A turntable project coming … your thoughts and advice please

trumpetman

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I’ve had to make some recent lifestyle and hobby changes due to my cancer – sold my classic car (tinkerers heaven!!), retired from work (yippeeeeee!!) BUT need to keep focussed with projects that keep the brain active and to keep moving. I’m still blowing my trumpet in amateur big bands though. All scans are clear and I’m living life!!

I’m interested in wammers experiences of doing a turntable restore, any problems with parts, suppliers, hiccups, things to not do and definitely avoid.

I’ve scoured the usual sites and it all seems feasible, but there is sometimes a lack of real world frustration, cock ups etc with such projects

My skill base is OK, got space to tinker, got time to do things properly, willing to have a go at electrics but would prob get an expert to check.
  • I like the idea of a Thorens TD 150/ 160,
  • a TD 124/5 would be marvellous,
  • a Lenco GL75,
  • any others that are worthy?....any to avoid?
So please fire away – before I place a wanted ad in the classifieds and regret it

Thanks all

trumpetman
 

Andy Stephenson

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The other obvious ones not mentioned are the Garrard 301 and 401
Sad to think these were getting binned not too long ago.
Prices have rocketed so maybe that's why you haven't included them.
I'd avoid anything with complicated electronics, B&O and some
japanese direct drives. Thorens whould be a good place to start.

Stay positive.

Regards Andy
 
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rabski

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As an owner of one, I'd defintely say the GL75. They are relatively easy to work on, parts are reasonably readily available (and not overly costly) and there is an enormous reservoir of knowledge available, here and on Lenco Heaven among other places. Best of all, there are almost endless possibilities to upgrade, but even as standard and with a quick arm swap, the performance is way better than the price would suggest.
 

DomT

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As an owner of one, I'd defintely say the GL75. They are relatively easy to work on, parts are reasonably readily available (and not overly costly) and there is an enormous reservoir of knowledge available, here and on Lenco Heaven among other places. Best of all, there are almost endless possibilities to upgrade, but even as standard and with a quick arm swap, the performance is way better than the price would suggest.
Having owned two custom GL75s I have to agree with Rab. I don’t think that there is another community of DIYers as large as the Lenco. You would not believe the permutations possible! Some are quirky and some mega luxury.

My uber Lenco outshone my Raven AC/Phantom and Raven AC /SME V over an 18 month period and the Raven got sold and Lenco stayed. That says quite a lot.
 
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trumpetman

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@Andy Stephenson and @Amber Audio - thanks for the comments. I think I'd do well to avoid the classic DDs, and I'd forgotten about Arthur's Pink phase!

As an owner of one, I'd defintely say the GL75. They are relatively easy to work on, parts are reasonably readily available (and not overly costly) and there is an enormous reservoir of knowledge available, here and on Lenco Heaven among other places. Best of all, there are almost endless possibilities to upgrade, but even as standard and with a quick arm swap, the performance is way better than the price would suggest.
@ rabski - did you nurture your GL75 back to life from a poor state / a runner from on here or elsewhere? I'm thinking that there's a chance a courier could trash important components etc so for any project turntable best to keep it to a pick up or a wam taxi.

Any views on AR turntables? - a friend had one and raved about it, I kept on with my TD166 but when I bought it there was a 160 available and I went for the newer model not knowing that the 160 had better innards.The 166 is long gone now

Looking forward to suggestions and wammers' experiences....with turntables that is nothing else!
 
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Rockchild

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I’ve had to make some recent lifestyle and hobby changes due to my cancer – sold my classic car (tinkerers heaven!!), retired from work (yippeeeeee!!) BUT need to keep focussed with projects that keep the brain active and to keep moving. I’m still blowing my trumpet in amateur big bands though. All scans are clear and I’m living life!!

I’m interested in wammers experiences of doing a turntable restore, any problems with parts, suppliers, hiccups, things to not do and definitely avoid.

