Lenco L75 turntable, Jelko SA750LB, Dynavector XX2 mkII, vdh Canary
Copyright 2012 Troels Gravesen


click image to view large

 

First of all, a wealth of information on the Lenco L75 can be found here at Lenco Heaven.
I found my Lenco L75 on eBay, Germany, and it arrived well-packed and undamaged. First thing to do was to plug it in and start the turntable. Very, very quiet. Good!
Pulling off the platter including spindle takes loosening of the spindle locking screw. Next some gentle tapping on top of spindle with a plastic hammer and we can remove the spindle. Being stuck there for years a little brute force is needed.
What interested me the most was the condition of the idler wheel (1). After cleaning it looked like mint condition, showing the turntable hadn't been used much. Thus, all things point to an easy rebuild and google can present us with an abundant amount of inspiration on a new plinth.
What seems to be the most likely reincanation is maintaining the base plate, turn it 90o and cover the holes from the lift and tonearm. In this way I can have the on-off on my left hand like the Garrard 401. The base plate will be dampened by bitumen pads and a new plint made from Baltic birch, again like the 401.
The platter bearing and motor was given the full cleaning procedure as described at Lenco Heaven. Link to bearing. Link to motor.
I also tried out my stock mats, an old Thorens which I use for the 401, a 3 mm kork mat and a 3 mm silicone mat. Eventually I stayed with the old Lenco mat - and I have found my old Michell record clamp again. This all work very well.

So - post-honeymoon - how does the Lenco L75/12" Jelko/Dynavector XX2 mkII sound compared to Garrard 401/9" Jelko/Dyna XX2 mkII? It's better. It's sounds slightly darker, which is always a good sign because it means reduced distortion. Turntable or arm? I made a tonearm plinth for the 401 and mounted the 12" Jelko. The Lenco/Jelko beats the 401/12" Jelko to cut a long story short. Hmm... I never gave the 401 motor and overhaul. I will some day and repeat the test.
The arm was 449 , the Lenco 47 - and the cartridge is currently available for 808 from Hong Kong, so this seems like a total misfit. It isn't. The Lenco is up to the task.

May 2014: Turntable upgraded with Moerch DP6 12" (red) tonearm. A perfect match for the vdh cartridges. Images to come.

I strongly suggest reading comments to the L75 here from Arthur Salvadore. Go to part #3. This is one messy website, but worth reading. One thing Mr. Salvadore emphasises is the unusual low noise floor of the Lenco L75, on par with an air-borne Forsell turntable. 

 


Left: The original look of the Lenco L75. Right: Exploded view; click image to view large.

 

MAKING THE PLINTH

I didn't record my plinth dimensions but I had this file from a respondent: L75_planv5_A1.pdf


Left: Top layer. Right: 1st and 2nd layer.


Left: Three layers. Right: Bitumen pad is obviously going to cover the entire surface.


Left: 4 layers in place. Right: 5 layers. Later 3-4-5 have the same cutouts.


Left: Bottom layer. Right: The entire plinth seen from top.

 
Left: Checking out if turntable fits plinth. Right: Top plate damped with 4 mm bitumen pads. This takes quite some time cutting all sorts of weird shapes. 

The - almost - finished turntable

I made a thin panel for covering the former tonearm holes but it didn't look good. Various things were tried with regard to shape and thickness, but nothing looked good. Thus, some day I'll take the whole thing apart, sand the top plate and fill the holes with a metal filler and have it spray-painted by a professional.


The latest addition is a van den Hul Canary cartridge. More on this to come.
Click image to view large.

 

More Lenco L75


Here a plinth made for my friend Michael. Plinth is 40 x 45 cm (D x W). 2 x (12+12+12+9 mm Baltic birch) + 4 mm bitumen pad.
9" Jelko arm rewired with ultrathin shielded silver wires and terminated with Eichmann Bullet phono plugs.
Some day we'll get these top plates done; filling the holes with metal filler and have them spray painted by a professional.

 

FIXING THE TOP PLATE
14th December 2012

Michael has a spare Lenco and I had it for practicing filling the holes from the original tonearm. It takes some metal sheets, Araldite and metal filler. Follow images below.


Left: The cleaned top plate. I used sand paper and acetone to clean off any residual paint. The paint used by Lenco for these turntables really wasn't good and is easily removed. Right: 1.5 mm alu sheet, Araldite and metal filler.

The guy painting my Lento tops taught me a lesson as it turned out my fillings weren't perfect. He had a tough job making the best of it.
The learning goes like this: Do not use the metal filler seen above, rather glassfiber filler and next: The holes must be made conical to make a smooth transition from the filling to the metal. Thus, holes must be filed to look like this before adding filler.

 
Well, we must learn something new every day. I'll try this for my next Lenco top.


Metal sheets glued to the rear of top plate with Araldite.


Three times filler and sanding leaves a smooth surface ready for spray paint.

To be continued next year as I'll do the my own and Michael's top plates and have them all spray painted at the same time.

26-Jan-2013


I asked my painter to do a Mercedes grey and he did a very nice job!
Click images to view large.

Here's the end result of the L75

Here's the L75 with Technics EPA 501H tonearm. The 501H really isn't suited for the vdh Canary seen here, rather the Colibri LW cartridge having lower weight compared to the Canary. I just put it on for the photo-shoot. Before taking back the turntable I added some washers to the counterweight to balance the Canary and had a quick listen. I fact I had several hours of listening... darn good sound. The EPA arm is a gem; no wonder they reach high prices on eBay. And you need a couple of extra arms to fit various cartridges. The magnetic damping of the counter balance is excellent.