Lenco L-3808: a new look of the vintage
Any experienced vinyl lover at the word “Lenco” immediately feels warm and comfortable in his soul. The famous Lenco L75 roller turntables have been in the system of, probably, every vinyl lover who began to get involved in “licorice pizza” in the late 1990s – early 2000s. It was then that music lovers began to massively buy vintage turntables and restore them.
In our search for the perfect turntable, we also could not pass by the famous Lenco L75. Despite the fact that in the end she did not stay with us for a long time, we managed to fully appreciate all her merits. Subject to some modifications and replacement of the tonearm, it turns out to be an amazing musical apparatus, capable of putting on the paddles many much more expensive modern turntables.
And then a few years ago, after a long break, vinyl turntables and other electronics under the Lenco brand reappeared on the market. Of course, today’s turntables are not very similar to the famous models of the 1960s, but the very fact of the revival of the brand cannot but rejoice. We will start our acquaintance with the new assortment of the company with the Lenco L-3808, a direct-drive turntable with DJ functionality.
The designers of the brand did not seek good from good and gave Lenco L-3808 the instantly recognizable look of the well-known direct-drive DJ turntables that have served faithfully to amateurs and professionals for many decades. From the point of view of functional equipment, everything here is also quite traditional.
An electronic eight-pole two-phase motor is responsible for the rotation of a light aluminum disk, which promises an uneven rotation of at least 0.15% according to the JIS WTD standard and a starting torque of 1 kgf / cm. The turntable has two speeds – 33 1/3 and 45 rpm, switchable using the buttons in the lower right part of the top panel, the acceleration and deceleration time using the electronic brake is less than 1 second. Next to these keys is a slider that allows you to adjust the speed within +/- 10%, the strobe lamp is also in its usual place, namely next to the large start and stop button. The Lenco L-3808 also has a flashlight that illuminates the head for precise positioning of the needle on the track.
The turntable is equipped with a 9-inch S-shaped tonearm on a gimbal with a removable SME shell. The kit comes with a calibrated counterweight, which theoretically allows you to set the downforce without using weights, but it’s better to use them anyway. The shell is equipped with an entry-level MM-head from Audio-Technica, all geometric adjustments of which were pre-configured at the factory. Unfortunately, the arm does not have the ability to adjust the height of the base, but in this case this can hardly be considered a serious drawback. It is unlikely that a future owner will want to use with this turntable cartridges with complex sharpening, for which accurate azimuth and vertical tracking (VTA) adjustment is critical and which cost 2 times more than the player itself.
The anti-skating system is implemented traditionally, using a spring, the degree of tension of which is adjusted with a wheel next to the arm base. The equipment of the player includes a standard switchable phono stage for moving magnet heads, as well as an ADC that outputs a digitized signal with a resolution of 16 bits to the USB port located on the rear panel. An unbalanced RCA output is provided for connection to an external amplifier and phono amplifier, which allows the use of high-quality interconnect wires.
The body of the model is made of gray plastic and rests on four spring-loaded legs that securely fix the player on any smooth surface. The device weighs 5.36 kilograms. In general, the turntable looks similar to many other models of similar design that have entered the market in recent years. Let’s see how it differs in terms of operation and sound.
Lenco L-3808 does not require a lot of time for assembly and adjustment. It is enough to place it on a flat shelf, remove the platter from the packaging and put it on the spindle, and then place the felt mat on top. All geometrical adjustments of the head were made at the factory, so the user only needs to set the correct downforce. The manufacturer does not indicate the recommended indicator, however, the head installed on the shell is well known to us and the optimal option for it is somewhere in the region of two grams. It is advisable to set the anti-skating level in the range from 1.5 to 2 units.
Listening was carried out both with and using the built-in equalizer, and when the turntable was connected to an external phono equalizer, namely the old and well-deserved Trigon Vanguard II. The test system consisted of PMC OB1i loudspeakers and a Bryston B-100 integrated amplifier.
