PDA

View Full Version : Lenco versus Technics



RochaCullen
14-06-2013, 10:25
Hi All,

I was reading the latest version of the tone audio magazine and one of the articles contained the following:


I started with a Rega
RP1 turntable with the Ortofon Blue cartridge—
and loved it. This gave way to
a Rega RP3, which was clearly another
step up. I even snagged an old Dual 505
purely because this was the same table I
used 20 years ago, when I last spun vinyl
on a regular basis. Another late 2012
turntable diversion was a Technics SL-
1200MK2. It was the easiest to use but
didn’t last too long once I realized the
work required to get it up to an audiophile
standard.

More recently, a turntable-loving
friend helped me get a Goldring Lenco
75 up and running. The stock arm was
the first thing to go. It now runs a Grace
tonearm and Zu-modded Denon DL-
103R cartridge. Even with the most basic
of phonostages—a Pro-ject Phono
Box USB—the Lenco offered more drive
and body than the aforementioned Regas
and Dual; those budget belt-drive
tables sound comparatively thinner,
spindly even. The RP1 and RP3 are
superb entry-level decks, but they are
no matches for the direct-driving Lenco
with the Zu/Denon cart.

I realise this guy is not a turntable aficionado as he is describing his reentry into the vinyl world, but are his views based on reality.

My reason for asking this is that like him I see the amount that needs to be spent on a 1210 to get it up to the spec that some folks on this forum have achieved. And the time comes when you have to ask yourself the question, am I likely to spend enough to get a new bearing, platter, etc? And if the answer is no, would the lenco be a better alternative, as aluded to in the quoted article?

Discuss... :scratch:

Oldpinkman
14-06-2013, 10:40
Not in my experience. As an absolute minimum the arm has to go on the GL75 - IMAO. (This was my first HiFi turntable). Well set up, the tt does provide a half-decent isolation system. But the idler wheel is going to add some rumble, and the platter mat are ordinary. If you're not into DIY I can't see the GL75 being for you. I've heard modern tt's that are in another league - mostly down to the arm. If you put them on a good isolation (oh bother - we're into modding again...)

freefallrob
14-06-2013, 11:02
The SL1200/1210mk2 doesn't need alot spending on it to get good performance, my personal BUDGET take is this, 2nd hand/exdemo RB301 and adapter plate £200 + a 2nd hand Ackromat £30 plus decent MC cartridge £200 - 300 quid maybe, the HOMC fitted to mine cost £90.00 new.

At the risk of sounding like i'm blowing my own trumpet, a lot of people were pleasantly surprised at Scalford in March.

I've heard this up against a Garrard 401 recently and it held it's own.

walpurgis
14-06-2013, 11:39
The 401, L75 and SL-1200 each need setting up properly with a suitable arm to sound at their best. I wouldn't use a Rega or Rega derived arm as I don't like them myself. But all three turntables are ultimately capable of excellent results.

Marco
14-06-2013, 12:04
The SL1200/1210mk2 doesn't need alot spending on it to get good performance, my personal BUDGET take is this, 2nd hand/exdemo RB301 and adapter plate £200 + a 2nd hand Ackromat £30 plus decent MC cartridge £200 - 300 quid maybe, the HOMC fitted to mine cost £90.00 new.

At the risk of sounding like i'm blowing my own trumpet, a lot of people were pleasantly surprised at Scalford in March.


I completely agree on both counts: your Techy sounded excellent at Scalford and you don't need to spend a fortune on one to achieve good performance. 100% correct.

However, if you get rid of those bloody awful stock feet (in comparison with something better suited for audiophile purposes), and replace them with either a Sorbothane-based support solution or Isonoes, you'll release even more of your T/Ts sonic potential!!

And yes, I will keep nagging you until you do it :eyebrows: What's the matter, don't you trust me or something? ;)

In terms of sonically optimising a Techy, I think that the message here sometimes gets a little blurred by those of us who have taken the concept to its limits and are rather vocal about what we've achieved...

Therefore, for the benefit of Nathan, and anyone else who may be a little confused, I will clarify the fundamentals of what is required in order to transform the Technics SL-1200/1210 from a half-decent turntable, in stock form, into a genuinely audiophile standard one:

1) Ditch the stock rubber mat and fit something like an Achromat (or other audiophile-standard mat of your choice).

2) Replace the headshell on the stock tonearm with something like a Sumiko. In comparison, the stock one is rather flimsy and resonant, and this adversely affects sound quality.

3) Replace the stock feet with one of the many Sorbothane-based support solutions, or Isonoes.

4) Remove the stock PSU from underneath the platter and house it in an external box (or better still remove it and fit something better, such as a Paul Hynes SR3).

5) Fit one of the excellent Ortofon MM cartridges, from the 2M range, or one of the current Nagaoka MMs, according to your budget.

Then sit back and enjoy wonderful sounding music! :exactly:

Cost (excluding that of a second-hand Techy)?

You should get change from £600 - more if you simply house the stock PSU inside an external box. Only bother fitting a better tonearm if you're planning to use a high-quality MC cartridge, otherwise the stock one (especially once rewired with Cardas cable, by someone like J7, and fitted with high-quality tonearm interconnects) is perfectly adequate.

Therefore, including the cost of a second-hand SL-1200/1210, and allowing for tonearm rewiring, etc, you're looking at around a grand... Hardly outrageous, is it? :)

Marco.

freefallrob
14-06-2013, 13:29
I completely agree on both counts: your Techy sounded excellent at Scalford and you don't need to spend a fortune on one to achieve good performance. 100% correct.

However, if you get rid of those bloody awful stock feet (in comparison with something better suited for audiophile purposes), and replace them with either a Sorbothane-based support solution or Isonoes, you'll release even more of your T/Ts sonic potential!!

And yes, I will keep nagging you until you do it :eyebrows: What's the matter, don't you trust me or something? ;)


Marco.

Haha, cheers Marco, I do trust you I just haven't gotten around to it (really!), I'm suffering from Hifi 'meh' at the moment, maybe buying some foo feet and some new vinyl will cheer me up!

