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Old 31st Jul 2009, 2:27 pm   #1
Jimmyhaflinger
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Default Garrard RC121 mk2 problems

Hi,

I'm trying to put this old changer deck back in working order, it's been unused since about 30 years.

I've already relubed most of the mechanism including the speed selector mechanism and the turntable bearing, now the deck works fine in manual mode but the automatic (changer) mode is malfunctioning, sometimes the arm settles down in the 10" position even though the record is 12", and it fails to shut off after the last record, instead, the "stop" lever barely moves, the arm sets down on its rest and then once it's engaged on the rest it tries to get back to the 10" position so it remains tensioned and gets tossed violently towards the centre of the record if you nudge it off the rest.

Also, the velocity trip is too stiff and sometimes causes the stylus to get stuck at the end of the record, and the deck is running a bit slow on all speeds,

This deck is fitted with a 70s Sonotone cartridge with a BSR ST12 stylus
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Old 31st Jul 2009, 6:30 pm   #2
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Default Re: Garrard RC121 mk2 problems

The shut off problem is caused by the size sensing arm not going far enough in to tell the mechanism there are no more records to play. (This changer does not rely on overarm position) If at the end of the record, you put your finger lightly on top of the clear plastic bit at the end of the record sizer, and, when it seems to have reached it's full inwards travel, just push it a bit further, you should find the arm behaves as it should. It's all down to lubrication, and seeing which bits are involved when the changer cycles. (not easy on this deck, complicated things!) The velocity trip can be easily dismantled, and cleaned, (watch for the little brass, concave spring, very delicate!) Clean thoroughly and reassemble. Do NOT oil any part of the trip, it relies on metal to metal friction. Speed, again down to lubrication of everything to do with the drive mechanism, motor, jockey wheel etc., and a thorough clean of the inside rim of the turntable.

Barry
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Old 1st Aug 2009, 11:06 pm   #3
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Default Re: Garrard RC121 mk2 problems

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The shut off problem is caused by the size sensing arm not going far enough in to tell the mechanism there are no more records to play. (This changer does not rely on overarm position) If at the end of the record, you put your finger lightly on top of the clear plastic bit at the end of the record sizer, and, when it seems to have reached it's full inwards travel, just push it a bit further, you should find the arm behaves as it should.

Barry
it worked! i had to help the sensing arm a couple of times then it freed up and began to work properly on its own!

ditto for the trip mechanism, it seems to work fine now.

I still have the slow speed problem though, i cleaned the inside rim of the turntable and the motor shaft, the rubber idler wheel is still smooth and pliable, the turntable has plenty of torque at all speed, but it's still running a bit slow, maybe i have a 60Hz motor in my deck? i'll check it out.
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Old 2nd Aug 2009, 11:44 am   #4
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Default Re: Garrard RC121 mk2 problems

Or wrong motor pulley? Not sure what cycles you're on over there, but Garrard certainly gave the option of 50 or 60 cycle pulleys.

Barry
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Old 2nd Aug 2009, 12:51 pm   #5
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Default Re: Garrard RC121 mk2 problems

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Not sure what cycles you're on over there

Barry
AFAIK all Europe and the Middle East has 50Hz, America Canada and Japan has 60Hz
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Old 2nd Aug 2009, 2:13 pm   #6
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Default Re: Garrard RC121 mk2 problems

Thanks, Micheal. As far as I remember, all the Garrard motors were standard, it was just the pulley that differed. I think the 50 cycle pulley was a silver colour, and the 60 gold. When I first got my radiogram, fitted with the same deck, it ran slow because the wrong pulley was fitted. Took me ages before I realised!

Barry
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Old 2nd Aug 2009, 11:50 pm   #7
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Default Re: Garrard RC121 mk2 problems

is there supposed to be an interchangeable 50hz (or 60hz) pulley somewhere inside the deck?

Last edited by Jimmyhaflinger; 2nd Aug 2009 at 11:55 pm.
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Old 3rd Aug 2009, 9:28 am   #8
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Default Re: Garrard RC121 mk2 problems

No, They were available to order only.

Barry
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Old 5th Aug 2009, 12:24 am   #9
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Default Re: Garrard RC121 mk2 problems

i just had a look under the turntable and the pulley in my deck is silver, so i guess it's the correct 50hz one, right? but still, it's running a bit slow on all speeds, as confirmed by a strobe disc.

Also, is the large hole 45 rpm changer spindle from an older RC120 suitable for my RC121 MK2?

Last edited by Brian R Pateman; 5th Aug 2009 at 4:53 am. Reason: Compliance with forum rules.
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Old 6th Aug 2009, 8:27 pm   #10
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Default Re: Garrard RC121 mk2 problems

Maybe time to strip the motor for a good clean and lube before anything else.
I think the Large Record Spindle you have for your original RC120 (brown and hammered bronze, or white?) will not work on the RC121 Mk2. or the RC120 Mk2. Different spindles? I could be wrong. Try it and see, you can't do any harm!

Barry
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Old 6th Aug 2009, 9:06 pm   #11
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Default Re: Garrard RC121 mk2 problems

i've discovered that the deck plays at correct speed if i turn the speed selector knob slightly, but it slows down again if i let the knob move back to its correct position.

I've removed the turntable again and checked the speed selector mechanism, it seems to work correctly and the idler wheel rides in the middle of the selected speed on the motor pulley, however, there's a washer under the pivot of the arm which carries the idler wheel, the washer doesn't look original as its a cheap crude washer with jagged sharp edges, the kind you can buy at any hardware store, is it supposed to be there?

