There was some sort of sale or Bazaar this weekend and the local Church and I guess the Lenco L75 wasn’t a big seller so it was in a pile of “garbage” behind the building. What I found when rummaging through last night was a fully functional L75, intact with counterweights and a pretty nice AT cart. Got it home and threw on a test record and it sounded great. So much weight to the bottom end vs. my Rega P3. Here it is, a little dusty:
I had no intentions of a project or another table at this point. So my question is…. is this table a keeper? Is it worth a small project/investment? If it didn’t sound so good as is I wouldn’t think twice about selling it, but it’s pretty hard to part with! So I begin my research and get some inspiration from some photos of finished projects found online.
Background on the Lenco L75 from Wiki:
Vintage Swiss made Lenco and Lenco OEM/re-badged Barthe, Benjamin, Bogen, Goldring, Grundig, Komet, and Voxon turntables used a vertical “idler-drive” to rotate the platter, as opposed to a belt drive or more recent direct drive turntables. This idler-driver directly couples the rotating motor force to the platter via a solid rubber disc or rubberized wheel. When coupled to a heavy platter (early model Lenco’s have cast non-ferrous metal platters of almost 4 kg), and modified],the idler-drive can provide steady rotational consistency, even when heavily modulated passages are tracked by a phono cartridge. Many audiophiles believe that this “rotational consistency” translates into bass “slam” (audiophile jargon for impactful bass) and rhythmic fidelity. As a system to impart the needed rotational energy to a vinyl record, the idler-drive is something of a brute-force technique, and the engineering that Lenco used, especially in older models, was both simple and cost effective.
Modern day hobbyists have addressed these short-comings in vintage Lenco turntables by modifying them, eliminating the cavities and providing a high mass chassis/plinth for the turntable, and by refurbishing the idler wheels, using precision machined idler wheels with engineering grade o’rings. The results are satisfying to these hobbyists, especially as the cost to refurbish and modify a used vintage Lenco turntable is small in comparison with the cost of buying a new turntable (provided that one has invested in the tools needed to tackle such a project—chief among these a table-saw and router). Subjectively, these turntables are often compared to “Audiophile-grade” turntable systems.
Projects and Photos
After scoring the L75 from the trash, I immediately had to check out the worth of this table and saw decks like this one on eBay going for over $400 in it’s original state:
So what can an L75 project look like in it’s final form? Here are some Lenco projects to provide some inspiration: