I have been a lurker in the now defunct Lenco Lover's forum, currently lurking in the Lenco Heaven forum, followed parts 1 and 2 of the Building high-end 'tables cheap at Home Despot thread at Audiogon along with keeping up on Jean Nantais?s work there. Despite having a pretty nice high mass belt drive turntable/arm/cartridge combination, I decided it was time to get on with this project to see if the modded Lenco lives up to the ?belt drive killer? hype.
If you are not familiar with the Swiss made Lenco turntable but wish to be, check out the wiki article.
Or; Building high-end 'tables cheap at Home Despot II.
Or; the Lenco Heaven forum.
Basically you have a four pole AC Swiss motor with a tapered spindle turning an idler drive wheel that spins the platter. Plenty of torque to get through whatever the groove throws at the stylus without slowing down. You can go from mild to wild on these builds as there are custom parts available, like Titanium idler wheels, platter bearings, folks offering build to order heavy plinths of layered/constrained layer materials and even the uber Slate material. There is a fellow in Amsterdam that waterjets out a thick flat top plate out of Stainless that decouples the motor that normally hangs from the stamped pan. Folks have mounted both inexpensive and pricey arms on the heavy plinth Lenco, even air bearing linear trackers.
I had purchased my Lenco L75 two or three years ago before even beater tables were fetching a high price. Mine had a junk tone arm but the mechanicals were good. It has the desirable 5 hole metal idler drive, the heavy platter (4kg or 9 pounds) and is the 110/60Hz version. Basically the idea is to get rid of the stock hollow plinth and build a heavy layered or constrained layer plinth. Some even use poured concrete or what some say is the best material, a thick slab of Slate.
I am staying with the stock parts for now, just clean and lube. The plinth wil be made up of six layers of Baltic Birch which will be glued and screwed together. You can leave the top pan complete or cut it up. With the pan full size, your choices of arms is restricted to the existing hole in the pan. By cutting most of the pan off, you can install any 9" - 12" arm made, providing the plinth is large enough. I like the minimal look of the cut top plate anyway. I retained the original on/off switch position as it also controls linkage that disengages the idler wheel when turned off. On the left is the speed control, 16 to 78.
Thinking down the road of possible resale, my plan is to make an arm board configuration that will fit the popular 9" arms. I planned to use my 12" Moerch DP6 currently mounted on my Nottingham Space 294. I may still try the Moerch, but it looks like I just committed to buy doctorcilantro's AdvanceDAnalog MG-1 Air Bearing Linear Tracking Tonearm. There are folks at Lenco Heaven that use this arm and love the results.
I have the layers cut out. I will temporarily assemble the layers with just screws to figure out the arm board design and make sure it all fits. Not sure of the finish, but I am considering seal and paint the plinth instead of a stained wood finish.