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Linn LP12s – Fire away!

Discussion in 'audio' started by NickofWimbledon, Aug 24, 2022.

  1. Colin131

    Colin131 pfm Member

    Yeah I had exactly the same experience with the cirkus with the thicker cirkus subchassis and standard armboard compared to pre cirkus.
    I tried the cirkus three times and hated it each time and reversed the change quickly. I could never get along with it.

    What is it about the Stack audio subchassis that makes the cirkus manageable for you, compared to standard?

    The Audiomods I had was the micrometer version V and IIRC it was the top version. I too remember Johnnie saying that about the bearings. It had a detailed sound but was a bit too bright and lightweight for me with the cartridges I tried. The Linn arms had more weight and body to the sound. The early PU7 had even more of that but lost definition compared to the Linn arms, so I found the Linn arms to be the most well balanced by a long way.

    Yes the Aro is indeed all about the (very pure) midrange from my experience too, although that Naim grease to get rid of air bubbles is supposed to improve extension. Not sure as I didn’t try it. Did anyone try doing that?

    The Nima is not as pure in the midrange as the Aro but it has a nice sound that is less clinical than the Aro and still has more definition in the midrange than the Linn arms. It doesn’t have the dynamics or bass of the Linn arms though, and that’s a deal breaker for a lot of people I think, myself included. I’m willing to put up with a somewhat less well defined midrange of the Linn arms for the bass and dynamics, and the midrange is still good enough compared to other arms IMO.

    I’d be interested to try the straight Rega arm after your comments. If it was less bright/less lightweight than the Audiomods but had the same nice definition it would be good. The midrange definition might top the Linn arms, although how it handled the bass etc would be an interesting comparison. I’ve already got 3 Rega armboards for the Nima (single and double sandwich MDF, and an older chipboard one. All original Linn ones. I like the sound of the chipboard one. Softer but sweeter sounding in the treble). They would be superfluous though if I went to a modern subchassis/armboard.

    Do you use a variable VTA device or stacked shims for the Rega?

    Maybe another move for me would be to try a cirkus or Karousel with a newer subchassis, as you’ve done. That might give more all around performance with records from different periods.
     
  2. Colin131

    Colin131 pfm Member

    Yes and that’s only a small part of it!
     
  3. John R

    John R pfm Member

    Much better John, but still no cigar given the price.
     
    Mr Pig likes this.
  4. John R

    John R pfm Member

    Takes a third party to impress David!
     
    NickofWimbledon likes this.
  5. Mr Pig

    Mr Pig Trade: ^'- -'^

    Yes, I totally agree. In fact I think the Ittok/Ekos are very good with complex music. It is more as you say, they work well on some records and not on others. I was thinking about this and was going to clarify it my next post.

    I don't necessarily think it's as simple as records made at different times, just different recording types and qualities. For example heavily compressed music. This might be more typical of a certain time period but you can find records which don't sound good of any age. Clean, dynamic recordings will sound great but compressed, thin or bright ones can sound rubbish.

    I had an Ittok for twenty years and have been using Rega arms for fifteen and it is something the arm is guilty of. Cartridges contribute, or help, but swapping the arm for a Rega went almost all of the way to solving it. And if the Rega arm is good enough, with little down side. Ittok bass is hard to beat!

    I do love the look of the Ittok though, I think it's the best looking tonearm ever made, but the lack of serviceability would stop me using one today. I suppose they've had a good run but it is a shame that you can't get parts and hardly anyone works on them. I think the Ittok is one of the great arms.
     
  6. david ellwood

    david ellwood Kirabosi Kognoscente

    I have three third party additions , a skale counterweight, mike P’s blue belt and the Stiletto plinth. Both the plinth and counterweight were demonstrated by my dealer and I felt they improved the sound so I purchased.

    I also have a custom solid steel welded sound org table with 8mm aluminium top plate.

    I’ve tried lots of other mods over the years , many (collaro mat, Tranquility) are terrible and mess things up.

    The Stiletto was an uncomfortable purchase because it was very expensive but once you hear what it does it’s hard to be without it.
     
    John R and NickofWimbledon like this.
  7. Alex S

    Alex S carbon based lifeform

    When I jumped on the Aro bandwagon and sold my Ittok I quite soon wished I hadn't.
     
    Colin131, Paul Hindle and Mr Pig like this.
  8. Mr Pig

    Mr Pig Trade: ^'- -'^

    Ha ha, totally agree again. I think the Quads are one of the most overrated speakers out there. If you listen to orchestral or female vocal all the time, fine. If not, you soon will be! When I've heard them I've always thought they sounded lovely, until you play some demanding music. Last time was just a few weeks ago. They've basically got one party trick that they're really good at and they're shite at everything else.
     
    Colin131 and MVV like this.
  9. Mr Pig

    Mr Pig Trade: ^'- -'^

    Try a top Rega, seriously. It's like the perfect sweet spot between the two.
     
