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Sunday, February 19, 2012

Zen and the art of pre-stressing Garrard 301's chassis



... I was considering during last successful listenings in my studio: the heavy weight of the bronze Garrardzilla's platter is giving "something" more to the so cleverly conceived stock 301's.

I shared this, both aurally - i.e. sharing the above mentioned feeling with an architect/music lover/audio nut friend - and technically...

Pre-stressed structures are - in architecture - a quite broadly used building technique: bridges, buildings, stadiums... or, another popular application is the bicycle wheel with its spokes... a filmsy, apparently delicate and light structure is able to stand 100+ kilos driver and road abuses... again a pre-stressed, tensioned structure.

How does the above apply to "our" humble Garrard 301?

The 12 kilos bronze platter used in the heavy duty, super-smooth giant spindle/bearing both inserted in stock 301's turntable add a brand-new feature to the whole: the added mass gives a "seen" at chassis level "virtual mass" where the filmsy thickness of original Garrard's alu alloy chassis get a stress due to weight.

At molecular level, the centered almost five-times multiplied mass of new spindle and platter give about same results than a turntable whose chassis weights 10/12 kilos with - maybe - a better vibes taming character!

Having access to a laboratory quality gears using, say, photoelastic stress analysis techniques, all the above should be VERY visible and apparent and clear.

The sound, are you asking?!?... don't know, folks... the stressed structure of Garrardzilla sure gives "more" to music... it's clearer, truer, it's... "is".

... and this counts.

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