best upgrade for 'standard' LP12

I have a Linn LP12/Rega RB300/Grado Sonata which is level and on a good (Audiotech)stand, and am wondering what is a good upgrade that does not involve tearing the table or tonearm apart?

Are the Linn upgrades a reasonable alternative to the Origin and others that are highly touted?

I do not have the trampolin or Lingo, what kind of improvements do these make?

The sound I am getting now has a little midbass ripeness (or lack of definition in the mid/lower bass) and is slightly thin in the upper end. The midrange is very nice and has an intimate quality and the 'Linn beat' seems alive and well.

Overall I am very happy with my setup but wonder if there is a few simple lower cost things I can do that will help these areas.


The "midbass ripeness" is a typical characteristic of the Linn table.

Aside from the stand, which you have addressed, there is not too much that can be done without dis-assembly or the table or arm. Even re-doing the adjustment of the suspension requires some dis-assembly.

Given these guidelines, I would recommend that you get an Expressimo Audio Heavyweight drop counterweight for the RB300. This is as easy to install as your stock one. Makes a nice improvement in sound. Under $100.

If your phono section can accept it, a good MC cartridge might be a nice improvement. Like a Shelter 501. $800.

If your phono section needs improvement, that can really make the analog setup sound better. Take a look at some nice tube phono sections, that can accept low output MC carts, or a good tube MM phono section and a good Step-up Transformer. EAR and ARC make some nice ones. The Wright phono stage is real good. Probably about $1k+ for a nice one. Or consider a used tube preamp with a MC phono stage, like the MFA Magus, or Audible Illusions, or Counterpoint, or ARC SP-6. May need re-capping.

If you want to do some dis-assembly on your Linn, then you could think about some other things.

thank you,

I will look into the sound quality changes the Expressimo Audio Heavyweight offers. I was thinking of maybe a new power cord or Vibrapods underneath or Trampolin.

I guess I should ask for any or maybe the most obvious improvement to my setup. Maybe a good thing to ask: is there any obvious weakness / do the components match each other or is one clearly of less quality than the others?

My pre amp is a Rogue 99 Magnum with phono, I am under the impression it is a pretty good phono section and comparable to the EAR - which is one of the reasons I bought it.

the rest of my system is: Plinius SA100 MKIII / Maggie 1.6s / Acoustic Zen wire / home made PCs and Vibrapods.

I like the Linn upgrades (have not OL). If doing the higher cost upgrade to the table I would do the Cirkus bearing ($600) installed. You get the new subchasis and bearing, new center platter, springs and grommetts and the new armboard. Not a bad deal. You a a signigcant improvement in resolution with a lowing of noise (ie the bearing).

I would not waste alot of money upgrading the rb 300 even if 100 or 200.

Cheap upgrade would be a the Extreme phono donut platter matt. You can get it at Music Direct for $22.
the lingo adds what seems like a whole octave to the low end - big improvement (albeit expensive). I heard 2 lp12s side by side, one with and one without - it was quite a demo!

also, those ringmats (in place of the linn felt mat) make the sound a little tighter for not too much $.
Phil, I think all your other stuff is just fine.

I have got very good results from the Heavyweight counterweight, and recommend it highly. I really did not expect alot from just a counterweight change, but it did alot more than I thought. RB300 is a good arm, and is worth upgrading in my opinion.

Trampolin might be ok, and easy.

Vibropods not needed on LP12.
thanks guys

I spoke with a friend of mine who used to work for Linn and he agrees that the ringmats are worth a look, he thought the Trampolin was a sideways step and more of a compromise for when you do not have a proper shelf, that was news to me.

TWL, I read some of your posts about the heavyweight and I think I will go with one of those and make a PC for my table and my friend can install it when he tunes my table next.

Guys listen to this one, my friend told me to take the bottom board and feet off the table and to put little sticky 3M brand squares on the corners instead for about $1.29 I can givve it a try. This guy is way deep into LP12s and I bet it is worth a listen.

BTW my friend concurs with you Rello about the Cirkus and the lowering of the noise floor but I am not going to spend that much yet.

