Remembering the Garrott Brothers

Amandela77 -- Sat, 05/02/2009 - 09:40

Wax-heads:
 
I heard my first Garrott Brothers cartridge last week at my cousin's place.  Mounted on an entry-level Clearaudio turntable, this modestly-priced little wonder (the K2, available from the Needle Doctor for a scant $255 ) took my breath away. It offered everything one doesn't normally expect from inexpensive MMs: lovely tonality, transparency, superb coherence, and the biggest surprise of all, oodles of air and ambiance. 
 
No, this wasn't a great $2000 MC, but for the price I walked away wondering how Garrott Brothers (in name only, may the twins RIP) can offer so much music for so little. I'm going to buy one and mount it to my Rega 25 with the 600 tonearm. 
 
Does anyone know why Raskins only imports the entry level models? I would love to hear the much-heralded Optim FGS (formerly available from the Doc for about $1000).
 
How sad that the Garrott Brothers, who died in 1991 as part of a tragic suicide pact, never got to witness analog's re-emergence. I think they would have been pleased.
 
Amandela      

Robert Harley -- Mon, 05/04/2009 - 09:50

I had not heard of the Garrott Brothers. Thanks for the tip.

Amandela77 -- Mon, 05/04/2009 - 17:21

RH:
 
The tragic story of the Garrott Brother surely ranks amongst the saddest and strangest in all audiophilia. As far as I can tell, beginning in the late 1970s and running into the early 1990s, the Brothers, twins it seems and based in Australia, produced a highly distinguished line of MM and MC cartridges.
 
Apparently, their work involved the application of some of the advances first pioneered by the designers of the famed London/Decca cartridges to MM and MC designs. Although they worked in relative obscurity, since their untimely deaths in the early 1990s (about which more later) their designs have been embraced and championed by a small but loyal following, mostly in Great Britain, but also in the U.S. as well.  
 
Jerry Raskins certainly appears to be one of their fans, and so I am as of two weekends ago. Many feel that their MM cartridges represent the summit of that design type. They (the firm) also make a line of well-regarded MCs none of which I have heard.  
 
Sadly, one of the twins was diagnosed with congenital and inoperable heart failure in the early 1990s. Rather than live in a world dominated by bad-sounding digital recordings and with interest in high-end vinyl reproduction reduced to a trickle (remember this was almost 20 years ago), the brothers and their twin wives instead committed ritual suicide in 1991 (I lie not.)
 
Fortunately, a loyal employee preserved some of the product molds and design schematics. An Australian holding company called Audio Dynamics Pty. Ltd. obtained the right to produce the designs and to distribute them under the Garrott Brothers name.
 
Based on what I heard at my cousins, this line of cartridges deserves much wider distribution in the U.S. Maybe you can convince our buddy NG to review the 2 models that currently are available from the Needle Doctor.
 
Good listening,
 
 
Amandela

Amandela77

bananasunyata (not verified) -- Thu, 08/06/2009 - 22:50

 The Garrott Bros were extraordinary characters and deserve their place in audiophile history. I first had dealings with them when i sent them my AT32 cartridge in the mid 80s for re-tipping.  I think only they and a mob in Switzerland were doing re-tips/upgrades at this time. They sent me a wonderful letter - so wish I had kept it - where they deplored the terrible state of the stylus I had posted to them and begged me not to treat the upgraded  retip with the same contempt. Never have I a felt so chastised! THese guys really were the audiophiles' audiophiles. WHen the AT32 wore out I bought a P77 from them which I kept and didn't install until years after their death. I have been very happy with it and am on these forum pages now because I am looking to have it re-tipped and wondering if the successors to the brothers legacy at Garrott Bros are worthy of the name.
 
The other great character from my life as an audiophile is TOr Andersen. Has anyone heard of him? He worked on the Ultra-sound in Sweden, came to Australia and designed and handbuilt his own line of amplifiers (linc) and speakers. These are beauties ...I still have a Linc amplifier and a pair of speakers he made that are delightful. He had all sorts of idiosyncratic ideas about cables etc. He moved to Gundagai of all places in the 90s, used to travel to Sydney a bit, kept an eye on my gear, but I have lost contact with him now?
 
