Just won a Zero 100s - let the fun (?) begin!

the jewel in the crown
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DSJR
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Re: Just won a Zero 100s - let the fun (?) begin!

Post by DSJR » 17 Oct 2019 13:53

SHHH! :D

Bloody good deck this is potentially. The motors on Lenco's are a work of art with smooth, low vibration running and if the idler is the later metal hubbed type, very quiet potentially too (I believe the plastic hub types can be re-tyred in a modern O Ring which gives even better? performance). The vertical drive gives the rumble and noise 'out-of-phase' with a central mono image, so the noise is spread out to the edges of a perceived sound-stage in stereo. If the motor wires are ok and not binding and if the rotor bearings are lubricated properly (rotor should take ages to 'wind down' on power-off, noise into the speakers isn't much of an issue in my first hand experience of many samples of 75's, 78's, G88 and a filthy G99 and now a 69 or two;)

I'd ask please, that the B52, GL69 and especially the GL72 are played down a bit ;) to keep prices affordable... The steel platter (and 'lighter' main bearing build) may be an issue for some cartridges (moving coils?) and lack of bias correction on the earlier tonearms (the later GL69's and 72's were fine for this) may give unequal stylus wear, but a later 69 I've had here (Goldring sprung plinth and 'Linn style' lid with 'prop' and early hinges) worked well and 'sounded' incredibly good. Sadly, the fashion is to take GL75's, butcher them totally and fit third party tonearms, but I'm a lone voice in this I think, as the stock arm and maybe fresh exit cabling, can perform well with AT95e and descended sibling and family cartridges. Deck plates can rust underneath I gather from a collector who had thirty odd samples through his hands so any interested parties should look carefully, especially at some of the prices now asked. Main bearings can be slightly sloppy on later decks too, but sleeves can be got.

Oh hell, I have a Sony plinthed GL75 in the garage awaiting service, modern cartridge and restoration to the main bearing. This 'room' is not the place to go over things, but as Mr 'T68' has more than a passing interest in many idler maker 'genres,' I hope I'll be allowed to comment and hopefully share.

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Re: Just won a Zero 100s - let the fun (?) begin!

Post by T68 » 02 Nov 2019 12:22

"Good things come to those who wait." Hope that is true. Still no idler being back from refurbishment. Sigh...
God thing I have the Lenco to play with. It's coming to life nicely after some tlc (new idler tyre, relube and aligning of the motor and a Stanton 680). Quite impressive old clunker this!
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But I'm really starting to miss the sleek looks and golden buttons on the zero. Not to mention auto.
Hopefully a new and more silent idler will be in the mail next week.

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Re: Just won a Zero 100s - let the fun (?) begin!

Post by DSJR » 03 Nov 2019 11:54

You got me looking for am intact Lenco such as yours (they're ignored as the steel platter and tonearm don't look as posh). With tonearm V blocks sorted, motor/idler running quietly and careful choice of cartridge, a very quite and easy to use manual player. I agree the Zero does turn heads, and for a good reason too. You can get good idlers on eBay from time to time - I did.

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Re: Just won a Zero 100s - let the fun (?) begin!

Post by T68 » 07 Nov 2019 15:39

Whoop! Idler wheel on the way, finally. :D

(This is swedish for "your order has been packed and shipped")'
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Re: Just won a Zero 100s - let the fun (?) begin!

Post by T68 » 13 Nov 2019 17:39

AHH, look what the postman brought! To bad there's to much other stuff going on right now. Cannot install and test until tomorrow at earliest. Well good to finally have the wheel back, anyway.
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Re: Just won a Zero 100s - let the fun (?) begin!

Post by DSJR » 14 Nov 2019 21:35

WELL??????

We're waiting!! :D

Hey - all good fun init?

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Re: Just won a Zero 100s - let the fun (?) begin!

Post by T68 » 15 Nov 2019 06:02

Managed to get some time in to do a quick first test run with the new idler, while doing some work on an old reciever that needed a phono signal.
And: success (I hope)! It spins silently with no audible noise on the outside. Before, even though I got it running better, I could always hear drive noise if I listened close to the plinth.

Weird was that I had to relube the idler bearing since it at first had a little noise. Maybe I didn't use enough oil on first attempt.

Have to try it in my primary setup to listen more closely after noise in deadwax before I know for sure. Doen't fully trust the speakers on the test bench.

But feels good to have her up and running again!

And yes: it's fun tinkering with these old contraptions :D !
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Re: Just won a Zero 100s - let the fun (?) begin!

Post by DSJR » 15 Nov 2019 09:34

I've been fighting a losing battle (currently) with a couple of old very hot running Roksan Xerxes power supplies, which, over thirty plus years, severely cook themselves into submission. Eight electrolytics to replace as a first step, but then the under-heatsinked output stages can cook/fry too along with the drivers and if that doesn't restore running, the ic's further back need looking at - oh joy... I'll also need the services of an oscilloscope which'll be fun too (I'm a mechanical bodger really).

