stacked platters and the bearing

I finally got around to having a spindle extension made, so decided it would be a good opportunity to test the Lencomotion bearing with stacked platters. In theory, there is no problem running the bearing with the extra weight of a second platter, but I always like to test any theory. So, here is the new test setup.

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I plan to let this setup run for another 100 hours, and then pull the bearing and check for any signs of excessive wear. I will also be looking at the oil for discolouration and particulates.

The turntable that is being used is my main listening deck so at between 3 and 4 hours a day I should get to that 100 hours by the end of August.

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Bearing update

My original lencomotion test bearing now has over 100 hours on it, so I thought it was time to pull it apart and see how it looked. I was primarily interested in the bearing oil. I wanted to see if there was any discoloration, or particulates in the oil.

Once dismantled, I checked the spindle, ball bearing and thrust plate for obvious signs of wear and, as expected, found none. The old oil was decanted from the bearing into a white porcelain dish, and then compared to a similar amount of oil in another dish. The results can be seen in this photo.

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The oils in the two dishes look identical, and there is no particulate matter in the old bearing oil.

As expected with this bearing design there is no run-in time needed. The oil should not become discoloured as a result of wear, and should not contain any particulates form the bearing spindle, body or ball bearing.

The bearing is now back in the turntable where it will be left for another 100+ hours before it is pulled for another checkup.

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the bearing oil

Locomotion is pleased to offer a premium quality oil for both the lencomotion and original Lenco bearings.

oil

This is a pure mineral oil with no additives and is the perfect match for your lencomotion bearing, or your original Lenco bearing with sintered bronze bushes.

The oil is supplied in 15ml bottles.

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Signal gounding

I finally got around to a job that has been on my to-do list for far too many month. A couple of years ago I installed a separate ground, or earthing circuit for my listening room. The earthing spike I used at the time was a 50 cm. piece of copper pipe. Not ideal, but it was at hand at the time. The intention had always been to replace this this a proper copper spike, and to up-rate the cable into the listening room to a heavier gauge.  Image I managed to get an earthing spike, clamp while at the electrical suppliers last week, and yesterday afternoon I finally got the job done. One word of advice here, don´t install your earthing spike in the center of a rose bush like I did. Ouch! I used a 1.5 m copper spike to get get the best earth contact. Here the soil is VERY dry for most of the year, and the more copper in the ground the better. I also chose to put this in an area with a large bush that gets watered regularly which should improve the chance of the soil retaining moisture throughout the summer months.

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Once the spike had been hammered into the ground the 6 square mm (9 AWG) cable was attached with a copper clamp and the assembly coated with silicone grease to stop corrosion/oxidation. It was then wrapped in electrical tape.

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The cable was run through the wall, in conduit, in to my listening room. The white box on the exterior wall

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houses the air pump  for my MG-1 air-bearing tonearm so I was lucky to have the conduit there  from this previous installation. The cable is terminated in the listening room on a bus bar, mounted on my equipment rack, which allows multiple cables to be connected at a central point.

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The bus bar is then used as a central earthing point for all my phono equipment (SUT´s, phono stages and turntables). This is a star-grounding layout, and allows me to keep my signal ground and electrical ground completely separate. It is much easier to eliminate earth/ground loops with this setup, and in my system it has helped lower the overall noise floor considerably.

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Lenco replacement record mat

Over the past 4 years I have played around with a variety of record mats on both my Lenco turntables. My preference is for a hard mat of either glass or acrylic because I find the sound, using a hard interface between record and platter, more detailed and involving. The problem, however, with hard mats is the lack of platter damping. I use large O-rings around my platters for this, but have never been happy with the look of this fix.

A few weeks ago I began playing around with the idea of a composite mat. My first attempts were using an acrylic mat with a cork layer laminated to it. This provided good platter damping but the sound was not as good as the original setup with O-rings and standard acrylic platter.

The next version used an acrylic platter with a leather mat laminated to one side. This proved to be good at damping the platter and still provided a detailed a

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nd natural sound. The mat can be used with either the acrylic, or leather side in contact with the record. The sound differs slightly with each material, and I find myself flipping the mat regularly depending on mood/music I am listening to.

