Linn Sondek LP12 turntable & Klyde phono cartridge Review System

Sidebar 1: Review System

The Linn Klyde cartridge and LP12 'table were auditioned in my He-Man reference rig. The phono stage was mostly an Exposure Model XVII preamp with moving-coil board installed; a Sonic Frontiers SFP-1 phono stage (footnote 1) was used briefly toward the end of the review period. The Melos SHA-1 headphone amp was used as a line stage, joined at various times by my own buffered passive preamp and the Exposure XVII's own line stage. Amplification evolved from a pair of VTL Deluxe 225 tube amps at the start of the review period to the solid-state Aragon 4004 Mk.II and Muse Model 160 amplifiers. ProAc Response Twos mated with the mighty Muse Model 18 subwoofer served as my reference speaker system when the Linn first showed up; then I took delivery of the new NHT flagship 3.3s, which took over from there. Cables included Kimber PBJ and KCAG interconnects and 4AG speaker cable, and everything, including the LP12 and its various power supply versions, was plugged into a Power Wedge AC line conditioner.

For the purposes of this review, I arranged to borrow a sample of the now-discontinued Troika. As Linn claims a Troika-like level of sound quality from the Klyde, comparisons with the departing Troika are a natural. The $1995 Troika is—or was—around double the price of the Klyde, so I also included comparisons with Sumiko's Class-C ranked $295 Blue Point Special I reviewed in Vol.16 No.4.—Corey Greenberg

Footnote 1: Not the unit reviewed by Digital Lad in Vol.16 No.9, which exhibited a pretty large RIAA error—the SFP-1 I listened to was the second sample Sonic Frontiers sent to Santa Fe, which Bob Followed-Up on in Vol.16 No.10.