Building high-end 'tables cheap at Home Despot II

“For those who want the moon but can't afford it or those who can afford it but like to have fun and work with their hands, I'm willing to give out a recipe for a true high-end 'table which is easy to do, and fun to make as sky's the limit on design/creativity! The cost of materials, including 'table, is roughly $200 (depending, more or less), and add to that a Rega tonearm. The results are astonishing. I'll even tell/show you how to make chipboard look like marble and fool and impress all your friends. If there's interest I'll get on with this project, if not, I'll just continue making them in my basement. The next one I make will have a Corian top and have a zebra stripe pattern! Fun! Any takers?”

The Lead in “Da Thread” as posted by Johnnantais - 2-01-04

Let the saga continue. Sail on, oh ships of Lenco!
Here's a revised list of things to do, original courtesy of Munkie_NL, additions, revisions and comments mostly by Johnnantais from the original Home Despot thread. Sorry for the length but it's still much faster than reading 3700 posts :-)

The Lenco thread on Audiogon has grown into a 3700+ post monster which would take a lot of free time to read entirely. Free time you could use to turn your old fleamarket Lenco into a monster TT! So here is a simple to-do list. Usual disclaimer: "The management won’t be held responsible...", etc. But DO try this at home!

1. Take your L75/78 apart, the chassis off the plinth, remove the springs. Remove the tonearm. If your new tonearm has its own armlift, remove the Lenco armlift as well. IMHO the original Lenco arm is not worth putting time and effort into. Make your own unipivot arm if you want to. Or order a Decca International while you still can...

2. Take out the main bearing by removing the 3 screws around it, unscrew the little security screw at the side of the bearing house and take out the bearing. Take care not to loose the little ball at the bottom. Clean it and put some new fat on it. Possibilities include Mobil 1 grease, “rifle oil” or Mobil 10W30.

Jean Nantais writes: "for lubricant, I polish the bearing proper with metal polish, making sure all vestiges of older lubricant are washed away, I wash out the sleeve with engine cleaner (mineral spirits are good too) and make sure all is clean and dry, and then top up with Mobil 1 synthetic oil (or other synthetic), and find the platter can easily spin for close to a minute and a half (sometimes two) with but a push!"

Re: polisher, Jean Nantais writes: "Stop the Presses! I just used THE most effective metal polisher I've ever tried, superior and quicker than resorting to a cocktail of sandpaper and steel wool! I always steer clear of expensive "AMAZING" substances, and in this case paid $2 for a simple metal polisher called "Cameo", meant for scrubbing/bringing back the shine from pots, pans and sinks. Couldn't resist. Just tried it for the first time on a Lenco platter, and this is the best result I've ever gotten, actually shiny, and it only took five minutes!!! I should market this and sell it to audiophools for $25 a can. It's called "Cameo", an "Anti-Tarnish Cleaner for stainless steel, copper, brass & aluminum", and is apparently made here in Canada. Pure no-Bullshit results, I can't believe it (I was hoping of course, but doubtful). Looks just like Comet, and contains "sulfamic acid and surfactant", so if you can't find Bullshit-Free Cameo, then look for a cheap Bullshit-Free substitute with sulfamic acid and surfactant. Don't get it in your eyes, if you do you're supposed to rinse them for 15 minutes!!! Yee-hah!!"

3. Remove the 4 screws at the back of the motor and gently pull the back out. The motor axis turns on 2 little spindles, 1 at the front and 1 at the back, in little bronze bushings. Clean the bushings from the inside with a rolled up paper handkerchief with alcohol. Clean and relube the spindles with Mobil 1 synthetic grease or molybdenum grease. Carefully reassemble the motor. Clean the big spindle with a paper towel and alcohol. Bornin50 took the whole motor assembly apart, I didn’t. It’s up to you.

Jean Nantais writes: " Cleaning and optimizing the motor was as effective in increasing clarity and focus as marrying the plinth to the top-plate. I would consider this mandatory, and it has no negatives and causes no shifts in balance. To do this you have to go all the way (I compared a motor with the ends simply oiled, to a motor with the ass-end completely flushed and re-packed with new grease and oiled but the nose simply oiled, to a motor with both ends flushed and re-packed with grease and oiled; and the order of noise was, respectively: noisiest, middling noisy, quietest), even if it means buying a fairly expensive tool ($15-$20 US) for only this job: Snap Ring Pliers, to remove the snap ring which holds the workings in place at the nose of the motor. [You can also use small needle nose pliers] When disassembling the works at either end, keep a piece of paper handy and make a diagram of how the workings go, in what order and what orientation. At both ends of the motor casing there are brass balls drilled through to make the bearing bushing: I used a piece of string soaked in solvent (paint thinner, motor cleaner, etc.) to remove any baked-on grease from the inside of the little bushings, and then ran dry string to remove what was left. I re-packed the workings with new grease (molybdenum or Mobil 1, placed wherever metal meets metal, and packing all empty spaces to damp resonances, even of the springs), after cleaning them in solvent (the springs, brass discs, etc.). At the nose end there is a screw which as 4yanx noted must be screwed in just so to reduce noise. Its secret is that inset inside the hollow screw is a little metal piece which is spring-loaded to absorb and kill off vibration of the motor spindle: it is a good idea to remove the tiny little pieces (keep a bowl nearby!) and clean them also in solvent, and clean the inside of the hollow screw using a piece of string. Rig the motor so it is running (place a jumper at the switch terminals, 2 and 3 where the white motor windings are attached on the barrier strip on the motor casing, and run an AC cord to the wall to positions 1 and 4, waiting until it is screwed into the terminal before plugging it in!) and sitting on a hard block of wood so you can hear the buzzing (louder or quieter), and screw the little nose screw in until the motor is actually whining against it making noise, then back off until it reaches the first silent point. Use the attached nut to lock it in place, you'll probably have to do it a few times to get it right, be patient."

"Finally, adjusting the motor core does work, there is an optimum position for the intrepid. Like Ronnie I first did this while it was plugged in, but when I became plugged in too (ouch) I ceased doing it this way and adjusted, re-assembled and plugged it in, took it apart adjusted again, reassembled and plugged it in, until I got the quietest point. To do this undo the motor casing via the four screws and take the ass end in hand. You will see four screws holding the motor core in which the motor spindle spins. You could simply tighten them down (they are likely loose) for quieter operation, or you could be daring (or mad) and undo them and play the re-position game until you reach the quietest orientation [moving the motor core so that the armature is centered should get you close]. Doing all these things results in a large improvement in sound quality, with no penalties. At the very least the flushing and fresh grease, re-adjusting the nose-screw, and tightening the core screws, is mandatory! BIG improvement!"

4. Put a drop of oil on the idler wheel spindle, or take the spindle apart, clean and relube it with Mobil 1 grease – grease the arm spindle, slide on clean Teflon washer, put a little grease on that, oil the shaft (1 drop Mobil 1), slide the wheel into place, grease the end, slide the other teflon washer into place, grease that, put the holding clip back on. Push it all the way down, and then push slightly back with your hands (you want minimal spacing for freedom so the wheel doesn't wander) until the wheel is free. Clean the rubber with Rubber Renue or similar. Presto.

Jean Nantais writes: "For the wheel, I similarly clean the bearings, and even soak a piece of string with engine cleaner and clean out the inside of the bushing on the wheel itself, clean both teflon washers, dry everything off, put some Mobil 1 grease on both sides of washer #1 and slide it on, then Mobil 1 oil on the spindle and mount the wheel, then put grease again on both sides of the other washer, slide it on, and fasten it all with the little clip (be careful not to lose the clip, sometimes it goes flying!). You want just enough play the wheel spins freely, not a micron more. And be careful with the idler-wheel arm, it is quite easily bent, as I just discovered to my astonishment, do not apply any pressure to it, proper geometry of the wheel and performance depends on it. Make sure the sliding post where the idler-wheel attaches is well damped with grease, above and underneath, to prevent ringing. Slather the slider where it moves in the top plate track with grease or Vaseline."
Don’t put fat, grease or oil on the rubber of the idler wheel. Don’t touch the rubber with your fingers. Get a Lenco with a metal idler wheel. Damp the idler wheel arm with Teflon tape or plumber’s miracle tape. Make sure the idler wheel runs very close to parallel to the outer circumference of the platter. Also wrap the idler wheel arm with plastic flexible damping tape or spray with car undercoat.

5. Damp the chassis from the underside with whatever suits your taste. Jean Nantais who started the Lenco Thread uses Dynamat with good results, as does Steve from the ultimate Thorens site The Analog Department.

Jean Nantais writes: "In the meantime, lift the Mighty Lenco out of that Crappy plinth and mount it on bricks, which will bring about quite an improvement. Then judiciously apply some damping sheet of some sort to the underside (and I mean judiciously, don't damp the ever-loving crap out of it and kill the goose that laid the golden ultra-dynamic, ultra musical eggs), and listen happily until you get up the nerve to apply drill and jigsaw to plywood (think of it as paper and scissors, and you'll see it's not so difficult). I first listened to my first Lenco (for fault of finding any Garrards which I had hoped to find) for a few months sitting up on metal stilts with no plinth, with a Rega mounted in the original tonearm hole. It utterly blew me away, and I knew I was in the presence of Greatness. If you like the original plinth, then remove the bottom, get rid of the springs, put some sort of feet on the corners to lift the edge off the shelf, and screw the Lenco down solidly to the original plinth. This will approximate bricks." [8/21/06]

6. I put some cloth around the spring which holds the idler wheel against the spindle during play, and on the rod which holds the idler wheel. Jean Nantais replaces the spring with some elastic material. He puts vaseline on the rod that holds the idler wheel between the rod and top plate. You can feel it vibrating when you put your finger on it during play, with the platter off.(See top pic)

7. You can replace the power cord with a better, shielded one with a better plug.

Jean Nantais writes: “I removed the rather large wire running from the switch (of the L75) to the motor, and replaced it with tiny 24-ga. solid-core (it has many uses) to prevent this as a route of vibration from the motor to the top-plate and platter. I also placed some Dynamat where the wire solders to the electrical switch to prevent the wire touching the metal top-plate, stopping this contact point.” He also warns against heavy power cords hanging from the motor suspension and thus preventing it from moving freely – he uses 24 G solid core between power switch and motor, 20 G solid core between motor and AC. Bolt the 20 G to the plinth using some Sorbothane around the wire at the cable retainer to stop vibration from the motor going anywhere by this route. Assuming terminal 1 is furthest from the main bearing, the AC goes to terminals 1 and 4, switch wiring goes to terminals 2 and 3, where the capacitor is. Grease the on-off switch links where they touch the top-plate to prevent rattle.

8. The distance from the spindle to the center of the hole is 212 mm on the Lenco L75/78. The Decca arm fits into the original hole in the Lenco chassis, even the arm geometry is right. However VTA is off, with the armbase pushed down against the mounting ring it’s still tail up. I solved this by putting an extra mat on top of the Lenco mat. Better, but a bit drastic, would be sawing off the upper right hand corner of the Lenco chassis. Make a removable armboard from birch multiply, maple etc. Now the arm sits lower compared to the platter, so VTA is in the ballpark. Added bonus: the arm doesn’t rest on the vibrating Lenco chassis anymore, but on the big plinth. (See Willbewill´s 2nd creation) Rega RB250/300 arms have a spindle to pivot distance of 222 mm, so in the original hole alignment is way off even with the cartridge way back in the headshell. When you’re the lucky owner of a 12" arm you don’t have to saw off the upper right corner of the chassis, you can go for the "Garrard Look" :-) Or place the arm BEHIND the Lenco chassis like on 4yanx´s latest creation. See Blueintheface´s handy table of arms, remember though effective arm length and pivot to spindle distance are not the same...

Comments on the Rega RB300 by JN: "REGA ALERT!!! I've mounted my Rega arm tonight - took me about a half-hour to make an armboard and pop the Rega in: great! - and achieved perfect geometry and VTA. First mounted my Shure and it did sound better than with any of the other tonearms in terms of detail and frequency extension: in fact, the Lenco/Rega is a MONSTER, and a very accurate monster that let's you hear every note, inflection and permutation of the lowest of the low frequencies. Here I challenge every record player on the planet to do better or even to match it! I thought it was digging a hole in my cellar floor. (Be aware I have changed amp and speakers in the last few months). Macro and micro dynamics are also much better, but in terms of PRaT I prefer both the Audio Technica and the Decca International...with Moving Magnets."

"While the Rega sounds somewhat pedestrian and soulless and intellectual - if very detailed and accurate - with MMs, put an MC on it and it transforms itself into a monster of PRaT, SLAM, SPEED, and all-around dynamic fireworks! And all the while sounding silky and smooth and in control."

Comments on the Denon 103 by JN: "But the combination of perfections is there in spades, the tonal neutrality of the Shure V15s allied to the slam and speed of the Deccas. Now my Grado Platinum on whatever tonearm on the Lenco still has that all-enveloping welcoming sound which is like coming home after a loooong absence, and in this sense I still favour it, but the Denon is the closest thing to overall sonic perfection I've heard."

"But I would say that the Ode to the Denon DL103 is the most perfect turntable and exciting turntable I have ever built/heard, there being an EXTREME synergy between the MDF/birch-ply/neoprene rubber plinth, the modded Rega RB300 (which tames the very slight tendency to brightness the DL103 can have in certain set-ups), and the plain vanilla DL013. Change any one of the ingredients, and you change the results (which may be better, but may not)."

