very disappointed about my system setup

i need help. here is my system: speakers=decapos ref 3a,
amps=quicksilvers silver 60's, preamps=blue circle bc-3 and
cj premier 3, analog= lp12 with ittok and dynavector mk2 cartridge, digital= wadia transport and d/a.
here is my story. i am 47 years old. loved vinyl but because of life's trials and tribulations was forced to sell my lp-12 years ago. decided to get back into about a year ago. purchased a basis tt, rega rb-300 and grado sonata cartridge with a black cube phono. sounded dry as hell no life etc... so i sold that setup and waited for an lp-12. i thought i remembered how good it sounded. so..... i purchased another lp12 and bought the cj on the high recomendations of people on the gon. it was said the phono rocked. hooked it up and nothing. the tt is set up better than any setup i have had, adjustments to rake and angle, isolation etc... lifeless, very dark, no detail. now my digital setup rocks on the cj or b.c. beautiful sound. 3D. i either need to give up on vinyl forever or make this work. money is an issue at this point. i have spent way to much already. can anyone make a recomendation before i give up ? is anyone familar with the cj phono? i thought about buying a grado just to see if it is the cartridge "it came with the table and looks o.k. under the mag glass.
thanks, tim
Is the LP12 properly adjusted and set up? And when I say set up, I mean the internal springs and the P-Clip and the suspension rate and leveling inside the TT. Is the CJ phono section correct in gain and loading for the Dynavector? It these 2 things are correct, then the analog setup should be sounding very good. So I suspect that one or both of these conditions is not correct.

Who set up the TT when you got it? Does the TT meet all the testing criteria for proper setup? Do you know how to check it?

Since you had a Linn before, you surely know that it doesn't just jump out of the box onto the table all set up and ready to go. If the setup is not right, the TT will sound dead.

Check the condition of the Valhalla if so equipped.

Good luck,
More listening is required. The strengths of vinyl are quite different than the strengths of digital. I really think it takes longer to achieve the required paradigm shift when the rig is of excellent quality as yours is. First, only listen to LP as background music. Slowly, progress to vocals and then to more dense works. Your ear when listening to CD tends to latch on to the leading edges of the waveform, it needs time to adjust to superior body and decay. This takes time and patience but the rewards are worth it. Stop listening for audiophile values and just put on some stupid stuff, you know badly recorded, anti-audiophile. You'll get it. And the smart guys above are right - setup is everything in analog.
Which Dynavector do you have? How old is it? (Grados are incompatible with Linns) What interconnects are you using.

I had a Dynavector Ruby once that I thought sounded lifeless - very descriptive, it was towards its end of life so perhaps that is one way to reason....IS the Linn new or used?
Viridian, Paradigm shift? For the edification of all concerned, care to explain what this means in the context used. Bluebottle, maybe your longing for vinyl is simply based on nostalgia? Maybe your disappointment is tantamount to the shock of meeting an old flame years after the fact and realising she ain't exactly as you remembered? Naw, must be adjustments to the equipment or retraining your ear to get rid of the after effects of too much cd listening (are you for real?), the need for new cartridge, a new arm, a new record cleaning machine, or the occasional poor recording or poor pressing, or ... You know with analog it's always minor adjustments, with digital the system is screwed up from the get go. Thank your lucky star you always have help here so you won't fall off the wagon. Listen to what pleases you, if that happens to be cd, don't feel like you let down the side. Try to sort it out, if all else fails seems you have a pretty decent fallback position. Good day.

Are you cranky like this all the time? Or did you just have your old flame stolen by a vinyl addict and use this forum for a whipping post?
Cranky as all hell, I guess. Sorry, I had promised myself that I would refrain from commenting on tt/vinyl. I shouldn't write too early in the morning or too late at night. I still find vinyl noisy and continue to scratch my head as to why, on balance, certain people deem it so superior to anything else. Call me deaf, I guess, or worse... BTW a very well respected contributor to Audiogon with a very high quality (the highest) tt/arm/cart/pre set-up is on record as indicating that something like 30% of his vinyl collection is noisy. Is it any wonder that with my very humble analog rig I am still bothered by surface noise? I know of no preamp that is designed and constructed in such a way as to mitigate impulse noise. I am not saying they don't exist, I am just curious as to what preamp and what exactly in such a preamp de-emphasizes impulse noise and would appreciate knowing about it. Maybe, in fact, the original poster has to re-form, re-attune his ears to vinyl. Which seems to support my long held contention that whatever (short of absolute garbage) one listens to, it becomes de facto his/her standard in a way. The converse being also true, that when one gets the urge to upgrade or change something in his/her system, any kind of change (short of absolute garbage) is welcomed as an improvement, until the urge strikes again. And then there is the possibility that the original poster simply prefers cd...
Pbb, if you get a chance, listen to the Naim phono sections in their preamps. They are just about overload proof regarding ticks and pops. I used to use them, and found them excellent for reducing noise, and they have good sound quality too. I use a tube phono section/preamp now, but I think that the Naim was better at reducing click/pop noise.

I understand that this type of noise can be irritating, and I don't relish any of this noise, but I find that the sonic benefits far outweigh this noise thing. The noise can be reduced to a very low level on most records, but there is no doubt that some records are just going to be noisy.If this noise is too difficult for you to bear, then you are correct in not using vinyl.

