The Model 301 is a classic and exceptionally rugged turntable, still prized by vintage gear lovers. The mechanism drops into its plinth, and it’s not unusual for enthusiasts to fabricate custom plinths; I recently saw one made from solid slate. This one’s made from African bubinga wood with a stainless steel plate on the bottom. According to Sauck, this sample is circa late 1950s, maybe early 1960s. It’s fitted with two tonearms: an SME 3012 arm with a Shure V15 Type III cartridge, and an Ortofon arm with Ortofon SPU E GM MC cartridge. “Typically you’ll use one arm for a moving-coil cartridge and the other for a moving-magnet cartridge,” Sauck said.
“This one has an oil bearing, not a grease bearing,” he continued. “Grease hardens and gets gummy, which makes it a bear to clean out, but some say grease is quieter. The people who have the grease like the oil, the ones who have the oil like the grease. Grease-bearing models sell for higher prices, but there’s no real performance difference.”