linn sondek tt

Does anybody still buy this? I just noticed many of their old dealers are gone.i wonder why?
There is still a large group of LP12 owners. Most already own a Linn setup and continue to upgrade, so I don’t think there are many new sales, except perhaps in the UK. The issue is that a new SotA Linn is very expensive and there are better tables for that amount of money.

The quality of the LP12 continues to increase, but requires owners to upgrade components such as new improved power supplies and tonearms.
I love the Linn sound, but it is expensive to own the latest versions.
There are many complaints about setup by non owners, but if your Linn has been properly setup by a Linn dealer or Linn specialist it will provide years of trouble free performance.

I own a couple and I know folks who have bought LP12s in the last year. 

Linn, as a company, has taken a different direction and has embraced streaming, they no longer make a preamp, or phono preamp, that does not digitize analog signals. But there will always be support for the best selling turntable in history. A stone cold bargain, IMHO, at today’s used prices, and a true classic.
The latest LP12 Klimax is able to compete with tables that are very significantly higher in price. I think the problem is the table doesn't have the high tech look that some of the deep pocket a'philes want, and two) it has had so many variants that there is a tremendous amount of misinformation that continues to circle around it. 

@lowrider57  care to mention a table that is better for the same money as a full spec LP12 Klimax??
I can. I sold mine for a Kuzma Ref2 and it beats my old LP12 radical in every single way. 
Kuzma was nearly half the price too!
I'm not up on the latest TT's since I've been upgrading my digital.
Dont know of a better TT rig since I've been out of the game, but I do love the sound of a Linn. 
I think you can get many XL TTs for that amount, but it's a matter of taste. If I could afford it, I would own a Klimax or a Sota.

Absolutely correct about misinformation due to the many variants. But for an owner, you gotta love that this can be a TT for life. The upgrades and different choices will continue.

Some of the most musically involving systems I've heard over the years had Linn turntables in them. We always spent a lot of time in the Linn rooms at the various shows. These were guys who shied away from the overly reverbed recordings normally played in the rooms at shows and opted for truly great recordings to demo with instead. 

 @dsholl1 Funny how guys with Kuzma’s always say they beat the LP12 Radikal D...not in my books and not by a long shot. All of the Kuzmas I have heard sound inferior to a well set up Linn...Obviously YMMV.
Linn vs Kuzma is like vanilla vs chocolate.  One is not better than the other, just different.  Pick the one you like. 
I can tell you that I went down the Linn rabbit hole and the Kuzma is better in every way. It’s not vanilla vs chocolate it’s more like,
one is miles better vs one that isn’t. 

I was was in the cult of Linn. But unlike many in the Linn camp I’m objective enough to know when something is better. 

Linn Radikal is so cheaply made it compared to the Kuzma too. 

The Kuzma does everything the Linn does but better....timing dynamics soundstage and is quieter. Also can try different tonearms instead of being stuck with an Ekos SE which is the most overpriced and under performing arm I ever had. It can only take “Linn” cartridges and some Dynavectors. 

Im not a Linn basher but I am someone who has put his money where his mouth is unlike most die hard Linnies. 

Also @daveyf in “all the Kuzma you’ve heard” have you actually ever listened to a Ref2 in your system??? And perhaps it’s not “funny” that all the guys that end up with Kuzmas say what I say. Perhaps it’s just true?????

I am not alone another friend in Australia went down the Linn path and ended up with the Ref2 as well.

Linn make a great classic TT but really it’s at best a $5000 TT they just keep fleecing their ongoing customers with the upgrades. 

Been there done that. 

Dear Linn LP12 friend,

Bought my LP12 in October 1988. It has served me well.

Cirkus bearing, Lingo (1) power supply, Ekos tonearm, The latest phono cable, trampoline II and totally gone over and tuned by Tom O'Keefe of Ovature Audio in Ann Arbor, MI. The Best Linn Tech left in the USA, IMHO.

The Kuzma is better built (better machining), PS is better build, 12" VTA arm is two full steps ahead of the Ekos arm - Fine adjustment of azimuth, VTA on the Fly, quieter bearings, Just plays better than then Ekos. I have heard the SE Ekos in a full blown Linn rig while Tom worked on my table. Yes, The Full Blown Linn rig does sound great; Not $25,000 great.

I bought a Technics SL1200G at Axpona 2018, Had it shipped to atmasphere (Ralph), He built and mounted the new arm board, Tri Mai built and mounted the Triplanar Classic SE tonearm. Brian Walsh mounted the Lyra Kleos   Sorry, Davey, This rig takes down the Linn/Radikal. BTW, Tom barely was able to mount the Kleos to the Ekos arm. Technics has better speed control than the Radikal, Triplanar arm is in a different league than either the Ekos SE or the Kuzmz 12" VTA arms. Zero problems mounting Lyra Kleos to Triplanar arm. VTA on the Fly, azimuth adjustment, better bearings, One continuous wire from cartridge pins to terminations. Forget the felt mat on the Linn; Oracle Hard Acrylic mat now on the Technics. HRS 315gr record weight. 

