Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Garrard 301 Hammertone

The Garrard 301 Transcription Turntable was the first transcription turntable from the Garrard Engineering and Manufacturing Company that supported all commercial playback formats - the 33, 45 and 78 rpm records of the time. The first model was called the Garrard 301 and was utillised by the BBC and in commercial radio stations, mostly in Europe. Production of the 301 started in 1953. Unlike the beltdrive, which separates motor and platter via a compliant belt, and direct-drive, which uses a low-speed direct-current motor, idler drives most often used a high speed (circa 1,600 rpm) alternating-current motor engaged to an intermediate, or 'idler' wheel, which physically rotated the platter. Transcription turntables must have speed accuracy and wow and flutter specifications that meet professional broadcasting standards.Long out of production, Garrard 301 model turntables today are sold on the used market for as much as ten to twenty times their original cost. As reliable, well-built idler machines, the Garrard 301models became the source component of choice for what was loosely labelled the ‘Ultra-Fi’ resurgence, guided by audio writers and do-it-yourselfers in Europe and Japan.