LP 12 Owners-If you were going to buy a new TT ...


While I love the sound of my LP12 when its properly set up, it is a finicky beast which hates to be moved. I have moved with my table three times, and readjusting has always been a bit of a pain. For example, I wish speed was easier to regulate, I wish setting up the correct belt height was not so touchy, I wish my Ekos had adjustable VTA, etc. While not fed up to the point of wanting an immediate change, I do wonder occassionally when I see pictures and reviews of some of the new tables popping up in the market. Wondering if any fellow Linnies have moved on (or are considering moving on) to other designs. What woud top the list for about the same money as a fully decked out LP12 (Ekos, Lingo, Arkiv)?
alexc
I had a LP12 Valhalla/Ittok/Karma for years, and enjoyed it very much.

I now have a Teres 245 DC Signature/OL Silver/Shelter501, and it sounds far better to me than the Linn ever did. This rig cost me under $4k total, and is a killer bargain for the performance it gives.

I have no plans to change my analog rig in the foreseeable future. Very happy with it.
I changed mine for an Oracle Delphi/SME 309
I'm very happy with that..:-)
Go for a Well Tempered Super.

Excellent sounding, great arm, completely adjustable while playing ( VTA, azimuth ) and the set up never changes until you do.

A excellent product, so much better than a LP 12 .....
Alex,

If I were to move up it would be the Teres. The Ekos doesn't have VTA adjustment? My Ittok does. Also, if the power supply is working then the speed should be dead on. Unless of course, you wanted to tune a record to your guitar or such, why would you even desire speed control? Just curious.

Patrick
owned an lp12 for 20 years. have upgraded to the dps (der plattenspieler). imported by www.audioadvancements.com. sounds superb and no more headaches.
Patrick - VTA on the Ekos can only be adjusted the hard way --- by lowering or raising the entire arm. Not the most reproducibel approach for fine tuning compared to other arms out there. The speed control bit is related to the belt position on the pulley, which can only be adjusted by changing the tilt angle on the pulley/motor. For some mysterious reasonn, mine must have gone out of whack in the last move - the belt has a tough time climbing up the pulley and simply falls off..or it rides too high. The Linn set up manual tells you the speed will be right if the belt is at right spot on the pulley (or viceversa), but all they show you is a rather crude line drawing. My belt looks too high vs the drawing when it stays on, but the only way to be sure is to measure the speed. Proper speed/belt height adjustment is of course done by your dealer when he sets up the table...using Linn's very own high precission strobe (whihc, like the famous set up jig, aint for sale to us mere mortals). The thing is..I don't have Linn dealer anywhere near close, so have to make do on my own (plus any self respecting Linn dealer would refuse to touch my table after all the Extreme Phono mods!) So far, have not managed to get it "right". I have a KAB Strobe on the way which will hopefully help, but it will still be a pain (a quarter of the tiny screws makes a big difference--and of course if you over do it you can damage the top of the actual motor casing....)
But with a Linn you will never know for sure that it is properly set up and functioning at peak potential. There will always be that small little birdy inside your head saying "the bounce may not be right any more", etc etc. Life is too short for a Linn. I know, I hade one for 15 years. Luckily, the voices went away after I sold my table. ;-)
Alexc,

I'm in the same boat you are in. I don't have a dealer anywhere close. I've never had my belt ride anywhere except in the middle of the pulley. The VTA adjustment is a pain but I only do it once and never feel like I need to make changes due to thickness of any particular pressing. Long ago I was advised that the belt is correct if it is just below the point of rubbing the platter. I'll probably buy a Teres but I won't sell the Linn as I believe it to be worth more to me than it would bring on the market. I'm kind of attached to the thing since it's older than my kid and she's 21. Good luck.

Patrick
I have a Linn and am thinking about an upgrade. My choices thus far are: Teres, Nottingham Spacedeck or VPI Aries. All seem easier to set up and maintain. You might want to post your query at Vinyl asylum.
I owned a Linn for many years. It's funny how many of the more "modern" contenders sound much better than the Linn in a few areas but miss the organic wholeness that the Linn imparts. That said, my favorite is the RPM; lots of swing, PRAT, and imaging to boot. I can't afford one but have spent a lot of time listening.
Marty
Hi have a Linn LP12/Valhalla/Modified Rega RB250 from Express Machinging/Benz Glider II. I have ordered a Teres 255 Rosewood kit and it should be arriving this week. I have an Eminent Technology ET2 Linear tracking tonearm that I'm going to put on the Teres, this combo is suppose to be very good. After I assemble the Teres and get the ET2 working right I will then let it break-in then I will have to decide to get rid of the LP12. I like the sound of the LP12 but just tired of the suspension, I just want to set it up and forget about it. I know I will have to mess with the ET2 quite a bit but I have heard and talked to people who own this tonearm that they don't have to mess with it that much, We'll see.