Also there's a grub screw in the pivot, is it supposed to adjust the idler wheel's height or is it just meant to keep the pivot together?

The changer with the large hole spindle was a RC120 (not mk2) in hammered bronze with the brass plates under the control levers and the long thin bakelite arm, however it's not an option anymore as that RC120 has been bought by someone else... my chances of getting a large hole spindle for my changer are getting thin! i'm probably going to buy a 50-pieces bag of plastic adaptor spiders!

Last edited by Jimmyhaflinger; 6th Aug 2009 at 9:24 pm.
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Old 8th Aug 2009, 9:18 am   #12
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Default Re: Garrard RC121 mk2 problems

The Large Record Spindles seem to be far more popular in the States than they were over here, because of couse, all their 45s were made with large centre holes. I got both mine from America for very reasonable prices, including shipping. The one you need for the RC121 is the LRS 4.

Barry
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Old 8th Aug 2009, 12:45 pm   #13
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Default Re: Garrard RC121 mk2 problems

FWIW, the first one of these I ever had was slow, same as yours; after cleaning and experimenting with the idler etc, I concluded that it was just the motor needed stripping and relubing. Since it was the 80s and kit like this was ten a penny, I didn't bother.
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Old 9th Aug 2009, 10:09 pm   #14
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Default Re: Garrard RC121 mk2 problems

the slow speed problem is fixed!

In post #11 i said that something looked wrong in the idler wheel arm's pivot, there was an "aftermarket" washer, as it turned out, the pivot's shaft was supposed to turn freely in the lower alloy bushing of the pivot but instead was seized rock hard by old grease so hard that i first though it was just a fixed shaft moulded into the lower arm.
Apparently, someone before me adjusted the grub screw on the idler arm so that the idler would engage anyway even with the stuck pivot, and indeed it did work and still worked, but with lots of pressure, and this slowed down the motor.

The speed increased when i turned the speed selector knob because the idler was disengaged as you shifted from one speed to another, so entering the "shift area" of the selector removed some of the excessive pressure of the idler on the motor pulley, allowing it to pick up a bit of speed.

I had to heat the pivot's bushing and pound the shaft out with a small hammer, then cleaned and lubricated it, then readjusted it and it worked fine! the motor is now running without undue loads and the speed is spot on!

About hole sizes: virtually all 45s sold here in Italy had large holes, in fact the only small hole 45s i've ever seen were early 90s issues, the Italian-made player in which this RC121 is fitted has two clips to hold the large hole spindle but of course it's missing.

Last edited by Jimmyhaflinger; 9th Aug 2009 at 10:17 pm.
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Old 10th Aug 2009, 8:00 am   #15
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Default Re: Garrard RC121 mk2 problems

All fascinating stuff, thanks. As it happens I have an RC121 on the bench as present - have done the usual cleaning/lube and it looks good so far but as yet haven't switched it on! This has had a BSR X5M cartidge fitted, which I believe is stereo compatible...

Steve
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Old 10th Aug 2009, 12:26 pm   #16
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Default Re: Garrard RC121 mk2 problems

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All fascinating stuff, thanks.
Yes, well done!!
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Old 16th Aug 2009, 8:29 am   #17
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Default Re: Garrard RC121 mk2 problems

The Garrard deck I'm working on is an RC121/4D. It is now working fine; the speeds are spot on and the only slight niggle is that a little motor rumble is audible when the bass is turned right up. Maybe a thin disc of ultra-fine packing foam placed under the rubber mat would help here...?

This deck doesn't have the 'plastic bits' on its record sizer as previously mentioned, and the autochanger is working correctly. However for future reference - there is something that bugs me and 'I really ought to know'. (I can't find a manual.)

How does one set up the record set-down points?

Cheers.

Steve
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Old 16th Aug 2009, 7:26 pm   #18
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Default Re: Garrard RC121 mk2 problems

The RC1214D has a different method of selecting the record size to the RC121Mk2. On the former, the size selector arm comes in to the edge of the record, and then goes back to it's original position over the pick-up arm, whereas on the 121Mk2, it comes in to the edge of the record, and stays there, and the record being pushed off the spindle then moves it outwards about quarter of an inch. This is the final stopping place for the arm. Then when the overarm is lifted and swung to the right, it contacts an upright clear plastic piece fiitted to the size selector arm, and takes the sizing arm back to its original position. The RC121/4 will only select three sizes, 7", 10", and 12", whereas the 121Mk2 will do 7", 8", 9", 10" and 12" I can't work out why Garrard introduced this facility, as 8" and 9" records had been long obsolete by the time the RC121Mk2 was introduced. I don't remember any adjustment for size selection on the 121/4D, although I seem to remember a hole in front of the pick-up arm/overarm housing, through which, when you moved the pick-up inwards, a screw could be seen. Maybe that's it.

Barry
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Old 16th Aug 2009, 9:08 pm   #19
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Default Re: Garrard RC121 mk2 problems

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Originally Posted by Jimmyhaflinger View Post
as it turned out, the pivot's shaft was supposed to turn freely in the lower alloy bushing of the pivot but instead was seized rock hard by old grease .
well, twenty odd-years later I now know why my deck was running slow! good news and hope you enjoy your 121.
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Old 16th Aug 2009, 9:35 pm   #20
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Default Re: Garrard RC121 mk2 problems

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The RC1214D has a different ........
......I don't remember any adjustment for size selection on the 121/4D, although I seem to remember a hole in front of the pick-up arm/overarm housing, through which, when you moved the pick-up inwards, a screw could be seen. Maybe that's it.
Thank you.

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