301 - oil or grease

301, 401, plinths and assorted idler stuff
Post Reply
User avatar
andrew Ivimey
Oooo, Roberts Radio's sound nice
Posts: 7327
Joined: Mon Jun 11, 2007 8:33 am
Location: Bedford

#1 301 - oil or grease

Post by andrew Ivimey »

Just supposing, for the sake of argument, how do I tell the difference between grease and oil bearing 301s, and does it really matter?
Clive
Old Hand
Posts: 374
Joined: Tue May 22, 2007 9:17 am
Location: Cheshire, England

#2

Post by Clive »

Big thumbscrew on the main bearing for grease "pressure".
Andy831
User
Posts: 75
Joined: Mon Dec 31, 2007 10:33 pm
Location: Out on the wild and windy moor

#3 Re: 301 - oil or grease

Post by Andy831 »

andrew Ivimey wrote:Just supposing, for the sake of argument, how do I tell the difference between grease and oil bearing 301s, and does it really matter?
Andrew

I don`t profess to be an expert but I am learning all the time, so here`s my two penneth.

Early grease bearings have a hammertone silvergrey hammerite type finish to the chassis. You could get a cream chassis version too. The only visible difference is the colour / background colour of the instruction/chassis plate. See Darrens web site for details. The other way is turn the chassis over and inspect the spindle bearing. A grease bearing has a side appendage (Grease nipple) towards the top of the bearing stuck out to the side.

I have never heard a grease bearing model but general concensus seems to suggest the grease bearing models sound better, they are certainly worth slightly more than their oil bearing brothers.

Hope that helps

Andy
User avatar
Greg
Shed dweller
Posts: 2975
Joined: Wed May 23, 2007 11:14 am
Location: Bristol, UK

#4

Post by Greg »

I think the love of the grease bearing over an oil bearing is a bit of inverted snobbery although there are people who insist the grease bearing sounds best. Considering the engineering competence of Garrard at the time, I'd doubt they'd have moved if there were not benefits in functionality. I've never done a comparison so I'm just being speculative.

On the oil bearing design I do have some issues. As standard and with use causing wear, any oil within the bearing (acknowledging the sintered bronze outer sleaves absorb and leach oil in theory) the oil will gravitate to the base of the bearing. There is no fancy pump such as the spiral design in a Michell deck to keep a constant flow from the top of the bearing down.

Slatedeck (Darren) has a solution (pun not intended) for this which works and is marketed as his bearing conversion upgrade. I have this and like it. Improvement to sound is subtle but for me the main feature is mechanical in that he has reduced bearing clearance to about 16 microns which is tight and has found a lubrication alternative that illiminates the gravitational weakness in the standard oil bearing.
User avatar
andrew Ivimey
Oooo, Roberts Radio's sound nice
Posts: 7327
Joined: Mon Jun 11, 2007 8:33 am
Location: Bedford

#5

Post by andrew Ivimey »

thanks so far then, I will have a dek at Darren's site!
Darren
Old Hand
Posts: 659
Joined: Mon May 21, 2007 10:58 pm
Location: N/Wales
Contact:

#6

Post by Darren »

Hi Andrew, there are a couple of things I need to change on that page but it's mostly correct.


(Silver Garrards did come with silver plates apparently for a short while. Mostly to the BBC but some escaped into the wild)

The chassis are slightly different castings, not easily noticeable between the grease and oil types but the oil ones are structurally stronger.

I think peeps believe the grease sound better simply because the grease does a better job of filling the large main bearing clearances than oil could ever do. Also grease doesn't fall so easily to the bottom of the bearing housing.

This is mainly sorted with a better bearing tolerance when using oil lubrication along with our secret lube formula.
No, not snake oil, something that seems to work rather well that is neither a grease or an oil strictly speaking.
http://www.slatedeck.com/turntables/which%20301.html
Post Reply