Garrard 301 Turntable Plinith

CLIENT:                     Derek Gehring

PROJECT DATE:       2009

COLLABORATION:   Derek Gehring

The Garrard 301 project was initiated by a friend of mine; Derek Gehring.  Originally found in old one piece stereo sideboards, the idler wheel driven 301 was formerly considered a very good turntable and has excellent manufacturing tolerances.  However, with the rise of sprung suspension turntables such as the venerable Linn LP12 the Garrards fell out of favor and were commonly seen at garage sales for a few dollars.  In the late 1990s Japanese audiomaniacs rediscovered the deep, rhythmic presentation that they offer, particularly when matched with modern cartridges, although most continue to pair the turntable with period tonearms such as the SME 3009.  Available for as little as US$5 as recently as 2005, a platter in excellent condition now commands US$1500, sans tonearm, cartridge or plinth.

Derek had three Garrard 301 platters in good condition and wished to re-create what he had researched as the first twin turntable DJ system ever made.  This system consisted of two 301s and a mixer was situated at the Marquee Club in London.

I designed and built four plinths, two for the DJ system, along with a mixer housing, and I also built a clear-coated version for the remaining platter.  The plinths were designed on Solidworks, rendered for the client and then machined in layered sets on a Roland Modula MDX 650, which allowed me to learn how to operate the machine.  I also was keen to learn how to spraypaint correctly, so I used a professional spray gun and spent a lot of time sanding.

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