Does anyone know what became of him?

GC Vanish (not verified) -- Thu, 05/20/2010 - 17:24

You can telephone Tor on (02) 69441821 or email tora [at] tpg [dot] com [dot] au

markus46 -- Mon, 05/04/2009 - 17:15

I still use my 'Garrottized' Decca London Gold  I purchased in the mid-80's.
 
Had the stylus checked recently when I had the Cirkus upgrade fitted to my LP12.  Still in good condition!
Sadly that's more indicitive of how much I get to listen these days :(    But when my friends and I spin a little vinyl, there is magic - no doubt.
 
Cheers!
Mark

Halcro -- Tue, 05/05/2009 - 23:12

 I had the privilege of meeting John and Brian Garrott on several occasions at their various residences in and around Sydney in the early 1980s.
They took the English A&R P77 cartridge (a good performer in its own right), and hand tweaked it to new levels calling it the Garrott P77 which rightly led to their fame.
Eccentric and passionate, the two reclusive brothers married 2 Phillipino sisters and all four lived together in their various houses with the sisters baking biscuits and fussing over the boys whilst everyone called each other Luvvey. As I recall, John was the voluble protagonist to all who would ring or call by, whilst Brian sat quietly at the workbench, magnifying glass in left eye, painstakingly winding coils and preparing styli.
They passionately despised the MC cartridges then making their early claims for audiophile prominence and I vividly recall them sitting me down in front of their extraordinary Hi Fi system (which consisted of stacked Quads and multiple sub-woofers), and playing a record with the then famous Supex MC cartridge and detaching the headshell to shift in their Garrott P77. Of course the P77 sounded better.
I had them re-tip my P77 at least 3 times during the '80s as no cartridge had ever sounded so sweet.
I doubt that they were worried about the CD revolution as they never mentioned it to me, but the discovery that one of them had developed cancer saw them commit ritual suicide in a pact that seemed consistent with their mutual dependence although no note was ever found.
I still have my original Garrott P77 and I don't believe that any of the cartridges built after their deaths could maintain the Garrott secret manipulations. The fact that the company now brings out a Garrott MC would, I believe, be a cause of grief for Brian and John and is not something they would wish to be remembered for?

markus46 -- Thu, 08/06/2009 - 23:48

Hi bananasunyata,
Regarding retipping of your P77.  Give Tivoli Hi-Fi in Camberwell, Victoria a call +61-3-98133533.  They are the retail arm of Audio Dynamics, the distributors of Garrot Bros cartridges.  They should be able to point you in the right direction.
Good luck!
Mark

proftournesol -- Thu, 01/14/2010 - 19:03

 One of the biggest audiophile regrets in my life was giving away my Garrott Bros Decca London cartridge. It was a truly great cartridge but in the years after they died I despaired that I'd ever it re-tipped again. Silly me:(

seals (not verified) -- Fri, 01/29/2010 - 18:16

How amazing to come across this blog. I knew tor anderson, actually worked for him around the early/mid 80's, even helping him move house. He would let me have some of his equipment on loan for my then young ears to evaluate. I also worked for another australian genious designer, allen wright & introduced the two but no collaboration occurred between them as tor was making s/s amps & dynamic speakers & allen was a tube/planar/electrostatic fan. Allen was the one who introduced me to true hifi & tas/hp. Before i met him i thought i had a good system (rega planar 3 t/t, rega arm, empire cart, david hafler pre & power amps & acoustic research ar9 speakers). After that utilising allen's knowledge & hp' reviews i ended up with a goldmund studio/syrinx pu3/clearaudio cart/ allen's prototype tube preamp/ 60's leak mono blocks(modified by allen) & early quads with the otto major panels. I met the garrotts when i had a mishap with my clearaudio. When i went to their house they had homemade elctrostatics, sometime between 1984-1986. Sorry for the long ramble.

theophile -- Wed, 08/25/2010 - 02:37

I first met the Garrot brothers when I went to their unit in Avalon.I was buying a Garrott Decca Microscanner.naturally I had a listen to their system and got the chance to see the stylus of my new purchase under high magnification.The effect;Stunning.They were gentlemen and never pushy or 'business-like'.I more had the sense that I get when I visit someone's grandparents.The sense of real hospitality and genuine interest.May they go on to bigger and better things.
 
