adjusted by a weight that slid along the tonearm."

It makes sense this way, instead of nonsense!
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Old 6th Dec 2012, 8:49 am   #72
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The Garrard DD75

During the 1970s, direct drive turntables made the transition from expensive but high-priced components for the audio perfectionist, such as the Technics SP-10, to popular-priced models for domestic hi-fi. At the same time, Garrard was undergoing a major change in its largest market, the USA, as the contract with longtime American representatives British Industries Co. was not renewed. Despite BIC's longtime experience and the largest dealer network in the USA, and regardless of its own inexperience in consumer marketing, Plessey took over sales representation. Going it on their own, Plessey abandoned the long-cultivated "automatic turntable" quality image of Garrard in the USA and openly referred to even the higher-end models in the range, such as the Z2000B, as "changers." Plessey Consumer Products (which actually had only one product: Garrard) even ran an advertisement in American hi-fi magazines claiming that the USA hi-fi buyer's needs would best be met by "a great changer company."

In a full-line sales brochure, Plessey compared the drive systems of modern hi-fi record players. They mentioned only idler drive, the "Rolls-Royce" design which was best for changers; and belt drive, a "sports car" approach which suited single record players. There was no mention of direct drive.

Meanwhile the Japanese were invading home hi-fi with ever cheaper direct drive turntables. Garrard had to do something quickly. In 1976, they found their answer in Japan: the Matsushita direct drive motor. For the first time, Garrard would not build its own motor for a record player. This first Garrard direct drive turntable of the modern era would be called the DD75.

Development proceeded rapidly because the DD75 was built in a new way, for Garrard. There was no unified steel chassis. The modular construction hinted at in the Unimech models (which we haven't discussed yet) and adopted with a vengeance in the GT55 was carried even farther. Everything on the DD75 was built as separate modules: the Matsushita motor; the tonearm with its integral optical automatic trip mechanism; the on-off/strobe illuminator assembly; and the control panel assembly. Interconnection between modules was almost entirely electronic; there were none of the old, familiar steel levers controlling the mechanism. The modules were all mounted on a plinth made of fiberboard and sourced from an outside cabinetmaker. This construction simplified assembly because individual modules could be built and tested on small-scale assembly benches; final assembly was simple and rapid, with relatively few steps compared to the old method of assembling every lever, cam, pawl and gear on a long assembly line: screw the modules to the plinth, connect the wiring harnesses, and the job was essentially done.

The DD75, as was considered normal for direct drive turntables, had two speeds, each one variable by approximately 3%. With power turned ON, the user selected 33 or 45rpm by a convenient button, adjusted the speed using a knob while reading an illuminated stroboscope, and pushed another button to START the platter. A stubby cueing lever operated the tonearm lift/lower by means of a flexible cable, the only mechanical linkage between modules in the entire unit. The DD75 had automatic stop and tonearm lift, operated by a frictionless sensor which triggered a solenoid that lifted the arm via the cueing cable while the electronics shut down the motor. The auto stop/lift could also be operated manually by pushing a STOP button. In any case the tonearm had to be returned to its rest manually; there was no cycling mechanism.

The tonearm of the DD75 was the only item on the entire unit that was not new. It came from Garrard's parts bin, having been used previously on the 990B. This was a very fine arm, capable of excellent performance. It used the C5 cartridge clip.

At various times in production the DD75 was made in different styles, all of them varying only in the plinth and bearing the same model designation. The first version was totally finished in genuine teakwood veneer, and had the turntable's modular parts mounted on a panel that was elevated above the periphery of the plinth. The second version, which appears most commonly, had a completely flush top in a silvery vinyl laminate, with a woodgrained lower plinth section. The third repeated the raised panel of the teak version but was completely finished in imitation ebony veneer.

The DD75 was reasonably successful for Garrard. It received good reviews in Britain, other than one which regarded it as mediocre. In America it was tested against other turntables by the popular consumer magazine, Consumer Reports; and it was ranked as the top-rated turntable. Toward the end of production it was also somewhat of a bargain, selling at around $100 in America (its original price was around $230). But once production of the DD75 ended, it was really all over. Unlike other Garrard models which had "Mark II" offspring, single/multiple-play variants or related higher/lower priced siblings, or the Autoslim which grandfathered a seemingly countless variety of descendants, or even the 301 transcription turntable from which was derived the 401, the DD75 stands alone. It had no successors at all.

