Which cartridge for Linn Akito II ? Ittok LVII ?

I'm selling one of my LP12s and keeping the Lingo(old), Circus, Trampolin. The Akito has an old Grado sig. jr. I'm not into switching arms back and forth for comparison, so I'm hoping someone with more patience has compared them. I have a Grado z+ on the Ittok. Which arm should I keep and what is a good match in a cartridge under $400? Other equipment ARC LS2BII, ARC PH1, PSE Studio V monoblocks, Audio Physic Tempo III. My musical taste is ecclectic and I need a little brightness/high-end boost. Clarity and imaging are also important.
Hi George,
Having tried Ittoks. Akitos and a Grado or 2.
Possibly keep the Ittok and try it with a Goldring 1042

Rgds Simon
Hi George:

As someone whom has owned 2 different vintages of the LP 12 and whom has come to love his Well Tempered Classic Mk. V even more so then then said LP 12s. I can only say that in my 22 years of either the retail end of this hobby or as an owner of about 7 different systems during this time and while traveling miles and miles just to audition components for the sake of it - I've only come around 2 people systems that were always capable of making overllok the components in use and simply leave each and every visit with a list of Ablums to buy - and I do mean a very very very hugh list at that.

The one common item that both of these systems had was that both uses older Grado Cartridges with Grado Signature Tonearms [ The Wood One ] one was used with an Oracle Delphi Mk. II into a very Musical yet quite simple D.I.Y. SET based system driving D.I.Y.er Lowther Speakers - while the other was used with an even simplier system which considted of a Naim Nait 3R driving a pair of Epos ES -14s and in both cases I was totally taken with the Music more so then the HiFi.

I'd say in all honesty by all means continue to use your Grado Cartridge as what I heard then and since then on much more costlier systems haven't even come close to either of these. Another option is to buy a Roksan Tabriz Zi Tonearm as to my ears at least it puts the Akito Mk. II to shame as does the Roksan Xerxes Turntable does to the LP -12 in my honest opinion. Yet these are merely based upon years and years of attempting to find my way to what's Musical above all else. Nothing more then one mans point of view - yet a valid at that.

I hope this helps you in finding which direction to pursue?.

- Oscar
Thanks Guys. Your insights have been educational and of great help to me. I'll stick with the Grado for now. As an intereting sidelight, I called Grado when I purchased the used LP12 (44--- real Rosewood) with the Grado about 10-12 yrs ago to ask if cartidges (not the stylus) get old and tired. I'm pretty sure I was talking to Joe Grado who said the damping polymer (soft black rubber) they used was aged for 10+ yrs and not to worry about such things. Thanks again!
Hi George,
just an aside you may find of interest.
I was at the Linn factory yesterday for a training course.
I asked about a fluted Rosewood linn I have just sold.
Seemingly they are rare as Hens teeth & not many were made.
A guy who was a Linn dealer for many years suggested to me the Rosewood plinths possibly sound better because it is a more dense wood.
Not sure the age of your arms but I was told emphatically that a current Akito was better than the Ittok.
I would have thought the Akito more suited in terms of mass to a Grado.
Sure you will have noticed the Grado tends to pick up noise from the motor but usually only in the run out grooves.

I tried a Grado Ref. Platinum on a pink - linked toplate, origin live dc kit Linn sporting a Syrinx PU2 arm.
It shocked me and the guy I built it for and really made us wonder why we have both spent silly money on moving coils.

To Oscar I would tend to agree about the Tabriz Zi and until I tried the Tabriz on a Cirkused Linn would have agreed about the Xerxes.
I have a funkfirm kitted Linn/Kuzma/Koetsu, an Oracle/Syrinx PU 3/ZYX Airy and a Xerxes awaiting my well tempered arm which is being modified to fit.
I'd love to have just one table but can't make up my mind between them. They all have their strengths & weaknesses but all sound great, if different - argghhh!
I just love turntables.
Good Luck in your quest!

Thanks again Simon. By the way the rosewood is un-fluted and gorgeous. As the son of a 50's/60's era carpenter and (not so great) sporatic woodworker myself, I know my rosewood. Absolutely not PC in today's world as the heartwood of the oldest of old growth (tropical) specimens. It is dense. I've often wondered about the density factor and somewhere heard an 'urban myth' about the different (Linn) wood's sound characteristics.
The arm is the newer Akito II, so I'll likely keep it. I do notice motor noise hum at the end of the last track, but I've also got a (very low volume) but constant hum - perhaps cable dressing issues or maybe it's the van den Hul carbon interconnect from phono to line preamp. As I said I'm not a tweaker. I just want to listen to music.
Hi Geor,

If you are happy to go inside the deck, I would disconnect the short earth cable from the armbase to the sub-chassis.
I would hazard a guess that this would cure your hum problem.
The chassis is earthed thru the psu and the arm cable will be earthed at the phonostage.
I've had a few instances (with Linn arms)where disconnecting the short loop to the sub-chassis has cured hum problems - worth a try.
Why this set up sometimes causes a ground loop defeats me but I know from using lots of non -Linn arms which don't have the short extra wire that these never have hum problems,
so have on occasion resorted to disconnecting this on Linn

My plinth is custom made from Yew, not sure about the sound (or the PC aspect) but it looks gorgeous.
Happy listening.
Rgds Simon
Hi Simon,

I think I have enough motivation to try that. But wow-Yew-now there's a beautiful wood, also very dense. As for PC, I think you're OK. The native Pacific Yew is a little too 'wild' for the urban landscape and no longer needed to make taxol, though it is part of the northern Pacific rainforest. If it's English Yew, I don't think it's an issue (depending where you live). I believe it was the wood used to make the deadly English longbow in days of old-either that or arrow shafts.
Do you make plinths for sale?

Thanks again for the tip.

Hi George,

my plinths are made by a furniture/cabinetmaker.
Mail me direct if you want some photos.

Rgds Simon