I think the answer to the question has to do with what you touched on...they are NOT in vogue right now. One of the issues with LP12 ownership...good or bad, depending on your perspective; is the upgradability. While the older models are NOT that competitive with some of the newer gear, the upgrades are there to get the table back to what many believe is SOTA. BUT...here's the issue, those upgrades are VERY pricey. Perhaps too pricey given the current competition. I looked at this situation with my LP12 recently, it needed to be upgraded or Sold. I opted for the upgrade path, and I'm glad that I did. OTOH, with the dealer network shrinking in the US and therefore the number of people who can work on the table shrinking.....it's got to be a thinker.
After 22 years I got rid of mine. No USA support to speak of, better and cheaper options, two companies in the USA making as good or better products willing to support their turntables regardless of whether you are the original owner or not, etc
Still the Linn / Naim / ProAc sound, when all was working properly was unique.
Linn has gone the same route as Naim and ProAc. A very expensive boutique company rather than the "common man's" audio manufacturer that they once were.
That is a personal observation and not intended to disparage anyones choice of brand loyalty.
Bear in mind this has been an exceptionally popular "high-end entry level" TT for a long time. Like BMWs, the more were sold the more you'll see on the second-hand market?
A lot of the alternatives don't enjoy massive dealer support but I agree LP12 setup benefits more from expert/experienced attention than your average table...so proximal dealer support may be critical to a lot of owners ;)
Most people would love to have any Linn table in good working order.
A lot have been sold over the years compared to many "high end" offerings so I suspect that is a big factor for why more of these may be on teh market at any given time than various other tables of the day.
I will second the notion that LP 12 upgrades are costly. My LP 12 is basically year 2000 top spec. As much as I would like a Keel at its price it's not happening.
If I thought I was going to put serious $ into a table, I can understand the idea of getting a new table for the cost of various LP 12 upgrades-
What would it cost me to upgrade to an Ekos SE, Kandid, Keel and Radikal? Got to be at least $10k. You can buy a lot of table arm cartridge for that $
The last comment is on the mark. I bought my LP 12 16 years ago from a small retailer who is still in business. His store is even smaller now, and he's also 16 years older. At some point he's going to retire and then the store will be gone. What then? There will be a time that the LP12 will be an unsupported product. At that point, hello VPI?
I run a 401 but kept my LP12/Ittok as a standby. However, the 401 is a lot better and the Linn gets little play. The ROI is higher with the idler.
Why are there so many LP12's for sale? Could it be that sometimes the grass looks greener on the other side... that sometimes people feel that the LP12 is such an old technology that the new tables out there just simply must be better... maybe sometimes the different presentation of other tables can be mistaken as being better instead of just being different.
The LP12 is still a very viable table. Yes, the Linn upgrades are very expensive but they keep the LP12 competitive with the very best out there.
For those of you who are not aware, there is a company called the Funk Firm, formally known as Pink Triangle, who has been making excellent modifications/upgrades for the LP12 for decades. What's funny is that the man behind Pink Triangle/Funk Firm came up with the upgraded DC motor/power supply, sub chassis/ top plate mod's years ago
.all the while Linn was dismissing it
.now Linn has finally come around to the sonic merits brought by these changes. The Funk Firm has these mods/upgrades at very attractive pricing compared to that of Linn and they do an excellent job. Just something to keep in mind. And no, I have no connection with the Funk Firm other than being a very happy customer.
As to having no dealer support for the LP12 anymore
..There are still experts around that deal with the LP12
but yes, they are few in numbers. But you all need to keep in mind that with so many consumers buying via internet instead of through your brick and mortar stores, there will be less and less dealer support for all audio products, not just for the LP12.
Having said that
.setting up the LP12 is not rocket science. All it takes is an understanding of the principles behind the table and a lot of patience in the beginning, but after a while it becomes second hand. Once the table is set up properly it STAYS set up for a very long time.
