The L 85 was an industrial design winner ‚if die gute Industrieform‘ Hannover Messe in 1972 but it was first introduced in September 1971 on the German ‚Funkausstellung‘. It was Lenco’s first high end belt drive model after they had released the low end models 690, 695, 705 (1969) and 725 (1971) using the same 16 pole synchronous motor but with a better suspension, operating at 4.5 V-AC and a special mu-metal shielding!* Equipped with a 4.5 mm flat belt the mechanical selectable speeds were 33 rpm and 45 rpm.
A new designed tone arm, based on the former L 75 tone arm geometry but with a smaller and lighter head shell paying attention to the lower mass necessary for Hi-track cartridges available from Shure, Grado, Goldring, ADC and others. Rubber bearings (V-Blocks) are gone……
It was Lenco’s first model including electronics*** for the speed control and the high frequency auto shut off. Lenco’s solution was an unique design as it didn’t have any mechanical parts involved in the detection part of the shut off process. A ferrite segment with a defined geometry together with a coil - all built into the tone arm - were the ‚heart‘ of the high frequency auto shut off system. ExLibris sold it in 1971 for CHF 450.—including a Shure M75-BT2 cartridge.
With the new design the L 85 got a new platter with a integrated stroboscope ring. It also got a sub-platter with a new designed platter bearing** that was partly inherited from the heavy platter models L 70 / L 75 / L 78. Later on it was replaced by the L 85 IC.
It was also available as a built in model. The Rank Group in Germany used it in their CR 4040 Mk I Music Center.
*Motor M 25 with mu-metal shielding
L 85 Mk IV
**Platter bearing with sub-platter
***L 85 PCB first series - still in its initial condition
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