Need vintage idler drive help.

I just picked up a Rek-O-Kut Rondine B-12 table and I need some help. The problem is, this thing is brand new in the box! Its never been installed in anything, I don't even think it's been out of the box other than just to look at. The idler wheel is still brass clipped in its original shipping position under the platter and the original wrench and allen wrench are still bolted in their place under the platter as well.

The problem is it came with absolutley no documentation. No owners manual or anything. Does anyone here have or know of any copies that I could purchase for this unit so I can be sure I setup and maintain this thing properly?

What a dilema!


What a dilemma indeed, I would hate to be in your position, that truly sucks. In fact, I feel so sympathetic I am willing to relieve you of this odious burden. You can unload this pile of troubles by shipping it to me, and to show my heart is in the right place, I'll even pay for shipping. Just contact me, you can thank me later ;-).
Cute, but this theme is getting tired. I have Lenco. I can do just about whatever you want in a plinth. It sounds pretty good, but it's not replacing anything.
Gee, have you been waiting for an opportunity all this time to snipe at me? You know, I look and I look and I can see no mention or even suggestion of Lenco in my answer, maybe you can enlighten me and tell me exactly what it is you are addressing and what the relevance.
Johnnantais, I really appreciate your concern over my pile of troubles! You and Jeff Day are actually the cause of my plight, after reading Jeff's 6moons article and the never ending Lenco post here on Audiogon I started poking around to see what exactly was out there in the rim drive arena. I have to say that there are some exceptional examples represented all over the net. The Analog Dept. has some of the finest I've seen with Wolfgang Loos grey grease bearing 301 probably being my favorite.

That's pretty much what I have in mind for my project, I have a plan for the little darlin and I want it to be the center of an all tube based vinyl rig. I have a couple of tonearms, a Sonus Formula IV and an early Black Widow, one of which will wind up on this rig. That is if I can ever find some documentation!

It's rather frustrating as I found a Russco transcription table and it took all of about three minutes to find a manual for that.

It amazes me that something that was built in New York here stateside and still such a lack of information. At least any that I've found so far.

So again my plea, can someone help a guy out? Once I'm ready to actually start on the project I'm sure I can figure out the mechanics, it's really not all that complicated but, as with most things mechanical there are easy ways to do things and then there's the other and parts are not going to be any easier to find than manuals I'm sure so I'd really like to do things by the "book" if you will.
No, Johnnatais, I don't mean to "snipe" at anyone. My appologies, I should have made that clear in my post. I thought this was going to be another thread on the "DD and Idlers are superior" theme.
Well again congratulations Terry, that is one helluva find, no matter what the drive system, an NOS classic 'table has me green with envy. I did get an NOS Sony 2250 DD once, which still has a place in my system. The Rek-o-Kuts are quite simple really, I would inspect the main bearing for lubrication and let'er rip, if you can't find a manual. I have a used Rek-o-Kut Rondine with lots of use, and when I plugged it in it held a perfect 33 1/3 (while my early '90s Audiomeca goes in either direction according to its whims), and it was, I believe, made in the '50s!! Rumble due to a hardened wheel, but other than that it performs flawlessly, I'm about to get started on restoring it.

Dan_ed, at least you are a gentleman in recognizing your haste. As I wrote on the other thread, I stepped in then not to start a debate on superior systems which in fact was already an issue - at appropriate times on appropriate threads I will do so and no regrets - but because I saw someone being mocked based on nothing more than argument by authority, something I abhor as this is the heart of dogma, something else I abhor. We'll leave drive system questions for when they pop up naturally. In the meantime many are being seduced by idler-wheel drives and the joy of experimentation, and Terry here is rightly happy to score a classic NOS anything at all. Had he posted finding an NOS belt-drive Thorens TD125, I would have been equally envious and supportive, classic items being what they are, and deserving of respect and admiration (have you ever handled a Rek-o-Kut or TD125?: they are built to astonishing standards with that passé material, metal). I have no idea how you have executed your Lenco project, but if you would like to delve into it further and constructively for advice/set-up in the hopes of stretching/realizing its abilities (as reported by so many who were indeed astonished), don't hesitate to contact me, as so many do, via private e-mail. Anyway, I hope everyone is having fun with their respective projects; and debate is healthy, don't be afraid of it, it may lead to improvements in all drive systems. Good luck and congratulations Terry!
Try auction sites. I do see these idlers from time to time.
Johnantais, I'd like to here your thoughts and findings on plinth construction. Not so much the technical aspect but more the material. I understand the physics regarding mass absorbing vibrations but what I'd like more input on is the voodoo around the actual material used to make the plinth.

Shindo states after years of trial and error they've settled on a solid cherry plinth. Jeff Day with Terry Cain's help used a much thinner maple plinth. In the 6moons article, some of the emailed in pictures of other Garrard aficionados had plinths made of ebony, granite, etc. And of course they all report excellent sound... The only real constant I've heard is that mdf tends to deaden the sound. Living in Florida and having worked a fair bit with wood, I'm leaning more to the built up zero void baltic birch ply strictly from a stability standpoint. With the amount of moisture in the air, even with a/c I think it would be the most stable with maybe the exception of teak and that particular wood scares me as I believe it could easy impart a "dead" sound.

Terry, I've tried all kinds of materials and all kinds of combinations and found they all dsounded pretty excellent, the only time I hear large differences in materials is when they are used as armboards which, I suppose, indicates that in large masses effects/sonic signatures are minimized. So, an MDF armboard usually sounds quite bad but not always, Corian, maple, oak and purpleheart all sounded quite good, birch-ply by itself was truly horrible, at least with the arm/cartridge I mounted to it. I would certainly stay away from pure MDF. With idler wheels anyway it's the torque which imparts their particular flavour (dynamics and bass predominant), and materials don't do much to harm this. Just for safety I would tend, and do in fact tend, to constrained-layer-damping, mixing materials to ensure no single resonant signature dominates, for neutrality and better damping/control. The best, most predfictable sound I've gotten so far is a humble mix of birch-ply and MDF in alternating layers. If you go to the trouble of marrying your top-plate via its underside to the plinth, which ensures a much larger level of silence, then I would recommend you do not marry it to MDF but instead to a layer of birch-ply, or whatever material sounds good (i.e. maple, Corian, oak, etc.). With CLD anyway the 'table has a good chance of sounding like it sounds, and not like the plinth sounds. Of course, I can't try every combination and so can't speak for the relative merits of pure cherrywood or pure maple, but I am very happy with the birch-ply/MDF combo, which with the Lenco anyway results in blinding speed, tremendous dynamics and bass, and by marrying directly to the plinth via the bottom of the top-plate, an utterly silent background. Good luck!