And you think old Garrards, Duals and Lenco's are fun? :D

Really glad the Zero is settling down now. Lovely looking thing to me.

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Re: Just won a Zero 100s - let the fun (?) begin!

Post by T68 » 15 Nov 2019 11:32

Wow, sounds like you got yourself a handful with that Roksan. Hope you get it sorted. Seems like nice turntables!
I'm with you there on electric stuff. Not my comfort zone either.
I probably need to change som caps on that ol' amp in the middle of that picture above (a Swedish/Danish Centrum 424 from back in the days) in near future. And getting a bit nervous about it already.

Nice looking unit though and sounds really good - once I discovered it's so old it's lacking riaa amplifier for phono and connected an external one :-).
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Re: Just won a Zero 100s - let the fun (?) begin!

Post by T68 » 16 Nov 2019 12:41

Back in the cabinet and up and running again! Some Clapton for premiere run

First impression is less rumble with new idler! Gotta listen to some more soft stuff to really evaluate.
But starting to hear a faint cycling ticking sound again from the idler bearing / shaft assembly again. Maybe something up with the washers or c-clip...? Gotta have a look at that. But first got to catch up on some listening after two months out of commission :-).
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Re: Just won a Zero 100s - let the fun (?) begin!

Post by DSJR » 16 Nov 2019 14:34

Sorry to say this, but anyone would think we're talking about an audiophile deck here. It's not! Whenever I use these things, I expect the worst and am then pleasantly surprised by the very fair sounds coming out...

There should be a washer top and bottom of the idler and I think light sewing machine or similar oil was used to lubricate this bearing. If it's an old idler, then a gentle wipe round the periphery with a suitable cleaner wouldn't hurt, to remove any 'flashing' or burrs on the tyre, followed by several hours of running I reckon.

In the meantime, that old bottom-range B52 with fresh tonearm V-blocks would probably easily out perform it and take better cartridges as well as the sonic quality is reportedly about as good as the heavyweight models further up the chain and with minor tweaking in some cases, the headshell and tonearm should happily take modern Ortofon or AT mm cartridges!

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Re: Just won a Zero 100s - let the fun (?) begin!

Post by T68 » 17 Nov 2019 00:46

Hey, it got golden buttons! Not many audiophilic TT can compete with that!

(...and by mysterious ways Im now also in possession of a Lenco L75 that may be a swap in for the zero when I want to do more picky listening).

The B52 is going into Santa's sack to spread vinyl joy to a close relative.

I think the idler tyre is good on the zero after the restore. Got both top and bottom washers in place. But the top thin transparent washer is looking a bit worn and has scuffs. Maybe those are rubbing against the clip washer making that noise?

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Re: Just won a Zero 100s - let the fun (?) begin!

Post by DSJR » 17 Nov 2019 12:52

Not sure.

Can you check the entire idler bracket for 'levelling?' The motor pulley may well need adjusting (I had to fit a headless screw a la Dual into the already threaded top of the pulley to firmly adjust the pulley height as the underneath adjustment wasn't enough). If the idler by any chance is 'bobbing' up and down on its spindle, it 'could' aid your ticking issue? My own Zero had the idler bracket tilting down to the motor pulley and in this case, I had more than wow, the pitch would slightly waver almost as if it was seasick. Straightening everything out, setting the overall idler height halfway via its adjustor and re-adjusting the motor pulley height up a touch to compensate (for sagging motor suspension grommets?) cured it completely and it's now quiet, speed and pitch stable as most good idler decks should be!

I just followed the pics in the service manual which show everything parallel, level and true but obviously I don't have another to cross check with...

P.S. L75 eh? that darned bug has bitten, hasn't it? I really must 'do' mine (it's in a solid but rather 'fugly' Sony plinth) and am saving for an AT540 to go in it, or one of the Duals, or something :D

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Re: Just won a Zero 100s - let the fun (?) begin!

Post by T68 » 04 Dec 2019 21:40

Well, after doing (not as much as I want due to other obligations) some more listening with the newly refurbished idler wheel, I still get a bit too much rumble. It's just a bit too annoying in the silent parts of the music.

So off we go on a rumble hunt.
Will read up carefully what DSJR and others have written about this and how to fix it and make up a game plan.

Will post it sometime soon hopefully.

Cheers!

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Re: Just won a Zero 100s - let the fun (?) begin!

Post by DSJR » 05 Dec 2019 20:42

Ummm - it's an IDLER DRIVE and It's my personal opinion based on experience that 'rumble' and general drive noises are part of the 'fun' with this drive technology. They ALL do it, even the hybrid Thorens 124, but it's at different frequencies..

Lots more to add but no time currently. The Zero 100 was criticised when new for less than stellar 'rumble' performance I remember. I can add more if you want, either here or PM later...

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