9. Clean the mat with Rubber Renue. Glue the Lenco rubber mat onto the platter using 3M 77 spray can contact adhesive. Cheap and easy mod. Gets you more clarity and detail. You can try any mat, I did, I’m totally into mats, glass, felt, cork, cork/paper spotmat, in any combination, you name it. I had to admit JN was right on this one (too...). An alternative is Herbie’s Way Cool mat at $50, recommended by Dave Pogue, Albert Porter and 4yanx.

10. Make a BIG plinth for your Lenco and bolt the chassis onto it using the 4 threads from the underside. Most Lenco modders use layers of different materials to get effective resonance damping. You have to cut out the shape in every layer you need to give place to the chassis. Leave some room underneath the tonearm and around the motor. The motor must swing freely in its suspension and it gets hot after a while. Otherwise make the plinth as tight and massive as possible without resonating chambers in it. You can either glue and clamp or use screws to hold together during gluing, which speeds up the process.

Jean Nantais’ formula uses ½” MDF top layer, ¾” birch ply second layer with 1/8” neoprene rubber gasket between bottom of the top-plate in contact with the birch-ply layer [Direct Coupling]. Bolt the Lenco by the 4 top bolts, plus three screws at 3 different points/neoprene gaskets between round part of top plate and birch-ply layer. Below that alternate ¾” MDF and ¾” birch-ply.

Jean Nantais writes “For those watching waiting for the Truth to come Down concerning the Best Plinth before beginning their own projects, be aware that I anyway have not found huge differences (in fact none I can reliably identify, though I haven't tried hard), that it is the simple birch-ply/MDF plinth which is responsible for the success of this Lenco/Idler-Wheel venture which speaks for its effectiveness, and so I advise you to keep it simple and do-able, and stick to the simple recipe which, as I remind everyone once again, has conquered many a High End Belt-Driver already.” [6/23/05]

“I find anyway that the simple birch-ply/MDF combination has the best balance of attributes - specially dynamics and neutrality - I've found, Corian and plasterboard etc. notwithstanding.” [9/13/05]

“MDF by itself does not sound good; the birch-ply by itself does not sound good, but the two together produce an incredibly neutral and inert platform which allows both Lencos and Garrards (as I proved to my own satisfaction a while back) to speak in their true voice, free of colourations, favouritisms and constraints. Glue perfects the bond, simply bolting these together does not come close to realizing the potential of a CLD mix, in fact the reverse. It may not have the cachet of exotic materials and woods (and so not justify obscene costs), but this combination is ultimately extremely effective. I've played with all sorts of mixes, and this is the best in my experience, and it is practical as it is also very common. All of this has been worked out over the length of this thread, and in a piece I wrote for Lenco Heaven a long way back, and to a certain extent under my "system" here on Audiogon, though perhaps I should revisit and edit this, as I have come to settle on the birch-ply/MDF combination, for a combination [of] economic, sonic and practical reasons. This is not to say it can’t be improved on, but at an increase in difficulties and costs.” [12/29/05]

“As to the big new plinth you are planning, I truly believe now the best combo overall is birch-ply/MDF (effective, dynamic and neutral), but more than that, more mass truly does make, like Direct Coupling, a large difference to the ultimate sound quality of the Lenco: the heavier/massier the plinth, quite simply, the better the Lenco will sound, so don't be afraid of weight!” [1/26/06]

“Currently for Ultra-Refined Ultra Slamming Giants I am recommending 23" x 19" x 6" of pure CLD plinth; feet and Lenco and tonearm add to that height. Play with the dimensions whichever way you see fit, but this has a pleasing and MONSTROUS symmetry” [3/07/06]

“In discussing the point and design of these particular CLD plinths with him, he immediately recognized the Russian birch-ply [14 layers including veneer] (available at some Home Despots) and explained that it was guaranteed to have total coupling/adhesion of the individual layers without air-pocket or resonant spaces. So THAT's one reason why my plinths sound so good, all along it was a superb birch-ply to use for exactly the purpose of creating an inert non-resonant plinth!” [3/30/06].

“I use the birch-ply/MDF recipe because it is overall the most neutral, dead, "non-participatory" combination (neither adds nor subtracts) I have ever tried.” [5/04/06]

"I have rebuilt Garrards, Thorens TD-124s, and of course Lencos, and they all sound excellent on high-mass plinths, which with effective coupling absorbs and kills off noise while increasing focus the more mass there is. Since I don't believe in the quasi-mystical mumbo-jumbo that one big idler likes Material A while the other prefers material B (though why this should be is not explained...I think material A compensates for a system's colourations better than Material B, so it's a tone control which will later cause problems), then I believe that what works for the Lencos will work for the others (which I remind everyone I have actually built into high-mass plinths to great effect). The larger the mass and more effective the coupling the better the sound, simple. I make CLD plinths to maximize neutrality, in my case a combination of Russian birch-ply (particularly dense and air-bubble-free) and MDF, as after trying several recipes I have settled on it for best and most consistent result. Others like to play with Corian or plasterboard (drywall), chipboard, solid hardwood and others. If it's CLD (constrained layer damping, differing materials bonded together by adhesive for maximum marriage), then the end result is likely to be similarly neutral, assuming materials which are fairly neuttral to begin with." [8/26/06]

For the motor, JN writes: “a larger space around the motor will allow air circulation which will prevent heat build-up. The space I leave around the motor is not an enclosed resonant air space, but simply a space, an absence of material, being open all the way to the ground, and surrounded by a solid plinth, kind of like the Oracle open-air design, but much more massive. Now I own a Maplenoll with a fluid damping trough, which came in several iterations. They originally came with a rather narrow trough which you would think would make no difference from a large trough. Wrong: the walls of the narrow trough actually reflected the vibration the fluid was damping back to the paddle and into the cartridge, which was very audible (a disaster). The improvement was a much wider trough, which was a vast improvement. So taking my experience with this trough (enclosed spaces reflect energy back at the source), and a page from Oracle (a good idea to have a solid skeletal design which allows vibration to escape, and which itself vibrates only with great energy, as it is very thick and solid), I designed the plinth as it appears in my and Willbewill's photos. The Lenco plinth as I have designed it allows space around the motor, which also has the added advantage of allowing air to flow around it. Narrowing this space negates the air circulation, and in my estimation will create a resonant air space after all, as the walls are too close to the motor [5/06/04].

For armboard, JN writes: “I personally love the sound of maple as a tonearm board (sweet and open!), and purpleheart was good too. I hated the sound of either pure MDF or birch-ply tonearm boards, which is why I always sandwich the two (and conventional plinth wisdom be damned). No experience of any other hardwoods. Obviously, mahogany sounds great, as the Grado Woodies demonstrate.” [6/21/05]

Bolt to the plinth using four 4-7mm bolts, and three wood screws through the neoprene gaskets into the birch-ply layer.

re: Direct coupling (the circular bottom of the metal "pan" is directly touching the plinth underneath either with a neoprene rubber shim or to the wood using wood screws to make the connection (Birch ply recommended as the touching layer),

Jean Nantais writes: "Krenzler, avoiding rubber does not apply to your Lenco: the woodscrews pass through the rubber to bite into the wooden plinth itself, and so couples the Lenco proper to the wood of the plinth with extreme effectiveness, the rubber merely providing the needed support and damping of the ringy metal top-plate. In other words, your Lenco top-plate is directly coupled to the wood, not the rubber, which acts as a simple shim. In my own comparisons, there was a change of flavour but no sonic penalty as-is with rubber. I've heard that particular Lenco several times in John's extremely revealing system (modded Quad ESL 57s, rebuilt vintage Quad tube amps or original Marantz 8, either AR SP9 MKII or Dolan preamp), and it was chock full of PRaT, detail, bass and dynamics. The Oracle Delphi MKIV was sold, the Sota was sold, a Linn LP12 passed through at lightspeed, and even the Technics SP10 MKII in 80-pound plinth (vs the Lenco 40 pounds) couldn't match it. Perhaps a better balance in your system could be achieved if you substituted 1/8" backboard (of the sort which is nailed to the back of shelving), which is a wood product similar to MDF. I've done this before too in my early experiments." [8/23/06]

11. Decouple your Lenco. If you have a springy wooden floor, if you can get it on a solid shelf against the wall do it. I placed my L78 on rubber pods at first, changed to aluminum cones/dishes now, way better soundstage and depth. Others put it on metal balls rolling between 2 half-round "holders", 1 on the underside of the Lenco and 1 on the shelf it sits on. (See this longish story about a Garrard 401 project, bottom of page)

Jean Nantais writes: "On the subject of footers: they cannot be divorced from the platform they rest on, so results gleaned by situation on MDF (a sh**ty-sounding material on its own) is not necessarily meaningful on a different platform. I would suggest that the wood blocks accomplish this mix of materials MDF needs to sound good, while acorn-headed bolts make the Lenco expose to a much greater degree the sound of MDF. Try clamping that MDF shelf to another material Mike! My own shelf is acrylic glued to marble via two-way tape, resting on Tiptoes." [8/06/06]

12. I cleaned the underside of the platter with a paper towel and alcohol. Take your time to let the alcohol evaporate, alcohol eats rubber. A clean platter gives the idler wheel a better grip.

13. Ground the chassis of the Lenco by connecting it with a ground wire to the ground post on your preamp together with the ground wire of the tonearm. This should get rid of the hum.

14. The aluminum plate that covers half of the metal plate can be removed if desired. This is done by using a heat gun or hair dryer. Take your time and the aluminum can be removed without destroying the nice grey paint underneath. Once removed, the rubber glue can just be pealed off and automobile wax can be used to restore its hidden beauty. An extremely important note here: If the aluminum plate is removed, one loses the protective plate that covers the paint and metal where the speed lever touches the metal. One must be very careful not to let the level rest against the metal when adjusting speed. If care is not taken, the lever will scrap off the grey paint exposing raw metal. This should not be an issue since the outstanding Lenco motor once cleaned and re-lubed is incredibly stable and one will not have to constantly adjust speed once it is set.

Another point that needs to be addressed: the brass circular housing that holds the on/off switch is held in place by a small square piece of metal. It must be removed to completely remove the aluminum top plate. One must take their time when prying off this square holder. It must be reused to secure the brass housing when putting the switch back in place. Take your time when reinstalling this piece of metal. You will need some elbow grease and a flat head screw driver to set it properly. If not reinstalled correctly, your switch will begin to wobble over time and the entire table will have to be disassembled to fix it properly.

Ouch that was a lot of work READING this To-Do List wasn’t it? Let alone DOING all this stuff! Yes, especially item 11, making the plinth was a lot of work, I spent a whole week on woodworking alone. But, if I can do it anybody can, I got 2 left hands, no proper tools, and no workshop. I have seen Lenco plinths on the Web that are works of art; don’t let it scare you off. Making a plinth that gets the job done soundwise is not difficult. It’s just a lot of work! But worth it, the Lenco can give you glorious vinyl sound on a low budget. Good luck!
Hi Mario,
Well done !!!
So, back on the saddle!
Mosin had posted something about a new concept about the idler's assembly or something like that. Mosin ...?...If you read this, can you tell us more about it?
Hear, hear!
Just to fill everybody in … it is our hope that this “Despot II” is temporary, as we understand that the staff at AudioGon is hard at work trying to restore the original monster thread that was accidentally deleted two days ago. So this is a stop-gap for those of us who take this connection like our daily bread. That said … adversity truly is the mother of all inventions and Jlin what a service you have performed! Your putting together that digest is something that has been needed for a long time and should be reposted periodically on the old thread once it has been restored.

Just last night I received an e-mail from someone completely new to this who was bitten by the original lead in. I directed him to many of the sources that you used, but now I’ll contact him again and direct him to Jlin’s post #1.

And Mosin, like Grant, I’m thoroughly intrigued (and teased) by your hints of this innovational Lenco Idler modification.

Lastly, if AudioGon is willing, I will paste all postings to this thread to the tail of the original once it’s back up.

Sail on, oh fleets of Idlers!

Welcome back! I hope, I hope, I hope :-)
My thanks to all The Activists for lighting the Candle of Hope ! I really do look forward to my daily dose of "Da Thread".

May The Lenco Brotherhood (...remember - Ladies Welcome too) continue in the same spirit of support and encouragement we've enjoyed in the past !

On a personal note, my own L75 proceeds at a glacial pace - but Rome wasn't built in a day... and history shows how Rome crushed all in it's path. Likewise for my TT.

My thanks to all The Activists for lighting the Candle of Hope ! I really do look forward to my daily dose of "Da Thread".

May The Lenco Brotherhood (...remember - Ladies Welcome too) continue in the same spirit of support and encouragement we've enjoyed in the past !

On a personal note, my own L75 proceeds at a glacial pace - but Rome wasn't built in a day... and history shows how Rome crushed all in it's path. Likewise for my TT.

I'm still in the process of reviving my Bogen (Lenco imported to the USA in the early 1960s) but play my white, grease-bearing Garrard 301 almost daily.

It is GREAT that the "high-end tables cheap" mantra lives on, despite the disappearance of Jean Nantais's monster thread.

Long live the idler drive!
Idlers rule, baby! Another one of the small Garrard contingent here, 301 played every day ( no Lenco, they are becoming scarce, too bad I didn't find this in '04 ). I probably would not have sweated to build my 'table if it hadn't been for "Home Despot" . Good on ya for keeping the flame alive!
"Mosin had posted something about a new concept about the idler's assembly or something like that. Mosin ...?...If you read this, can you tell us more about it?" ...As1715


At the outset of this project around two years ago, I e-mailed Jean with a few bizarre ideas. Then, I made some changes, so I e-mailed him again to tell him that I would retain the "Soul of a Lenco" with enough left that an observer could tell what it was. That was a thousand changes ago. Now, it is finished to the point that I have made a trial run to check its operation. All that remains to be done is the finish, and that is driving me nuts. Only recently did I come to realize that a Steinway is worth every cent simply because piano black is extremely labor intensive. Once that is finished, the turntable will be completed.

