Peak HiFi is a well established business and was formed in 2004 as audio consultants specialising in high quality audio equipment, with a particular fondness for stereo and analogue equipment, we are particularly enthusiastic for classic turntables such as the Garrard 301 and the Garrard 401. Peak HiFi offers a select range of new and approved used equipment, accessories and services. Reconditioned Garrard 301 and 401 units are available as well as beautifully engineered plinths for these decks. We welcome you to visit us ay our premises in the Peak District and to take advantage of our relaxed surroundings and two demonstration rooms where we can demonstrate all of the equipment and assist you with your selection. Please call us to fix an appointment.
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SMD Acoustics Type II Reference Plinth (Garrard 301/401)
The SMD Acoustics Type II Reference Plinth is available in either granite or slate and is supplied with the premium grade support pillars and Sorbothane® decoupling system.
The plinth is the most important component in getting the best possible sound from your 301/401. Get it wrong and the 301/401 is just another old turntable, get it right and you have a world beater regardless of price.
The problem for the plinth designer in the past has been whether to select mass or damping to kill resonance, the SMD plinth employs both methods. Using sound mechanical and acoustic engineering principles they have designed and developed a range of plinths to extract the best from your Garrard 301/401. All the plinths in the range use a skeletal type damped plinth. The mass of the plinth depends on the model selected. Four different materials are used across the range, MDF, Acrylic Quartz, Slate and Granite.
Pictured above: SMD Acoustics Type II 301 Reference Plinth in Granite
All the SMD plinths have an incredibly low noise floor and a very solid bass delivery and extension, the separation between performers is amazing…. almost holographic and you feel as though you can walk between the performers. The decoupled top plate isolates your stylus from external room bound resonances and the high mass top board effectively acts a sink, its sheer mass dampens motor noise. The plinth is designed to add nothing to your sound, no coloration but it is designed to remove the unwanted vibrations that would impair the sound of your deck. Being an open skeletal design we have none of the problems associated with internal vibrations and resonances that can build up in box type plinths and the heat from the motor unit is effectively transferred away as air is free to circulate around the unit.
Pictured above: SMD Acoustics Type II 301 Reference Plinth in Slate
We suggest you avoid single piece box type cavity or multilayered ply veneered plinths as can be seen in the following photograph as these act as an amplifier (a little like the body of an acoustic guitar) by catching stray vibrations from air borne vibrations from the loudspeakers, foot fall etc. These are transmitted back into your cartridge and cause a muddy indistinct sound. There is a reason that respected turntable manufacturers such as SME, Michell, TW-acustic etc. use skeletal plinths...because they sound better than box plinths. The plinth pictured directly below is on demonstration at Peak HiFi for comparison to the SMD plinths.
Pictured above: Traditional single piece box plinth mulit layered ply veneered.
A major advantage of high mass is its ability to nullify motor vibrations and If you had a one piece solid plinth with no damping at all then slate would be one of the best material choices as it is high mass and the multi layers tend to be naturally damping. However the SMD plinths are high mass and very effectively damped, if you want to see the effect of good damping remove the platter mat off your 301 and flick the platter, it rings like a bell. Now try it with the mat in place, there is virtually no ring. In our listening tests we have found granite to be the superior performer sonically with slate a close second and then acrylic quartz followed by MDF.
Granite is an obvious choice for a turntable plinth as it is one of the most stable and inert materials known to man, it is used in critical measuring equipment such as CMM (co-ordinate measuring machines) and other laboratory applications where sensitive measuring and optical equipment is used where absolute stability is essential. Part of the reason for this is granites natural frequency that is very easily damped. Granite is also incredibly hard and it is this hardness coupled with damping to stop it “ringing” and the very high mass that makes its sonically the best. As a general rule of thumb the harder the material the higher the natural frequency, higher frequencies are easier to dampen and kill than lower frequencies, the SMD plinths are very well damped by the coupling of materials with different natural frequencies and by the Sorbothane® isolation system.
The Type II Reference Model features an arm boards that is CNC machined for absolute accuracy from solid aluminium and then anodised to give an attractive finish.
In our experience we believe that it is more important for the arm to always be on the same horizontal plane as the platter than it is to try and isolate the arm from the board the motor unit is attached to, it is not good for your arm to be floating around independent of the platter and for that reason we always fix the arm board to the top plate.
Plinth Material: Granite or Slate
Support Pillars: Solid 304L stainless steel support pillars with Sorbothane® sphere decoupling system
Arm Board: Solid aluminium CNC machined 12mm thick anodised in a black finish.
Dust Cover: Optional manufactured from 5mm thick acrylic with router cut logo.
Hinges: Optional bespoke 304 grade stainless steel friction hinges.
Dimensions: 580mm x 430mm x 145mm (L x D x H)
Weight Net: 38kgs
SMD plinths are made in England and endorsed and used by Ray Clarke of Classic HiFi.
Product Code: SMD_II_301REF
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