Photos:

Garrard DD75, teak
Garrard DD75, silver
Garrard DD75, ebony
Garrard DD75, teak, tonearm and antiskate detail
Garrard DD75, teak, control panel
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Last edited by GP49000; 6th Dec 2012 at 8:59 am.
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Old 6th Dec 2012, 9:00 am   #73
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Default Re: Garrard record player deck identification.

More DD75 photos:

DD75, black with platter removed showing Matsushita direct drive motor module.
DD75, rebuilt on heavy wooden plinth by custom cabinet builder.
DD75's C5 cartridge clip.
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Old 6th Dec 2012, 10:23 am   #74
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Default Re: Garrard record player deck identification.

Would that Matsushita motor happen to be from the same family as the one that powered the legendary Technics SL1200?

The shape of the pressing in photo 6 (first image in post above) seems to hint at the possibility of a cheaper, belt-driven variant.
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Old 6th Dec 2012, 6:30 pm   #75
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Default Re: Garrard record player deck identification.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ajs_derby View Post
Would that Matsushita motor happen to be from the same family as the one that powered the legendary Technics SL1200?
Yes. Matsushita derived an entire series of direct drive motors from the one in the SL1200. It was used in many of their own decks and supplied to other manufacturers, including Garrard. They won't interchange but the "guts" are the same.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ajs_derby View Post
The shape of the pressing in photo 6 (first image in post above) seems to hint at the possibility of a cheaper, belt-driven variant.
Not that I'm aware of. The shape of the pressing backs this up: Garrard always put the motor as far from the tonearm as would be practical, and the pressing is the wrong shape for that. I'll have to open up my DD75 to find out why it is shaped that way; this is one model for which I don't have a photo of the underside. Subsequent Garrard direct-drive models, which do have belt-driven counterparts, do not resemble the DD75 in any way whatsoever.

Another "first" for the DD75 among Garrards: it was the first to have its plinth sprung on the underlying shelf or cabinetwork on which it sat, instead of having a chassis sprung on the plinth. This was obviously the only way a suspension could be incorporated and it was repeated on some, but not all later models.

Last edited by GP49000; 6th Dec 2012 at 6:39 pm.
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Old 12th Dec 2012, 6:02 am   #76
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Default Re: Garrard record player deck identification.

Garrard introduces the Unimech

By the early 1970s, Garrard was looking for a replacement for the Autoslim chassis that had served the company so well for over a decade. Pressures to reduce production cost were coming from Garrard's owner Plessey. The trend toward more single record play meant that cost reductions could be had in a new design that didn't have all the fully automatic features of the Autoslim.

Garrard already had a new autochanger mechanism designed and in production: the cheap CC10 minichanger. For the new record changer, the mechanical workings of the CC10 would be mounted to a reduced-size subchassis that would fit under a full sized steel unit plate, the same size as the Autoslim.

The CC10 minichanger mechanism, as applied to full sized record players, was named the "Unimech." It could be built, tested and adjusted on individual workbenches or even in completely different buildings, separated from a much shorter and simpler assembly line. This reduced manufacturing cost.

The Unimech mechanism did not use the overarm to sense the presence of records on the multiple-play spindle, as on the Autoslim; the record pusher in the spindle served this function instead, by a reverse stroke of the pusher, "feeling" for a record on the step of the automatic spindle. Fully automatic play of a single record on the platter using a short spindle was provided for the first time in a "popular-priced" Garrard automatic record changer. In conjunction, record size was manually selected, linked to speed selection; there was no automatic record size selection. Styling was updated; while traditional Garrard styling elements were retained and refined, the new models could be distinguished from their Autoslim-type predecessors by the linked speed/record size control being parallel to the right side of the chassis, not at an angle as on the Autoslim.

