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clarets2
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Joined: Nov 22 2006 - 9:58am
Vintage Linn LP 12...still viable?

Having temporarily shelved my plans to go over to the dark side with a music server I have come full circle and am about to make the plunge into analogue.

As a true "Linnie" the LP12 is the only way I can think of going and I need some advice as to what to look out for in the Sondek?? world of vintage tables.

My Dual CS505 gave up the ghost when it went into storage 15 years ago and I've forgotten all I learnt with that classic!

I have a budget of approx $1,000 and I need that to include a phono stage...this is new ground as my Creek amp did it all for me all that time ago! (into Linn Index speakers)

What % of budget to put into phono stage? Ok I might be able to stretch the budget a little if push came to shove!

Current system is all Linn... AV5103 preamp with active AV5140 speakers driven by 3 x AV5105 power amps and a AV5150 (Melodik) sub (passive Katans in rear)

I'd really appreciate some watch-outs (as this will be a 2nd hand purchase) as well as recommendations for the "ideal" set-up for a low tech, low patience, person who wants to dip a toe into analogue after a woeful hiatus.

Maybe I should consider an alternative to the LP12 given my budget??! (Emotionally I might find that tough given the product history and my affection for the Linn sound!)

All help gratefully appreciated!
Many thanks, Peter.

PS Good links would be helpful for research too!

Yiangos
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Re: Vintage Linn LP 12...still viable?

Hi Peter and welcome to the forum.What i am about to tell you is not meant as "stay away from Linn Sondek" but rather to make you understand what you are about to commit yourself into.First of all,don't purchase a turntable online
Get it secondhand from a dealer.That way you are going to have some sort of quarantee that it is in workable condition
and if something goes wrong,he will fix/replace it.Spare parts can be quite expensive.Second and equally important,if
you really want a Sondek make sure you know what you're doing.This is not a table for a newbie or someone who isn't experienced in turntable setup.It is a table that needs MANY hours to setup correctly and needs adjustment every now and then.It is not a fit-and-forget table.I used to own one and i know.I am sure you read somewhere you can't sneeze
next to a Sondek.Well,it's true lol It will need adjustemnt.
But,if in the end you decide on purchasing one,the music it makes is a dream !

ohfourohnine
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Re: Vintage Linn LP 12...still viable?

If you haven't done so already, you might want to check out Art Dudley's feature in the January 2007 issue on LP12 mods - why they're needed and what it takes to pull them off. If that doesn't lead you to look at other turntables within your budget range, then good luck. My answer to your subject question would be a resounding no - unless you like working on gear more than listening to music.

clarets2
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Re: Vintage Linn LP 12...still viable?

Many thanks for your kind welcome to the forum.
Could you give me a starter list for the lowest maintenance tables that might compliment the rest of my Linn gear.

Friend has a vintage Acoustic Research table which seems to be fairly tweak free....any views on AR?

Many thanks, Peter.

ohfourohnine
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Re: Vintage Linn LP 12...still viable?

Lots of us, Peter, have fond memories of the time we spent with AR turntables, but that was yesterday. If it were my $1000 to spend today, I'd consider the Music Hall MMF-5 turntable with the supplied Goldring cart. and the Bellari Tube Phono Preamp. That would set you back a little less than $900.

Another tempting combination would be the Project RM5, with the same Bellari phono preamp. That combo gets you to about $900 but without a cartridge. For the rest of your $1000 you could add a Shure 97xE, a Sumico Pearl, or a Grado Prestige Blue. My choice among those would be the Shure. If you pushed the budget about another hundred you could be looking at the Grado Prestige Gold. That, I think, would be another hundred well spent.

You might want to consider pushing a little more of the budget to the TT/cart by substituting a less expensive phono pre from Parasound or ProJect. Each offers a respected product for about $100 less than the Bellari, but I've heard neither of them. I have heard the Bellari, and I think it is a great product for the money.

This vicarious shopping is fun. I'd better quit and let someone else chime in.

All the best,

tomjtx
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Re: Vintage Linn LP 12...still viable?

get the linn but only a full blown one and only with a graham tonearm. That way , once you have spent weeks adjusting the Linn you will need a few more weeks tweaking the weights on the graham, by the time the graham is ready the tt will be out of whack again. After a few months you will get to hear one side of an LP and be in sonic heaven . By the end of the side everything will need adjusting again.
The best ting about this is it wont leave you any time to spend even more money on other equipment. After a year of this you will be so frustrated you will sell all your equipment and actually be able to send your kids to college.

Isn't audiophilia great? :-)

Buddha
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Re: Vintage Linn LP 12...still viable?

Cheapskate gives great advice.

I just wish there were a wider array of choices at that price point.

For the dollars you do have, I agree that an unsuspended table would probably provide the best value.

As always, even though I don't own one, I'd recommend listening to the cheapest VPI table and arm you could swing. They have excellent upgrade paths for their tables that make your money today have more value as you want to move up the sonic scale in the future.

If you do go with a used table, consider the Michell Tecnodec or maybe even a vintage Gyrodec.

Both have an open upgrade pathway and are easily maintained. Additionally, they are very easy to "untweak" if to try a tweak that isn't to your liking.

They are incredibly well machined and quite bullet proof.

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