Garrard 301 SkyFi Custom Turntable With Abis 12" Arm and New Sumiko Blackbird


We started this build with the coveted Garrard 301 just sourced from the UK which was serviced and is measuring well.

We mated it to one of our most popular plinths made of multi layered ply, with raw edges and a veneer top finished in a satin clear.

We then chose our *best* 12" tonearm, a brand spanking new Abis TA-1L which just happens to be a Stereophile Recommended Component. It not only performs admirably but looks right at home in this special SkyFi build.

Lastly and prior to shipping we will fit and calibrate a brand new and favorite MC cartridge from Sumiko, the Blackbird Low Output Moving-Coil Cartridge which we know will superbly with the Abis.

This cartridge was recently discontinued by Sumiko and is one of our last available.

(Other cartridges in the Sumiko range are available at the bottom of this listing).

Optionally you can chose to have us install an LED strobe unit that will light up the strobe platter for the ultimate look. The LED projector will discretely replace one of the mounting screws to maintain the gorgeous authentic 301 look. If you're interested in this option please make a note in your order or feel free to give us a ring to chat 201-879-0000 x 101.

Click below to add our recommended matching cables from Kimber Kable, all brand new as SkyFi is an official Kimber dealer. 

Kimber Kable - Flagship Tonearm Interconnects

More on the Abis TA-1L tonearm from Art Dudley at Stereophile:
The Abis TA-1L has an S-shaped armwand of polished aluminum tubing; its removable headshell, bearing cradle, bearing cover, and most of its structural elements are machined from solid aluminum. The headshell is anodized in semigloss black, while those other parts have a textured finish. The arm's vertical bearings are cup-and-point types similar to the ones used in various EMT tonearms, while its horizontal bearings are of the miniature ball-and-race sort used in all positions of the Abis SA-1.

Vertical tracking force (VTF) is applied statically, with a two-piece counterweight of the usual sort; the weight is calibrated only to 2.5gm, but VTFs of up to 5gm can easily be set. Also incorporated into the design is a spring-actuated antiskating device that looks identical to the one used in the SA-1; this is calibrated up to 3gm, with no provision for higher forces—which is reasonable enough, since the need for bias seems to diminish at greater-than-average VTFs, especially with tonearms whose offset angle is more modest than the norm.

The Abis contributed to a more detailed and slightly punchier sound than the Schick. The nylon-string guitar that opens "Who By Fire," from Leonard Cohen's New Skin for the Old Ceremony (LP, Columbia C 33167), was a smidge more forceful than with the Abis in my system; similarly, electric bass, percussion, and the twin lead vocals had a better sense of presence—and, in the case of the voices, of texture. With the TA-1L, the recording's overall timbral balance had shifted upward ever so slightly, but without excess bite or brightness.

I was also impressed with how the Abis arm pulled up from the (noise) floor the quietest pianissimo phrases in the slightly odd recording (footnote 2), by Lorin Maazel and the Vienna Philharmonic, of Bruckner's Symphony 5 (LP, London CSA-2238).



Original Box



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Not Applicable


Yes - Power Only

Physical Condition


Working Condition


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