Newbie Question - Lenco L65

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L65 is a belt drive

The "desired" Lencos are the idler drive, heavy platter types. But, and a big one, to get started you could do a lot worse than the L65. A new belt is probably required, and the bearings on the tonearm should be checked, but generally it should be an easy buy, and relatively easy to fix if required. If the price is right for you, just buy it and learn with it.
I'd pick the Rega...

price dependant. If the Lenco is $50 or less, buy. If it is "being offered" at a price near a P1, then the P1 is a no brainer.

There are other tables out there that are very good and quite inexpensive. It depends if you want to make a significant jump in quality to start, or just start, then consider upgrades.
wellll - I have about three to five hundred to spend , I can rebuild, modify , etc. - I want to get the best that i can . . . . I just am very low on initial investment, originally I was thinking of a thorens 124 or similar platform to rebuild and mod, but I can't come close to what I found the prices to be for most used models I was interested in. I think that some of the same audio magazine articles I have read - motivated many others to find the same models of used turntables, Garards, Lencos, thorens . . . . .- so price has been driven up. what I need to find is something that has great potential , but is a wreck cosmetically ! Thanks for your time and advice ! - dean
I killed my Mac, so I haven't been around either...

with 300-500 to spend, there are some very interesting buys out there. If you want an idler, they are out there. Be patient. Good tables to consider as well are Micro-Seiki (excellent direct drive turntables), Kenwood (DD as well), Thorens (idler and belt drives), Rega (belts), AR, Linn, Ariston, Heybrook (all very similar tt's and belt driven), Dual (belt and dd types)

New Regas are available in that price range as well. Other interesting belt drives can be had for that kind of money. Music Hall and Pro-ject are also available new for that kind of money.

However, if you think you'll end up going to an idler, wait until you can find one.
I have been interested in Art Dudly"s "Thorens journey", - before having to sign on at Stereophile he published and wrote for listener magazine - one of the few magazines and people in that field that I trusted most of what they had to say . . . . he owned a Linn and loved it for many years , modding and trying different combos of arms, motors,and cartriges, then a couple of years ago, he heard a thorens 124, spent some time with one that he reconditioned, then sold his Linn - and has never looked back ........... When I checked out the thorens 124 the used prices were 999.00 - 1295.00 - I was pretty disapointed - to much for me - at least for the foreseable future. One thing that Art has noted is that most of the favorite very high end Turntables seem to have high torque motors - one of the things he thought his TD 124 had in common with them - I know that thier are exceptions .... but it is a theory I like - what do you think about that theory? - - One of the other reasons I'm in a hurry to get a Very Good sounding player sooner then later- ( and not concerned about the looks) - is that my significant other would like me to put much of our music on computer for ease of access, and I am thinking that I only want to do that once - if possible, so I need to do it right the first time. - - - - I am confused by the multitude of models in each turntable line - If you were in my position, what specific models would be on your short list?
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The L75 is what you are after. They used to go for about 200-300 on ebay. Join up to the lenco lovers forum for all the info you will ever need! Beware that the 60Hz motor and 50Hz motors are physically different, so make sure you buy one from the same power supply as you. Some rate the tuned up arm, but personally, I think its OK to get you going, but build yourself a linear air bearing arm or a schroeder clone etc to get real top quality sound.

I haver a modded L75 and its a great deck. Well up there with the best of them, rock solid bass, no rumble etc etc.

There is a bit of work in getting them going really nicely, but its well within the DIY capabilities of most.

I'd say sit it out for a L75 or 76. See example:

L75 ebay 1

L75 ebay 2

Lenco B55 ebay

The one shown below is my table



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Fran, great suggestions...

is your site? I did a review of the HD681 and HD668 headphones for Affordable$$Audio a little while back. They are verging on "giant killers.

I suggested an old Garrard Lab80, as it is idler driven, has a similar bearing to the 301 and 401 tables, a great platter, and a great motor. Then hallcon could spend a little time and money having some fun.