The Unimech series retained the traditional Garrard idler drive principle but the mechanism, including the idler wheel, was the same as that in the CC10. Motors, as had been the custom at Garrard, varied in different models: two-pole induction, four-pole induction and Synchro-Lab synchronous motors were all used. Tonearms of more sophistication, and different add-on assemblies providing cueing and antiskating features were found on upline Unimech models.

The first Unimech models had a tonearm styled after the Zero 100, with offset headshell and a finger lift that was an extension of the arm tube. The upscale models for the American market, which we'll discuss later, were even in the Zero 100's white paint scheme.

While the initial impression of the Unimech models was one of sleek modernity, they had a problem: not that they were cheap to build for Garrard and Plessey, but that they FELT cheap to the user. The mechanism itself operated smoothly enough through its automatic cycle, but controlling it felt clumsy. Metal levers extending from the subchassis toward the locations of the user controls were rigid enough, but because the entire Unimech chassis was rotated to put the spindle and tonearm in their "usual" positions on a full-size record changer, they operated at odd angles that would have looked strange and felt awkward. So the extended levers were coupled to plastic levers that slid along slots in the steel unit plate. These plastic levers were too flexible and their pivots sloppy; and they often tended to bind up in the slots as they slid. Rejecting a single record became a challenge; the user had to first push the control lever all the way to the AUTO position at the right, then immediately return it manually to its central position (or else the record would be repeated). Doing so with the sticking plastic levers often caused too much vibration, so the tonearm would jump and skip on the record. Garrard's Autoslim chassis had a solid, quality feel that was superior to BSR's offerings in the market; but the Unimech didn't.

Tonearm tracking, which had gradually been improved on the Autoslim-chassis models during their long production run, took a step backward on the Unimech models. The automatic trip was improved, doing away with the long, sliding link in the Autoslim, but the lateral pivotry in the pickup arm base was the same as that of the bottom-line CC10. Most Unimech tonearms pivoted vertically on an axle-in-plastic, though higher-priced models had needle pivots. Garrard stated a minimum tracking weight of 2.5 grams on the Unimech models, even on those with fully counterbalanced arms and antiskate, and despite tracking weight and antiskate calibrations down to one gram. The later Autoslim models were specified at 1.5 grams.

For the service and repair technician, and for owners doing their own maintenance, the Unimech made life harder. While in the Autoslim it was easy to remove the main mechanism cam to remove the automatic trip levers to properly service them and to lubricate the cam tracks, the Unimech required the overarm, tonearm, trim escutcheon and idler wheel linkage be removed, and then the entire subchassis dismounted and partially stripped to do the same work. It was an invitation to short-cutting the process which could inevitably result in an inadequate job being done; or to a very high labor cost for proper servicing of a low-priced unit, always a disappointment to the owners.

Garrard considered the 6-300 to be their "basic" Unimech model. It had a 10 1/2 inch steel platter, of the familiar construction featuring an inner, seven-inch drive platter and a large outer platter. It had a tonearm based upon a flat-profile armtube, with partial counterweighting and an upward-pulling spring to offset the remaining dead weight forward of the axle-in-plastic vertical pivot, setting the tracking weight. Tracking weight adjustment on the 6-300 was user-accessible but required a small cross-point screwdriver and a gauge; there was no calibration. Different weights of cartridges could be accommodated by different counterweights and alternate anchor points for the upward-pulling spring, depending on what cartridge was to be fitted. The headshell could be a narrow type for clip-in ceramic cartridges, or one that accepted cartridges mounted by a single screw; or a wider type that accommodated standard cartridges mounting with two screws on
half-inch centres. The tonearm had a damped cueing device, and antiskate set by a calibrated knob. Most 6-300 were powered by a Garrard two-pole induction motor, and versions were made for both European/UK and for US/Canada power supplies. A four-pole motor was also available, in both voltage ranges and in a universal version, convertible to either voltage range. As usual in the four-pole motors, a swap of the motor pulley provided for adaptation to either 50Hz or 60Hz current.

The 6-100 had a smaller, eight-inch platter; actually it was a seven-inch drive platter with a rubber mat whose periphery was slightly oversize and overlapped it. The 6-100 lacked the cueing-antiskate assembly. The 6-200 was a 6-100 with the large platter of the 6-300 (or, a 6-300 lacking cueing and antiskate).

