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!
It seems what you wait for is not far in the future.
A friend of mine is an audio reviewer/writer. He tells me that Teres, maker of high end belt drives, plans to dump the belt drive line (except for there most expensive one) and go with rim drive, vintage design. Seems they have come to realize what Jean and many others have- belt drive is not the answer to stablity!
Us Lenco lovers know that what we hear is far superior to many modern day belt drives.
Finally, Teres has awaken and seeks the PRAT that we have been enjoying.
I wonder when the other manufacterers will hear the magic?
Enjoy your Lencos!!!
Teres is not quite there yet. They make a true direct-drive, the Certus, and have recently been marketing their accessory motor, the Verus, which can turn certain belt drives, including their own tts, into rim drive. But so far no one has come to market with a complete new rim drive table, let alone an idler drive type. I would love to see it happen, just for historical interest and so I could sit back and see how the reviewers handle it.
Actually, there are two new megabuck idler-wheel drives, built by Loricraft, who in turn bought the rights to the Garrard name, which had ended up in the hands of a Brazilian company!! They make the Garrard 501, and I believe the lower-priced (but still very expensive) 601. With snail e-mail out here in the country it's just too painful for me to go searching on Da Net for the info.

One of the improvements Loricraft have made is in the motor, which as I understand it is designed so the motor spindle/rotor rides on a magnetic cushion to reduce noise. Too bad they don't believe in Direct Coupling to a high mass, as noise problems are still reported for these new machines by some, and of course there would also be a HUGE improvement in speed, information-retrieval, imaging and so on. Then there would be no need to go the misguided route one fellow resorted to of using a belt to drive the platter, a Heresy!! Anyway, Hi Fi + magazine did a very nice review of the 501 a couple of years back I think.

On the issue of early solid state, these types of reports are exactly why I steered clear of early SS electronics until relatively recently, just as so many steered clear of the Idler for so many years for similar negative reports. The press said Idlers had problems A, B, C and D, and the consumers heard these problems and turned their backs. It's difficult to say how much of what we hear is actually heard, and how much is conditioned by the press and industry (which did a similar hack job on tubed electronics in the '70s). I'm not saying you didn't hear what you heard, Lew, just that at the first hint of problems, we tend to side with the press/industry; but conversely, if the press and industry tell us that a piece of crap is great, we will spend months optimizing (and end up with a piece of crap we refuse to let go, convincing ourselves we have improved our systems...megabuck blet-drives come to mind ;-).

Anyway, some say I am their guru, I in turn have a Vintage Guru, an unassuming fellow, typical French Canadian "Bon Vivant" (life centres on eating, drinking good wine and beer and telling stories) who thinks anyone who discovers these vintage SS pieces (especially higher-end PIoneer stuff) sound good have finally "woken up". I get all my vintage tonearms and cartridges (and now electronics and speakers) from him, as I simply love driving out to visit him (in a small historic town south of Montreal), drink giant beers in the local pub, eat gourmet food, shoot the sh*t, and drive away with a car full of goodies (he's a "picker", the best in NA). Anyway, he kept bugging me to buy this little shoe-box of an amp, the Sony 3130F, and I kept condescendingly refusing, secure in the knowledge he didn't know good equipment (I hadn't yet "woken up").

Finally, I accepted - I was using tube monoblocks and thought I could use the SS power for parties - took it home, hooked it up, and was blown away by what I heard: the little Sony out-tubed my tube monoblocks, sounding richer, with more PRaT, more dynamic, better imaging and transparency and with none of the glassiness I couldn't eliminate from the tube amps!! I soon sold the tubes (to a very happy fellow), then bought the Sony TAE-5450 (V-fet and similar in its tubey richness and PRaT) which also blew me away, and which finally turned me into a full-on vintage nut (though I do have a very-new cutting-edge SS amp and still experiment with newer preamps, though I have to say that overall the ARC SP8 is my favourite preamp overall).

Some say the transformers actually age like fine whiskey and sound better with time, and of course after all these years the electronics are fully burned-in, and this may also account for the different experiences. Wiring has also progressed (in my case Music Boy/Petra interconnects and solid-core speaker cable), as well as set-up (vibration control under the electronics), so the potential can be realized, just as Direct Coupling to a high mass realizes the potential of Idlers.

Speaking of which: I've begun the Rek-o-Kut Rondine experiment (very quiet massive motor), and will report in stages as my listening impressions and struggles/solutions develop!! I LOVE the RS-A1 tonearm, which I can unceremoniously plunk on any table, instantly (simply sits there with no bolting), and audition any 'table in a known context (tonearm/cartridge/system). Have fun all, and Vive la Idler Wheel, Vive la Lenco (the instrument of the Downfall of the Belt ;-))!!!
Teres is also going to be offering a replacement motor/idler system for the Garrards, I read (FWIW). Maybe for Lencos some time too, ya never know ( turn it sideways? ;-) ). Obviously They actually listened to idlers and found out how good they are. I'm really starting to like that company!
Jean, Now that I think of it, I do recall a good feeling about the Sony TAE products. It's the earlier and maybe the later ones up to the SE line that I did not like at all.

Wouldn't you consider the Loricraft tables to just be latter day copies of the Garrards?

The Teres motor for Garrard is just their Verus set up to work on the inside rim of the Garrard platter.