    Colin131 and John R like this.
  10. MANDY

    MANDY pfm Member

    I have owned a few LP12s ranging from an old Valhalla ittok troika to a full Klimax lp12 se , if set up correctly they can sound very good , are they over priced ? Yes the engineering and quality is very poor for what they cost . I would say the Ekos se is a great tonearm but not even close to what an SME V can do, Linn's marketing is very good and know how to get you to part with your money on an annual basis . I can't fault the LP12's overall they are a very decent turntable but cost 3 times what they should . I would say that the phono stages linn make are among the worst I have heard for the money id always recommend changing that for something better which would probably also cost much less, getting of the Lp12 roundabout is the best thing I have ever done . Although if you are worried about losing on your investment the lp12 does retain it's value well if you buy a used one you'd have to be insane to buy one new. Currently using a Roksan 20 plus with reference psu and it outperforms any lp12 I have owned and I mean by a lot, far more musical costs less and works with sme tonearms unlike the lp12 which is a nightmare with heavy tonearms.
     
    per-Sony-fied and Mr Pig like this.
  11. per-Sony-fied

    per-Sony-fied Me in another jacket

    It's always nice to hear from someone whom has the wealth to own several iterations of the Sondek & alternative decks. Nice to hear their conclusions.

    There was a time when I had the thought of purchasing an SME arm for the Sondek as I thought it so good but due to bad match (heavy) sadly had to go another route.
     
  12. Mr Pig

    Mr Pig Trade: ^'- -'^

    From what I've gleaned they're not a great sonic match. Never heard the combo though.
     
  13. John R

    John R pfm Member

    I was under the impression the the Ekos SE is actually heavier than the SME IV/V.
     
    lencotweaker likes this.
  14. Mr Pig

    Mr Pig Trade: ^'- -'^

    You can get a heavier arm to work on the LP12, it's just harder and personally, I think there is something better about the sound of lighter ones.
     
  15. tenpercenter

    tenpercenter Don't ya rile 'em.....

    Have to agree on the Linn phono stages. The Linto was ok I guess but the Uphorik and Urika mk1 (especially) were not for me. So bleached and constrained…….I’ve owned all 3 btw.

    I can see the point of Linn arms and they obviously work well on a Sondek but some of the most enjoyable music played on an LP12 that I have heard have been non-Linn arms….in particular the Grace 707, Funk FXR-2 and an ADC arm with a carbon arm tube from memory….
     
    Mr Pig likes this.
  16. per-Sony-fied

    per-Sony-fied Me in another jacket

    I was under the impression the the Ekos SE is actually heavier than the SME IV/V.[/QUOTE]
    I was not aware of that. However that time was before the Ekos SE was born & more sensibly priced.
     
    John R likes this.
  17. NickofWimbledon

    NickofWimbledon pfm Member

    All of the many good turntables are made of compromises, whether they cost £1K or £20K, and it is great that you have worked your way to an option that suits you. For those who particularly favour clarity, speed and neutrality, the Xerxes was a great choice 25 years ago, and I can understand why you like it so much today - if I had to replace my LP12, I'd certainly audition Touraj's current Vertere design.

    I find it harder to understand why you feel that the Klimax LP12 has such poor quality and engineering - which bits are you thinking of specifically?

    I suspect that far more of us will agree on Linn phono stages, though not all of us have heard the Urika II, a very different beast from (say) my old Linto.

    The comment on arms is also interesting and echoes what lot of people have said here. Plenty of people who regard a high-spec LP12 highly also (unsurprisingly) have a lot of respect for Rega and SME arms, with the SME V a legend for many, but very few believe that a modern Lp12 and either arm makes a good combination.

    Could someone with better technical knowledge than me explain please?

    Equally, for those who reckon these combinations can be made to work well, what is it the rest of us are missing?
     
  18. tpetsch

    tpetsch pfm Member

    Accurate, true and uncolored reproduction while still maintaining the Tune..

    Hearing the intended sound of the master above the inherent sound of the turntable and not the other way around..
     
    sonddek likes this.
  19. NickofWimbledon

    NickofWimbledon pfm Member

    As a bridge-playing mate is wont to say: “It’s a view”.
     
  20. sonddek

    sonddek Trade: SUPATRAC

    I really like the Uphorik. I've bought or borrowed several other phono amps, but never found one that was indisputably better. The Esoteric E-03 was the only real competition with an advantage in mid and treble clarity, but somehow it seemed to pull the music apart a bit and was less fun. The result was a bit less like a performance and more like some kind of technical assessment. The difference in clarity was much less than that gained by switching to a certain tone-arm from the legacy arms discussed above.

    I've also tried Brinkmann Fein, an AllNic - can't remember which - LeJonklou, Cambridge Audio, Parks Audio Puffin, Dynavector, the old Naim boards, the Solstice, an obscure valve thing and probably others I've forgotten. So far I'm not convinced that there is some magic that I'm missing. I would like to hear Tron though.

    I find the Uphorik gets me thinking about music, not bass, mid-range, treble, tone, air, ink and what-have-you. It gets out of the way. You can switch instantly between the MM deck input and the MC deck input - it even has two earth posts - plenty of loading options and an output which will happily drive a power amp or crossover through a potentiometer. Even at the new price it's competitive and they do come up used every now and then. I admit that it sounded a bit bland through my KK1/D but I upgraded to a Creek potentiometer and found the missing detail, punch and presence was there after all. When I recall how non-transparent my KK1/D proved itself to be, I wonder how assessments between phono amps can be made fairly.
     

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