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My good old (un)reliable Dual 1246 has finally given out on me. So someone I know is selling a Lenco L78 in good working order. I would not be modifying it, so I would be using a stock arm and my own Dynavector 10X5 cartridge. My question is whether it makes sense to go with this or if there is a new turntable for less than $500 (without cartridge) that would be better for me.
I have a beloved Mac 5100 and hope to upgrade my speakers from my B&W 601.3 to something full-range sometime soon. Any thoughts?
Thanks for the quick responses. Sounds like a pretty good majority for the Lenco. I don't know if I can audition it at home but I'll give it a close look. Any other thoughts?
Only that the idler wheel Lencos are worth whatever time, effort, and money you care to treat them too. There's lotsa info on line. The first thing most Lenco lovers do is replace the arm. The second is replace the plinth with a heavier, more solid one. I know this is beyond your current interests, but the opportunity is there if you ever care to seize it. Enjoy.
The Lenco is lovely, but clearly is a "hobby" to own, maintain, and love... It's sorta' like if you wanted to drive a '49 Mercury to work every day. You can do it but it's a commitment. Most people buy a nice little Camry [matching the color of their Rega Planar]. I have to wonder if the OP may, or may not, want to engage in such a deep program... More power to him!
That's a good question. I've had a few Duals so I'm not afraid of vintage gear. But I haven't picked up a soldering iron in 50 years. When something goes seriously wrong I usually take it into the shop. I also don't have the scratch for a new arm at this point if I'm buying the Lenco.
(1) can I assume the Lenco will be competitive with the arm it has (and my Dynavector mounted on it)?
(2) what kind of maintenance is involved in keeping it in shape as is?
If the Lenco is in a playable condition and you do not intend to change the
tonearm(which is the only time you may need a soldering iron) you do not need to solder anything.
The Dynavector 10X5 should be a good match for the original tonearm imo.
Both my Lencos have been essentially plug-n-play (Lenco guru Jean Nantais did the actual upgrading). Yep, cost way more than $500. Point is, I was mainly trying to upgrade from a tired Dual -- like the OP -- and augment my "good" table, a VPI TNT Mkl II. Ended up replacing the TNT because the modded Lenco was clearly better-sounding in every way that's important to me. So I replaced IT with another Lenco (same modder) enabling me to mount two tonearms. And 10 years later, I have no desire to move on to anything else.
So yes, I agree with you that owning a Lenco can become something more than owning a Rega Planer, if you let it do that. I don't consider it any kind of commitment, though, just a very satisfying thing that I enjoy a lot for what it is and does.
...condition. Can you audition it at home in your system? If so that should answer any of your questions.
If the Lenco is in good working order it will embarrass anything new in the $500 range.
I go with the Lenco . . . I have a Linn LP12/Ittok, a Technics 1210 and an Lenco L75/Jelco 750D(among others) and the Lenco are the one that is playing . . .
A remarkably good sounding work horse, and my one was put together in 1969.
I'd definitely go new and I recommend the Orbit per an earlier post I made on another thread:
Several people have mentioned the Orbit TT from UTurn Audio and I would urge you to take a look at their Web site. The tables range from $179 for the most basic with an Audio-Technica cartridge to $595 fully tricked out with an Ortofon MM Blue.
I recently heard this table during a demo by Frank Van Alstine of Audio by Van Alstine. He was using his own modified Grado Gold cartridge (and his $500 phono preamp) to replace the Ortofon and it sounded amazing. In fact, I thought it sounded as good as, if not better than, his new $1800 DAC that was the real intended focus of the demo session.
If you combine this table-which is a no muss, no fuss package (they don't sell a TT not outfitted with a cartridge already installed and set up)-with an inexpensive phono pre from Schiit, Parasound, NAD, Rega, etc, you can get away with less than $400.
As mentioned, UTurn sells only with a cartridge installed, but if you decide to get one you simply choose the cheapest one they offer and replace it. (I suppose I should say I have no connection to UTurn and get nothing out of a sale. I was just extremely impressed with the demo.)
Of course, there are also the Pro-ject TTs that are pretty good for under $500.
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