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I will be sourcing some acrylic blanks next week so should be able to produce a small run of these mats in the very near future. I need to look at sourcing the leather in a neutral colour, more aesthetically pleasing than the baby blue piece I used for my test mat. The mat is 5mm thick so fits the Lenco spindle and still allows the use of a record clamp.

I would be interesting in knowing how much, if any, interest there is in this mat. I should have an update of final materials within a couple of weeks, as well as, an idea of pricing.

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the chip amp

Over the past couple of years I have been playing around with little chip amps. When I started looking at these I was firmly rooted in the tube amp camp, and really thought that I had found the sound I was after. However, my first chip amp was a real awakening for me. The sound was clean and neutral, and the music just seemed to flow from the speakers with such ease.

DSCF0298Over time I have refined the design of the amplifier and power supply, and the low component count makes voicing the amplifier a relatively easy task. The latest iteration of the amp is an attempt to address the aesthetics, making the amp a little easier on the eye.

The journey certainly isn´t over yet. I have a number of ideas for further refinements, both internally and externally.

DSCF0300In response to a number of requests I have decided to produce a limited number of the latest version of the this amp. These will use hand wound toroid transformers, high quality resistors and capacitors.

Contact me for more information on specifications and pricing.

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suppression capacitor

On offer are replacement suppression capacitors for Lenco motors.  These replace the 3900pf brown capacitors found wired across the switch on Lenco turntables.

A common symptom of capacitor failure is the inability to switch off the motor. Another symtom is a loud ´pop´ from the speakers when turning off the turntable.

These replacement units are 3300pf X1/Y1 250V safety/supression capacitors with insulated leads. The insulated leads make installation easy and safe as there is no exposed wire once installed.

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lenco headshell

The Lencomotion headshell has been in development now for the last couple of years and, although a prototype exists, the final design is still evolving.

headshell

The original idea was to produce a heavy headshell for the rare Lenco P77 tonearm. The original headshell for P77 is heavy and this extra weight over the standard headshell helps to balance the arm correctly. However, as there has been demand for a replacement standard headshell as well the design process has been expanded to include 2 variants; the P77 version, and a lighter version for the stock tonearm.

These replacement headshells will have the advantage of standard cartridge mounting slots to allow the use of a wider range of cartridges, and to make alignment much easier.

There should be some new prototypes available to test in the near future.

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the lencomotion bearing

The remit for this project was to produce a replacement for the original Lenco bearing, but making use of modern materials and manufacturing processes. The original bearing, while good for its time, does have its limitations. The Lencomotion bearing is a bling free, no nonsense, replacement which offers a significant reduction in background noise, and longevity. It is effectively maintenance free and requires no extended run-in period to achieve optimal performance.

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The bearing chassis is precision-machined from a solid billet of high-spec aluminium alloy designed for high strength, durability and mechanical stability. It is affixed to the turntable chassis via stainless steel fasteners, according to the original Lenco layout.

The bearing shaft is precision-machined from a modern, hardened chromium-vanadium steel, whose mating surface is then precision ground to micron tolerances.

The bearing bushes are Teflon-faced, steel-backed precision bushes, whose internal dimensions are closely matched to the external dimension of the bearing shaft – to create an ideal clearance for this specific application.

The bearing thrust ball is an aerospace-specified, chromium-steel ball, a material chosen for its durability and suitability in conjunction with its mating thrust pad.

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The thrust pad is machined from a solid billet of high-carbon steel, induction-hardened and precision ground to micron tolerances. It is affixed to the bearing chassis via stainless steel fasteners and sealed with an oil-resistant gasket compound.

The bearing is offered in two formats; standard Lenco top plate, and a PTP version, and comes with a 15ml bottle of Lencomotion bearing oil.

This bearing is supplied with a no nonsense, money back guarantee.

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the new bearing

Lencomotion is pleased to announce a new replacement bearing for heavy platter Lenco turntables.

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This is an all new bearing fabricated using modern materials and production methods, and provides a significant improvement over the original bearing. Tighter tolerances and the use of Teflon bushes produces an exceptionally quiet bearing which is almost maintenance free.

The bearing is provided in two models; standard, and PTP top plate.

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