I didn't know whether to post this in vintage gear, analog, or cheap and cheerful, because it's all three. I voted cheerful because the project made me happy!
This started out as my favorite uncle's much loved Garrard record changer. My aunt passed it on to me last winter. It worked, but needed a lot of help. Once I looked under the hood, I concluded that it had more moving parts than the space shuttle, and I stood zero chance of ever making it work with it's original functions. Add the fact that the tonearm was essentially an I-beam, and I made the decision to strip the automation, upgrade the tonearm, and improve the sound quality. While I was at it I built a custom cherry/curly maple plinth, brushed up the platter, painted the tray, added an acrylic mat, and mounted a decent LP Gear Vivid Line stylus to an AT-3600L cart. I kept the original motor and rim drive system. Once I dialed it in, it sounds pretty darn good to me. I've been having a blast playing oldies from his era on it, but it does just fine with modern recordings too. Very enjoyable and satisfying first TT project.