Linn vs VPI?

I am planning to upgrade my current entry level Music Hall TT. I would like to get either a Linn LP 12 or some of the comparable VPI tables. Used not new.
It apperas to me that VPI is very highly regarded and people are very happy with VPI products. I also understand that Linn is on Stereophile recommended list of components for ever and essentially thes ame but greatly evolved product.

Any insight/first hand experience and tonearm/cartridge recommendadtion is more than welcome.
Sometimes a leaner bass may also manifest itself as a more forward overall sound, bringing into sharper focus other tonal characteristics.

Experiment with a little larger Toe-out on the speakers
This will also create a wider sound stage.

Also try moving the speakers back a little towards the wall / corner.

Careful speaker positioning can do wonders, and IMHO is one of the most neglected solutions...
VERY Sorry for the above post... Totally Out Of Context. Was written for another thread . Apologies !
I also recently upgraded from a project Xpressions to a VPI HW-19 mkIV. I seriously considered Linn LP12 but I read that it is a tough table to setup and many people recommended having a expert set it up. The VPI HW-19 is no longer being made so that may influence you though some parts are available and there are third party suppliers for motors and suspension/springs/sorbothane. The VPI wasn't hard to setup but i needed some questions answered.
Both the Linn and the VPI require expert setup. If you know a Linn expert in you area, you should enquire about a used tt. Once they are set up, they will go for years without adjustment. The VPIs are nice tt's as well, but the unipivot arm also requires work to get everything just so. I don't know which MM you have, but if it's a cheaper one, you might consider upgrading to the MMF-7 which is a very nice tt and comes all ready to go. If you're so inclined, before upgrading, I would try a Herbies mat on your current tt. It made an astounding improvement on my old MMF-5. I didn't like it on the Linn at all, but it was great on the MMF-5. That could make you happy while you search for a better table. Herbies offers money back on everything, so there's no risk, outside of a few bucks for shipping. Best of luck.
OK, some good insights, thanks guys. I have a MMF-2.2 right now and a Marantz 6100. The MMF is the main daily TT. I have both a Linn and a VPI locally available. The VPI is one of the older models has some upgrades, including a REGA arm (not sure which one). Asking price is $1,500 and would accpet my MMF as a part of the trade/sell.
In that price range I also looked at the Marantz 15s1 which es essentially a Clearaudio TT with some improvements and a great cartridge.

IF NEITHER - could you suggest what to consider?
I recently looked at selling my LP12 and looked at VPI-Rega-ClearAudio and Project. All with rather poor representation in my area. But when listening at one store whom had a Rega P3 and a VPI Scout nesxte to each other I really preffered the rega sound. But that dealer is as ecentric as the first stone wheel too! I really don't think the VPI was set up correctly. At the end of the story I kept my LP12 and unless I find something that excites me I will keep it. It seems that they forever upgradeable. I just heard the new DC power supply and Phonostage at my local dealer and it....incredible. But he has all the latest on it and it sounded great before but is better than anything I can recall hearding. Oh and before he tells me yechh! BW I know I know:)
I have both, I am a VPI dealer and I just bought a used Linn. Can't give a final answer because I am still getting the Linn properly set up. I disagree that the VPI is hard to set up, I have been setting them up since 1962,it seems to me that it is one of the simplest ones I have used. The unipivot arms are different but seem simpler to me than many of the standard arms. The Linn is harder but the difficulty was exaggerated in the past as part of the Linn "mystique". Worked on me, I sold other brands instead. The one I got has not been realigned since the 80s but sounded quite good. There are many good tables out there, buying used is the smart course. Something like the Thorens TD 126 or 125 are still good tables and can often be found relatively cheap. Just get a better mat. I find it hard to give general recommendations as buying used is a case by case thing depending on condition, arm , etc. Stan
Stanwal is right. To set up a Linn all you need is the setup manual. You
can get it online. Setup is time consuming , a lot of back and forth but it
can be done by anyone has turntable experience. Follow the manual and take
your time and it can be done. There is a setup stand that makes it easier to do
but it is going to cost ($300+) , if you can find one. I have seen them on A'gon
I had both a VPI HW-19 Mk II with acrylic arm board and a Linn LP-12 Valhala. The sonic differences between them, using an Origin Live RB-300, was that the VPI seemed to have deeper bass, which at times seemed a bit slow and turgid by comparison, whereas the Linn seemed to be more "up-beat" in terms of rhythm and pace but didn't seem to go as deep. I preferred the Linn but YMMV.
Great stuff guys, keep it coming!
i bought a new scoutmaster for a great price and it is the first turntable i've ever owned*. it was super easy to setup, even for a novice like me. granted, an "expert" may have done better, but i'm getting fabulous sound out of it despite being a vinyl noob.

