Linn Sondek LP12 - Cartridge recommendation

Kind of new at this hobby and looking for guidance. I purchased a Linn Sondek LP12 (Valhalla pwr supply) with an SME Series 3 tonearm. The cartridge is an AKG P100 but the tip is broken (this was reflected in the turntable purchase price). Not sure which way to go..should I have the cartridge repaired (was quoted $325 for repair) or should I simply replace it with another cartridge ? What cartridge model would work best for this turntable ?

Thanks !
Hi Sympaticonorm -

`As someone whom has owned several different versions of this Turnatble with the first one in 1987 and the final version in 1996 before falling in love with either The Roksan Xerxes or Well Tempered Classic Turntables.

I'd have never throught that any SME based tonearm worked with the Linn LP 12 as they all seem to often a somewhat overblown & colored bass.

If possible? - do consider finding a Naim Audio Aro Tonearm as many of us have found that these two simply have that Synergy thing going on.

- As for recommended Cartridges:

In MM Cartridges look at Roksan Corus Black @
or something like the Lyra Dorian in MC. As these are both Cartridges that I've been using for well over 17 years & 8 months for the Lyra - I've always felt that both of these designs have much to offer. Or at the very least consider something like a Audio Technica AT OC - 9 MC.

I think that once you have learned to set up your LP 12 & adjust it fro proper bounce & with the correct TT Stand 'MANA' or older Sound Organisation TT Stand circa '85

- you just might be surprised at what you've been missing all this time. Just am opinion based upon listening.'

- Oscar
I had an SME III tonearm on one of my Linn tables long time ago. These tonearmes were made for the Shure V15 and similar cartridges. When I had this combo, I used a Goldring 1042 moving magnet. It sounded pretty good and I thought a good match. This would be my recommendation to you. While an ARO as the suggestion above is great (that is my current arm), it is also mucho bucks over the cartrdige upgrade. Look at the Shure if you can find one, or the Goldring. I think you will be happy with the sound.
Hi there,
owning rather a lot of Linns, six at last count, I would tend to agree you will never get the best from it with an SME, especially the 3 which was not their best.
For the $325 mentioned to retip, I personally would sell the SME. The funds from this + the $325 would buy a Rega arm
or used Akito and still leave you money for a decent cartridge. IMO the catridge on a Linn is less important than the arm.
Regards Si
I agree with the above posts. I had an LP 12 for a number of years and I would stick with one of the Linn arms. Everything I read at the time suggests the SME is a poor match for that table. It is too heavy to obtain the proper adjustment of the sprung suspension.
Hello: I can report that unshielded cartridge's like Grados do not work well on Linn's and Rega's.
Thanks a lot everyone...really appreciate it.

Maybe, I should just wait until an LP12 configured with the right tonearm/cartridge comes along instead of having to go thru all the trouble of reconfiguring this one. I am actually suppose to pick-up the turntable this weekend...the seller does not live very far and he did tell me that its no problem if I change my mind. I would be paying $725 for this turntable. It is actually in very good condition except for the cartridge. Like I said, I am new at this hobby and now I am not sure if this turntable is a good deal after all if I have to shop for another tonearm and cartridge etc...

Norm, first of all Congrats on the Linn it's a great table with a lot of soul. Properly set up it's very hard to beat the sound it can produce. I've owned one, and had many a enjoyable evening listening to this better 90% of all the cd players out there! As for the question of Cartridges...The best choice is really dependent on the rest of the system in use. The phono stage, what are the gain options, and most importantly your personal tastes in sound and music. From a synergy point of view, it's probably best to stay with the Linn cartridge until you can experiment with the different flavors of colour, and sound. (bright,soft,detailed,etc...) If your looking to get the table set up correctly?(KEY) a lot of information is available on the web, or as a suggestion... Brooks Berdan LTD. in Monrovia, Ca. (also, on the web) Brooks, is the quintessential authority on Linn tables for the past 30yrs, and will be glad to offer some valuable guiadance . If, you choose to go with the table your talking about the price seems to be correct, and you can always build from that foundation, and sell off the current arm . Some good combos might include a Linn "Ekos" arm, along with a Shelter 501, or Ortophon Kontrapunkt cartridge. Typically available on AGon used for around $600-800 for the arm, and $250-400 ish for the cartridge. This will keep the total investment under $2K, and will offer mega buck performance on a budget price. Hope this helps, and take the plunge you'll never look back. Cheers ;^)
Thanks Mang53....You have also been a lot of help. I have decided to go ahead with the purchase...I guess it will be a learning experience for me. At least, everyone seems to be in agreement that it is a good turntable and that is a good sign.