RochaCullen
14-06-2013, 13:32
Thanks Guys,

I've jumped into the techie water and am enjoying it. In stock form I think its a great bit of kit. And I think the subset of possible mods that you name, Marco, are definitely achieveable on the budget I know I will have available.

The guy writing the article dismissed the 1210 rather quickly, most likely because the lenco was more accessible to him at the time, or suited his sensiblitlies.

I noticed, Rob, that you recently removed an ad for you Rega arm and Arm plate, have you rediscovered a love for your techie?

;)

Nathan

freefallrob
14-06-2013, 13:38
I needed I bit of money, the original arm was also for sale and it sold first (thankfully along with a few other bits) so the Rega arm/plate was withdrawn, it's not going anywhere unless I win the lotto!

Oldpinkman
14-06-2013, 13:40
Oh Gosh
Now - be nice to me techies - I mean well, but I have to speak as I find. First £600 is a modest budget, so a good sounding deck for that price is indeed a bargain. 2nd - I love the ergonomics of this deck, and if I were starting out and looking for a core to build a deck around this would attract me (love the instant stop). And for a one-eyed shaky-handed man like me, the cueing on the standard deck is a dream. 3rd My only experience was a stock unit with an achromat on (as far as I am aware) so bad feet and bad power supply location (not that I noticed any hum) and stock headshell may be significant factors, but it was quite dull and lost a lot of detail compared with the PT mission 774 it was standing in for, using the same cartridge (we actually swapped my stylus assembly in).

I am, until proven otherwise, happy to believe that anybodys system is sounding good to them, and might to me. But I like my physics. I don't believe in alien visitations until there is a way to travel faster than the speed of light, or bend space. And record players are subject to the laws of physics.

2 toe in the water thoughts. The first in support of Marco and his sorbothane feet. I like a tt to bounce. If not it affects the sound. I can dem this for you if you are round my place. I don't have granite block tt supports, or any backup - I plonk the old girl anywhere (currently 25mm pine planks, on 50mm square battens on a solid brick wall). Talk to your turntable! If I rest the stylus on the record and talk loud close to the cartridge - I get no output from the speakers. If I use a matchbox on the top-plate to rest the stylus on (makes a solid contact with the plinth at a height the arm can reach down to, effectively bypassing the suspension) - if I turn the wick up enough I can get a howl round very quickly by talking to it. Them vibrations get into your music.

And so with arms. Arms make a big difference to moving magnet cartridges too. A bit of matching is needed - not least effective mass to compliance if you want it to track properly. and it needs to track properly as I am about to come onto. The effective mass of the arm, and the compliance of the cartridge affect the resonant frequency of that system - its a spring and a weight. Fix a heavy rubber to a ruler with a rubber band, and boing it over the side of the desk, and it will flap at a natural frequency. Add a 2nd rubber, keep the ruler length the same, and that frequency will change. So (generally) stiff MC's need heavier arms to make them work, and (generally) compliant MM's need lighter arms. (Moving coils also tend to put more energy into the arm than MM's - by virtue of their lack of compliance - and so better bearings can be more important for MC's, which may be what Marco had in mind). You can always add effective mass to an arm - ideally at the headshell. Stick a lead weight on it.

Regardless of effective mass/compliance arms bend and arms resonate (ring). Well tubes do anyway. And you can hear their resonances like the boing of an LP12 sub-chassis. A record makes music by the stylus being deflected by the record groove, and moving RELATIVE to the cartridge body. If the cartridge body starts moving relative to the stylus due to energy from another source, this gets added to the total output and spoils it. This is the matchbox howl around effect - the noise isnt coming from the record groove moving the stylus, its coming from an external (unwanted) source. If the arm rings at a particular frequency - it has a spike at one particular frequency (800 hz on my beloved Helius Orion) that affects the sound. That energy in the arm tube from its resonant frequency reflects back to the stylus, and you lose detail. Basic physics - no amount of black magic cartridge design can change that. Bad cartridge design can make further loss of sound or colouration of sound, but good cartridge design cant stop the cartridge itself being waggled around by the arm. tubes are also deflected by that energy and change length (and cartridge tracking angle) because they bend like a weight on a fishing rod, as well as "ringing". That's why the Dynavector I commented on earlier has interesting potential. The effective mass for the cartridge will be the satelite arm, which is short (albeit a tube), and the massive beam on the main arm will be rigid, without influencing effective mass. The short satelite arm will be relatively less affected by both bending and resonance. The bending increases with length (its a leverage effect - compare a long beachcaster with short boat rod and see how much distance the tip is deflected by the same amount of force)

Of course - if a little green man walks up the path this afternoon, and invites me back to his space ship, all that is just bollocks!:lol:

So on that basis, subject to discovering I'm wrong by demonstration, I suggest that arms matter lots for moving magnet cartridges too. A good arm won't make a bad cartridge good, but arm faults will spoil all cartridges, even good ones.

The Grand Wazoo
14-06-2013, 17:48
The Lenco has been 'dealt with' too early in this thread!
I recently helped a friend to get himself sorted with a good sounding GL75.
Donor unit - £50
Sheet of 18mm Baltic birch ply - £60
New idler wheel - £36
Bearing service kit - £25
RB300 from old Planar 3 - free
2 days work for a novice woodworker
A day of fine tuning

OK, so he saved some cash with the arm, but for under 200 quid he has got a superb turntable that will see off some units up to £2k and beyond.
Don't underestimate the Lenco!

Marco
14-06-2013, 18:36
I completely agree! If you want to go the Lenco route, you'll end up with an excellent T/T much more cheaply than you will with a Techy. Different sound, of course, but one which is equally as desirable in its own way :)

Marco.