The way I see it, now is a fantastic time to score some nice LP12's. I love my LP12. It's been modded with the Pink Triangle DC Motor/ 12V SLA Battery power supply/ top plate, etc and uses the Naim ARO tone arm and a Benz Ruby ZH zebra wood moving coil cartridge. There are times when I get tempted to check out the "latest and greatest" tables out there, but I have to admit that this rig of mine really does an excellent job of communicating the musical message, engaging your emotions, and still gives me plenty of goosebumps when I listen to it.
In any event, there are a lot of great sounding tables out there for you to use and enjoy your vinyl collection with
.but don't sell the LP12 short
it is a very capable spinner and once you become more adept and confident with setting it up
it will become a table that you'll have a special bond with.
Because its ancient history!!
The LP12 has had its day. I had a couple over a 20 year period. It does need regular attention which is not difficult if you know what to do.
IMO it is now outclassed by better designs.
Dctom states: "The LP12 has had its day. I had a couple over a 20 year period. It does need regular attention which is not difficult if you know what to do.
IMO it is now outclassed by better designs."
Which tells me that Dctom hasn't recently heard a top shelf LP12. Plus, LP12's don't need "regular attention"- if they are set-up correctly in the first place.
I think what Moonglum said about the number sold holds a lot of truth as well.
IMHO, a top shelf LP12 is still highly competitive with the best out there.
$1500 will buy you a very nice sounding used LP12 with a valhala power supply, cirkus bearing and Ittok LVII tonearm. It will provide many years of vinyl enjoyment.
My gut tells me that if one goes about it right and has some DIY ability to make it right, Linn tables may still represent on of the better values out there.
If not, and support is needed at each point along the way, perhaps not as much compared to other current day options that come with good support. The support needed will also factor into the cost though.
IMHO, getting phono absolutely right to audiophile standards is NOT EASY, even for those with experience.
IF you have to rely on external support to do it, plan to pay for that support in that my experience has been that audio gear has never had high margins needed to provide extended amounts of free support and for vendors to still stay in business.
A little DIY goes a long way I would say, especially in the case of high end phono setups.
Ayre monoblocks featured NC machined-from-solid aluminium casework as did Dan D'Agostino's latest triumph - "The Momentum" pre-amp costing £32K(!) but the casework of those units is probably less relevant to their performance than a Keel is to a Linn and yet we never seemed to hear as many complaints? ;^)
Granted, they're not upgrades but they cost real money. It's all relative. To put the LP12 chassis in context an additional armboard for my TT (a small NC machined 2cm thick flat billet of aluminium) would set me back £600(!) With a top-of- the-line LP12 you also get a very good phono stage (probably worth £1-2K) making the overall cost cheaper than some competing "reference" tables. Not saying the ultimate LP12 is cheap or that I personally would buy one but it's important to maintain a sense of proportion?
Many of the reference "mega" tables are tipping the scales at over £30K. The top LP12 may or may not be in their league but it's a clear case of horses-for-courses?
The reason is obvious. Everybody wants to get the right one but need to sell his own first.
I've owned my LP12 for over 20 yrs! When the Keel was 1st introduced, the Linn dealer (who regularly tuned mine up!) in Atlanta did a demo between a keel'd and an un-keeled for a group of us. It was the single-most demo that ever made me doubt my hearing acuity. The difference was so slight, certainly not worth 4 digits, let alone 5!
There was some reviewer by Stereophile who kept his first
LP-12 all the time without any 'upgrade'. I myself think
that the platter and the bearing were always the best
parts of the Linn. If one checks how those are produced
one will get 'the picture'. But I hated those 3 springs
which needed re-adjustment all the time.
interesting... now today there are 10 for sale just on Agon alone.
Is this a record(pun intended)???
Daveyf I have not heard the most recent LP12, mine was 2004ish with lingo and
ekos ii. I was disappointed that an Orbe fitted with an ekos outperformed my
"renowned" dealer set up Linn as did a Roksan.
I think the Linn is fine if you like the sound. It is coloured, limited in detail
retrieval, scale and image production imho.
A few acquaintances have compared the Keeled Linn to the likes of the TW raven
etc and the Linn has been lacking.
The perceived wisdom in the UK is that the LP12 does need attention more than
I listen to vinyl all the time now whereas my linn fell into disuse. Maybe the latest
ones with all the extras are better but at what cost.
