Best MC for a Linn/Syrinx

I have just bought an early model Sondek - Valhalla/pre Cirkus sporting a 'good' syrinx.
This is to supplement my Xerxes not replace it.
I do not want to get into the Linn upgrade routine - this was bought as a classic & it will stay that way.
If I wanted to spend lots I would buy an Oracle Delphi !
Should I just transfer my DNM Acoire and stick a Koetsu on the Xerxes or can someone recommend a cracking combination
Memory suggests a Dynavector of some type?
If you want to keep it classic, NOS Supexes still surface now and then, as well as FRs. And I've seen a couple of Grace F9E Rubys for sale on this website. I have a lot of experience putting together old classics, and they do like to stay together, as they were designed at a time when men with talent and instinct used their ears to produce gear. The whole tends to be greater than the sum of the parts. Are we really making progress? There's more to music than just information, and you have your Roksan. Besides, it's fun! And of course, there's always the evergreen Denon DL103.
Oh, and of course, you're right, the Dynavectors, the Diamond (17D) and Ruby (23RS).
Thanks Johnnantais,
I intend to keep the turntable & arm - both Scottish !
Scottish cartridges a bit thin on the ground - none unless I build my own - as you say theres more than info.
Will try my acoire I think - I used to use a DL1O3 on my original Dunlop Systemdek over 20 years ago - still a hard combination to beat and another Scottish deck !
Your Roksan is one of the few truly musical high-end decks out there, it'll be interesting to see what you make of your classic Linn combo. I'll check this thread if you do report on it. Meanwhile, I'll be setting up my own Scottish deck, an Ariston, tonight! I recently tracked down a Black Widow tonearm, and I've been saving a Grado 8MX for this day. I listen to more records and have more fun when I'm not overloaded with information, and when the timing's right. Otherwise, there's always my high-end decks.
Hi Johnnantais,
The Linn/Syrinx is about to be fitted with --- a Grado Platinum Reference - makes for convenience as this can be plugged into the mm stage on my amp & the xerxes can be fed thru the seperate phono stage.
the Linn does not come close to the Xerxes
I just fitted a zyx mc to the xerxes & the motor died.
I am wondering about fitting an Origin live DC motor kit - the toplate on my xerxes is 'sagging' so I am attempting to have a new one manufactured from acrylic sheet & will either remove or add mass to keep it the same weight as the original mdf toplate - hopefully meaning the suspension will still work as intended.
Since the new plate can be made to suit, I intend to mount it to the base and open out the hole for the pulley - origins instructions to screw to the toplate make no sense as this is in direct oposition to the original design IMO !
I will let you know how things progress.

I may try my acoire on the Syrinx but adding the mass ring means the lid will foul the arm - I may just sell the Linn & but a Lenco !
Rgds Simon
Thanks for the update, Simon! Sorry to hear about your problems re. the Roksan, one of the few truly musical high-end 'tables out there! I have a suggestion for the new top-plate: machine a new one from Finnish Birch-ply, in my opinion and the opinion of various experts (for what that's worth) better sonically than MDF anyway, easier to machine, cheaper to buy, and also sonically superior to acrylic (which has a signature: bye bye mid-bass; bye-bye resonant signature of instruments!). Also, it is much stronger (being alternating sheets of hardwood glued in a special Finnish formulation of cross plys), should not sag, and can easily be painted, stained and varnished. It should also match the mass/weight of the original MDF sheet closely.

As to the sound of the Linn/Grado, the Grado does not like high-mass tonearms, losing much of its potential energy and detail in such arms. So don't give up on the Linn! Of course, the Roksan should kill it in most areas anyway, but you can get a better match for the Linn-Syrinx pair.

Keep the Grado, keep the Linn, AND buy a Lenco! But put a low-mass arm on the Linn (Grace or SME 3009 or Black Widow), and put the Syrinx on the Lenco, with the Acoire. Have fun!