Kuzma Rig = $9700 with new Dynavector XX2 mk II

Technics/Triplanar/Kleos Rig = $13,700

That’s really interesting as I went to listen to a friends Technics SP10 iii the other day and was completely gonsmacked by the sound.  

Love to 
@nkonor  I have a friend who has the Technics SL1200G. We have AB'ed it against my Linn...result, he is now trying to sell the Technics and buy into the entry level LP12 Magik! 
I happen to agree with you, the Triplanar arm is a superb arm, and one that I think is superior to the Ekos SE....Unfortunately, that is not the only part of this equation.The LP12 is a FAR FAR superior sounding platform to the Technics ( I actually way prefer it to the new Technics SL1000 as well). The LP12 Radikal is somewhat let down by the Ekos SE, but take a look at the arm I am using with the LP12 Radikal D, it kills the SE and all others on this table...Superb match up with my Kleos.
@nkonor. I noticed again that misinformation is prevalent with this table. Your post states you owned a Lingo...presumably the shoe box model. That model is miles away from the current model with a Radikal D. You then state you heard at Thomas’ place a full Radikal LP12..and that was great sounding, but not for $25k! Here’s the thing, you can get a Akurate model with Radikal D and a Ekos Se with a Kleos for about the same money as your Technics with Triplanar...IME, that rig will easily see off the Technics.
I agree with nkonor.  The Linn sound is outdated to my ears.  I would say if you are a tinkerer, buy one used.  I recently heard an old Kenwood DD turntable at a friends house with an old SME 3009 and a shure cartridge that would give the Linn a battle.  I think he is going to sell it for like 500.00.  They are good tables used if you like the Linn sound and can get it at a good price.  

Personally, I would say the Technics table trounces the Linn all day long.

I heard a fully Radicalized Linn and came home and listened to my VPI scout and felt it had more presence than the Linn. Now thats a 1600.00 table vs. at the time a 20K table.  Thats just not good enough and Linn should be ashamed to sell a table for that much considering a scout betters it in some ways.  At 20K it should not in any way.  Not good.  My scout is the old acrylic platter version.  RU kidding me... 

What happens when you go from a 120 gram record to a 200 gram record?  Does it go out of TUNE?  What happens when a cold front goes through, the humidity changes, etc.  I have friends who have gone from one record to another and encountered massive differences in sound. One record sounds great, the next record sounds completely wrong?  Not good in this day and age.  One thing I will say is the Linn is a very nice table to look at. 
@tzh21y What gear are you listening to as ancillary...Bose? Because, what you state makes sense if you that's what is your experience. OTOH on a system that is resolving, then even those with tin ears are going to understand why the Linn is still so respected throughout the a'phile world! OTOH, perhaps it is best for you to keep on being deluded about the LP12 Radikal and enjoy your Kenwood...or VPI Scout;0)
Like I stated above, there is a tremendous amount of misinformation about the LP12 platform...this thread, and posts like yours, continue with that issue.
Well answers the OP's question, IMO.
I actually listened to the Linn on an all Linn system at a Linn dealer.  It sounded good, but not worth 20K.  Thats just the way I hear it.  Others like yourself may think the Linn is better. I for one do not especially for 20K or even 4 or 5 for a Majik or whatever it is.
oh, and may I add that this Linn dealer is very good at what he does and is probably one of the nicest dealers I have ever met.
@tzh21y So you heard the LP12 with an all Linn system and then came home and preferred your Scout! Really that is no big surprise to any Linn table adherent! While we think extremely highly of the table, the same cannot be said for the Linn ancillary gear. Personally, I have to agree that the Linn electronics and speakers are in no way competitive with numerous other pieces,at or below, their price point. Therefore, unfortunately you did not hear what a LP12 Radikal can actually bring to the system. I also know that most Linn dealers won’t actually accept this fact, but the a’phile community has known this for years.

Again, unfortunately you are spreading misinformation that is based on a faulty assumption. I can see on this forum and others that this is prevalent with the LP12...and again, answers the OP’s question.
Linn themselves do have some amount of blame with this, as they have a product that their dealers are typically NOT demoing in its best light....due to their primarily wanting to sell their Linn ancillary gear. 
Well, that could be true.  I thought that the Linn system was pretty decent.

