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 Post subject: Garrard RC121 mk2
PostPosted: Nov Fri 11, 2011 1:54 pm 
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Joined: Jul Sun 31, 2011 6:19 pm
Posts: 1787
Location: Kitchener Ontario Canada (left UK 2007)
Last few weeks i have been servicing this deck, my intention is to make it into a stand alone deck, i have already made the cabinet
and cut out the base.
I have had speed issues, somebody in the decks lifetime had replaced the idler tension spring :evil: i wish people who dont understand would leave things alone.
Anyway it upset everything, wheel wasnt in exactly the right place, it would not play correctly on 33, but 45 and 78rpm was fine, it taken a lot of fiddling with the spring to get it right.
The idler wheel rubber is supple, but seems slightly out of true, is there a way to make it completely round? anybody got any suggestions? if it dosent work i will just buy a new idler wheel as it one of my favourite autochanger decks, i just like the style of
the tone arm and how the autochanger works.
Any suggestions would be welcome.
David

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 Post subject: Re: Garrard RC121 mk2
PostPosted: Nov Wed 23, 2011 3:15 pm 
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Joined: Mar Tue 04, 2008 8:28 pm
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Location: New Jersey
You may have some luck trying to carefully sand the idler to remove the higher areas so its round again. Maybe careful use of a razor blade as a scraper against the idler while its running?

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 Post subject: Re: Garrard RC121 mk2
PostPosted: Nov Thu 24, 2011 1:08 am 
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Joined: May Sat 06, 2006 4:03 am
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Location: South of Richmond, VA 25 miles down the pike.
David,
Did you ever get my PM? I sent some info by PM because of my problem with General Error.
Bill J.


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 Post subject: Re: Garrard RC121 mk2
PostPosted: Nov Thu 24, 2011 2:08 am 
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Location: Kitchener Ontario Canada (left UK 2007)
Yes i did thankyou.
David.

Anyway an update, i did manage to get the deck running well but i decided that the deck is not upto playing my lps on adaily basis
as it doesnt track well and it doesnt like modern lps either tends to skip.
So i have made some slight modifications to my console, the amp had line in for both phono and tape, so i have made phono leads and a phono plug panel and added it to the backboard of my console so i can now plug in any tapedeck,cdplayer or turntable i want. As the console is quite big i am able to stand a seperate turntable on top.I have also added an extension speaker which gives it a fuller sound, this was all done without compromising the original console.
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Attachment:
Electrohome.JPG
Electrohome.JPG [ 35.84 KiB | Viewed 810 times ]


heres the console in question, thanks all for the suggestions.

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 Post subject: Re: Garrard RC121 mk2
PostPosted: Nov Thu 24, 2011 6:05 am 
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Joined: Apr Sat 12, 2008 8:44 pm
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Location: Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
I find most record players of any brand perform best with discs made about 5 years either side of the players build date. I think the 121 MkII was introduced around 1957/58, so I wouldn't expect much from them if the record was made after about 1965 at best. I actually seldom play anything after 1960 on mine, and the same applies to my RC 110.
The Auto-slim seems a better turntable for 60's to mid 70s records, but for records after that, you need at least an AT60 or newer Garrard model.

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 Post subject: Re: Garrard RC121 mk2
PostPosted: Nov Thu 24, 2011 7:42 am 
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Location: Ft Worth TX
RC88 and Shure M3D were perfectly "adequate", if not altogether musical.

AT6 and Shure M55ED were perfectly adequate except at the highest velocities. But you can't put a M55 in a RC88.

I'm not certain where RC 121 fits in that spectrum but I think it predates the whole of it.

M3D would be perfectly happy in AT6. But V15 would not. The cartridge and TT generations cannot be separated in the futuristic dimension.

The records themselves did not change much, beyond the mono/stereo boundary. Comparable velocities and materials. What cartridge are you trying to get the 121 to work with?


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 Post subject: Re: Garrard RC121 mk2
PostPosted: Nov Thu 24, 2011 11:29 am 
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Location: Kitchener Ontario Canada (left UK 2007)
Its interesting to hear you say records didnt change much they actually did, lps where cheapened out by most companies, you take an lp from the mid 1970s and compare it to a 1980s lp the 1980s lps are made of much thinner material and they have much thinner grooves.
I dont believe older catridges and stylus can ride properly on this later thinner material, the Garrard Rc121 was introduced in 1957
i just think i was expecting too much from it. It has a detachable head and it is possible to fit any catridge you wanted in there as its wired for stereo. Electrohome who built the console fitted the RC121 with an Astatic ceramic catridge.

