Spindle & platter custom Clinamen for Lenco
Technical description of the Clinamen- Lenco platter and spindle
We decided dedicate a page to a detailed and thorough description of the spindle/hub + platter we mount on our bull–wheel Clinamen Lenco turntables Level 4 and Level 5 models.
Clinamen Oversize 12 mm spindle
The spindle is our pride and joy. It is a masterpiece of mechanics, the result of over a year of study, several prototypes and listening tests. It enjoys a generous size compared to both the original spindle and the available spindles in the audiophiles’ channels. Design and materials are top of the range. The diameter of the spindle has gone up from the standard 9mm to 12 mm. It is also longer in order to increase the mounting inter-axle for the copper sintered bushes and to tolerate a greater overturning couple.
The materials used are:
- SAE 304 stainless steel for the hub
- CORRAX stainless steel for the spindle, heat treated for aging with subsequent adjustment and lapping, for the purpose of toughness both superficially and in the 50 HRC core.
- Carbide bit with anti-friction TiN coating (Titanium nitride submerged in metallic matrix) seated at the basis of the spindle.
- Bronze lower thrust bearing hosting a martensitic stainless steel sphere.
The hub is made from SAE 304 stainless steel. Its solid structure is suitable to avoid vibrations and flections. It hosts two plain bearings mounted for self-lubrication interference and rectified after the insertion.
The whole axial drive of the turntable is discharged vertically on an 8mm diameter sphere, which lies on a very big bronze thrust pad. The sphere is immersed in oil and it rotates on a spherical recess. The thrust pad has containing side walls that allow the sphere to constantly rotate in oil. Finally, at the basis of the thrust pad there is the housing for an O-Ring, which avoids any oozing of lubricating oil.
The coupling tolerances between hub and bearings are centesimal and the lubrication is assisted by a thin layer of oil. Once finished each hub is manually coupled with its hub; it is manually calibrated and it undergoes a 30 hours long pre-breaking in.
The hub, as it is built, is designed for a very long life span. Consider that the hub doesn’t lie directly on the stainless steel thrust bearing sphere, but a carbide bit is in between. After tens of years of usage you can replace the thrust pad or the sphere. Thanks to the carbide bit the hub will always be as new (on the contrary of the Garrard hubs, whose bottom is always heavily worn out).
Starting from May 2020 we’ve introduced an important improvement to the hub. We have applied a wide spiral on its surface with the function of moving the layer of oil from the bottom to the top. Despite it not being fundamental, because we use self-lubricating sintered bearings, it definitely gives a big help in keeping frictions low.
N.B.: in the final hub, the oiler visible in the body of the hub in the picture has been eliminated.
Clinamen ERGAL 7075 platter diameter 320 mm weight 5,2 Kg
Clinamen ERGAL 320mm Platter before the painting process
The platter as well, of course, is quite special. We have not been affected by the ‘quantity syndrome’, commonly used to impress in the HI-END world. We’ve avoided pointless oversizing and overweight platters. Physics tells us that it is not weight that matters but the angular momentum. In order to have a high angular momentum the mass must be distributed as much as possible on the external perimeter of the platter. If you look at how the flywheel of engines are made you will immediately realize what we mean.
Thus we have only increased the mass of 1.7 Kg compared to the original Lenco platter. Such a small mass increase on a Clinamen hub doesn’t rouse any worry for it. What we did do is build a larger diameter platter of 320mm (300mm is the standard size) which concentrate the mass on the periphery. Thus the angular momentum is maximized with equal mass and this ensures great consistency in the platter rotation.
Another great advantage of our platter is its considerable thickness in the central part (17mm) which avoids:
- The platter to vibrate under external vibrational stimuli
- The bull wheel that rotates it from the bottom to excite its vibration (the ‘scraping’ noise that could be heard in the original Lenco platters when used without plastic mat has completely disappeared)
Our platters are ALL checked with the centesimal comparator to make sure that all the geometrical tolerances of concentricity and planarity are contained in a handful of hundredths (5 hundredths for planarity and 2 hundredths for concentricity)
Other gems of the platter are:
- Recess for the label of the vinyl
- Hosting recess for the mat
- Central insert made from bronze, with 3 degrees conical turning for zero tolerance coupling with the hub
- Metallic mat black or gold gloss painting