Steve..
I had a Linn LP12 for many years, upgrading along the way to Ekos/Lingo etc. I recently bought a TNT MKV/JMW12.5 combo.(I used a van den hul black beauty cartridge on the Linn and kept it for the TNT/JMW.) I can say that it is a wonderful improvement. The new rig is much quieter and provides much greater resolution of low level detail. This just opened up the sounstage and allows me to hear many nuances I previously missed. In addition, the bass is so much better that it makes the Linn sound as it it was missing half the music.

The Linn is good, but it's not even close to being in the same class as my new rig.
I sold my lp12 and considered the Teres, Nottingham, and VPI. I settled very happily with the Nottingham Hyperspace. Only the looks of the VPI impressed me. I thought I had my heart set on the Teres but my enthusiasm wained about putting it together myself the longer I thought about it. I think the design philosophy is excellent. But I came to the conclusion that with my schedule and habits I'd be better off with a finished, local dealer supported product. The Hyperspace design is generally along the same path as the Teres and does the PRAT thing well as the lp12. If I ever have the luxury of owning two tables, the second will be a pre-vahalla lp12.
IF I was going to buy a new TT (and I am) I would keep my LP12 for various reasons. I'm building a Teres and now that I am nearing completion (after spending about 900 bucks more than I thought I would on the base alone - DIY isn't always cheap) I'm second guessing all my design work. This second guessing is undoubtedly going to make me question the results I acheive with the completed table. I have no idea what to expect and I have a feeling its going to suck. :) Therefore - I anticipate that as long as I own the Teres, I'll be messing with it -- trying to improve on it, etc.

The Linn will remain in my system as that which grounds me to reality -- giving me a basis to judge the Teres as it evolves.

The LP12 really is an amazing table.
Well..I'm not about to dump my LP12 yet...I figure I still need to get some value out of the last upgrade (the carbon fiber subchassis and armboard mod, which DID improve the basss). Like Jackob sez, I guess my problem is one of not REALLY knowing what the heck is wrong with it (or how to fix it) when the sound does not quite "gel". The belt thing is odd. I put a new belt on and it seems to be fine...but the one it replaced was only 2 6 mnoths old. The latest one is a mistracking issue, thogu perhaps I'm being paranoid. My rig will track just about everything I own great, but it sounded like crap on the AP Miles Davis box set..and I sounds like crap on the EMI Pro Use DSOM LP I bought on ebay 2 weeks ago. Perhaps these are just cut too "hot" for the Ekos/Arkiv B to handle..but considering the cost of this arm and cartridge it is really criminal that they fail to play these LP's back well!
My LP 12 is 88' vintage. The dealer sold me the setup jig, strobe,speed disc, setup manual because I was moving to Alaska and he gave a live demo of setup and then watched me do the setup and critiqued me as I did it. I have managed to maintain it with No Problems ( belt, tracking, etc.) It has only been tuned by a Linn dealer twice (2) . Once in 94' when I moved back to Chicago; and this past April by "Tom" at Ovature Audio (400miles each way) in AnnArbor, MI. Even though it has sounded Good and has never given me a problem. I have to admit that Tom's tuneup has that "Linn something " that is just a bit better than My setup!
 I upgraded from Ittok to Elkos in Alaska and added the Lingo. The Cirkus was added in 94, back in Chicago. Since 94' and 2016; I also used (3) different mats and a Sota Cosmos record clamp. Changed from Spectral MCR- Spectral MCR Sig. - Lyra Clavis- Lyra Helikon.  Tom did his "Linn Tuneup " Had me go back to a Linn felt mat, no record clamp, new Linn phono cable. Installed a new Lyra Kleos. Has the Linn Tune w/ all the Lyra Sound. I am thinking of upgrading to Kore sub chassis and Radikal. It plays the tune!!! with everything The Lyra offers; detail , bass, imaging, tracking, Quiet in the Groove!  Holds its specs. Trouble Free! Why would I sell it? It has given me (28) years of pleasure! Would I really get significant $ for it. Probably NOT! Better to just keep it. Upgrade it? Waste of $? Others on this forum say the upgrades ARE worth it!
 I bought a Kuzma Stabi S, w/ platter upgrade, Kuzma 12"VTA arm, outboard PS, Dynavector XX II Mk2. It too ; "Plays well !" Both playing through Manley Steelhead The two setups give me that "Just Enough Change!" That we all seem to need in this hobby. Neither TT totally blows the other away. They play equally well but different! No audio memory here. Both through the same system. 
If I ever get a Super TT; (Kronos, Kuzma Stabi M, Tech Das III) on my list. The LP12 could go to my other small system. 
I am not the sentimental type! The LP12 still gives pleasure and can continue to do so. Others on the forums say that it can be improved! Guess we'll hear it one day. Probably! Maybe? Perhaps.
After listening to a newly modded linn,  I must say that my original scout sounded pretty darn good.
TY tzh21y,

