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Adventures with LP12s . . .

Discussion in 'audio' started by Bob Edwards, Jul 2, 2021.

  1. Bob Edwards

    Bob Edwards pfm Member

    All -

    Rather like @Mr Pig , I've decided to rejoin the ranks of LP12 owners.

    And wow, what an adventure! I bought one that had a Kore and Mober DC supply; but could not get it to run at 33 1/3 - it would run from 32.5 to 35+ RPM, and no amount of troubleshooting would correct it (despite great support from Edmund). So it is going back.

    In its place is coming a circa 1997 LP12 with Valhalla, Ekos, and a Grado Sonata cartridge. It's obviously got the Cirkus, as it would have come from the factory with it. And it got new springs, grommets, belt, lock nuts, etc., in 2018, so they should have some life left.

    My plan is to play it to make sure it works, and then to send the Ekos to Linn for servicing - the tracking force dial grease dried up, rendering the VTF dial inoperative. And I understand they'll redo the bearings with Ekos 2 bearings, so it should be close to new. I have a Mose/Hercules2 that I'll swap out for the Valhalla (another long story, that!). And then once that's done, I'll probably do a Karousel. And stop.

    One question - has anyone run a Grado Sonata successfully in an Ekos? I have a Gold2 on the Revolver I started my TT adventures with, and it's just too warm and fuzzy on the Revolver - although to be fair, I think that's exactly what most Grados lean to sound-wise.

    And if not, what's a reasonable place to start cartridge-wise? An AT OC9ML? Hana ML? AT VM540 or similar?
    Miss Ariel and linnfomaniac83 like this.
  2. pocketkitchen

    pocketkitchen Registered User

    OC9 is a really good cart. I’d suggest the Dynavector 20x, too. Haven’t heard the Hana.
    Bob Edwards likes this.
  3. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    I had an OC9 in an LP12/Ittok and really liked it. AT carts can be a little lean for my taste, but that cart in that deck was really nice to my ears. I can’t remember the exact spec of the LP12 as I’ve owned so many of the things, but certainly Valhalla and I think Cirkus. It was a nice deck aside from having to fart about with the 45rpm adapter to play 12” singles!
    Mr Pig, musicman7988 and Bob Edwards like this.
  4. Darren

    Darren All Business

    I have a grado sonata. It's the worst cartridge I've owned. I agree that a decent OC9 will be a massive upgrade and, for me, would come ahead of getting the arm serviced.
    Bob Edwards likes this.
  5. Mr Pig

    Mr Pig ^'- -'^

    Most cartridges will 'work' on that deck and it's more just a matter of taste. I like the OC9 but it is not a well rounded cart. It lacks body and solidity and a degree of coherence.

    I didn't know Linn were servicing the Ekos? They didn't used to. Talk to Johnnie/Audio Origami. He was fixing them when Linn wouldn't and I'd expect him to be cheaper.
    Jimbobbyron likes this.
  6. david ellwood

    david ellwood Kirabosi Kognoscente

    I’d put a new AT-95 on it with a Karousel and a new majik sub chassis and arm board.

    Cheapest coil I’d consider is DV-20

    OC9 and Hana are both non starters on a Linn, assuming you want it to sound like one.
  7. Howdy

    Howdy pfm Member

    AT-OC9ML/II sounds great on my LP12, slightly bettered by AT-33PTG-II and miles above AT-440MLa. AT95E is good (great for 25€ cart, same level as DV 10x5), but it's not even the same sport as OC9 or 33PTG.
    Miss Ariel and Mr Pig like this.
  8. John

    John Rack’em Up!

    Interesting to see a 1997 LP12/Ekos tonearm paired with a Valhalla power supply.

    Ekos released in 1989
    Lingo - 1990
    Cirkus - 1993

    I took me a number of years before I upgraded to a Linn Ekos and by that time it was deemed Ekos 2, that would have been 1997. I added the Lingo in 1993 and Cirkus in 1994 which to me hierarchically made sense to me.
  9. Charlie_1

    Charlie_1 pfm Member

    The original Ekos was developed during the Valhalla period so they should sound good together, although I've not heard that pairing in a very long time. Think the Ekos 2 came out in '92 but that won't dramatically change the character.
  10. John

    John Rack’em Up!

    I wouldn’t be surprised if Linn were using a Lingo prototype supply in concert with the Ekos development.
  11. Charlie_1

    Charlie_1 pfm Member

    Maybe, although theres a 2+ year gap as I assume the Ekos was also in development a while before its launch.
  12. John

    John Rack’em Up!

    1 year gap, Ekos 1989, Lingo 1990. Maybe the Ekos 2 changes benefitted from the Lingo which was a production model by then.
  13. Charlie_1

    Charlie_1 pfm Member

  14. Robert

    Robert Tapehead

    OC9 is superb but go for the version with ML stylus if possible.
  15. John

    John Rack’em Up!

    You are correct sir! I got the date from a Stereophile review that came out in April 1989. That doc is nice, I have a hard copy it. I have an Ekos 2 with a serial number in the 6800’s after all the changes were made to the arm. Nice that Bob will get his sorted, it’s a great sounding tonearm.

    I would locate an old Linn MC (Troika, Klyde, Karma, Asaka) and send it off to Goldring for a full rebuild if they’re still doing them.
    Bob Edwards and Charlie_1 like this.
  16. Charlie_1

    Charlie_1 pfm Member

    Yes, David Giffin is still doing them - he used to do the Troika rebuilds for Linn back in the day. I just got a GR Troika fitted to my Ekos 2 this week. Great timing and matches really well with vintage Naim amps and over warmly Sara 9s. Doesn't have the tunefulness of a Krystal but it seems to sit more happily in this old system and should improve over the next few weeks.
    wylton, Miss Ariel and John like this.
  17. Woodface

    Woodface pfm Member

    OC9 & 33 work fantastically in an LP12
  18. Mr Pig

    Mr Pig ^'- -'^

    Goldring didn't make the Klyde. It just looks like the others but it's not the same.
  19. Charlie_1

    Charlie_1 pfm Member

    I thought Goldring did make the Klyde. They didn't make the Troika though - that was Supex. Not sure about the others without googling.
    John likes this.
  20. John

    John Rack’em Up!

    Right on Charlie!
    Ben&Ted, Tarzan and Charlie_1 like this.

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