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Now the dust has settled - the Karousel

Discussion in 'audio' started by Thorn, Aug 28, 2020.

  1. Thorn

    Thorn pfm Member

    The Linn dealers have been back at work for a while, and doubtless a few more LP12 owners have listened to a Karousel loaded turntable. Some will have put their hand in their pocket. I'm teetering on the brink of going to a local dealer to give it a listen.
    The LP12 subsection of the Linn section of another forum has nothing but praise for the new bearing. But most who post there are former members of the now-defunct Linn forum, many of whom worship anything with a name containing a K. Posters here might be a bit more restrained.
    So, LP12 owning fishies, have you fitted a Karousel, and if so, is it the best thing since sliced knackebrod. Should I go into a shop (of any description) for the first time since I went into lockdown in December to give it a listen?
    Joel Burt, Miss Ariel and Zombie like this.
  2. Zombie

    Zombie pfm Member

    You'd find knäckebröd quite difficult to slice ;)
    unit, Timcat and Del monaco like this.
  3. ex brickie

    ex brickie pfm Member

    I’m interested to hear more too from Karousel owners. I’m potentially getting one fitted mid September.....
  4. matfff

    matfff pfm Member

    Hi, I will not have one fitted for two reasons, first, you can’t just buy one, you have to have it fitted by a Linn dealer and second, the new fixing means that you cannot use the Tiger Paw Tranquility (TPT) and this has been such an improvement to my deck that I’m loath to do without it.
    So, I’ve done a little digging and found that the sub platters for Cirkus and Karousel are exactly the same (well, they are as far as my measurements can tell). Also, the initial claims of a ‘diamond coating’ on the thrust pad have quietly been dropped by Linn, nothing about this now on any of their literature, although you can still find the original stuff on some websites (Brian and Trevors for example).
    The new fixing is definitely better, particularly if you have an aluminium keel, which is particularly thin where the bearing mounts. The ‘Linn tight’ three bolts of the Cirkus could easily deform this part of the sub chassis.
    Could it be that the Karousel is just a Cirkus with a new fixing and that any improvements being heard are just the replacement of a worn bearing with a new one?
    I bought a nearly new Cirkus on the bay from someone who had upgraded for a hundred quid to replace my ten year old one. I don’t use a keel, so no probs doing it up tight and I get to use the TPT. Works for me.
  5. david ellwood

    david ellwood Kirabosi Kognoscente

    One of the biggest advantages of the Karousel is it’s incompatibility with tranquility.
    allthingsanalog likes this.
  6. david ellwood

    david ellwood Kirabosi Kognoscente

    I’m being constructive! The karousel sounds lots better than cirkus, and better again than cirkus/tranquiliser.
  7. 2ManyBoxes

    2ManyBoxes pfm Member

    Here they come!!!!!!!!!!! The Linn-crappers swoop in with their fully justified bombs of truth!!

    See how they bring down the demon again and again and again!!! Watch in satisfaction as Ivor Tiefenbrun is once again routed and sent sobbing for the hills.

  8. vicdiaz

    vicdiaz Just another analog freak...

    During the last moth and a half I've installed 7 Karousels as part of a services agreement I have with my local Linn dealer, and I can tell you this, the drop in the noise floor level between musical notes is something that smacks you in the face right off the bat. Is it due to wear in the old bearing? Maybe, but at least two of the Karousels I've installed where LP12s purchased less than 12 months ago and the improvement was very clear. Someone commented me about the 'Diamond' coating rumour but I have not been able to confirm this. On the other hand the inner platter spindle material seems to be different, it's darker in color than the Cirkus inner platter spindle, so maybe there is some truth in the new coating rumor.

    I don't think I'm going to buy a Karousel for my LP12 any time soon unless discretionary spending funds allow it, and that's a big if since other discretionary priorities are higher up in the queue.
    allthingsanalog likes this.
  9. Vinny

    Vinny pfm Member

    When does "bedding-in" become wear?
    I haven't seen the karousel, and am unlikely ever to do so, but the old spindle/bearing was induction-hardened, so with a soft centre that formed the shaft side of the thrust bearing (easily seen with the naked eye as two concentric colours on the bearing/shaft tip. In all probability the plate of the thrust bearing was also hardened, so you have soft running against hard. The bearing liner is plastic. If we assume that no foreign material gets into the bearing, what is going to wear, and how?

