On a more positive note, I'd like to thank all those who offered me encouragement and kind words, both on this thread (Malcolm, Mike, Mike and Mike :-), Terry, Ed, Gene for his enthusiasm (a breath of fresh air), Abill, Jloveys, Hiho, etc.) and those who did so by word or e-mail, thank you all. And to Arthur as well, for his as-always well-chosen words, and I'm sorry they had to be said. And thanks very much Mgreene for your long (though short compared to mine ;-)) address!
So, time to make clear the effectiveness of the timing of the two outcomes - Athens, Arthur - coming together. Across the world, in front of 8 witnesses (only one of which owned a Lenco; counterbalanced by the owner of the EMT 927 who hosted the event), the Lenco was pitted against the EMT 927 (at the low end of the scale worth $25,000, at the high end $40,000). At that event, which I did not attend, the Lenco was judged the winner. One of the attendees was a member of the Audiophile Club of Athens, who himself greatly preferred the Lenco. At the other end of the world, in Florida, the results recently posted. I must have deep pockets indeed to buy off not only Arthur, but the owner of a $40K machine (sitting next to another one, the legendary EMT 950, surrounded by equally legendary equipment), and a member of the board of the ACA, and six other participants!!
And STILL, after all my lengthy explanation of my absolute inability to pay anybody off (a ridiculous and ugly charge AND insinuation even if I had any financial clout), one worm steps right up attempting to spoil the apple, in the clear light of day, to expose himself on several forums. It's embarrassing really, and sad.
But, I confess I LOVE it when someone steps right up to prove my very points, and so I must thank the latest example of "ugly" ("from the honest to the ugly") for underlining my points with SUCH a timely and pointed example, and for, as always is such cases, stimulating discussion to a fever pitch and once again putting the Mighty Lenco to the forefront of everyone's mind, my e-mails have gone mad, this thread is THRUMMING :-)!! To that list I should have added "stupid", hindsight is 20-20!
Anyway, getting back to music, my Athens Shootout was intended first of all to be a gift to the DIYers and Lenco followers who want to get their hands dirty, as it was a classic-plinthed Lenco, with original chassis, and so as original/"pure" as I could risk (when I found out it was an EMT 927 I had to send my new bearing and a mat as this was FAR out of the league I had originally envisaged), to make the point CLEAR as to just how truly great the Lenco is (major changes would otherwise take the credit, leaving the Lenco nowhere and no lesson taught)!! While I won't give out ALL my methods and choices in my current best (in fact I never did, figured DIYers had to figure SOME things out for themselves, being DIYers and all), still, beating an EMT 927 should be good enough for any DIYer, so don't worry, be happy!
It is only secondly and incidentally that it serves as a buttress against the usual ugly attacks (and it's sad that they ARE usual, always another one to step right up and fill in the Ugly Shoes, I'd make a fortune on rentals :-)), as a support.
So to make it unmistakable, once again, for the Gupper (and I realize some got it already, so please bear with me): in Athens, while I was not in attendance, eight witnesses attended a Shootout between an EMT 927 and a Lenco, and the vote went to the small (50 pounds), wooden, and vastly inferior to my Reference, Lenco. Many cognoscenti consider the EMT 927 the ne-plus-ultra of record players, and scoff at the idea that ANY belt-drive at ANY price is fit to be in the same room: I get e-mails from such, and they can afford ANYTHING (these men are to vinyl replay equipment what wine tasters/critics are to wine, and come across as such). In Florida, a greatly improved Lenco (100 pounds, new materials) landed in Salvatore's audio system with the result we all now know. The one finding supports the other, the other supports the one, it is entirely believable and iron-clad. Add to that all the conversions posted on this thread and others, the dedicated Lenco forums, the endorsements by such figures as Roger Hebert of Wyetech Labs.
I think it's safe now to say, FINALLY (and why I waited more than a year to post again), that the Lenco is now secure from such petty-minded attacks (and now the Lenco IS secure the pettiness and ugliness is now exposed for all to see clearly, and Thank God for that, it only took SIX YEARS), that reviewers like Arthur can now step up and treat the Lenco (and Idlers!!) with the proper amount of respect and clear and honest thought, and expect to be treated as if they were reviewing any other quality item, with no fear of unreasoning attack.
So join me all once again (and THIS time - thanks to this timely worm in the apple who gave me the segue I needed to Deliver the Lenco from Evil and free it from any further restraints - I REALLY feel it :-)): Vive la Lenco, Vive la Idler-Wheel!!!!