Oldpinkman
15-06-2013, 08:07
The lenco was dismissed by nathan who says he has bought a technics. He referred to the lenco as direct drive, when it is in fact idler wheel. The article referred to identified the arm as a problem. I wonder by what criteria. The only main advantage I remember for my gl75 mounted in my plinth at my dads when compared to an rp2 was that it played 45s (and 78s and I think 16s). But it was nothing at all special. Lets call a spade a spade. It lost a lot of information from every record it played. Nice swiss engineering and writing "transcription" on it is not enough to overcome the laws of physics and allow any cartridge to get all the information off the lp.
Now if it is a relief to move away from the stifled world of "spend all your money on the turntable before upgrading from £40 speakers, and make that an lp12 you spend your money on" , it is a bit baffling to be at the other extreme where a good cartridge is al you need as long asvit spins the record at the right speed.
That lp12 was coloured and flawed but from my direct personal experience, even with the truly horrible lv-5 arm mounted on it, allowed more information to be retreived from a record than a stock gl75 did. And b4 anyone suggests I couldn't set my gl75 up properly, I was working at pt, and it was "right". Stock, but right. And I am no fan of linn or the lp12. Its just I sem to have landed from outer space on a very strange planet.
Is it direct drive everyone is getting so excited about? Or playing 45s? By the time you have a vinyl system costing £10000 you have the budget to look at moving beyond a deck which is well built.

The Grand Wazoo
15-06-2013, 08:30
Richard, I'm sorry to report that if you only used it in its original plinth, then you only heard the Lenco mechanism deliver a fraction of what it is capable of.

Marco
15-06-2013, 09:16
Absolutely... A suitably fettled Lenco (in the likes of a slate plinth), fitted with a decent arm and cartridge, is rather special thing. I'm a big fan of the G99. You'll need to bring yours to the AoS show, Chris! :)

Marco.

REXTON
15-06-2013, 09:22
The more I read about Lenco the more I want to just get one and tinker, the only problem is that I have about three other projects on the go :doh:

Marco
15-06-2013, 09:28
Good idlers have a sense of joie de vivre, propulsive drive and musical immediacy, which can be very addictive. Direct-drive T/Ts just don't do this (certainly not to the same degree) - they have other equally, sonically desirable, assets.

Richard, have a look here to see what's possible with a Lenco:

http://www.hifiwigwam.com/showthread.php?80927-Inspire-Hi-Fi-Enigma-(Lenco)-update-and-photos

Marco.

Macca
15-06-2013, 09:45
I've mentioned this before but at Scalford 2012 there was a modded GL75 in a white plinth and it was one of the best decks I have ever heard, combining the authority of an sL1200 with the wide open soundstage of a good suspended belt drive deck. Definitely not to be dismissed. I just wish I had not turned down the offer of a room full of stock GL75s - for free! - back in about '93. You live and learn.

Oldpinkman
15-06-2013, 10:04
Marco
Marco -those are works of art. The aesthetics are gorgeous. I'm a scruffy bugger, with my scruffy kit (nobody mention pink lids in my company please) tucked in a corner for the minute. Maybe when we fly south and have our proper house I will look to aesthetics more. But 1 pretty plinth is not going to be enough to address where the energy from the stylus goes. For the record, my GL75 was in a plinth I made - nowhere near as pretty as those - but not the standard one. I've just phoned my dad, who I left it to, to see if he's still got it. Easy guys - hankys at the ready - he threw it away. Now listen - I'm not responsible for my parents OK? I am having enough trouble persuading them to get a hand rail for the bath.

I'll do a bit of research, but in the short term I probably have more chance of finding a techie. I am not really interested for myself - I have a PT I love to bits. So its only really an enquiring mind, not a quest for my hifi sort of interest. I will also ask Arthur a few questions I have been assuming the answers to, like why don't his turntables bounce any more?, and come back armed with a bit more knowledge. I guess since he makes platters for techies he might have a pimped techie I could borrow. I'll also have a shot at borrowing an LSD , hopefully to confirm it would be better if it did bounce.

Just to level the playing field a bit, have any of you guys heard an Anniversary /SME5 or Anni /Orion combination? It is this problem of describing HiFi to each other. What does green look like to you? How would you describe how it differs from purple? When I see green do I see the same colour you do?

I could describe what I think matters in the physics of a turntable, and why I don't think any pimping of a GL75 is going to achieve what an Anni could, but that wouldnt tell us what green looks like, and I have posted elsewhere how systems are about compromise and balance, so am open minded about being surprised by one of these things. I guess it's just that, through gritted teeth given the ansgt it caused me 20 years ago, I am of the "subtractive" school in HiFi. Once you've lost it at the source, you can't get it back further down the line. And all that energy going into the stylus that isn't transduced into electricity in the cartridge coils, has to go somewhere. It was a bit of a surprise recently - well, not a surprise now I think about it rationally, but a reversal of previous propoganda, to discover that the "problem" energy appears to matter more in the arm than the turntable. But, I dont think completely. I think, although I've not heard them side by side, that my PT F5 sounded better than the LSD (with F5) on. And there is some basic physics suggests why it should do.

DSJR
15-06-2013, 10:12
Why is there this universal condemnation of the L75 tonearm? It's got potentially great bearings in both planes, and an enterprising soul like Arthur could easily conjure up a new modern arm-beam to take advantage of the new replacement V blocks by dezmo for instance. As it is, the stock arm (with new exit wiring) can do justice to many 1.75g trackers, with clean tracking and clear sound - IME... The sometimes sloppy (nowadays) main bearing and possibly iffy idler would have just as much of a contributary factor in the sonics of a GL75 I feel.

By the way, The G88 or G99 makes a far better base upon which to start I think, as their chassis are cast and not pressed steel...

walpurgis
15-06-2013, 10:24
Why is there this universal condemnation of the L75 tonearm?

The L75 arm is usable, but not great. The standard soft 'V' block bearings are a waste of time. Hard replacements make a big difference, I used to make mine by hand from Tufnol, which worked well. But then there's the headshell, it's a thin aluminium pressing and prone to resonating. It can be damped and beefed up, but really it's not worth all the work as it is only crimped to the threaded mount stub and it will still flex at the mount interface regardless. There are other, better arms that can be fitted easily.

Oldpinkman
15-06-2013, 10:36
Why is there this universal condemnation of the L75 tonearm? ..

Certainly the tube, headshell and the fact it detaches would be my causes for concern. Let me ask AK why he has a screw-on headshell with a self-tapper on his current arms, and come back on this. I might see if I can try one of his tubes on a techie too. I didnt think the bearings on the 75 were great. Bias system was good, if fiddly. (when you pick these up 2nd hand do they still have both weights?).

