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Valhalla Electronics Zeus LP12 controller

Discussion in 'audio' started by Aspro, Mar 31, 2022.

  1. Aspro

    Aspro pfm Member

    Has anyone experience of this? There is a big gap between the Majik and Lingo PSU's and not many third party supplies compatible with Karousel. Hercules isn't and MOSE is temporarily out of production but Vinyl Passion's Revolution is compatible.
  2. Knipester

    Knipester pfm Member

    Vp revolution user and fan here
    paulski likes this.
  3. Alun Rains

    Alun Rains Jus Juan Cornetto

    Hi, I have the External Zeus and have been running it for the past 4 months. It is superb in my opinion.
    It controls and adjusts the speed very well indeed to circa + or - 0.003 rpm per Revolution of the platter.
    Only the Lingo 4 or the Radikal otherwise offers constant speed monitoring and adjustment.
    The Zeus performs extremely well in terms of sound performance too. It is extremely quiet and the LP12 sounds very good indeed. I personally went for the External version as I happen to prefer keeping the mains power away from the cartridge as far as possible. Steve Cobham who owns and runs Valhalla Electronics was great to deal with and very supportive in offering his help when needed. I have not compared it to a Lingo 4 but I can’t honestly believe that a Lingo 4 would sound so much better that it would warrant paying out £1,000 extra to do so.
    I can highly recommend the Zeus. Hope that helps.
  4. Aspro

    Aspro pfm Member

    Very helpful, thanks. I don't mind paying £2000 for the basic LP12 Karousel package but £1650 on top for a Lingo is a bit of a stretch so it's nice to know there is a viable alternative alternative. Mind you I could say the same about a £912 Kore which appears to be a £377 Majik with an alloy armboard attached.
    Miss Ariel and Alun Rains like this.
  5. sktn77a

    sktn77a pfm Member

    Only comment would be that the Lingo is a known quantity, the Zeus is not. Having spent all that money on the rest of the TT, I'd probably (and did) go with the Lingo.
    Alun Rains and david ellwood like this.
  6. Alun Rains

    Alun Rains Jus Juan Cornetto

    I thought exactly the same about the Kore. So I went for the Stack Audio Alto sub-chassis & arm-board at £550 instead. All made from honeycombed machined aluminium. As good as if not better than the Kore in performance at a much reduced cost. Very happy indeed with my decisions
    SONDEKNZ, ColinC and torstoi like this.
  7. Alun Rains

    Alun Rains Jus Juan Cornetto

    Yes of course the Lingo is a known quantity. At £1,650 though the Lingo 4 is also very pricey and not everyone wants to spend much money, so it is good to have alternative choices.
    SONDEKNZ and Darren like this.
  8. Mr Pig

    Mr Pig Trade: ^'- -'^

    I'm a little skeptical about the effectiveness of power supplies, particularly on the LP12. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure a better PSU will do a better job but how much of a difference it really makes is a big question mark for me.

    Why? Well firstly, I don't find the evidence very compelling. I've searched the net looking for opinions and information on the various LP12 power supplies and definitive conclusions are hard to come by. Few people have compared multiple supplies and you find opposing opinions. Some might say the Herc sounds better than a Valhalla, others say it sounds the same. Importantly a new PSU usually involves a general tune-up and it's very common for people to have other upgrades fitted at the same time. Watching LP12 forums that's usually the case, the deck goes to the dealer and has a service plus a few new parts fitted including the new PSU.

    That's a problem obviously as you can't separate the effect of the PSU from the other changes that happened at the same time. And even when people do feel they can describe the effect of the PSU, praise is generally not very specific and faint when it is. Meaningless audiophile terms like 'massive' and 'huge' aside, you usually hear talk of a little more 'blackness' or more detail but you're looking at a slight improvement here, no matter how you cut it. Which actually makes sense you you consider the physics.

    From a speed stability perspective, the LP12 is not brilliant. The platter is nice and heavy, about four and half kilograms, but it bobs on springs while the motor driving it is bolted to the world. So the motor and platter are free to float around relative to each other, connected only by a very flexible and stretchy rubber band. By far the biggest contributor to the speed stability has to be the flywheel effect of the heavy platter. Which by design is going to iron out fluctuations from the motor and belt.

    When I bought the Rega RP10 one of the very first things I noticed was that the speed stability was much better than my LP12. Which made sense as it also had a hefty platter but was a rigid deck with a sophisticated motor power supply. And two rubber bands! I couldn't get on with the deck for other reasons though so went back to an LP12, a different deck which I built up myself. But here's the thing. The new LP12 has better speed stability than the last one and I would say it's pretty close to the RP10. It's certainly very good and I don't hear the speed fluctuation being a problem like it used to be. I'm happy with it.

    And the fantastic power supply that delivers this? The Magik! A PSU I thought would be a stop-gap. The old deck had a Norton and I've use the Avondale TAPS, Valhalla and Basiks as well. So why is it better? I'm speculating but I think it's the set-up. The design of the LP12 makes this important, I spent a lot of time on it and came up with a new way to dress the arm cable. Which is something I think is critical to speed stability on the LP12.

