1stMay 2018 – Steyning, England – SME, the British engineering and specialist Hi-Fi company, has acquired the rights to the Garrard audio brand from IGB Gradiente S.A. of Brazil. A British brand synonymous with the design and manufacture of class-leading Hi-Fi products throughout the 1950’s, 60’s and 70’s, including the iconic 301 and 401 transcription turntables, Garrard is a much-admired audio brand whose products are eagerly sought out and traded worldwide.
Commenting on the acquisition, Stuart McNeilis, CEO of SME, said, “It is with great pleasure that we can announce the acquisition of the Garrard audio brand. Responsible for true icons of vinyl reproduction with the 301 and 401 turntables, in many ways, Garrard’s legacy mirrors SME’s, with precision engineering, design and manufacturing based in the UK. Many of these great turntables were paired with SME tonearms and there has always been a natural synergy between the two company’s products. As an iconic British brand, Garrard deserves to be enjoyed by a new generation of audiophiles.”
To support owners of existing Garrard idler drive turntables, SME has also acquired Loricraft Audio, the only authorised Garrard service agent. Responsible in many ways for keeping the Garrard legacy alive, Terry O’Sullivan, Managing Director of Loricraft, and his team has serviced and re-built Garrard products since 1997, along with manufacturing support products, including its renowned range of vinyl record cleaning machines. “With years of experience and expert knowledge that will be crucial as SME develops the Garrard audio brand, the acquisition of Loricraft Audio was essential, as it enables the continued ability to service and maintain existing products.”added McNeilis. “We are delighted that Terry and his team will join the SME family and bring their vast experience with them.”
There will be further announcements regarding the development of the Garrard audio brand in the near future. For the time being, Loricraft Audio, now supported by SME, will continue offering its re-build and repair service for Garrard 301’s and 401’s, along with the supply of its accessories and record cleaning machines, from its facility in West Berkshire England.
For further information about SME and its products, visit www.sme-audio.com
For further information about Loricraft Audio and Garrard, visit www.loricraft.com
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Notes For Editors
Founded by Alastair Robertson-Aikman in 1946, SME (Scale Model Equipment) Limited is one of the UK’s leading precision engineering companies, designing and manufacturing class-leading turntables and tonearms that have received acclaim the world over.
From design and toolmaking through to all aspects of manufacturing including CNC machining, pressure die-casting, injection moulding, metal finishing, electro-plating, anodising and many other processes, SME manufactures all of its precision turntables and tonearms totally in-house. In addition, the company works across a wide range of sectors including F1, Aerospace and the Medical Equipment Industry, supplying specialist precision engineering services.
A British brand famous for the design and manufacturing of turntables throughout the 1950’s, ’60’s and 70’s, The Garrard Engineering and Manufacturing Company was formed in London by the Crown Jeweller’s Gerrard & Co. in 1915. Moving to Swindon, Wiltshire in 1919/1920, the company went on to develop some of audio’s most iconic turntables, namely the 301 and 401 transcription turntables. Sold to electronics conglomerate Plessey in 1960, the company continued to develop audio products until it was sold to Gradiente Electronics of Brazil in 1979. R&D continued in Swindon until the mid-90s, when the British company closed its doors. Since 1997, Loricraft Audio has been using the Garrard brand name under license from Gradiente until April 2018, when the brand was purchased by SME Limited.
About Loricraft Audio
Founded by Terry O’Sullivan and located in Lambourn, West Berkshire, England close to the site of the original Garrard gramophone factory in Swindon, Loricraft Audio has been servicing, refurbishing and producing plinths for the iconic Garrard 301 and 401 transcriptor turntables to their original specification for over 30 years, as well as producing the highly respected Garrard 501 and 601. Thanks to relationships with many of the former employees and senior engineers at Garrard, it has a unique insight into the design philosophy behind the company’s renowned idler wheel turntables. A small group of dedicated engineers and enthusiasts, Loricraft has also developed upgrades and modifications to Garrard turntables, as well as produce a wide range of accessories and record cleaning machines.
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