Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Who needs Linear when you have Zero 100?

My latest favouritest turntable is this Garrard Zero 100. It is not quite my latest, and perhaps not my favourite but it's very close on both counts.

Garrard Zero 100 5

This was manufactured in the early 1970's. It addressed effectively the error that linear tracking tonearms also worked to resolve and that is that cartridges with elliptical styli (or any shape other than conical) would not always be at an ideal angle to the record groove.

Records are cut or mastered by arms that move at a tangent to the groove. Most tonearms move through an arc and present a different surface to the groove that can cause a different "interpretation" of the music trapped in the vinyl. Through careful alignment one can minimize this variance but it can't completely be eliminated with the conventional tonearm.

Garrard Zero 100 ad

Above is an ad from an audio magazine dated August 1973 that describes how the Garrard Zero 100 addresses the problem. It does it very well and with a great deal of style.

Garrard Zero 100 6

Garrard Zero 100

The Zero 100 is another idler drive, much like many Dual turntables. It's also automatic and comes with a single play spindle and a changer spindle. The extra spindle and 45 adapter are stored in a little box under a wooden cover, reminding me of a cigar humidor.

The performance is great, though I have some small issues to work out. The manual switch does not always want to stay engaged for example. Also the lid is a bit funky and someone tried an even funkier repair on it. The lid is in 2 parts and the tabs that hold the smaller piece to the base had broken off and whomever had drilled through it in the wood base. I've got a plan to fix that but more on it later.

For the time being I really enjoy the look and it does not sound half bad either!


  1. So, you would recommend? I have a chance to purchase one.

  2. Yes I would but not without some reservations. They are complex and old so can have problems that could be difficult to fix. I still have not figured out why mine won't always stay on for example.

    If the price is good and you have some willingness to take on what might be a project, I would say go for it. Especially so if it has the wooden plinth.

  3. Hi Andrew,
    Did you get the zero working properly? I'm a fan and waiting for mine to be delivered.


  4. Hi John,
    It's still touchy about the Start switch, but one of these days I will pull it out of the storage and get back at that. It's probably a sticky lubricant thing.

    Good luck with yours!

  5. Hi Andrew,
    Yes the Duals and Garrards are notorious for being all gummed up.

    I've just gotten back into vinyl after 20 years of spinning shiny discs. I can't believe how alive everything sounds and that was after a quick setup late yesterday, just don't fun times. Thanks for your well wishes on mine and please post when you get yours straightened out.