That, and the final ingredient which is the idler assembly. I saw a jpeg of it from my friend, InDaGroove, last night. He is a wonderful machinist who made a Schroeder Reference clone that some of you may have seen over at Vinyl Asylum. Anyway, I presented him with an alternate design for the Lenco idler, but he had a better idea, so I scrapped mine. Instead, I went about refining his idea, and it will probably be finished in a day or two. All I will say now is that it is one of those obvious ideas of the "Why didn't I think of that?" variety. I must reluctantly give credit to him for it, but hey, I am supervisor of the project, right? ;) You'll see it soon. I promise that there has never been an idler like it on any make of turntable ever. Best of all, it will be noise free. It is different for sure, but it weighs approximately the same as the standard aluminum Lenco idler. ( The overall weight of the turntable is approximately fifty pounds.) InDaGroove didn't know what an idler turntable was until I explained the mechanism to him. It just goes to show that sometimes a pair of fresh eyes are good to have. I lucked out, and found the perfect pair.

The rest of the turntable does retain the Lenco's soul, but one cannot tell simply by looking at it. It is a single speed design that can be fine tuned, and the linkage has been radically changed, as has the one remaining control. The topplate is history, and VTA issues are a thing of the past, as are resonance issues associated with the top plate. Ringing of the platter has also been corrected. Only idler magic remains, and virtually everything that typically applies to past Lenco modding is not implemented. It is that radical. It does have a single whimsical touch because nothing should take itself that seriously, not even a Lenco.

Hopefully, you guys will see it in a few weeks, maybe in as few as two.

My next project is underway. It is a string driven Rek-O-Kut that employs the Papst Aussenlaufer motor. This three phase design will have precision OCXO control, and each phase of power will be regenerated by stereo channels. A frequency PCB will feed the amps which power the motor. Imagine three very small PS Audio Power Plants with variable speed control. It will be interesting to see how this one rates against the Lenco. Expansive design isn't the order of the day with it, aside from the power supply, so maybe we will be able to find out in a reasonable timeframe. Mark Kelly is designing the circuitry now, and early tests have been successful.
Hi all,
Idlers roll again...I have a pdf that has been given to me by Richard STEINFELD from Lenco Lovers. I contains some "bits" of "Da Thread" and you can get it at in the "Technical and General" section.
It is not the whole thread, but at least 44 pages of tips and tricks: better than nothing ;-)
"Faites rouler les galetets !!!"
Up early today for the Labor Day weekend estate/garage sales. In the college town where I live, this is also move out/move in week where the total cast-offs in the garbage lanes would keep some third world countries afloat.

Those in the U.S. still in the Lenco hunt who are within driving distance of Canada should consider a little getaway to our great northern neighbor. Canadian imports of Lencos appear to have been ten-fold of what the U.S. took in under the Bogen badge. Bring pre-printed cards with the models that you’re after (L-75, L-78, GL-99 etc.) and your contact info to hand out at flea markets, antique stores and even thrifts. Have a good time and network!

Speaking of Bogen Lencos, I’ve finally broken down and sent off my L-70 plastic idler wheel for a retread while I ready the marble/birch-ply/mdf/ birch-ply/marble plinth.
The O-ring modification that Mike Greene and I have been dabbling in does seem to work fine – just thought I’d give the rebuild a try for comparison’s sake.

Enjoy the holiday weekend and remember Labor – the folks who brought us all the weekends.
You would think the spelling would have been corrected in the thread title for VII, if this is indeed an upgrade ;-}}

Happy Labor Day weekend all, and here I am once agan labouring at the keyboard on this new Home Despot Thread!! It warms my heart to see the words "Home Despot" once again at the top of the analog forum, and I would like to thank you very much Mario for so adroitely re-igniting what has come to be know as Da Thread, due to its incredible humongousness: what was once very likely the longest thread in audio history, not just Audiogon's history, and a real feather in its crown that grew, changed and developed naturally, a testament to Audiogon's leading-edge format (I think it's the best), open-minded discussions of viable alternatives, and interest in achieving true advancment in the audio arts!!

That they not only tolerated our "subversive" activities (which were actually in the interest of real advancement, however many may have taken them), but indeed encouraged them by allowing us instant posting, is a policy I fervently hope they will once again allow us!! At least until they somehow manage to restore the original thread, or Da Thread, which represented 3,700 posts of accumulated experience, details, evidence, and a fascinating case study invaluable in its own right, of a technology/vintage turntable/Lenco which was at first greeted with mild curiosity, disbelief, resistance; through gradual acceptance, gobsmacked-ness ;-), and evolution of the fulfilling of its potential (beyond enormous to perhaps a New Standard), still underway!! So let's pray this information and record which was beginning to draw some more serious attention out there to Audiogon (Home Despot), which was the subject of discussions - positive and negative, definitely controversial - on forums and in private chats across the internet and around the world (I'll post this very reply on various Lenco forums to add to their archives), and was seen as an important element in the idler-wheel revival (and so a further testament to Audiogon's potency and fame). The accidental deletion of this resource and record (and what may have come to be regarded as history) certainly gelds this particular bull to a certain extent, but it's too late to stop the Idler Train now, to put the Genie back in the bottle, to close the barn doors!! Just check out the "Garrard 301: Some additional questions" on this very forum.

Jim, you have done an amazing job of summarizing my writings and findings on "Building high-end 'tables cheap at Home Despot", you are hired!! Thanks to all for their e-mails and support on various other forums, up here among the snow-bears I am exploring lands of unparalleled and hair-raising, back-shivering musicality, thanks to some supernaturally-musical components (including, of course, a Giant Direct-Couped Lenco), the sort which should be examined by the design experts to isolate what it is that make them "tick", rather than dismissed as budget flukes or niche oddities, as the idlers were not so long ago treated - "If it measures good and sounds bad, it is bad;
if it measures bad and sounds good, you have measured the wrong thing" - and the resultant knowledge used to improve statement products. At least, I would hope so :-)!

Enjoy your idler-wheels all, and for those who have not yet found one or tried one, enjoy your idler-wheel dreams and plans!! As Mario reminds us, get out there and hunt down those Lencos, which sold in large numbers and are practically unkillable, and if you stumble on Garrards, Rek-o-Kuts or others, then pick them up too!! If not any of these, I've written it before and I'll write it again, (and it looks like this time it will be taken more seriously), satisfy your curiosity by picking up a humble Garrard SP-25 (try to make it a MKIII or later, as the palters are aluminum and not magnetic), restore it as-is (clean, re-lube and perhaps damp with bits of Dynamat or rubber), perhaps get rid of the rattly automatic system to free the surprisingly decent tonearm (same bearing type as the much-respected Audio Technica 1005 and 1009), solder a decent signal cable, and mount a decent MM or even MC (!!). Now these won't match one of the Big Boys, but they'll make your collective jaws hit the floor regardless, as they have the characteristic idler-wheel sound - incredible potency, dynamics, life and PRaT - I keep on writing about and drawing attention to, you should be able to find these for roughly five to twenty bucks. Alternatives are the superbly well-built Elac idlers (my fave record-changers, beautifully designed and built, and FUN), and the idler Duals. Have fun, and good luck!!
Hi Everyone,

This is my first post, and I thought I'd managed to get hooked just as the thread disappeared...

I've got myself a LEAK delta version of the Lenco, metal idler wheel and all. I've made a new (very ugly!) plinth from left-over chip-board and pine, but I just can't stop the motor vibrating. I've cleaned and re-greased the bearings and bushes at both ends, and tried to get the spring-loaded screw just right, but no good. The 6 mounting springs seem fine too. Any ideas?
Hi Fishwinker,

It seems you are the point where you’ll need to adjust the block that surrounds the armature.
1- Remove the motor from the Lenco and place it on a resonant surface (I find Styrofoam shipping block to be excellent).
2- Hot-wire your motor’s AC, but don’t plug it in yet.
3- Remove the back plate so that you can remove the armature.
4- You’ll see four Philips head screws on the block – break them (the crack of loosening for the first time in a long time). Retighten to “to snug” all except the screw in the 4:30 position as you look at it head on. Leave this one a little looser since it’s hard to get at with the armature remounted spinning.
5- Remount the armature and back plate.
6- Plug in the motor.
7- With the armature hopefully spinning, back off on the three accessible screws until you can move the block orientation.
8- Adjust till you get smooth running.
9- Tighten up the three screws then unplug the motor.
10- Use a 90-degree Philips head driver or a tiny Philips screwdriver to tighten the last screw. You’re done.
I'd add that you need to first check that the wiring is correct (and of course the red transport screws are undone), as noise and vibration is a sign of improper wiring as well, in which case adjusting the armature (which is a very good idea in its own right) will not work. Since you have a Leak, it appears you are in Europe, and if not in Europe, then you need to check the wiring anyway. Good luck!
Ozzy, I would say that "Despot" was intentional on Jean's part.

Is there any wonder that I shop at Lowe's?


Where are my manners? Thank you for the very kind words, and as I wrote you in an e-mail, it’s what any Lenco renegade would do – but, perhaps a bit too renegade – in that I’m not all too comfortable fielding the header responsibilities with all of this (e-mails and tech queries) – I’m still a novice in some ways and you’ve got the full grasp of the global picture here.

Let’s hope that the restoring of the old thread is in sight at the good offices of AudioGon and that the confusion being experienced by newcomers will end.

Sail on, Admiral Nantais!
Hi Jean
gee minor panic i could'nt find the thread for a while along with everyone else. i posted a link on the old thread (i think- not sure where its gone) to some info on the 2 arm lenco i am building using a combination of structural flooring and alucobond but am pretty keen on doing one in acrylic just out of curiousity. if anyone is interested i'm happy to provide templates/details etc to reproduce the design. even better if anyone has any tips to improve the basic design. link is -
Hi Mario and Johnnantais,

Thank you for the replies. I've tried adjusting the block, and although I can make it worse, I can't make it any better... As for the wiring, I think it's correct, but where can I check it? Currently, going from left to right across the top, 1st = red wire from the left coil, 2nd = white from left coil, 3rd = white from the right coil, 4th = blue from right coil + jumper from 4th to 5th.
Across the bottom, 1st = switch cable, 2nd = two jumpers to 3rd, 5th = mains, 6th = mains and switch cable.
That sounds very complicated. I'll try to post a picture to make sense of it.

Many thanks.
You are most definitely welcome Mario, and I forgot to thank Munkienl/Freek for the material in Jim's first and brilliant posting: thank you Freek! He was here (on the old thread) from the very beginning (along with Willbewill and a few others who have now vanished) and after having read me use him as a case study in someone who could hear some Lenco strengths (bass) but dismissed it due to the general consensus at the time over on VA - which STILL largely (a few honorable exceptions) dismisses the Lenco, sound unheard (the EXACT same prejudice I was fighting in the very first days) - as not a serious 'table. Reading Da Thread (then a new pipsqueak) and catching my reference to him (I did not name him to protect his identity but he recognized his posting, another loss with the deletion of Da Thread), he bravely took up the Lenco Challenge. He was then running a Thorens TD-125/SME 3009/Van den Hul combination if I recall, which he loved, and displayed the very quality I was hoping to address: don't dismiss claims (that idler-wheel-drive drives was a categorically superior system to belt-drive, and the Lenco proved it) due to prejudice, but test to find out the truth of the matter.

Many could still learn this lesson (just go sift through the VA postings), such as those who continue to dismiss and criticize the Lenco sound-unheard, due to the same old problem I had (and still have) with belt-drivers: since I own 'table A, then it HAS to be better than 'table B (blind prejudice knee-jerk reaction), except if 'table B is MUCH more expensive, or has a tremendous following, which assuages my ego. Ah, the good old days when only an intrepid few were willing to test my claims for the Lenco and the whole world was against us, and we could FEEL the momentum gaining as they first tried it with the then-cheap Decca International tonearm (25 euros!!) which I had been forced to track down.

I had remembered from my days in Helsinki from an old issue of Hi Fi News & Record Reviews that some company in Europe has tripped over a stash of these and were selling them for 25 euros. This was the trick to get people to try any better tonearm at all on the Lenco (they weren't yet willing to invest any serious money, even to the extent of a Rega), and as the reports came in of Lenco convert after Lenco convert due to the Lenco/Decca pairing, I finally got them to mount Rega tonearms (though I consider the Deccas musically superior to the Regas, the Regas are definitely more neutral and extract much more information, especially with MCs which also boost their musicality), which on the Lencos undergo a transformation into true gobsmacking detail-, dynamics-, bass-, highs- and imaging-Meisters!! With the addition of the Regas to the Lencos, the ball truly got rolling and more and more - still intrepid, adventurous, and rational (empirical evidence counts vs prejudice) with a sense of fun (roll your own, make discoveries) and adventure - joined in, came up with ideas, shared their experiences, to create together (the resources and time of the many is superior to that of the few) the now-ruling Giant Direct Coupled Lenco.

