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Thread: Can an idler-wheel TT beat my Roksan Xerxes? is a Garrard or a Lenco up to it?

  1. #1
    Join Date: May 2015

    Location: Greece

    Posts: 244
    I'm Panos.

    Default Can an idler-wheel TT beat my Roksan Xerxes? is a Garrard or a Lenco up to it?

    OK, apologies for the rather provocative title of this thread. I admit I wanted to attract the attention of idler-wheel TT owners.

    I have a restored (original) Roksan Xerxes with an Audiomods Series 5 tonearm and Music Maker III cartridge. The amps are Croft with NOS valves and the speakers are Snell EII. Quite satisfied with the overall sound quality.

    I have been reading some interesting reviews about idler-wheel TTs. And I understand that there are a few flavors of idler-wheel TTs, Lenco75 and Garrard 301/401 being the ones I have stumbled upon most times in the various posts and reviews.

    I have to admit that I am intrigued and I will probably make the jump to an idler. I just hope it sounds better than my trusted Roksan Xerxes. For the time being, I just wonder whether the difference will be significant or marginal and barely noticeable...

    But then again, which direction should I take? Lenco or Garrard? Although I would really like to get my hands dirty, I unfortunately do not have the time, the knowledge or the tools to dive into a DIY adventure. So, I will have to go for a ready-made solution.

    Any suggestions for this idler-novice, asking for guidance?

    Thanks in advance to anyone kind enough to share their experience. Much appreciated!

    Panos
    System1: Roksan Xerxes original (HiFi Inspire plinth) with OriginLive DC motor + Audiomods Series6 + Ortofon Cadenza Black microridge retipped, ASR Mini Basis Exclusive, Marantz CD6005, LAB12 DAC1 SE+, Hattor BIG passive + active pre, Croft Micro25RSLS + Series7R monoblocks (110W/ea), Harbeth SHL5 Plus 40th Anniv., Falcon LS3/5a, LAB12 Gordian, Belden 8428, Black Cat Red Level Triode, LAB12 Knack MkII

    System 2: Marantz CD6003, Croft SuperMicroII ('R' spec by Croft, Tesla E83CC in phono)+ Series7, Snell Type EII (with bypass caps, new internal wiring, WBT nextgen 0703Cu), Mark Grant HDX1, Atlas Hyper 3.0

  2. #2
    Join Date: Dec 2015

    Location: Alicante. Spain.

    Posts: 1,873
    I'm Adrian.

    Default

    Garrard no competition if you're determined to go idler drive and value your sanity and money.
    Technics SP10 mk2
    Jan Allaerts MC 1 Boron mk1 cart
    Miyajima Shilabe cart
    Hashimoto HM-X SUT
    Siggwan (gimballed not unipivot) Cocobola 12"
    Aurorasound Vida LCR Phonostage
    The Truth linestage
    Dave Slagle Autoformer Volume Controller
    Cary 805c SET amps
    Audio Note ANe-SPX speakers
    Townshend Isolda speaker cables
    Cardas Golden Presence interconnects

  3. #3
    Join Date: Apr 2012

    Location: Southall, West London

    Posts: 43,455
    I'm Geoff.

    Default

    I wouldn't take it for granted that a Garrard or Lenco is necessarily better than a good Xerxes. They are each good and the Xerxes can sound very fine.
    "when common sense, logic and plausibility are excluded. All that remain are foolishness and lies"

  4. #4
    Join Date: Oct 2012

    Location: The Black Country

    Posts: 5,449
    I'm Alan.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by farflungstar View Post
    ..... and value your sanity and money.
    Don't quite get this?
    I've a standard Lenco, stock arm fitted with either a DL-103 or Linn Asak, with excellent results.

  5. #5
    Join Date: May 2015

    Location: Greece

    Posts: 244
    I'm Panos.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by walpurgis View Post
    I wouldn't take it for granted that a Garrard or Lenco is necessarily better than a good Xerxes. They are each good and the Xerxes can sound very fine.
    Geoff, then why all this fuss about idler TTs? Why are they supposed to sound better than belt-drive TTs? I cannot take a position either for or against that claim, as I have no personal experience. My question is really sincere. There seems to be an idler cult...(?), and I wonder what's so special about them. I have read about the high-torque motor, etc, but is it really that much better than low-torque motors (either DC or AC) for belt-drive TTs?
    System1: Roksan Xerxes original (HiFi Inspire plinth) with OriginLive DC motor + Audiomods Series6 + Ortofon Cadenza Black microridge retipped, ASR Mini Basis Exclusive, Marantz CD6005, LAB12 DAC1 SE+, Hattor BIG passive + active pre, Croft Micro25RSLS + Series7R monoblocks (110W/ea), Harbeth SHL5 Plus 40th Anniv., Falcon LS3/5a, LAB12 Gordian, Belden 8428, Black Cat Red Level Triode, LAB12 Knack MkII

    System 2: Marantz CD6003, Croft SuperMicroII ('R' spec by Croft, Tesla E83CC in phono)+ Series7, Snell Type EII (with bypass caps, new internal wiring, WBT nextgen 0703Cu), Mark Grant HDX1, Atlas Hyper 3.0

  6. #6
    Join Date: Dec 2015

    Location: Alicante. Spain.