Over here, I have just bought a NOS Audio Technica 1009, and this beauty (high mass) makes the big SMEs look like crap when it comes to fit'n finish. Very substantial, removeable headshell (with the strongest/finest attachment I've yet seen for one of these, and an absolutely stunning headshell), and it's so user-friendly! It's going on my up and coming zebra-stripe beauty.

Keep me posted as to your Roksan-Linn-potential-Lenco adventures. My Lenco-Decca combo currently has an Audio-Technica OC9 on it, and it sounds glorious.
Oops, Simon, I was cruising around and tripped over the information that the Syrinx, despite its imposing looks, is a low-mass design. Perhaps you don't have the following info at, to let you get the most our of your arm.

Hi John,
Thanks for all that. The Grado sounds very nice on the Linn.
The arm is indeed one b--r of a thing to set up !
It is very musical and I may try the acoire - not until the arm has been re-wired though - the originals are a dogs breakfast.

As to the xerxes, I have stripped it down & will take your advice re the material for the toplate - seems easier all round & probably best as you say.Not sure on the replacement motor or a dc kit - price will probably be the issue.
Thanks, I'll keep you posted.

Rgds Simon
Of course, the best motor out there is the one on the Lenco...But since the Roksan motor's peculiar mounting (free to roam to eliminate belt-wow via its spring), will you be able to spring-load a different motor as well? This is a large part of the reason the Roksan sounds so good: an oblique approach at getting more of the speed stability a good idler-wheel drive can give you ("This advertisement brought to you by..."), as the rotating motor casing eliminates much of the belt-reaction which plagues belt-drives in general. To change the motor is to interfere with the central design aspect of the Roksan's sound. I would simply call Roksan for a new motor, which has got to be cheaper than the OL motor (buy a Lenco and do it right instead!), and perhaps wiser too. Just me being cautious.

And Lenco!
Hi John,
The syrinx was a pain to set up but the Grado sounds amazingly good on the linn! To many years of mega money mc's.
Roksan want £295 if they can source a new motor - I am looking at alternatives - I could amlomost buy a recon car engine for this price let alone a turntable motor.
Someone must have the know how to recon my existing motor.
Ah well gives me more time to source a new toplate.
Incidentally there are so many areas of the xerxes that are really shoddy, I am modifying bits here & there.
Rgds Simon
Simon, I often use my Grado Platinum on a low-mass tonearm as well, on the Ariston RD80 (very similar to the Linn) on the Black Widow, and on my Lenco/Decca International. MMs in general really open up on low-mass tonearms, but since they are almost invariably put on such arms as the Rega (medium/high mass), no one really hears what a good MM can do. I find the sound of the Platinum in this rig so good that I have no need to know what a Sonata or higher Grado can do! Since hearing a Shure V15VMRx on a good 'table, I've been drifting away from MCs, which to my ear cannot match MMs at Prat or more subtle rhythmic interplays, or for swing or overall "analogue" sound. Hearing a Grado for the first time on a low-mass tonearm showed me the possibilities.

Re. 'tables, as far as I am concerned there are the classic three-point suspension decks with metal platters (which major on Prat and musicality), there are the idler-wheel drives in solid non-resonant plinths with metal platters (prat, bass, dynamics and information), and there's nothing else, as high-mass belt-drives cannot compete with suspended designs for Prat, or with the idler-wheel drives at anything else or Prat, and acrylic subtracts a large part of the frequency spectrum, being grossly coloured to my ears (they lose the mid-bass where much of the "meat" resides: bogus clarity which passes because our ears are now accustomed to digital sound). Good luck with your Roksan project, and beware, as the Platinum on a low-mass tonearm on a 3-point suspended design will seduce you to the "Dark Side", (and "neutrality" - I think actually another gross colouration - be damned!), and your Roksan will lay fallow!