I’ve scoured the usual sites and it all seems feasible, but there is sometimes a lack of real world frustration, cock ups etc with such projects

My skill base is OK, got space to tinker, got time to do things properly, willing to have a go at electrics but would prob get an expert to check.
  • I like the idea of a Thorens TD 150/ 160,
  • a TD 124/5 would be marvellous,
  • a Lenco GL75,
  • any others that are worthy?....any to avoid?
So please fire away – before I place a wanted ad in the classifieds and regret it

Thanks all

trumpetman
Similar story here. Although before my Big C, I did a number of decks as a hobby but in remission, I did loads and not mentioned much on here but I did a number of Systemdek’s Thorens, Roksan, CJ Walker, Technics etc but it’s easy to overspend and exceed the actual value of the Deck so be careful. It is very therapeutic I must admit and once completed, it’s great to hear how far they have come.
Unfortunately, many decks are too expensive even before you have started!
The best pound for pound decks to tinker with currently are Systemdek and CJ Walker. Sonically they are better than a lot of stuff out there by a long way once sorted but I’m sure eventually they will rise in price too.
Keep it simple, some Japanese decks can be a money pit.
Currently I’m working on a Garrard SP25 MK4, not because it’s a brilliant deck but it was the first turntable I owned and belonged to my father prior. Nostalgia plays a big part and that often drives up the prices. Good luck with whatever you choose.
 

trumpetman

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Currently I’m working on a Garrard SP25 MK4, not because it’s a brilliant deck but it was the first turntable I owned and belonged to my father prior. Nostalgia plays a big part and that often drives up the prices. Good luck with whatever you choose.
First turntable for me as well - bought from Comet in Leicester.......................wow that takes me back. Glad you're in remission
 

rabski

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Re my GL75, it's also a nostalgia project, or sort of, as I found it covered in dust and muck under a bed when I cleared out my mother's house. I left it in the corner of the workshop for ages, but in the end I just stripped it all down, cleaned it and put it back together. Surprisingly, apart from a cracked lid, it's pretty near mint. I don't like to hack about really clean old things, so all I've done to it is replace the arm with a Linn LVX, as that fits into the standard mounting collar. The old arm wasn't in bad nick at all, so I've just boxed it all up and I can therefore return it all to original if I feel like it.

Its running with an AT95 that I bought the 'EN' stylus for, and frankly it sounds stupidly good. A real 'fun factor' to it, and it's excellent on a lot of recordings.
 
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savvypaul

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The Lenco is a great piece of mechanical design, imo. It only has what needs to be there and those bits are well made.

Sounds decent in stock form, better with an arm swap, better still with a heavy plinth, and then you can go even further with a double platter or new top plate. Seen a good few people shocked by how good a Lenco can be without spending big money

Parts easily available, lots of online resources and dedicated forum.
 

DomT

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@Andy Stephenson and @Amber Audio - thanks for the comments. I think I'd do well to avoid the classic DDs, and I'd forgotten about Arthur's Pink phase!


@ rabski - did you nurture your GL75 back to life from a poor state / a runner from on here or elsewhere? I'm thinking that there's a chance a courier could trash important components etc so for any project turntable best to keep it to a pick up or a wam taxi.

Any views on AR turntables? - a friend had one and raved about it, I kept on with my TD166 but when I bought it there was a 160 available and I went for the newer model not knowing that the 160 had better innards.The 166 is long gone now

Looking forward to suggestions and wammers' experiences....with turntables that is nothing else!
The only bits that you need from a Lenco GL75 are the motor and idler wheel assembly and platter. These things should be protected in transit. The original plinth and arm are ok but easily bettered by a very large margin. The GL75 it has transport bolts that should be screwed in prior to packing.

If you build a ‘solid’ plinth, buy a PTP top plate, and buy a bearing you will have the basis of something very special. A solid plinth will tighten and clean up the sound quite a lot and that’s where the PTP top plate comes in.
 

trumpetman

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Thanks all for your suggestions.......it's beginning to look like a Lenco atm.
Lenco heaven registration asap and then a wanted advert to see if there are turntables that might need re-homing ?
@DomT I think the quality of those builds is superb

Any more recommendations?
 

Pedro2

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I recently restored/modded a 1970s TD160b mk2. I’d already got a Rega P2 ( from new) but it wasn’t floating my boat much.

So on a flight of fancy, I thought about the deck I used to own at Uni and sourced a cheap one on eBay (without arm).

It wasn’t in brilliant condition on arrival but I was prepared to spend time and a few hundred on it.
I’ve now got a great looking/great sounding turntable, although the purists are not big fans. I’ve moved the Rega arm on to the 160.

Like the Lenco, there’s big support out there (Facebook etc) for old Thorens with many claiming that they prefer them to the LP12; I can’t pass judgment here.
Enjoy your turntable journey and have fun. All the best for your health, and keep blowing that trumpet 😎

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