Photos:

6-300
6-300 control panel
6-300 tonearm, cueing, antiskate detail

Four-pole Unimech underside, showing the subchassis that carries the CC10 mechanical parts, hidden between subchassis and main chassis and inaccessible for service without dropping the subchassis.

6-200. Note that it has no cueing. This variant has the narrow headshell and lighter-weight counterweight; and a garish platter mat almost entirely covered in bright metal trim rings.
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Old 12th Dec 2012, 11:16 am   #77
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Default Re: Garrard record player deck identification.

Were those ever sold in the UK? I've certainly never seen one.

The styling has a very BSR-esque look about it.

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Old 12th Dec 2012, 1:03 pm   #78
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Default Re: Garrard record player deck identification.

I saw one once I think, so they must be out there. Nowhere near as common as the Autoslim derivatives though.
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Old 12th Dec 2012, 5:12 pm   #79
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Default Re: Garrard record player deck identification.

Nick, Ben (and others who are wondering):

Yes, the Unimechs were sold in the UK but were nowhere as popular as the very successful Autoslim-chassis models. Although the original intent appeared to be to replace the Autoslims, it would seem that the "cheap record changer" feel put off the buyer who was at least somewhat interested in quality, such as those who wanted a budget single-play automatic such as the SP25. There were single-play automatics in the Unimech line, including one with a fully balanced tonearm; it is so uncommon, I don't have a photo of it, only a copy of the sales brochure, which I downloaded from a collector's site. Instead of pushing on with higher-quality Unimechs, Garrard continued production of Autoslim-chassis single players derived from the SP25: the 125SB, 35SB, the SP25 Mk V and VI and several unnamed "Belt Drive" models.

There was a further succession, many further Unimech models beyond the 6-300, 6-100 and 6-200, including some with pretensions to quality. Garrard Unimech record changers were also assembled in Brazil by affiliate Gradiente, which eventually would take Garrard off Plessey's hands for a relative pittance. It has also been said that along with other components used in Garrard units, Unimech subchassis were built in Brazil and shipped to Swindon for assembly, because production costs were lower, and because Gradiente was willing to invest in production machinery of higher precision and efficiency than what Plessey was willing to finance at Garrard itself.

The research about the Unimech models has been more difficult than for the earlier models because Garrard issued fewer catalogs by this time, despite what we'll see is a plethora of different models; and with sales low, there are few photographs available. For example, I have no photos of the low-end 6-100. One would have thought it would have been popular, as it replaced the frequently-seen 1000 and 1025 models.

...to be continued...but meanwhile, here are a couple of photos: the control panels of a British-built 630S (a later Unimech model), and a Brazilian one. The difference is obvious!
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Old 14th Dec 2012, 8:36 am   #80
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Default Re: Garrard record player deck identification.

After the first three models in the Unimech line, Garrard introduced more. Since cueing and antiskate functions were provided by a module within the Unimech subchassis, it was simple to add either or both of those functions.

The 6-200C was a 6-200 large platter model with non-damped cueing added. The tonearm would lower directly as the user lowered the cueing lever, its descent not damped by the mechanism if the lever were lowered too quickly. It did not have antiskate.

The 6-100C was a 6-100 small platter model with non-damped cueing and no antiskate.

The 6-100T was a 6-100 small platter model with a battery-powered motor and the tubular tonearm from the CC10 minichanger. It lacked cueing and antiskate.

The Model 42 was the 6-300 built for the USA market, sold as a "Pre-Pack" with the record changer preinstalled on a plastic plinth at first; later, fibreboard with imitation wood veneer. There were two versions: the 42M with a four-pole motor and a preinstalled Pickering V-15/ATE-4 cartridge, and the 42C with a two-pole motor and a preinstalled ceramic cartridge. Both had damped cueing and antiskate, and the same uncalibrated screwdriver-operated tracking weight adjuster as the 6-300.

Photos:

6-200C. Note no antiskating control.
42M
42M arm and antiskating detail; same as 6-300
42M tonearm detail. Silver crosspoint screw is the tracking weight adjuster; no tracking weight scale.
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Last edited by GP49000; 14th Dec 2012 at 9:01 am.
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