One of those usually ill advised late night eBay shopping trips led me to a short half hour drive to collect my purchase.
I got more than I bargained for. In a good way.
The listing said:
For sale ,a Garrard Zero 100 SB turntable fitted with an Ortofon OMB-5E MM cartridge. This deck is an early 1970’s classic British model and is in great condition for it’s age. The lid is a bit scuffed and there is some marks on the plinth top surface, as well as a Watts dust bug stuck to the rear left of the plinth, NOT on the deck itself. The deck does play discs but has a couple of, I’m guessing , age -related faults. Firstly, the cuing platform sticks in the up position; Secondly ,the auto start/stop lever does not operate. All the levers move OK but this one does not have any effect. The deck could probably do with a good service as it has been stored for about 15 years. The clamp piece for the phono cable is missing. Internally the deck looks to be in original condition. With original instruction book which has some water damage, and 2 RCA to 5 pin Din adaptor.
It pretty much does what it says on the tin. The cosmetic condition is superb, with the exception of the damage done by the dust bug, which should be easily fixed. The lid is actually in fine condition, which is in itself a rare and valuable find. The scuffing would polish out, but it’s trivial, so I probably won’t bother. The aluminium surround is perfect. Elsewhere on eBay today somebody is selling just this part for what I paid for the whole deck. Then of course there is the included Ortofon cartridge. The belt was like my grandma’s nicker elastic. Only to be expected on a 45 year old deck. A new one has been ordered so that repairs may commence soon.
I don’t usually buy or sell with “collect”, preferring to keep a professional distance between myself and customers. On this occasion, because of the proximity and nature of the item, I made an exception. This was a good call. The seller was a proper HiFi enthusiast. I stood outside his garage (socially distanced) while we talked HiFi and general bloke rubbish for an hour. Like me, he had a better system in his workshop than most people have in their lounge and shelves full of stuff awaiting “attention”. In time the subject turned to Reel to Reel. I mentioned my Sony TC-377.
“Would you be interested in these” he said. Producing several boxes containing about 3 dozen 7 inch reel to reel tapes. I weighed up the pro’s and cons of stocking up on really good quality and condition tapes, and staying married. Seven came home with me. They are in excellent condition. Some of them haven’t even had the labels applied or written on.
I’m looking forward to restoring the Zero 100SB when the belt comes. I have previously owned the earlier idler drive multiple player version , the Zero 100. These decks have Garrards weird and wonderful trapezoid compensated tracking arm, which keeps the stylus perpendicular to the groove for the whole sweep of the arm. Bonkers and horrendously complicated, but great.