I also used to enjoy listening to the wonderful systems Allen Wright had set-up all those years ago at Wentworth Av in Sydney.I bought a modified NAD 3020 from Allen.
For the hat-trick,I also had a Marantz Esotec integrated I owned modified by Tor when he lived at Ryde(Putney?).
 
Reading all this stuff about these guys has taken me back.

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Ded Frag -- Sat, 12/11/2010 - 07:24

 I had the joy of dealing with the Garrot brothers for most of their illustrious careers. Eccentric, dedicated and charming it came as a huge shock to all of us who knew them when they committed suicide. Kerry Williams of the new Garrot Bros ( owned by Philip Leuder who also owns Tivoli Hi-Fi & Home Theatre in Melbourne ) has taken the brothers investigations with new forms of cartridge suspension and damping to new highs. The Garrot Bros 'Optim' F.G.S. with ruby cantilever (special order) trounces any number of expensive moving coils. Why this thing hasn't been praised to the skies by high-end audio reviewers is beyond me. Maybe it's because they're middle aged men with defective upper treble hearing, that the rising high-end of moving coils compensates for &/or they're infected with terminal moving coil snobbery   ?
All Kerry Williams re-builds of a range of cartridges I've used, from Decca 'London' to Audio Technica's OC9 MKIII, have all performed better than the originals.
One of the great secrets of high-end analogue.
http://www.garrottbrothers.com/

