The Return of Garrard!

Jan 29, 2012
1,213
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#1
Pictures of the new SME built Garrard with plinth. Approximate cost is $16K (shown here with SME M-12R.) Exciting times in vinyl reproduction!

Garrad #2.jpg

Garrad #1.jpg
 

ddk

Industry Expert
May 19, 2013
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#2
It's too perfect a copy, not sure if this is a real production model :).

david
 

ddk

Industry Expert
May 19, 2013
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#5

Audiophile Bill

Well-Known Member
Mar 23, 2015
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#6
What is the point of buying an SME Garrard for so much money versus a nos one? Presumably made with better tolerances etc so perhaps can sound better?
 

Folsom

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Oct 26, 2015
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#8
The price is moronic. What a way to back themselves into a corner. Everyone will go used first because despite the silly amounts people pay for them, they're still much cheaper.
 

ddk

Industry Expert
May 19, 2013
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#9
The price is moronic. What a way to back themselves into a corner. Everyone will go used first because despite the silly amounts people pay for them, they're still much cheaper.
Actually it's not crazy, you can't use buying vintage and damaged units refurbishing and selling direct to consumer in small numbers as a basis for pricing, SME has an entire distributor and dealer network to work through along with all the R&D, servicing, marketing & advertising budget to consider. Given that it's a bargain in today's world if the quality of the product is the same as the original.

david
 

Folsom

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Oct 26, 2015
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#10
That sounds really nice but the truth is it's so legendary that if they had any efficiency at all in production they'd sell a thousand times more. It isn't just audiophiles that want them. They're a hot ticket among anyone that likes records.

The most expensive the original 301 ever was, when it was introduced in 1956 was $90. That's $841.11 today.

I'm suppose to appreciate that SME managed to make one at a 19x deficiency, and praise them for it? Please. That's pathetic. If they cost $841.11 or even twice that today, they'd sell all day long. They're very simple. This is a total failure IMO.
 
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ddk

Industry Expert
May 19, 2013
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#11
That sounds really nice but the truth is it's so legendary that if they had any efficiency at all in production they'd sell a thousand times more. It isn't just audiophiles that want them. They're a hot ticket among anyone that likes records.

The most expensive the original 301 ever was, when it was introduced in 1956 was $90. That's $841.11 today.

I'm suppose to appreciate that SME managed to make one at a 19x deficiency, and praise them for it? Please. That's pathetic. If they cost $841.11 or even twice that today, they'd sell all day long. They're very simple. This is a total failure IMO.
Different market and different economies of scale today simple calculations don't apply. This is a luxury product today not a mass market item it used to be just look at what Artisan Fidelity gets for their refurbished units in direct sales to consumer. Also SME is higher end brand different market Project, Rega, etc. production volume is much lower than those companies and probably not interested in selling thousands more than they can handle anyway.

david
 
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Folsom

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Oct 26, 2015
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#12
19x . While I expect it to cost more, that much is ludicrous. Even a much fancier 1200 TT was only 4x the cost.

Artisan Fidelity has and always will have low numbers. They also sure as hell don’t look like that basic one, and are not basic anymore with specialized plinths, power, and platters.

I sincerely think you’re underestimating the legend of this table and the people would love to get something not as junky as the Music Halls and such. And SME fancies themselves as engineers, and yet this is the best they can do? WTF is an appropriate response IMO for a couple pieces of cast metal, a little AC motor, and a couple board feet of wood. Honestly, it’s ancient tech, and the only thing sadder is that no one is making something as good and simple today. If you feel like it’s important to defend someone else’s expensive TT because you have one, I don’t see any relation at all between a work of art and an old sink on a little cabinet with a couple bearings.
 
May 30, 2010
15,304
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Portugal
#13
19x . While I expect it to cost more, that much is ludicrous. Even a much fancier 1200 TT was only 4x the cost.

Artisan Fidelity has and always will have low numbers. They also sure as hell don’t look like that basic one, and are not basic anymore with specialized plinths, power, and platters.

I sincerely think you’re underestimating the legend of this table and the people would love to get something not as junky as the Music Halls and such. And SME fancies themselves as engineers, and yet this is the best they can do? WTF is an appropriate response IMO for a couple pieces of cast metal, a little AC motor, and a couple board feet of wood. Honestly, it’s ancient tech, and the only thing sadder is that no one is making something as good and simple today. If you feel like it’s important to defend someone else’s expensive TT because you have one, I don’t see any relation at all between a work of art and an old sink on a little cabinet with a couple bearings.
As always, unless we have more complete details we are just speculating ...

