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Hi 

 

I have a NIB silver hammertone 301 which according to it's serial number (82074), was made around September 1965; this would have been very near the end of 301 production. The platter in the box is also silver hammertone but it is lighter than the platter on other 301s I have and is a different shade of silver.  It is the same diameter (300mm) and 265mm internally across where the idler runs; however, the thickness of the lower wall is only 3mm and the upper platter around 9mm. Would appreciate any advice as to whether this is a late or special version of platter. 

 

Greg

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The entire turntable would seem unusual. I have not previously heard of a Hammertone 301 with such a high serial number. In fact, that is probably the highest 301 serial number I have seen quoted.

 

Could you add some photos? Is the turntable oil-bearing ( I assume it is)?

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It is an oil bearing and the face plates are black with silver letters. Will post some pics later today.

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I wonder if it is a refurbished 301, similar to this:

 

https://picclick.it/Garrard-301-turntable-oil-bearing-in-hammertone-silver-273478147760.html

 

If it is one of Ray Clark's CTC refurbs it is possible that the chassis and platter were painted in separate batches. Also, I believe he I think he also machines 301 platters, which may be slightly different to the originals.

Edited by td191553552784
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It does not appear to be a refurbished 301. Although the box is not in great condition, the packets of bits and pieces as well as several packets of silica gel, the booklet and strobe disc were in the box.  The inspection stamps are also on the underside of the chassis and the rivets holding the faceplates seem original. The original mat was also in the box but in a sad state; slightly perished and hardened. Had hoped to post some pictures but dealing with a water crisis at the moment so will have to do it tomorrow.  Thanks for your interest and help

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12 hours ago, audiofeline said:

This site has info on the serial numbers, dating and variations http://www.gramophonemuseum.com/garrard-301.html

 

Interesting link that I have not seen before. Seems to confirm that a hammertone 301 with such a high serial number is very unusual. Also the black faceplates with silver lettering, standard for grease bearing hammertone 301s, but later oil bearing 301s in the higher serial number range are typically silver with black lettering. Will be interested to see photos.

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I agree, from the photos everything looks original, i.e. unrestored. Maybe at the end of 301 production Garrard gathered up all the odd parts lying around and turned them into a final run of odd turntables!

 

Possibly send the photos to people such as Audio Grail, Loricraft and Ray Clark at CTC and see what they have to say. It certainly is a very interesting example. Where did you get it from?

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I got it about 12 years ago at a deceased estate garage sale of radio repair shop related items in Narrandera, in a small country town about 2 hours west of Canberra. I had not pulled it from the box until recently and because of some packaging material, did not realise the platter was still in the box. I spent many hours searching for the platter and had even gone online to see how much one would cost............I was quite relieved when I found it but as you see, it is not the standard one. 

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5 hours ago, tonyd said:

I agree, from the photos everything looks original, i.e. unrestored. Maybe at the end of 301 production Garrard gathered up all the odd parts lying around and turned them into a final run of odd turntables!...

You might be right with this hypothesis.  This thread on VE has a couple of owners of high-serial 301's (but not much info on them)  https://www.vinylengine.com/turntable_forum/viewtopic.php?t=21526

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It is very odd - however I know that the Japanese market still had a demand for the hammertone finish long after it ceased production and I am aware that there were a number of late model hammertone grey 301's produced for the Japanese market.

 

It is not unusual to see high serial numbered oil bearing hammertone 301's in Japan that appear to be original - not repainted.

 

The platter is of a style seen occasionally on BBC 301 's and again is popular in Japan for the retro BBC look.

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The additional fact, to the unusual things about the turntable, that it is NIB means that it could be very desirable to Japanese collectors and could command a high price if you wish to sell it. Definitely worth doing further research to find out more if you can.

A very interesting story ... thanks for posting about it.

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Thank you all for your interesting responses. Given a reference to the BBC, it is possible these late 301s were destined for the ABC or commercial stations. 

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On 15/06/2021 at 3:15 PM, audiofeline said:

You might be right with this hypothesis.  This thread on VE has a couple of owners of high-serial 301's (but not much info on them)  https://www.vinylengine.com/turntable_forum/viewtopic.php?t=21526

Having said earlier that I had never seen Garrard 301 serial number as high as the OP's 82074, and then seen the link in the quote above, coincidence has struck! I was contacted by someone who had heard that I did 301 refurbs and who had a 301 that they wanted me to look at. Delivered today it has the serial number 176549:

 

IMG_9286.thumb.JPG.e4c89f5e361ef33520968927f1d3db25.JPGIMG_9287.thumb.JPG.b8a1d8a01fc2550423131e2c02550258.JPG

 

It is an oil-bearing 301  and has apparently been stored in an attic for years. It is undoubtedly in the worst condition of any 301 (or 401) that I have worked on previously, so much so that I am not sure if refurbishment is possible, but will give it a go as probably my last one.

Edited by tonyd
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A shame to see such a fine turntable in that condition.  My understanding is that those Garrard's are a hardy design.  I've seen refubishment stories posted of turntables in much worse condition come back to life (eg. CafeLate's barn-find Commonwealth).  It should be quite simple as there are only three considerations - time, money and care! 

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