Just bought a Brubeck on Campus LP today in mint shape and it is great for $9, LPs are great

Forget the Trampolin. I got rid of mine, removed the bottom plate, and balanced the whole thing on Aurios MIB's -A pain to do, but well worth the time. The Lingo (or the Naim Armageddon) make a BIG difference. I thought I saw a used Lingo on Audiogon not too long ago. Worth seeking out.

I am not familiar with the Rega on the Linn, but going to the Ekos from the entry level Linn arm (forget the name-it was 4 years ago) made a huge improvement in the lows and mods. Likewise, moving from a K19 to Klyde improved soundstage and cleaned up the top end. The improvement upon moving to the Arkiv was even bigger.

As for non-Linn upgrades, I sent my table to Extreme Phono for a carbon fiber sub-chassis/armboard and new toneram cables. VERY happy with the results. My LP12 now is still finicky on set-up,but once that is done right it is very neutral, with tight. extended bass, wall to wall soundstaging, clean , airy top..and al the PRAT of the original.

BTW, I have tried the Ringmat and was not thrilled. BEst mat I've found so far is Extreme Phono's doughnut mat. Pretty inexpensive and works grest.

The Cirkus upgrade isn't really cost effective if your current bearing is in good shape. While I liked it, I could have benefitted more by spending the money on something else. Just my two cents. The Tramploin is definitly a lateral move. I may remove the bottom board and try the 3M as a replacement for the feet myself. Thanks.

I've been thinking of upgrading my Linn too. My research on the internet (mostly vinyl asylum) has led me to the following upgrade path:

1. Change arm and cartridge to Origin Live 250 (check their website on why the 250 is the best arm to modify) and Shelter 501 Mk.II (TWL's recommendation) or high output Dynavector without a step-up. About $1,000.00

2. Cetech subchassis and armboard ( About $300.00

3. Origin Live motor and power supply. About $500.00

Unfortunately, these mods require dismantling the Linn, but I do not think that you will get the same level of improvement with external isolation devices. Also, I would not spend a lot more on the last two modifications, otherwise I would simply get a new turntable (VPI Aries, Teres, Origin Live, etc.)
I respectfully disagree. I did the LP12 upgrade path starting with Lingo (my LP12 already had Cirkus) and then arm. The power supply (Lingo or Naim or Origin Live) are HUGE improvements and should be considered first. The Lingo upgrade is expensive, but not as expensive as buying a new table. And when you're done, the LP12/Lingo combo is a much better turntable than the VPI Aries, Teres or Origin Live entry level models.
I think the best money you could spend would be to ditch the Grado and pick up a Dynavector cartridge. It will seem to do almost everything a Lingo will do - although the Lingo or Armageddon are definitely worthy upgrades - for a lot less money. The Grado adds to the LP-12 "bloom" in the midbass, and a Dynavector will tighten it up A LOT - and increase detail & dynamics in the top end as well. A DV-10X4 MKII or, if you can swing it a DV-20XH, will improve your system the most, for not a ton of money. Make sure you buy the cartridge from someone who knows how to install it - there's no faster way to ruin a good Linn than just slapping a cartridge in the arm and thinking it will work perfectly. There IS a skill to cartridge installation - so seek out a qualified dealer - please!
Best of luck,
By far;the best upgrade for a stock Linn is the AC cord ...
you will be good for longtime before next move.It's dramatic
thank you Egross but my pre amp needs a fair amount of signal which is why I bought the Grado (4.5 mv version) the Rogue is known for having a little noise in the phono section. Plus my cartridge is pretty new so I will stick with it. I had considered the Dynavectors in the beginning.

Praudio thanks for the vote of confidence on the PC I will do that the next time I get my Linn tweaked.
Put the LP12 on a wall shelf and then later on get the Cirkus upgrade, both of these will greatly improve the LP12 sound and will take away any midbass hump.
Praudio - I am curious to know more about the change you made to the stock power cord. Which power supply do you use and what aftermarket power cord do you use?
Praudio, I am also curious about the power cord. On my LP12 the power cord is hard wired in. How to change it out?
BTW I sit my table on a Seismic sink which really sounds amazing.. big improvement IMHO.