A tale of two Lencos

Discussion in 'Audio / Video / Home Theatre' started by floppybootstomp, Jul 14, 2012.

  1. floppybootstomp

    floppybootstomp sugar 'n spikes Moderator

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    In May 2010 DTB (PCRUK Forum member Dave The Bass) gave me a Lenco Goldring GL75 turntable mounted in his heavy home made plinth and a couple of Decca Unipivot arms. One of the Decca arms had previously snapped in two where the arm meets the swivel assembly and repaired with extra hard araldite so I used the arm that hadn’t been repaired.

    Filed out the arm mounting hole which was hard work and a lengthy task but eventually, more by luck than judgement, when I slipped the arm in the hole, the spindle-to-centre-mounting-point distance was spot on.

    Initially used an old Nagaoka MM MP11 cartridge I had from a long time ago and the combination worked very well. Here’s a pic of how it was just over two years ago.

    [​IMG]

    Later added a Denon MC DL103 cartridge which improved things all round.

    Around march of this year I was browsing Ebay late at night after consuming a Guinness or six and noticed a Lenco Goldring GL75 turntable identical to mine had about one hour to go til end of auction so, with more enthusiasm than sense, I made a bid for it. One hour later I had won the auction and a second GL75 was now mine for the sum of £65.00 including postage.

    A fair price but did I really need another turntable? No, not really, blame the booze.

    So I had this idea I’d make it something different and envisaged a slate plinth with the turntable base sprayed gloss black, use the repaired Decca Unipivot arm and buy a Denon DL110 high output MC Cartridge.

    It didn’t quite work out like that.

    When it arrived, first thing I done was service the motor, here’s some pix:

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    After cleaning:

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    Next up I removed the arm lift mechanism and lever and the little plug blocking the hole rear left which I think was put there to take of of those record cleaner arms, the name of which temporarily eludes me. I then filled the gaps left with metal filler and started to rub it down with some wet & dry, it looks quite awful here:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The Decca arm fitted the existing hole perfectly so I drilled the two holes either side of the hole to mount it. I then sprayed it gloss black and it looked very nice except that the gaps I’d filled with metal filler clearly showed up, it needed another application or two of filler.

    I then had an idea, inspired by this picture on the Lenco forum, to spray the turntable base a retro gloss light green.

    [​IMG]

    I had a helluva job finding a spray can the right colour in gloss, plenty of satin paints in that colour, but no gloss, it seemed. Eventually found a supplier based in Newcastle in Ebay (thank you Taffycat :) )selling ‘Refrigerator paint’ one of which was gloss light green so I ordered a tin of that.

    As I was looking at the repaired Decca arm, it broke. Just fell in two in my hands, so gave up on the idea of using the Decca arm.

    Applied more filler, to existing filled gaps and filled the holes made for mounting Decca arm, more rubbing down:

    [​IMG]

    First coat of primer:

    [​IMG]

    I then turned my attention to a slate plinth, having absolutely no idea what it would cost. Found a local gravestone maker willing to undertake the task and visited him. He couldn’t make one 100mm thick and asked if four layers of 25mm would do and I said they would, as they would all be bolted together with turntable studding eventually.

    He gave me a price of £180.00 which was less than I expected, I gave him a plywood template and two weeks later I went to collect my four layers. Mr Stone Mason looked a bit cheesed off and explained he’d underpriced the task and it was much more difficult than he had envisaged but a quote is a quote and the price is still £180.00. So I gave him £180.00. Me? A tightwad? Perhaps, but I reckoned he was the experienced tradesman and he perhaps should have known better. Apart from gravestones he also made marble kitchen tops, by way of mentioning.

    The workmanship in the four plinth layers isn’t the best but I think they look pretty good and they do the job. They are very heavy and I’ve fitted four adjustable heavy spiky feet to the bottom layer.

    Being impatient I decided to fit my first GL75 turntable to the slate plinth and here’s how it looks:

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    In those pix you can see the square piece of brass over the top of the cartridge to give the arm some mass to suit the Denon DL103. It was fashioned from this, about £2 from Wickes:

    [​IMG]

    An alternative at £25 is this:

    [​IMG]

    Which left me with a second unfinished GL75 turntable, DTB’s original home made plinth and no arm or cartridge. Having decided to spray turntable base light green I thought I’d like a base that contrasted nicely and decided to spray DTB’s multi-layer plinth satin black.

