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 Post subject: Linn Upgrades
PostPosted: Wed Apr 28, 2010 12:46 pm 
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Location: Ingersoll, ON, CA
I have a Linn LP12 Anniversary table with Cirkus upgrade and Valhalla.
I also have an Akito plus tone arm and a Trioka cartridge.
On Wed. May5th-6:00pm to 9:00pm my local dealer (LONDON AUDIO-no affiliation) is having a Linn seminar with discounts on various upgrades.
My question is, given what I already have which upgrade would give me the best bang for the buck.
Radikal DC motor and power supply
Keel sub-chassis
Trampolin (my TT is on a Target wall shelf not sure if this is needed).
Ekos SE tonearm.
Uphorik phono stage.
I'd really like to get all of them but Linn upgrades are very pricey.


For anyone thats interested this seminar is in conjunction with Tannoy North America and Grooves.
Grooves will have some new vinyl.

londonaudio.com

I just realized I posted this in the Speakers Forum :oops: :oops: if the mods could move this to the appropriate forum i'd appreciate it.
Dave

[Done -- Mod]


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 Post subject: Re: Linn Upgrades
PostPosted: Wed Apr 28, 2010 2:35 pm 
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When I owned my Linn,sometime ago, the Keel upgrade was not yet available so I can't comment on it's value or effectiveness, but for that level of coin I would sure hope this would offer a major improvement but somehow I can't see it. My table was hooked up to a Kairn pre with built in phono, so no need for an outboard phono stage, so I can't help you there either. I initially purchased my LP12 with with a Valhalla power supply and later upgraded to the Lingo, big improvement. I am not familiar with the Radikal, still with the "K" thing, you gotta love Linn, not sure if this sits upstream from the current incarnation of the Lingo performance wise or not. Along the way I also had the Trampolin installed, what no "K", and found that was a reasonable improvement. My table was set up on a dedicated Sound Organization stand that was designed specifically for the LP12. Next up was the Cirkus bearing upgrade, "K" "K" "K" oKay I've had enough, which I thought made more of an improvement than the Trampolin. Finally this leads us to what I felt was the biggest improvement I made on the upgrade trail with my LP12 and that was the replacement of my Akito tonearm with an Ekos. Even the move from an OC9 to an Arkiv didn't produce the staggering improvement in overall performance that upgrading to the Ekos made. Now, having said all of that, back then the Ekos was already disgustingly expensive, and now the new SE version, regardless of how much better it may be, brings the disgustedness, (ya I know no such word, I just like to make them up sometimes, hey if Kate Gosling can do it...) to a whole new level. Actually I would have to say that having a top notch Linn turntable techy, in the person of Gary Dilliot, at my disposal to be the most important thing when it came to owning and maintaining an LP12.

P.S. Gary started out at London Audio before opening his own store, Better Music, in St. Catherines.

P.S.S. Uphorik phono stage, did I read that correctly? Man Linn must be running out of words to insert their "K's" into.

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Last edited by good sound on Wed Apr 28, 2010 4:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Linn Upgrades
PostPosted: Wed Apr 28, 2010 3:00 pm 
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I've had two LP12s, a pre-Cirkus Valhalla one and a later Lingoed-Cirkused one. The first one had an SME IIIS. The second had, first, an Akito, then a Rega RB300 and finally a Graham 1.5. ( By the way the Graham was a big mistake, it was far too heavy for the suspension. )

The better arms made a big difference, even the Graham (for about three weeks) so my recommendation for an upgrade to your TT would be the same as good sound's: a new tone arm. Maybe a rewired and tweaked RB300, why not? Mine worked fine with a cartridge that cost several times its price, a Benz-made Cardas Heart Reference.

Next in line would be the motor or power supply IMVHO.

Oh, and one more thing. $120 or so will get you a Mint LP custom alignment protractor with your new arm. This is a great tool, it will let you squeeze all you can get out of the arm.


