With a Linn and $1500 to spend you should look for a used Ekos.
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The Linn does not like either Regas or SMEs, so they're out. The Linn does love the Aro unipivot by Naim, a very common pairing, though it's only available used, now. So I assume it works well with unipivots generally, but check a little bit on this. I have a unipivot on a similar 3-point suspension which works great, an old Mayware in a modded AR-XA, fantastic. I use a Black Widow tonearm on aother similar 3-point suspension 'table, an Ariston (very close to the Linn in terms of mass and design) which is a great arm and a great match if you use MMs like the Grados and so forth. Of course the Ekos is a synergistic pairing. You have quite a lot of choice, with the two exceptions above. The classic 3-point suspension designs sure do boogey!
I agree completely with Johnnantais assessment of the Linn/Aro combo: about 2 1/2 years ago I put an Aro on my 20-year old Linn, and I've been very, very happy with it. Single most significant upgrade I have made since I bought the Linn LP-12 in '83. If you can find a minty one used for $1500. - buy it.
One caveat - there's no cuing device supplied with the Aro. I bought an "Aromatic" cue from Naim to mate with the Aro -- works great. I'm not sure you can still find the Aromatic, as Naim quit making them some years back - - mine was NOS from Naim USA in Chicago.
Drubin, unfortunately, it does mean that the Origin Live arms will not work well, as they are all based in the same design. This was part of the reason there was such a hubbub about whether the Regas were as good as some said when they were first released. The Linn LP12 being the premier high-end 'table in the world at the time, the Linnies universally condemned the Regas as not true high-end, and they were partially correct, as the bass suffered terribly in this combo. I personally think you can improve qute a lot on the Ittok by buying a unipipvot, as this field is rich right now. Even my old Mayware - re-wired - beat my modded RB300 on two suspended decks, the Audiomeca I have and the AR-XA (modded). The unipivots are "tippy", but once in the groove this is not a problem. Someone did a review of the Clearaudio unipivot (I think in the neighborhood of $1000) on this website who owned an OL RB250, and came to the conclusion that the Unify was superior sonically. Unipivots have the closest thing to a perfect bearing in this world (since it balances on a point, and so is frictionless) and Clearaudio do their usual flawless finishing/machining work on it. There are also unipivots by Audiomeca (apparently quite something), Bluenote, Morch UP-4, the Hadcock 242SE and Kuzma which are all reasonably-priced and all have specific design features. Since captive-bearing tonearms are expensive to execute to unipivot levels, they are expensive unless you can find them used - this is the raison-d'etre of the Regas. If you are a fan of high-end MMs, then I suggest a low-mass tonearm used, such as the Black Widow (knife-edge bearing), which is killer on my Ariston with a Grado Woody - audibly superior to the Woody on the Rega, on my Linn-like Ariston. MMs take a leap in detail, 3-d information and dynamics when mated to low-mass tonearms. There are probably other designs I haven't thought of. But if "tippy" unipivots don't intimidate/piss you off, then go this way, I say. You'll find lots of reviews of unipivots on www.ecoustics.com, in the editorial review phono section.
I had an Ittok LVII on my Linn LP12 for about 11 or 12 years, and it served me very well. I think it is a very nice match with an LP12.
That said, if I had $1500 and a Linn LP12/Ittok, and was looking for improvement, I'd sell the Linn and add the money together and get a new package altogether.
Nothing wrong with the Linn stuff, but if you want better, you'll have to improve the table also. Either that, or just go with an Ekos to keep it "all Linn".
I personally wouldn't buy a unipivot arm to go on it, because of my personal preferences of cartridge types. If you want to put a unipivot on it, then the Aro is probably one of the best choices for the Linn.
Johnny, before you get your shorts in an uproar remember that the Graham tonearm, considered by many the finest in the world, is a unipivot tonearm. Do you think there's issues here with MMs or MCs? The VPI tonearms are also unipivot, same thing applies. As is the new Basis tonearm, and the Nottinghams, and oh, yes, the Bluenotes, and...it's not a unipivot issue, which is simply a matter of preference, it's a mass-matching issue, and since most cartridges are designed for medium-mass tonearms, and most tonearms built today are medium mass, then sky's the limit, except for a few "difficult" designs.
Johnnantais- shorts are calm. Since one can't listen to everything, opinions about where to start from other enthusiasts are useful - but sometimes they seem to conflict, and I need a little clarification to help avoid the dreaded "buyer's remorse". This will be a big purchase for me. Thanks to you and everyone else for sharing their knowledge. Adios.
Johnny, I own several 3-point suspension 'tables, and I love the bouncy rhythm and liveliness of them. I also have solid plinth designs and love the power and dynamics and information of them. So I encourage anyone who likes any type of design to go for them, as each design brings something different to the party. Sorry about the vehemence, I'm not trying to push unipivots, but I see a lot of paranoia about unipivots on this forum which is illogical, given that unipivots currently dominate the tonearm landscape, which was my point. I want to put everything in perspective. The issue of unipivots - which are the closest thing to a perfect bearing in the physical world necessarily due to the absence of friction - is one of personal preference (the "tippy" factor) and not physical limitations. And there are many different types of unipivots, which again address various problems in various ways. All these purchases of ours are significant, I just don't want to see options unnecessarily cast aside. If you lean towards the Linn, then I say go ahead, there are good partnering arms to counter the poor matches. Twl has a point, the Ittok is a good partner. I own and love my modded Rega RB300 which I've been espousing and recommending since the '80s, and have in fact set up for friends after recommending it: but it works best on unsuspended or at least massive and stable designs. Don't be swayed by another's prejudices, as in my experience, when you decide against something you like (based on a reasonable amount of knowledge or listening) on the basis of advice from someone else, the result is always unhappiness. Keep your options open. Of course, maybe the Linn is not especially special to you, in which case of course there are other 'tables which will do some things better. But I think the Linn is damned musical, and the person who chooses it over something more "informative" has love of music as his/her first priority (in the context of personal preferences).