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Ever heard the expression... It's growing heads, arms and legs?


Standard Member
OK, I wrote recently about my investigative forays into the world of Garrard. I think I'm decided, having read countless reviews, that it's really the 301 I want to go for. Now, I may be mad as I understand I need some serious commitment to pull off a half decent set up..but let's take things one step at a time. .. . that said, the project outline is really growing heads, arms and legs.

SPU's are nostalgically in keeping. I've read about Shindo and once I pulled myself out of the clouds, I started looking at Ortofon SPUs. OK new one's are still only available in cloud cuckoo land but can anyone recommend a good 2nd hand model, available relatively cheaply or an alternative SPU style head shell with decent stylus combo I should be looking at... ok, I guess the next question is, what tone arm is this to be fitted to?

Shindo again is but a dream. I hear the SME 3012 R is a good marriage with a Garrard but haven't finished my research on those yet. SME's have always seemed reasonably affordable but then the fact there are so many varieties may be that this notion is somewhat of a red herring. I think I read that a 12" arm is best with a 301 (why distance from the deck centre should matter I don’t know) and of course I'm after one that allows for a detachable head shell, preferably to fit an SPU to begin with but obviously leaving myself the flexibility to upgrade as time goes on. What tone arm in the SME range would people suggest? Or, am I being too blinkered here and should I be looking at other alternatives? Perhaps Origin Live..?

Well, more to the point a plinth. OK, it seems anything made of multiple layers of MDF is simply not good. Multiply Beachwood seems a popular choice but has its limitations and of course a few layers of hardwood would be best. Think Shindo but at high street prices if that's possible... anyone know any good options. I do like the style of the ones offered by Loricraft but perhaps some of you out there think the same results or better can be achieved by getting a local carpenter to make one to the same specs for less?

Plinths I can handle.. but I'm really stuck on the arm/head shell/stylus to Garrard combo. I am looking for as cheapo as possible so am banking (probably hopelessly) on picking up well used 2nd hand items off the bay or elsewhere.. but need to get a feel for what options might work and what damage any of these might do to my bank balance.

Thanks in advance.

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