As for cast chassis - are we assuming they are an energy sink, or just not adding colouration from resonance? I'm not sure the main bearing was any more sloppy than an LP12 (ok, ok, i'll stop linn bashing now - promise)

DSJR
15-06-2013, 11:25
Seriously, the LP12 bearing was a very tightly toleranced item and with the hardening on the thrust plate sorted out, should be good for many many thousands of hours.

I've had loads of L75 bearing assemblies pass through my greasy paws and I assure you that properly set, with the arm wires not fouling (some do when the arms are bodged and this not taken care of on reassembly), the friction levels are extremely low. The knife edge blocks go off after a few years, but (not third party) replacements of a harder compound are available and seem to work just fine, the mass of the arm-beam preventing any chatter. The boxy headshell and seemingly crude wiring may not look foo enough, but should be fine for high output types and the internal wiring was individually screened cables, maximising stereo separation I thought..... Not suggesting you put a £300+ mc cart in one of these, but a 2M Blue or 500 and OM equivalent should be alright I think, as should the M97XE with damper in use, or a Pickering XV15/625 (are these still available?)

Oldpinkman
16-06-2013, 07:36
Yes - the lp12 bearings were adequately machined. Still just a metal rod in a bucket of oil though. Not sure I noted any problem with my very high use gl75 (10 years +). Have my eye on 1 on ebay so may discover different soon.
And you are right.in the context of an inexpensive starter the arm was ok with mms. The standard was of course the g800 in its various forms ( I remember now my upgrade to an elliptical diamond). It made a pretty good balanced sound for the money. I never tried a shure 97 in it but I would have thought that a very good idea with the damper. But that's about as far as it goes.

The 97 is better (much) undamped when the arm is good enough (774?). Damping is always a band aid that takes away.
But as a starter for under £500 ? £400 - 2nd hand gl75, a service, goldring 1022 would be better than a shop could do new. First to go is the mat. Followed by the arm. The whole arm. Pointless fannying about with a tube upgrsde. As a customisation it will probably cost more than an f5 with its superior bearings. That arm is seriously underpriced. Marketing is not arthurs strong suit.

walpurgis
16-06-2013, 09:34
Damping is always a band aid that takes away.

Not sure why damping should "take away". I've used arms with fluid damping and found them very lucid. It seems a logical means of permitting various cartridge compliances to be accomodated and also some cartridges benefit from use in a damped arm. Decca used fluid damping to good effect in the International arm.

DSJR
16-06-2013, 10:56
Yes - the lp12 bearings were adequately machined. Still just a metal rod in a bucket of oil though. Not sure I noted any problem with my very high use gl75 (10 years +). Have my eye on 1 on ebay so may discover different soon.
And you are right.in the context of an inexpensive starter the arm was ok with mms. The standard was of course the g800 in its various forms ( I remember now my upgrade to an elliptical diamond). It made a pretty good balanced sound for the money. I never tried a shure 97 in it but I would have thought that a very good idea with the damper. But that's about as far as it goes.

The 97 is better (much) undamped when the arm is good enough (774?). Damping is always a band aid that takes away.
But as a starter for under £500 ? £400 - 2nd hand gl75, a service, goldring 1022 would be better than a shop could do new. First to go is the mat. Followed by the arm. The whole arm. Pointless fannying about with a tube upgrsde. As a customisation it will probably cost more than an f5 with its superior bearings. That arm is seriously underpriced. Marketing is not arthurs strong suit.


Richard, why the mat? have you compared different types of mat on a GL75 or 78? The 78 mat is certainly slightly better, but the ribbed 75 one is superb (think rubber-ring-mat here) and really aids the drive and presence in the sound. The damper on Shures is properly designed and works just fine. I really don't think much is subjectively taken away (and I've used 97HE's, VSTV's and various V15 IV and V's with and without). Your huge difference may be my tiny one, but I haven't ever regarded Martin Colloms as 'god' since his HiFi Choice days, as he has too many commercial interests colouring his judgements on such things (they used an LVX arm back then FFS!). A 'sorted' GL75 in springy plinth with K9 absolutely trashed a Linn Axis/Basik Plus/K9 in ALL the Linn parameters and that was with stock internal and headshell wiring (fresh exit cables though).

Nah, the L75 arm LOOKS clunky, although the more streamlined L85 shell helps it out a bit. I still feel a modern lighter beam and simpler counterweight assembly would be enough and save the wholesale butchering that goes on with these decks :)

Oldpinkman
16-06-2013, 17:09
I haven't ever regarded Martin Colloms as 'god' since his HiFi Choice days,)

Dave
I'll respond to the other points, maybe, when my blood pressure comes down. I am prepared to accept guidance, and even criticism, with tolerance and humility in most circumstances. Please, if we are to stay friends, NEVER suggest I think Martin Colloms is God (or god). If you suffered "slowing under load" like I suffered "slowing under load" you would realise just how hurtful that is. The anti-christ possibly - but God? When I talk damping I talk my own home-brew crap, not crap acquired from any journalist, least of all Mr Colloms. Like I listen with my own ears too.
Reminds me, (forgive me if you've heard this before) of a letter I wish now I had framed, from a customer complaining about "slowing under load" (or "dynamic wow" as I think he once called it too). A long letter, which explained that although he couldnt hear it himself, his friend could, and his friend was a professional musician. Arthur was an interesting shade of magenta at the time. I just managed to avoid replying " I recommend in future you listen with your own ears instead of your friends, and advise him not to buy a Pink Triangle.

