dumb down an LP-12

Ok so i decided to put together a  sound system for my office which is 2000 miles away from home and where I can spend weeks at a time. At home I have an MA-5200 and the accompanying macd player (with a dac input).

I had a music hall cd25.2 kicking arround (which i thought had a dac i could input into but i guess i waas remembering the mcintosh.)

I bought a croft integrated (sounded fun to goof around with tubes) will use the MH 25.2 which i thought i could stream into (nope). and I needed a table.  Tables have gotten very expensive in last ten years.....I have a cheap rega (rp2?) back home and never really felt much either way about it.

I thought - "hey your goofing around with tubes why not get a cool looking old TT and enjoy the look and vibe if the newer stuff has gotten this pricey..."

I bought an LP12 with troika for 15oo bucks. now I have learned a few scary things (SUT, HEAD amp, PARIS?) but its the setup finickiness that scares me. I wonder if going to an MM cartridge could avoid the gut-wrenching SUT decision and make the table less a musical instrument that needs to be tuned itself and more a device that plays music. 

Be nice - I am.


Nice choice of table. Unfortunately, in order to get the best out of your Linn, it needs to be set up correctly. This table is not an unbox it and drop it in solution. 

I would suggest that you find a Linn dealer who can set up the table for you. Once that is done, for your situation, I would think the choice of cartridge will be far less of a factor.

I own a contemporary Linn LP 12. The LP12 was and continues, with upgrades to be a great turntable. The setup difficulties have primarily been in the initial table set up… the sprung suspension. One of the cool things is with a few upgrades your table could be upgraded to a contemporary world class performing turntable. Unless you like detailed mechanical work… doesn’t sound like you do, would be better performed by a dealer.


Happinly my audio guy loves Linn and is a Master Linn certified technician. So, he set it up new. I think a cartridge set up is mostly like a cartridge set up on most tables.

So for me, I bought the turntable and plugged it into my phono stage and away I went… what support equipment do you have? I have heard the name set up transformer… don’t know what it is… and after nearly sixty years with turntables never needed one. You can see my setup under my ID.


The Croft Integrated will sound great with a good MM like an Audio Technica VM750SH/VM760SLC.  Replace stock tubes with NOS Telefunkens for big improvement in SQ.

"Linn Certified Mechanic" - LOL! I am now onto my second LP12. Set up is just  adjusting the springs for a nice bounce. It only has to be done when changing arms . Fifteen - twenty minutes work. I do it myself. No need for a "specialist". The LP12 is the most over-rated TT! NOT worth what the tricked-out new ones sell for!

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The LP12 is not even an original design. It is a copy of the Ariston RD11. In fact early LP12 production was at the Ariston factory in Dunlopwestayre, Scotland before Ivor Tiefenbrun set up his own works. Besides the LP12 I have the Ariston RD11 in my TT collection. Same set up and sonics as the LP12.

@jasonbourne52 and both are copies of the lowly AR-XA. If you get the urge read about Edgar Villchur. Then watch this. 


Edgar was not perfect. His opinion of antiskate was wrong. I personally think he was just trying to avoid the expense as adding it to this design would have doubled the cost. The next real jump in turntable performance was made by David Fletchur when he introduced the SOTA Sapphire and again when he introduced vacuum clamping to consumer turntables. David turned the XA's suspension upside down creating a much more stable platform and the Ariston and Linn were left behind forever. AJ Conte then took David's design to the max with Basis. Avid also borrowed the design for their top turntables. 

Cynbiosis, a Linn specialist in the UK make an LP12 set up guide available on their web site. If you’re going solo on an LP12 it might come in handy. Not sure if this link will work but if it doesn’t finding their downloads page isn’t too hard.


That guide should do it. I have no desire to step anything up right now so will just swap out the cartridge. K and k audio is a thought though. Onwards. Telefunken I always liked that name. Thanks all.

Here’s the thing about the ARXA hammer test and all similar brags about the resistance of a spring suspended TT to banging on the plinth: Who cares? Why is that relevant to playing a record? It was good advertising. Period. (ARXA was my first TT too.)


I bought an AR turntable around 1972, was $56.00 back then!  In 1974 I got a job working for AR.  For the money it was an amazing turntable.

As far as LP-12 - I was a Linn dealer for a few years.  The setup is not at all difficult after the first time.  We didn't sell many, the price is just too high.  You know a fully tricked out lp-12 is over $28,000.00?  My favorite was the one, just above the "bottom of the line"  - still $4800.00!