Possible turntable upgrade....


Hi All,

So it started as a simple, 'buy some new speakers' impulse. Well, that escalated quickly!

Now, I am looking at my turntable as the possible weakest link. Would love your help/advice/input/experience on whether it's time to give up on my old, beloved c.1980's Linn LP12 that I have had since the mid 80s. The deck has Lingo 1 and Cirkus/Valhalla upgrades of note.

Details: LP12 as above, Graham Phantom arm, Clearaudio Concerto cart.

System: Aesthetix Janus (brand new) pre, BAT 250SE (w BAT-PAK) amp. Tara Labs throughout (recent upgrade) including phono cables, Vivid B1 speakers (Tara The 2 cables).

So, it seems that the Graham Phantom may be too much arm for the Linn (been told Linn is better with a lighter arm) so should I upgrade the deck to build the analog around the arm and take it to the level of the Aesthetix/Vivids etc? Basically, is my money better spent on a new deck as opposed to trying to upgrade an old design such as the Linn? Is the Linn now the weakest link in my system? 

If so, recommendations would be greatly appreciated. I know tastes come into it etc but hopefully my choice of Vivids etc give an insight. Especially love to hear from anyone with a Graham Phantom arm. Price range: as low as possible to make the necessary difference, definitely under $10k. Preferably closer to $5k. Of particular interest (but little listening experience) would be Clearaudio and Transrotor. Open to all ideas. All positive input is greatly appreciated.

Thank you all.  
Ag insider logo xs@2xdenjer1
Thanks for the feedback Kinross 
In 2013 the Spiral Groove SG2 turntable with Spiral Groove Centroid Arm really attracted my interest, and kept my interest for a number of years while I was looking to acquire one and finally did. I posted some attributes of the table and arm and my thoughts comparing it to a VPI Classic 3, FWIW. Since you are a Linn guy I figured you would appreciate the understated look of the table and arm.
Link to audiogon thread:

https://forum.audiogon.com/discussions/how-do-you-like-your-vpi-classic-scout-scoutmaster-prime-tnt/...

Thank you captain_winters. I am not familiar with Spiral Groove. Will check it out. However, I am trying to get away from that understated look. Since turning 50 I am starting to think of wood boxes in a less positive light! I want a turntable that also does it for me visually. 
A bit late to the party here, but I have direct experience with the Graham Phantom on a SOTA Sapphire.  IMO, it is one of the most synergistic combinations available at any price.  The arm is exceptionally well-suited to the table and the table is quiet, stable and isolated to the point that it simply disappears in the combination.  Get everything dialed in just so, and it's absolutely magical.  And well under your budget brand-new.  Leaves a fair amount of coin to get some more vinyl;-)

I'd also strongly recommend the SOTA Reflex clamp.  It will work on any table, but was specifically designed for the sapphire bearing system SOTA uses.

SOTA is a great company, makes their stuff here, stands behind it and services it forever.  I bought mine in 1984 and it's been one of the very best values in audio I've ever enjoyed.  The woodwork is beautiful, too.  

Good luck no matter which way you go and happy listening!