I still think there are things that after years of listening you can hear that are qualities inherent to each piece.  
The Linn LP12, or if you prefer, the endlessly modified/exploited Thorens TD150/ Ariston RD11, is perhaps the second greatest marketing success in audio history (ahead of Bose, behind Monster?!).

Apart from heavy handed tactics and legal triumphs, very little creativity or originality emerged from that direction.

Two decades later I still rue the day I got involved in succumbing to the hype thrown about by sections of the domestic UK press/dealer cartel.

And it hasn’t quite ended yet, almost. Sure, it’s an OK enough sounding deck, but that classic killer look was entirely ’borrowed’.

Do you guys seriously believe that if the LP12 wasn’t a great sounding table that it would have garnered the success it has? 
You can’t solely judge a product on its success or lack thereof in the marketplace. Based on that flawed logic Bose is the greatest. 
Some people love the Bose sound. When it comes to tables, I don’t think that anyone is going to spend that kind of money on a high priced table, unless it delivers. YMMV

Do you guys seriously believe that if the LP12 wasn’t a great sounding table that it would have garnered the success it has?

The LP12 is THE example for perfect marketing.
Most audiophiles have no clue and are deaf like a stone. Independent from money..

I am really shocked to see such a question today.

@syntax. We are supposed to believe that Linn sold thousands of their turntable, simply due to excellent marketing!... According to one that bought the rig was able to hear well enough to determine that is was faulty and therefore they were deaf like a stone. Thousands of deaf folks that just couldn’t hear all of its faults...unlike you, I guess ;0)
Great discussion.
The LP12 is great and you’re a fool.
The LP12 stinks and you’re a fool.
Despite disagreement on many things, there is clear common ground on one thing.
@bima LOL that’s great!
However one thinks about the LP 12 sound you have to admit that it’s a great business model but not so great for the consumer. How can you have that many improvements/upgrades? If it needed improvement it should’ve been incorporated into the next model at the base price!  And the price of these improvements/upgrades are just obscene for what you get!
That is why I would never buy an LP 12. Because I think it’s a scam and I would feel like a fool for buying in…But again I’ve never heard one so they may sound great. 
Yes, Linn was extremely well marketed...

Please note also that they were the first (?) manufacturer to shake the establishment by insisting that motor units/turntables sounded different and could dictate the sound of your system.
Consequently, they challenged potential buyers to AB the LP12 against competing turntables.
Dealers & reviewers did this constantly, using the LP12 as a reference product.
After hearing, most people bought the LP12 hence the fanatical following that Linn enjoyed for many years.

I’ve always said of even basic Linns that owners don’t know just how good a turntable it is until they use it with more resolving ancillaries. Running my old Valhalla-ed LP12 through bigger & better amps & electrostats revealed an altogether different beast, one that felt irreplaceable.

I no longer own that T/T but you won’t hear any bad-mouthing of LP12s in this house! ;)
However one thinks about the LP 12 sound you have to admit that it’s a great business model but not so great for the consumer.
Why do we have to admit that?
How can you have that many improvements/upgrades?
Perhaps because it has been in continuous production for more than 45 years.
... the price of these improvements/upgrades are just obscene for what you get ... I’ve never heard one so they may sound great.
How can you claim the price is "obscene" if you’ve never heard one? That just doesn’t make sense.
Perhaps it is that those who prefer the Linn prioritize different aspects in reproduced music than do those who prefer a different table. The LP12 is known more for it’s ability at conveying the temporal elements in music (forward momentum, timing, etc. PRaT), rather than its purely sonic (frequency extension---bass in particular, imaging, etc.) characteristics.
18K for a Linn Radical or say a used Basis debut.  Hmmmmm, tough decision.
Finally, we have a disclosure that one of the naysayers has never heard the table, but that doesn’t stop him from putting his two cents,is that the definition of a troll!

Pity that the others who have never heard the table in a proper setting fail to acknowledge the same thing. Like i said before, plenty of misinformation attached to this product.

The OP didn’t ask what the darned thing sounds like, or if the sound is competitive. He asked if anyone still bought them, and why Linn dealers are going extinct, but in true Audiogon fashion most posters answer the question that they imagine in their minds, not the one that was actually asked.
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he said he wondered why.  I think this thread has given him an idea.
Yup, $224,000 (without tonearm) for a Basis Work Of Art or a few grand for a Linn Magic. Need to think about that one a while Tonto.
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actually a used Debut or even a 2200 would be much better. I think a used Debut costs much less that a Linn Klimax Radical and their is no comparison Tonto.
Perhaps you mean that, to you, there is no comparison. Or are you judge and jury for the rest of us? Proclimations and absolutes do make good headlines and sound bites however.