It's time once again to remind everyone of my rationale then, and my own internal thinking which led me not only by comparison (the very early primitive Lenco - not a patch on its current version - wiped the floor with every belt-drive I tested it against before I ever started Da Thread) but by logic to believe idlers were superior to belts in drive systems. To wit, given the Law of Diminishing Returns, one truly high-end turntable - which meant belt-drive back then - should not CRUSH another turntable, but instead, according to the price-tag/seriousness of the design (amount of materials, engineering), offer only certain refinements over the lesser turntable. But here was the Lenco (even set up balanced on bricks with no plinth with a Rega popped into the original arm-hole) CRUSHING highly-regarded belt-drives (at the time I was running a Maplenoll Ariadne and an Audiomeca, and had pit it against Linns and etc). My logic was as follows, and it applies every bit now as well as we are STILL in the same old fight (criticism without experience of the aural reality): the humble Lenco with all its faults (as indeed this is the HEART of the matter which so many have forgotten, or never knew due to the enormity of the now-deceased thread), its cheaper construction (as compared with the classically well-built Garrard 301/401 and the Thorens TD-124 and of course EMTs, AND of course the high-end belt-drives it was being pitted against), its so-so main bearing, its relatively unspectacular platter (as compared with many of the belt-drive monsters) CRUSHED belt-drives (of course the belt-drivers refused to acknowledge the possibility I was speaking truth, which is why I sneakily seduced many into joining me in the experiment by presenting them with a fun project - hence the title - in order to begin to accumulate my evidence). WHY??!!?? It couldn't be because of its build quality.

To overcome all the minuses there HAD to be a BIG plus, and that plus HAD to be the drive system, nothing else, since THERE WAS NOTHING ELSE. Hold in your minds the immortal words of Daniel R. von Recklinghausen, former Chief Research Engineer, H.H. Scott: "If it measures good and sounds bad, it is bad; if it measures bad and sounds good, you have measured the wrong thing." This embodies the Spirit of the scientific process I was always going on about in Da Late, Lamented Thread: experience/experiment trumps theories, the end (this, in a nutshell, is science, and we are all qualified to judge for ourselves given enough information). Not complicated, but increasingly in the scientific community - and among the general population of course - prejudice/belief/theory trumps results, which are swept under the carpet to favour the favoured theory (which, for instance, is why the belt-drive ruled so long).

Now, at the time I believed - due to its inferior construction - that if the Lenco was this good (and it was) then the much-better-built Garrard must REALLY be something else, which would only go to show how much superior the idler-wheel system was to the belt/tape/string drives! Now, I had discovered the whole idler-wheel principle when, just-moved to Helsinki with my new Finnish girl-friend, I was putting together a good little budget system (NAD 3020i/Boston A40 MKII), and picked up a turntable cheap at a flea market for two bucks. It was a Garrard SP25. It was non-functional and so I opened it up to repair it, and I was amazed at the Baroque complexities of the underlying mechanisms (an auto-changer with hundreds of springs, widgets, levers) and puzzled by the wheel and motor arrangement, which I had never heard of (the black-out on idler info was that effective back then). So, being practical, and knowing I could never repair whatever was wrong with it, not understanding it one whit, I simplified the task: I simply removed everything which did not have to do with driving the platter directly, all the automatic mechanisms linked to the tonearm, and cleaned and re-lubed it. It worked. So, curious, I soldered a better cable to it and bought a decent cartridge for it (a superb Glanz). I could not believe the sound which was emanating from that system (even the little SP25s when modded retrieve an astonishing amount of information and have astonishing dynamics and bass), and immediately understood that this drive system was better than the belt-drive system (due to the above rationale, and because I already owned a legendary Maplenoll and an Audiomeca), and I grew angry. Why had I never heard of this system??! Was belt-drive not touted as the best of all systems??!! Now aware of "idler-wheel drive" (I even had to look up the term by sifting through countless magazines in Helsinki libraries, before the internet), I began to dig for information. I found, eventually, the Garrard 301/401s, which a few small companies were restoring and re-plinthing in the back pages of British magazines.

There being no internet, and my living in Finland, it was impossible for me to find any Garrards, and so I married the internal drive system of an SP-25 to the platter of a Connoisseur BD2 in a two-level plinth similar to the Cain & Cain plinths being made today, and even with separate acrylic armboard (I'll try to dig up a photo) to be able to hear what a more serious version could sound like. It was glorious. Finally, one day, again in a flea market, I tripped over a large idler-wheel drive (it was evident to me), with Lenco badge. I thought to myself, “It isn't a Garrard, but it is a heavier/better idler, let's play with that!” I bought it, had my Rega tonearm and Kiseki cartridge sent to me from Canada (this is all in '92-'93), and set it up on metal stilts (no plinth at all), and heard SUCH UTTER PERFECTION (against a context of belt-drives) that I was once again overwhelmed, and once again angered. I knew that this system had been unfairly assassinated by a concerted effort of the press and industry (as the LP very nearly was by the Digital Parade). A friend who was by now wealthy heard it (“The hairs are going up on my arms!!”), and invested in its development, as he was toying with the idea of manufacturing. So I researched the issues and came up with the "Lenco L75 Prototype rebuild 1992" as it appears under my "system" on Audiogon. The plinth approximated the open architecture of the Oracles (and the brief Meitner) by being solid and in two tiers to dissipate noise into the atmosphere and not store energy, the top-plinth was extremely low-mass (a single small layer of Finnish birch-ply) not to store energy and was isolated from the lower by lossy silicone grommets not to communicate the mass of the massive lower plinth on which the motor - in order to minimize/eliminate noise/vibration - was mounted, as I had cut off the motor mounts on the top-plate, and made new ones on the lower massive plinth in the same orientation as the upper (as it had to be), thus using only three of the springs on which the motor sits, and some rubber shims on the new towers to hold it in place. This was to be the Prototype of the new turntable which was to be manufactured out of brass and white marble (I was in love with Greece back then as now). But, this was the time when all companies were ceasing production of both turntables (Thorens for instance) and cartridges (Shure), and it looked like the analog thing was finally going to be Dead. My backer backed out, I got on with my life (drifting around the world back then enjoying life, Lenco in mothballs), and didn't return to Canada until years later. I had my Lenco shipped to Canada, where it was my main source, made some for friends, but never forgot my anger at a lying system (press, industry, scientists/engineers/experts). Then, one day, in my new work, I was forced to get on the 'Net which I had resisted, and tripped over Audiogon, being new to the whole concept of internet forums.

I first tried to gather any other idler-wheel fans out there - FLOP - and then, seeing there was absolutely no interest, devised my sneaky "Building high-end 'tables cheap at Home Despot" to gather followers and amass a body of evidence. In order to make the project/plan work, it was necessary for me to simplify the plans (a single plinth) in order to make the project simple and so encourage people - amateurs and woodworkers alike - to give it a try and have some fun, and make some discoveries (that idler-wheel drive was superior to belt-drive) and report on it, and so add to the body of evidence/proof. From this sprang the various Lenco websites which dot the internet today, and battles (often vicious and personal) waged across the forums led to others discovering idler-wheels (rather than the select few enjoying hem but keeping their heads low) and eventually open discussions with no more attacks (kind of ;-)).

Here, there was a delicate balancing act: I HAD to keep the design simple on Da Thread, because if any newbies had come onto the thread in the middle of discussions of oil-baths and secret chambers and metal-work, they would not have given the project a second thought and the whole thing would have died in its infancy, Da Thread and the project - to have idlers recognized as the truly great system it is (not that it wouldn't perhaps have done so eventually, but the thread was growing and gaining steam already) - disappearing like all the others into obscurity. But Da Thread was a learning experience for me as for the participants, because, in the course of simplifying the design down to one plinth and the Lenco simply bolted to it, I discovered that rumble and motor-noise was after all not an issue, and that after all it was not necessary to go to the enormous lengths I did on the Prototype (I was worried about this for a long time) to produce a quiet and incredibly DYNAMIC and refined Iron Fist in a Velvet Glove. I learned to respect and admire the Lenco as it had been designed, the more so the more the design evolved: it is ELEGANT and, after all, ranks with the best in the world, due to the implementation of the design.

Another issue is that of over-damping: with too much effort directed to eliminating the non-existent (inaudible) noise issue, the baby (DYNAMICS, BASS, and PraT out the yin-yang, which is the character of the idler-wheel drive system, while stunning detail, frequency extension and imaging is the quality) risks being thrown out with the bathwater, and everyone coming to the erroneous conclusion it is the idler-wheel drive system which is at fault. Then there is the common sense aspect: how can one even know about the success of these innovations in the absence of the experience of the “normal” reality (i.e. Lenco in simple heavy plinth, or even on bricks with a better tonearm)?? One MUST have context for any such experimentation to have meaning, or to be even directed in the right direction. In the case of the Lencos/Idler-wheel drives, the context is belt-drives (most of us have that context) and DDs, both of which I experienced to a serious degree. In other words, if you compare it to nothing, then your judgments are meaningless, and you are committing the very same error I spoke about at the beginning and which I fought against so bitterly: you are placing theory/prejudice (all in your head) ahead of the facts/empirical reality (experience of the simple Lenco). This is what Freek and those others who participated over time understood so well.

Anyway, these are the various balls I had to juggle over time, and over time I learned many things, prompted by issues and ideas to various experiments. I have now come to the Giant Direct Coupled Lenco and also learned that various weaknesses of the Lenco can be made to work to its advantage: if the Lenco, like the Garrard 301/401 and Thorens TD-124 and various others had the superior cast and ribbed top-plate, the Direct Coupling – which is a BIG step on the evolutionary ladder – could not be implemented nearly so effectively. Those who try high-mass on these other “superior” cast idlers come to conclusions which are apples to oranges, and so meaningless. From this, if I were to design a new idler-wheel drive, I would make the top-plate better, yes, by greater thickness and so more structural rigidity, BUT, I would make it flat and not ribbed to allow for effective Direct Coupling - which, incidentally, proves that a high-mass which is an effective neutral sink for noise, like a CLD wooden plinth (I would steer clear of sand and lead-shot as too damaging to the life and dynamics, from endless similar experiments on my Maplenoll), is an extremely effective way to go, as there are no musical penalties ( PraT and dynamics out the *ss) and a HUGE improvement in detail, imaging, frequency extension and bass, dynamics and speed.

As to the problematic motor, I direct everyone again to Recklinghausen - "If it measures good and sounds bad, it is bad; if it measures bad and sounds good, you have measured the wrong thing." - it is in itself, by its actual results (actually listening to records), proven quite a bit better than theory (examination and knowledge devoid of listening tests) suggests. Yes it’s a “mere” shaded-pole motor, but results argue it is not so “mere”. It has hidden springs and structure designed to eliminate noise (Dr. Lenco’s genius at work). It is mounted horizontally and not vertically thus resulting in less stress on the main bearing and more speed stability (i.e. the platter is not pushed to one side introducing instabilities like rim-drives and belt-drives). And the Lenco engineers/Dr. Lenco did indeed understand motor issues, as this type of motor had an advantage, as explained in the Lenco company literature: “The 4-pole constant-velocity motor limits changes in turntable speed to less than 1% for up to 13% change in line voltage. Rumble and hum are negligible. Maximum wow and flutter is 0.2%.” Now, I am not saying it can’t be improved on, everything can, what I am saying, is that given the results (its track record so far, AND it has been deemed superior to the “vastly-superior”, according to these criteria , top-of-the-line idler and DD EMTs, by someone who actually owns rebuilt an replinthed Lencos, Garrards 301/401s, Thorens TD-124s), not too much can be made of its “weaknesses” (again Recklinghausen) to dismiss – in the absence of experience – the Greatness of the totality (again Recklinghausen).

This is why the Lenco is a work of genius: ELEGANCE. Where EMTs, Garrards and Thorenses are better-built and use “better” motors, the Lenco simply uses what is necessary. As some have pointed out, the towers from which the motor is suspended are cheap tacked-on affairs. Yes, but given that the Lenco motor is hanging from and isolated by springs, a stronger arrangement is not necessary (as simply mounting the Lenco on bricks and attaching a Rega tonearm demonstrates). The motor cannot be divorced from the flywheel-platter, as the idler-wheel makes of the whole an EXTREMELY effective system: the platter has much of its mass concentrated on the rim (as opposed, at least, to the Thorens and the Garrards) and is balanced, which due to its very secure coupling (idler-wheel) regulates the motor speed as the superb motor (spinning gat 1800 rpm and balanced to produce pretty well spot-on speed all on its own via simple momentum) regulates in its turn via torque (wheel) the platter, to create an extremely refined and yet powerful end result. The main bearing certainly doesn’t look like much (though it is very nice and obviously made of very high-quality steel) compared to both these other vintage offerings and modern high-end turntables, but given the horizontal mounting of the motor and less stress (proven by the fact that almost all Lenco main bearings are still in superb condition still) more is not truly necessary. The Lenco motor’s sloping spindle means, also, that such tricks as the magnetic brake on the Garrard, which is often criticized for introducing stresses, is not necessary: the Lenco motor simply spins at full-tilt all the time, open and free, and the wheel is simply slid along length of the sloping motor spindle to achieve perfect and accurate speed .

Again, I am not against improving the idler-wheel system (as I have often been charged with doing), but I am warning against being TOO dismissive of the Lenco design, especially in the absence of experience(as postings dismissing the Lenco as a good budget project over on VA so often do), the Lenco being far more than the totality of its parts. It is a finely-judged common-sense real-world design (producible back in the day at a common-sense price, as it would be today), and a brilliant contender for The Best, due to the elegance of its design, and quality of its parts aside, it is likely the most highly-evolved idler-wheel drive ever built.