elroyvomlacheren -- Sat, 12/18/2010 - 06:01

The missing link
I stumbled over some posts about the late Garrott bros, and though I usually never blog nor use any forums, I thought it adequate to clear some of the thoughts, feelings and obscure history of the Garrott Bros. Some posts were right and brought warm and hurting memories and some were dead wrong. The ones who remember the Garrott family well remember them as living in an enclosed space, very isolated from the world around them. They concentrated on their work and left the world pass by. In the quietness and peacefullness of their living they mastered cartridge repairing, retipping and building never achieved by anyone in the past nor up today. I had first contact with the Garrott brothers at the age of fifeteen, which was over 30 years back from now. Half a child but most enthusiastic about HiFi I digged out their address to make first contact. At that time, there was no net - we had telex, letterpost ans later faxmachines. I still remember the day to have Johns voice on my phoneanswering machine. I was too scared to called back - I was still at school learning English as my fourth foreign language amd it took me two days to find the courage calling him. Finally made it and he was surprised that I wanted to meet them in Oz. It was very exceptional back the to fly to Oz amd back to Europe - Oz was a one way destination and at that age it really must have been exceptional. We immediately became friends. In fact, as they did not have children they kind of adopted me to their family, and as it was the way they lived, all in secrecy. Over the years the did teach me all of their secrets and they remain in my hands still. After my frist degree I entered university and  studied design, architectury and engineering and I addem my knowledge to the projects we had. I was working in secrecy in  OZ over the Euro winter I brought my findings to Oz. While we had the retipping service for all cartridges around the world (except for Linn, which John thought was a non honest company and refused to work on any Linn cartridge) there was the P66 and P77 cartridge. HiFi circles all seem to need a topic to dial in, they did on the diamond. In fact, the diamond is an essential part of the whole component, but only one. The same importance goes to the allingment, the mounting , the rake, the length of the cantilever, the material, the magnetic construction, the damping, the coil assembly, the field arrangemet, the inductance and much more. As usual, the hifi comunity reduced it to the A&E with Garrott stylus, which was fine for us and still makes me smile by today. It did't change much when I added the leaflet where the cartridges were named "dynamic coil". It should at least make people think that the dynamic change from the A&E to a P66/77 did NOT come from the diamond. I did have a good free lance job for Lamorghini Spa. then and it was partly about suspension and damping, which makes the difference for a car going fast or slow, but customers thinking about the horsepower. Same with cartridges. The secret really lay in the dynamic balance of the moving parts. As the P66 and P77 were for Brian and John Garrott, we made a set of 3 cartridges, the K1/K2/K3 to represent or 3 party, as I became a full Garrott family member and the K series came from my idea to make a lower cost series to give more people the chance to enjoy vinyl. By that time CD was in the wake and I thought it best to fight it in the beginning. The K series were fixture mounted diamonds, which were less expensive to make, but still had the exceptional polis all our diamonds had - exceptional. to say the least. The were round/eliptic/parabolic.shape. They were fully balanced, as were the P66(elliptic)P77(parabolic MScanner). They were differently balanced, as the tip mass was different from the K to the P series. I then initiated the making of a series of MC cartridges. 3 for us all - the blackP87 elliptical, the red P88 parabolic and the goldenP89 MScanner. We made the housings, printings anodisations here in Switzerland and used parts from our watchmaking industry. I did read that somewhere that they were affraid of the Cd and dwindling sales. This is dead wrong. The company was fully backed by my finances of 2Mio$US at Westpackbank. I wanted to give them their love back so I gave them the possibility to live the way they were used to and made their work excell. They never had any financial problems, and all they ever produced was bought by myself or backed by myself untill they got payed by their customers. We made batches of the P87/88/89 in the size of 400/400/200pcs. over the years. I was running a repairstation for ProHifi for Radio and TV servicing EMT's and Ortofons. While the MC-type P series were made for the then used mid mass arms which needed mid compliance cartridges, I had to service the tractors style types over here. I made retippings with Garrott round and elliptical styli for SPU's and the made a pro cartridge available in Switzerland only called the True Blue. 30pcs. batch, low compliance cross coil Garrott suspension style, aluminum cantilever with a Weintz parabolic. This was a wonderfull cartridge, but for heavy mass arms only. So we had two chains - I was on the pro heavy mass work and the Garrotts were on the HiFi medium mass. It was the time of the so called sharp needles - the then S-nadel was made by Gyger over here and marketed by VdH. He later renamed it VdH, but actually is a Gyger S. Friend of the Garrotts remember they did not dring alcohol. They still had fun getting a booze. After watching Roos around Cox's river road, we mounted a Gyger on a P89 and really got the booze - phasey and not natural. I should mention the importance of balanced weights. We have had around 100 types of diamonds, some with same shape but different weight, which is very important. We had multiple types of cantilever, aluminum, boron rods and tubes, with and without drill, Berillium strights, conicals, flat tops, flat tops with slits, ruby and so on. The magic always layed in the balance, not in the individual part. It is a very common missunderstanding that the stiffer the cantilever the better the sound because of lower transmission loss. Most cantilevers do not allow a mechanical rigid mounting of the diamond mechanically except for the glue. In this case aluminum is the best fixture possible with the lowest loss. Then the cantilever does NOT end at the coil armature. In fact, it ends within the backside polepiece, and the suspension wire is part of the cantilever, so the ultra rigid boron rod cantilever transferes the energy to the supple suspension wire which resonates much more than it would with an aluminum one. I will not discuss on cartridge building but would like to focus the reader on the real work we did at Garrott bros. If you would have sent the lets say a working Kiseki, you would have received a much better balanced Kiseki back without changing the stylus nor the cantilever. We did have the very best years all the way untill John got ill. It was a hard time as it was not sure if his sickness could be treated or not. As they were living as a party of 4 their very long live, isolated in the blue mountains, in the bushes behind Merimbula it was hard to immagine for Brian to go on without his brother. He took his time of from their house way behind Bega and headed for Merimbula again and think about the future. It was difficult to get in cintact with all of them. John was at his hous with Normita Gerrott and Brian away with Teresita and looking back they tried out how life would be parted in two. Tears run over my face when remembering those difficult times, which I thought would be more easy to remember after 20 years have passed now, but it is still too hurting. I got my last call from Brian after his turning back 3 weeks before they commited suicide, which they did in secrecy, as thethe distributor chain, which seems to be y could not immagine to ever part from each other. I excuse for not beeing able to think nor write about it. I was informed about the tragedy by the local police and then  had to arrange according to their wills. I was not able to lay my hands on any cartridge for years as the memories were to hard. I only kept the proparts I was involved with anyway, and the rest was auctioned. The company was bought by Philippe Luder of Melbourne who was well known to John and Brian and they felt that their name would be in good hands and stayed in OZ. I incognito visited the company to see if they follow the will and ideal of the Garrott bros and I was very pleased that they really do their best to live up to the Garrott bros name. Though the current P88 is different to the late P88, it still uses the same body and some identical design features, and it is fair to make the best out of the currently availeable parts, which I very much believe they do. I warmly would recommend a try. I am not in any way anymore related to Garrott bros, but remember my family each and every miunte of my life. Thank you

