Identify which model you have, Maybe http://www.audioasylum.com/index.html
can help. All improvements help I think the cartridge, Arm, Lingo and Phono section make the biggest improvements in that order. The lingo is very noticably better. Sell the Creek and get the matching ARC Phono. It will sound great. You will kiss CDs good bye. Unless you get a ARC CD-2
You can get a brand new origin live Aurora and origin live silver tonearm for 2K, that will better any mod you can do to your Linn.
Just keep this in mind, You may find as I did it is not worth trying to upgrade older technology when you can buy a twenty-first century turntable that is so good for so little (compared to making all the upgrades you will need to bring you Linn up to date.)
You may just want to get the silver arm and a shelter 501 cartridge. Then do TWL's hi fi mod to the silver arm and be very happy until you decide to get a new table. This will kick the crap out of ANY cd player!
The shelter is a moving coil cartridge and the phono you have is only MM, but you need to up grade that anyway, say maybe to a black cube? The ARC ph3 is very good and better than the cube, but more dough.
You could also do Origin lives dc motor up grade to your lp12.
What do you suggest Tom? You know the Linn's better than me.
I agree that the Linn can be bettered, but it is still quite a nice table that would be satisfactory for many listeners. I had one for many years, and liked it alot.
Regarding the differences, one easy way to check is to look at the power switch. If it is a large square RED button, then it is an early model, either standard or Nirvana upgrade. If the power switch is a square black button with a small red LED indicator light, then it is a Valhalla power supply model. All of these use the same bearing. There are only differences in springs between the original and Nirvana models. The Valhalla has all Nirvana upgrades as well as the Valhalla power supply. When the later upgrades became available, they changed the main bearing and subchassis with the Cirkus upgrade. The Trampolin was just an add on suspension modification that had a second set of springs and a platform that went on the bottom. The Lingo is an outboard add-on power supply. Most of the upgrades are controversial, but the Valhalla units are probably the best for the least money. The Trampolin is probably the least respected upgrade, and is likely not worth doing. In any event, a Valhalla LP12 is a good table that will serve you well. Be advised that most Valhalla tables are now getting old, and the Valhalla power supplies are showing higher failure rates. If speed control is not good, the Valhalla unit is likely bad. This is not expensive, nor difficult to replace.
Many people could be happy for life with a table of this sound quality. Not the very best, but quite competent in performance.
Upgrades in order of importance, weighted by cost, in my opinion: Lingo power supply, Ittok or Akito arm (Ekos too expensive), Linto phono preamp, Klyde or used Arkiv cartridge(Akiva too expensive, and Arkiv rebuilds at the factory are a good deal), Circus bearing, and a good setup. One thing that's nice about the LP12 is that you can build the table up over time from pretty good to killer. My next upgrade will be the new(er) silver tonearm cable, then a Linto, and I'm done, probably forever.
Go here for a real education:
If nothing else, one thing I've learned from Audiogon is never to say, "I'm done, probably forever."
I did take a look at the geocities link... My serial number is 57295 and it has the Valhalla power supply. I'm still confused on the bearings but I am assuming I do not have the Cirkus upgrade. The arm is the Basik LV X and the cartridge is yellow so I assume it is some variant of the Basik as well.
Is the Akito arm any better than the Basik? I was assuming that one would have to upgrade to the Ittok to find a real difference.. In terms of cartidges, I am lost, however. I was thinking of the Blue Point special becuase it can be used with a MM phono stage, but really can't say I know anything about turntables, period...
Rockinroni, I would probably agree with you about purchasing a modern table, except that I have the Linn already. By the silver arm, do you mean the Ittok? Why do you recommend the Shelter cartridge?
Also, am I correct in assuming that a cartridge is something you do not buy used (because they wear out?)
How much of a difference does the phono stage make in comparison with the table itself and the rest of the system?
Timwat -- ouch. Truth hurts.
That cartridge sounds like a K9, which used to come on the Basik as a package. I would go next to an Akito/Klyde in your position, t. The Creek can hold it's own until you can take a big step to something like the Linto.
The Van Halen version of the Lp12 at this point in life can be expected to have power supply failure. These failures can, in my experience be cured by replacing the power supply caps on the board..Tom
Get a used Ittok and a cartridge within your budget. Of course, a better cartridge, like the Shelter is a great move if you can afford it. I currently use a Blue Point Special and realize it's marginal but nevertheless, it's very enjoyable.
Todd, The Origin live silver arm with Tom's hi fi mod and a shelter 501 cartridge is state of the art, at it's price point. You will have to spend thousands of $$$$$$ to beat it's stellar performance. I wonder how much better it could possibly be? That's why I recommend them
Todd,I used to have a Basik Plus arm.Replaced it with a WTA arm. BTW there is a good write up of Well Tempered in the current Absolute Sound. This was an ear opening experience. The WTA is in a completely different league to the Basik Plus. I AB'ed it against an Ittok and it blew that away also. Far superior definition in the bottom end and far greater extension at both frequency extremes.Occasionally you can find a used WTA on A'Gon.I highly recommend this arm as the best upgrade for the buck.