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neo33

Linn LP12 Turntable

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I have the following questions:

 

1) Pre-Cirkus or Cirkus bearing? I have read that some prefer pre-cirkus.

2) What type of cartridge is best suited for the LP12: MC or MM?

3) If MC what would the least expensive but good tube MC Phono stage be?

 

All inputs are appreciated.

Edited by neo33

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I have the following questions:

 

1) Pre-Cirkus or Cirkus bearing? I have read that some prefer pre-cirkus.

2) What type of cartridge is best suited for the LP12: MC or MM?

3) If MC what would the least expensive but good tube MC Phono stage be?

 

All inputs are appreciated.

You can get lots of opinions in the Linn section at Vinyl Engine dot com

you are asking questions which have nothing to do with a table and everything to do with the arm

all the linn's are good tables so is the Ariston RD11 and the RD11s which is where the Linn was stolen from, that said the Linn is still a good table. Put some nano lube in the well and be a very happy camper oil the motor too. and don't forget to lube the arm. Best regards Moray James.

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i recently built up an LP12. When finished it sounded very good. By the time I was done I had invested a fair amount of cash. Can't say it was worth the cost of effort so don't go overboard!

I replaced the sub frame with a custom carbon replacement, a new plinth, new upgraded springs, bolts and grommets, an acrylic base, and an origin live DC motor replacement and power supply. Sounded way better than stock. Non of the upgrades however were made by linn. Surely not "Linnie" approved.

Edited by joshnich

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i recently built up an LP12. When finished it sounded very good. By the time I was done I had invested a fair amount of cash. Can't say it was worth the cost of effort so don't go overboard!

I replaced the sub frame with a custom carbon replacement, a new plinth, new upgraded springs, bolts and grommets, an acrylic base, and an origin live DC motor replacement and power supply. Sounded way better than stock. Non of the upgrades however were made by linn. Surely not "Linnie" approved.

That's what I'm talking about.  Thanks Josh.

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These things are worse than boats, except you don't get wet...

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Well, I have had the Linn Axis for about 10 years and I am pretty happy with it.  A few days ago I saw a brand new (still wrap in the boxes) Linn LP12 with Cirkus bearing, Lingo power supply and Akito II tonearm for $1,800 at a garage sale.  I thought that was a great deal and I couldn't pass up on it so I bought it.  Since I don't have a cartridge for it, I am asking for recommendation on the cartridge.  This is my first venture into the LP12 world.  I've heard that the difference between the Axis and LP12 is day and night.

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I got a nice VPI Classic 2 in Walnut for sale anyone looking

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You could have got a new vpi scout for that.

Are you saying for the same price, I can have a new VPI Scout that can play right out of the box and that it is better than the LP12?

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A new VPI scout goes for $1999.00 . I do not know the vintage of the Linn that you purchased but from memory I believe a Lingo power supplied LP 12 retailed for over $2500.00 The Akito 2 arm is north of 2K new. So it looks like you got a good deal. Personally I do not think that the scout will be much better than the linn you purchased or visa versa the Linn will not be significantly better than the Scout. I do not know much about the tonearm so I cannot comment on that. My experience with a Linn LP12 is as follows..

I bought a used LP 12 here on the forum for 600 bucks. The tt arrived and I found out that the power supply was blown and the turntable did not work at all. It came with the basik arm. So more for fun than anything I spent some dough and built out the table. i bought a new cherry plinth, a carbon sub frame from a place in the UK, a new acrylic base, new stainless screws and springs and grommets and the origin live power supply. It was fun to do. I sold it without a tonearm for 1200.00 and lost a fair amount on the deal. The true Linnofiles would poo poo my choice of parts because they say only a dealer can properly set up the turntable and that it is not a real Linn if other parts are used. I say hoohey to that.

Enjoy your new Turntable. It is an old design but compares favorably to other belt drive turntables.post-10189-0-77940000-1418085983_thumb.j

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Josh is one of the premier go to guys for turntables here.  I won't go into what a nice used scout may have been, so enjoy what you have as long as you want.  VPI is made in the USA which may skew my opinion somewhat, but enjoying the music is what it's all about!

Edited by oldtimer

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No pressure! I have owned a few turntables but I hardly think that qualifies me as any sort of TT guru! Not to sound defensive, but there may have been a tad bit of sarcasm in that comment - which is fine with me!

