Where in the US to send my Linn Sondek LP12.


I thought I read somewhere that the best Linn Sondek LP12 turntable specialist was in Colorado somewhere. My nearest Linn dealer is in Ann Arbor Michigan. I live in SW Ohio. My query is - would it be better for me to personally drop off my turntable to Overture Audio in Ann Arbor or would it be a better plan to pay the shipping to this Linn  dealer in Colorado.


I'm leaning toward driving up I-75 to Ann Arbor and hand deliver my vintage LP12 with Ittok arm and K9 cartridge for a consultation on a power supply upgrade that I can afford. I have heard that the Lingo 4 is a meaningful upgrade. I'm not really wanting to play that crazy upgrade path game that Linn does where they steer you into an endless escalation of tweaks and upgrades.


But if anybody can vouch for a good Linn turntable tuner who is honest and who will work with an ordinary customer of limited means, I would be most appreciative.

masi61
I have a Sondek (among about a dozen other TTs). Learn to do the set up and mods This does not require genius intelligence! Its just a frickin' turntable!
The basic Sondek is a fine TT! On a par with the original AR TT! Those "upgrades" that Linn wants customers to buy are just to get the neurotically insecure to spend more money! 
I mainly am interested in playing 45’s. I know that here are aftermarket kits that a British audio store sells but I could probably swing for the Linn Lingo 4 that I have only a little bit of information on. I’ll be calling the Ann Arbor Linn dealer to ask about it.

But yeah, all these motor, sub-platter, bracing, arm board, upgrades add huge amounts to the cost. 

I am am tempted to just do what @roberjerman says and learn to do my own setup. In order to take the plunge with this, I guess I’ll need to keep reading Michael Fremer’s analog column.
masi61 - 

This past year I purchased a fairly top tier LP12. It has a foot in the door of a Klimax level deck, essentially an Akurate with a Radikal motor. I also had custom plinth built for it. I found myself in similar situation where my dealer was not close but not too far, in my case Atlanta.

  1. Don't ship. If you choose to visit a dealer just make it an excursion and enjoy the process.
  2. Talk to your potential dealers and see if they mind you hanging out while they do the work of the install of the new motor and power supply. Shoot video with your phone. Learn the insides of the deck and what each of the parts does.
  3. While you are there go ahead and do a suspension tune up if it is needed.
  4. All new LP12s will be corner braced as is mine. Not required but may be something to consider if you want to get a new plinth from Linn or a more exotic aftermarket one. Many good options. Not off the charts expensive until you opt for exotic woods.
The main question was power supply. Of the current ones the Lingo IV may be your best bet. It will allow you to switch between 33.3 and 45 easily otherwise your have to make a manual adjustment to make the switch. I can tell you the Radikal is a nice DC power supply and I am very happy with it. When I built my LP12 I was going to use the Lingo IV but changed to the Radikal after a direct comparison of the various power supplies and motors.

I believe your dealer in Ann Arbor Michigan has a very knowledgeable tech or participates in some of the Linn specific forums. Also, I can vouch for dealer in Atlanta.  There are also options in Maryland and DC. The take home is work with a dealer - at least initially. When you transport the finished deck you will remove the outer platter, and raise the inner platter. It is also important to keep the suspense and arm board from swinging around while driving. Also remove the counter balance on the tone arm. 

You can purchase the tools to work on your LP12 as well and it might be a good idea. Also take a look at the following setup guides from a a very well respected Linn dealer in England. These guides are a good opportunity for learning and worth the read for any LP12 owner. Required reading if you want to do the work yourself. The guide has three volumes. 

https://www.cymbiosis.com/downloads/

I agree at the end of the day it is just a turntable but it still needs to be done correctly to get the most performance and enjoyment out of it. Take the time and effort to do it right, you will be glad you did.

And while the LP12 can be expensive I have found the investment I have made into it worth while and it has far exceeded my expectations. 



Look up Thomas O' Keefe Nokturne  Audio at Westland,MI  His username is ThomasOK
Thomas is one of the best tech to work on LP12.  I suggest you read the many reviews on the internet about him.  Good luck.
@masi61   The web is full of folks who advise that you try and set up your Linn yourself...its no big deal they claim. Yet in the very same post, they usually state that they moved on from the LP12, as it just wasn't that great sounding a table...compared to their Numark or whatever! 
Don't do this! Have a competent dealer set up your deck...and don't look back. There is a lot of good info in dvddesigner's post...including the video from Peter Swain ( an expert on LP12 set up_). But, if you look at his video and see his expertise, I think you can see why he is in such demand....and why it really isn't that easy a task to set up the table...correctly!
As to the power supply, go with the Lingo 4 unless funds allow for a Radikal D. IMHO, first upgrade your bearing to a Cirkus, if it is not already there...huge bank for the buck, IME. 



soundcheck6: Yes, the person I was thinking of is in fact Thomas O'Keefe. Provided me some valuable advice when I put my LP12 together. Thanks for clarifying. Looks like Westland, MI is close to Detroit.

daveyf: Agree of Cirkus bearing if the OP's LP12 does not have it. I always forget to mention it since it is part of current spec tables for a while. 

Also - reread my post and please excuse some of the typos. It was late when I wrote the post. 

Videos to look at.

This is part 1 of a 6 part series. Worth a watch. The other 6 vids are easy to locate.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NShC0teKzDk

This is a How It's Made video. Also interesting and the 3D animations give some unique looks at the LP12
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IdTIpKu-ewg

One other thing to look for. Linn sometimes does promotions where you can get two upgrades at a reduced overall price. I have been able to take advantage of that and it does help. They ran this promo last spring but not sure if it is annual or occasional promo.

Oh, one last thing. Linn does have a upgrade hierarchy they recommend but it does not have to be strictly followed. I feel basing upgrades on the age of the LP12 and your goals will help achieve good results.