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 Post subject: Re: Linn Upgrades
PostPosted: Wed Apr 28, 2010 7:52 pm 
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Of the upgrades mentioned. I would agree, the Ekos is the biggest single thing you can do to improve the LP12.
Has your Valhalla been serviced recently. There are some parts that take a great deal of stress, and wear out over time. That may be a cheap upgrade.
Next best upgrade. Contact Gary Dilliot at Better Music. Ask him to do a set up. I've worked with Gary. He's the best when it comes to Linn

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 Post subject: Re: Linn Upgrades
PostPosted: Thu Apr 29, 2010 5:24 am 
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I hate to argue with Mt.Santoni, but Earl, the Linn guy at Sound Plus in Vancouver claimed that the Lingo made a bigger difference than the Ekos arm. I have the Ittok arm on my Sondek and plan to step up from the Valhalla PS to the Lingo as $$$ allows.
Just my $0.02CND.

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 Post subject: Re: Linn Upgrades
PostPosted: Thu Apr 29, 2010 7:16 am 
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I will be at London Audio as well and am looking at LP12 upgrades. Research I have done so far says to stay away from the Ekos until you have done the Keel upgrade


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 Post subject: Re: Linn Upgrades
PostPosted: Thu Apr 29, 2010 9:34 am 
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I like Mr. Santoni's advice a lot. Linn used to say that the LP12's subchassis and drive motor could not be improved on at any reasonable cost. Other people such as Ctech and Origin Live produced these upgrades for the LP12 instead, and at fairly reasonable cost. Now Linn has understood, not that the original drive motor and subchassis weren't adequate, but that the definition of reasonable cost has changed. What they have not changed is their line that the turntable should be upgraded first, then the arm, then the cartridge, then the phono stage, and so on downstream. If you follow that line as a Linn client you will wind up with a great turntable, I'm sure, and Linn will wind up with quite a lot of your money.

Personally, now that the upgrades from Linn are so expensive, I would be looking for a less radical approach. If I still had a Valhalla LP12 and an Akito I would put an upgrade as dear as the Keel way down on my list. An older LP12 can sound terrific with a really good cartridge, a $2500 cartridge, but it needs a better arm than the Akito to carry it. My choice would depend on how much I had to spend to get an improvement. If I could get an arm good enough for a Benz Glider, a Dynavector 17D3 or a Cardas Heart for the price of a tweaked RB300, the performance-per-dollar would be enough to sway me from even the Keel.


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 Post subject: Re: Linn Upgrades
PostPosted: Thu Apr 29, 2010 9:53 am 
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Location: Vancouver, BC, CA
I had an LP12 for over 16 years. I sold it in 2007. I upgraded it to Cirkus, Lingo, Ekos and Troika. Had a Linto too. The single most frustrating thing for me was that stupid armboard would not stay square. With Linn arms and their 3 hole mount Troika, cartridge alignment was always off. What pi$$ed me off the most was that I would go and buy duplicate records thinking they were defective. Then I went and downloaded a free alignment protractor off the net and found the cartridge WAY off even a month after getting the suspensione aligned by my dealer because that stupid armboard wouldn't stay square. I say get the Keel, but that thing costs more than a new deck. (Which is why I sold my LP12). You have a Troika, check it for yourself, just download a free template and see how much that armboard drifts.


Last edited by ducatirider on Thu Apr 29, 2010 12:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Linn Upgrades
PostPosted: Thu Apr 29, 2010 12:17 pm 
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Location: London, ON, CA
I have to agree with ducatrider. As good as the LP12 is it can be very frustrating, have come close to selling mine. There are some very nice sounding tables out there for less money than an LP12 and are not as much of a pain to set up and keep running smooth.


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 Post subject: Re: Linn Upgrades
PostPosted: Thu Apr 29, 2010 12:39 pm 
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The Akito spindle to pivot distance is 211mm. Download this custom protractor from genius Conrad Hoffman.
http://www.conradhoffman.com/chsw.htm Print this off and check your cartridge. You will likely find that you need to take out the centre screw on the Troika and move the cartridge to align it properly. Now you will find that the noisy records weren't really noisy and the Troika was mistracking.


