Lenco L76 S

Lenco L76 S

This is the Lenco L76 S turntable. Lenco is a Swiss company but this particular turntable was manufactured in Italy. In fact all Lenco turntables were made in Switzerland up until around 1970 after which some production was switched to Italy. By 1979 no Lenco turntables were made in Switzerland. The L76 S was made in 1976 and based upon the extremely popular L75 but had a redesigned plinth and S shaped tonearm.

Lenco L76 S Closed

The Lenco L76 S is an idler wheel drive turntable and can be modernized very easily to outperform many high end TT’s. I believe they came with a 210 mm Jelco tonearm which is actually a very good arm. Probably not as good as the P77 arm but still very good.

Lenco L76 S Arm

Overall this is a nice looking and very good performing turntable.

Lenco L76 S Platter

Lenco turntables are very popular and you’ll see quite a few L75’s for sale and they sell for $250-$300. The L76 is much harder to find and will sell for a little more at over $300 in good working condition.

If you’re interested in more Lenco info check out this website Lenco Heaven.

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2 thoughts on “Lenco L76 S

  1. A bit of owner’s experience (i bought one in 1977 and still own and use it). Most idler wheel drive type record players have horizontally mounted motors with upright axles, and a stub on the axle with three different lathe turned diameters. By placing the idler wheel against one of those stub diameters, three drive speeds can be derived from one constant motor speed (as silent AC induction motors tend to have). The rubber idler wheel then drives the inner side of the turntable’s vertical outer rim. Most axle stubs in these players have 3 steps (33 rpm , 45 rpm and 78 rpm for LP/EP records, “singles” and vintage bakelite records). Some have a fourth step (16 rpm, for language course records, which were popular in he 60’s). Late idler wheel players only had a setting for 33/45 rpm, as the other record types got out of fashion.
    The idler wheel drive in the Lenco L75/76 (with their own console and lid; B75/B76 as bare frame for mounting inside a HiFi-combination furniture piece, which also included radio tuner, amp and speakers) is much better. It operates more like a pottery disc, which (if driven electrically) has a rubber drive wheel engaging on the underside of the big flywheel. The Lenco’s turntable is indeed a flywheel; it is a massive lathe-turned aluminium casting weighing 3.7 kilogram. The axle is an upright hardened steel pin screwed in the frame (replaceable part) and the turntable’s bearings are bronze bushings, with a steel ball on top of the flat-headed axle pin the carry the turntable’s weight in a low-friction way. A check every year to see if the ball and bushings are still lubricated, will reduce wear and keep low-frequency rotating noises ( “rumble”) at a minimum level. The motor is 4-pole 1500 rpm, is built very flat and is mounted horizontally, in its own three-point frame with rubber shock absorbers. The motor is very well balanced, vibration-free and silent. The clever bit is on the motor’s axle. The axle is positioned radially, from a point near the turntable áxle pointing toward the left hind corner of the frame. The lathe-turned stub on the motor axle doesn’t have 2, 3 or 4 distinct diameter steps, but has a continuous conical shape. In the 4th picture, you can see that the idler wheel is mounted on a bent aluminium rod shaped arm (the wheel itself has a sintered bronze sleeve bearing turning around a steel axle, bolted to the alu arm) and that this arm slides radially underneath the turntable when the speed setting is altered, resulting in a different diameter position underneath the turntable and a different diameter position on the conical motor axle. Meaning that this is one of the rare idler wheel type players with stepless speed control, just like the later higher-end electronically controlled belt- or direct drive players. The speed adjustment handle (front left on top of the frame) can be moved stepless if lifted a bit (for table-rpm between roughly 33 to 78), but has three screw tightened resting notches for fixed speed settings. A standard accessory that came with the player was a metal stroboscope disc to be placed on top of the turntable mat around the spindle, allowing rpm checks with the help of the faint constant flicker of AC room lighting (50 Hz).

    If you have one of these players or want one, check the idler wheel condition. It is a steel disc with a thin rubber rim, and the condition of the rubber will greatly influence the player’s performance. Try to obtain a spare wheel from some ancient shop’s dead stock and store it in a sealed plastic bag, in the dark. See to the wheel’s bushing to get a tiny drop of oil when needed. My player still uses its original wheel after 43 years. The trick is to avoid stalling the table with the motor on (lots of rubbing), and to avoid switching it off and on for every record change (a mass of almost 4kgs to be spun up every time), as these actions will eat up the wheel rim like car tyre rubber during a burnout. The trick is to quickly grab the record rim between the finger nails of two hands and lift it off without the turntable losing any speed. Mounting a record boils down to centering it around the spindle while letting it hover above the turning table half a centimetre or so, and let go. You’ll soon be expedient at it like a classic DJ.

    The S-arm is very good and adjustments for stylus/needle pressure (turning the counterweight) and “anti skating” tangential force compensation (moving a tiny weight on a cantilever arm with a very small standard accessory screwdriver) are straightforward and simple. The standard pickup element was the Lenco M-100. Spare stylus/needle cartridges (both original and copies) for the M-100 can still be found, as many Lenco’s were sold over a decade or so. For extra money, Lenco could also supply Goldring pickup elements. I had excellent experiences with Decca and Stanton elements, too.

    The frame is pressed steel plate, brass coated and/or satin black painted. Avoid damp air, as you will see rust veins creeping underneath the black paint after a few years, if you don’t. Good luck and enjoy!

  2. Forgot to add: there is no auto-stop on this machine, nor automatic arm lift at the end of a record’s groove. The player will keep turning and wear off its needle when you go out shopping and forget to turn it off. There was a nice little after-market automatic arm lift which i bought and mounted, with the little swing arm and a weight. The swing arm was to be swung upward manually like a mouse trap has to be sprung prior to use, with the weight on top, just past a swing dead point. After the player’s arm made its fast move toward the end groove, the S-arm ticked over the swing arm with the weight and the momentum was enough for the swing arm’s other end to catch the player arm and lift it a bit. The turntable kept turning but was built for it, and at least you had saved a lot of stylus/needle life. Recommended if you can find such a gadget.

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