Linn's New Majik Turntable

Has the Linn Sondek LP12 turntable really been around for 35 years? Yes, Ivor Tiefenbrun MBE, founder and Chairman of Linn Products, asserts. Moreover, Tiefenbrun asserts, the revolutionary aspect of that 'table was not simply that it worked "simply better," but that it was designed to be "modular, upgradeable, and expandable in accordance with our continuous improvement philosophy. That is what 'simply better' means. It is not an assertive statement of superiority but an aspirational motto defining our objective as simplifying and improving everything that we do."

On April 22, Linn unveiled its new Majik LP12 turntable($3750), a model that takes the LP12 chassis and incorporates an internal Majik power supply, the Cirkus bearing, a solid base board, an Adikt MM cartridge, and a Pro-Ject 9 tonearm. The Majik LP12 can be fully upgraded to current Sondek LP12 specifications, Tiefenbrun said.

"It often surprises people to discover that we continue not only to support but to develop our analog components. Not only do we do so, but over the last few years we have committed more and more resource as new opportunities have presented themselves to take vinyl playback to ever higher levels with new technology, new materials, and machining possibilities for cartridge, arm and turntable components and so on, and of course we have not stopped. We will continue with this work and to all these vinyl lovers and Sondek owners who have kept the faith I would like to assure them that they ain't heard nothing yet."

Linn's history of incremental upgrades of core components to its LP12 has been anathema to some audiophiles, who see them as expensive and relentless. Others (frequently Linn owners), however, see it as a mark of customer service and appreciate that it has kept Linn's resale value strong. Naturally, that's how Tiefenbrun sees it. "As we improved the elements of the LP12 over the years, existing customers could upgrade, we could maintain spares-support with current parts, and we could set higher and higher standards for the LP12 in its top configuration as materials, technology and our capabilities developed."

Vinyl's lean years, during the dynamic growth of the CD, caused Linn to stop manufacturing its Axis and Basik entry-level turntables. "When the LP was under assault and format profusion undermined the market place for long-playing records, we naturally focused on our top-performing LP12 models, looking after our best customers and maintaining a service and upgrade path for the brotherhood of Linn owners out there who remained committed to their LP12s," said Tiefenbrun. "Over the years as they upgraded their products the parts that were replaced were in turn used to upgrade earlier models but over the last year or two, as interest in the LP has revived, demand for LP12s, spares, and service and upgrade components for LP12s has increased so much that, in order to sustain the eco system and keep the faith with all our users, it made sense to introduce an entry-level LP12 turntable."