View Full Version : Turntable Recommendations?

24-07-2008, 18:52
I'm coming to the conclusion that it may be time to upgrade my Pro-Ject Debut turntable for something better. I've posted before about the earthing question, but the general level of turntable noise on the Debut is annoying.

If I were to replace it I'd be looking for something second-hand, possibly vintage. I have no idea on price so it would be useful to have a guide. I can't afford anything more than 150. If it can't be done in that budget I'll stick with what I've got.

I'd be happy to hear if anyone thought there some basic mods I could perform on the Debut to do something about the way it spoils the sound.

Thanks for any thoughts!

Prince of Darkness
24-07-2008, 19:04
For that money, you should easily be able to better your Pro-Ject. You could get a Lenco or a reasonable japanese direct drive (possibly a Technics SL1200/1210 if you're lucky).:)

24-07-2008, 19:52
Yep, my vote would be for a Lenco, replinthed and fitted with new arm of your choice (or you might already have one). Maybe steal from the Project as a starter?

Loads of good info here.


It'll involve a bit of detailed reading of this forum and some basic DIY (I mean basic so easily within the average persons capability) and to be sure, if you go this way, despite the old and cheap appearance of the Lenco deck, what you will get will be very close to the best LP playback currently available at a seriously bargain price. This is not a con. Some of the best I have ever heard have been based in this TT. Considering your limited budget, if I was in your position, what I suggest would be a no-brainer.

Think in terms of 35 for the TT. One of the best kept listeners Hi-Fi secrets ;):)

Best wishes,


24-07-2008, 19:57
And there's one sat right next to me doing nothing. :)

24-07-2008, 20:39
Wow. I seriously thought I'd be in with no chance of anything remotely decent, and it seems like I might actually be in luck (my wife was like, 'how much' when she saw me type my upper limit in my earlier post). I quite like the look of some of the Lenco's actually. Which model do you recommend as a starting point? I'm more than happy to do some DIY along the way.

Is that an offer, Mike?? :)

24-07-2008, 21:44
Is that an offer, Mike?? :)

I could be persuaded! ;)

It was going to be a little project for sometime soon, but the 'projects' are piling up! :scratch:

It's a Goldring Lenco GL75 with a plinth (standard one - not great TBH) and a spare motor. It will need a tonearm though. Have a look on the lenco-lovers forum and see if it's something you fancy tackling, a heavy plinth is a 'must' for these things, there's even a Slatedeck available for them.


Prince of Darkness
24-07-2008, 21:54
Definitely go for a heavy platter model (75, 88, 99). The 75 is the most common with a heavy pressed steel chassis and integrated arm, platter weight 4Kg. I have one and it gave good service (latterly with early versions of my diy arm), until replaced by my Garrard 401. The 88 and 99 were supplied without arms and would be an easier option if you want to fit the arm of your choice. Mechanically they are pretty much the same as the 75, but I think they have cast alloy chassis. All models were commonly sold as Goldring - Lencos though other brand names were used (mine was a Leak Delta). All models are reliable, the most common problem being deterioration of the arms rubber knife edge pivot points, easily replaced (available from Technical & General).

24-07-2008, 21:56
I'll certainly do some reading, and have a good think about it :) There's a GL75 on the 'bay right now which will also be worth watching, no plinth, but that's not something I'm overly worried about taking on myself.

One day I'd love a Slatedeck. Beautiful plinths, they do, but a bit outside my price-range! Ah well, I can dream!

24-07-2008, 22:53
There's a GL75 on the 'bay right now which will also be worth watching

I'm guessing you mean this one: http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&rd=1&item=300242879621&ssPageName=STRK:MEWA:IT&ih=020

It would be a good buy at anything up to about forty quid, maybe more! It has the metal idler wheel which I've seen go for over thirty quid alone.
They are seriously underestimated decks. The pick of the heavy platter models is probably the '99' but you'll need to spend more like a hundred quid to get hold of one. They are much like a Garrard 301 but without the price tag.

27-07-2008, 18:40
Beechy, Beechy, Beechy...

You payed too much! :lolsign:

27-07-2008, 18:48
About ten-quid too much, but TBH I'd have been more bummed about letting it get away for the price of a day's car-park ticket :) The fun starts here. I'm pretty fired up about putting a plinth together. Not sure about tonearm right now, I'll try the one from the Pro-Ject as a start and keep an eye out for something more classy - the Linn comes well recommended...

Oh, and the same seller sold that Sugden Tuner we were watching a few weeks ago for 28+ postage a few minutes after the TT completed.


27-07-2008, 20:18
I wouldn't mix a Linn arm with a Lenco but that's probably my dislike of Japanese arms manufactured under licence for a Scottish company which are hyped up to be much more than they really are.