    When I did spray it black, however, the undulations and difference between the layers stood out like a sore thumb so it was time to whip out the electric plane and go at it. After that several layers of wood filler and sanding have given me a nice smooth block for a base plinth.

    Here’s pix of wood filler going on:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Sprayed it Satin black and was pleased with result. Next sprayed turntable base light green but couldn’t seem to achieve gloss finish. So let the four layers I’d applied dry for two weeks and rubbed down lightly with some fine wet & dry. The next two coats gave me the gloss finish I’d been after.

    So that left just an arm to find and I was shocked at the price of new tone arms, a new SME arm costs over £1K, for instance. Luckily found a Mayware arm on Audio Talk forum for £50 which was a bit of a bargain cos they go for £150 - £200 on Ebay.

    Fitted Mayware arm, GL75 arm mounting hole was a bit too big for it so I used the top round metal plate of a faulty toroidal transformer, drilled a 20mm hole in the centre of it, sprayed it light green and used that. It gives scope for plenty of adjustment as well.

    I’ve managed to get the spindle-to-centre-of-mounting-point distance accurate, the cartridge is at ninety degrees to the vinyl and the arm itself during is almost horizontal but not quite, it’s a tiny bit out. I have the anti-skating weight in place but if it’s supposed to be setup properly I haven’t a clue how to adjust it. The cartridge is tracking at it’s heaviest recommended weight of 2.5 grams.

    Initially the arm was jumping on some older vinyl, but lowering the arm a little and using the sliding weight on the front of the arm to apply tracking weight seems to have cured the problem.

    The price of Denon cartridges has risen dramatically in the last few months, the DL103 rising from £130 to £180 as an example, so for now I have decided to use that Nagaoka MP11 cartridge I mentioned at the beginning. Substitute styli are available for the MP11 so I may just buy a new stylus for it which currently costs £41.00 although it’s a substitute, the original is no longer available.

    I’m currently using my ‘green’ GL75 with a Pioneer A-400 amplifier which has a phono input switchable between MC & MM so haven’t made my mind up yet as to what cartridge to buy if I don’t get a stylus for the Nagaoka.

    So, took me a while and things didn’t occur as I originally planned it but I’m pleased with the result. Just one thing I need now, a Perspex cover and as yet I haven’t been able to source one. Perhaps a visit to a few boot fairs may yield results.

    And here’s pix of finished project:

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    floppybootstomp, Jul 14, 2012
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  2. floppybootstomp

    crazylegs Member Extraordinaire VIP Member

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    Superb job you have done there Mr Flopp's

    Thanks for posting up pics and commentary..Twas good and I enjoyed reading that :nod:
     
    crazylegs, Jul 14, 2012
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  3. floppybootstomp

    TriplexDread VIP Member

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    TriplexDread, Jul 14, 2012
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  4. floppybootstomp

    muckshifter Captain Crunchie, Retired Moderator

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    bet that's worth a "Bucket of Sand" or two. :)

    :thumb:
     
    muckshifter, Jul 14, 2012
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  5. floppybootstomp

    Taffycat Crunchie Cat VIP Member

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    Wow! They both look absolutely great. I like the natural slate plinth, and the brilliantly smooth finish of the black one. It sets off the pale green turntable awfully well. Grand choice.

    I love your improvised brass stabiliser, that was inspired.... and a bargain to boot! Damn fine job Sir Floppington - and a most enjoyable read. :D
     
    Taffycat, Jul 14, 2012
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  6. floppybootstomp

    Ian Administrator

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    You're a very neat worker Flops - very tidy job indeed! Looks the bee's knees now :thumb:.

    Good luck on the search for a cover.
     