    My LP12 is something like 40 years old. I changed the bearing and sub-chassis for a cirkus about 2-3 years ago. The old bearing, when I put the sub-platter back after removal, took very many minutes - it seemed like hours - to settle back to the bottom. The cirkus takes a very few seconds.
  10. david ellwood

    david ellwood Kirabosi Kognoscente

    I’m a big fan of the cirkus and don’t understand those that prefer the older bearings. Apparently even those that didn’t like the tighter more precise presentation of cirkus have been won over by Karousel which appears to offer the best of both and then some.
  11. nitrous

    nitrous pfm Member

    I commented before on another thread A few months back that I consider the Karousel a very worthwhile upgrade. Certainly a striking improvement is the drop in noise floor. But now that I have had it for some time I feel that the other improvements are actually more in tune with older Linn ‘sound’. By this I mean that it is much better at retrieving rhythm and musical flow, rather than the pure hi Fi elements.Making it very engaging to listen too. The very thing that drew me to the LP 12 30 years ago. To the OP, only you can decide if you think it is an improvement.

    by the way the bearing it replaced was about 2 years old, so hardly worn out.
  12. Vinny

    Vinny pfm Member

    Linn's greatest aid to sales is that a true A v B v A etc. is impossible.

    How many times have I changed something to produce a change in sound that a tone deaf person could hear with ease, which then becomes common-place and unappreciated unless/until I change back, or, changed back to realise that what I had regarded as "better", was really "worse"?
    Mike S and Mr Pig like this.
  13. Dougie2404

    Dougie2404 cranky old git

    Isn't that true with just about everything? You make a change and appreciate it, keep on useing it and two days later it becomes the norm. Only occasionally after that do you notice it.
    Mike S likes this.
  14. Vinny

    Vinny pfm Member

    Unless someone has something like perfect pitch, yes. Virtually all my changes are before selling the original kit though, so I can change back and forth. I do not have the luxury of having two LP12s though.

    My own aural memory is poor beyond a very few minutes, but my partner had not heard anything here for a few weeks but when I put something on, it took her about 2-3-4 minutes to comment about the sound (new phono amplification), although I had said nowt. (The comment was very favourable.)
  15. Martyn Miles

    Martyn Miles pfm Member

    You could put ( all the Ks ) Ken Kessler on a Karousel.
    Round & round he goes...
    Then again, he may not be a Linn fan.
  16. Martyn Miles

    Martyn Miles pfm Member

    Is it worth getting a Cirkus assembly to replace my original ( 1981 ) white lined bearing ?
    Its history / use would have to be well known, of course.
  17. musicman56

    musicman56 50 years hifi & vinyl junkie

    I am very interested in this thread having a 1980 LP12 with Cirkus bearing fitted in the mid 1980s. I have considered having the Karousel fitted but my main bugbear is that I have a Hercules power supply (only fitted 2 years ago along with a Kore and new motor) and this, Linn tells me, is not electrically safe with the Karousel. Which means I am forced into buying not only the new bearing but a new external power supply as well putting the starting price at over £2k assuming a lingo 4 or more for the Radikal. Yikes!
  18. Vinny

    Vinny pfm Member

    The answer to queries - is bang per buck and spare cash available, IMO. Where could you spend any money to better effect, and that comes down to what anyone is currently using, from cart' onwards.

    I heard nothing major changing to a cirkus.
  19. ex brickie

    ex brickie pfm Member

    So far I've not seen a useful comment here about any improvements with the Karousel (apart from several referring to the lower noise floor). Rather than those who don't own one (and clearly don't want to) criticising something they haven't heard, how about some constructive comment from actual owners please?
  20. matfff

    matfff pfm Member

    Calm down dear.
    fegs likes this.

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