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Question about Lenco

Hello everybody! I have been reading about Lenco turntables and being a Swiss trademark I heard that was very good. The problems that I found were:

1) why they used those V-blocks instead of pin pivots
2) why most of their tonearms were broken near counter weight? why they used an arm formed by two pieces of metal instead of a single piece of arm?
3) why was used a second counter weight?

 

Re: Question about Lenco

Reply #1
You're asking questions about design decisions that only the manufacturer can answer.    Manufacturers have to make certain design decisions and although there's rarely a "best" choice (there are usually compromises) most manufacturers will tout their choices as "features" or "advantages".

Knowzy.com has independent turntable reviews & recommendations but I didn't find any Lenco models tested/reviewed.   (The Knowzy website is mostly about USB turntables (for digitizing records), but there is information on traditional turntables too.


If you are asking for a recommendation...
Are you new to vinyl records?
Are you going to play the records or digitize them?
Do you have old records or are you buying new ones?
What's your budget?



Re: Question about Lenco

Reply #2
Thanks for the information. I collect vinyls. I use vinyls since I was little when my father and mother put me vinyl stories on phono for listening. Now, after some years I like vinyls more and more. Also, everytime I buy a record either I am looking forward from a new, sealed record from store or I search on ebay, amazon or discogs for the best choice (mint or nearmint).

Re: Question about Lenco

Reply #3
Just so you know where I'm coming from - I have an older Technics direct drive turntable (not the top-of-the line DJ model) from the 1980s.    I don't listen to records anymore but I occasionally digitize them (if the music isn't available digitally).  

If I were buying a new turntable, I'd again look for a direct-drive model.   Direct drive turntables tend to be very reliable since you don't have to worry about belts wearing-out.    There are some "theoretical" advantages to belt drive but in reality the sound quality mostly depends on the record itself and the phono cartridge.  And I'd probably get a USB turntable, not only for the USB but because they have a built-in preamp (line-level outputs).

Personally, I wouldn't go super-cheap or super-expensive.    I'd probably spend $300 - $500 USD for the turntable and cartridge.   My "benchmark cartridge" is Shure's best which sold for about $100 USD (no longer made).    I wouldn't spend more than that.   If you spend more you might  get "different" frequency response, but not necessarily better, and you might  get better tracking with certain records, but it's probably not worth it.  You might also need to spend $50 or so on a phono preamp if you don't already have one or if you don't have have one built-into your turntable or stereo system.  

If you go too cheap you won't get the best possible sound, but if you go crazy and spend thousands of dollars you are still playing analog vinyl and you still won't get the sound of an inexpensive CD player (or other digital player) so I don't think it's worth going overboard.    (Just my opinions.)



Re: Question about Lenco

Reply #4
In my opinion, there is very little reason to buy a brand-new turntable, when so many high-quality turntables from the 70s/80s/90s are available in good condition second hand.

I would steer clear of the "darling" models, the ones everybody gets worked up about on forums. That means no Technics SL-1200/1210, no Linn, no Dual, no Garrard, no Goldring, no Luxman, no Micro Seiki, no Rega, no Thorens. The exception of course being if you happen to find one in good condition at an affordable price. The same goes for the higher-end Denons, Pioneers and so on.

Look for the brands that are less hyped, such as JVC or Akai or Sony. They've made some great turntables, but they don't get the hype that eg. Technics still get to this day. I'm actually going to look at/listen to a JVC QL-A2 today, a late-70s semi-automatic quartz-locked direct-drive, similar to a number of well-regarded Technics models from that time. Simply because it's a JVC and not a Technics, the asking price is less than a third, which makes it quite a bargain, if the condition is as good as the seller promises.

If you want to go even further, look for turntables using the P-mount (T4P) cartridges rather than standard-mount half-inch carts. Because of their accessible nature and use on a number of affordable turntables, a lot of vinylphiles have serious aversions to anything with a P-mount cartridge, perhaps because it Just Works and doesn't allow for endless alignment tweaking and so on.

And don't hesitate to look at belt-drive turntables either. We're just playing records, not doing rocket surgery. A decent belt drive is plenty precise enough for vinyl playback.

By going a bit off the hype reservation, you can get a very nice turntable for less than $100 (and a good brand-new cartridge for maybe half that), especially if you don't mind silver plastic.

E: Oh yeah, and avoid Bang & Olufsen turntables, unless you really know what you're getting yourself into. They're very pretty, but also quite finicky when (not if) they break, and the cartridges are B&O-specific and extremely expensive.

Re: Question about Lenco

Reply #5
If you do buy a used belt-drive turntable make sure belts are available and I'd recommend buying a new cartridge because the old one may have a worn stylus.  (A cartridge doesn't cost much more than a replacement stylus for a magnetic cartridge.)

My first good turntable was a belt-drive AR Turntable.   If you wanted to play 45's you had to lift-off the platter and move the belt on the pulley...   But it had a great reputation and it was a bargain at only $100.   (Vintage ones cost more now so I guess the reputation remains intact.)         

Re: Question about Lenco

Reply #6
The JVC turntable I talked about was better than I expected, it's in near mint condition, just needs a little bit of cleaning. And it's all original, even the Z1S cartridge is the original unit from 1978. I was going to put my Ortofon OM10 from my current turntable on it, but now I think I'll keep it as original as possible with the OEM cartridge.

There are a number of companies that will sell you replacement styli for just about any cartridge ever made, and they're new units, not something that's been sitting in a warehouse for 40 years and all the rubber has gone to dust.

AFAIK these are the best sellers:
stylusplus.co.uk
thakker.eu
pickupnaalden.com
lpgear.com
lptunes.com
turntableneedles.com

You can also buy directly from JICO in Japan, if that tickles your fancy.

I ordered a fresh stylus for the Z1S cartridge from stylusplus, for £24 including shipping. I sprung for the elliptical stylus rather than the original conical one, since it's a clear upgrade, and £10 less expensive, too.

 
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