    Ian, Jul 14, 2012
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  7. floppybootstomp

    bootneck02 VIP Member

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    :bow:Well done Tony, a great job well done they look great:thumb:
     
    bootneck02, Jul 14, 2012
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  8. floppybootstomp

    floppybootstomp sugar 'n spikes Moderator

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    Thanks for comments folks :)

    TXD: Thanks for the link and if it hadn't been for the fact that I have no cash in my Paypal account and associated bank account at the moment and I'm going into hospital for a few days Monday morning I'd have bid on that cover.
     
    floppybootstomp, Jul 14, 2012
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  9. floppybootstomp

    TriplexDread VIP Member

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    Aww damn it thats such a shame mate...

    I'm sure more will come up in the future though? :)
     
    TriplexDread, Jul 14, 2012
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  10. floppybootstomp

    V_R ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Moderator

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    Missed this thread yesterday, great work the Flops. :)

    If you want that dust cover that TXD posted, let me know, i'd be happy to bid on it for you if you wish. :)
     
    V_R, Jul 15, 2012
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  11. floppybootstomp

    floppybootstomp sugar 'n spikes Moderator

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    Thanks V_R, apreciate the offer but too much on my plate atm tbh. I'd bid up to 16 and with 9 postage that's 25 quid. There have been 8 bids so far though and I reckon it will sell for more than that.

    The seller says they have more for sale coming up in the near future so I'll keep an eye out.
     
    floppybootstomp, Jul 15, 2012
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  12. floppybootstomp

    Trevfromaus

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    Hi all. Trev from Australia here. Noticed your speakers Flops. Great job on your turntable. You make me feel guilty of getting rid of a couple of old studio turntables I had. Are they custom? How is the top end? Noticed the lack of separate drivers. I know there is a lot to be said for not needing a crossover. lol I'm fairly heavy into home brew hifi here also. Run a luxman P350 turntable, OPPO blueray for audio CD playback and an old Pioneer PD91 cd player, highly modded kit power amp, Metaxis class A pre amp and home brew Scanspeak 7" bass tweeter bass combo for main speakers and custom stereo 350W subs as speaker stands. Hope your stay in hospital was not too painful, both emotional or physical. Like to hear of your other projects.
    Regards
    Trev.
     
    Trevfromaus, Jul 15, 2012
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  13. floppybootstomp

    floppybootstomp sugar 'n spikes Moderator

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    Hiya Trev. I'm using Frugel Horn Mk III cabinets Link with a pair of full range Mark Audio CHP70 loudspeakers Link and the top end's fine. They're fully run in now and to my ear sound very good indeed, surprisingly deep bass from such a small driver.

    Initially I used a pair of home made 'super tweeters' with them with internal C-R filters but they made very little difference at all so I don't currently use them.

    They're driven by a pair of monoblock 10 watt push-pull valve amps with EL84's on the output and a home made switcher. Turntable goes through a solid state Pro-Ject RIAA unit but I intend to upgrade that to a valve unit.

    No other projects at the moment really, but I did build my own DAC from some Ebay boards which the media computer goes through.

    And my hospital stay starts tomorrow but thank you for your good wishes :)
     
    floppybootstomp, Jul 15, 2012
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  14. floppybootstomp

    floppybootstomp sugar 'n spikes Moderator

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    Now have a Denon DL110 high output MC cartridge fitted to the one with the Mayware arm. The Mayware arm, incidentally, took a helluva lot of setting up to get it just right, mucho tinkering abounded but I think I have it at optimum settings now, though I could be wrong.

    So, 110 on one, Denon DL103 on t'other, Decca Pivot arm. Realising the different arms will influence matters nevertheless here's a quick comparison as noted by my aged lugholes.

    First thing I noticed about the DL 110 is it gives out a lot more bass than the 103.

    110: Tracks at 1.8 grams, huge bass that sometimes verges on 'woolly' depending on type of music. So much bass that it can tend to overwhelm fine high end detail. Very much suited to folk and acoustic and classical, tends to get a bit muddy on overblown rock music where there's a trillion things going on at once. When it's in it's element tends to have more presence than the 103, close your eyes and vocals could be in the room with you, Sandy Denny sounded superb. As did Gregory Issacs singing Night Nurse.

    The 110 is touted as being able to track old vinyl very well but the truth is the 103 appears to handle worn records rather better than the 110.