In addition to the Ariston set-up, I've just restored what I believe to be a NOS Thorens TD160 MKII (it missed the wall-wart and belt), and I can't believe how good this 'table is, or the arm (TP16 MKII)! A plastic Grado is on it to hear what it can do, and it can do lots! That bass has to be attributable to the (heavy) metal platter. And being another 3-point suspension, it has the usual musicality. Unfortunately, this one is being sold to a vinylphile in need, boo-hoo.

Hi John,
re vta for the Grado - I have set the suspension on the Linn and it's sounding nice but trying to get a balanced sound via the vta & tracking weight is driving me nuts.
The best' balance' has the arm pillar set with the arm running uphill to the bearing end, which then fouls the lid.
The bass is great but the vocals are very subdued in the mix.

On the Roksan front - how do you think your suggested Finnish Beech ply - about 18mm, would be affected by a thin Corian plate (about 7mm)bonded to the top of it ?
It's just that the cut out in the toplate goes much wider after the initial 7mm & would be easier to manufacture as two pieces?
I was also thinking about using aceytal as an armboard so that different ones could be made up - a bigger circumference hole at the arm base with a round plate bolted to the toplate - would love to hear the syrinx on the xerxes.
Rgds Simon
Hi Simon,

Your plan for the top-plate sounds good, actually, as MDF is actually heavier than birch-ply, and the Corian being heavy will help the match. Corian is also an excellent material acoustics-wise, especially when bonded to something else. If you can machine the two pieces accurately separately, then go for it, gluing the tow afterwards with contact cement or adhesive of your choice. The two bonded pieces I think will never sag as the MDF did. Your tonearm-board idea sounds good as well, and I am qworking on something very similar for my Lencos, so I can just pop arms in and out to suit my moods. I will then be able to continue to collect classics, such as my recently-acquired Black Widow and Audio Technica (a true beauty: you see one of these come up grab it!). Experimentation in materials for the tonearm board is in order, as while Corian was a great success in a modded AR-XA I had with Mayware arm (this arm beats the pants off Regas), it was a great failure on my Ariston with the same arm, Purpleheart being terrific. So materials depend on the tonearm/table/cartridge interaction, and isn't really predictable.

As to your Grado experience, it's the opposite of mine! I run mine at roughly 1.7 grams, parallel to the surface to bring out the considerable midrange magic, which does however sacrifice some bass reach/impact (but not on the Lenco!). Of course, the Syrinx is very different in design to my Black Widow or my Decca. Perhaps the tonearm cable is stiff and interfering with the suspension? Remember, the Linn is a true suspension 'table, unlike the quasi-suspended Roksan which is less sensitive to this sort of thing. So the thinner the cable, and dressed in such a way as to minimize influencing the suspension (usually curl it slightly under the tonearm like a rattlesnake so the arm sits on it rather than having the cable pull the subchassis in any direction). I think the Linn is more sensitive to these sorts of things than your average 'table as well. I'll be receiving an Ariston RDIIS soon, very similar to the Linn, and we can help each other out getting the best from these 'tables: mats, suspension, damping and so forth. If your Linn is an older one, then the new Linn springs (quite reasonably priced I think) should do quite a lot for the overall sound quality. Finally, try Finnish birch-ply for a tonearm board for your Linn as well: you might find the balance being restored, and the midrange magic pouring out of your Platinum at a normal VTA! Good Luck! How are you solving your motor quandary?
Hi John,
Thanks for all that.
As you say the Linn is very susceptible to the tone arm cable & the 'bounce' is not as good after fooling with the arm height so I will need to realign the springs - these are fairly recent ones.The syrinx badly needs re-wired - not sure about diy, so thinking of the Incognito loom. It must make sense to loose all those solder joints!
Roksan use aceytal sheet for their arm mounts/toplates so this should be a good match material wise.
The power supply units are back with Roksan as they are 95% sure that if the motor still spins, the problem lies with the psu.
I wonder, have you ever tried the Mission tone arm - these are brilliant & can be had cheaply. I used one with all sorts of mm's & mc's - the damping trough give another method for fine tuning.
No joy on the Lenco front as yet.
Regards Simon