VPI TNT Mk II. Loved it, lubed it, tweaked the hell out of it, but couldn't make it sound as good as the Lenco.
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I sold my beloved Well Tempered Classic after hearing a replinthed Lenco L-75. It was no contest, better bass, better focus, better pace, better everything. Once you see one the engineering advantages are obvious; these are serious, solid well thought out vinyl spinners that make the modern acrylic plattered belt drives look well.... cheap! I've owned two Lencos for 1 1/2 years now (both plastic and metal idler wheel models) and they are completely reliable, speed stable and dead quiet.
I've been a "lurker" on the monster thread for almost two years. I started out with a Technics SP10 MKII that repalced my VPI Jr and RB300 combo. The Technics was in a McCurdy Stand (200LBs+) and beat my remaining belt drives easily (Ariston RD11S and Thorens TD125 MKI). This was about the time I ran into Jean Nantais at the Record Center here in Ottawa. And when I started on the road to Audio Recovery.
He helped me build a Monster plinth for the SP10 and we mounted a variety of arms on it with the swap-able arm board system. An RB250 Incognito wired, a Mayware IV with Jean's special treatment of Cardas and Music Boys. And Now an SME 3012 MK II. The plinth was the MDF and Birch ply recipe and the Results were the best TT i'd ever had.
Here is a pic of the SP10 in the massive plinth.
It was around this time I finally got a chance to hear the Lenco at Jean's house,within a few weeks I had the L75 completed and ready to go,This time I used a Grado Signature Reference (Which replaced my SME series IV) And my trusty Grado Platinum.
What can I say that has not been said about a thousand times on the thread. It was without a doubt the best analog front end I'd had in my house in 25 years of being in this hobby.
With Jean's help I've tweaked the Lenco and I am just in the process of breaking in a new Denon DL103, Right out of the box it is an audio wounder. I just cranked the VTF to abit under 2.5 grams and it is now perfect (Thanks Rami).
Here is the Lenco in a Jean Nantais Plinth.
Now to answer the question, Here is a picture of my former top dog Turntable, An Oracle Delphi MKIV on a Target wall stand with a rewired Rega tonearm. For the last 4 months it has served a record sleeve holder (A beautiful Record sleeve holder).
There, I've gone on long enough
Nottingham Interspace with Interspace arm. Now, with Jean's help, I have The Green Monster -- an L78 replinthed and tweaked, in sea foam green with cream top plate. I've got a Cardas rewired RB300 with Petra IC's on one armboard, and a SME Series III with Petras on the other, and switch them out. The Lenco is very far superior in every way.
Have yet to sell my poor little beasties which were slaughtered by my big beastie ---- a SME / Shure equipped replinthed Lenco.
In every musically meaningful way the Lenco simply sounded far more realistic.. Granted, we are only talking Rega Planar 3 and Project 1 Expression. It has however, destroyed what little faith I had left for digital. How can any sane person or music lover listen to digital after a Lenco listening session!!
Well, I am very interested on building one of this Lenco. The problem is that I don't really know where to start. I started reading the thread but it's just way too long. Is there a shorter version of instructions on how to do project??? Does Jean Matias have some sort of a website where he would do a step by step intruction for guys like me who is no where near a DIY guy?? Can this Lenco handle a Pheripery ring and a centre weight??
Futheremore; can this be done on a different TT??? Seems like all the Lencos out there are gone.
I don't have a Lenco in my system (yet); it's a newly restored cream, grease-bearing Garrard 301 that has banished the belt-drives. A much-modified AR turntable including custom-built armboard integrated with the subchassis, would now be on the block except for my tendency to be a pack rat; much to the detriment of available storage space in the house and garage, I've never sold ANYTHING!
Being a pack rat can be beneficial, though; I didn't have to BUY the Garrard 301 for the outrageous prices they seem to command nowadays; just took it off a shelf where it had been placed over ten years ago!
