Goldring '88' hi-fi turntable made by Lenco
The Goldring '88' transcription turntable is often ignored and under-rated but is actually a fantastic turntable.
The '88' was the top of Goldring's range and made by Lenco in Switzerland. It was designed to compete directly with the Garrard 301 and the Thorens TD-124. HiFi World mention it in the same breath as both the Garrard 401 and the Technics SL10 which gives you an idea of how good a reputation these turntables have.
The goldring 99 is a cosmetically updated version of the 88 which is styled more similarly to the Garrard 401.
These Goldring turntables use a very similar version of the well regarded idler drive mechanism to that of the popular and much more common Goldring Lenco GL75 which has recently been the subject of many modifications to make excellent turntables. Unlike the GL75, the '88' and '99' were designed specifically to be combined with the best quality arms (9" or 12") and plinths. They also have a more refined platter which was drilled and filled to make it spin more evenly. I once had a GL75 as well, but I kept the 88.
The Goldring '88' was made only between 1962 and 1965.
An idler wheel is used to drive a platter weighing 8lb ( 3.6kg ). Speed is continuously variable from below 16 rpm to above 80 rpm. The heavy weight of the platter helps to give very low wow and flutter, leading to accurate sound. It also provides very solid bass response. Sound quality is excellent.
At first I used the turntable with a NEAT tonearm and then with a Linn LVX Basik+, which always looked a bit "modern" on the Goldring. I got an SME 3009 arm a little while before we decided to move and unfortunately never got around to mounting this and hearing such a classic combination.
I used the turntable exclusively with a home made cork mat cut
from a 12" cork tile. I found this to
sound better than the original rubber mat.
My plinth was made as a veneered chipboard box with a spring suspended top plate of 25 mm MDF. The metal stand was welded up especially to fit underneath the plinth.
The suspension worked well though it could be a little tricky to set it up to get a good bounce. Once done, it sounded great and gave very good resistance to footfalls etc. I think the weight of the stand and the lower box part of the plinth gave many of the advantages of a heavy plinth while the suspended MDF part gave many of the advantages of a lighter plinth.
The turntable having been taken out of the plinth. Note that transport screws are in place to prevent damage when shipping
The underside of the turntable. You will see that apart from the short length of wire to the neon indicator, which is not replacable, the wiring was replaced. I would not recommend using the original wire of any turntable of this age. Note also that the suppressor capacitor on the mains switch was changed, this time the replacement was because the original no longer worked. This capacitor prevents a loud "bang" through your speakers when the record deck is switched on and off. Make sure you use an X rated capacitor which can cope with 240V AC and is fire resistant.
The turntable wearing the original mat.
This is the complete instruction / user manual of the Goldring '88' including specifications:
This is the original template supplied with the turntable. Scale this up and print it out (the ruler is included to help with scaling) and you can use it to make a plinth for your turntable.
I also have webpages about other HiFi topics, including reviews of other components at the hifi index. After selling the Goldring, I switched to a Manticore Mantra turntable.
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