It was and still is a good table. Does it have the Valhalla or Lingo power supply? If not, I would pass. Linn has a sound that some love and others don't. Only you can decide. Good luck.
I just bought on with the same arm last summer. It is still a good table, the new ones fully equipped are still competitive with everything short of the megadollar ones. The older ones will outperform most contemporary tables but we each have our own taste. I sell VPI because I think that they are good and a very good value but at $1500 used there is a wide choice of tables that if set up well can give very good performance. If you get the Linn get the new mat, thin and black as opposed to thicker and gray, improves performance considerably for $25.
If you get the Linn as is it is and it is good shape, you basically can bring it up to the latest standards one step at a time. The LP12 is a good foundation for a table that can be upgraded and rebuilt as many times as you want. I have considered selling mine but I like the sound and I know that I can always keep it maintained and upgraded as my budget permits. Stanwal is right get the black mat. And with the new Ekos SE arm you can probably find the standard Ekos arm readily available used. At the 1500 dollar price point you will get a 1500 dollar table. The LP12 really can't be compared in value as it's worth is dependant on what upgrades have been done. A new LP12 sells for about 3000 and no arm.
I agree. I have owned my Linn since 1977. I had the table upgraded a few years ago with new mat, Lingo supply (well worth it), new belt, springs, and trampolin base. As many threads have said before, set-up is critical. This is why it is important to see that the springs and rubber grommets are in good shape, as the suspension can sag after a few decades. Also, the Linn is sensitive to footfalls on wooded floors. I recommend a wall-mount shelf, such as made be Target. Do all this and you will have a very good table.
Your question really depends on how high the standard you set...I understand a lot of people will say: add this and that in order to unleash LP12's potentials. I would rather put it this way...if a TT has to be tweaked to perform its best, does it mean the basic configurations are not good enough? Is it worth to spend that much for a fully modded TT? Is there any alternatives for the same costs?
Another question is: are you familiar with TTs with this kind of "springy" suspensions? IMHO, LP12 is NOT for someone who looks for "set and forget". In fact, an LP12 requires certain experience on fine-tuning its "sound"(and it really has its sonic signature!). So your relevant experience is another key! Or you have do some research on this issue.
If this used LP12 doesn't cost you much, and still has its re-sale value, your buying action seems to be justified. However, we are audiophiles, we are always tempted to "tweak this and that" if it doesn't sound "right to our ears", (some may say that's fine if we could have some satisfactions over the process.) buying a used TT may involve hidden repair costs if it really need an overhaul to function normally. In this case, the initial cost may be low but the running costs may be high.
Another factor involving substantial cost is "buying records". I would not suggest you to spend too much on your TT/arm/cart/phono if you are not planning to buy lots of LPs.
Does your budget include cart and phono stage? Or do you have any now?
When the day comes when my Linn Axis dies after almost 25 years of service, I would consider the LP12 as a replacement.
Can't argue against a company that built a table that is still clicking (better than ever with my current configuration I might add)after 25 years. I've gotten my moneys worth out of it 20X over.
Then again my standards in regards to turntables, though I think practically very high, are certainly not the highest out there on this site.
Setting up an LP12 is not rocket science. I bought mine used 4 years ago and set it up using internet data. It has not been touched since that time, apart from cartridge changes, and sounds better than ever. The trouble is that it is addictive and none of the other sources that i have or have heard since, give me the same satisfaction. It is not what i would call a hifi sound. It is a very visceral, powerful sound which fills my room. I have several other turntables and 2 CD players, none of which do this to the same degree. I have a Linn Axis which also sounds good but on a smaller scale than the LP12. I should point out that mine is a late 80s valhalla with ittok. Not one of the latest versions. I do not feel the urge to add any upgrades to it as it sounds so good.
" It is not what i would call a hifi sound. It is a very visceral, powerful sound which fills my room. I have several other turntables and 2 CD players, none of which do this to the same degree. I have a Linn Axis which also sounds good but on a smaller scale than the LP12"
I can relate to this description with my Axis.
It took a while, but I feel my digital is finally at a comparable level....not the same sounding exactly, but comparable in terms of doing the things that matter most well.
The old Linn tables are a time-proven gold standard since the time when vinyl was IT in audio. What else is there to know that matters?
"If this used LP12 doesn't cost you much, and still has its re-sale value, your buying action seems to be justified"
I agree. Unless you break it or have to sink some more money in to fix it right off, you should be able to sell it for around what you paid.
Buy it, listen to it for a while, and if you like it keep it. Whether you prefer it or not, its an iconic 'table, and after spending some time with one, you'll have formed an opinion on it. Sounds like fun to me! In fact I did the same thing 2 yrs ago when I wanted to listen to all those awesome albums I kept finding for $2. Upgraded to the Cirkus last year and get it back with a Lingo tomorrow. Do be prepared for that too!
I've got the Linn and has got several other TTs.
The Linn Lp 12 is really difficult to set up .Failing a one step of the set up procedure and a 100 usd japan play better than the Linn.
It has not the final word as far as timbre accuracy and details retrieavals. Are subtle details very important ?
It depends on you . If you like listening to classical music I don't think could be a the right choice .
Why does Linn is still alive ? It is euphonic and mesmeric such few other. It is a juicy hi fi product.To me in a certain way it equalizes and boost the record vinyl intrinsic problem and cures them .Do you prefer enjoyment above Hi- Fi accuracy ? You definitevly can buy a Linn.
Then twice a year or so call your Linn expert to check the Linn Set up. It does require a good isolation support.
Now One good news If you a buy 30 years old Linn Lp12 for 1000 USD that required just a little service you make bingo. It is a nearly as good as new one that worth 15.000 USD . I know most Linn fans disagree but I find elusive every upgrade Linn 've made after 1980. On late 80 I've a bought an inespensive good alternative to The Linn, It was a systemdeck. It requires a bit less attention than the Linn. The Xerxes is another good alternative but again you need the Xerxes expert. Once correctly set up you don't much miss a Linn even as far as the enjoyment concern.The Rega 3 and Project are really best buy and you don't need the TT expert.