What "mods" have you done to your LP12?
I went and auditioned one.  I think the whole setup was in excess of 10 grand.  Different sound thAN scout.  Scout more airy in sound,  more natural to my ears.  Line was great, don't get me wrong but I will stick with the scout for now.
Every TT, Tonearm, cartridge combo is different. Extremely hard to do A/B comparisons these days. I don't know any dealer that will loan out aTT but you can get CPDs, preamps,amps etc.for home audition.
Currently I run my 88' vintage LP12 and a new Kuzma Stabi S. Both through my Manley Steelhesd. Different tables, arms , cartridges. They play at the same level but Are Different! The Linn "Plays the Tune" ; The Kuzma is rock solid neutral, has better soundstage/ imaging. I am coming to Love the ergonomics of the suspensionless Kuzma over the Linn. Otherwise all else being fairly equal. They both play well. Both are problem free.
They give me that something different that I think most of us want / need. 
This is the beauty that Analog provides that digital just doesn't IMHO.
The LP12 can be upgraded to a very high level. However, for those who still own or remember an 80's version....Lingo 1 or Valhalla with the older sub chassis, non-cirkus version...I can see how one might think that a VPI or similar might sound better. BUT....here's the thing, add a Radikal D and a new Kore or Keel, Later Cirkus and a Ekos SE or one of the better arms...and the old girl will scoot away from most other tables, IMHO...:0)

First of all there is no such thing as ''the'' LP 12. The newest version

is shameless expensive while one can get a ''decent one'' for, so

to speak, few dollars. I moved first to Audiomeca J1 (P.Lurne)

which was as a kind of liberation. Then I moved to Kuzma Stabi

Reference which is similar to Audiomeca (acryl everywhere, inverted

bearing and 8 kg. platter). What is more the Kuzma was regarded

as one of the best available. However I also own SP-10,mk 2 with

Obsidian plinth + AT 636 pneumathic footers. I am not able to hear

any difference between them while considering the price my advice

should be obvious.

I have had my LP12 for 19 years now. Happy with it. But if I were getting into vinyl now, I would consider a VPI Prime or if the funds allowed, an SME
have a Linn since 1981 and over 2000 vinyls and I listen to it every chance I have....plays nice and I'm still happy with it. The records I have are ones which I have bought in the late 60's-80. and have bought them for the music. If I didn't like the record I would not kept it.....theLP12 have played all my records properly for 36 years...maybe I will sell it but to buy what? BTW I have cirkus, and lingo the Linn in the 90's and recently had the Ittok rewired and a new cable....I have learned to setup myself when needed and I'm better than most dealers as I felt they never did a good job.  The LP12 rest on a wall shelve and no need to reajust once it is setup properly. I setup only when I replace the cartridge.
Still have my linn from 27 years ago have done a lot of the upgrades. This table has been a nightmare to keep tuned and maintained. 

Use the 2017 VPI scout which looks like a baby Prime. I can tell you that it's a great improvement over the linn and is virtually maintenance free. Really happy with the combo of the koetsu black 
soundwatts, I strongly suspect that you were either doing the 'upgrades' yourself, or you had a dealer that was 'less than able' in doing it for you.
Once the LP12 is set up correctly it will keep that set up for years. Unfortunately, IF you start to play with the settings and don't know how to set them right, then the statement that you made makes sense. 

Daveyf

I had an authorized service center in Brooklyn NY do the upgrades and setup. After a couple of years it didn’t sound right. Did all the tests ie platter upside down etc. And it seemed to have gone out of adjustment. Brought it back they confirmed it and readjusted. Another few years and repeat. That being said they are different tables the linn has a suspension the Vpi does not. So it more maintenance free in my humble opinion. Maybe I just have a lemon that is possible.




That would be dPS ttable, but to stop myself from doing something stupid, like selling my Naim-ed and Keel-ed Sondek I sold all my original boxes and packaging for the Baby!
thank you guys from the original, 2003 posts! I must have bought then one of yours! ;-)