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Thursday, July 10, 2014

Lenkong! Hooray for the New (pup) King: Lenkong is born!

... halas, hark... hooray... after
Garrardzilla, a new character enters: Lenkong.

Lenkong is a Lenco, yes, you're right: an humble, El Cheapo Lenco B-55, but not only a Lenco-on-steroids... it's a new breed, in the noble heritage and vision of Peter Reinders' PTP.

Peter choose to have his stainless-steel PTP chassis made and, later, his new custom-made bearing, keeping the original Lenco's platter.

I choose instead to have a new, larger diameter platter lathed from premium aluminium alloy with bronze inserts, not cast, but machined with tightest tolerances on all axis: 32 cm diameter, same as the mighty, sought-after Shindo's platter I owned since 1992 and so much admired.

An humble dream, bespoke platter.

The weight is about 6 kilos and the recessed top accepts Shindo's mat, cork mat... whatever you wish, as per your tastes; the platter will be soon lacquered to match the Lenco B-55's chassis color and to further improve rejection of also tiniest idler-wheel vibes.

It will be a very understated machine: I stripped down all unneeded levers under the chassis and epoxied and repainted the chassis, with epoxy and kevlar stripes underside to improve chassis rigidity, which now resembles a motor-only G-88 in concept.

As the top thickness and overall platter size is also augmented, a new bearing was conceived, designed and made, much, MUCH better in quality than the flimsy original PeeWee smallish, toy-like bearing!

The original bearing isn't bad, pals... nice for the 1,5 kilos original, stock B-55 iron platter... Lenco of Switzerland was very clever to optimize their technical efforts: nothing was over-engineered or over-sized, if not needed.

Must say that the iron platter is - REALLY - shitty and plain crap: magnetic like on first Thorens TD 124, you cannot use your premium MC cartridge, but only MM carts...

The precision of the stock platter is also matter of debate... not 0,00 or 0,0 mm... talking about millimiters of uneveness, quite noticeable while spinning!

So, enters "Lenkong"... what happens to a B-55 with such a new bearing/platter/mat combo?


It simply keeps the beauty and detailing capabilities of - say - a Lenco L-75 or of my trusty Lenco/Goldring G-88... only with a much, MUCH blacker, silent background and a notes decay to be experienced to be believed...

The added mass and peripheral thicker rim sure further improves things, but the thicker top platter is
THE HIT, folks!

With my stethoscope I simply cannot hear any noticeable noise from the new, bespoke bearing... the longer and larger bespoke spindle, necessary to accomodate the thicker, heavier platter, is made of special hardened, chromed and rectified exotic steel and using a precision small ball bearing and a mirror-polished thrust-pad made a little miracle...
Garrardzilla and Lenkong aren't enemies, but brothers-in-arms!

From the first spinning and tasting, I recognize a common sonic footprint of extreme solidity and smoothness, also if I'm using a shitty temporary plinth... I'm having a new, extremely compact slate motor-only plinth made to order, ready soon... cannot stand in my shoes waiting to have the
Lenkong installed and used with a definitive separate bronze armbase, with The Peak arm and Lumiere DST, like I use with my Garrradzilla.

My gut feeling is that
Lenkong will possibly redefine the concept of resolution in my system... and with a lesser investement than the mighty Garrardzilla's.

Lenkong is still a pup king, but sure isn't an ape, anymore:-)))... yet, my (pre)vision is of greatness, folks!

More soon, including (serious) pixes, of course...


Unknown said...

Hllo Mr Goodears,

an Hinterstein project, I will follow it closely!
With all the mods you are doing to the Lenco, it sounds like you are exchangeing almost everything... is it still a Lenco then? To me, it sounds like a DIY project with a few Lenco parts. This is not meant as criticism! Just wondering about this in many areas... For instance many motorcycle modders start wirh a bike (say a Honda CB 500), and end up redoing the frame and the motor... is it still a Honda CB 500 then?

Best regards, my friend! Christoph

Unknown said...

sorry about the typos! I meant "interesting" and my autocorrect wrote "Hinterstein" ... that's very Hinterstein!

twogoodears said...

Hi Christoph... yes, it's still a Lenco... the most important part are the motor and narrow idler-wheel... platter and bearing are like adding better table dressing to a good yet humble meal... also, no one would mod or over-spray "La Gioconda" at Louvre... but experimenting and playing with colors on an industrial estate wall isn't bad:-)
Cheers, S.