    Posts: 1,873
    I'm Adrian.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Firebottle View Post
    Don't quite get this?
    I've a standard Lenco, stock arm fitted with either a DL-103 or Linn Asak, with excellent results.
    I think it depends what you want out if it. If you're happy in stock form then OK but once you start modding there's no end - and personally I don't like my deck running with a rubber band or an uneven platter (of which I have 4). The Garrard is in a different class production wise. The OP asked if he would hear an improvement - the Roksan is a superb belt drive - but an idler or top notch DD will add better definition to leading edge transients due to better pitch stability, IME. Whether this equates to a more musically satisfying experience is subjective considering the quality of the Roksan - which if the OP decides to pass on I'd like first dibs please.
    Adey
    Technics SP10 mk2
    Jan Allaerts MC 1 Boron mk1 cart
    Miyajima Shilabe cart
    Hashimoto HM-X SUT
    Siggwan (gimballed not unipivot) Cocobola 12"
    Aurorasound Vida LCR Phonostage
    The Truth linestage
    Dave Slagle Autoformer Volume Controller
    Cary 805c SET amps
    Audio Note ANe-SPX speakers
    Townshend Isolda speaker cables
    Cardas Golden Presence interconnects

  7. #7
    Join Date: Mar 2008

    Location: Galashiels

    Posts: 13,111
    I'm inthescottishmafia.

    Default

    What sound are you looking for, and more to the point, what do you feel is missing with the Roksan?
    “Music has always been a matter of energy to me, a question of fuel. Sentimental people call it inspiration, but what they really mean is fuel. I have always needed fuel. I am a serious consumer. On some nights I still believe that a car with the gas needle on empty can run about fifty more miles if you have the right music very loud on the radio”

    Hunter S Thompson

  8. #8
    Join Date: May 2015

    Location: Greece

    Posts: 244
    I'm Panos.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Ali Tait View Post
    What sound are you looking for, and more to the point, what do you feel is missing with the Roksan?
    To be honest, I am not necessarily looking to replace my Xerxes. It's just that I have a second hi-fi system, which does not have TT yet. And I am wondering whether I should go for an idler for that system, instead of a belt-drive. My Roksan is just my personal benchmark. I do not know in what direction the Roksan could be improved. I will know as soon as I come across a better TT (and there must be quite a few, I am sure -)).
    System1: Roksan Xerxes original (HiFi Inspire plinth) with OriginLive DC motor + Audiomods Series6 + Ortofon Cadenza Black microridge retipped, ASR Mini Basis Exclusive, Marantz CD6005, LAB12 DAC1 SE+, Hattor BIG passive + active pre, Croft Micro25RSLS + Series7R monoblocks (110W/ea), Harbeth SHL5 Plus 40th Anniv., Falcon LS3/5a, LAB12 Gordian, Belden 8428, Black Cat Red Level Triode, LAB12 Knack MkII

    System 2: Marantz CD6003, Croft SuperMicroII ('R' spec by Croft, Tesla E83CC in phono)+ Series7, Snell Type EII (with bypass caps, new internal wiring, WBT nextgen 0703Cu), Mark Grant HDX1, Atlas Hyper 3.0

  9. #9
    Join Date: Apr 2012

    Location: Southall, West London

    Posts: 43,455
    I'm Geoff.

    Default

    The Xerxes does not sound like many belt drive turntables. It has a vibrant, defined and clear character. Somewhat like a direct drive unit. It's a turntable I like a lot.
    "when common sense, logic and plausibility are excluded. All that remain are foolishness and lies"

  10. #10
    Join Date: Nov 2010

    Location: Yorkshire

    Posts: 8,207
    I'm AnDreW.

    Default

    Lenco all the way if your looking for value for money. I've done a complete resto on both decks which is very documented on this forum. I well serviced lenco in a decent plinth will give you 90% of a Garrard.
    SS

    CD Teac VRDS25X(Audiotuned) DAC Caiman SEG+15V PSU+Dorado DECK 1210 Mat Crystal Audio Mods MN Base/Bearing/Platter+Ebony armboard Feet Isonoe/Ebony PSU Paul Hynes SR7EHD-27XL/DCSXL Ag DC lead/3 Stage Regs/Recap PCB+No Pitch/Strobe/Light ARM SME V(Kondo Ag Rewire&Tags) MC Cadenza Black FGS CABLES Arm Yannis SPD-4 IC Yannis 222 Litz+Ag bullets Power WAR PRE ATC SCA2 SPEAKERS ATC 50ASL STANDS Atacama PHONO Sugden Masterclass PA4 SUT Ortofon ST80SE POWER PSAudio P10

    VALVE

    PRE
    Croft Epoch(Modified) AMP Sondex S100 (Modified) SPEAKERS Tannoy 15"MG+RFC Warwick cabs+ Reference XO DECKS Garrard301/401 (Bastin) Mat Teunto Bearings 301/401(Bastin) Plinth Moldovan/Bastin Arms 3009/3012(Ikeda Ag wired) SME V 12 PSU Eagle+Tachometer MC Ag Meister v2 / Royall N SPU's CABLES Arm Yannis 420.5 Litz+ Speaker 10mm Cu + WBT-0681 Ag IC Oyaide FTVS-510 AgWBT 0110Ag Phonostage Paradise(4 Box Modded) / EAR 834 Clone (modded)

    REAL SOUND


    PRE Radford SC25 (Mullard ECC83/82) POWER RADFORD STA25 Renaissance (Electroharmonix EL34) SPEAKERS Celestion Ditton 15 (Duelund Rewired/Jantzen Recapped) CABLES Speaker - Duelund AWG 12IC - Belden 8402+Switchcraft RCA



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