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Lenco G75 - Worth the effort?

Discussion in 'classic' started by pauljdh, Mar 6, 2021.

  1. MJS

    MJS Technical Tinkerer

    I have the original sprung plinth. I suppose I could just screw the base to it without the springs and put something heavy in the bottom. The cats don't need to crap much do they? I wonder if clumping cat litter and water/PVA mixture works like ballast on model railways does ;)

    I presume the perceived wisdom with these is, make it massive (weighty). That improves damping of vibrations in the TT. I then imagine that amount of mass is hard to move quickly (Newton: Force = mass x acceleration), so can be decoupled from the environment with further mass below like marble boards then squash balls or inner tubes underneath that. This then reduces the impact of footfall on them. Am I on the right lines here? Amusingly I also have a set of stainless wire eggcups on order from eBay after seeing them used as springs.
  2. MJS

    MJS Technical Tinkerer

    OK, I quickly took the sprung base plate off the plinth and just set it down on the edges. It's 10x better behaved than before. Bass is cleaner and more defined, too. I can walk up up to it now.
    Dowser and Tony L like this.
  3. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    It is 40 years or so since I last saw this, but as I recall it is just a matter of undoing a couple of metal brackets on the bottom of the plinth and removing the base and the springs. You obviously have to find another solution, e.g. rubber feet.

    I am recalling my specific Goldring Lenco plinth which as described had a spring base, i.e. the whole plinth was sprung. I think there are several other types. If the deck’s chassis is sprung from the plinth, as I suspect some are, then you’d need to address that. Basically just locate the springs and replace them with something else if they aren’t working for you.

    I’d personally be very tempted to buy one of the ply plinths off eBay, e.g. something like this one as the original ones were never that great. I know there are many different design schools, options etc, but if you are content with the original arm something that would get it working as a very solid deck and it would look decent too!
    Pkay likes this.
  4. MJS

    MJS Technical Tinkerer

    I hope this GL75 is worth the effort. I've spent more on it now than I'll ever get back on it if I don't like it. Thing is, even on the stock arm and a Rega Carbon/AT3600 on it I was surprised how enjoyable it was. Just solid and engaging. I can't put my finger on why.

    Plinth ordered.
    Basik Tonearm about to be fitted, if I can get the blasted lifting mech out of the way.
    VM95e acquired, I can swap styli with my ML on the Arsiton.
    New design 322 boards on order from pcbway ;)

    This should keep me busy on cold winter days.
  5. Helen Bach

    Helen Bach if it ain't Baroque ...

    agree with everything up to the 'heavy plinth'. What is far more important is a plinth made from materials that damp. Most don't. But plinths made from poorly damped materials will provide 'exciting music', whether it's on the record, or not. :(
    fran and sideshowbob like this.
  6. Luca

    Luca pfm Member

    Some years ago, I bought a scrap L78 to get spare parts for another replinted Lenco but I changed my mind and restored it, making only some mods on the original plinth (to reinforce and damp it).

    [​IMG]2100458098 by Luca B, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Untitled by Luca B, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Untitled by Luca B, on Flickr

    I remade several missing parts a refurbished all the remaining and rewired litz the original stock arm. It, when rewired and renewed, isn't so bad.

    I shot the following pic when it was almost finished.

    [​IMG]DSCN1569 by Luca B, on Flickr

    With the original arm and plinth it has far and away superior performance to a planar 3 I had for comparison. So my answer is yes, it's worth the effort.
    zeon, Nagraboy, Amber Audio and 9 others like this.
  7. zeon

    zeon pfm Member

    Not Surprised. Thought my Decca cart sounded better on 75 / mayware arm than Townshend rock / technoarm !
  8. highcut28

    highcut28 pfm Member

    I have two td 124 s that i love - they are both in decent working condition and in regularly use.
    I ve done all i can to get the noise level as low as i can ( motor rebuild, motor grommets , new idlers , belts ,main bearing and thrust pads )
    There no expert in my neck of the woods, so its been diy and i am maxxed out.
    I ve always felt that the L75 is a simpler beast .
    I have the opportunity of embark on a major L75 rebuild/rework. I will basically be following in the footsteps of a friend in the UK (whom some of you may know)
    Yes our L75s will be butchered to try to get the most out of them.
    So apologies to those who feel it should just be restored .
    It will have new plinth, the top plate will go - either cut up or replaced by a PTP kit i believe. New arm of course :D
    I suspect it will end up looking something like the PTP above ;)
    My question to you Lenco users is this How quiet can we make this idler drive?
    My td124s produce audible low freq grinding sound thru the speakers - rumble i believe - when playing at high volume when stylus is on quiet track and at end of a side.
    So Lenco L75 - Worth the effort ?
  9. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    Definitely worth the effort, but no idler drive deck will compete with the best belt or direct drive decks when it comes to noise. Their strengths are elsewhere and to my mind of greater value. You certainly shouldn’t be hearing a grinding noise from a 124 though. At worst a very slight low frequency rumble that is just audible between tracks, e.g. the typical vinyl ‘whoosh’ has a very slight ‘note’ to it. If it gets in the way you have more maintenance to do. An L75 is what you make it, so hard to make qualitative judgementvs 124s, Garrards etc.

