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Garrard 301 Vs Thorens TD - 124 advice : Opening a can of worms?


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I would appreciate some advice from members who have either owned, own or have experienced the Garrard 301 (Schedule 2) and the Thorens TD-124 (Mk1) first hand.

 

If both units are stock (unmodified) and in good working order and cosmetic shape................

 

Is there one that is more desirable?

 

Better sounding?

 

Easier to keep running?

 

Less expensive to get set up to a desirable standard? 

 

I am being offered a pick of either of these TT's as a part sale/swap on my Altecs. If I do proceed with accepting either of these, I will be looking at a new plinth for the one 

 

I do not need a another turntable as I am already up to my neck in my Garrard 401 project but have been asked to consider this part swap offer so I am. 

 

Appreciate any advice/thoughts etc either here or via PM.

 

Thanks

Tax

 

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I have had both and have stuck with the Thorens TD-124. ...as for stock /unmodified, imo they both need to be in hard wood plinths in order to dampen any extraneous sound. Thats the only change I have made to either. Both sound great. 

Your choice of tonearm, cartridge &  stylus..thats up to you. Similarly your power amp & preamp and speakers also input the sound . All those things are up to you

Costs is really irrelevant ...to some extent you get what you pay for....there is no end of tinkering you can do to "improve"  your deck but ultimately whatever sounds good to you is what you like and its purely subjective.

good luck either way

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3 minutes ago, miss-blenehassit said:

I have had both and have stuck with the Thorens TD-124. ...as for stock /unmodified, imo they both need to be in hard wood plinths in order to dampen any extraneous sound. Thats the only change I have made to either. Both sound great. 

Your choice of tonearm, cartridge &  stylus..thats up to you. Similarly your power amp & preamp and speakers also input the sound . All those things are up to you

Costs is really irrelevant ...to some extent you get what you pay for....there is no end of tinkering you can do to "improve"  your deck but ultimately whatever sounds good to you is what you like and its purely subjective.

good luck either way

Thank you for this advice.

 

I would definitely be looking at a hardwood plinth. For my current 401 project I am going with a combination of Blackwood and Redgum.

 

I have a couple of 9 inch arms, SME 3009, DV507 Mk11 and FR64s. I also have a 12 inch FR66S and intend to get an Ikeda 407.

 

In relation to carts, I am undecided. I have an Audio Technica AT155LC, a couple of FR1Mk3F stock and Boron, an FR7f , A Lyra Helikon, a SPU Meister Silver and 90th Anniversary.

 

I have high efficiency horn speakers and bespoke valve amplification.

 

Are you able to share why you ended up choosing the 124 over the 301 as you owned both?

 

Cheers

 

 

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23 minutes ago, miss-blenehassit said:

I am running the TD-124 with a SME 12" arm ......I like the look of the Thorens more than the Garrard. Simple as that.Both are pretty much bullet proof and easy to service

Great!

 

I like this simplicity and concur with your approach re the aesthetic of the Thorens.

 

Thanks

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This must be a bug I never caught. I inherited a 301 which I swapped for a pair of Orpheus 3.3 and Orpheus centre speaker and I currently have a TD124 with 9" SME in my possession which I will be selling on behalf of a close friend. I haven't been tempted to keep either of them. I do appreciate both of them for their engineering and I did cut my dj-ing teeth on a pair of 401s back in the mid 70s doing student radio. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Perhaps this idea is suited to its own thread, but I've concluded that the following breakdown applies in terms of impact on SQ:

Cartridge and phonostage 65 to 70%

Tonearm 20%

T'table 10 to 15%

In other words, I would be very surprised if you could tell the difference between those two, all other things being equal. 

Edited by Gandra
Mistake
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24 minutes ago, Gandra said:

Perhaps this idea is suited to its own thread, but I've concluded that the following breakdown applies in terms of impact on SQ:

Cartridge and phonostage 65 to 70%

Tonearm 20%

T'table 10 to 15%

In other words, I would be very surprised if you could tell the difference between those two, all other things being equal. 

 

Wonderful conclusions, G - but I suggest, to be taken seriously ... you need to lay out your data that led you to this conclusion.  :P

 

My own, just as valid conclusion ... is that it's more like:

T'table 40%

Cartridge and phonostage 40%

Tonearm 20%.

 

Andy

 

 

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1 hour ago, andyr said:

 

Wonderful conclusions, G - but I suggest, to be taken seriously ... you need to lay out your data that led you to this conclusion.  :P

 

My own, just as valid conclusion ... is that it's more like:

T'table 40%

Cartridge and phonostage 40%

Tonearm 20%.

 

Andy

 

 

I'm sure you've got the data to back it up, A, so no argument here

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15 hours ago, Peter_F said:

I’d take the precision of the superb TD124 over most turntables, and most particularly over any Garrard.

Thanks @Peter_F

 

Are you using a TD124? Which arm are you using with it?

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1 hour ago, JPete9 said:

Not sure about sound, but the 401 smokes them all in term of looks (IMO)

Whereas although acknowledging the 401 as excellent industrial design for it's time, I've always been more attracted to the 301's design, which is why I would always choose it over the 401. 

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4 hours ago, Tax said:

Thanks @Peter_F

 

Are you using a TD124? Which arm are you using with it?

When I owned it it had a superb and very rare ZETA tonearm.  

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4 hours ago, Peter_F said:

When I owned it it had a superb and very rare ZETA tonearm.  

DSC05679 (Medium).JPG

DSC05720 (Medium).JPG

DSC05889 (Medium).JPG

DSC05673 (Medium).JPG

DSC05678 (Medium).JPG

DSC05681 (Medium).JPG

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Very nice! 
 

I am leaning towards the TD124 over the 301 as I already have the 401

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 16/10/2020 at 5:59 AM, Gandra said:

Perhaps this idea is suited to its own thread, but I've concluded that the following breakdown applies in terms of impact on SQ:

Cartridge and phonostage 65 to 70%

Tonearm 20%

T'table 10 to 15%

In other words, I would be very surprised if you could tell the difference between those two, all other things being equal. 

This kinda flies in the face of traditional thought on the matter (aka "source first"), originally promulgated by Linn, which is more like:

 

Turntable 70%

Arm 20%

cartridge 10%

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I'm pretty sure that in the Linn context, the 'turntable' included the arm and the cartridge. 

And from experience, I still stand by my comment. YMMV

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