In the Barrocks building at Fort Ross, 1800s antique woodworking tools (planes, chisels, drill bits) make you ponder how people lived 200 years ago. Fort Ross State Historic Park preserves a former Russian colony (1812-1842) on the west coast of North America, in what is now Sonoma County, California, USA. Visit Fort Ross and dramatic coastal scenery 11 miles north of Jenner on California Highway One.  Initially, sea otter pelts funded Russian expansion, but by 1820, overhunting motivated the Russian-American Company to introduce moratoriums on hunting seals and otters, the first marine-mammal conservation laws in the Pacific. Russian voyages greatly expanded California’s scientific knowledge. For centuries before Europeans arrived, this site was called Metini and had been occupied by the Kashaya band of Pomo people who wove intricate baskets and harvested sea life, plants, acorns, deer, and small mammals. Sponsored by the Russian Empire, “Settlement Ross” was multicultural, built mostly by Alaskan Alutiiq natives and occupied mostly by native Siberians, Alaskans, Hawaiians, Californians, and mixed Europeans. Renamed “Ross” in 1812 in honor of Imperial Russian (Rossiia), Fortress Ross was intended to grow wheat and other crops to feed Russians living in Alaska, but after 30 years was found to be unsustainable. Fort Ross was sold to John Sutter in 1841, and his trusted assistant John Bidwell transported its hardware and animals to Sutter’s Fort in the Sacramento Valley. Fort Ross is a landmark in European imperialism, which brought Spanish expanding west across the Atlantic Ocean and Russians spreading east across Siberia and the Pacific Ocean. In the early 1800s, Russians coming from the north met Spanish coming from the south along the Pacific Coast of California, followed by the USA arriving from the east in 1846 for the Mexican–American War. Today, Fort Ross is a California Historical Landmark and a National Historic Landmark.

New Budget Model: Classic Lenco (Plain and Simple)

Price: $2000 for a 75-pound Classic (this is the original “Giant Lenco” which first proved the effectiveness of increased mass); $2600 for a 100-pound Classic, PROVIDED A LENCO IS FOUND AND SHIPPED TO ME. This is for a straight veneered plinth, no solid wood sides, none of my new parts excepting the TJN Kit, and a new thrust plate. Later, upon payment of $1300, these can be upgraded with all the MKII parts.

This is a model which hearkens back to the original thread in which the Lenco stormed the world and became a phenomenon. There’s a reason the Lenco, in those days, became such a phenomenon: this Classic Lenco recipe, which was implemented before various “improvements” damaged the sound, the natural flow, the freedom, and the excitement, achieved near-100% conversions, rarely if ever seen in audio.

A lot of water has flowed under the bridge since those days, I have come out with new parts, new plinths, new techniques in extracting more from the Lenco while preserving its magic, a greater knowledge of the sound of materials, and a greater knowledge of how to extract and perfect yet more speed stability, which has ALWAYS been the Central Issue. In other words, these will be greatly superior to the ‘tables which created my reputation: I have developed special jigs to ensure even pressure for the gluing so as to avoid any trapped stresses/resonances, use of the correct glues, and other techniques to make the birch-ply plinth far superior sonically to earlier ones (which continue to sell quickly and at quite high prices when they surface on the used market).  The use of Direct Coupling to eliminate noise and further increase the plinth’s special contribution to the sonic result has also greatly evolved and improved over time.

Design Features:

First of all of course the classic birch-ply/mdf recipe, which I created and championed because, once tested, it was clear this combination not only provided mass, but also excelled in the all-important SLAM, PRaT and Dynamics, while also excelling at flat frequency response and BASS. Then of course this design takes full advantage of Direct Coupling to achieve state-of-the-art levels of silence (yes, more background silence than the great majority of belt-drives).

The motor and all mechanisms are adjusted and improved, and in addition the TJN Mod both eliminates any spring problems, and greatly improves on the original spring sonically by greatly increasing speed- and torque- stability. The main bearing is restored and a new and better thrust plate inserted, the thrust plate being fundamental sonically, as the entire “turn-table”/platter revolves on it.

Finally, removable tonearm boards which allow for any tonearm, made of the finest tonearm board material.  A tripod arrangement for the footers, which eliminates rocking. Glass mod, being the pouring of glass epoxy into the voids in order to eliminate resonances, the best technique for doing so there is. Repainting of the chassis. Choices are of a variety of paperback veneers; or of bright chalk paint, with silk-screening of the original Lenco blueprints on the front and top for a funky updated look, see photos for details.

MKII Modifications and Work

  • New Direct Coupling Slider Mechanism for Idler-Wheel Arm
  • Reinforcement Ring for Main Bearing
  • New Ultra High-Accuracy Idler Wheel
  • New Techniques for Increasing Speed Stability; Further Dropping of the Noise Floor
  • New Look

All models are custom-made to order to the client’s visual taste, tonearm choice, and future possibilities.

All packing and shipping is done via an expert and specialized record player shipper, who actually has a website dedicated to the subject on eBay.

Steampunk Lenco version also available at no extra cost, see Gallery for details.