    PS FWIW the green iron 124 sub-platter is *a lot* better than the non-ferrous alloy one to my ears and from all perspectives e.g. noise, dynamics, pitch stability etc. It is just better, though does limit cart choice somewhat.
  10. MJS

    MJS Technical Tinkerer

    I'm having fun with my GL75.
    I've fitted a plywood plinth sat on squash ball halves, and replaced the stock arm with an LV-V. It works really well. Trying to compare it to an RD11e with RB300 but using the VM95ML stylus on both I'm finding they both do things well, but differently. The (G)L75 has that solidity of sound and the ability to follow almost anything in the mix. The RD11/RB300 sounds a little quieter and does track a bit better but I suspect that's due to the quality of the arm. I'm reticent to take a saw to the Lenco to fit the Rega, so may have to buy another one to play with.
    zeon likes this.
  11. lexi

    lexi pfm Member

    Take the saw and fit a Rega. The pot metal bases are not worth anything.
  12. Nagraboy

    Nagraboy How’d all these people get in my room?

    Just picked this up this afternoon:


    Paid £130, which didn’t seem too bad. It sounds like a car engine idling though and the counter weight is sagging, it’s running too fast at the 33rpm setting, and the arm seems to sag to the right during playback. It’s fitted with a Shure M44-7, which despite these above issues managed to play a few charity shop LPs without adding anything unpleasant of it’s own.

    It’s quite a nice looking thing and I’d like to get it working well alongside my Quad 33/303 & LS3/5a to make a contemporaneous set. Maybe I’m due a visit to Lenco Heaven!
  13. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    That is lovely, just like the one I had back in the late 70s. Exactly the same plinth. Did you get the lid?

    Don’t worry about the speed, that is fully adjustable by the little screws that hold the positioning things for the speed control lever. Go download a manual and all will be clear. It will run a lot quieter once fully cleaned and serviced. You haven’t by any chance got the motor transit bolts engaged? They are the red screws under the platter. Slacken them right off until they stop.
  14. Nagraboy

    Nagraboy How’d all these people get in my room?

    I’ve got the manual with it, it’s a little red book. Also came with the arm alignment cutout. I’ve got the lid but it has the common issue of cracking near the hinges and looks rather worse for wear.

    I’ll check the transit bolts, hang on…

    I’ve taken the platter off and there aren’t any red screws around, but consulting the manual shows the screws to be missing. The motor doesn’t properly line up with the holes for the screws - maybe it doesn’t need to for playback, or maybe that’s why it’s running fast? I also notice it’s marked for 220 Volts.
  15. Luca

    Luca pfm Member

    Compared to what I bought (see above) this is a jewel. I wish you have as much fun as I got in regenerating it.
  16. highcut28

    highcut28 pfm Member

    Thank you Tony et Al
    Yeh its an exciting L75 project to embark on .
    I was going to resurrect a TD125 but that can wait
  17. MJS

    MJS Technical Tinkerer

    So, I did that. I bought an RB250 from @paulfromcamden, it was scary taking a step drill and a Dremel to the base but it worked a treat. Without the spacer the Rega arm sits low and the platter only needs an extra mat, the cart needs a small shim, and everything aligns up and plays with the correct VTA. I'm a happy bunny.

    I must admit I've enjoyed playing with these decks and am looking for the next one now...
  18. Si74

    Si74 pfm Member

    I bought a GL75 years ago for a tenner, checked the stylus and plugged it in to a not in- expensive system.Blew me away and nearly the woofers in the speakers. With the Beat's Special Service, initial thoughts were "Like the wermacht Marching in to Poland" Bought loads more, usually when the Courier was more than the cost of the deck. Have built a load of these into large plinths, one sold to France, one sold to Redcar which sits with very stiff competition sporting a Koetsu, one to Singapore as a gift and another residing in Oz, sort of swapped for a pair of Audionote AN/Js which I should never had sold. Have loads in the garage but never seem to find the time. Last plinth was a two man lift with a WTA arm. Did the rounds of my hi-fi chums and did not make a fool of itself against some very stiff opposition.
    This table that table, they all sound different and it's more down to synergy but given the time, a lenco will sit happily next to my Oracle, Horses for Courses!
    MJS likes this.
  19. Helen Bach

    Helen Bach if it ain't Baroque ...

    mass doesn't damp. So having a massive plinth is not what is needed. What is required is damping, best accomplished with materials that have good intrinsic damping. Adding damping is possible, but takes a lot of damping material to achieve sensible results.

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