LP12 Setup: Dead & Lifeless: Where's the air?

Picked up an LP12 from a fellow 'Goner this weekend and installed the Dynavector and proceeded to be underwhelmed :)

It sounds really dark and closed w/o any airiness on top.
Fiddled with the basics, and this basic dark, closed character did not change much at all.

Being a LP12 newbie I could certainly have my local dealer help with this (they are very good), but thought if there was something simple to fiddle with, I could affect a DIY style setup change.

The Linn is known for sounding somewhat "warm & plump", not for extremely airy, open or delicate highs. Obviously, the parts that you choose to go with it and how they are set-up will drastically effect the performance of the whole system though.

Have you attempted to play with cartridge loading in your preamp / phono stage at all ? This can make or break a phono system. Other than that, all i can suggest is that you verify that all of the arm / cartridge adjustments are as "dead on" as you can get them. The cartridge needs to be squarely mounted and not twisted or rocked in the headshell. Overhang is also very important. Playing with VTA will also change tonal balance and transient response somewhat, so don't miminize the importance of this variable. Tracking force will also affect the transient response and dynamics of the cartridge. Sean

Is the Dynavector new or used? A new cartridge will take some time to break in. Sean is right about loading and the rest. It may just need some time to wake up!
I don't know about your Linn dealer, but mine charged me $50.00 to tune up my LP12, and it was worth it. Linn tables are notorious for being finnicky and for good reason. When tuned exactly right, they sound wonderful. Unfortunately, they also must be retuned from time to time.

If I had known this beforehand, I might not have purchsed an LP12. But since I now have it, the great sound I get from it is worth the occasional hassle. Before you give up faith on the LP12, have your Linn guy tune it up. I think you will be pleasantly surprised.

Email me if you would like to have a setup manual. It's a zip file that is about 1/2 meg and opens in MS Word. Also, cut and paste this link in your browser. There is a lot of useful informations contained there. I would suggest printing it out and saving it for reference.


A faulty power supply would also contribute to what you describe. I can also send you a photo of what to look for.
Take the table to a Linn dealer if you still have doubts. Good luck.

I agree with the above...check everything, or pay someone to set it up properly. Linn tables may be a bit warm in the mid bass, but mine has never ever sounded the way you described (with either the Benz Glider or Benz Ruby 2 cartridges).
Make sure the bearing has oil in it and the belt is fresh. I use Mobil 1 'cause the Linn oil is like unubtanium. I agree with all the above.
Sean nailed it -- I had incorrectly set the overhang.
Simple! That sure beats a trashed power supply...

Now this table has absolutely come alive with MUSIC -- it's always just one more track, one more disc ... much better!

... and just when I was thinking that I was just gonna hold on to the P25 and simplify my vinyl experience and not have to deal with this moody tweeky scottish thing ... :)

Thanks again everyone, the help is much appreciated.
Breeno: Glad you were able to get it worked out to your liking and it was something simple. If i were you though, i would contact Lugnut ASAP and take advantage of his very kind offer. Once you do that, i would go over the Linn set-up procedure and take NOTHING for granted. There is probably more performance to be had in that thar beast, so you might as well get everything out of it that you paid for : ) Sean
Hm, unfortunately I think, this is not possible, beside huge tweaking.
I never saw a LP12 which was able to create 'air '. All were - more or less - dull, slow, coloured with no inspiration.
Your description about being dead and lifeless is normal, I think. ( So, most Linn dealers say, they have a great timing ....)
Sean: Lugnut and I have been emailing, and I've got the setup manual printed out and ready to go -- he's been extremely helpful. I'm pretty happy to just have the thing in the ballpark - it was really bad initially.

I do think I'm going to have my Linn dealer give it a once over this time around while I'm still learning. As you said, I'm hoping there's more performance to be had.
Paying someone is OK but what about upgrades? Would you have to pay and pay and pay again to set the whole thing up for you? I admit it demands a HUGE patience to set up BUT it can sound the way you want it to sound and even better so I suggest you to read speak and learn. Further-on it'll be much easier when you start upgrading which I bet you will.
Good luck!