I would look up Brian Walsh of Essential Audio. He is in Chicago, but that's only a couple of hours away (most likely). He may or may not be willing to make the drive, but he seems to have a good reputation.
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I hope you find someone locally, but you really can DIY. Just take pics of the bottom of your TT put them onto your computer and reverse engineer. Leveling the springs is the hardest part. It just takes time. 95.00 per hr and usually a 3-4 hr job. If you did what you've mentioned above you can rebuild it yourself and if you really want, have someone tweek the cart. I have 2 top plates, a sub platter and a beautiful custom plinth that I no longer use, but would rebuild another without thinking twice about it. I'm glad you kept the Valhalla. Best of luck.
I do believe you are right - I guess I buy into the Linn set-up hype. I paid enough for the deck, the cart, the restoration of the plinth and the hours to re-build the supply that I would wonder if I set it up as well as someone with Linn training - and I was a broadcast engineer for over a decade, but analog suspended table scare the crap out of me! I have heard the DC supplies and honestly I think the Lingo and the Radikal (?) do not sound differently, let alone better to justify thousands of $$ in upgrades. I will spend next weekend going through the table. I might order the cart alignment kit and do it all myself. More rewarding that way, anyway. I figure I have been this far down the road with the LP12 myself, I should see it through!
Thank you for the advice - D
Hang in there. I'm not one that beleives in tweeks. When you install the steel top plate make sure the upper left hand corner in the back does not buzz when you tap it in the corner. You paid MORE than enough for your deck, and it won't sound any better than if you rebuild it yourself. Just take your time. I've had an all Linn system, and I'm not knocking them, but you have most of your problem solved in your wisdom of their hype. That's what sells and gets them retail prices. If you need any help or pictures and instructions, let me know. I'll leave you a phone #. I have pics on how to rebuild too if you need. Good luck, and remember, you can do it.
If you don't mind shipping it, I recommend Rick at audioalternative.com in Ft.Collins Colo. He can help you pack it for shipping even send you a Linn box if you need. I know that he has people sending him LP12's from as far as each coast and seems to have a very good following. You can see more about the store in the Sept. issue of Stereophile, look at Fremers Analog Corner. In my opinion Rick has LP12 blood in his veins like a legendary Ferrari mechanic that will only work on Ferrari's. It's worth a phone call or an e-mail. As an owner of an LP12 I can attest that one correctly tuned is a tough table to beat. If this is to be your last table, why not maximize it's performance?
Droz - I worked for Ralph at Champagne Audio in college but sadly, he sold the business to a nice fellow, but it did not last. It closed its doors about 2-years ago or so. That was where I cut my teeth in the HiFi business and bought my Rogue Audio gear, my Paradigm speakers, my Pro-Ject Tube Box SE and my Synergistic Research active interconnects and speaker cables. Good people and a good store. I enjoy the expertise offered by David at Glenn Poor's in Champaign, nice fellow, great location and a good selection of gear.
Thank you to everyone for the advice. I will go through it this weekend and see how it goes. Polk432 - I will send you a message. I appreciate your offer. I will likely take you up on the pictures. This is a fairly radical upgrade from my Rega P3 and AR-1, although the AR was closer to the Linn than the Rega!
I owned an LP12 as my first high end 'table. While I moved on to others and ultimately became a dealer for other brands, it served me well.
As Catastrofe mentioned, I am in the Chicago area (northwest suburbs) but travel regularly to assist clients and work hard for the unanimous glowing testimonials. I am happy to come to Champaign. Add .com to