I continue to be perturbed by the cost of some "classic" tables, given the state they are often in, to the point that I have designed a couple, re-plinthed a couple and am contemplating an all new idler construction turntable as a commercially viable product.
Attached is a picture of a re-plinthed Sugden Connoisseur, and an arm of my own design and construction, proof that one need not spend a load of $$$ to get something that sounds very good. Arm is comparable to my SME 309 (magnesium version)... table is comparable to my old Oracle...


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Yep, is mine. The reviews have gotten a bit slow of late, but I do have the 2 superluxes in the house (yes, agree with you on the giant killers bit), also a modded Hiface USB>SPDIF device and also the new naksa amp from Hugh Dean. If you go to the site and follow the link to our forum theres a nice healthy hifi forum (and welcoming!!)

Hi Nanook, Thats a nice looking turntable! Do you have a better picture of your diy - Tone arm? I am keeping my eyes open for a Lab80 - at present I don't see any for sale... Thanks for the suggestion Fran of the Lenco L 75 - - - the lenco is an interesting idea, but they have also gone up in price - and maybe already out of my price zone , I'm not sure , there was one that just sold , without a base, an arm, or a cover for 325.00 on ebay . . . . . so I don't know what to bid on one that has all it's parts. there are a couple of thorens td160s that are not to exspensve,,,hmmm - not sure about that model or the more expensive td 125? Thanks for the sugestions guys !!! It's amazing how much these old tables have gone up lately - looking back just a short time ago they were ALOT less money - they were Only 50 to 100 dollars - I just got here a little to late.
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Well . . . things just went NUTS - I was about to bid on a Lenco75 - then realized that it was 50hz not 60hz,, ( is there anything you can do about the voltage difference - or is the only answer to find a 60hz unit? ) - anyway i decided not to take the chance without talking to you guys. Now for the disaster - the Lenco L75 just sold for 610 plus 45 shipping - $ 655.00 - thats a 300.00 increase since the last 3 sales which were between 180 to 330 including shipping , a very sad, sad thing - maybe it was the wording of the add I don't know.....
Lab80 and others

all the Lab turntables use essentially the same motor, platter and bearing.

I agree that idlers are jumping in price as more seem willing to try them.

My TT is a Sugden BD1 in a new plinth, and my "Nanook's $2.19 tonearm". Do a search, I've posted a bunch. of information and pictures. Even the re-plinth has been posted. I've changed the design slightly for ease of manufacturing, and am contemplating a major revision. I've retained belt drive, but use a tough knotted nylon thread as a belt.

The tubing is Easton (arrow shaft). This tubing is typically in the 70-90 ksi yield strength range, and is veery light. The headshell is a Yamamoto inspired one made by someone else. If it seems I'm being a little vague, I am. I am contemplating making a commercial version....but priced very modestly. Please note: this tubing is very brittle, and cannot be bent. Any changes to the shape of the arm have to accomplished by other means. I've changed the design slightly for ease of manufacturing, and am contemplating a major revision. The uni-pivot bearing is perhaps amongst the very best available at a very reasonable cost. Rather than spell out a recipe for the arm, I encourage you to PM me. This particular arm is 330mm in effective length, and is set up for 15mm O/H. Th picture shows a brutally crude arm rest, but that is being altered as well.

The issue with idlers is that now, anybody who has any idler (whether a good design or one in good condition) think they can get the same kind of prices as some of the best, more so than with any other type.

Often many good designs are ignored, because they do not have the "cache" of the big dogs. Dual (the brand) is in this situation. The idler Duals are less desirable than the Garrards, the Thorens, the Lencos, etc. They can be had for very little money. and can give years of great service. They also have a good bearing and a great bearing.

Attached is a picture of the arm, hopefully large enough to see some details., and another larger over-view of the table. The hard drive in my 20 inch iMac died this past week and I've lost everything, but as required, I've been taking photos...

Don't be discouraged.

My personal suggestion might be to consider a Dual idler in a custom and a "219" ( plinth:) ) arm.