For me, it is an outdated design with modifications which try to overcome it's
I had my 25 yr anniversary LP12 updated 2 years ago with the Radikal ps, Ekos SE arm, Keel subchassis, and at that time TOTL Akiva MC cartridge. It was costly but I can afford it and I'm very glad I did it. My LP12 sounds absolutely great and better than 3 TOTL VPI rigs that I've heard recently. I have a big listening room with a very high ceiling over 22 ft high. The soundstaging and dynamics are just incredible. I didn't go for Eureka phono stage though, instead I bought the Zesto Andros vacuum tube phono stage because I feel the tubes sound more natural than the SS Linn phono stage. I have one of the best Linn dealers in the country in Overture Audio in Ann Arbor, MI and a great set up technical expert in Thomas O'keefe. I have no affiliation to this dealer.
Quirky,finicky, Brit engineered table...need I say more?
Dctom, you might want to go out and listen to a top shelf LP12. The Radikal is a MAJOR upgrade over the older Lingo....particularly the older shoe box version.
I also think the Kore or Keel sub chassis makes a nice improvement.
To state that a 2004 model isn't competitive with other more recent TT's isn't surprising, BUT take a Radikal D with Keel or Kore, and I think you may change your mind.
MANY years ago a rich friend of mine gave me an LP-12 when he moved to Europe , I did not know anything about it whatsoever, that it was the greatest etc etc.
I ended up giving it to a nephew because my AR-XA with Shure M-91ED sounded better.
the LP-12 is a very good turntable, but it has to be set up correctly....and it goes out of setup easily. There is a manual by Linn that goes into the finest points of setup (I used to have one, but its gone now)....
This constant myth that the LP12 goes out of set-up easily just ain't so folks.
I had my LP12 with Valhalla for nearly 20 years with no issues with regards to set-up. The TT does indeed need to be set-up correctly in the first place, BUT once that is done, it will not wonder off set-up anymore than any other TT.
Now that I have the LP12 updated and correctly set-up again, I am certain that the new set-up will last an equally long time.
BTW, Schubert, too bad that you didn't take advantage of the gift that someone gave you...with a good set-up that table would have eaten your AR-XA alive.
I'm sure you are right DaveyF.
In my early audiopile days I was just too busy listening to music to get things right.
In 1989 (when I got mine) the LP12 was a no brainer.
In 2014 the upgrades to keep its performance modern are hard to justify (IMO) and yes, dealer support has become spotty.
Still, a fine table if you can put up with it.
Suddenly, they are all gone. Does this mean they all got sold or didn't sell and were withdrawn? No way to know!
There were quite a few on Canuck Audio Mart as well. A couple of really cheap ones too in really decent shape.
I think suspended tables generally are not as popular as they were back in the day. Today so many of us use record weights and periphery rings and those are not ideal for that type of table. Avid makes a modern suspended table but even those are not hugely popular.
As DaveyF and others have said, a basic used LP12 Valhalla from back in the day is a long way off from a top flight one. In Canada the latter costs like a Honda Civic. Lots of other choices and flavours in that snack bracket from Brinkmann, Clearadio and others that were not around during the mighty Linn's heyday.
Because they are old and abundant.
There are so many for sale because they have to go somewhere.
take a chance buy one, keep till there will be none or very little for sale and make some money.
i'm selling pioneer pl560 now at $400...600 depending on condition and functionality that i was able to get for $25...30.
I sold my LP12 30 years ago complete with toilet seat stoppers for legs and compressed springs that wobble. Sota sorted that out 30 years ago by hanging the springs. My old Sota still sounds great 30 years later.
To be fair, the modern Linns are better built. Sota was great sounding table. A lot tighter and more even sounding but I have not seen them up here in Canada for years while the Linn is still widely available.
I picked up my LINN LP12 around 1997, when vinyl was perceived as just about dead.
I didn't pay a lot for it - Cherry fluted plinth, glued pressed-steel subchassis (with CIRKUS bearing I think), Silver Ittok LVII, BPS H/O MC Cartridge, Trampolinn base, original lid, etc. - so I had the opportunity to have a play with it and experiment.
