LencoL75newTJN Rega Tonearm Tribute LencoThis is to introduce a pet project of mine, the "Rega Planar 4" I had always wanted to do because I was a fan of both the Rega Planars and in particular of the Rega tonearms, especially the RB-2-- ...1500.00

TJN Rega Tonearm Tribute Lenco

Listing ID: lisb9ji1 Classified 
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Ending: 06/24 at 04:54 PM ET

New Retail Price:$1,500.00

$1,500.00

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Ships fromPakenham, Ontario, K0A
Ships toUnited States
Package dimensions22.0" × 19.0" × 10.0" (35.0 lbs.)
Shipping carrierunspecified
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This is to introduce a pet project of mine, the "Rega Planar 4" I had always wanted to do because I was a fan of both the Rega Planars and in particular of the Rega tonearms, especially the RB-2-- and RB-3-- models.

I've long said that Rega tonearms are very synergistic with Lencos, and that they are highly underrated. Back in the '80s when the Rega RB-300 first came out, it was being favourably compared by reviewers with The Best Tonearm in the World at the time, the SME V; and it was instrumental in dethroning the famed Linn LP-12/Linn Ittok which at the time reigned supreme, being the first tonearm offered with the famed Roksan Xerxes which dethroned it (allowing the American brands like VPI and SOTA to also finally be considered seriously by the British audio magazines which until then only seriously considered 3-point suspension lower mass 'tables). Without the "humble" Rega RB-300 the Roksan could not have done it.

I discovered this synergy back at the very beginning, mounting the Rega to my very first Lenco rebuilds in Helsinki in 1992/3. Later, once the Audiogon thread "Building high-end 'tables cheap at Home Despot" was rolling along (2004) and we got past the cheap Decca International tonearm phase the Rega was once again first to be mounted. The sound was stunning then, and I regularly ran the famed Kiseki and Koetsu MC cartridges on the combination.

Recently a customer wanted to mount a modified Rega tonearm to my TJN Standard Lenco (with various tonearm which can fit in the original tonearm hole, 210 mm mounting distance, in the chassis like the various Linns), and I informed him it was not possible, and offered to design the first "specifically for the Rega tonearms" (222 mm mounting distance) plinth. Another customer came along with a similar request so the first two came off the assembly line, viewable in the photos.

The tonearm board is round, the plinth of similar dimensions to the TJN Standard to make it look as close to a Rega Planar 3 as possible while still being a (relatively) high mass plinth (lowers noise floor and when built correctly ensures tonal accuracy and great PRaT and dynamics). The round tonearm board is pretty but impractical: this 'table is suitable only for tonearms with 222 mm mounting distance, literally dedicated to the Rega tonearms (though Clearaudio tonearms also mount at this distance). To mitigate this, Rega has several very serious tonearms in its range, and several companies offer modifications/variants.

It is built to be budget, though it can be upgraded by various means. This means no repainting of the chassis/platter or filling in with epoxy-resin bodywork (which has like everything else become very expensive), the original platter mat is glued on (the bonding VASTLY superior to simply sitting it on the platter), Classic plinth recipe, no new parts other than the TJN Mod and a new thrust plate (but since the turntable literally turns on this plate the effect is astonishing) and Tiptoe footers for the plinth for best isolation. Also, the idler wheels are measured for perfect concentricity (only 50% pass this test) to ensure perfect speed stability, and along with this the motor is rebuilt for the same aims: lower noise floor, improved speed stability.

The end result of all those years of steady improvement is greatly superior to those early rebuilds which swept the world! Even with a humble Ortofon MC-1 Turbo HOMC purchased by this particular client ($300 or so) this combination has stunning detail, separation of instruments, deep and detailed bass, and imaging. I set up a high quality more budget system to suit the likely customer: Audio Zone Pre-T1 (quasi passive and extremely transparent) and matching chip amps, Parasound zPhono XRM (outstanding at the price) and Chario Constellation Lynx mini-monitors (which are superb and produce truly astonishing bass for their size). The punch and dynamics are truly off the charts, likely a combination of the HOMC and Charios.

In switching up to a more refined Dynavector DV-20X feeding a pair of well-known and highly reviewed Vandersteen 2CE Signatures - a true full-range loudspeaker to boot at a reasonable price - perfect balance came back, with the usual normal idler-wheel dynamics (far greater than belt-drive or DD but a function of speed and width of ACTUAL dynamic contrasts which the other two systems fail to capture). The 'table is even and very lively all at once, also due to the highly underrated Rega RB-300 tonearm, the reason the Roksan - known for its dynamics and pace - outperformed the Linn/Ittok combination. The imaging via the Vandersteens is outstanding, highlighting the importance of speed stability in this aspect of sonic reproduction, and also the Rega's strengths here and finally the Vandersteens themselves, built precisely to excel in this area. If you think imaging is not SO important you'd be wrong: the better the imaging the better the separation of instruments and intelligibility of detail, and the better those two things the more the information, you clearly hear things which were always garbled before, even from extreme high end systems. There is highlighted detail (typical high end system with emphasized detail), and then there is real information (detail rendered in a natural fashion, intelligible). I think I'll be investigating the Vandersteens further. The Rega RB-3xx tonearms on this 'table can easily be matched to $2000 MCs, so various upgrade paths over time.

In the meantime, I have no doubt this will outperform the Linn turntables, the Regas and the Roksans, due to the inherent superiority of the idler-wheel-drive system once rebuilt correctly. Introductory price of $1500 USD provided a Lenco and Rega tonearm is sent to me (I do have a few older Rega RB-250s slated for upgrades).

I do have some RB-250s I am currently modifying or the client can ship me one. Buyer pays actual cost of shipping, I prefer bank transfers or cheques.

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johnnantais 

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