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Best Turntable front End system for a <img ,000
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Old 19th March 2018, 01:18 AM   #1
gigigirl is offline gigigirl
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Default Best Turntable front End system for a $1,000

Hi Guys I have been prompted to open this thread to try & steer new vinyl lovers in the right direction, So I thought I would suggest what I think could make the Best Vinyl System for around $1,000 or so bought 2nd hand. Indeed I consider this system would challenge any comercial system that is put together for up to say $20,000!!

- Turntable : Lenco 75 or 78 minus arm & refurbished in a new plinth : $250
The Lenco fully refurbished is considered by many including Arthur Salvatore, to be the best sounding T/T in the world
- Arm : Well I have two arms to suggest, depending on cartridge
One a low mass arm - Hadcock 242, rewired with VDH wire, : $450, many people consider this arm to be more musical than a SME V.
Next medium mass (can play a 103) Temmad Wizard Wood kit arm with Titanium arm tube again wired with VDH wire. I have compared this arm with the rewired Hadcock & can not tell them apart. $450.
- Cartridge your choice, but I suggest buy a cartridge that needs a new cantilever & have it repaired. I have just bought a decapitated Dynevector XX1 for under $100 (new cost $1500) & the re-cantilever will coast $150. - $250.
- Phono Stage - build a AD797 Phono as shown on the A/K site, This phono can be built for under $100 provided you buy chinese op-amps & it sound better that any phono stage up to $4000.

Your thoughts & contribution guys. Cheers

Last edited by gigigirl; 24th March 2018 at 04:25 AM. Reason: Spelling
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Old 19th March 2018, 01:47 AM   #2
luxwinter is offline luxwinter
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Lencos at that price will be hard to find in North America. The European 50 HZ models may be a different story.

Roksan Nima is a great budget arm, but it might be hard to find one used.
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Old 19th March 2018, 03:33 AM   #3
gigigirl is offline gigigirl
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Hi, thanks for the reply, Do not know that arm, but has some good feedback, yes at $1000 new if you can find a second hand one then you should pick one up for around $3/400.
That's actually what I like about the Temaad Wizard Wood, you get a great arm new with Titanium wand for around $400.
Lenco's, well just as well I live in a 240v 50hz country!! Cheers

Last edited by gigigirl; 19th March 2018 at 03:34 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old 19th March 2018, 04:29 AM   #4
indianajo is offline indianajo  United States
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As an inveterate cruiser of craigslist, and before that the greensheet resale newspaper, plus charity resale shops, I've never seen any of the stellar bargains posted in #1 for sale. I do live in a flyover state, but I previously lived in Houston until 1980.
I've been playing LP's and 45's for 39 years on a BIC 940 record changer, without noticeable deterioration (except the dust has to be washed off occasionally). This is a 1.5 gram system as was my AR turntable before that. The BIC 940 cost me new about $70 on closeout in 1979, and I sold the AR turntable in 1982 because the 940 had such superior resistance to arm dancing due to my walking across a wood floor. I found another BIC changer at a yard sale 3 years ago for $25. So these do appear occasionally here in the middle. They look like **** which is why probably they went bankrupt so fast. The 940 has fake plastic wood, the newer one is straight grey plastic.
I've picked up Pioneer and Dual used turntables at charity resale shops but the belt is always broken. Never repaired them, the cartridges were low end anyway. The BIC has a belt but neither of my survivor changers has any trouble with it. If you let a BIC sit for a year inop there is a bit of wow at the start up, but it works itself out in a week.
Don't bother with Garrard turntable, I have one of those too but they always rumbled.
Truth telling, my hearing rolls off at 14000 hz due to army damage. Wear your ear plugs around all noise sources!
I use a Shure M97 Era IV cartridge which is rated for 1.5 g, some of which is suspended by the record brush. Works great. Sounds great, and I am a piano player that knows what one sounds like, since I have A Steinway console in the next room. Paid about $80. If you're a V15 fan, the 940 will not track right at 1 g.
For input my $40 used (in 1970) 1961 build PAS2 preamp has worked pretty steadily and sounded great originally, although it needed new e-caps every 10 years, a rectifier tube and volume pot every 20, and the selenium rectifiers had to go to 1n4003 about 1982.
In the PAS2 one paper cap went off value about 2006, causing volume inbalence. I replaced all the .020 uf with polyester with 9% more then design value (0.22 uf), and have regretted the treblyness since.
I've since converted a Herald RA88a disco mixer to eliminate the hum and drop the hiss about 6 db, by putting the AC power outside the case, straightening out the case, analog, and DC power grounds, and changing the op amps from NJM4558 to ST33078. (plus power bypass and feedback resistor bypass ceramic caps). This is also sold as the Olson RA88a, I saw one on e-bay this winter for $60. I paid $15 for mine and put $25 in parts in it. Great slider pots, nice steel case to keep the hum and RF interference out once you get the switch and tranformer out. Sound great, almost as little hum as the PAS2 and treble is fine.
So for about $250 you can have a great LP and 45 input system. Plus some mod work on the mixer or preamp. IMHO. I'd say buy the M97 new, they have a new suffix now. I thought about replacing my cartridge last year but I don't see any tip damage yet. Played my original Rolling Stones Through the Past Darkly and London Phase 4 Shaherazad last week, no high roll off that my Mother's RCA bargain stereo with the crystal cartridge used to impose in one play.
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Last edited by indianajo; 19th March 2018 at 04:47 AM.
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Old 19th March 2018, 08:30 PM   #5
stocktrader200 is offline stocktrader200  Canada
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A pioneer or Dual turntable with a decent $200 MM cartridge and that AD797 preamp will be able to take on $20K systems if you are able to adjust the preamp for maximum results from your cartridge. try 100k 82pf loading.
AD797 is $18 cdn at digikey.
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Old 20th March 2018, 10:59 AM   #6
fasterbyelan is offline fasterbyelan  United Kingdom
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Modified Lenco GL75

