Decision: keep the Project Classic or buy into a Linn Axis?


Greetings from Germany!

I might need some help to decide my next steps into vinyl. :) Currently I use a Project Classic with an pretty old AT-F2 cartridge, which is connected to an Atoll IN200 Signature with its P100 Phono Board.

I ran across a Linn Axis with Akito 2 tone arm and a semi damaged Benz Micro Glider cartridge (the needle is a little crooked, fix should be around 100-200€ at Benz themselves). The player was recently maintenanced during which the Elkos have been replaced.

So, the question is: should I move from a rather newish Project to an rather oldish Linn with a better system? I’d need to spent an additional 150€ to get the Axis.

Thanks for your feedback!

Andreas

andlum

I don't as a general rule recommend making baby steps. Not with components. Especially not with turntables. If you really like the Linn a lot more and are pretty sure you will for at least a few years then yes, go for it. Otherwise, if it is only a little bit better then I would look to improve things like the rack or base the turntable is on, better isolation like the very affordable and effective Nobsound springs, or other things of that nature.

I would keep the ProJect and just get a better cartridge.

I'm an original Axis owner since 1988. I love the sound of this table, so much so that I had it refurbished by a Linn service tech about 2013, 14. I would be wary of buying an old table without knowing its history. The safe bet is to keep the Project and do some upgrades.

The reason to be wary of the Axis is due to the lack of available parts for service. The motor is attached underneath and is one of the vulnerable parts. There are no more to be found. A motor would need to be harvested from another Axis. If the seller can verify that the service on this unit included more than a recap, then it may be worth purchasing. 

Back when it was first introduced there was very little difference in sound when compared to the LP12. It still has the Linn family sound.

If the seller can verify that the service on this unit included more than a recap, then it may be worth purchasing.

Thanks for your recommendation. The bill of the repair actually says: "complete revision, all caps changed. player fully adjusted". Price was 250€.

What should have been included from your point of view? I would like to ask the seller if that has also been done.

I am getting the feeling i should fight the GAS here. :)

@andlum Off the top of my head compete service should include:

-The suspension has been checked and adjusted. Every tech will do this, I'm sure it was.

-Motor inspected. Ask if it has the original motor. It's fine if it does. 

-Change bearing oil. Ask about this, very important. If not, how long has it been since it was done?

-Check condition of the belt. Ask if it's the original, mine lasted a long time.

-Make sure 33 & 45 speed control works.

-He did the caps and I'm sure checked voltage and it's up to spec.

I think that's it. If there's no manual, you can find instructions on how to balance the arm online. Oh yeah, many older Linns have broken hinges on the dust cover. Usually they can be found on Ebay.

Best of luck, I'd really like to know if the table works out for you.

Jim

 

@lowrider57 Thank you so much for the information. I forwarded your questions to the seller - translated to german, though. :) 

The hinges and the cover are fine, as far as the seller states. I hope "completely new adjusted" is about the suspension. 

Can you advise me on how I can check for speed control? I think I heard something about strobe discs?

Anyway, I will let you know about the seller's feedback.

@andlum 

Yes, you use a strobe disk to check speed. I'm sure this table has been checked. And many belt drives don't run at 33 1/3. They run at 33.5 or 33.1, you won't hear a difference.

I'm sure he checked and/or adjusted tonearm, platter movement and belt position. Axis uses a rubber mounted suspension system, the LP12 uses metal springs which can go out of alignment. The Axis is set it and forget it.

My last advise is to play records with the dust cover off. It will sound great.

 

a big +1 on this

 

bsmg

293 posts

I would keep the ProJect and just get a better cartridge.

"Back when it was first introduced there was very little difference in sound when compared to the LP12. It still has the Linn family sound."

That is just not true.   The Axis was a fine rival for the Rega P2 and P3 but it inot even in the same ball park as an LP-12, even with the same tonearm on it.   I sold these things new, if the customer could afford an LP-12 it was an easy demo to move him from an Axis to an LP-12.   

When I frequented my local Linn dealer in the 80's the salesmen would say that for those on a budget, the Axis with the top Linn cart and arm provided a taste of what an LP12 was like. And back in the mid to late 80's, $1000 for an Axis wasn't chump change.

I always wanted an LP12, still love how they present music.

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I’ve had my Linn Axis for 35 years now and it’s not going anywhere as long as it continues to deliver that beautiful music the way it always has to-date. . A classic piece!

Sorry guys, i just found an offer for a LP12 with BASIK LV V tone arm, fresh service and a cheap AT system for 999€. Does this sound like the better long term deal? It has a "minor" tone arm and would need a new system some day.

https://www.audio-markt.de/market/auction/?auction_id=98703

There are different generations and levels of the LP12. Ask which power supply it uses. That would also help date this table. 

What do you mean "would need a new system?" Install a new tonearm?

@mapman , glad to hear your Axis is still performing well. Have you ever done any mods or upgrades? 

 

Added an auto arm lift device and use a different felt pad. That’s it. Nothing major. Axis is good to go out of the can if still in good working order.

 

Also the Basik tonearm works great with low compliance DL103R MC cart.  Can highly recommend that combo.  Was a bit concerned about that match prior but close enough I decided to give it a go and glad I did. 

@mapman ,, I remember you're using the Denon. After I had my Axis fully restored, I was on a vinyl tear. Then I decided to upgrade my digital which was practically entry-level. Eventually I reached the point where it sounded better than my analogue and there I stayed. Now I'm read to jump back into vinyl, I really miss it. 

A lot of people I meet dismiss the Axis as a budget table, until they hear it. It really is a gem. Well built and it sounds wonderful. 

A lot of people I meet dismiss the Axis as a budget table, until they hear it.

Well it did not cost a lot relative to the lp12 in its day and certainly not in comparison to tables these days so budget is an accurate term but in no way is relevant to the sound that it can produce. The best products are the ones that offer top notch performance for less cost than others. I consider the Denon DL103R to be a top notch budget product as well but the sound coninues to be top notch.

Of course with turntables, its all in the setup including choice of cart.   Results can vary widely.   But do it right and reap the benefits.  

 

Well, I want to thank everyone for your support! I found my luck with a Rega Planar 6 b-stock at a well-known dealer here in Germany. I know Rega is not the favourite around here, but i liked it! and it comes with an Excalibur Black system, which I quiet like.

 

Maybe you guys can help me sorting something out: my Atoll IN200 Phono board mentions for MC only 47kOhm and 100kOhm, which sounds ridiculously huge to me? The Excalibur black needs more than 300 Ohn, which admittedly 100k is. :)