theophile -- Sat, 12/18/2010 - 06:26

Thank you for that,elro.

In my previous post I devoted a portion of the post to praising the brothers' generosity of spirit,because of the sincerity that they exuded.Your post conveys the warmth of the gentlemen.It was a pleasure to read.

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elroyvomlacheren -- Sat, 12/18/2010 - 08:43

Dear Theophile, generous and piecefull they were and their spirit still lives on. Thank you for remembering them.

Ded Frag -- Sat, 12/18/2010 - 07:12

Elroyvomlacheren thanks for adding to the history of the Garrot brothers. I have to disagree with you though on one technical aspect, well, my ears have to disagree - even if theory tells us otherwise. You say "It is a very common missunderstanding that the stiffer the cantilever the better the sound because of lower transmission loss. Most cantilevers do not allow a mechanical rigid mounting of the diamond mechanically except for the glue. In this case aluminum is the best fixture possible with the lowest loss. Then the cantilever does NOT end at the coil armature. In fact, it ends within the backside polepiece, and the suspension wire is part of the cantilever, so the ultra rigid boron rod cantilever transferes the energy to the supple suspension wire which resonates much more than it would with an aluminum one." If that is so then my ears are deceiving me as on my system the Ruby cantilevered Garrott 'Optim' FGS is far superior to the standard cartridge. The boron cantilevered replacement stylus by JACO for the Shure M97xE is far superior to the standard aluminium one. In the case of the JACO replacement the diamond is also an improvement which could confuse the issue but as far as I understand Kerry William's work on the new Garrott range his ruby cantilever on the 'Optim' FGS is the only difference from the standard model. No use me asking him though if there are any other differences as both he and Phillipe Leuder are understandably secretive about what they actually put into their new Garrott line. One thing I'm absolutely sure of though is that the ruby cantilevered 'Optim'FGS wipes the floor with many very, very expensive moving coils. Those who follow the Church of the Holy Moving Coil will find that a blasphemous statement . Their loss.

elroyvomlacheren -- Sat, 12/18/2010 - 08:40

Dear Mr. Drag, I only wanted to point out that it is not a part per se that makes playing music more enjoyeable. We always tried to take as many parameters as possible into account. As a ruby cantilever is not worse or better than one made out of different material, it simply IS different, which would be taken into account in counterbalancing and damping. We had many Dynavectors DV17's ruby and diamond who were felt to be bettered by a Boron cantilever. It then had a different length, stylus rake and damping as well, not only the cantilever changed. At least that's the way we've done it. .As the DV's had very short cant. because of the weight, they as well had steep rake on the cantilever and an unbalanced suspension damper and asymmetrical coil assembly which made them oscillate. The Garrott Bros rework dealt with all the topics to make the most musical out of it. If you feel the Ruby version is the best that's very fine. Thevintage P87/88's had boron, the P89 Beryllium.but they were different to the actual ones, which I believe are wonderfull.