Well, I guess as the first to sell a high-end 'table in favour of a Lenco I'll add my own two cents to David's thread. I had a Maplenoll in various iterations, from early oak Athena to latest Ariadne with Corian body and 40-pound lead/graphite platter. The Lenco destroyed the Ariadne for speed and PRaT, the Ariadne considered the equal of the Platine Verdier and VPI TNT, and we already know how the TNT fared against the Lenco ;-). I found the earlier oak Maplenoll with lighter platter to have much better PRaT and life than the Ariadne, and did a lot of horse-trading in order to get my hands on the original fluid-damping trough/tonearm arrangement and light 15-pound lead platter with oak plinth which was the best iteration of the Maplenoll in my experience, a PRaT thing and control thing (that headshell trough idea really works), which I thought I could bring up to Lenco's PRaT standards and Sonic Superbulosity with some judicious tweaking and modifications. After all this, and the fluid damping trough, the Lenco was STILL comfortably ahead of it in ecvery area and the Audiomeca Roma I had, I threw in the towel and started the Home Despot thread. Why? Because, as I have repeatedly written, the High End is the Land of Diminishing Returns, and high end turntables should not be destroyed by other high end turntables, but simply improved on. The Lenco does destroy any belt-drive high end turntables it has been fairly pitted against so far to an embarassing degree, it was time to raise the possibility that the adoption of the belt-drive system was a mistake, that the superior system had always been the idler-wheel drive system, with Lenco acting as Ambassador. In addition to those who posted on this thread, the Home Despot thread, and various other threads, I have personaly heard the Lenco destroy several Maplenolls, not just mine, an Oracle Delphi MKIV, a VPI TNT MKII, a Rega P9 with RB1000 tonearm (while the Lenco had an RB300), a Linn LP12, and many other old classics. I started the thread which would either prove or disprove this conclusion, inviting those who tried to report on their conclusions, and so far no turntable has stood against the Mighty Lenco! Now the Lenco is reaching heights of Mightiness undreamt-of in your philosophies, what with Direct Coupling, motor re-adjustment and rebuilding, and new super-massive (and still reaonsably-priced) CLD plinths. The Lenco is the Alexander the Great of the turntable world, it's conquests just beginning: Next!!
Dear Johnnantais: +++++ " it was time to raise the possibility that the adoption of the belt-drive system was a mistake ... "+++++
I totally agree with you. I know for sure that a direct drive Technics SP10 MK2/3 / Denon DP-100 / EMT 949 ( we don't need to take the Rockport one, but it is a possibility. ) with the right plynth/tonearm/cartridge/plataform/etc could beat the best belt-drive desings and that your " Alexander the Great " could do it too.
It could be interesting / educational to do a serious/profesional TT test about, taking the best belt-drive TT like: Walker/Verdier/SME/Acoustic Signature/ Micro Seiki / Simon Yorke /etc, etc. and test it against Lenco/Technics/Denon/EMT, in the same audio system and with similar/same tonearms and cartridges.
Who say: I? !!!! Johnnantais?, Albert?, Rushton? Mike?, Who?, who?.
Regards and enjoy the music.
Hi Raul, great to read your open-mindedness (a rarity in high-end audio ruled by reviews of expensive equipment/quality-as-measured-by-price) and sense of adventure!! I'm for it. In fact, with everything I've learned about rebuilding Lencos since I started this thread, having built several for others and for myself in order to spread the Speed Stability Uber Alles gospel, I am currently building the Ultimate Expression of the Lenco, as I know it. It will be HUGE, it will weigh 100 pounds, it will be serious, it will float like a butterfly and sting like a bee, and slam like a wrecking ball, and it will have two tonearm-boards. Once priorities settled - all money goes for a trip appreciating live music in scented gardens in the Mediterrenean - I will be ready for the Great Traveling Lenco Show, where I will challenge the finest on the planet without fear, time and funds permitting of course. And the Lenco is quite superior to the Technics SP10 MKII, due to its purely momentum-generated and thus purely analogue speed stability (smoooooothhhh with no increments), as opposed to the audible quartz-locking (with many little increments) we'll see how the MKIII and others measure up. Belts drives woooOOOOowwwww and strrreeettttchhhhhh and slllliiiiippp and the timing thus suffers, no need to talk about it. Vive la Lenco!!
Dear Johnnantais: +++++ " I am currently building the Ultimate Expression of the Lenco... " +++++
Can you e-mail me some info about? I really appreciate that.
+++++ " I will be ready for the Great Traveling Lenco Show, where I will challenge the finest on the planet without fear.... " +++++
Great!!!!. We will see who one else could join about.
Regards and enjoy the muisc.
Hi Alex, unfortunately I am in transition right now, looking for a new location and so there is no news for the moment. There are some Lenco owners in my area I've helped achieve Lenco Happiness who are willing to demonstrate. If you e-mail me I'll e-mail them and we'll see wat we can set up. If and when I have a sound room worthy of the Mighty Lenco, which might be quite soon, I'll spread the news!
Music Hall 5 SE. It is a very good entry level table. However, after contacting Mr. Hall via email with a question about the cartridge, his response made me feel like he did not have time, or it was not of any value to assist me with information. I will never consider any of his products.
BTW, the Lenco is 10 times better and was tons more fun to rebuild, costs less and is less filling (filling being the prime grade fertilizer from Music Hall).