Lenco LS-410WA turntable review: A musical centrepiece that ably performs the basics for vinyl newcomers
Lenco’s journey into the wider AV world continues with a series of turntables featuring on-board speakers, but do they offer consumers everything they’d hope for?
⊕ Simple to operate once set up
⊕ Decent cartridge included
⊕ Versatile all-in-one
⊕ Handy Bluetooth and line in connectivity
⊖ Some set-up required
⊖ No headphone socket
⊖ Internal speakers have limited bass extension
Dutch AV firm Lenco has a strong legacy in producing turntables and the LS-400 series follows the path of the manufacturer’s more recent move into consumer gear, combining its know-how in turntable design with digital smarts such as Bluetooth. The resulting product is pitched towards relative newcomers to vinyl who may not demand the highest quality of reproduction or hardware, but are looking for a simple way of spinning discs in a convenient, self-contained package.
Our review model features a smart walnut effect case with a subtle, retro speaker grille on the front. Other finishes are available, as well as (more expensive) product variants that add advanced playback features such as fine control of pitch. Our unit sits really nicely in our dining room and rustic den.
The LS-410 plays vinyl at 33 and 45 RPM through four built-in speakers or, alternatively, outputs audio to the dual RCA connectors around the back. There’s an option to turn the built-in preamp on or off for maximum compatibility when connecting external gear – it’s useful to not have to add a preamp to the chain.
Plugging into the line out doesn’t cut the internal speakers, which means a tidy and simple switch from the onboard speakers to external amplification when the time comes. You can make do with the internal sound for most listening situations but then easily crank things up for special occasions.
Sadly though, there’s no headphone socket on board, which would have been a boon for detailed, private listening late at night while getting lost in record sleeve notes.
With its Bluetooth receiver, the turntable accepts incoming audio from smartphones and the like, plus there’s also a line in. Both help establish the LS-410 as a versatile all-rounder.
Before spinning the grooves, there’s some set-up to do, which might prove a little daunting for the uninitiated. This involves installing the aluminium platter and connecting the belt to its drive motor. Following this, the tonearm needs to be balanced correctly with a counterweight. Written instructions are clear for the former and only moderately helpful for the latter task.
We got there, though, with a few adjustments to achieve the correct balance and stop the stylus skipping. Once installed, the platter spun freely and evenly and, although it’s not perfectly true around the entire rotation (there seemed to be one minor kink), this didn’t cause any playback imperfections.
Set up and tonearm aside, operating the LS-410 is straightforward; it has very few controls but the buttons are nicely tactile and do what you’d expect. Switching between inputs and Bluetooth pairing, for example, is a breeze.
The bundled Audio-Technica cartridge and speakers offer good clarity in playback but won’t be winning any prizes for bass reproduction. There are inevitably always going to be trade-offs when placing speakers near a turntable and Lenco has definitely moved the playback quality of this product beyond the realms of the typical, tinny-sounding ‘suitcase’ models – many of which would put off newcomers entirely.
The LS-410 is a nice-looking centrepiece that performs ably for casual listening at low to moderate volumes but is never going to impress you when cranked. Users wanting to go louder – with bass you can really feel – will need to connect up an external playback system.
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