I think there is a risk I am guilty of occaisional hyperbole regarding differences. I have bored this forum rigid elsewhere about differences that matter and those that don't. I think some differences that matter, may be relatively small or hard to discern, but if they matter to me then they matter to me, and I may rather loosely refer to them as "huge". It''s a ratchet thing. If its not up to standard, it puts me off listening - there is no going back. I am curently not listening to music much because I am gagging for the Quad 405 to come home to daddy. On the subject of damping, I had all those shures, and was unfashionably fond of the V15-5 at the time. It was my main cartridge for at least a year, until I overcame prejudice and tried the U205, and never kept another cartridge more than a handful of LP's after that. (I was, also trying MC's, - a Supex 900, and black and rosewood koestsu's, but whilst they did some things really well - really well, they couldn't track well enough at maximum recommended tracking weight, and as Marco noted elsewhere, thats fine if you only like certain music, but if you are lumbered with broad tastes then it has to cope with all genres). I used the 97 and V-15(4) in my Linn Basik arm, and an ittok, and used damping to get a useable result. but in the 774 (and, I am near certain the orion - unless senility deceives me) I used the v15-4 and 5 undamped (with the damper removed) and the sound was more open and natural than damped. And pretty obviously the undamped cartridges on the 774 and orion, were better than the damped versions on LVV / Ittok. So without any intervention from Colloms at all - I liked the open sound undamped better than the slightly surpressed dull damped sound.
Mats - no I havent compared them. I havent seen a GL75 in 20 years (that may be about to change if I bid succesfully). I am remembering a bit, and going back to my weak understanding of physics, to "design by looking". That energy isnt getting far past the loose flappy headshell, I want to get it away from the vinyl asap, and I fancy a few of Arthurs tiny bubbles in an achromat for the job. Really I would like a nice thick acrylic platter, and a bearing attached to something which can dissipate energy rapidly, but for "bang for bucks" I would be real tempted to try an achromat.

Customise the arm? - maybe , but it should cost more than a straight F5 swap, and the F5 isnt that ugly. Knife bearings, are not up to MC's as you acknowledged. Even if they are not audibly chattering, the energy in the arm is unlikely to be transmitted evenly across the frequency spectrum, and that is going to add a colouration. I guess it depends on our parameters. If I wanted to create a sumptious fashion piece, in slate or marble plinths, like the gorgeous ones Marco sent the link for, that was also near top audiophile, then I might try to keep that shiny chrome. If I was buying a £500 2nd hand deck for entry level, and looking where to spend the next £500 (ish) pounds, I would spend it on an F5 next.

I hope the irony came over as humour, not rancour. Martin Colloms was a source of a fair bit of stress in my time at PT :steam:

walpurgis
16-06-2013, 19:11
I would never use a cartridge with a brush/damper (or anything else) mounted onto it for the same reason (amongst others) as I would never use a dust sweep arm.

Oldpinkman
16-06-2013, 19:57
Yup a dust sweep arm was what mc used to discover (invent?) Slowing under load. Oh hsppy days :doh:

Oldpinkman
16-06-2013, 20:41
Geoff - I said it was a bandaid because it is an attempt to fix a problem rather than eliminate it. In the context of mass & compliance for cartridge arm matching its like the shock absorber on a car. It changes more than just the resonant frequency, it affects bandwidth differently. In terms of arm resonance it damps the sound and makes it dull - like damping a bass drum by putting a blanket in it. It doesn't address flexion. Again, the 774 had it and I always felt it dulled the detail. Maybe others find differently. I liked the sound best when I didn't need to use damping.

SP10
16-06-2013, 21:59
Rather than simply guess at what can be done with a Lenco, why not visit:
<http://www.lencoheaven.net/forum/index.php>
and have a good study of the work done on these TTs by others.

Also - whatever you may think of the man and/or his views - Arthur Salvadori puts a (seriously) reworked Lenco as the best there is. (He has heard most of them). Try Google.

I have heard one in slate with the latest PPTP, new bearings and a Wheaton Triplanar IV carrying a SPU. The rest of the system was close to world class about 10 years ago. The Lenco was at least up to the task!

Oldpinkman
17-06-2013, 08:18
It is hard to guess what a design will sound like, but at least I have as points of reference my own direct experience. Reading the sites you mention (particularly the Lenco heaven which I was aware of) gives examples of beautiful engineering, and ideas for projects, but tells me nothing at all about what it sounds like. The GL75 I owned, and tinkering with turntable design elements with AK whilst at Pink, is of far more value to me there, albeit ultimately limited until I put the ideas into practice and listen to them.I noted elsewhere that I listen with my ears, not Arthur Salvatore's, Arthur Khoubesserians, assuredly not Martin Colloms, nor anybody elses. Nor my good lady wifes, and to fall back on that letter, she is a classically trained soprano who trained under John Wakefield at Trinity College, and sung professionally at the Royal Albert Hall, and so not only have her lungs produced a fair bit of music, but her ears have listened to it too. Nope - my own ears thanks.

Regarding Mr Salvatore, I don't believe in league tables. I'm sure he's a lovely chap, and kind to his dear old mum, and I appreciate he is sincere, and has devoted a life to his quest - but we hear differently. I haven't listened to all the equipment he lists. I'm not about to start willy waving by listing some of the stuff I have, which he hasn't. There's tons of stuff out there, and producing a definitive ranked list, even if we accept My Salvatores ears are the reference pair, is a task doomed to failure by its enormity. To take a couple of reference points common to the pair of us - The LP12 and the Pink Triangle - I find we have very different experiences, so his comments on any other equipment, including a reference GL75 are not helpful to me. We hear different, or different things we hear matter to us more.
Actually, I think his objectivity is poor and he is factually inaccurate. He rightly notes that turntables up to the LP12 were largely engineering variants on a common theme, and then goes on to quote the Oracle as an example of an innovative design, and the Pink Triangle as having no significant innovations (I would accept, with sadness, the comment that they were poorly built relatively). What are the Oracle innovations? (Our chum calls them extremely innovative) Appearance and a record clamp. In common with, and pretty much at the same time as, the PT it suspended the chassis, but didn't centre the mass at the centre of suspension, using pillars instead of arm cable dressing for stability . Objectively, PT innovations (none significant according to A Salvatore) were acrylic platter, inverted bearing, suspended (not floating) subchassis, aerolam (rigid, light, low resonance, energy dispersing) asymetric sub-chassis, centre of mass at centre of suspension for free floating stability, dc motor (eventually on the sub-chassis on the Anni our expert Salvatore doesn't even mention). I'll listen with my own ears, and turn to my own Arthur for design advice if I may.
Mr Salvatore, like the Lenco site, and it appears many posts on here, largely focusses on improved engineering. Now, I am a fan of that. I love beautiful engineering as much as the next little boy. And I prefer a well engineered solution to a poorly engineered one. But improved engineering can't overcome fundamental design issues.
I once had a Ducati Pantah 600. Lovely bike. Much better handling in stock version, than most Japanese bikes of its era, due to a superior chassis construction. My GL75. It had weaknesses (perhaps I should have made this my PT). Poor quality. The instruments were hopeless. The engine was torquey but no power match for other bikes. So change the switches, instruments, and electrics. Better tyres, engine transplant etc etc. However, no matter how much I improve the engineering detail, it is never going to corner like a ferrari 458 spyder until I add 2 more wheels to the design. No amount of engineering is going to make a 2 wheeler stick to the road like a 4 wheeler. Its fundamental to the design. On that basis, I indulge in a little imagination about what can, and can't be done to a GL75.