Now why do I write this HUGE posting now (and I apologize)? Because, with the disappearance of the original thread and the consequent amazing resource it represented, I feel the Audio Gods are sending me a message, and I am thinking it is time to direct my energies elsewhere (certain business opportunities, and a book I was working on which was interrupted when my life was hijacked by Da Thread). The original thread was a screaming success and all I had wanted to achieve with it has been achieved (idler-wheel postings are a growing percentage of all postings and the idler-wheel revolution I had first tried to initiate is well underway), and now, human nature being what it is, internecine fighting will begin between various idler-wheel groups. Low-mass, high-mass, this way that way, it’s all music to my ears as the idler-wheel Greatness is now being heard, whatever the implementation, which was my aim. I will continue monitoring activities in order to protect my baby (so don’t think, Anyone, I will calmly let you get away with anything, I’ll be watching), but I think I will make my presence less felt and let all the experienced idler-wheel drivers take over much of the thread, at least for now, while I set other things in order and get the ball rolling elsewhere. Of course, I will continue to build and experiment and seek to improve the Lenco and other idler-wheel drives, and will post once my Rek-o-Kut and Garrard projects are done. In the meantime, it is fitting that Mario initiated this new thread, a testament and proof that some were paying attention and willing to test the reality against their theories. And once again, I will stress what should be a Mantra for the industry and the world, and remind everyone that theories are worthless until tested, and that the result , whatever it is (like growing intestinal disorders following the release and marketing of genetically-modified foods and continuing application of antibiotics in feed) trumps the theory: "If it measures good and sounds bad, it is bad; if it measures bad and sounds good, you have measured the wrong thing."

A GE flip-down uses what is necessary, too. What it lacks is innovation. zynax did a heavy table years ago, and others also employed direct coupling years ago. Rhetoric is one thing, but where do we go from here? Do we bother trying new ideas, or do we stay with the tried and true, but tired ones? Should we proceed with those areas that can stand significant improvement? I respectfully submit to you that we take the latter course with no holds barred because there is always room for innovation and improvement.

As an aside, I am so convinced of merit of my idler idea that I have applied for a patent on it.

Funny, when my son and I reported on making a 70lb+ plinth within the first several pages of the old thread, you rather poo-pooed the need for additional weight, Jean. Seems to me that "overkill" was th eword used. Then. reading that thread, it would have seemed that you came upon this revelation regarding the benefit of "mega-mass" by accident through your own experimentation about a year or so ago. Now, reading your last post, I guess you REALLY had the idea all along - just thought it would be too much for us "novices" to handle all at once (not to mention several other contributions developed and introduced by a number of us as we improved on the inital design.)
Another long post. Data mining my saved posts from Home Despot I, here are some comments from posters comparing their Lencos with other turntables. Note that Dopogue used to own a VPI TNT Mk II, Alpert Porter owns a Walker and compared it with a basic Lenco (i.e. pre Direct Coupling, super-high mass plinths, etc.) with Decca arm, and Tunein4fun owns EMT 927 and 930 turntables:

06-01-04: Dopogue
Thought it was time I added my bit to this saga. Jean and I became cyberfriends some while before he started this thread, but I had zero interest in a Lenco because I have this high zoot VPI TNT with a JMW arm, Grado Reference/Reference cart, Boston Audio Mat, and an SDS to make it all sing, plus a couple of other tables, as seen here:

But Jean made a lot of sense re the Shure V15VxMR (which has now replaced the Grado) and the wondrous Music Boy interconnects, among other contributions to my sonic well-being. So, long-story short, I asked him to build me one and bought a Rube Goldberg-ish (but endearing) SME Series IIIs arm and a third-tier cart (Stanton 881S) for it.

The whole shebang came together here last Friday, so this is very much an interim report, but damn if it doesn't beat the TNT rig pretty handily -- more alive, more punch, more PRaT, more "there." And quiet as a tomb, whether or not I have the subwoofers switched in. I find all this REALLY hard to believe, but there it is. Lots more experimentation ahead, especially with carts.

I've been playing with mats -- two Spotmats I made (thanks, Malcolm), a Linn felt job, two older rubber ones (provenance unknown), and the Boston Audio graphite mat. I had high hopes for the last one, and it turned out to be the worst of the bunch, really hard-sounding and dead. The Lenco mat sounded best of all (the felt one wasn't bad), so I figured Jean really knew his stuff and I'd follow his advice and GLUE IT DOWN. Hated it, thought it drained the life out of the table, couldn't wait to get the contact cement off it (not my favorite indoor sport). Jean said I should have waited overnight, but I was afraid it would be impossible to remove then. I may try again with something like rubber cement, but for now I like it much better unattached.

Like I said, an interim report. But for anyone still on the fence about the merits and potential of the Lenco, I'm confident in saying that this is the real deal. Really.

Guess I'll have to set aside an afternoon and read the whole damn thread. Best to all, Dave Pogue

06-08-04: Dopogue
Follow-up on my battle of the titans. My "titans" are a Lenco L78 (refurbished, with 8" plinth by Jean N.) with SME IIIs arm and Stanton 881s cart, vs. my VPI TNT (early model) with JMW 10.5 arm, SDS, Shure V15VxMR cart and Boston Audio mat. Both are fed through Music Boy ICs to a new (to me) custom-built phonostage that is based on the NYAL Moscode SuperIt but with extensive mods and a tank-like tubed power supply.

Verdict: The TNT setup sounds kinda boring.

This is the reluctant conclusion of a golden-eared audiobuddy who loved the TNT so much he wanted to be first in line if I ever sold it. So much for that.

He was struck by the increased PRaT but mostly by the very natural and addicting detail the Lenco provides.

Next step: cartridge switching, once I get back a second SME armtube that's out for rewiring. This is SOME turntable. Dave

07-08-04: Palmnell
I am a long time Linnie. I have owned LP 12's for 28 years. My current Linn has an Origin Live DC motor and a Cetech carbon fibre subchassis. On a whim I bought a GL 75 and put an Origin Live modded Rega 250 and my beloved Koetsu Black on it. Holy shit, better bass, much better leading-edge dynamics and pretty remarkable imaging. This is all without a plinth. I'm just resting this beast on two lead-filled boxes. I am about to make a decent plinth and see where it goes.

07-12-04: Albertporter
I have nothing new to add to this thread except my excitement.

My Lenco / Decca / Shure V15 rig running into a EAR 834 P is not only great, it is stunning! As this continues to break in, I become more in love with it. This afternoon I played "The Streets," Original Pirate Material ('02), and I swear there are some things it does better than my Walker / Koetsu / Aesthetix rig. Sure the more expensive rig has finer graduations of detail, is more transparent and refined, but the Lenco provides a solid base, timing and contrast to the music that is addictive.

The fact one could purchase 50 of these Lenco rigs for what my reference TT [Walker] costs, no doubt clouds my judgment. There is no way I would have never considered this little inexpensive Lenco had Jean not started this thread. My sincere thanks to him.

By the way, a comment about rumble and noise that has come up in these threads from time to time. My new Soundlab Ultimate Ones arrived Saturday and I played them for at least six hours today. Alternating between the Lenco and the Walker. U-1's are capable of 24 HZ in the bass and there is no rumble and no noise from either of these turntables. Pretty amazing considering the Lenco was 150 bucks.

10-15-04: Albertporter
My Lenco is doing just fine and I am delighted with it. Now that my EAR 834P phono stage and Shure V15 cartridge are thoroughly settled in, the guys in my Tuesday night music group laugh out loud in delight at it's performance. We listen to it, my SACD player and my Walker during the same evening session. There is certainly more pleasure in the Lenco than SACD.

Certainly the Walker is better, not surprising since it and matched phono stage cost $50,000.00 more. [NB: Walker Proscenium Signature turntable, Prologue Air Suspension base, Walker Linear Air-Bearing Tonearm $30,000, Walker Audio Motor Controller $3000, Koetsu Rosewood Signature Platinum cartridge, $5500, Aesthetix Io Signature Dual Phono Stage $14,250] Those with less radical systems than mine would do themselves a favor by rebuilding a used Lenco and saving their budget for amps, speakers and loads of LP's.

I am grateful you started this thread. There is NO WAY would have ever considered this lowly table, that is until you challenged us to give it a try. Likely this is the best bargain in audio. A few hundred dollars for a used Lenco table, Decca arm, and Shure (or other) cartridge and you have a serious (but fun) music machine suitable for high end playback.

01-21-05: Gilbodavid
hello jean and 4anx. very exciting, and totally vindicating my experience. plain Jane Denon dl103 on OL Silver and my red beast fully finished Lenco ROCKS!! through Leak tl12+s and Quads! One with holes in it! like nothing I've ever heard, including $20,000 Avantgarde Duos with Schroeder tonearm and vastly expensive everything else!! Listening to the Stones "Black and Blue" and they sound like bloody artists. And blow me down I've just realised that your PRaT is actually the jiggy jiggy factor. Its like the roll of each note suddenly hits you and swirls through you, streams energy to every part of your body and cells go PING, and you have to MOVE. Sorry to all those who don’t understand subtle technicalities. And it wasn't there properly til I lowered the Rega to perfect vta (to within one washer width) and got the horizontal plane angle of the arm and the tightness of the arm to armboard screw right. The Rolling Stones are artists for gods sake!?!! Never before have I known music to sound like this. Its even an unmodded ear 834p phono (massive room for improvement) and twl's tweak still to do!!. I'm still going to get a Black Widow and Grado platinum, but for $40, the Denon 103 is truly jiggy jiggy. MY GOD _ Ian Drury and the Blockheads now, I'm going to explode all over holtyhelen who's a grooving mass of female pulchritude on the couch next to me... this is better than being a teenager!!! Long live the Lenco, long live jiggy jiggy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ARRRRRR!!! My god "route 66" Stones again. not even a good recording!!!! ARRRRRRRR!!

03-29-05: Gilbodavid
Hello all from blackberryland. Had weird experience yesterday. Went to friend’s house where one of my systems is set up, to collect Leak tl12+'s for me, and give them my old Quad 306 amp instead. Plugged it into Quad ESL57's and a modded Lenco with Alphason Opal arm and one of those old Goldring mm carts, and a Phi phono stage, and it sounded as good as with the Leaks. Then the weird bit. I took out my £120 precious metals interconnects and put in some unburned in Petra Music Boy cables... Oh my God... I can safely say it was the best recorded sound I have ever heard. stunning and super weird. The best previously was $20,000 Avantgarde Trios with high end German table and arm and exotic valve amps at a demo. My system simply devastated it. All the traits Jean gives to Petra cable were there, with airiness and gorgeous imaging and texture and PRAT in musical, blissful abundance. For the first time ever I played classical music, Rodrigo’s concerto, and I was there. This is weird. Very nicely weird....Cos This system was $800 speakers, $8 interconnects, 30 cents speaker cable, $160 amp, $150 home made passive pre, $200 Lenco, $110 arm, free cart, and $500 phono stage. Total $1928.30, which we all know is not a lot. In this room this system is awe inspiring. Why? Synergy? Luck? Magic? Voodoo? Quads have no bass? Who cares? Last night I was there! Friend has assured me that today its still happening. Weird... With 2.5mm copper speaker cable. What will happen if I do 24 gauge & Dave's no phono plug trick?

06-21-05: Flyingred
I finished my solid American ash Lenco this evening! Influenced by the first 6moons Garrard 301 article I thought it would be so much nicer to build a plinth from solid hardwood.

I bought some ash and American cherry. Because the ash was cheaper I used that first. I started after Jean's solid coupled destroyer experiment so routed the top layer so that the plate under the platter could be screwed to the plinth.

The ash is 20mm thick and I have made it 4 layers deep, with a layer of black sound damping material between layers 2 and 3, with a separate armboard so that I can swap tonearms.

I decided to use a miter saw so that no end grain is showing.

I fitted my old Fidelity Research FR64s, that my Linn dealer condemned for having worn bearings in 1996. Of course the bearings are fine - some people will say anything to sell a tonearm! First cartridge in is my re-tipped Koetsu Black, again mid-80s vintage.

I have had a fantastic evening's listening. The Lenco is everything claimed here and more. As forecast by Jean, there is bass in abundance (not a noted Koetsu characteristic), fantastic dynamics, energy, slam, PRaT, call it what you will, and the detail and clarity are stunning.

I have been listening to some serious money turntables over the last few months and the budget Lenco beats most of them - I'm not sure yet whether it's better than a Galibier I heard a few weeks ago but it's pretty close. I'll be better able to comment when I put the DL-103 on the FR64.

There's no doubt in my mind that the Lenco is preferable to the Teres 265 and 360, Nottingham Spacedeck and Hyperspace, SME 10, Kuzma Stabi and of course my old Linn.

07-07-05: Musicdoc
I bought an LP12 with Valhalla and Ittok initially and was quite pleased for a while. for me (and my ten thumbs), set-up issues plagued that particular table. I heard a basic Teres setup and promptly sold the Linn as the sound quality bested the Linn by an embarrassingly large margin. I then had a Teres 245 with Moerch dp-6 and Allaerts mc-1b. Unfortunately, my Teres had problems of its own (recurrent motor controller faults, cracked base that had to be replaced, etc. etc.). I now use a modified Lenco L-75 with Moerch dp-6 arm and Denon DL-160 cartridge and have achieved what is easily the best sound (and reliability) to date.

12-09-05: Rnm4
Well I suppose I'll pony up now.

It's been about three weeks since I became the proud owner of a fully rebuilt and replinthed Lenco-78, which Jean Nantais himself worked up for me, in exchange for some other gear I had that was of interest to him. Here's the story.

