Bill's comments and notes:
"I have another new Garrard 301 (oil bearing) with an Ikeda IT-407 arm and a Shelter 501 cartridge. The plinth is made of 7 laminations of finnish birch plywood, as the previous design - (c) Pierre.
After several grease bearing versions, it is my first oil 301 and it works perfect!
As you can imagine, an excellent arm makes the difference. I encourage our friends to have a look to Ikeda, the concept is very close to the very well regarded Fidelity Research FR66."
.....because of my new SPU "rebuild by J.Allaerts", I was considering all possibilities of 12' arms like the Ortofon RMG 309, the Fidelity Research FR66 or the Ikeda IT 407, all arms capable of balancing the 32 g SPU headshell.. After several tests, I'm very happy with an Ikeda/Shelter duo !! .. this set-up sounds natural, with rich tonal colors, elegance, and on the top of that, the soundstage is transparent and focused with great precision... the Shelter 501 does everything I expect from a cartridge exceptionally well.. of course there is room for improvement as the 501 is a low cost (!) in the Shelter range
For the Ikeda setup, I used a Loefgren protractor -(c)Stephane-, cartridge stayed a little bit offset on the cartridge slots (not parallel with head shell) for the correct mounting distance and alignment, it's so important !
The Ikeda IT-407 12" arm is just fantastic, in short, it has become my favorite arm (with the crazy expensive Schroeder)
......I'm a real Garrard fan and this high end arm shows me the potential of that turntable.
The Ikeda 407 is very close to the FR66 and especially fits cartridges with a stiff cantilever (Shelter, DL103,..)
I have now side-by-side a 301 with a SME3012 and this new 301 with the Ikeda.. the differences are very important : imaging, clarity, precision, impression to get the record as it is.
My system : Dunlavy speakers, Krell KSA300S, Classé preamp, Acoutech phono, MA-Audio phono, DIY phono based on Rotel design, Teac DV50, Meridian 507 tuner and a lot of records.
New plinth is made of 7 laminations finland Birch Plywood.
Was new: (4/2006)
Grease bearing version with two arms: SME 3009 Series II/Shure V15 IV and a classic SME3012 Series II with a van den Hul version of the DL103. The SME 3012 brings an alive sound especially with the DL103-vdH. Baltic Birch plinth over a Corian shelf. To the right is a Technics SP10 direct drive turntable using a Micro Seiki MA-505 tonearm and a DL103R cartridge.
Gray grease bearing 301 with an Ortofon RG212 tonearm and a SPU Classic cartridge in custom wood base.
White grease bearing 301 with SME 3012 II tonearm and Denon 103R in a "Shindo-alike" home made plinth.