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 Post subject: Re: Linn Upgrades
PostPosted: Mon May 17, 2010 12:46 pm 
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A certain question always pops into my head whenever I think about the topic of the basic, yet expensive, upgrades for Linn turntables. If Linn's external power supply, Keel subchassis and Trampolin baseboard provide such dramatic improvements, then the stock components with which the Linn tables are equipped can't be all that good. How then does Linn ask so much, and get so much, for its turntables in the first place?

:?:

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 Post subject: Re: Linn Upgrades
PostPosted: Mon May 17, 2010 5:43 pm 
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Hepcat wrote:
A certain question always pops into my head whenever I think about the topic of the basic, yet expensive, upgrades for Linn turntables. If Linn's external power supply, Keel subchassis and Trampolin baseboard provide such dramatic improvements, then the stock components with which the Linn tables are equipped can't be all that good. How then does Linn ask so much, and get so much, for its turntables in the first place?

:?:


GREAT question Hepcat!!! I can hardly wait to see the opinions on this one! My opinion on this is quite simple: the Linn is so perfect in terms of sound and precision its original state that many people want to add/modify things that create distortions or other aberrations that make it more "musical" to their ears.


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 Post subject: Re: Linn Upgrades
PostPosted: Mon May 17, 2010 7:07 pm 
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If you build it, they will come.

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 Post subject: Re: Linn Upgrades
PostPosted: Mon May 17, 2010 7:14 pm 
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ducatirider wrote:
I had an LP12 for over 16 years. I sold it in 2007. I upgraded it to Cirkus, Lingo, Ekos and Troika. Had a Linto too. The single most frustrating thing for me was that stupid armboard would not stay square. With Linn arms and their 3 hole mount Troika, cartridge alignment was always off. What pi$$ed me off the most was that I would go and buy duplicate records thinking they were defective. Then I went and downloaded a free alignment protractor off the net and found the cartridge WAY off even a month after getting the suspensione aligned by my dealer because that stupid armboard wouldn't stay square. I say get the Keel, but that thing costs more than a new deck. (Which is why I sold my LP12). You have a Troika, check it for yourself, just download a free template and see how much that armboard drifts.


On the basis of first principles I would say that I would not expect that type of marketing ploy to work. "Hey, let's sell them a piece of junk and then convince them to spend that much money again on an upgrade to deliver what they probably expected to get in the first place. That'll be better than selling two turntables - for us anyway!" Shows you what I know because evidently Linn has been managing to pull this cynical trick for years.

:shock:

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 Post subject: Re: Linn Upgrades
PostPosted: Wed May 19, 2010 4:26 am 
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ducatirider wrote:
The Akito spindle to pivot distance is 211mm. Download this custom protractor from genius Conrad Hoffman.
http://www.conradhoffman.com/chsw.htm Print this off and check your cartridge. You will likely find that you need to take out the centre screw on the Troika and move the cartridge to align it properly. Now you will find that the noisy records weren't really noisy and the Troika was mistracking.


Thank you ducatirider for brining this up. I loved my LP12 for the way it looked and sounded. Mine was well cared for and maintained by one of the best Linn techs in the business (Gary Dilliott from better Music). But mine would also go off and would not track difficult records. My cheapo Duals, a Technics with Pmount, an old direct drive, all other turntables would track the same record with no problem.

I sold my LP12 but regretted it immediately. I went to get a new Majik with the Pro-ject arm. I own a Pro-ject table and the thing is operationally flawless - it has a cheaper arm which tracks everything. I took my records with me and the Majik in the store could not track them. The fully blown LP12 one had no problem. The question is do I need to spend $14K to get the damn thing to work as well as a $200 plastic Technics? I said no. For now.


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