Help me Buy an LP-12

I have had a Rega P3 w/ Elys for a couple years and Im bored to tears with its sound. Its nice and non offensive but does not excite me. It cant even begin to hang with my Meridian digital rig. So, I want an Lp-12. I dont really understand all of the upgrades and the different models. Does Sondek refer to the power supply or are all Lp-12's sondeks? What I need is an experienced LP-12 user who can help me put together a starter Lp-12 set( table, arm, power supply, cartridge etc.) That I can look for used. What are some quirks, or certain years, models I would want or to avoid etc. Any advice would be very much appreciated.
Go to this page. It tells how to set up an LP12 (All are Sondeks-by the way). Also on this page is a link to a file - - this gives the history you need and more. Feel free to e-mail me if you need more. Steve
I suggest you start with a Sondek LP12 with the Basic power supply, then upgrade later to the Lingo power supply. If you are buying used, by all means try to get a Valhalla power supply on the cheap -- but the Lingo is much better. As far as "vintage", look for an LP12 that has the Cirkus upgrade (stock since, I believe, the early 90's, but many owners of older LP12's had this upgrade put on). A Trampolin is also recommended - though you can go other routes (Bright Star) to control vibration. As for arms , the new Linn Akito is pretty decent for the money (some say as good as the old, top of the line Ittok). I lived happily with this set-up for 3 years before getting the Lingo, the new Ekos arm and upgraded tonearm cable. As far as cartridges, Linn's cartridges of course work very well with their turntable/arm. I have used the K18 (good) and the Klyde (better), and I tried a Glider before the Klyde (good as well). I am sure many other cartridges will work as well or better, but if you want to keep it simple to start with the Linn cartridges are a good starting point.
I have been happily using an LP-12 (synonymous with Sondek) for about six years. I would very much recommend finding a good used table with the Ittok arm and Cirkus bearing upgrade as previously mentioned. Of course you want to have the table, and especially the arm, inspected by a Linn dealer before purchase. The trampolin in my opinion is less critical on initial purchase - it can easily be added later. The Cirkus however, is a complete rework of the bearing and subchassis that changed the sound of the LP-12 very much for the better (greater neutrality and dynamics). On the issue of power supply, you have multiple options. Many of the used Sondeks have the Valhalla PS, which is a step above the 'Basik' - the 'Lingo' is the rather costly top of the line AC motor PS. However there are some non-Linn aftermarket motor and PS combinations available. One is a DC motor and PS that is very cost effective and an OUTSTANDING performer. I purchased it with some reservation but am now VERY glad that I did so. Apparently now Linn is embracing DC motor drive for the LP-12 in an ultra-expensive option called the SKEPTIK (not yet available). This news only reinforced to me my decision to go DC on my table. The web site for the kit I installed is
Unless you hate Rega, why not upgrade to Planar 25 table with RB600 arm and better cartridge? This is still priced under basic unmodified LP12 and will sound better. The beauty of Rega is its pure simplicity and quality.
I have has three LP-12 over the years, from the basic Linn to current model with the Lingo power supply. They all have their strong points. One thing they all had in common was the problem with the springs, they have to be checked and adjusted frequently. After years of dealing with Linns, I bought a VPI Aries with the original JMW arm and a Grado Reference cartridge. I really didn't realize how colored the Linn was until I heard the VPI. Don't get me wrong, the Linn has a wonderful warm sound but when you hear a transparent table and arm, it's hard to go back. Listen to more than one table and pick the one that sounds best you you. You really can't go wrong when you buy a table at this level. Good luck.
I have used the LP-12 in various versions for 25 years. The current offering is radically superior when set up by a Linn trained tech. If you go "cheap" you will end up nickle & dime-ing yourself to death for all the upgrades & wind up spending more than if you just go but a current one, maybe a year or 2 old if someone wants to part with one that new, or a dealer demo if you can find one. A current LP-12 with a modest arm & cartridge will sound better than an old LP-12 with the most expensive arm & cartridge. For a real expert, call Fred at Pacific Coast Audio in Corona del Mar, CA. He sets up my LP-12 every couple of years & was trained in Scotland on the proper way to get the very best out of your Linn. 949-640-5093.
never quite understand all the fuss about the LP 12, I have listened so many time's to this table in various setups,and find it dissapointing every time. Then all the upgrade's.. now i can think of upgrading a CD player because of the rapidly development of IC's etc, but a well thought out and designed turntable doesn't need all those upgrades or it is designed not well. a good bearing is a good bearing period. I find the LP 12 equipped with the whole Cirkus,trampolin, and whatever more it takes to get it going finally, a very overpriced piece of gear when looked from a engineering point of view. I may recommend another WELL designed British design turntable, and thats the Nottingham Analogue Hyperspace. this table doesnt need a cradle full of accompaneing equipment, and soundwise it's soo much better ! a turntable which uses only springs for coupling is a joke in itself, or you do it pneumatically or hydraulically,or no springs at all. Check out the Hyperspace, leave the bouncy bouncy 12.
JP- Are you planning to buy an LP12 new or used? Why do you want to go with the LP12? Are you familair with the sound? Do you know a good Linn dealer who can set one up correctly for you. This is crucial to LP12 happiness. I had one for 10 years and finally sold it for a Michell Orbe. I could not tollerate the hassles of the set-up. If you do any kind of tweaking that involves moving the deck or working underneath it will mess the settings up a bit.
Hi, The LP12 is a great table and be prepared to take it to a dealer anytime it needs anything. $$$$$$$$. Good Luck