Macca
17-06-2013, 08:36
Hi Richard

I think you are right to be sceptical and you are also correct in saying that there are really so many options available that it is impossible to demo even a fraction of them in your own system and room. It is a reality we all face and to that extent to improve one's system does sometimes require a leap of faith. Perhaps not a leap but at least a step. That is unavoidable and when it doesn't work out some financial loss is inevitable unless one has purchased a pre-owned item at a good price and is prepared to go through the hassle of selling it on.

I disagree that 'we all hear differently'. We may have different tastes in music and, in extreme cases, one set up that may be bliss with, say, a string quartet, will sound quite poor with something like blues rock. Some systems are heavily tailored to make the best of a particular type of music. I would suggest that is why the 'we all have different ears' theory came about.

walpurgis
17-06-2013, 10:52
I once had a Ducati Pantah 600

I've ridden one. It belonged to my mate. He sold it and bought the 750 Laguna Seca, amazing sounding bike with its Conti 2-1 race exhaust, best sound I ever heard from a bike, alongside my Kwaka H1 with Denco spannies!

Oldpinkman
17-06-2013, 11:00
Hi Martin
I think I get my mucking worms fuddled at times. Although this time it was due to trying to be polite. We all hear the same. We notice different things. Different things matter ( I have friends, who remain good friends, who describe my system as "nice" but still like their pioneer ghetto blaster as much). What I meant was "I very much prefer the open detailed, sweet, uncoloured, spacious sound of all PT turntables, to the boingy, coloured, flat, rich heavy sound of an LP12, and therefore, given that Mr Salvatore held an alternative opinion of their relative merits, don't give a flying ffff what he thinks a GL75 sounds like". Oops - pardon :) But respect his right to his own opinion.

walpurgis
17-06-2013, 11:05
Geoff - I said it was a bandaid because it is an attempt to fix a problem rather than eliminate it. In the context of mass & compliance for cartridge arm matching its like the shock absorber on a car. It changes more than just the resonant frequency, it affects bandwidth differently. In terms of arm resonance it damps the sound and makes it dull - like damping a bass drum by putting a blanket in it. It doesn't address flexion. Again, the 774 had it and I always felt it dulled the detail. Maybe others find differently. I liked the sound best when I didn't need to use damping.

I don't regard fluid damping as an attempt to fix a problem.

It's an aid to enhance performance. All cartridges, as far as I'm aware require damping at the stylus pivot. This is usually taken care of by the choice of cantilever suspension material, but this is not necessarily adequate for every arm the cartridge may be used in. Hence the enabling use of fluid arm damping.

Hydraulic damping has no bad effect that I've heard, certainly no dulling, that's why I've stuck with using slightly modified Mission 774 arms for thirty odd years and I find them very lucid. A distinct step up from my previous Ittok and far better for instance than any Rega arm, modified or other that I've tried.

I vary the damping according to cartridge choice. My ADCs like a little, the ZYXs benefit from more, the Ortofons don't need any really, the Decca definitely benefits, etc., etc.

Oldpinkman
17-06-2013, 11:07
I've ridden one.

You will appreciate then that the correct pronunciation of the instrument makers name - Veglia is "Vague Liar" :lol: Nice bike.

Macca
17-06-2013, 11:25
Hi Martin
. We all hear the same. We notice different things. Different things matter (.

I agree. As regards the LP12 the new one's don't sound like the old ones. I prefer the old ones because I like that little bit of mid bass lift they have, a lot of people don't :)

Oldpinkman
17-06-2013, 12:12
Hi Geoff

I'm not sure "all cartridges require damping at the stylus pivot" accords with what I learned. I've said before I'm not technical, and the poor designers tore their hair out dumbing stuff down for me (Arthur K is bald as a coot). Any mechanical system will have resonances, and will have a degree of damping inherent to the system. If I learned properly, the big issue is with resonance. At its resonant frequency a system requires only a small amount of energy to produce an output or "become excited". This is the principle of the tuning fork. A little tap produces a single sound - the system vibrating naturally at its resonant frequency. If you want you can control that resonance with damping. A cartridge arm system is a spring (the cantilever joint, and the flexion in the cantilever itself) and a weight. The weight that matters is the "effective mass" of the arm - the weight "seen" by the cartridge. (This is not the mass of the arm - mass closer to the headshell is "seen" by the cartridge more than mass further away. Ideally the arm should have zero mass, with all the mass in the headshell. Actually, ideally the cartridge would be mounted in a rigid block of infinite mass - but there are some practical limitations to this theoretical ideal) Its a bit like a car on soft springs. If the car is wallowing about on soft springs, hitting its bump stops, and losing grip on the roads, you can either damp it (all cars do - shock absorbers, although they try to get the basic compliance right for the mass of the car first) or adjust the compliance of the springs or the weight of the car. Reducing the weight of the car will increase the resonant frequency of the system and increase control (although ultimately lose some comfort). Equally, keeping the same weight of car and stiffening the springs has the same effect. So does adding damping, but damping does other things too. In the case of the arm / cartridge there is no "requirement" for damping. There is a requirement for stability. If the weight (effective mass) and the compliance match, then damping is not needed. If they don't, damping is a solution. But a solution which has other effects. If a cartridge design "required damping" one would hope the cartridge designer would include that dampening in the design. In this context, the requirement is control, and matching effective mass with compliance is the normal way to achieve it. Damping is an alternative where changing the compliance or changing the effective mass aren't practical or chosen.

