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!
All this talk about marketing ploys and Nantais paying off Salvatore is verging on the ridiculous! It makes the guys who are trying to stir up some dirt come off looking like a bunch of jealous schoolgirls! Let's get real guys and lets get back to listening to music.
As a Moderator at the Lenco Heaven site in the above reference, I thought I might comment. The thread in question has had almost exclusive praise for Arthur in his seemingly honest and forthright attempt at a fair review of a modded 40 year old table such as the Lenco. JN does great work and has wonderful results and we have nothing but respect for his abilities and his carrying of the Lenco torch. He's also quite a nice guy.

As I know Daiwok David closely, I can guarantee what he meant was not an accusation of collusion, I hope Arthur can believe that. David is from HK and sometimes his expressions can be interpreted incorrectly, it is simply not in his nature to make such accusations, if we had suspected anything of the sort it would have been addressed immediately. Apologies for any insult Arthur may have felt.
Anyone promoting Lencos or modifying them for increased performance is a friend in our book.
On a more positive note, I'd like to thank all those who offered me encouragement and kind words, both on this thread (Malcolm, Mike, Mike and Mike :-), Terry, Ed, Gene for his enthusiasm (a breath of fresh air), Abill, Jloveys, Hiho, etc.) and those who did so by word or e-mail, thank you all. And to Arthur as well, for his as-always well-chosen words, and I'm sorry they had to be said. And thanks very much Mgreene for your long (though short compared to mine ;-)) address!

So, time to make clear the effectiveness of the timing of the two outcomes - Athens, Arthur - coming together. Across the world, in front of 8 witnesses (only one of which owned a Lenco; counterbalanced by the owner of the EMT 927 who hosted the event), the Lenco was pitted against the EMT 927 (at the low end of the scale worth $25,000, at the high end $40,000). At that event, which I did not attend, the Lenco was judged the winner. One of the attendees was a member of the Audiophile Club of Athens, who himself greatly preferred the Lenco. At the other end of the world, in Florida, the results recently posted. I must have deep pockets indeed to buy off not only Arthur, but the owner of a $40K machine (sitting next to another one, the legendary EMT 950, surrounded by equally legendary equipment), and a member of the board of the ACA, and six other participants!!

And STILL, after all my lengthy explanation of my absolute inability to pay anybody off (a ridiculous and ugly charge AND insinuation even if I had any financial clout), one worm steps right up attempting to spoil the apple, in the clear light of day, to expose himself on several forums. It's embarrassing really, and sad.

But, I confess I LOVE it when someone steps right up to prove my very points, and so I must thank the latest example of "ugly" ("from the honest to the ugly") for underlining my points with SUCH a timely and pointed example, and for, as always is such cases, stimulating discussion to a fever pitch and once again putting the Mighty Lenco to the forefront of everyone's mind, my e-mails have gone mad, this thread is THRUMMING :-)!! To that list I should have added "stupid", hindsight is 20-20!

Anyway, getting back to music, my Athens Shootout was intended first of all to be a gift to the DIYers and Lenco followers who want to get their hands dirty, as it was a classic-plinthed Lenco, with original chassis, and so as original/"pure" as I could risk (when I found out it was an EMT 927 I had to send my new bearing and a mat as this was FAR out of the league I had originally envisaged), to make the point CLEAR as to just how truly great the Lenco is (major changes would otherwise take the credit, leaving the Lenco nowhere and no lesson taught)!! While I won't give out ALL my methods and choices in my current best (in fact I never did, figured DIYers had to figure SOME things out for themselves, being DIYers and all), still, beating an EMT 927 should be good enough for any DIYer, so don't worry, be happy!

It is only secondly and incidentally that it serves as a buttress against the usual ugly attacks (and it's sad that they ARE usual, always another one to step right up and fill in the Ugly Shoes, I'd make a fortune on rentals :-)), as a support.

So to make it unmistakable, once again, for the Gupper (and I realize some got it already, so please bear with me): in Athens, while I was not in attendance, eight witnesses attended a Shootout between an EMT 927 and a Lenco, and the vote went to the small (50 pounds), wooden, and vastly inferior to my Reference, Lenco. Many cognoscenti consider the EMT 927 the ne-plus-ultra of record players, and scoff at the idea that ANY belt-drive at ANY price is fit to be in the same room: I get e-mails from such, and they can afford ANYTHING (these men are to vinyl replay equipment what wine tasters/critics are to wine, and come across as such). In Florida, a greatly improved Lenco (100 pounds, new materials) landed in Salvatore's audio system with the result we all now know. The one finding supports the other, the other supports the one, it is entirely believable and iron-clad. Add to that all the conversions posted on this thread and others, the dedicated Lenco forums, the endorsements by such figures as Roger Hebert of Wyetech Labs.

I think it's safe now to say, FINALLY (and why I waited more than a year to post again), that the Lenco is now secure from such petty-minded attacks (and now the Lenco IS secure the pettiness and ugliness is now exposed for all to see clearly, and Thank God for that, it only took SIX YEARS), that reviewers like Arthur can now step up and treat the Lenco (and Idlers!!) with the proper amount of respect and clear and honest thought, and expect to be treated as if they were reviewing any other quality item, with no fear of unreasoning attack.

So join me all once again (and THIS time - thanks to this timely worm in the apple who gave me the segue I needed to Deliver the Lenco from Evil and free it from any further restraints - I REALLY feel it :-)): Vive la Lenco, Vive la Idler-Wheel!!!!
Further Clarification.

I have now been in contact with the writer of the "marketing ploy" post. He claims, to my satisfaction, that this post only concerned Jean's view of alternative plinth materials and the Lenco top plate (a serious point of contention within the Lenco DIY crowd), along with Jean defending his commercial interests, and in no way inferred some sort of collusion between us.

I believe, as does Rf_gumby above, that it was simply a poor choice of words on his part, which is understandable, since the writer has a different mother tongue. To provide some context...

This post came after another Lenco Heaven member had earlier accused me (within my Lenco review/essay) of "covering my ass" and writing "between the lines". When no one on that website took issue with these (very serious for me) charges*, I became predisposed to think the worst of the "marketing ploy" post. I then take at least some responsibility for the misinterpretation of the writer's words.

*These charges are "serious" because they infer that I've first been grossly negligent and, even worse, I'm now further hiding my true observations, thoughts and feelings, for some nefarious reason. It is also an indirect charge of hypocrisy, since I have frequently accused the mainstream audio media of forcing their readers to "read between the lines" (though with good reason).

While the commercial audio media do what they feel is necessary to survive and profit, I am an independent audio journalist, with absolutely no commercial interests. To deliberately equate us is completely unfounded and can only be considered personally insulting.
Arthur I am glad that the writer got in touch with you and that ALL is fine now. We can now look for further review of the Lenco turntable and hopefully all the diy people can concentrate on ways to further improve the sonics of the Lenco.