considering re-entry to vinyl Linn 12

I am considering re-entry into the vinyl range
did a little research here and seems Linn would be money well spent. I have lots of old vinyl and even many japanese pressings from the early 80's played once, taped to my nakamichi

have an option on a Linn Sondek LP12 Ittock LVII with a K9 cartridge

would also need a phono stage _ have Audio Research LS-5 line stage (balanced inputs)

any suggestions on the Linn, a compatible phono stage and maybe a wall isolation platform (won't fit in my current rack)

any other suggestions would help
I have an old B&O 1700 - my 80's table


A Linn like you're considering is one of the best values on today's current used market. Others might include Sota Sapphire, and Well Tempered Classic.

If you plan to stick with the K9 cartridge, then nearly any phono stage will work, because it is a normal MM cartridge. Of course, better phono stages will make the sound better, because they will do a better job of getting the information into the preamp. There are many on the market, and there is a lot of info on this subject in the archives.

While wall mounting is needed for some individual situations, the original Sound Organisation TT stand was designed for the Linn LP12, and provides the lightweight, rigid stand that the Linn prefers. I'd recommend seeking one of these TT stands out, but if you have to, you can use a wall mount. I think the stand will sound better.
Of all the stands I've tried, I've never found anything better and more solid than a wall mount for my LP12. They can be found here on audiogon in the $200 range.

Since you favor the sound AR LS-5, go with an AR phono stage too. I use my old SP-6 for the phono stage alone. The AR PH4 is supposed to be fantastic - I wouldn't doubt it, tho I've not heard it myself.

Have you considered an MC cartridge? I use one, but
that means I need an additional amp or step-up with my SP-6. I prefer the sound of step-up transformers over amplification. I use an old Cotter MK2. Actually, I switch between the Cotter/SP-6 and my new Musical Fidelity A3CR, which has MM/MC phono. MF also makes a model LPS phono amp which handles MM/MC.
Hello Tom,

Long time LS5 fan here as you know. The ARC PH2, the only balanced ARC phono stage, was excellent. I had one for 7 years and it is perhaps the one ARC piece that people heard very little about but which held its own to rest of ARC's top line. It is solid state which makes it maintenance free and an awesome match to the LS5. I would say that the PH2 was the most neutral ARC product I ever owned.

Keep in mind, with the PH2, you will need a balanced phono cable. SilverAudio can do this with their SilverBreeze cable. And this is an awesome cable....mush much more resolution and top end extension than the ARC balanced phono cable that I started with when I got the PH2/LS5.

Also, for 18 years I had the LP12/Ittok combination. But once I changed to a Clearaudio based system, I realized how much more bass was on my LPs as well as a wealth of low level information all across the frequency band. If I were to buy a used TT in the LP12's price range, I'd look at the Townshend, Sota, VPI, Michel, Oracle or Well Tempered. I think you just get more for your money with any of these vs the Linn. This ought to stir up the Linnies' blood pressure!

Tjbearman......ARC PH4?????? When did this ever come out? I am only aware of the PH1, PH2, PH3, PH3SE and Ref Phono. By the way, the PH1 is exc value too with it selling here now and then for $500....but it is single ended so you will not get the full benefit of the balanced world that a cartridge can offer and the LS5 as well. The PH3 was way too forward and fatiguing for me. Your mileage may vary. I never heard the others.

One other thing, consider the BAT VK-P5 phono stage.

Tom's ("Twl") suggestions are to be taken seriously. I have a similar setup, but with the Linn Arkiv cartridge.

I have found the solid state Blue Circle phono stage to be extremely compatible, although many Linn aficionados will curse me and say that Linn's phono stage is superior. There was an interesting phono stage shootout in last year's Sept/Oct "The Listener," which included the Linn.
I have a 1982 '12 and my dealer has kept it current a step at a time without pain. For the k-9, the Black Cube is a good budget choice. You can up-grade the power source too. But if you contemplate the higher arm and mc's, you are better off with their in-board phono amp at $1,600.