You'll have to do some serious reading and thinking about arm geometry, most of which you'll find on Lenco Lovers. You might even need to cut off the top right corner of the deck to accommodate or better still, cut off a complete section of the right side, trim off the curved edge and have it braized back into place. If the 'V' blocks on which the standard arm rests are in good condition, although it looks antique, I'd play with the original arm first. It's not that bad. If you make the space for new geometry, I'd consider a Rega RB250/300 but probably for affordable high quality, a second hand Mayware Formula 3 or 4 or a Hadcock. The last two are both unipivots and can produce gob-smacking sounds. The Mayware would benefit from a rewire.

I hope that helps,


27-07-2008, 20:59
I hope that helps

I'm learning fast! There seems a wealth of info & opinion out there about the Lenco, and your thoughts are much appreciated! Up until a few weeks ago I'd not given my turntable much thought, but then realised that it was because my turntable was so poor that vinyl was so unenjoyable... I have some good vinyl unavailable on other formats and that's what's catalysed this interest in getting that part of my kit working well. But I know naathing as they say.

I think that 'wood' is going to be the next thing on my list. Tonearm geometry does my nut so I'm hoping the stock arm or the Debut arm will give me some breathing space. LencoLovers I think has a good list of compatible 'arms... I don't want to get into hardcore modifications to the deck to handle 'arms without knowing more about the options, from a mechanics perspective more than anything.

I'll see about opening a new thread to record thoughts and progress with this.

Where in Bristol are you, BTW, I'm In St Andrews...

28-07-2008, 18:58
I remember seeing on one of the sites all the measurements compaired to the Lenco arm. The arm is the Lenco weakest link Basically try and get the length as close as you can to the orignal this is the part that scared me off getting a lenco a few years back too. Might be even worth paying someone to set this up if you go down this path.
Good luck

28-07-2008, 19:05
The arm is the Lenco weakest link

Agreed! :exactly:

Though, strangely perhaps, it does have it's fans!

28-07-2008, 19:07
I'm not far away and I could probably help you with your project. I'll PM you my mobile number.

Best wishes,


01-08-2008, 13:05
I'm probably a bit too late but....

The arm on the Debut is only about 8" and won't align properly unless you cut a new hole centered about a inch or so from the current hole center. I rashly assume the Lenco arm is longer than the Debut arm here though. If this is the case your null points will differ from those of longer arms as well.

As for the noise from the Debut, they had electrically noisy motors. Did you find that the noise got worse the closer the cartridge got to the motor??

I cut a thin metal plate with a hole for the pulley and screwed it over the motor. I also earthed it using a M3 nut and bolt with star washers.

heres some pics of my Debut (you can't see the plate however) I still whip it out every now and again and it sounds great.

However, please don't take any of this as a detraction of your Lenco project.


01-08-2008, 16:45
Hi Paul!

Thanks for your post. That's a nice TT; looks like you've an aftermarket arm? Mine mounts directly to the base-board. I am now kind of wedded to the idea of a Lenco-based project but your point about the tonearm length is really good. I hadn't actually tried measuring the Debut arm, and the Lenco TT hasn't arrived yet so you've saved me the hassle of even trying the Debut arm with that TT. TBH I get the annoying low-level hum even with the arm on the Debut at rest on it's retainer. What did you earth the Pro-Ject to? I earthed mine to the chassis of my amp - mine had an earthing wire along with the phono outs. Mine was one of the 1st generation Debuts from when they first came out. It's possible it has defects they ironed out later...

01-08-2008, 17:59
The tonearm is a home made unipivot and the Debut is also one of the 1st generation ones too. To get rid of the noise you have to make sure the alu tube of the tonearm is earthed properly to the signal earth. The shielding plate and the motor can, I think was also earthed to the signal ground as well. Also worth checking the tonearm ground wires are earthed to the phono plug bodies as well.

Anyway all that is moot unless you want to get the Debut optimum. As for tonearms you should be able to down load the fitting instructions from the manufacturers website, either that or somewhere like the Vinyl Engine. I know that many arms use Rega's standard of 223mm from spindle to pivot for 9" arms.

One other thing I will mention is to check the correct height of the tonearm on your Lenco in order to get the arm tube parallel to the record when the cartridge is fitted before drilling holes. You may find that you need to build an intermediate plinth to raise the tonearm. I've not done this on more than one occasion and it caused me many headaches.

05-08-2008, 16:27
About ten-quid too much,

Not too bad TBH Beechy.

Check this out: http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&rd=1&item=270259026759&ssPageName=STRK:MEWA:IT&ih=017


05-08-2008, 18:30
Hey, that's not so bad - I could sell it for bits if I ever got bored :lol: Incidentally, the machine arrived today. It looks really nice with all bits intact; needs a clean but nothing much, a few superficial paint knocks. I've not powered it up yet 'cos it needs a plug, and I've some mechano to do to assemble the tonearm, counterweights etc. Looks like it's going to be fun :)

I'll take some pictures and start a new thread the next day or so... then I can keep track of progress and you lot can be my conscience, ok?!



16-08-2008, 19:38
If you're interested, you can follow progress over on this thread... (http://theartofsound.net/forum/showthread.php?t=985)