(It didn't owe me much, so what the heck!)
Now, I have a LINN LP12 super hot-rod!
She is currently fully loaded with: -
SHELTER 501 Mk2 installed and set to ALLEN WRIGHT's 'GURU' settings! (Amazing!)
LINN lid and hinges removed - never going back, should sell the lid, but its a handy 'spacer' in the original packaging
LINN Trampolinn base removed and sold - never pit two suspensions against each other, if you want to avoid foot-fall issues
Four (4) BLACK DIAMOND RACING CONES attached via hardened metal threads, threaded into the plinth beneath each corner
LINN VALHALLA power supply and all bits removed and tossed
ORIGIN LIVE ADVANCED DC MOTOR kit installed - still have the LINN AC motor in reserve
LINN TOP PLATE reversed so that DC motor torque pulling from front left - torque in-line with the tonearm, not across it
LINN (Glued) Pressed Steel sub-chassis dampened extensively with BLU-TAC - and suspension readjusted (tightened springs a few turns) to allow for additional weight
BOSTON AUDIO Carbon matt installed on top of existing felt mat
Man... You should hear it now. It performs like a veritable dragster!
More surgery about to be performed: -
Going to bore 30mm horizontal holes through the sides of the cherry plinth, in an attempt to lower mass and increase rigidity
Going to completely re-dress the plinth in the process - perhaps go for a new colour? - in an attempt to make this baby look as good as she sounds.
Thinking about trying the old LINN AC motor again, this time with a Armageddon-style power supply too...
Thinking about getting an engineering mate to knock me up a new - thicker - stainless top-plate...
Thinking about trying a new Tonearm phono cable to clip-on under the Tonearm. (But quite pricey!)
Even thinking about the fabulous-looking GREENSTREET subchassis...(Also quite pricey)
What I'm trying to say here is that LP12s are now the perfect garage hot-rod project for us tinkerers whose wives won't let us strip down a car in the living room. And the LP12 really responds big-time to every tweak. There are so many cottage industries out there now, all trying to add their 10-cents worth of magic to improve the sound of your LP12 that it really is almost like hotting up and old classic car. There are forums galore!
THIS IS FUN!
Those who are still bitching about whether the LP12 is a great turntable or not are all missing the point. It does not have to be the best in the world... Who the hell gets to hear every turntable in the world and make that assessment anyway? (Frankly, I reckon its hard to buy a bad sounding turntable these days anyway...)
The point is that THIS IS FUN FUN FUN! You gotta try it!
IMPORTANT NOTE: Having had my LP12 in bits soooooo many times - and reassembled perfectly - I can confirm that once you set them up, there is simply nothing to go out of adjustment.
The LP12 will stay on-song for years as long as you don't drop it, jump on it or do something really stupid. There is nothing at all - NOTHING! - to go out of adjustment. IMHO, that ongoing set-up legend was just a helpful bit of folk-law LINN came up with in order to create an ongoing revenue stream for its resellers - which also gave them the perfect opportunity to sell you the latest LINN upgrade, amp or whatever. (Hysterical... LOL!)
Assume you live in NZ? The going out of tune issue is real in countries like Canada where we can have up to 60 decree C swing in temperature from winter to summer and the corresponding HVAC/humidy issues that causes in an average Canadian home. My suspended Thorens was more stable. No issues now that all of my tables are of the unsuspended type.
Which is your favourite amongst your unsuspended tables?
I used to own a REGA PLANAR 3 with an RB300: a good table, but my LINN hot rod eats it IMHO...
The Pro-jects are my favorite all rounders but the Clearaudio excels for classical and instrumental. I always like the sound of my Linn. No question about that.
Rega 3 is a nice table but even my stock Rega 5 was not in the same league as my LP12 sound wise. I think the TT PSU moved it closer plus Linn's cartridges sound better than Rega's. The LP12 has just such a huge soundstage. I have not heard that from a lot of other tables. Regas can get close though.
I am not an LP12 fan, but, I heard one with all the Funk Firm mods and it was absolutely scintillating. It was cleaner, more neutral, and the bass foundation was significantly improved