I am big fan of VPIs as well. My first TT when I got back into this hobby was a VPI HW JR MK 111. A very fine TT that retailed for just under the cost of the Scout. I was actually eyeing the VPI classic before I bought my current table. Like I said before I dont have any experience with the Akito arm, nor do I have any experience with the VPI arms. I started with a rega tonearm and have stayed in the rega family since.

 

My point, not well articulated at all, is that both the Scout and the Linn are fine belt drive turntables. One is suspended and one is not. Different flavors no doubt.  Both are loved by their followers - and for good reason. My problem with Linn is the never-ending upgrade path - a great many of which are just downright silly! My feelings for the silliness of the upgrades are amplified by the ferocity of the Linn apologists.

 

Now back to the question at hand. I am familiar with the AES PH 1. If I recall they made a couple of versions. One had adjustable cartridge loading via a knob on the front. Does yours have that feature?  I am also assuming that you are not going to be using any sort of step up device/transformers. And then finally what is the budget?

 

Josh

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Not to sound defensive, but there may have been a tad bit of sarcasm in that comment - which is fine with me!

 

No Josh, not even a tad.  At least for me your opinion is well respected.

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Congrats on the LP12.  I own a mid-80's model spec'd with Ittok LVII arm, Klyde cartridge, Lingo PS, Cirkus chassis placed on a Torlyte platform.  I also have a VPI Aries Black Knight with VPI JMW-9 arm & Grado Reference Master cartridge placed on a Ginko Cloud platform. There's lots of wives tales floating about the LP12, some accurate but most are BS.

 

Off the top of my head here's some points to consider:

 

  • The suspension is not that hard to tune & doesn't go out of tune that often.  I check mine twice a year but haven't needed to actually adjust it in about 4 years. What's very important to remember is never move the turntable unless the outer platter has been removed. When I say move I mean even minor repositioning, it only takes a second to pop the outer platter off. The springs are designed to oscillate the heavy platter/sub-chassis (it's like a pendulum tuned mass damper) but they don't like being slammed around laterally.  If the outer platter is removed prior to moving/transporting a LP12 the suspension rarely gets knocked out of tune.
  • If possible plug the Lingo into a separate A/C circuit from the rest of your system, they're known for dumping hash & noise back into the power line similar to some digital gear.
  • Linn recommends "light & rigid" platforms as the LP12 needs to dissipate energy through it's plinth. Avoid heavy mass platforms (like granite, marble, etc.) as they will suck the life out of the sound quality. I use the Torlyte platform on a Target wall-mount shelf because my house has suspended hard wood floors & heavy footfalls will cause skipping.
  • The Cirkus bearing/chassis is more accurate on lower bass notes & tends to delineate them well. The Nirvana chassis & earlier had a mid-bass hump with a resulting "warmer" sound but didn't dig out the lower octaves. Some have described Cirkus as more CD-like but it's kind of like how some people prefer firm "solid state" bass vs. "tubey" bass. Mine originally had the Nirvana chassis & I installed the Cirkus kit. Having heard both I considered the Cirkus an improvement.
  • Obvious cartridge matches would be one of Linn's but there's lots of choices out there & Linn cartridges aren't exactly cheap. With a Linn cartridge you won't risk an arm/cartridge mismatch but that doesn't mean a Benz, Dynavector, Shelter etc. won't sound as good if they're correctly matched. Grado cartridges can sound good on a LP12 but some higher output models have been known to hum on inner grooves (closer to the LP12's motor). If you're thinking about a Grado pick one of the lower output models. As for MM vs. MC that's sort of personal preference & either will work just fine with the appropriate phono stage on a LP12. My only advice would be to avoid cheap MC's as many can be rather strident sounding.

Overall I like both the Linn & VPI turntables but I consider the LP12 a step up from the Aries Black Knight.  The turntables are currently in separate systems but at times I've had them in the same system for comparisons.  I've had a few different cartridges on the VPI & while it produces powerful bass the LP12 consistently delineates bass notes better. Once you get yours set up you should notice a big jump in performance over the Axis.

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First thing when trying to pick a cartridge is to decide budget.  how much do you want to spend.  I come from a somewhat budget oriented background, diminishing returns and all that. Given that, I have heard good things about pairing audiotecnica,  grado and sumiko cartridges with the LP12.  MM or MC really depends on your other equipment, I would also suggest checking out Linn's cartridges, they are well thought of and should be a good match for the arm, no?  but it all starts with budget, through out a number and get back a specific recommendation.. warm regards, tony

Edited by sunnysal

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