Ded Frag -- Sat, 12/18/2010 - 18:52

Eiroyvomlacheren- You say - - "The vintage P87/88's had boron, the P89 Beryllium.but they were different to the actual ones, which I believe are wonderfull." What do you mean by "the actual ones"?
I have a Garrott Bros rebuild of the Decca 'London' mono cartridge that often surprises me with its' ability to track passages that would have the original cartridge jumping out of the grooves. I don't know what Kerry Williams did to it but he also works the same kind of magic on cartridges such as the Audio Technica OC9 III taming the upper treble glare and adding an emotionality that isn't there in the original design. Excuse my usage of such subjective terms but there are no published measurements for before and after these rebuilds.

elroyvomlacheren -- Sun, 12/19/2010 - 02:49

Dear Mr. Dag, I very much believe the current cartridges are made in the same spririt as the old P series with the aim of doing the very best possible. Please remember that there has passed more than 20 years from then to now. Parts that were available then are or are not anymore, so the designer needs to find its way for producing an actual product. In fact, even a cartridge that would be made by the late GB today most probably would look different than the old ones. OEM suppliers as Namiki, Ogura, Gyger aso. have changed their product line or closed on items, Some parts are more easily available and some are worse. Even having a large stock still would not stop suspension damping rubber/silicone foam to age. It is simply the endresult that counts and that you admire so much. In fact, I can tell you very well what they do to the cartridges, as it is so easy to understand - if they do it the Garrott way, they use a lot of experience and time for every cartridge, be it repair, update, retip or new ones. This is the key factor that stands over the cartridge parts. I'm still doing repairs and some cartr. over here, and from the carts I receive for service and repair I have to say that quality in general is very bad from almost all manufacturers. I used to travel alot with a microscope showing people their cartrige, the dealers the different brands and then the Garrott carts and the difference was so huge they simply couldn't believe it. You wouldn't see the other things they did on the cartridge and that's fine - they have used a lot of time and experience to get there, so it's theor secret as it was with the late GB, and good you noticed it's not the diamond alone. The Decca is tricky to work with, as each and evey one is different and completely out of tolerance, if there was any quality control at all. The cantilever is a pressed and folded steel construction, rusty from corrosion now if not treated. I did a many cantilevers back then, taking them out, cleaning, removing the damping which oxidised into a honey like mess. The elbow on the cantilever is the bearing that allows the cantilever to move up/down, and when it came standard the two sides of the vertical part of the catilever were folded back just as it came. In the elbow they contacted quite differently from both sides and from cant. to cantilever, which caused all different compliance vertically and made the cantilever move sideways thus flexing the horizontal part of the cantilever, when moving vertically.The top of the cantilever elbow varies the flux for the horizontal and came with any forms of shapes from the press and this was corrected and balanced. Same with the coil adjustment, the poles, the suspension and the damping, which had to be replaced. You might have noticed that old Deccas have the diamond close within the cartrige body as this is because the damping that is on top of the cantilever has gone over the years and would need replacing. There are many more factors, and as you can see, the diamond is just a small part of the lot to make it play. If done right, it will play wonderfull and for a very long time. In fact I do one for myself every Christmas to NewYear holyday as it is the time to remember. Last word on mounting - GB did not like the mounting block that squeezes the Decca from both sides, as it pushes against the topplate with the horizontal coils and damping and missaligns the carefully made adjustment. They used the red angled connector only.

Ded Frag -- Sun, 12/19/2010 - 06:55

Hello again ElroyVomlacheren. The more I learn about the Decca 'London' cartridges the more I wonder how they work at all. I only use my Kerry Williams, Garrott Bros rebuild when recording mono LP's to another medium. I find that when there's rumble pressed onto early mono LP's somehow the Decca just ignores it.
I'd be interested to hear your opinion of the Jico replacement stylus ( N97xE) for the Shure M97xE if you've encountered it. To my ears, on my system this is an absolute giant killer although I've heard stories of some having an excess amount of glue at the diamond/ boron interface.

http://stylus.export-japan.com/sas.php

elroyvomlacheren -- Sun, 12/19/2010 - 09:27

Hi again. Can't comment on the Shure you use as I don't know the work done to it. The Decca use the variable reluctance principle - better known today as moving iron. A magnetic circuit is formed by magnet(s) and polepieces with one open side (an airgap) where the iron cantilever is placed within. One or multiple coils are placed around the polepiece(s). When the cantilever is moved within the magnetic field, flux is changed and signal of variation is available at the coil(s). In the Decca there are two plains of horizontal coil assembly(ies), one detects the vertical vector only, the other the horizontal vector only, as one would read sidewritten records only and the other depth written records only, and then combined to form stereo in sum and diffierence. If you use the horizontal coilassembly only, the coil does not receive vertical (rumble) information.