DSJR
17-06-2013, 12:13
I would never use a cartridge with a brush/damper (or anything else) mounted onto it for the same reason (amongst others) as I would never use a dust sweep arm.

So you've never had the pleasure? of using the Shure one then? Unlike the Stanton/Pickering one, the Shure is properly designed and has pretty well no audible effect, unless your eyes make you obsess of course ;) Modern cartridges are designed for modern massy tonearms anyway, so a built in damper is largely unnecessary. Indeed, the V15VMR was hardly a high compliance device IME, unlike the T2 I have.

Adding a custom tube to an L75 shouldn't cost a fortune unless a 'Me Too' type wants to try and fleece the interested parties. The knife edges supplied by Dezmo should be fine and the total mass of the arm tube and cartridge shouldn't mkake them rattle or vibrate at all methinks - ok ok, I haven't measured to see if there's any problem, but the days of vibration transmitting devices as the old Linn mc's is largely over isn't it?

I'll let it go I think.

walpurgis
17-06-2013, 14:37
Hi Geoff

I'm not sure "all cartridges require damping at the stylus pivot" accords with what I learned. I've said before I'm not technical, and the poor designers tore their hair out dumbing stuff down for me (Arthur K is bald as a coot). Any mechanical system will have resonances, and will have a degree of damping inherent to the system. If I learned properly, the big issue is with resonance. At its resonant frequency a system requires only a small amount of energy to produce an output or "become excited". This is the principle of the tuning fork. A little tap produces a single sound - the system vibrating naturally at its resonant frequency. If you want you can control that resonance with damping. A cartridge arm system is a spring (the cantilever joint, and the flexion in the cantilever itself) and a weight. The weight that matters is the "effective mass" of the arm - the weight "seen" by the cartridge. (This is not the mass of the arm - mass closer to the headshell is "seen" by the cartridge more than mass further away. Ideally the arm should have zero mass, with all the mass in the headshell. Actually, ideally the cartridge would be mounted in a rigid block of infinite mass - but there are some practical limitations to this theoretical ideal) Its a bit like a car on soft springs. If the car is wallowing about on soft springs, hitting its bump stops, and losing grip on the roads, you can either damp it (all cars do - shock absorbers, although they try to get the basic compliance right for the mass of the car first) or adjust the compliance of the springs or the weight of the car. Reducing the weight of the car will increase the resonant frequency of the system and increase control (although ultimately lose some comfort). Equally, keeping the same weight of car and stiffening the springs has the same effect. So does adding damping, but damping does other things too. In the case of the arm / cartridge there is no "requirement" for damping. There is a requirement for stability. If the weight (effective mass) and the compliance match, then damping is not needed. If they don't, damping is a solution. But a solution which has other effects. If a cartridge design "required damping" one would hope the cartridge designer would include that dampening in the design. In this context, the requirement is control, and matching effective mass with compliance is the normal way to achieve it. Damping is an alternative where changing the compliance or changing the effective mass aren't practical or chosen.

Richard, you say you're not technical and then promptly deliver a seminar on dynamics. :)

Having been in engineering all my life professionally and also had it as an interest I have a fair understanding of how things work and having built, rebuilt and modified my own Hi-Fi, cars and motorcycles, etc., (I'll avoid mentioning compu'T'ers 'cos some joker may jump on it), I think I've learned enough to be able to express an educated opinion on the implementation side of things.

Idlewithnodrive
17-06-2013, 14:54
Anyway, back to the good old Lenco.

Take one heavy platter Lenco (or heavy platter conversion), blend in a slate plinth, add one Jelco arm, an Achromat etc. and away you go. A perfect recipe for one seriously capable TT and all for < £ 500 all in.

Job done :)

Oldpinkman
17-06-2013, 15:04
Geoff

I like to try to make sense of the world I live in, even if only from the ladybird book version of it :) Interesting list of arms you mention, in that for once in this place I know them all well. I too preferred the 774 to the ittok, although have had a dry damping trough for years. For most of the last 20 years, because I had a technics u205 in it, with a compliance that ... er, I mean, which seemed real happy there. I had used MC's in it, but added weight at the headshell and counterweight ( a device on the Mission which uses a sorbothane damping insert, I know, I know...), but in my own deck at home its been the U205 from osaka, until the babysitter ripped the stylus out by accident. And since then the goldring (about 4 or 5 years now I think) - which is also real happy in a 774 undamped.

"Or a Rega, modified or other" - now I've not heard all these fancy new rega's and their modified derivatives, only a stock RB300, and again I agree the 774 pisses on it. And I've not heard the FXR - Funk's modified Rega yet either, but currently plan to pick one up Friday (don't hold your breath, this is Arthur we're talking about). Is that one included in your list? Cos, I'm going to be real shocked if it is. The f5 is significantly better than the 774 (as in Mrs S could immediately hear it too), and that can only be down to the tube. I won't do farmer physics, but no other bit on it is different enough to account for the effect. Now, the tube in the FXR is not the same, but the principal is. So I am expecting something special, albeit I can't quite figure out the detachable headshell and rega bearings in a flagship (it has to be because the tube idea came first, and modding someone elses bearings was easier) (Detachable headshell I suspect cos the FXR is carbon-fibre, and not easy to squash flat into a headshell, and the F5 is very much an attempt at a budget product, and the headshell off the FXR would be the easy cheap option.)

Or have you heard an FXR, and am I in for a disappointment?:(

DSJR
17-06-2013, 17:38
774 pisses on an RB300? Sorry to be dense in calling you on this, but in what way? The RB300 really does need a carefully selected arm board with many decks, as the tightly toleranced bearing assembly won't absorb fine resonances as the RB250/Techno-arm etc do. Origin Live do a splendid job of ruining the arm, adding all sorts of resonances and iffy finish into the equation, but peeps seem to like it, despite these modded products ringing like bells..