I purchased a used LP12 from Thomas O'Keefe and it was by far the best setup LP12 I have ever received via shipment. It was packaged with great care and all I had to do was install the cartridge then install the arm and it was magic. The suspension was the best I've ever experienced, perfect up and down bounce. Can't recommend him enough.
As of 6-29-2018 ThomasOK  (Thomas O'Keefe) does a complete 3 hour setup and fine tune of LP12 for $225.
What a great bunch of responses folks. I was out of the loop of this corner of the audiophile hobby for 2 decades. 

I spoke with ThomasOK and had a very nice conversation with him. I got a price quote on the Lingo 4, and got some info on the replacement of the Cirkus bearing. My LP12 is from like 1981 so I think I’m going to jump up several levels of magnitude in precision with the Karousel bearing that is being released. 

I never did get the kind of bass detail I wanted from my LP12 with Ittok arm and K9 cartridge. Maybe having having the Bryston MM phono stage feeding my Bryston BP-26 preamp be on the receiving end of the turntable will be revealing of the detail and non-fatigue that I seek. I have only listened to my LP12 on my old NAD 1155 preamp/2200 power amp combo and it definitely sounded better than whatever CD player I was using at the time. My current system’s digital sound quality is pretty amazing so the bar for getting this old LP12 back playing records is set pretty high.
Did Thomas O’Keefe leave Overture Audio?  If so, what is his new contact information?  Thanks
Just an update: I have been visiting the Linn turntable forum where ThomasOK posts frequently. This has been really a good resource and I am saving my $$$ for the LIngo 4 power supply and I hope to get a deal where I can get that and the Karousel bearing and maybe a subplatter all for a (maybe) a price that I can either finance with a small interest free loan. 
I do plan to use the Bryston moving magnet phono stage with the Linn K9 cartridge for now. 
Tom knows his stuff. The Karousel comes with a new subplatter. 

In the UK - and I have no idea if there's a similar program in the US, if you spend 3000 Pounds on linn gear, you get a free Karousel. 
Hello all, Thanks for the positive comments.  I'm Thomas O'Keefe aka ThomasOK and I just thought I should clear up some confusion. I still work full time at Overture Audio in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  Or at least I will again once the lockdown in Michigan for the coronavirus is over.  We were also in the middle of moving to a new location when the lockdown went into effect.  Most, but not all, of the work was done on the new store and we have transferred most of the equipment there.  But it may be a few days to a week after we get back in before we are in full operation.  We will post an update on our Facebook page when we are up and running.  The new location is only about 2.5 miles from our old store at 5040 Jackson Rd.  It is convenient to get to and is close to the Zeeb Rd exit from I-94.

I also am the owner of Nokturne Audio, the North American importer and distributor for Lejonklou HiFi electronics and Harmoni equipment racks, both from Sweden.  I also manufacture the NOKTable turntable stand, a refined update on the Archidee stand popular with LP12 and other turntable owners in the 90s, although I'm currently having to organize manufacturing of another batch of metalwork. 

I do setup work on LP12s at Overture Audio and also occasionally travel to customers for setup, although that can get expensive.  I charge $75 and hour and a full, precise setup normally takes three hours although it can extend to four if the top plate doesn't fit right as that requires close to a complete teardown to adjust.  So generally $225 to $300 plus any necessary parts, most of which are relatively inexpensive.  I am really looking forward to the new Linn Karousel as it is the first upgrade of the main bearing in 27 years and is the most important part of the turntable.  Considering the obvious work involved in the new design I expect it to be a substantial upgrade and have ordered two for my own LP12s and a fair quantity for the store, many of which are already sold.  Unfortunately the shutdown happened before we received our first shipment so I haven't been able to get my hands on any yet.  When I do get one installed on my main LP12 I will report on the Lejonklou  and Linn Club on Wigwam forums.  Also there is a promo from Linn where you can get a free Karousel ($975) if you buy another $4000 or more of Linn products by May 22nd.  Obviously this won't work for all but if anyone was considering the purchase of a Radikal, Ekos SE or Kandid any of those would get you a free Karousel, as would anything else Linn that adds up to $4000.
Thanks again for the comments. 
Tom
Thanks for the clarification Tom.

 This is kind of exciting for me to get back into vinyl. I want to mount my old Sound Organisation turntable stand to my plaster living room wall but right now I cannot locate the wall studs in my 1959 plaster and (metal) lathe living room walls. My stud finder is the old standard density sensing type and it cannot reliably detect wall studs here due to the metal lathe mucking up the reading. Does anyone know if there is some other style of stud sensor that might work better for my plaster? This little detail has me stopped in my tracks.

If I could scrape together $4,000 by May 22nd my wish list includes: The Karousel bearing and The Lingo 4 for sure. I think for the next $2,000 I’d be interested in the Keel sub platter (how much is the Keel BTW?) I would think that the sub platter and Karousel should go together at the same time. I’m actually wondering if I could order the GreenStreet Audio aluminum sub-chassis for $895 and have them drill it for my Ittok arm and the Karousel bearing. 

Then, instead of worrying about the Linn sub-chassis, I could maybe purchase a Linn MM cartridge that would be better than my K9 - that is if they make one.
I can only speak from my experience but Rick from Audio Alternitive in Fort Collins Colorado is one of the best. He takes his time to talk to you and let you know exactly what he is going to do. He goes over literally every screw, nut, bolt on the table he even torques each screw on the plinth to a specific setting. He is meticulous and takes pride in what he does. He wants to talk to you on the phone as you pack the table before shipping to him. He wants it packed a specific way to insure everything arrives in perfect shape. The man cares and loves what he does to me that says a lot to me. I believe he only charges $300 and change which is worth it in my book for what he does.