Ded Frag -- Sun, 12/19/2010 - 16:19

There was no 'work' done on the Shure . You simply buy the standard Shure M97xE, throw the stylus it comes with in the rubbish and replace it with JICO's N97exE replacement stylus.

Amandela77 -- Sat, 04/09/2011 - 13:50

 What a great community of music lovers we have. Thanks one and all for contributing to this blog. Saddly, it seems that the Garrott Bros cartridges are no longer available here in the U.S. Decibel Hi-Fi in Australia does carry them. Check out their very nice website, Here is the link: 
http://www.decibelhifi.com.au/category13_1.htm.
 

Amandela77

Ded Frag -- Sat, 04/09/2011 - 17:34

Garrrott Bros is now owned by Tivoli Hi-Fi in Melbourne, Australia.
http://www.garrottbrothers.com/
If you phone ask for Kerry Williams or Philippe Leuder.

Amandela77 -- Mon, 04/11/2011 - 20:17

 Thanks, Fred.)))))

Amandela77

brianh -- Sun, 04/22/2012 - 19:28

I realise this post has been going for a while, but I couldn't help but reply....  I actually sat down to research whether the P77 is still available here in Australia (I live in Sydney) and in what form, when I stumbled across this post.

While installing my turntable onto a new entertainment unit, I dug out the info on my cartridges,  a Garrott P77 and a G.A.S. Sleeping Beauty MC ....  I have a modified Thorens TD160DBC MkII fitted with a SME 3009 and currently the Garrott P77 I purchased from Len Wallis Hi Fi way back in the 90's.  For one reason or another, I haven't really played a lot of discs on it since then, so the tip and mechanism is probably (hopefully!) still in pretty good condition.

The info I dug out was the information I received when I had the Sleeping Beauty cartridge re-tipped by the Garrott Brothers in August of 1990, for the princely sum of $210.  It seems so little to pay for perfection.   In addition to the standard form advising me of the work completed, care instructions and the recommended tracking weight, was a letter signed by Brian Garrott dated October 21, 1990.   The letter advised that owing to circumstances completely beyond their control the business was now closed permanently and also stated that no telephone calls would be received and no correspondence would be answered.   Below this was a P.S. apologising for the delay in returning my cartridge to me.   

I don't imagine that I was the only customer to receive such a notifcation but when I learned of their passing it did seem a little haunting, and I have always kept it as a memento to remind me of two gentlemen respected for both their skills and their personal qualities, and it gives me a feeling of at least some level of connection with that legacy.

Apart from fitting the Sleeping Beauty to calibrate and audition it, I have kept it aside and not used it... I always thought that I would save it to transfer any treasured LP's to digital format, but have never gotten around to it, and the P77 does still sound quite magnificent (into a Yamaha A960 and a set of 1970's Tannoy Monitor Gold's in the large Fountain folded horn ensclosures...).  By comparison, listening to the Sleeping Beauty, after the Garrott's ministrations (and after getting the tonearm height correct!) caused the hair to stand up on the back of my neck.....  

I feel so privileged to be able to enjoy the results of their expertise even so long after they have passed, and to still  have a little bit of history to remember them by.   I just hope nothing in either cartridge is deteriorating while not in use....
 

Cheryl Fowler -- Tue, 07/10/2012 - 20:13

can someone provide a picture of Garrott Brothers cartridge.. I want to look at it, maybe I'm familiar with that kind of cartridge which back then I didn't know what it is called. tia

Cheryl Fowler
visit website

brianh -- Tue, 10/30/2012 - 16:41

Hi CHeryl,
 
Just go to
www.garrottbrothers.com
There are pictures of the cartridges on the page.
 
I think that they still also repair and re-work existing cartridges, so you could possibly send them an ordinary non-Garrott cartridge and get it back looking the same, but being very different inside.
 
Cheers,
Brian

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