I had been occasionally peeking at this thread for quite a while, and supposed that these old idler wheels must sound right nice, but that the claims for their superiority to vastly more expensive, newer, more famous designs must be rather overblown. I had the chance to hear a couple of Jean's designs in his own system, and was very impressed. I had a bit of cash lying about, so got a second hand L78. I had wanted a second table for a second system anyway, and thought I'd see how this sounds compared with my Nottingham Interspace/Interspace arm combination in my Nait3/Flatcap/ Proac Tablette Signature 50 system.

With Jean's help, slowly, stage by stage, the table got reconditioned. First a general, if superficial clean and set up, with a good but unknown old MM cartridge. The pace and drive and boogeying musicality of the Lenco were immediately apparent. But the sound nothing like as detailed and clean as with my Nott. I had made the mistake of leaving the suspension on the Lenco engaged. When the suspension got bypassed, there was a huge improvement. Everything tightened up -- imaging, attack and decay, slam, resolution throughout the entire frequency range, and more extension on top. But still, the Nottingham had more sparkle and space, and, if less drive, then yet better extension on top, and resolution.

Next stage, full cleaning and recondition of the motor on the L78, and some damping materials added. Things get really close now, the Lenco excelling at coherence and PRaT, the Nottingham good at those, but still more resolving, clean and satisfying.

Then more damping and replacing the stock IC's with Music Boys. Big difference again. The Lenco is approaching the Nottingham in resolution and imaging, getting nearly the same high frequency extension, and clearly bettering it in bass boogy and getting the musical picture to cohere. And this is the stock plinth and arm, as well as an unknown 20+ year old MM. (All along it's been a Shure M97HE Era IV on the Nottingham -- also got in trade from Jean, and simply fantastic). Well obviously it's time to sell the Nottingham and go the rest of the way with the Lenco.

This table is leagues ahead of anything I've had in my system before - and it sets a tremendous standard. I now have an assured means of evaluating the rest of my system as it evolves, and the quality of the vinyl and music I am buying. This TT is not imposing limits. More important, I get a whole new level of enjoying the music.

07-13-06: Tunein4fun
Hello Jean,
Thanks for your inspiring input. I do agree with a lot of what you say. But when you say: "Each must adjust his 'table combo to match his or her system, these are like complex instruments in their own right!" That turntables in general are amongst the most complex creatures out there, as far as "getting them right" is concerned, I would be the first to admit, but to say that each must adjust his own table combo to match their own system, I feel is perhaps stretching it a bit. My own tables (Garrard 301 (all types), 401, TD124, EMT 930st, 927F, 938 and 950) all have been with me for many, many years, and been played through a lot of shifting electronics and speakers during this time. They are all very good TT:s and consistently performing accordingly, regardless of the rest of the system. Others, like SP10, LP12 and others, have proved to be, at least to me, more inconsistent and perhaps "system dependent". Therefore, when I play my Lenco, that's what I'm looking for, a consistent, solid performance, that can compare with the above machines. My opinion is that if you have an "ultra-solid-table" and the system still doesn't sing or sounds perhaps poorly balanced or whathaveyou - then it's not turntable tuning that you should be thinking about...on the other hand if you know that your system sounds balanced and performs in a satisfatory way except when playing vinyl, then...the TT probably is where it's at.
So methinks that it's all about keeping track of what your point of reference is, and preferably just introduce a single system change/mod/alteration at a time to be able to tell what was responsible for what at the end of the day. This method is, however quite time-consuming as we all know, and can test anyone's patience, but still...
When I listen to any TT (including the L75 in my new plinth), I compare it to my above "references", of which, the EMT 927F, sitting in its EMT shock-absorber frame, on overall balance is the best TT I have ever heard so far.
At the same time, I already know just how good a "good" Lenco can sound, and I gather from what I've been reading in this fantastic thread, that many contributors feel that Jean's method brings this machine right up there, with the very best - so you bet I'll persist - far too important stuff to "ignore".
After all: MUSIC MATTERS MOST! or in short; 3M! - so there's no room for "chance" or "leaving well alone" - more like FULL THROTTLE on this one (;-)
Thanks again for the great input - I'll keep posting any progress I might make.
Thanks Mike for the clarification - greatly appreciated!

07-25-06: Tunein4fun
SUCCESS AT LAST!!! Have worked almost around the clock on my Monster L75. Done it all (apart from gluing the mat to the platter...I will, I will...) - tried various bolting patterns (2 - 12 woodscrews in the pan) and added the top layer to the plinth - the 4 mm bolts are discarded and in their place are sturdy 40 mm woodscrews - drilled up the bolt-holes straight through the chassis. Did some complementary work on the chassis damping, put an Ortofon AS-212 with a Denon DL-103D (playing through old UTC 1950's vintage step up trannies (Petra Music Boys) into my 1958 EICO HF-85).
What can I say, Jean (!!!) and all you other guys who've been so supportive and helpful: GOBSMACKED!!!
I truly couldn't believe it when I heard even the first note being played (it happened to be soft piano entertainment/easy listening piano) - the AIR around that single tiny gentle chord...and then it just went on and on and on...PRAT...DUUUUUUUUUUUDES!!! - now I know what you mean - I had imagined something darn good, judging from the very positive comments from so many contributors - but it's better still; it's just all there (including some minor electrical noise, that I need to sort out) and in such a beautiful way.
I'm humbled and feel obliged to thank Jean again for creating and researching (working-really-really-hard-over-a- long-period-of-time) this "DIY" venture into pretty damn serious TT teritory - THANKS MAN!!!
As many of you have read; I tried this and I tried that and I was (almost) ready to call it a day - but hey, had I put this much work into it already, I just had to see it through, and I'm truly glad I did. To anybody considering taking this project on, I can just say WOOOWW!!! and GO FOR IT!!!.

07-26-06: Tunein4fun
Hello Krenzler and Peter and thanks; the "differences" from "before" are many; I took the time to experiment with the number of screws in the pan - I tried to go about it in a "systematic way", tapping as I went along: I started off with 2 screws, located in the two original existing holes, that are used to bolt the L75 down to its original plinth (they are at 12 & 6 o'clock. From there, I used other existing holes and added some of my own whenever I felt I didn't get the "thud" I was looking for in that particular area. I ended up with 12 screws in the pan - they are not large screws, and they have been tightened so that when tapping the pan anywhere (i.e. in any area supported by the plinth) I get the same kind of "thud" i.e. it sounds uniformly the same (as far as I can tell anyway).
I'm sure that the same result can be had, using another number of screws, positioned differently from mine. As mentioned previously; earlier I had left out the top layer of the plinth (i.e. the ply layer with the "big round hole" - for the pan - in it). This meant that the chassis part, surrounding the pan was "sailing in the wind". I know Jean mentioned to me that he - with some player at least - had heard very little difference soundwise, coming out from bolting down that particular chassis bit, so I didn't think much of it. What I found on my Monster L75, was that adding more chassis damping material (almost completely filling it up) and bolting down the chassis edge (i.e. the outer lower edge of the entire square chassis) made a huge difference. Jean earlier quoted Shindo, who said he used woodscrews to bolt the Garrard to his plinth instead of the original Garrard bolts, 'cos of the superior coupling he got that way. So I thought I've got nothing to lose, trying the same trick. The sad part is that I did most of these "changes" in one go, so it's impossible to recap what each alteration actually accomplished. However, I intend to make another MegaMonsterL75 (inspired by Jean's reports on the improvemnt of adding even more mass) and hopefully on that one, I will be able to keep a log to try to find out what does what.
There is no material whatsoever, between the pan-bottom and the plinth - it's bolted solid to the wood.
Peter, mounting the Ortofon arm, wasn't all that difficult - I enlarged the original Lenco armhole, so that the Ortofon base could pass through it (these bases come in taller and shorter versions - I used a shorter one). I made a tonearm-board from an LP12 tonearm-board - this is only supported by and coupled to the plinth in the corners via quite small woodscrews (just gripping and then a tiny bit more). I will post some pix later.
The Monster still isn't properly supported or "ideally located" but it doesn't seem to care.. it simply produces stunning music (;-D
I was playing some Jimmy Smith this morning - an old 1960's US Verve (stereo) - geeeeeeez...I'll say it again; I'm GOBSMACKED!!! It's beyond "audio", as Jean put it (;-)

07-26-06: Reinderspeter
Out of curiosity, where does this leave the Lenco in comparison to your EMTs?

07-26-06: Tunein4fun
Reinderspeter...curiosity killed the cat...and I have yet to A-B these machines, but my very convincing gut feeling is that the Monster is superior in quite a few areas (the most "natural PRAT" I have ever heard for one). The first time I heard a 930 play, it was an eye-opener for real, and I just had to have one. It took me a very long time to track down a 927, but when I finally got the chance to hear one play, I was impressed out of my shoes - it was so much better - the best TT I had ever heard overall - took me an even longer time to locate one that was for sale... The feeling I have, listening to my Monster is much stronger still - I really do lack words, but to use some; gobsmacking, flabbergasting, astonishing, mind-blowing - I-HUMBLY-ADMIT-I-HAD-NO-IDEA; it's that sort'a out-of-this-world kind'a thing - by far the biggest kicker in my entire audio-life (been into "audio" for 35 years and especially TTs). This is not a "linear" improvement on other TTs - it's a GIANT LEAP for vinyl reproduction. So I would say; THE MONSTER RULES! I will eventually, for fun or "for the record" do some A-B when time permits, and post whatever results I get here.
Short version: The Monster is simply one heck of a TT!
Plans for the MegaMonster are already in the back of my mind - some ideas lurking about, and a couple of things I'd like to try. Please note that this attempt is not at all prompted by any urge to "improve" on the Monster (I'm not touching the's faaar tooo goood for that) - simply to have fun - yup (;-)- afterall that's what life's (almost...) all about methinks.
Even with the plain or "lowly" Shure M75 the Monster excels and shines in the most enchanting way, regardless of what I throw at it music-wise - a fact that probably will put whatever little "credibility" I have, on the line with some people, but hey; so be it!!!
I realize that I have used some pretty strong wording in this post and if somebody reading this, thinks that I'm exaggerating or that I'm "over the top"...think again (;-)
Over the years, there were a lot of other posters who contributed to the original Home Despot thread. Doing some more data mining, here are some useful hints and tips from them. This is by no means all inclusive, sorry for any omissions but I didn't save EVERYTHING!

07-23-04: 4yanx
We used Mobil 1 synthetic grease in our L78 to hugely successful effect. We, too, found traces of grease in the plastic sump under the main bearing and replaced it, after a thorough cleaning, by putting a good dab in the hole before replacing the bearing (we also slicked the shaft with synthetic oil and soaked the felt ring above with the oil as Jean suggest). Also disassembled the top and bottom bearings on the motor spindle and re-packed those with the same grease. Spins like a top and super quiet. Think we paid on the order of six clams for a can, which should last the lifetime of me, my son, and his son! :-)

10-24-04: 4yanx
We haven't tried the ceramic bearing yet, maybe if some has an extra, we'll try one. Too cheap to pay shipping for a 30 cent item! Ha!

We've gone a couple of ways on lubrication for the bearing. My son tried something that seems to work as well or better than anything we've tried, though whatever works better, we'll try!

He coated the outside of the spindle using Mobil 1 synthetic 75W-90 oil with a soaked rag. Then he put just a dab of Mobil 1 synthetic grease between the bearing and the spindle, then on the end of the bearing. After carefully sliding the spindle into the sump, he soaked the felt ring around the spindle real good with the oil. Works smooth and quiet.

While on the subject of lubrication, this is a note about the adjustable "pin" that holds firm the top bearing and spindle in the motor housing. If you remove that pin you will notice that on the very end is a cupped piece against which the tip of the shaft rides. This cupped piece can be removed and there is a spring underneath. On the two first Lencos we had, this piece must have been stuck from accumulated grime and we didn't even know it existed. The last one we soaked in spirits and when we were cleaning it "popped off". We further soaked and cleaned and now this "springed cup" allows much better "buffeting" of potential up/down movement of the shaft and allows the pin to be more securely tightened with out impinging upon the rotational movement of the spindle.

11-17-04: Dopogue
My Lenco L78, re-plinthed and breathed upon by Jean hisself, has been sitting in my equipment rack on one of my favorite resonance reducing tweaks (two hockey pucks per corner, sandwiching cork discs). Sounded simply magnificent with its SME IIIS arm and ADC XLM Mk. II cart. But there was a little subterranean stuff coming through the speakers and when I tapped on the shelf below the Lenco I got a "bonk" (a really musical bonk, but a bonk regardless).

After trying various fixes, the hands-down winner proved to be superballs (4 @ $.99 at my local variety store) sitting in Vibrapods. The Vibrapods don't do anything but position the superballs and keep the Lenco from rolling off the shelf. The result: absolute, blissful silence. Even with the subwoofers on. Even when playing mono LPs with a stereo cart.

The only downside was my inability to find 4 superballs of the same hue (aside from day-glo orange and pink, which I thought was a bit much). So we have pale green ones in the front and sort of salmon-ish in the rear. They have smiley faces on them, but I positioned them so they're sitting on their faces.

If you have any resonance/rumble problems at all, you might give this a try. It really works.

11-18-04: Dopogue
I've long been a devotee of the approach 4yanx recommends and am successfully using a Mapleshade combo (cones/maple block/Isoblocks) under a Sony SACD player, after trying a couple of other things. But for some reason my Lenco really likes the superballs. I'm only a day into this setup and my opinion may change, but I'm hearing better bass, more openness and transparency, and other plusses along with the blessed silence. Note that superballs are not soft and are lot closer to golf balls than tennis balls. They may not work for you; they did for me.

