Lenco LS-410 review

A chic, fully-featured and fun record player marred by build quality issues Tested at £299 / $287 approx / AU$389 approx

Turntable: Lenco LS-410
(Image: © Future)

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

Sadly, it’s a case of so near yet so far for Lenco’s otherwise attractive and feature-packed record player

Pros

  • +

    Meaty Bluetooth-enabled speakers

  • +

    Stylish aesthetic

  • +

    Enjoyable to use

Cons

  • -

    Tonearm build issues

  • -

    Questionable speed stability

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Lenco celebrated its 75th anniversary in 2021 and the Dutch-owned brand is keeping the celebrations going with a new three-strong lineup of budget-conscious record players. The 400 range comprises the 410 with a wooden finish (the most affordable of the trio and the model we have on test), the 430 in black or brown imitation leather, and the 440 with either a blue or grey fabric finish. 

The deck includes four onboard speakers (two powered by 15W of amplification and two fed by 10W), thus granting it simple 'plug and play' bragging rights with no additional separates, wires or amps required. With Bluetooth 5.0 onboard too, this record player even doubles as a Bluetooth speaker for streaming music directly to those four speakers from your smartphone or tablet. But is it worthy of a spot in the home of the fledgling vinyl collector? Let’s get to work. 

Build

Turntable: Lenco LS-410

(Image credit: Future)

Unbox the LS-410 and you have to remark that for the money it is a good-looking thing. The wooden chassis is smartly finished with rounded edges to reveal the speaker grille and a metallic Lenco brand plate across the front panel. Other nice touches include four rubber buttons on the right of the deck to select 33 1/3 or 45 RPM speeds, start/pause or scroll between modes (more on this later). There’s also a nice smooth volume dial, a premium-feeling felt mat, and four feet underneath the cabinet that feel just like halved squash balls to aid with vibration damping. 

On the back of the player are aux-in as well as stereo RCAs that can be switched between being a phono output (where you’ll need a partnering amplifier with a built-in phono stage) or line-level. However, we suspect that the Lenco LS-410 will end up being used as is, with no extra separates involved – and so far, it impresses. 

Lenco LS-410 tech specs

Turntable: Lenco LS-410

(Image credit: Future)

Type Belt-driven

Maximum power output 50W

Weight 6kg

Bluetooth 5.0

Connections RCA out, 3.5mm in, phono/line out switch

Dimensions (hwd) 19.2 x 42.5 x 36cm

In terms of set-up, the metal platter comes ready-fitted with its belt, and once set on the spindle, a simple tweak of a ribbon sits it nicely over the motor pulley. Things do then get slightly more complicated, however. For a deck at this level – and one that comes pre-fitted with an Audio Technica cartridge – we might have expected the counterweight position to be pre-set. But here the owner is expected to do it conventionally by first attaching the counterweight to the arm, adjusting the weight until the arm is balanced and then twisting further to set the relatively heavy 3.5g tracking force.

Naturally, seasoned turntable users will run through these steps as a matter of course, but for a younger vinyl novice it could be fiddly and off-putting.

We do have a more pressing issue with the build, though. The materials and finish of the cabinet are spot-on for the price – and we love the design – but in calibrating the tonearm we become aware of too much play in the arm bearings, to the point that the arm actually rattles, which creates noise and affects sound quality later on. It’s a shame, particularly since this is almost certainly an issue that could have been resolved with more careful quality control.

Features

Turntable: Lenco LS-410

(Image credit: Future)

This particular record player has an ace up its sleeve that few other all-in-one solutions boast at this price. Although some affordable turntables include a Bluetooth transmitter (see Pro-Ject’s TONE turntable or Sony’s five-star Sony PS-LX310BT) to send the music spinning on your deck to your Bluetooth headphones or separate Bluetooth speaker, the Lenco houses a Bluetooth 5.0 receiver. That lets you play music from your phone or another Bluetooth device to the player's four onboard speakers, allowing you to forego your vinyl collection entirely if you wish. 

It adds real value, especially for fledgling vinyl collectors who now have Bluetooth streaming as a backup while continuing to add to their LP stash. 

Sound

Turntable: Lenco LS-410

(Image credit: Future)

We lower Bob Marley and the Wailers’ 1973 studio album Catch A Fire onto the platter and Stir it Up comes through pleasingly loud and warm. Indeed, the LS-410 is fun and likeable to use – and we love having the option of pausing playback and resuming it at will. (Pushing the pause button mutes the amplification and stops the platter spinning; press play and there’s a little wait while the turntable gets back up to speed, then the amplification kicks back in.) Lukas Graham’s Happy Home is also nicely weighty across the frequencies. Although we’d love a little more space and insight in the presentation, the Lenco is pretty entertaining for a one-box solution. 

That said, in classical pieces such as Jacques Loussier’s Siciliano In G Minor we do become acutely aware of another issue – a lack of speed stability. It’s enough to make the piano sound unassured and a little fuzzy. When listening to Tom Jones’s Did Trouble Me, it’s a similar issue. Jones’s diction in this song is unparalleled but here we’re missing an extra ounce of conviction and the unwavering sense of rhythm we know should be present in his vocal against the pared-back banjo, drum beat and simple chord accompaniment. 

Verdict

Turntable: Lenco LS-410

(Image credit: Future)

Our hearts sit heavy in our chest when delivering this verdict, because the Lenco LS-410 has so much going for it. It looks smart and is packed with sensible features. Importantly, there’s evidence of real sonic ability here too. Sadly, the poorly made tonearm and speed stability issues are significant enough flaws to knock it back from a full recommendation. We hope Lenco has a go at fixing these shortcomings, as the LS-410 has the potential to be a fine product.

SCORES

  • Build 3
  • Features
  • Sound 3

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  • suburbansky
    If only Lenco (Laeng & Co.) had gone the route of so many top-notch British manufacturers: Keep it in the family (more or less) instead of selling out, develop and produce top equipment at the company's original homebase in Burgdorf, Switzerland, instead of just plastering nametags onto cheap, sub-par no-name equipment from China. *Sigh*
    Reply