Lenco - The Swiss years

1951 -1954


In 1951, as sales rose, Lenco acquired the Emmenau property in Hasle-Rüegsau (5) (canton of Berne) for their production expansion and it also included a capital increase from CHF 50'000 to CHF 150'000 (6). In 1953 Lenco signed a contract with the Swiss book club Ex Libris for the delivery of 1’000 record players (7). Lenco won a competition - together with another swiss manufacturer - against 15 competitors.


In North America Lenco's were represented by David Bogen Inc. (8) and sold under the label Bogen.  For that market the F 50-8 was renamed as B 50-4 / B 50-4X. First appearance was mentioned in a high-fidelity review December 1954.

1955


In April 1955 Lenco added the 16 ⅔ rpm speed to their F 50-8 (9). It was available as a chassis, as a portable unit without a power amplifier and a portable unit with a power amplifier. Goldring started to sell Lenco record players under the Goldring Lenco label in England (10).

1957 - 1958


Lenco released the B 50-16, first appearance is around 1957. Based on the F 50-8 Mk III the most visible changes were the blue rubber mat and the blue name tag close to the tone arm. During  production the Mk II version of the B 50-16 got an On / Off knob and a tone arm lift instead of the shut off mechanism. Not officially yet, these record players were promoted as ‚Stereo ready‘. In July 1958 competitor Elac released their stereo record player Miraphon 210. Later in the year the Lenco F 50-8 Mk III followed. The re-designed tone arm with a removable Bakelite head shell made it easier for the cartridge replacement. At the same time Lenco released their first ‚heavy platter‘ model L 70 (initially called B 60) and replaced the B 50-16 with the B 51.

1959 - 1965


The expansion of the company led to a new factory building in Oberburg. On May first in 1959 the first departments could move in (11). On December 11th in 1961 Lenco Italiana S.p.A (12) was founded. At the beginning of the Italian factory they manufactured all kind of small AC/DC motors. In 1963 Lenco released the studio tone arm P 77. Many radio stations around the world used it in their broadcasting studios. In 1964 Lenco’s B 52, with a new designed tone arm and the first time with a counterweight, was released. The head shell design came from the P 77. First series were all without antiskating compensation. It continues Lenco’s ‚light platter‘ line. In 1965 the L 77 was released, basically a L 70 but with Lenco’s studio tone arm P 77. The Rank Group represents Lenco in Germany and Denmark (13) and the collaboration with HEA Vienna (14) starts.

The 33 years of Lenco AG Switzerland

Source list for historical information


(5)    Lenco Hauszeitung, Issue Nr. 3 May 1971, Page 6

(6)    Schweizerisches Handelsamtsblatt Nr. 233 October 5th 1951

(7)    Lenco Hauszeitung, Issue Nr. 3 May 1971, Page 7

(8)    high-fidelity, Issue December 1954

(9)    Die Tat, Issue April 20th, 1955 Page 14

(10)  Lenco Hauszeitung Issue Nr. 9 October 1973, Page 7

(11)  Lenco Hauszeitung, Issue Nr. 3 May 1971, Page 8

(12)  ‚Lenco una storia osimana‘ Issue 2011, Page 29

(13)  Lenco Hauszeitung, Issue Nr. 11 September 1974, Page 14

(14)  HEA Circuit diagram ‚Stereo-Verstärker St 1/1, September 6th 1965

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Last Update: 02.10.2021

15.09.2021

- Added the Lenco 811 POP stereo in the portable section

02.10.2021

- Added Source reference in the ‚Historical Facts‘ section