Regarding mats, the only one I found I liked better than the stock mat is a heavy sucker that used to sit atop a Technics SP-15. Sounds great and supports the LPs at the same height from outer edge to label, unlike the concave stock mat. Dave

11-18-04: 4yanx
Our experience has been markedly different with respect to plinth support, though different plinth materials on different racks, etc., may very well produce different results. We have found that anything with "give" when used as "feet" gave us less than optimal results (Vibrapods and the like). We found the best results using three brass cones on pucks and found especially good results using old Tip-Toes (the original ones introduced by Steven McCormack way back when). In our experience we realized a much faster sound with a much more taut lower register. As always, however, it pays to try a variety of things to see what works best in individual applications.

We recently ordered and tried one of Herbie's Way Cool Mats and found it superior to the original mat glued to the platter and a Ringmat that we had lying about. At $50, it is not super cheap, but not as expensive as many mats out there, either. Upon grazing this thread, I see where Albert made previous mention of this mat. Worth a try if you want to spring for something different than the stock mat.

A small qualifier. When I mentioned "superior" regarding the original mat/Herbie mat comparison, I might have used too strong a word. We found it better by a very small degree. Specifically, we found the top end to be slightly improved and a perhaps little more "sparkling" in the presentation (which we like). Who knows, though, we adjusted the VTA based on the different mat thickness and this could be the reason for the change (it was that subtle). Unless, this is what you seek or unless your stock mat is trashed, you may or may not want to spend the dough on one of these. They look "way cool", though! :-)

I will hasten to add that we previously tried quite a number of mats and mat combos (Ringmat, Boston Audio mat, cork, felt, glass, etc. etc.) and found the glued-on stock mat to be the best of that bunch.

12-07-04: Willbewill
4yanx - I have used screws (and glue) on one of my Lencos and also a Garrard 401 I had, it enables one to build without clamps plus you can start finishing/sanding etc. earlier. I find no sonic difference between screwed and unscrewed - the screws don't bridge too many layers, usually just two (depending on thickness of layers).

04-27-05: 4yanx
Our latest Lenco, the red 78 in my system link, has two recessed cavities for the placement of armboards. We routed the "through-the-plinth" holes to accommodate a variety of spindle to pivot distances – with an arc scribed based on spindle-to-pivot distances of 208-230mm. We cut and filed six pieces of Corian to the exact same size as the recesses. These pieces were then stacked together and four mounting screw holes were drilled in each at the same time using a drill press. Using one of the pieces as a template, we scribed the location of the mounting holes at the bottom of both recesses. We then drilled pilot holes and countersink rounds and sunk threaded screw anchors in each. As we need an armboard for a specific pivot-to-spindle distance (we’ve now done four), we scribe the location of the arm pillar hole and drill, as required. Each piece of Corian is then backed with damping sheet material, wood veneer, and brass and/or aluminum sheet until it is the appropriate thickness to become level with the top of the plinth, once placed in the recess. We are currently experimenting with different constrained layer damping materials to see which combination gives the best result. Now, the Lenco will allow two arms at any one time, but changing arms is a simple matter of removing four Allen-headed nylon screws, plopping in a different arm and armboard, and re-affixing the screws. Works very well.

04-27-05: 4yanx
As a further aside, we've found that the proper "tension" placed on the nose end screw is such that it the cupped end just seats onto the end of the rotor spindle and allows free travel of the "springy" doo-dad (less than a millimeter). Too little tension causes slop and too much causes restriction. It is a very fine line and impossible to "see". It helps when you get it right to have one person hold the motor casing with one hand, and a small screwdriver set in the slotted end of the screw with the other, while a second person FIRMLY tightens the hold down nut. In our experience, tightening that nut otherwise almost always results in the screw tightening a bit along with it and mucking up the works. Too, if the nut is not secured tightly enough, it backs off - the screw along with it. On out first couple, the doo-dad was so frozen that we didn’t even know it was supposed to “give”. Getting the proper tension was a BEAR until we discovered that.

04-27-05: 4yanx
Jean, I would venture to assume that you've considered this, but don't forget about the little cupped doo-dad at the bottom of the "nose end" screw on the Lenco motor. These are designed to "give" up and down within the shaft of that screw (brilliant). A couple of ours were so "stuck" with crud that they didn't give at all. A good soaking in spirits loosened them. We have done five motors and all but one are silent as a tomb. On all, we disassembled everything and replaced the end bearings with Mobil 1 synthetic grease. Did a couple of early ones with Valvoline red grease and heard no difference but thought the synthetic would last longer.

04-28-05: Rjdcan
Fellow Lenco tweekers here is an observation on the idler wheel noise issue. I've found that its important that the idler wheel runs very close to parallel to the outer circumference of the platter. I know the outer circumference of the platter is curved and the idler wheel is straight but I hope you can visualize what I mean. On one of my Lencos this was not the case until I gently bent the idler wheel arm to insure the parallel tracking. If the wheel is too far out of parallel noise will be heard when the platter turns at 78 rpm, at least that was the case on my table. I've noticed variations also in the angle orientation of the motor spindle relative to the idler wheel on my two Lencos. Hence the need to bend the idler wheel arm in one case. This will help with faster start up also. Its seems more important to have the idler wheel parallel to the platter circumference then having the idler wheel perfectly perpendicular to the motor spindle. In a perfect set up you would think that both the parallel and perpendicular criterion would be met but that has not been my experience on one of my Lencos{the other is pretty close}.

Reinderspeter {love that name}, I wrapped the idler wheel arm after reading your post with a plastic flexible damping tape and it does reduce vibration in the arm. You can verify this by removing the platter and holding the arm while the wheel is spinning on the motor spindle. It's too soon to know if it sounds different but any reduction in vibration has to be a good thing.

05-02-06: Billybuck
I just want to put in a non-affiliated plug for the German guy on eBay who's been selling thrustplates for Lenco and Thorens tables. Mine arrived to the U.S. in less than a week via luftpost. It was an exact match for the old one in my Lenco, highly polished, and perfectly flat (though there seems to be some debate as to whether the dimple seen in many Lenco thrustplates is the result of wear or design).

Last year I purchased a ceramic ball bearing that was an exact size match for the original. Combined with the new thrustplate, this combo took the platter from 11 rotations (after powerdown from 33 1/3) to 97(!) rotations. That's a serious decrease in friction, which I'm assuming is a good thing.

06-08-06: Dopogue
Regarding footers, my giant Lenco (Jean-built) rests on three rounded bolt heads (the long bolts screw into the base of the plinth and provide easy leveling) which sit on a 2x18x22" maple platform which sits on 8 "dead balls" (1 1/2" dia.) which are in turn sitting in rubber lavatory drain gaskets! Same effect as the Ginkho balls/platform but much cheaper and, IMHO, better. I can pound on the shelf under the table without eliciting a murmur.

06-09-06: 4yanx
Mike, the Symposium platforms do work well. I made a few using a modified recipe as can be found by searching the AA site. Others like the Neuance shelf, but we've never tried one. The actual feet beneath, I think, depends on what is below the feet. Thus, some say hard, soft, in between etc. We tried umpteen cones and found that the ones that worked best, and ones that I thought a bit surprising, were the old Mod Squad Tip-Toes. Go figure. Next best were DH ceramic cones.

06-09-06: Dopogue
I just ordered another 8 dead balls (also aka unhappy balls) from Educational Innovations at They're sold in pairs with happy balls, which bounce. The dead balls don't. Guy said everyone wanted to buy just the dead balls and he couldn't figure out what was going on, since they normally sell to educational institutions :-)

They're $6.95 per, and sold as Choositz Decision Balls (don't ask). Best resonance dampers I've ever tried, and the cheapest by a long shot.

08-01-06: Mario_b
Thanks Jean. This whole endeavor has been such a pleasure. A wonderful ball you got rolling here some 2 ½ years ago.

Another nice break with my Lenco today. Boy, this heat has driven me to my basement of discoveries. All signs of any bearing rumble have completely departed my two-armed Lenco L-75 with that new shiny, undimpled thrustplate and polished ball offered on the ‘Bay store from that guy in Germany. I have no affiliation with this gentleman. Must have has some unseen pitting, or an old thrustplate out of true, because this upgrade took out the last vestiges unwanted sonics. Yessir, total silence on non-signal passages with the gain cranked. (Well, you can hear the mains from my Prima Luna tube amp.) A very gratifying re-tune of my first Lenco.

My thanks to TuneInForFun for reminding me in his post that we all have to play doctor, once in awhile, and thump the chest of the patient. I made successful coupling torque adjustments based on this sonic feedback.

Spent a few hours tuning both arms and cartridges. The Rega 300 with its $50 (NOS) AT continues to flood my system with unimagined detail and authoritative bass. Must wonder what this Lenco/Rega will sound like with a real cartridge (like the DL-103) in it.

The Ortofon AS-212 sounds better, but not where I suspect it should be. It gets crowded and perturbed with complex orchestral passages. I’ve tried a Grado Red and a Micro Acoustic 100e aboard. While it’s possible that neither is best suited for the Orto, I continue to think that its complex mounting has allowed its potential to sink off somewhere. Nevertheless, the arm is quite at home with Jazz, Pop, R&B and other closely miked recordings. At some point, I may just remount the Ortofon without its lifter and fabricated metal armboard, but for now, it's on to other builds: Lenco L-61/Sonus IV/Shure V-15 vxmr in marble (top layer): Metzner Starlight/Sumiko IV in Standard Plinth: Presto Pirouette in Sphinx sloping plinth base with island arm. As for Rondine the Mambo Queen from Rek-O-Kut, I’m going to wait to see what Jean has up his sleeve on his Rondine build.

Cheers! Mario

08-05-06: Mgreene
Thanx YANX. I finally got around to re-tweaking my first giant Lenco. THe things I wanted to try were:

1. Replace the motor cap - used an ERO 1845, no difference. Still getting a pop on shutoff.
2. take some tension off the arm mounting nut - couldnt tell any difference.
3. Install the german ebay metal thrustplate - as Mario said, it seemed to offer an even quieter background. Haven’t had time to do a nother spin-down test.
4. Install the acorn nut feet a la Jean - seemed to get a little more bass and a slightly better delineated sound stage. At this point no negatives - still cant understand why the brass cones were so bad except that they were not screwed in.
5. Try removing the direct coupling screws - this proved to be very interesting. On the tip from Peter, I tapped the bottom plate and discovered that where the screws were the tap tone was very consistent an only a little different elsewhere on the plate.

So, both before all of the above and afterwards, I listened with and without the screws. See my system for two new pics showing the rubber used to fill the gap for direct coupling and the position of the screws (note the rubber washers).

I'll cut to the chase. Neither was terrible. With the screws, the stage was a row or two closer and tighter imaging - more of a hard edge to the images. Without the screws the first thing I noticed was a more open treble and better PRAT and slightly better bass. THe images had a more diffuse edge as in life. All in all with the bottom plate sitting on rubber but not screwed to the plinth sounded more like real music.

I am hoping that #2's bottom plate will meet the plywood so I hear direct coupling with screws.


08-06-06: 4yanx
IMHO, the "feet" material which is best suited to particular project table depends on the materials used in construction, the nature of the armboard, and the materials/rigidity/location of the stand on which it sits. As is frustratingly often the case, trial and error is required to make the ultimate solution. In our room, and using the materials we use, there is no other footer better than the old Mod Squad Tip-Toes. OTOH, we found that solid cocobolo puck sunder those same cones smoothed out things to much better effect on a friends DIY solid metal wall mount stand. I’ve also seen applications where those rubber-cork-rubber sandwiches placed directly between the plinth and a maple butcherboard platform worked best. Bottom line is that one finds what works best for them – and the horse will be very much alive ! :-)

There are pictures of both the european and north american wiring schemes in the link below.

It seems to me that mosin and 4yanx are the only ones looking ahead and beyond the same old same old (long tiresome rant)?

I am really happy that you found that piece of the thread because 4yanx did come up with some wonderful ideas, and he needs to be recognized for them at the outset of this new thread. Anyone who wants to start a Lenco project would certainly be remiss if they didn't at the very least review what he has contributed to the Lenco's continuing advancement. Kudos to you!

Same old same old, eh? If it weren't for Jean, you wouldn't be here. Neither would I, or anyone else. Time to leave. Dave
While I appreciate the sentiment, Win, I am not seeking particular credit for myself, or my son (who has actually contributed substantially without anyone's knowledge). He, and I, really could not care less and it is fruitless to debate with those who are never wrong. I am always reminded in these instances of my father who always said that one should NEVER feel the need to toot one's own horn. If it is a horn wth a good tune, others will toot it for you. He did go on to say that when someone acts like the one man band, though, the guys in the back rows sometimes have to stand up so that the audience might appreciate the orchestra.

With that I will take Pogue enjoiner and take my own leave. Regardless of what is said additionally to or about me here, I shall choose not to respond. ;-)

That is certainly true. I suppose what we are saying is simply that we should use what has been learned to its maximum effect, and think outside the box, so that new ideas can be brought to light that will make the Lenco an even better turntable than we already know it can be. Whatever refinements can be made, should be made. I know that we all agree that innovation is key to progress. From what I see so far, the new thread seems to be going in that direction, and that's a good thing. The recap of the old one's history is nice, too.