All new arm parts can be had by me , fabricated and ready for assembly for a very modest fee. (Admins, I am not pandering any for sales, and as P10 and Cal can attest to, I have no desire to offend any. Please move this response to "Vendor's Bizarre" if deemed as inappropriate here).


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Hi Nanook, which has a better bearing, platter, motor , a Lab 95b, a Zero 92 or Zero 100, a RC 98 4L, a RC 88 4 , a Type A and A-II , or a Lab 95 , theres also a very COOL older looking Labratory Grade - unsure what that one is , but it's Heavy Duty looking - (may have a heavy platter and better bearing) - but they say it's broken and dirty. . . . . .. . So, nothing for weeks - now TOO MANY choices to bid on . . . . . . . . .I am thinking that the one with the best bones - heavy platter, best bearing and motor - so that I have the best potential down the road for upgrading, THANK YOU for putting up with my many questions !!!! success may be around the corner! - PS. how would you feel about sending me a personal email or using the message center . . . . . thinking about the competition - - - unfortunately Iv'e lost the last 6 bids , hopefully I'm learning, - KR, hallcon83
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the quick answer would be a Lab95

a relatively heavy platter, a good bearing and a great motor. Just watch the pricing.

I'm designing a turntable table and plan to present it in Affordable$$Audio. I am getting quite frustrated at the cost of many tables, particularly "beaters" on the Internet. And because of this, I think many might benefit from some of my ideas. The end design will most likely end up being a commercial product with a couple of drive options (AC or DC), using a rim-drive or idler drive and relatively easy to find motors. The platter and bearing are being prototyped right now, and are the most costly single components, followed by pulleys (if belt driven) or idler wheels. The intent is to create a multi-configurable turntable to suit most DIYers, at a reasonable cost. Add my "219" tonearm and you could have a killer piece for relatively little money with no need to pay extortion-like pricing for a beater table. To improve on it will require significant amounts of money...:)
I found a Lenco 75 at a thrift shop and got it for $40.- To my surprise, I liked my old Pioneer LP12 better and ended up using the Lenco's platter for my phono preamp:) That is a very hefty aluminimum chassis.
After too many years my trusty Pioneer died, and now I have a (modified) Project rpm5, which is an upgrade and very good for the price.
Heres a pic of the Lenco-preamp:


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Hi Guys - I know it's been along time................ Iv'e been on a very steep learning curve, and Iv'e made a few mistakes - (LOL) - first the mistake of buying a Garrard Lab A - - - - I guess I didn't realize just how different all the garrards are and got tired of waiting and so in my impatience - oops ---( well it did have " Lab " in the name somewhere ) ....... and then I bought a dual 1019.... both of which it turns out to be are GREAT Turntables if your looking for something to spin different speeds , - they are VERY well made for the mechanical components needed to do that - but if you are just wanting to spin at 33 rpm, the bearing is the definate weak point ( it has to be a race type bearing to make the whole setup work - they resemble a bicycle bearing and are good, but not as quiet as what I was looking for ) - so . . . if your looking for something that will compete with some of the best, It seems like you need a well made spindle bearing - (at least thats what i think you would call them ) - - - Now I know why garrard's top units, thorens 124s, and lencos are usually recomended ! - - - I think I wasn't clear about what I was wanting... which was to build / modify something that had the potential to compete with some of the best turntables. Now that I have a better understanding of how these different turntables are made and what a given designs strengths and weaknesses are I have a better Idea of what I need ! - I want to THANK EVERYONE for thier input, I have learned alot along the way AND I am now the proud papa of a L76 Lenco! - And I am also looking to follow nanooks path and experiment with a diy table to see what is possible in that direction as well ........ anyway I am looking forward to the continued journey! - - - Hi Nanook, I am also very interested in your diy 219 tonearm, and will try and get in touch, - Thanks again for everyones input and all of your help, Best Regards, hallcon83
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hallcon83, I'm a little jealous....

great to hear that you ended up with something that can take you a very long ways towards a very great turntable.

I replied to your message regarding the "219" tonearm.

The Dual 1019 is quite a nice piece, the Lab series Garrards are very good, but not up to the 401/301 types.
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