This is how it all started...
...with a passion for great sound, a facination of engineering and a great deal of perseverance
"By coincidence I came into the idler drive business when a friend asked for help to bring his old Lenco L75 in working order. He had contacted several service firms, but all had condemned the player and said it could not be repaired. Instead he had bought a cheap Sony turntable, but the sound was miserable and he missed his old Lenco.
Only a few days later I found an old Lenco L78 in a garbadge container at my home street. It was in bad shape but I thought maybe it was possible to pick spare parts out of it for my friend’s defective L75? Coming home I disassembled the player, threw away the wooden box plinth, cover, tone-arm etc., but when looking at the chassis, with the powerful motor, the bearing and the platter, I got the impulse to try to build something better than the original.
I had read that old high-end idler drive turntables are far better than their reputation. It is true that the idler drives were outrivaled by the belt drives, but if one can eliminate old weaknesses such as rumble and vibrations, they are said to be as good as the belt drives - often better, more musical!
Especially the musicality is something that many are pointing at. The reason is a more direct and firm driving of the platter compared with the often slightly viscous doughty belt drive. If one could master the interference levels, the idler drive with its considerably stronger motor, higher torque and superior stability (all preventing that the platter is slowed down by the cartridge needle’s movements during strong music passages) it would be quite exciting to see what results could be acheived!
In parrallel with the Lenco-player I decided to try to find a Garrard 401, a player I owned a long time ago and always regretted that I had replaced by a Linn LP12. So when finding a Garrard 401 on UK eBay the renovation and re-construction work started for real.
A few months later, after careful renovation and new constructional thinking the re-designed Garrard 401 and Lenco L78 were completed. The result was indeed far above our expectations! We now fully understood why old Garrards and Lencos are so aftersought and decided to deliver the turntables to the Swedish magazine HiFi & Musik (the leading Scandinavian HiFi magazine) for testing. The Garrard 401 was carefully tested by them and they were chocked by the sound quality and result (read their article about our turntables here). To find turntables of comparable quality, they wrote, one must look for players at six digit prices in SEK or more! 100.000 SEK equals 10.500 EUR. Of course the players were fitted with suberb, in our mind outstanding, tone-arms and pickups from Origin Live and Ortofon. Companies which both backed us up in this interesting project.
Having the result of this project in hand, we finally decided to present these partly handmade players to the market on a commercial basis.
I hope this has inspired you to further study the possibilities to reach the ultimate reference sound.
Alan Ericsson, Founder & Owner
Norco International AB"
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