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!
'he lives in Montreal, a terrific city with fantastic food and sexy women,'
You can say that again John!!! Wow, I can't wait to hear about those Beta 8's.. I have been wanting a set of those for years!!! I am building some Saburo "spawn" horns with 6" Corals... Can't wait!! Guess I had better start looking for a flea amp....
I found out (unfortunately) that my all-slate Lenco will take some time to put together... The key to finding 'cheap' slate is to get 'offcuts' or leftovers from installations, My friend happened to have a spare piece that suited my purpose, hence the low price.. So my friend is keeping his eye open for suitable pieces.
I believe I will stick with what I have for now, and see how I feel when I finally find a 'Broken-In" DL 103 for sale!!! (Hint-Hint) sigh....
I haven't posted here in awhile but I wanted you to know Jean that Big Black is still spinning and sounding great. I for one am glad I stumbled onto this thread four years ago. The Lenco is what kicked off my interest in DIY electronics and now I build my own stuff. I have no desire to upgrade my TT and Jean, I'm still loving that arm!
The Idler Wheel Revolution continues to gain steam, new products being released at a steady pace! Consider the Teres rim-drive, and the VPI rim-drive, which as I understand it is actually a quasi-rim-drive like the Thorens TD-124, an idler driven by a belt. This gives only quasi-results, as the true idler force is mitigated by this over-caution approach (i.e. potential dynamics and transient response mitigated), originally (TD-124), and one assumes currently (VPI), due to the lingering perception that idler-wheel drives have inherent noise problems which obscures fine detail. No, these problems are part of the ongoing campaign against the Idler, both Direct Coupling to a high mass and careful restoration eliminates noise and exposes the true idler strengths in the areas of detail (stunning detail retrieval, and in an entirely matural presentation) and organization (the ability of the Idler Torque to keep the various musical strands easily separated, with the interrelationships clearly audible and magical).

Now Arthur Salvatore's website (news/upcoming section) features the following tasty tidbit, with at least a question mark next to the word "inherent", which means we are making some SERIOUS inroads against the usual anti-idler dogmas!: "Next, there may be a new turntable, coming out soon, with an advanced idler-drive system, that finally avoids the (inherent?) problems with these systems; mainly the higher sound-floor, which obscures subtle musical information. This could mean the best of both worlds (dynamic force combined with subtlety). The source of this turntable will prove surprising to many audiophiles. I'd spill the details now, but I'm sworn to secrecy, which should end soon."

Of course, all those who have actually tried a properly restored and set-up idler-wheel drive know that idlers excel in the retrieval of subtle information (micro-detail and imaging, etc.), and retrieve some - such as proper timing relationships, proper and full restoration of dynamics (incredible), and incredible transient response (ultra-fast, giving them ironically a more modern sound than belt-drives) - which seem to be beyond the abilities of belt-drives (at least those mere mortals can afford). The Uber Idlers advertised in Salavatore's website already exist: Lencos (which may after all be the best of them all due to the excellent torque/inertia balancing act); Garrards and EMTs, just to name three which can do all the amazing Idler tricks, and do it quietly, with the subtleties intact.

Thanks for the post Chad, I still have that Gray tonearm in my sights!! Just waiting for one to swim by ;-). And glad to hear that I scored such juicy drivers Harvey! Hope I find time to match the newly-restored Leak to newly-cabineted Corals! The Leak only has 12-15 watts per side, and delicate ones at that, this should suit the Corals just fine. In the meantime, it'll be the Klipsch Heresies.

I spoke with the Montreal fellow again very recently, and interestingly he focused not on detail, bass and SLAM (though he did comment on them), but is fascinated by the more subtle issue of gestalt/organic wholeness. Incredible that he fastened on this aspect of the Idler Experience (against a context of a 100-pound lead/acrylic/glass belt-drive). Of course, this aspect of information-retrieval indicates just how "right" the idler-wheel drive system is, and this particular aspect, which is a timing issue - along with the associated issues of transient response (keeping perfect speed in the face of the braking action of stylus force drag), dynamics (ditto) and bass (ditto) - is why I believe the idler-wheel drive system is the superior system for vinyl playback. These issues are where the musical POWER and MAGIC reside. The other audiophile obsessions - detail and imaging - are an inherent result of superior speed stability, along with the stabilizing and quieting effects of Direct Coupling to a high mass (black backgrounds), and simply add icing to the cake of the more important/visceral issues of SLAM, timing, gestalt, and so on.

Back later with some recent idler experiences, to wit the use of clamps!! Have fun all.
Hey Jean,

One thing I know about practically anything new mentioned on Salvatore's site, I wont be able to afford it :) I am glad we already own the uber table, HA!

Speaking of clamps, I have never been able to come to a conclusion about using a clamp on the Lenco. My latest clamp adventure is the old Sumiko crystal record weight - looks cool, has strobe markings, etc., but no cigar. Never the less, I have a piece of African black wood I plan to make into a simple weight. I realized something in regard to Lencos and clamps - all the ones I have tried have a soft substrate between the weight and the record label. Note that clamps like the new Harmonix clamp have an exotic wood substrate between the weight of the clamp and the record. I throw that out there for thought and comment.

Given that I hate, hate, hate clamps, I'm not real objective about this. I use a Boston Audio Mat I on my replinthed Lenco, which means there's precious little spindle length available above that mat. Bought a Souther "Clever" clamp for those rare dished LPs that tend to float a little on the Boston Audio, and it was just awful sounding. I'm now using a rubber washer from the hardware store that provides enough pressure at the spindle to hold the record in place, and that works fine.