    There are so many variables on the LP12, both in terms of set-up and specification, that I think it's very difficult to isolate the effects of the PSU. At any rate, I think the differences are relatively small and quite poor value when looking at the big Linn PSU options. Getting the deck set up to within an inch of its life probably gives you more of an improvement than a Lingo4 on a deck that's sub-optimal. And from the pictures I've seen, sub-optimal looks very common.
    Vinny, dan m, The Bish and 4 others like this.
  9. sq225917

    sq225917 Bit of this, bit of that

    If it measures better, its better not that hard to test.
  10. david ellwood

    david ellwood Kirabosi Kognoscente

    That kind of depends on the accuracy of the testing, my radikal 2 measures much the same as my radikal 1, it doesn’t sound the same though.

    This suggests that Linn have access to a measurement system better than me.

    I have played about with modified laser mice in order to try to do some better quality measurements, there are some interesting papers on the subject.
  11. torstoi

    torstoi pfm Member

    A good post, that's why I think you can get to 80% of Linn's perfection that takes a very expensive route,
    if you understand what they are aiming at, by a shortcut and by spending very little.
    A heavier subchassis will get the oscillating frequency down and by fixing the suspension altogether with suitable mushroom rubbers will put away with it, do a lot for better tracking and speed stability, too.

    If you're not aimin for 'the' best, an aftermarket Subchassis, three rubber grommets and a Lingo1 for example can get you a very good deck in comparison.
    Not the best deck on the planet ofc, but also not a fruitbox every new kid on the block is havin' for breakfast.
    In the contrary it's holding it's ground better than I anticipated now.
  12. sq225917

    sq225917 Bit of this, bit of that

    I'm not a fan of the phone apps. I'll take a DIN test record and an FM demodulation any day. A wavelet analysis of the played output is good too as that picks up all the vibrational components as well. All of them are only as good as the test pressing though, and frankly orders of magnitude worse than cd speed stability...
    torstoi likes this.
  13. wylton

    wylton Naim and Mana member

    wrt the phone apps, I'd say it's best to double check against a strobe at least for the basic speed test, which is what I did.
  14. tricky1

    tricky1 pfm Member

    Surely one of the main reasons people buy a turntable PSU for the LP12 is to change speed from 33 to 45? That's why I did. I occasionally want to play 12" singles, EPs and the odd album that runs at 45rpm. Who wants to faff with an adaptor? Honestly, after all these years, you'd have thought Linn could have come up with an elegant solution for this without one having to spend a small fortune on a Lingo.
    Alun Rains likes this.
  15. Alun Rains

    Alun Rains Jus Juan Cornetto

    Yes but having to spend a small fortune is exactly what Linn would like you to do. Providing a dual speed solution at a much cheaper cost would earn far less in profits for Linn of course !
    Mr Pig likes this.
  16. david ellwood

    david ellwood Kirabosi Kognoscente

    I doubt very much Linn notice any change in revenue, the kind of person buying Zeus are not about to buy a radikal.

    I do think it’s a bit disingenuous calling the company Valhalla Electronics, makes you wonder about the integrity of the operation.
  17. Woodface

    Woodface pfm Member

    I find the mobile app element of this PSU to be a bit silly. Plenty of 2nd hand lingo’s about for the tight fisted.
  18. sq225917

    sq225917 Bit of this, bit of that

    Valhalla, zues, at least stick to one mythology
  19. Alun Rains

    Alun Rains Jus Juan Cornetto

    Well David, I am one person who bought a Zeus and you are quite correct that I would never dream of buying a Radikal. Whilst I could afford to purchase one many times over, I choose not to become too obsessed about achieving the ultimate upgrade path.

    I would certainly have seriously considered a Lingo 4 had they been more realistically priced and if they didn’t resemble an oversized laptop PSU.

    I have no doubts or questions whatsoever about the integrity of the Valhalla Electronics operation..
    Linn do not own the trademark to the name after all and I believe the company was originally formed to repair and service Valhalla PSU’s, not something that Linn wish to do anymore I believe..
  20. Miss Ariel

    Miss Ariel pfm Member

    Totally agree with you,

    I did the upgrade to Lingo 4 from the Majik power supply.Lingo 4 really tightens everything up with separation and timing.Its a good piece of kit but pricey.
    Its a niggle I suppose with the LP12 at Majik level the fact you have to put a adaptor over the motor and change the belt is just not good enough in my opinion on a deck which is £3500 with arm.
    The rocker switch just looks so basic and not what you would expect on a deck at that price and I don't know of any decks at any price points on the market where you have to go threw that rigmarole.
    I to never bothered although I had the adaptor and belt,as it was so much faff.Lifting the heavy patter off - putting it back on...Since having the L4 I don't think the platter has ever been taken off.
    A real joy playing 12 " singles and normal singles at 45 again.

    Its a lovely record player though and I am sure their are better decks out there but the Linn with Karousel is hugely listenable.
    SONDEKNZ, Mr Pig and Alun Rains like this.

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