I had a Basis 2001 and it was not to my taste, regardless of comparisons. I would prefer a Rega RP6, and have heard their higher spread at dealers as well. Notice, Lone Ranger, I said “ to my taste”.
ahhhh no.  people come on this site and proclaim that a 50 year old design beats the best designs of today.  "read the thread"  I have heard LP12's and I can tell you that although they sound good when tuned, to make statements that confuse people into thinking the LP12 is as good as most tables today is a farce at best.  way too much effort and money has to be put into these tables to get them to sound decent. Its not worth it and a Basis 2001 is not what I would call a table that competes in the price range of a Linn although it probably sounds as good in many respects for a lot less money.  Tinkering for decent sound is just not worth it.  for the money of a radical, i do not want to ever have to tinker my friend.  Rega rp6 is very strident as most of the regas especially with strings but I would say that a rp8 for example strident and all, competes with the Linn radical.  In fact, I bet a lower end linn sounds almost as good as the top linn

What I would say is if you already have a linn, there are ways to make it sound better at a cost.  If you can find one on EBAY for less than a 1000.00 and want a project, the Linn can fill your needs.

It is true that if you like the sound of the LInn, by all means enjoy it.
@tzh21y Are you another one of these guys who knows very well the sound of the LP12, but unfortunately has never heard one??

I suspect that is exactly the case here, otherwise you wouldn’t be posting what you did.
The Rega rp6 is very are most Rega’s?? How would you know if the Rega rp8 competes with the Radikal...if you have never heard either table...and certainly not in an ’AB’???
A Basis Debut is a great table, but now very long in the tooth. A friend used to own one, sold it to replace it with.....LOL!

The current Basis Signature 2800 would be a table that I think could actually compete with the top LP12 Klimax, and in some ways probably better it, but what price difference are we talking here...?
I have heard the Linn, actually the best Linn and I have a friend that has an old Linn.  I have heard the older Linn some time ago as he does not use the Linn anymore.  My recent listen was to a top of the line setup and when I came home, my VPI Scout sounded pretty close and actually better in some ways.

I will admit that you guys have me intrigued now.  I may have to go listen to one again.  The dealer I went to listen to one at is not longer in business.  The North American distributor is 5 minutes from my house.  They will not let me listen to one and say I have to drive 200 miles to go to a Linn dealer.  omg
I always heard a Linn sound great. But a new fully loaded @20K?

Even at this guy's price, tough to swallow:
For $10K, you open yourself up to quite a few tables WITH a nice cart.

@tzh21y Linn themselves are now handling all US distribution. If your ’distributor’ is 5 minutes from your house- and won’t let you hear one of the tables, it is most likely because this fellow is NO LONGER a rep!
Perhaps contact Linn at the UK website for how to hear the table?
Compared to your Scout, to my ears the LP12 Radikal D is in a totally different and superior league. YMMV.
@tzh21y , no hurry. Last one I heard at a dealer's featured an Ekos / Troika combo. Strangely underwhelming.

Things improved somewhat with a Naim Aro, but I have never heard a Linn with vanishingly low surface noise. You know, those 'inky black' backgrounds you sometimes read about.

Perhaps things have changed. If you can persuade your local dealer to reconsider, (forget the 200 miles, that's too far for even a Continuum Obsidian or Technics SP10R), it'd be nice to hear what you thought.

even if set up by an expert, by the time you get it home its out of adjustment.... used to own one
actually, I went to their website and the phone number is the one here locally for all Linn. I tried to contact somebody at Linn, they just directed me to this local guy who tells me i have to travel 200 miles to hear one or go 500 miles to NYC. Thats just crazy since they are truly less than 15 minutes away driving slowly.  Maybe somebody at Linn will see this and realize how crazy that is.
"While recent sales of new turntables have been between 300 and 700 per year, Linn tells us the higher proportion of sales is attributed to upgrades. Owners can send their decades-old LP12 to the Linn factory to be upgraded to current day specification – yes, even those purchased over 40 years ago."http://https//

With such a small yearly production, I am not surprised there are so few dealers and that Linn has taken over their distribution in the US.
Technics makes more turntables in a week than Linn makes in a year!

  @stringreen What you stated tells me that your LP12 was never set up correctly in the first place. Once set up correctly, the table does not ‘drift’ or any such thing. Pure and utter myth. 
Now, how you transported it home, well that’s another question, lol.

 @tzh21y   I guess it depends where you are located. I do know that Linn are now handling distribution in the States themselves. Could it be that the so called local rep isn’t able to demo for you. Since Linn are taking over, it doesn’t surprise me that much that they don’t have a local dealer set up for you to hear the gear....yet. Although it willl depend on where you are in the country.