But IMHO your summary description of the 301 is very unfair and innacurate. As written in the 1956, the Garrard 301 was a first class instrument, following a different philosophy of most other turntables in use at that time, that used small motors and kept friction at a minimum. The 301 used a very large motor and friction was deliberated added to in the center spindle by the use of a proper heavy grease. The aluminum turntable was cast and machined to high accuracy. Price in the UK in 1958 GBP 19 (plus GPB 7 8s 3d Purchase Tax) - I hope our UK readers can help in this difficult math ;) ...

In ten years several tens of thousands of 301's were manufactured, how many can we anticipate that SME will produce now? The vinyl boom is divided by hundreds of turntable models ...
 

Folsom

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Oct 26, 2015
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#14
It’s precision cast. That just means it wasn’t done sloppy.

Are you sure they produced that many? It was mostly used in some radio stations. It wasn’t a home model that the general population was using in droves.

It’s really a no different recipe than all the other broadcast models except that the engineers bothered to make sure it wasn’t so sloppy.

As far as the vinyl boom... almost all the models are junk. They’re absolute junk. Record collectors, audiophiles, hipsters, nostalgic people, etc would go crazy over one that didn’t cost as much as a cheap Toyota, and wasn’t a hunk of MDF with a $0.50 motor.
 
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May 30, 2010
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#15
It’s precision cast. That just means it wasn’t done sloppy.

Are you sure they produced that many? It was mostly used in some radio stations. It wasn’t a home model that the general population was using in droves.

It’s really a no different recipe than all the other broadcast models except that the engineers bothered to make sure it wasn’t so sloppy.

As far as the vinyl boom... almost all the models are junk. They’re absolute junk. Record collectors, audiophiles, hipsters, nostalgic people, etc would go crazy over one that didn’t cost as much as a cheap Toyota, and wasn’t a hunk of MDF with a $0.50 motor.
You have a wrong view on the Garrard 301. They produced a lot - it was a home model in the UK and even in my country I can find a significant number in non-audiophile houses, some from people who have stayed in the UK in the early 60's. Most of the time with a SME 3009 ... People consider that serial numbers around 3XXXX are early type.

Just for reference I own two Garrad 401's - an unfinished plinth project :( The later one is serial number 5XXXX. Just look at eBay UK - these turntables show daily like mushrooms!
 

ddk

Industry Expert
May 19, 2013
3,911
424
83
Utah
#16
19x . While I expect it to cost more, that much is ludicrous. Even a much fancier 1200 TT was only 4x the cost.

Artisan Fidelity has and always will have low numbers. They also sure as hell don’t look like that basic one, and are not basic anymore with specialized plinths, power, and platters.

I sincerely think you’re underestimating the legend of this table and the people would love to get something not as junky as the Music Halls and such. And SME fancies themselves as engineers, and yet this is the best they can do? WTF is an appropriate response IMO for a couple pieces of cast metal, a little AC motor, and a couple board feet of wood. Honestly, it’s ancient tech, and the only thing sadder is that no one is making something as good and simple today. If you feel like it’s important to defend someone else’s expensive TT because you have one, I don’t see any relation at all between a work of art and an old sink on a little cabinet with a couple bearings.
It has nothing to do with the price of my tt I sincerely don't see this as expensive if SME did their job right and is delivering the goods. You are underestimating associated costs with a niche product like this, you're knocking the case without knowing what it is, could be very well engineered or a basic box as you suggest knowing that's what they have to do to keep the price below $20k and knowing that some owners want to choose or make their own plinths. I'm happy that there could be a real choice in the sub $20k market.

david
 

Folsom

VIP/Donor
Oct 26, 2015
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#17
I'm not seeing it. I've got a pretty decent idea about the costs.

There's very little difference between $16k and $150k in the eye of most people that spin records.
 
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Folsom

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Oct 26, 2015
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#19
They also aren't a team of engineers with production powers. I don't think there is anything estranged about a restoration company charging more.
 
Jun 25, 2015
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#20
I agree this is a head-scratcher. Just to come at it from a slightly different perspective, SME has always been known for it's engineering ability. The 301 was originally designed and conceived as a motor unit. Why did SME decide to go full retro with a 3012 arm? The 301 withstands the test of time but the arm does not. Mating today's best MC cartridges with the low mass arm is dicey to say the least. Does SME envision that customers shelling out $16,000 are going to install vintage Shure cartridges with JICO styli or today's MM and SPU cartridges? One thing remains consistent; the SME turntables with their conical shaped suspension towers were always ugly (at least to my eye) and as others have noted, the plinth borrowed from Loricraft is likewise ugly. In conclusion, SME should have come to market with a 301 motor unit-only sold in a box just like the original for the end-user to select the arm and plinth of choice. Perhaps they are. Things are murky at best.
 

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