Before starting operation, I did not deny myself the pleasure of checking the quality of the support bearing. The simplest test, which shows how large the coefficient of friction is in it, is to spin the disk with your hand when the power is off and see how long it can continue to rotate by inertia. I must say that I was pleased with the Lenco L-3808 – usually a belt drive and a massive disc players pass this test best, but the practically weightless disc of an inexpensive turntable spun to a complete stop for 40 seconds. An excellent result for a budget turntable of this design.
As for the sound of the model as part of the test system, it turned out to be slightly softened at the edges of the frequency range, which is quite natural for a budget head and tonearm, but Lenco L-3808 does not allow any significant flaws. The overall level of resolution is quite consistent with the turntable class, while bypassing the built-in equalizer significantly improves both the attack over the entire range and the overall sound accuracy. In any case, this unit is more than capable of demonstrating the strengths of vinyl, namely the naturalness of timbres and the precise rhythmic pattern of the compositions – provided that you listen to a record correctly recorded in the analogue of the record. Well, above, as they say, there are only stars, the upgrade process, like repairs in an apartment, cannot be completed, but can only be stopped.
An inexpensive turntable from the revived in a new guise of the Lenco brand is focused more on an audience just beginning to join the magical world of gramophone records – it does not take a long time to set up, it is easy and simple to use. For an initial acquaintance with analog sound, the capabilities of the Lenco L-3808 are quite enough, and if you wish, you can always add a more expensive head to the turntable. Not a bad turntable for neophytes.
|ITEM NUMBER||L-3808 White|
|GTIN / EAN NAVISION||8711902034247|
|MEASUREMENTS FOR PRODUCT 1:||Turntable|
|PRODUCT HEIGHT 1||15.10 centimeter|
|PRODUCT WIDTH 1||45.00 centimeter|
|PRODUCT DEPTH 1||36.50 centimeter|
|MATERIAL||Aluminium, Metal, Plastic, Rubber|
|STANDBY POWER IN WATTS 1||4.70 watt|
|OFF-MODE POWER IN WATTS 1||0.056 Watt|
|TIME PERIOD SWITCH TO ERP STATE 1||na|
|SOUND SIGNAL||Stereo 2.0|
|SUPPORTED AUDIO FORMATS||N/A|
|AUDIO / VIDEO / DATA SOURCES||LP|
|AUDIO / VIDEO / DATA CONNECTIONS INPUT||N/A|
|AUDIO / VIDEO / DATA CONNECTIONS OUTPUT||RCA OUT|
|RADIO SUPPORTED TYPES||N/A|
|ANTI SKATING||Yes, adjustable|
|MP3 ENCODING||Yes, via PC|
|TURNTABLE WITH SPEAKER(S)||No|
|PICK-UP SYSTEM TYPE||Moving magnet (MMC)|
|TURNTABLE DRIVE TYPE||Direct drive|
|TURNTABLE WITH BLUETOOTH||No|
|TURNTABLE RPM SPEED||33, 45|
|SUPPORTED RECORD TYPES||7, 10, 12|
|ACCESSORIES TURNTABLES INCLUDED||45 TPM adaptor, AT3600, Cleaning cloth, Counterweight, Dust cover, MMC cartridge, Power cable, RCA cable, Slip mat, Software CD|
|NEEDLE PRESSURE ADJUSTABLE||Yes|
|PRODUCT WEIGHT (KG)||5.40 kilogram|
|RETAIL PACKAGING / SALES UNIT HEIGHT (M)||0.41 meter|
|RETAIL PACKAGING / SALES UNIT WIDTH (M)||0.52 meter|
|RETAIL PACKAGING / SALES UNIT DEPTH (M)||0.18 meter|
|RETAIL PACKAGING / SALES UNIT GROSS WEIGHT (KG)||6.36 kilogram|
Official site: www.lenco.com