    103: Subtle, tight bass, lottsa high end detail. Good all rounder in my opinion. Tracks up to 2.8 grams, mine is set at 2.5 grams and thus set it does manage to tackle a lot of old and worn vinyl very well. One way to describe playing vinyl with the 103 would be 'comfortable'. Listening is pleasant and it doesn't do anything to make you jump out of your seat, it just handles the music with subtle aplomb.

    Overall, I prefer the 103. I do like the sound of both but to be quite honest instead of spending £149.00 on the DL110 I'd probably have been better off spending £40 on a substitute replica stylus for my Nagaoka MM MP-11 cartridge.

    Still, dat's life as they say, no regrets, it has been an interesting experience :)
     
    floppybootstomp, Aug 9, 2012
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  15. floppybootstomp

    Taffycat Crunchie Cat VIP Member

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    It would be wonderful to be able to hear them... do you suppose you might post something on YouTube? I know it wouldn't be the same as actually being there, in your room, but it would be very interesting to have a listen. :)
     
    Taffycat, Aug 10, 2012
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  16. floppybootstomp

    floppybootstomp sugar 'n spikes Moderator

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    Here we go, especially for you Mz Cat, they're not perfect but you can watch the platter go round and round and round and round....

    Recorded on my Canon G9 camera which gives out a rather tinny sound plus these were done yesterday, the hottest day so far this year and I had a room fan going which you can hear at beginning and end. Plus there are a few clinks and clonks which is me zooming about doing stuff.

    I also tried to upload an old soul single from 1968 up to Youtube but it's not having it, I've tried 4 times now :confused: It was the original theme tune I used when I started doing discos. The one I switched to is here though and also the very first single I bought for the disco.

    But first, Stevie Wonder's Higher Ground, wide view:



    The Zephyr Song by Red Hot Chili Peppers, closer view:



    And here's the 'theme tune' I eventually used for discos, The Small Faces Wide Eyed Girl On The Wall. Eventually thought theme tunes were a bit naff so only used this for about 2 months then never bothered again.

    The theme tune woz wot we played before we started rabbiting.



    And lastly here's the very first single I bought when I started doing discos in 1971, T Rex's Get It On. I also done a tour with T Rex as a roadie that year, hard work but good fun, lottsa, ahem, ladies :D

     
    floppybootstomp, Aug 19, 2012
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  17. floppybootstomp

    muckshifter Captain Crunchie, Retired Moderator

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    ... nearly fell off the chair, was that a chipmunk? :lol:

    :dance: :cheers: :dance:
     
    muckshifter, Aug 19, 2012
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  18. floppybootstomp

    floppybootstomp sugar 'n spikes Moderator

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    Yes it was :D It's a hand puppet I had as a kid and somehow I've still got it. It used to have a plastic face but that broke so my Mum made the tapestry boatrace you see there.

    I managed to get Up hard. On Youtube that is...

    Here's my first ever DJ Disco Groovy Tony-Two-Decks fab theme tune - not arf!

     
    floppybootstomp, Aug 19, 2012
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  19. floppybootstomp

    Taffycat Crunchie Cat VIP Member

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    Your little furry friend's appearance made me laugh too, as did the very expressive, Sir Floppington digit!! :lol:

    The music was great! Sounded very impressive, I thought. I love the "live" sound of vinyl. CDs are technically good, but vinyl has that 'certain something,' doesn't it. There is a vibrancy and livliness that sets it apart apart.

    I actually rather enjoy watching the platter go round and round... it takes me back to when I was small. I liked nothing better than to be allowed to stand on a chair, with my head stuck into my grandparents roll-top radiogram, listening to "Sparky and His Talking Piano" playing on an old 78 rpm. It used to transport me to another world, :D

    Thanks muchly for posting, I'm just going to play them again... [​IMG]
     
    Taffycat, Aug 19, 2012
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  20. floppybootstomp

    bootneck02 VIP Member

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    Great sound Flops takes me back to my youth and the good old vinyl, somehow CD's have no soul. You certainly did a great job of resurrecting those decks and they not only sound good but look good, well done.:bow:
     
    bootneck02, Aug 19, 2012
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