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 Post subject: Re: Garrard RC121 mk2
PostPosted: Nov Thu 24, 2011 9:38 pm 
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Yes, a lot more changes happened over the 40 yrs or so of vinyl LP production than the switch from mono to stereo.
The earliest LP's had a coarse groove pitch as low as 96TPI, and over time they gradually increase to be as high as 300TPI, with the average by the early 70's being around 265TPI.
About this time, variable pitch cutters began to be used by record companies. These cutters were designed to actually sense the information recorded in the previous groove, and automatically adjusted the groove pitch accordingly. In other words, the cutter no longer had to follow a set distance between grooves, but varied the distance between grooves as it cut the recording.
As time passed & discs became physically thinner, the depth of the cut also changed, gradually becoming shallower.
The actual cutting depth of mono records changed very little throughout production, and the recording itself was completely lateral, so the chosen depth remained constant throughout the cutting process. I think this is why you tend to have less problems playing mono discs on machines of any vintage, regardless of the cartridge & stylus design employed.
Stereo records however, are a whole different ball game. Over time they went through a wider range of groove pitch & depth variations, and the recording itself was cut both laterally & vertically cut, so earlier players that used for example, a flip over cartridge and stylus bar that was screwed to the cartridge at the rear & the stylus resting on a rubber cushion, are going to transfer more of that vertical movement of the stylus to the headshell & tonearm than a cartridge with a flip over stylus, or a modern cartidge that basically relies on the single lever action of what is essentually a stylus on a pin.
So a 1950s player with a flip over cartridge might be all fine and dandy with a record from around the same era, you will often find on newer records with a shallower groove, the same vertical movement is present, but because the walls of the groove are lower, so the overall vertical movement present will exceed the limits of the walls & the stylus will skip a groove.
Of course you can always ditch the flip over cartridge & install something more modern to improve performance, but many older tonerms just dont have the freedom of movement to cope with the shallowest grooves, so you can still have the occasional problem.
Also, another reason I like to use records around 5 yrs either side of a turntables build date is because mine are mostly part of the original consoles they came with, so the amps themselves usually have frequency limitations that equal to those of the discs of the same era. It really wouldn't matter how modern the cartridge was in a 1955 HMV or 1964 Ecko, a disc from 1988 isn't going to sound as good as it will played on a Technics SL1200 & good quality amp from the 80's/90s.

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 Post subject: Re: Garrard RC121 mk2
PostPosted: Nov Thu 24, 2011 11:21 pm 
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Location: Kitchener Ontario Canada (left UK 2007)
Modern records do not sound right on vintage equipment, as you say the sound is all wrong and the older speakers from the vintage era cant cope with and where not desighn with modern frequencies in mind, exactly why ive customised my console with a modern speaker and a modern turntabel but ive kept it originality so at anytime i can unplug everything and puit it back how it was.
The valve amp for 1957 vintage does very well with a modern speaker and amodern turntable its hard to tell how old it is, obviously me taking time to recapp it helps.

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 Post subject: Re: Garrard RC121 mk2
PostPosted: Nov Fri 25, 2011 2:57 am 
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Location: Springfield,MASS
I agree the age of the vinyl sounds better when used on the same age phono player. Though I think newer vinyls albums now a days are alot longer audio minute length wise so they tend to cram as much as they can on one vinyl which ruins the sound

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 Post subject: Re: Garrard RC121 mk2
PostPosted: Nov Fri 25, 2011 3:10 am 
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Location: Ft Worth TX
I dunno. I've got records from 1964 to 2004 including 45s and discounting the differences in mastering equipment and techniques (cutting 90% of the bass off pop albums so they would sound 'louder' on a 2W phono) they all play 'correctly' with a V-15 IV.

There's a whopping difference between say, a mass production release like the Eagles and a halfspeed master like Waiting for Columbus. That's a matter of putting all those corners the mass producers cut, back on. Like leaving the disc in the stamper minutes instead of seconds and virgin vinyl vs rejects ground-up with the label still on them.


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 Post subject: Re: Garrard RC121 mk2
PostPosted: Nov Mon 28, 2011 3:09 pm 
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Location: New Jersey
I'd agree about the RC121 not tracking all that wonderfully. I have one in my Hoffman with an NOS Astatic ceramic cart on it, and its just not that good. Fairly heavy track weight too, which I'm not fond of. At some point I want to find a nicer, more modern changer to fit into that console. Unfortunately most of the modern changers look too modern for the console. On the up side, they all look the same when the lid is shut.

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