Oh, one last thing because I would be seriously remiss if not giving Jlin kudos for digging through his archives for all the old tips that might have been summarily flushed otherwise. Surely many will benefit from your effort.
I have to say that 4yanx has been probably the most innovative plinth makers on the old thread, as well as having some of the most gorgeous craftsmanship. Probably the first to have really heavy plinths, the first to have the arm mounted on a separate "tower" connected to the turntable by a base, also I believe the first to carve up the top-plate into a different form depending on the overall design. Wish I had saved some more of his posts, but who knew! A bit fancy for my taste, but it would be nice if he could add a link to some of his work before taking his leave, it would give lots of ideas for some of the more ambitious future builders.

On the other hand, Jean's basic stuff is just the thing for those like myself who barely know one end of the drill from the other and want a good reliable design to build with minimum fuss. I think there's room for both in this thread.
Mosin, you may be speaking to a stage that, as I read it, is quickly clearing. So without further adieu …
Everybody on stage for the line number, please! Take your bows or take your best shots. Willbewill, Bornin, Freek? It seems apparent that the curtain on this long-playing show may be coming down shortly. So roses or tomatoes, come one, come all, while the getting’s good.
Ironically, the elements that have held this odyssey together for so long, may also be taking it asunder: conviction and passion.

- Mario
Come on guys!
Who cares who did what first or second. What is important is the collective work of everybody on Da Thread, the inspiration provoked by other peoples experiments. This has led to results non of us would have reached alone.
And it goes without saying that if Jean would not have started this quest there would have been nothing to report in the first place.

I will continue on this journey and post my results, all of you please do the same.
Well, I couldn't get rid of the hum from the motor, but I tried it out anyway, and WOW!!! Coming from an old Rega P2 with a band well past its best-before-date, the difference is startling. I'm now checking ebay for spare motors or maybe even complete TTs (I think I might be putting one together for my father, sister, girlfriend...)

Many thanks, and long may idlers continue!
Is the LENCO L85IC a candidate for Jean Natias' Lenco Phenomenon??

Hi Justubes,

According to LencoLand this turntable is belt-driven with a lightweight, stamped platter and a good deal of automation - perhaps, not a good candidate for "the conversion".

That said, if this turntable is already in your possession, it might be worth a closer analytical look in seeing what can be done to improve on it.

Would the motor's flywheel be convertible to channel a nylon thread? Is there room underneath the platter for adding a bit of symmetrical weighting/dampning?

If so, and you're willing to work on it, this might turn out to be decent retriever.

If I'm not mistaken, the IC denotes a much improved tonearm - an S-shaped tube with an SME (non-detachable) headshell - a gimbled "modern" looking affair.

There are so many CD players in need of replacement out there, that any analog orphan can find a deserving home.
Hi Mario
I just saw a local ad for this TT. Which Lenco should I keep my eyes on for "the JN conversion"?
Hi Justubes,

That would be L-75, L-78, L(GL)-88, L-(GL)-99.
There are other earlier models with heavy platters, but plastic idler wheels which are prone to warping like the L-61, L-68 and L-70 which shouldn't be dismissed as out of hand. I've got an American badged Bogen/Presto L-61 that has sounded great in unplinthed, temporary duty.

Retread the idler tire with an O-ring and it was off and running. Currently getting this wheel re-built after finding a reasonably priced re-building service.

If you're in the hunt, make Blue-In-The-Face's site a "Favorite":
Hi Fishwinker,

Been brooding about what could be causing your motor vibration ... and I'm still brooding ...

In the meantime, take a look at 4yanx's post from a while back and see if it applies.

04-27-05: 4yanx
"As a further aside, we've found that the proper "tension" placed on the nose end screw is such that it the cupped end just seats onto the end of the rotor spindle and allows free travel of the "springy" doo-dad (less than a millimeter). Too little tension causes slop and too much causes restriction. It is a very fine line and impossible to "see". It helps when you get it right to have one person hold the motor casing with one hand, and a small screwdriver set in the slotted end of the screw with the other, while a second person FIRMLY tightens the hold down nut. In our experience, tightening that nut otherwise almost always results in the screw tightening a bit along with it and mucking up the works. Too, if the nut is not secured tightly enough, it backs off - the screw along with it. On out first couple, the doo-dad was so frozen that we didn’t even know it was supposed to “give”. Getting the proper tension was a BEAR until we discovered that."

Is there a numeric designation on the GL Delta Lady?
Hi Mario,

Thank you very much for your continuing support. I've been listening to it as-is a lot today, and I love it. However, now that it's running, I've realised that it seems to be running too fast - the slider needs to be a lot closer to 33 than 45 when I'm playing a 45. If there's nothing wrong with the motor, and unless something very strange has happened to the electricity supply, I'm thinking that this must mean that the whole rotor/cone assembly is too far towards the nose bearing. I'll try adjusting the nose screw again tomorrow, but I honestly couldn't find any particular point at which the vibration reduced. It really is quite pronounced, and you can actually feel the plinth vibrating when the motor's running(the transport screws are completely free and the motor is suspended freely on its springs).
Hi, Fishwinker,

Another suggestion, I have run into a Lenco that actually had the cone assembly bent so that the rotor/cone assembly wobbled sideways, which also caused the idler wheel to wobble back and forth. To diagnose this, take the platter off, tun on the motor and see if there is any wobbling in the idler wheel or rotor/cone. If so, unless you can manage to straighten it out, you'll probably need a new motor, unfortunately.
Hi Fishwinker,

From your wiring above it seems like you have a European motor set for 220v. What is your local a.c.?

Is the Lenco in it's original plinth, with the springs intact?

Have you removed the motor to test on the bench? Did it still vibrate badly?

Apologies if you've mentioned this already, just trying to catch up.

Well, I decided to visit the good offices of AudioGon this morning which happen to be in my hometown, at least, the nuts and bolts part of the mission. After getting over the novelty of a virtual member dropping by the virtual mothership (a first, I was told), I had a pleasant chat with the moderator on duty.

Sadly, it appears, that despite gallant efforts, the old “Despot” thread has not been found and the likelihood of its recovery is growing doubtful. It also appears that the new thread will continue to fall under AudioGon’s now universal policy of moderator review on all postings.

It is my belief that AudioGon should not be second-guessed over exercising their prerogatives in this matter. We’ve had a long run and AudioGon has provided an excellent platform to allow us to have our unfettered discussions.

It is about how and whether this run should continue that we should now calmly reflect on.

My case for pressing on, is rooted in a meaning of continuum – to flow like an uninterrupted river with tributaries and distributaries. People get on or off at their pleasure – but this “old man river” needs to keep rolling along for many of us. The alternative, I fear, will be the occasional Lenco/Idler related post that will be short-lived and thin soup because of its fleeting nature and lack of full, round table discussions. The “Despot” thread has been a Kiosk and it is ours. We’ve known it would be there as surely as the rising sun, and it has allowed us to build a hobby into something a little more special. It has been the long term camaraderie, I believe, that has lent it that special luster – allowing people to check back in, catch up and be genuinely welcomed.

By the way, welcome back Bornin!

My selfish stake in this is only wanting that continuum. There is no stake for me as being “the leader of the pack” – because I’m not. I just happened to restart the thread because of desperation over its absence, an act that I’m beginning to regret. There are others far more knowledgeable than I.

But as Jlin has demonstrated, there are archives that can be called on, even if some of that knowledge base has elected to depart, for the time being, over the unfortunate, yet understandable row that has developed.

About that row, I will only say this. Jean’s control had its purpose in establishing the discipline over his innovations as he (and most of us) applied them to the Lenco. New innovations by new originators have, at times, been encouraged, cautioned or discouraged, under Jean’s close (too close - for some) tutelage. The results of these innovations have sometimes been applauded and sometimes ignored. The course of human dynamics of the whys and hows in all this is too great a minefield to warrant further treading. But I’ll only add this: Innovation is what the original thrust was about – and it should continue to have its day in its furtherance.
Hi folks,
this is an awesome thread! I've just got my hands on a GL75
and I have been reading for the past week or so looking for info. is there a description some where of what the wiring for the tonearm to preamp (Gl75 arm) looks like? My table apparently was removed from a console of some sort and all the wires were cut. What is confusing is that there seems to be only one wire from the junction area (area where arm wires connect to preamp lines) to preamp. I realize this probably sounds really confusing but perhaps someone can help a lenco newbie.
Thanks widge29
About my Lenco: As I proceeded to post the info requested, the thread was gone. Looks like Jlin saved the day. Many thanks!

Per Kim’s request, I will describe my Lenco 75.
After several emails to the lenco Masta, and to a few of his disciples, I set out to find a specimen which would meet the proper criteria for achieving what has been described as excellent, ass-kicking, (or better yet, multithousand-dollar-costing beltdrive, ass-whooping), turntable. I was skeptical, but my desire is to reach sonic nirvana. Therefore, I took a chance.
Within a few weeks, I had a Lenco in my hands and on the card table. Camera at my side, I disassembled and made notes. Quite simple in design, it is the fine machinery and solidly built motor that most impressed me- just as the Masta had promised.
First I cut out the upper right corner, easily done with a metal cutting blade on the hand held jig saw. I placed masking tape on top and underneath the metal base and drew my cutting lines. It was easy. Lightly filed the edges. Piece of cake.
Masked the chrome plate, lightly sanded the grey base and found my son’s can of gold spray paint. Maybe I’ll call her Goldy?
Found a good buy on a Rega 300 arm and a Denon 103.
Searched for a template on the web. Found it easier to just make my cuts, leaving as much Baltic Birch plywood as possible to stay true to the Masta plan. Jig saw, hand drill and router and good light was all I needed. One trip to use a table saw to get clean straight sides after gluing 5 layers of ply and one sheet of drywall.
The table base fit well, the motor hanging proud and loose.
Oh yeah, I did adjust the motor with the set screw, after I cleaned and repacked with grease.
It all looked good, but I couldn’t just leave her with the chipped ply on her sides, so I looked for a solution. The tables on were definitely a source of inspiration. To my surprise, I found someone near me with LOTS of exotic veneer. Beautiful patterns. I settled on “Goya” for the sides and Birdseye Maple for the top. I first glued the veneer to a flat thin board, sanded, varnished, sanded, varnished XXX, then cut to fit the sides of the plinth. I was warned by 4yanks, that veneer would likely be brittle and a problem in that it chips easily. He is right. At times all I had to do was look at it and it chipped. My nephew, who has a way with words, suggested I call her “Chippy.” That was after I referred to his house, which is being remodeled, as the “Golden Arches.” But he hits below the belt. I am almost over it. I must remind myself that he has 3 young children, and I don’t want to raise them. His life is spared.
Anyway, barely able to see through my tears, I managed to cut out a few armboards out of oak. Setting up an arm and cart was new to me. Advise was sought from the disciples. All along I was encouraged to do everything myself. This proved to be good advise.
The table measures 18X16.5X4 inches. It is incredibly quiet between tracks and sweet when it supposed to purr. But she growls and roars when called upon. Sends me and my audiophile buds tapping our feet, bobbing and weeving when the bass and drums lock it in. Vocals sound like real people, with feelings. Right now, Otis Redding is telling me to try a little tenderness. I got to remember that.
For more info about my system, you know where to look.
The rebuilt took about 2 months. I like to go slow, and methodically. It is fun, economical, enlightening, a sonic jewel, and, bragging rights are priceless. My only regret, and needless to say, TREMENDOUS guilt, is that friends should not let friends drive their tables with belts. I am guilty. Some of my friends have Basis with Graham arms, Nottingham Spacedecks, Regas, VPIs… oh! The shame I feel in the morning after a listening session at their houses! Only to come home to my listening room, turn on my preamp, amps, turn the switch that sets that well balanced, 9 pounds of gentle fury spinning, lay a favorite black vinyl disc, drop the stylus, and hear beautiful music.
Hi Widge,

At first blush, this sounds like a mono hook-up either bridged (grounds and hots married) or static. How many catridge clips are at the headshell? How many tonearm wires are at the phono to pre "junction"? A longways back someone posted pics of one these console jobs - but I don't remember seeing anything with the tonearm wiring.

- Mario
I've got the speed sorted now (thanks 4yanx) - I'd connected the speed lever control to the idler control arm at a very different point on the slide plate to that which it had originally been fixed. Obvious really - feel rather foolish now!
Still can't get rid of the vibration (it's not a bent cone/rotor as far as I can see), but it seems to have reduced slightly over the last couple of days. Maybe it'll bed itself in and sort itself out, but I'm not sure.
Fun that it's still here...I have been reading this thread for years, but never posted. I wonder how many people are really out there...

I finished my first - a Bogen B62 - just a few months ago - I am very happy with the results- Now I am starting a second. A Lenco L70, which essentially is the same table. These are the only ones I am interested in. I find the L75 unappealing to look at (don't ask, I am just that way).

Here's what I know - the hole for the tonearm for the L70 is small in diameter. And clearly there has been much discussion here of vta problems with all the decks with the lower platter- L70, L75, L78, etc...

The L70 has a different length tonearm than the L75. I want to use the stock hole, although I will drill it larger if necessary, on my L70. What is the perfect tonearm to use on an L70 which will give the right set up - correct VTA included, without changing the postition of the tonearm hole? I cut my first deck to mount an SME 3009. It works well, but I want to avoid cutting the second. Further - I would rather a "vintage looking" arm - that still sounds good...

And - if the original thread somehow doesn't make it back, I am sure that I am not alone in having saved all of it to a file. I have all of it up until roughly august 20 this year....somewhere...