Building high-end 'tables cheap at Home Despot II

“For those who want the moon but can't afford it or those who can afford it but like to have fun and work with their hands, I'm willing to give out a recipe for a true high-end 'table which is easy to do, and fun to make as sky's the limit on design/creativity! The cost of materials, including 'table, is roughly $200 (depending, more or less), and add to that a Rega tonearm. The results are astonishing. I'll even tell/show you how to make chipboard look like marble and fool and impress all your friends. If there's interest I'll get on with this project, if not, I'll just continue making them in my basement. The next one I make will have a Corian top and have a zebra stripe pattern! Fun! Any takers?”

The Lead in “Da Thread” as posted by Johnnantais - 2-01-04

Let the saga continue. Sail on, oh ships of Lenco!
Hi guys,
Thanks for the maple/mdf reply jean. A friend of mine owns a small machine shop. I was wondering what would happen if
he bought for me a slab of solid aluminum and followed the
plinth diagrams to hollow out said plinth. Basically 21 by 19 or so and about 4 or 5 inches high. Has anyone considered or attempted this? I don't know about the cost but the aluminum can't cost more than two or three hundred.
Then, the machining coststo hollow it out and buff it etc.
I was thinking that since the high end tables are mostly
solid aluminum,maybe it's the next step up in killing vibrations.
Does anybody know if there is anyone who builds metal idlers? I am looking for a couple. I have plastic ones with dryed rubber. Also, if anyone has an extra nose spring setting screw for sale, the adjusting screw which holds and adjusts for motor quietness at the end of the motor shaft.
Thanks, Tessera
Hi Tessera, to answer your second question first, the best source of replacement parts including metal wheels ate the Lenco B55s and variants, which go cheaper as they have the cheaper pressed-metal platters and smaller main bearings. They have the superb Lenco motors and also the metal wheels.

As to aluminum, what it does is provide rigidity, which isn't the same thing as damping/killing vibration/noise. In a context of Direct Coupling (which can't be done with metal or stone), wood is very much more effective at this. Better to stick with maple and MDF or birch-ply. Though a slab/layer of metal somewhere in there would increase strength/rigidity, sonic improvement is not a forgone conclusion, more experiments at the end of the summer!

The Review Lenco is at the lacquerer's, hoping it'll be done in time for my flight!! Wish me luck all!
Hi guys,
Thanks for the reply jean. You are right, wood should be the way to go.I've acquired a couple L 75's and the one I have cleaned up a bit (bearing,motor) and stripped of wood does sound better than my LP12 with Lingo supply I A/B'd with, using the same arm and cartridge (Rs a1 arm shelter 501). My L75 seems like an ancient one with a model # in the 2200 range and built in feb. 1968. It did not come with
the standard screw in each corner for affixing to the plinth. anyone encounter an early model like this? How did
you compensate for the shortcoming? Also, looking to sell
an Lp12 and a Lingo if anyone knows any Linnies out there.
About 2 weeks ago a huge box was delivered to my doorstep. It could have been a hot tub, full of water, considering the weight. But no, it was the super-Lenco! Burgandy Bomb!

Packed to withstand the most disgruntled UPS worker, I was astonished to find hard foam, cardboard, more cardboard, another box, more hard foam, big thick perfect fit boards of foam, more fitted boxes and cloth cover. It was like finding Tutankamun’s tomb and peeling the layers off. Underneath was a beautiful, shiny burgandy red hunk of lacquer-covered art. Above it sat a small LP box neatly protecting the workings of the Swiss made Lenco machinery. It was a marvel to see. I quickly got on the phone, called my friend, Ben, who is as strong as an elk, and anxiously waited for him lest I herniated a disc by going any further. While I waited I cleared ample space for the beast.

With care, we removed the last few layers, knowing very well that if there was any damage to this monstrosity, it would be our fault, considering the meticulous way in which it was placed and packed in the onion-like layers.

Ben and I were, and still are, astounded by the perfect symmetry and finish of the plinth and how the table plate sits in it. Every detail was attended to- holes for the arm(s) I plan to use, position of plate, color, finish, etc. I can see why there were delays, luckily, I was patient and in constant contact with the Masta Builder.

Of course, there was a tad of skepticism lurking within, having read about the sonic attributes of this vintage, old school, left behind, long forgotten folksy turntable. Especially when one considers how good some CDs do in fact sound. But with over 1200 LPs and a love for vinyl, and the fact that I have built 4 Lencos myself with very good results, I decided to take the plunge and order a Monster from the Masta himself- Jean N.

Setting up the MG-1 linear, air bearing arm was fun, since the holes and geometry were all set by Jean.

First LP was one of the most challenging to get good separation of instruments, bloom, and that PRaT thing- rhythm, pace, stomp your feet thing. Bruce Springsteen’s first Lp, The Wild… From the drop of the stylus (Denon 103R) I was surprised. Instantly I could hear clarity. This LP I consider a good test because the band consists of 5 or 6 musicians almost fighting to be heard. Usually sounds kind of jumbled as if thrown together. I was very pleased to hear and feel what the band was doing together. No longer did I concentrate to hear the organ, bass, guitars, now I could feel the bass and drums as a driving unit, Bruce leading the way and the sax laying down some texture.
My favorite Classical LP was next- The Budapest Quartet with Clarinet, playing Vulfies Eine Kleine Nachtmuzik.
Ahhh… The sweet, soaring clarinet sneaking up so quietly from behind the woody, melancholy violins and cello. I could hear the tone of the wood and feel the attack of the bow striking the strings with gentleness and verve. I could sense the emotion of the music, hear the musicians move in their chairs as they relaxed to breath. Man, those guys are... excellent! I thought I didn’t care for classical music. Shame on me.
Then, some good ole Rock (I know, Bruce) which normally sounds good. I just had to check some favorites. Buffalo Springfield just made me melt, the beginnings of country rock. Gram Parsons never sounded so good, letting Emmy Lou in on the fun. Los Lobos rocking it, just like they did at Garfield HS. Old vintage Hot Rock Stones were clean and fresh. Of course, Let It Bleed bled all over. Some Beatles. Then, John Lennon- like syrup at times, then raw and pissed, with a tight band driving the pulse!
Now that the fun started, it was time for Jazz. From Miles to Hugh Masakela to Bob Wills and The Texas Playboys (yes, Jazz) to Flora Purim, Joe Pass, Herb Ellis and too many to mention. Before I knew it, my LP clock said it was time for bed, but my brain said “how about some Ray Charles, Ry Cooder, A Clockwork Orange…” By the time I played Coltrane, Django and Beethoven, it was 6 am!
The “Kundalini effect”- if it means grooving with the beat, tapping and stomping, reaching for another album, feeling the hair on your neck go buzzzz and getting the goose bumps- was there. Otis and Aretha, Marvin, Smokey were all smoking.
Jean’s Super Lenco is a beautiful monstrosity. It has balls like a raging bull, and it can purr like a kitten. I will continue to enjoy the magic inside those little grooves.
Thanks Jean. Show those crazy audiophiles over in Greece what vinyl is all about. Then come back and share some more.