Linear tracking turntables, whatever happened?


Curious as to the demise and downfall of the seemingly short lived linear tracking TT.
Just from a geometry point of view I would have thought a linear arm should be superior to one with a fixed pivot that sweeps through an arc.
Obviously there is much more to it than that, sort of the reason for this thread.
I am genuinely interested in trying one out for myself as well.
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@mhmeyers –

Thanks for that! I'm glad to see that someone got around to talking about the Beogram 4002.

Early in my audiophile days I owned one, coupled with a Bryston amp, Apt Holman pre-amp, and Magnepan Tympani III-A speakers. The turntable was excellent, and beautiful.

I switched to CD long ago, but still have very fond memories of that component.
Back in my linear-tracking days I would have initially believed the people who said it's a problem-free solution to record playing issues.  My ET-2 worked perfectly and I loved it.

Then I sold table and arm when a "good deal" presented itself in the form of a VPI TNT Mk. II and an identical ET-2, this one including a Wisa pump and Airtech surge tank.  This one had no end of problems.  I drove poor Bruce Thigpen crazy as we tried and failed to trouble-shoot what was wrong.

Turned out the Wisa pump was defective AND the Airtech leaked air but by the time I discovered that, I was heartily sick of the whole linear-tracking concept and never went back.

@whipsaw

Great to see and hear from another 4002 fan. Granted, they are complicated machines but once sorted they are fantastic and trouble free. Really nothing to go "wrong" except the belts.

They sound good enough that clients have hired me to find and restore one for them. Their beauty is also a tremendous "hook".... Such an elegant design....

I'll continue to bring them back to life whenever they come my way.

I still use my Phase Linear 8000 table from time to time, works great (over 30 years old). After Phase Linear stopped making them, Pioneer marked the same table under their name. The dealer had it set up to A/B with a $10,000.00 setup. Did the $10,000.00 system sound better? Yes. Was it over $9000.00 better? Not to me (the Phase Linear was $750.00 at the time). It still sounds great to me.
https://c2.staticflickr.com/8/7842/31760371087_a1d3b7c7d8_b.jpg
The Universal looks like a fairly conventional pivoted arm. What mechanism does it have that makes it tangential?

@cleeds My bad. I mistyped and meant pivoted.