401 Platter Bearing

301, 401, plinths and assorted idler stuff
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Ali Tait
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#1 401 Platter Bearing

Post by Ali Tait »

Anyone fitted or know anything about this?

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/HYDRAULIC-PLA ... 232fdf5d3a
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Greg
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#2

Post by Greg »

Hi Ali,

I would proceed with caution and as you are doing, trying to find out a bit more before making a purchase. The original Kokomo bearing used a ceramic ball in place of the thrust pad. It would appear the reviews by Adam Smith etc at the bottom of the page relate to the ceramic ball version. I have read about and seen pictures which suggest the ceramic ball version wears a bowl into the base of the spindle.

On this new version, it is not absolutely clear what a hydraulic flydisk is. Obviously, if the spindle does actually float on on oil, it should be good, but I'd want to wait a while for some customer feedback after some prolonged use.

At a third of the price, I have one of these. http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/XTP301-SPINDL ... 5d43f3c0e8

This is the 301 version but Exact Audio (jclovesmusic Tel 01795 473835) will also supply a 401 version. I've still to fit mine but all the reports I've read are very good. The phosphor bronze ball wears, not the base of the spindle. The ball can be periodically rotated in its housing to present a fresh bearing face and two spare balls are supplied.
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Ali Tait
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#3

Post by Ali Tait »

Always nice to have spare balls! :D

Cheers Greg, yes I'd read the reports on the original. I understand the new version has a disc of strengthened nylon that, as you say, the spindle apparently floats on in an oil bath.

It would appear different to the original, and I'd say the ball will now wear rather than the spindle?

Your other option looks cheap enough, the 401 version must be a bit different though?
Last edited by Ali Tait on Thu Sep 26, 2013 3:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Ali Tait
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#4

Post by Ali Tait »

I note he has the 401 version on ebay -

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/XTP401-SPINDL ... 19e2243345

Has to be worth a go at that price.
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Greg
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#5

Post by Greg »

I must admit, I think it is a safer choice over the Analog Tube Audio product. Reading the ATA website, he still uses his customer reviews for the ceramic bearing to promote his new one. Furthermore, they were written before prolonged use revealed the damage the ceramic ball would cause. If you are right about the new bearing, the nylon disk would only wear if there is physical contact with the spindle base which he claims does not occur. We know the Garrard spindle assembly is not oil tight because a well oiled unit leaches oil from the top of the bearing. The only way it can be hydraulic is if the oil has sufficient viscosity to prevent contact between the surfaces. I'm not sure I have faith in the ATA claims.

You could post your question on the Garrardmatters forum where I know there are other users of the jclovesmusic bearing. You might also draw a response from Domonic.
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#6

Post by Paul Barker »

I recall some years ago when Darren was talking over these issues with me on the phone one thing was certain. The original tolerances were very slack. So the first thing any upgrade manufacturer has to do, which is handed him on a plate by Garrard, is machine new bearing to closer tolerances. that in itself is a fix, and possibly as far as you need to go. Plenty of smoke and mirrors in the posts linked, no real information.
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#7

Post by IslandPink »

I had a very good, lightly used 401 in the past , the bearing had very little lateral play . I tried some sort of ceramic ball thrust bearing supplied by Darren, and to be honest it changed the top-end very slightly in the wrong direction, for me, just a touch 'harder' in the tone .
I went back to the standard Garrard thrust bearing ( I think it's a domed phosphor-bronze pressing ? ) and preferred it .
Hence Ali, if you have a poor 401 bearing, by all means look around , but if you only have a certain amount of money for the system, don't put too much into an aftermarket bearing .

One of the best small mods I did to the 401 was putting some of that 'sticky-backed Tar' stuff ( intended for the inside of speakers ) in patches ( 3 ) on the underside of the platter . The standard Garrard platter rings a bit - that's where things like the two-part LP12 platter gained a touch on Garrard and that ilk, in improving the treble quality .
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#8

Post by Greg »

IslandPink wrote:One of the best small mods I did to the 401 was putting some of that 'sticky-backed Tar' stuff ( intended for the inside of speakers ) in patches ( 3 ) on the underside of the platter . The standard Garrard platter rings a bit - that's where things like the two-part LP12 platter gained a touch on Garrard and that ilk, in improving the treble quality .
Hmm, the Garrard platter, is, I think dynamically balanced. Sticking stuff to the platter underside could potentially upset that balance. The platter doesn't ring a lot with the original mat fitted which was designed for that very purpose. Some owners have added a couple of thick rubber bands to the outer rim fitted between the strobe rings.
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#9

Post by Paul Barker »

good job I only have stock mat and stock bearing then.. Might run to the rubber bands.
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Ali Tait
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#10

Post by Ali Tait »

Thanks gents, not sure there is anything wrong with the original bearing, I'll have get the TT down from the top of the wardrobe and have a look!

This was prompted by another member's comments to me on how much an improvement the NWA bearing made, but that's £400...

On another note, has anyone serviced their 401? Last time I tried the deck, it seemed quiet as a mouse, but it's been on top of the wardrobe for the last three years, so I guess it wouldn't hurt to give it a good going over.
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#11

Post by Cressy Snr »

NWA bearing eh.
I had wondered what had happened to that late '80s hip hop crew.
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Ali Tait
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#12

Post by Ali Tait »

:D
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Greg
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#13

Post by Greg »

Ali Tait wrote:This was prompted by another member's comments to me on how much an improvement the NWA bearing made, but that's £400...

On another note, has anyone serviced their 401? Last time I tried the deck, it seemed quiet as a mouse, but it's been on top of the wardrobe for the last three years, so I guess it wouldn't hurt to give it a good going over.
OK, Clive Meakins has written a review of the NWA bearing.

http://www.enjoythemusic.com/magazine/e ... analog.htm

I personally have not listen to a deck fitted with this bearing although I have seen and handled it. Certainly it is excellently engineered and very closely toleranced. The oiled shaft inserted into it's housing takes ages for it to settle and bottom out in it's bearing enclosure, indicating the tolerance tightness. Having said that, I'm not convinced by the design and personally consider that the 'jclovesmusic' mod might be a better option. I have a friend who has the NWA bearing and he is equally not convinced it is an improvement over standard. He considers it possibly looses something in the top end of treble reproduction. Interesting it is now £400. It was £600 when first introduced.

I have serviced my own deck. That being a grease up of all linkages and a motor strip down, oiling the bearings etc. It is a worthwhile exercise. For an engineer like you, it should not be difficult and you can find several links on the internet to work you through the process.
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#14

Post by Dave the bass »

SteveTheShadow wrote:NWA bearing eh.
I had wondered what had happened to that late '80s hip hop crew.
Aha!

Who could forget their Gangsta classic "Idlerz4Life" and the debut "Straight outta Swindon".

'Spek!

DTB
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#15

Post by Cressy Snr »

Classic both of them. Looks like you forgot their expletive laden later one Dave, though it's a bit under-appreciated these days:

Moth*****kin rumble messin' up ma bass (how low can ya go!)
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