AudioMods S4 Tonearm, self-assemble kit version

Denon 103R Cartridge re-housed in a Midas aluminium body.

Total cost around 850

You could use a cheap cartridge to get under budget but will still have an excellent TT/arm combination. Such is certainly capable of exploiting a cartridge of significantly higher quality; I currently use a Lyra Delos or Audio Note IO1. So you will have plenty of scope for upgrading..

Lenco 2.jpg

Lenco 1.jpg
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Last edited by fasterbyelan; 20th March 2018 at 11:04 AM. Reason: Added clarity
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Old 20th March 2018, 12:54 PM   #7
Brinkman is online now Brinkman  United States
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You’re describing some of the very components I have on hand for my own build. Now only to cobble them together...

The aluminum body for the 103R can also be had more cheaply from a popular auction site (UK) under the heading SOUND-IMPROVEMENTS ALUMINUM BODY.

Looking forward to running this into a Sowter 1480 SUT (1:10) upstream of the Equal Opportunity phono preamp.
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Old 20th March 2018, 01:11 PM   #8
fasterbyelan is offline fasterbyelan  United Kingdom
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'Good Luck' with the build! I assume you have/are tapping into the Lenco Heaven website for stimulus!

The only 'major' shortcoming with the Lenco IMO is the bearing. An upgraded version certainly brought about a significant improvement in the SQ so I would recommend this as the first modification.
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Old 20th March 2018, 01:37 PM   #9
billshurv is online now billshurv  United Kingdom
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Best Turntable front End system for a <img ,000
There will of course be no sensible formula answer for this. Lencos have gone from sane to silly money in last 2 years as the Garrard supply dried up. Some classic DDs are going the same way. And the answer very much depends upon inclination. Some may not be able to restore/rebuild/upgrade old stuff, in which case the money is better spend on something that needs a bit less work.

Now if you lust for a lenco then an early LP12 will not do. Likewise a nice technics.

Right now on ebay I can see quite a few nice TT arm combos that will do the job for around 500 leaving the rest for a cartridge.

I had to google Arthur Salvatore. He seems a bit troubled...
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Old 20th March 2018, 03:58 PM   #10
Brinkman is online now Brinkman  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billshurv View Post
There will of course be no sensible formula answer for this. Lencos have gone from sane to silly money in last 2 years as the Garrard supply dried up. Some classic DDs are going the same way. And the answer very much depends upon inclination. Some may not be able to restore/rebuild/upgrade old stuff, in which case the money is better spend on something that needs a bit less work.
I acquired my first L75 twelve years ago. Frustrations with my Pro-Ject deck and a general lack of funds were the impetus for that decision. It’s an unfortunate eventuality that the Lenco supply would begin to dry up. And yes, it’s an undertaking definitely not for the faint-hearted.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fasterbyelan View Post
The only 'major' shortcoming with the Lenco IMO is the bearing. An upgraded version certainly brought about a significant improvement in the SQ so I would recommend this as the first modification.
Glad to hear that. I had Jolyon make be a bearing a couple years back (lignum vitae thrust plate, silicon nitride ball), shortly after Nigel’s speed controller PCBs started coming out. Nigel’s speed controller really brought my Lenco project back to life. I had set the project aside after discovering (to my embarrassment) that 50Hz motor spindles won’t operate correctly with a 60Hz mains. I suppose that’s one of the reasons I went back to school...
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