And up until the advent of the CD, there was no such thing as a "totally black background", and this is what creates the "desire" for this on vinyl as well. But at this time, there is only the choice of one(better sound?) or the other(black background). Ya pays yer money, and ya takes yer choice. But, with good vinyl, you can get nearly black backgrounds most of the time, and still exceed the performance of CD. That's why I go with vinyl. Not all will.
i assume i have set the tt up properly. it has been a long time since i had my previous linn but most of it is logical.
i have done everything i know how to do. the tt is dead nuts level using a precision instrument that is accurate within .001 per 12". the tonearm is p/l with the platter and the cartridge is p/l with the headshell and overhang is within .010 of where it should be. i am not sure how to check the springs but the arm board appears to p/l with the plinith and the space around the armboard appear to be an equal distance around the outside parameter.
the dynavector is a 10x4 mk2. what is the tracking force of this cartridge? i initially had it set @ 1.5 grams and increased it to 1.7 grams and this improved the sound quite a bit. becaause of the way the cartridge is built i am reluctant to add any more weight. your help and constructive criticism is needed and encouraged. its not the first time i have been called a dummy !
thanks everyone,
Get a tube phono pre-amp.

Also check your VTA.

I can't even listen to CD's anymore and I'm 25 years old and recovering from multi channel syndrome.

You are not a dummy. A dummy wouldn't ask questions. You'll get this thing working fine, just be patient. It does sound like the power supply is going south, IMHO. You described exactly what happened to my table.

Pbb, relax. It's okay. You don't have to like vinyl or understand our love for it. Come to my house and I'll be nice and show you a vinyl library that is in excellent condition with nearly all of it being very quiet. You can choose what we listen to and you can be the judge. I honestly don't think you've heard a reasonably good vinyl rig set up correctly. Please don't throw insults at us though. We do have feelings and remember, you're insulting what is very near and dear to our hearts. Every one of us would change if it was warranted.

No hard feelings here. You?

Pbb, I am most happy to explain my use of the paradigm shift between digital replay and vinyl replay, however please do not be presumptuous enough to think that it is for everyone's edification. You asked the question, so it is for your benefit. The ultimate paradigm, at least for those exposed to it, is live music. All reproduced sounds must be compared to it and their strengths and weaknesses filtered through our value systems to arrive at what we feel is closest to that paradigm. Unfortunately, many do not listen to very much music and some, even though they do, do not feel that it is the goal of music reproduction in the home. The paradigm for many has become compact disc replay. In these cases LP replay suffers in the areas that we all know too well, noise, pitch stability, leading edge resolution, ease of use, etc. The problem is that we see only LPs weaknesses because the paradigm is digital replay, that which most listeners are most familiar with at this time. But turn the tables and one can focus on LPs strengths, again we are all too familiar with them, soundstaging, dimensionality, ease of presentation, harmonic integrity. Not that, as you would have us believe, one is right and one is wrong. In my thoughts they both pale equally when compared to live, unamplified music. But it is a matter of preference, there is no absolute answer. I find LP replay easier to listen to. I am sure that the surface noise will drive some out of the room. Let's remember, however we get there, we are all on the journey because of our overwhelming love of music.
Thoroughly cleaned records played back on a "reasonable" linear tracking table have a MUCH lower surface noise level and blacker background than even a well set up pivoted arm. Obviously, differences in cartridges, stylus shapes, VTA, etc.. can throw some BIG variables into the equation.

Here's an excerpt from a post made on AA regarding this very subject. You can read the whole post by following the link below.

"I own, use, and love a Studer/Revox B791 linear tracking turntable. I have a Dynavector Karat 17D Cartridge. This table is ultra reliable, quiet, and fantastic sounding.
A friend of mine has the exact cartidge on a Denon DP72L with an SEAC tonearm.

I took my tt to his house one day. We used the MoFi "Crime of the Century" to compare. The Revox was at least 10db quieter! I'm talking about groove noise, not hum. My friend stood transfixed with his jaw hanging for the entire 22 minutes. Then at the end of the album, it picks up the arm and goes to sleep. Gues how the side ended on the single pay manual!

This table sounds great, and you can find them for $300-$500. I paid $500 but mine came mint in the box with the service manuals and a Grace Ruby Cart (now my backup). This table also tracks warped disks almost perfectly. The thing never skips or hangs."

surface noise

Here's a comment made by the owner of a Linn LP12 that also own's a Revox: "Actually, the turntable is not bad at all. It is direct drive and therefore more noisy than belt drive, but it's certainly a good sounding turntable. I also own Linn LP12 with Syrinx and Clearaudio Evolution and sometimes I do switch to Revox!"

supposed "king" of musical turntables vs budget linear tracker

Here's a comment made by reviewer and vinyl addict Thorston Loesch regarding the same "budget" linear tracker and a well respected pivoted arm table: "Sonically it ain't that hot, then again, I'd suspect it'll walk over the average Rega Planar quite easily".

Thorsten's comments about "budget" linear tracker

This is NOT to say that i think that this is "THE" turntable to own, not by any means. I can think of dozens of ways to improve it and make it more user friendly. Having said that, i think that it would embarrass a lot of other "well respected" tables if properly set up. Sean
I've noticed that the LP12 tends to sound dark, and without detail if the bearing oil is low. Considering you just purchased it, perhaps the oil was drained prior to shipping? Or leaked out?

When I received mine, the seller shipped with a piece of masking tape over the bearing and a bit of paper down inside the shaft. When I added new oil things got much better.

Also, I have a friend with a turntable of different manufacture which is having bearing trouble (out of adjustment and adjusting screws are stripped) His table sounds dark and without detail too. Perhaps this is a common thing?
update. thanks to everyone. especially twl and lugnut. main problem was cartridge but there are other issues, like valhalla is bad etc... this table sings with the new grado.
vinyl is amazing when setup right. thanks again.