I'm only saying this because Marco et al thought nothing of trying an ebony board for the Jelco, yet the RB300, which should be better in every way except mass and exit cable quality? just gets sidelined - "It's CRAP!" you all shout, when hifi dave and I have heard it sing on certain turntables by Michell, NAS and Pink T I believe. The newer RB301 has been measured to be practically resonance free by NK in HFW tests and of course the better models have blingy finish and better exit cables - what's inside is supposed to be top quality Hitachi OFC cabling, but maybe the thin gauge of this cable (best for low friction) counts against it sonically, although I can't substantiate it.

Richard, I apologise if I'm peeing on any parade here. I'm too old, stupid and probably deaf to rely only on opinion alone. In fairness to Arthur, he has measured all the usual suspect tonearms in developing his tonearm, as well as bodging a Rega arm or two for the great bearings they offer. I still think there could be mileage in an FXR style arm pipe for a 774 (although the original was foam filled and pretty inert as I remember) and also one for a Lenco bearing block, as long as he isn't tempted to charge hundreds and hundreds of quid for it - IMO..

None of this should detract from the tonearm Funk make which seems to offer so much. I wonder if the length is Lenco compatible? T'would be so nice to have a custom collar that would exactly fit a GL75 hole, using the fine cueing mechnism on offer... Just silly thoughts as I'm a long-standing idiot where butchering old Lenco's is concerned. A modern drop-in replacement that uses as much of what's already there fits much better with me than wholesale chopping and chewing of the existing top plate, but that's my problem :mental:

Oldpinkman
17-06-2013, 18:08
Ok. Sorry Dave. I'll try to make less outrageous generalisations, but if I have to preface every comment, with "in my experience, I find.." I mentioned I had only heard a stock rb300. I'm aware it has a good reputation. My mate Arthur has chosen it as the basis for his pimping mods. I meant to say, on my turntable, with my setup, I greatly preferred the 774 I have to the RB300, which is why when I had the choice of arms, I stuck a 774 on my own turntable. I am of the arrogant opinion that it is a hugely under-rated and competent design, and I like it very much indeed. It is a scruffy looking bit of mechano though, so that maybe why.
I was reflecting on Marco and his Merc's - I drive a Freelander 2 because I love British made world-class icons, that fall to bits. I told you I'm a scruffy bugger.

I havent heard the Jelco, but I have only heard good things of it. I note it is on the GL75 idlewithnodrive posted, which looks really interesting and my cup of tea. Would be keen to learn more. Find it hard to understand how the price is under £500 unless the Jelco was picked up at the same boot fair I suggested my outlaws get shot of their Max Bygraves boxed set at. But, assuming I pickup this GL75 I am bidding on, that looks a direction I'd like to follow. Any plans available? However, first, I think I am going to have a long overdue pimp of a completely stock MK1 PT into a vectored Anni with knobs on. We'll take it from there.

To address your point about arms, I think you fail to understand how expensive it is customising as a manufacturer. Arthur is not greedy. He underprices and goes broke regularly as a result. He has underpriced the F5, and we need to have a chat about that this week, because it is only viable to sell it at that price if he can shift it in volume, and I dont think there is the market. But at least, he can draw an idiots guide and get them assembled by the case load. Customising is expensive. If you can give him an order for 200 off of the L75 tubes maybe £200. If you want just one, maybe £2000. He needs to make his business viable by having some nice steady regular product, not the hugely time-intensive customisation stuff (after he's helped me with my PT project of course)

If you're comment about "too old, stupid and deaf to rely on opinion alone" was a reference to how good the F5 is, too bloody right. I'm not trusting opinion - I'm trusting my ears, and I'd expect you to do likewise. I see you are in Suffolk. The 405 is in hospital in Suffolk. I might swing past with an arm if it works out that way. Otherwise, I think you know the other Dave, and he has the arm on an LSD, which for all that it doesn't bounce, will give you a perfectly good idea what it sounds like.

DSJR
17-06-2013, 18:19
A good thrashing with the LSD is well on the cards for my next visit (couldn't make it over Whitsun).

I've been taken severely to task by Dalek Neil a few times and one of these was because I appear to make generalisations without backing it up as my opinion or experience. I do try to do this and I'm only defensive about the RB arms because I've heard a stock one in a deck it likes sound stunning. It was this that changed my mind about this arm, as it's all too easy to get it badly wrong, in which case it sounds tuneless and muted, almost bland. At least Michell get Rega to do final assembly and set up of the Techno-Arm I believe and of all the bodged RB's out there, this is one of the best - in my opinion - gawd:)

I take your point about one-offs, but just how different in diameter is the FX arm-pipe compared to the L75 or 774 I wonder?

Idlewithnodrive
17-06-2013, 18:37
Richard,

My GL75 is actually a 90 degree rotated GL72 with a heavy platter conversion. The Jelco 250S is a minter that I picked up for £170 s/h. I also bought the Sumiko s/h, so you can see how the deck comes in at < £500.

Previously had a mildly modded (feet, mat, PSU mounted in a separate box) 1210 and the Lenco slaughters it in every aspect.

Not heard much that substantially betters it even in the £1000 - £1500 range, IMHO etc etc.

walpurgis
17-06-2013, 18:41
In every instance I've tried Rega arms, standard or 'upgraded', they have not compared well to the 774, regardless of turntable.

DSJR
17-06-2013, 20:34
Ah, ok :) It's thirty four years or so since I had my own 774 and sales of these for us slowed and almost stopped when the Ittok came out and Mission chose to use a very unfriendly (to suspended decks) thick exit cable.

The 774 was a superb match to the Systemdek I remember, the whole way better (looking back) than the then hideously coloured early Fruitbox/Ittok combination...

walpurgis
19-06-2013, 11:14
My last 774 (I have three) came with a rather tired Systemdek I bought at the Tonbridge audio jumble for £200. The arm was nice, and I sold the Dunlop for £100, so that was a cheap 774 (currently my spare, but I have a good TT to use it on soon).