Classic 301 Reference
The Classic 301 Reference Transcription Turntable (FEATURED HERE GOLD PLATED to order)
Shown in the SMD Acoustics Type II Reference Plinth with SME312 and Wooden plinth for illustrative purposes only.
This brass chassis is available in polished finish, Black , hammertone and cream.
The Classic 301 Reference has found its way into some of the world’s most respected recording studios and is used as a reference deck to check the finished master pressings. Developed in conjunction with professional recording engineers this is now being made available to the domestic market. Shown in the SMD Acoustics Type II Reference Plinth with brass hardware and a SME312 for illustrative purposes only.
The Classic 301 Reference is a “new” Garrard 301 using many new upgraded components combined with a small quantity of refurbished Garrard parts.
On its release in 1965 the Garrard 401 promised a number of design changes that would improve on the performance of the Garrard 301 that had been around since 1954, unfortunately the quality control on the 401 was not up to scratch and what should have been a sonic step forward was not fully exploited….until now.
The Classic 301 is built on the looks of the Garrard 301 and takes onboard some of the strengths of the 401. The original 301 has a weak point where the bearing is bolted to the chassis, the 301 chassis is not rigid and if you grab the base of the bearing housing you can actually flex it (move it) as it is not rigid. The chassis of the new 301 is significantly stiffer than the original 301 especially around the critical areas surrounding the bearing and is CNC machined from a solid slab of brass, (not a variable aluminum casting like the original)
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The hardware, linkages, fascia plates, platter mat etc. are all built to replicate those classic looks but utilising up to the minute modern engineering techniques.
The platter is a brand new oversize (20mm) ultra high mass 12 Kg platter from and is CNC machined from solid brass slab of brass 400mm x 400mm x 100 t tolerances The brass platter is as perfectly balanced as can be achieved with modern state of the art machinery and selection of the best material. This avoids the excessive vibration caused by a badly balanced rotating platter. Such a platter can cause unacceptable levels of noise and detrimental effects on sound quality. The extra diameter is 20 mm over that of a standard platter and the upgraded platter has approximately 7kgs of extra mass, this greatly improves the platters inertia and results in added bass delivery, stability of imaging etc. basically it has so much energy in rotation that it takes a lot to stop it spinning. The theory has been well employed over several years and oversize platters have been used by the likes of Shindo for his 301.
Also included in the Reference model is the upgraded solid brass grease bearing. The bearing is massively oversized to support the massive brass platter and add mechanical stability over the original bearing thus bringing about an improved sense of grip and control to the music and further reducing the noise platform but without loosing the hallmark Garrard sound.
The spindle to bushes normally seen on a std Garrard bearing has 0.06-0.08 mm clearance / movement. This new spindle has a clearance of 0.02mm and this tighter control of the play makes a much improved tonal quality to the sound . Improved imaging and 3D is superb The sound of the Classic 301 Reference builds on the strengths that give that Garrard its signature sound.
The Classic 301 Reference is arguably the ultimate analog musical device. The solidity, presence, body, speed, dynamics, sound staging, noise floor and low-level detail retrieval of the Classic 301 transcription turntable is equal to or above what the super tables of today can muster.