*i bought a used rega planar 3 about five years ago in a vague attempt to try out vinyl, but i never bothered to really try to set it up properly, so i don't count this as turntable ownership. :)
If you travel to a Linn dealer and he sets it up really well, then you drive it home, it will not loose anything. I think given a proper set up the Linn beats the VPI in warmth and transparency with acoustic instruments. If you are a rock 'n roller and love synthesizers and drum machines, get the VPI.
I just got my VPI HW-19 setup and running and one of the first things i noticed as i played my reference album (Apostrophe, Zappa) was the much greater bass than the Xpression. Also a much deeper soundstage. And it sounds louder, normal was 9 o'clock on the dial now i got it backed off to 8.

Gotta love this hobby
I've had a 25th anniversary LP12 for about 10 years and I'm really pleased with it. I have not heard the VPI so I cannot comment on that. I auditioned a number of turntables at the time including the Michell Gyrodec and Orbe and Pink Triangle PT Too - the Linn bettered all of these. I have the Lingo power supply, Ekos arm and Arkiv cartridge - vintage stuff these days. One of the things I like about Linn is how their equipment can be upgraded although it's not cheap. There are plenty of ways I can improve my deck. By the way, I have just got an Akurate DS and, whilst this sounds fantastic, it still does not measure up to the LP12.
Linn LP12 is highly colored. It is recommended for Systems which are really sharp, analytic and boring to listen to. It gives the "warmth" which is needed to survive more than 30 min. without getting problems. The big advantage is, you can get good loaded ones really cheap. Upgrades are always welcome and it is a pleasure to spend to get the feeling to be on par with modern units.
VPI has some nice upgrades and they don't change performance when your wife opens the window when you are out of house.
How about a Mitchel Gyrodeck?
It works, has no set up secrets and performs very well with a SME V.
The Michell sounds interesting. I will keep my eyes open...thanks for the tip.
I looked into getting a Herbies mat as recommended in one of the earlier posts. What thickness do you use or recommend?
As the MM comes with a felt mat, I just got the thinnest one. The one you would use for a Linn. I bet you will be really surprised at the improvement.
I have had both a Linn Axis, an LP12 and a highly modified VPI HW19 - I liked the VPI better in the long road with MC cartridges.
Syntax: I am curious which VPI's in what combination are you referring to that you feel beat a loaded LP12?
thanks guys i will try the thinnest and let you know what happened
I've owned an LP12 for 25 years and it has been through a number of upgrades, most recently six years ago with Cirkus, Lingo, Ekos arm and Akiva cartridge. I like how it sounds, especially the Akiva's ability to quiet the level of surface noise. It's part of a larger home theater system and includes a Clearaudio Balance phono stage, Classé SSP-60 running in balanced bypass for the phono input, Classé CA-5200 amplifier and Revel Performa F-30's. Wires are MIT CVT Terminator running balanced from the Clearaudio into the SSP-60, Transparent Music Link balanced from the SSP-60 to the CA-5200, and Tributaries Bi-Wire from the CA-5200 to the Revels. I wouldn't call this system overly analytic, etched or otherwise in need of taming as Syntax suggests as a good task for an LP12. To my ears it gives a satisfying and musical experience, which I feel is about the most we can hope our systems will do for us. Nonetheless I'm curious what would happen if I mounted the Akiva on a VPI Classic and then plugged that into the system. I don't have the foggiest idea now, but it will be my next adventure to find out. Cheers to all!
I had a Linn LP12 from 1988 or so until 2007 or so, when I compared it to a VPI Scout. I had done all the Linn upgrades, but I liked the Scout better. I sold the Scout when I heard the Amadeus, and that is quite a bit better than both, IMO. And for just $2850. And so I was able to sell the SDS, and Scout, and pocket some cash. Just like when I sold the Linn, and it's power supply, though I can't remember Linn's clever name for it...
Sound keeps going up, price keeps coming down. I like it!