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    LP12 next step

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    rustybutt

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    LP12 next step

    Post by rustybutt on Wed Oct 26, 2016 9:58 am

    I have a Linn LP12, serial number 1901. I picked it up 1987 and had it updated at the time to then current standards and am still running it today. It still has the original sub-chassis. I have a Rega RB300 arm on it with a Denon cartridge.  FWIW, I run an SP13 preamp with a PH12 phono board.

    I know there are any number of updates available – sub-chassis, power supply, etc. And they’re all bloody expensive. I think I could easily drop $1500 just on updates. Or I could unload the table, as is, probably for $1100 or so and get into something else at about the same price point or a bit more, but I have no idea what beyond the usual rep – SOTA, Well-Tempered, VPI. My wife certainly wouldn’t be happy were I to spend a whole lot more than what I could sell the LP12 for. Maybe $1500.

    Suggestions?
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    Peter W.

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    Re: LP12 next step

    Post by Peter W. on Wed Oct 26, 2016 10:41 am

    Here is a decision-tree that I use when I am faced with such decisions:

    a) Does the present unit work properly and within specifications Y/N?

    If Y, move to b).

    If N, move to c)

    b) The present unit works properly - why am I concerned? Do I want a new TT because I want a new TT Y/N?

    c) The TT does not work properly and within specifications. Can it be refurbished or repaired Y/N?

    d) Y on b) and/or N on c) = New TT. End process.

    e) N on b) End Process.

    f) Y on c) Is the cost of refurbishment in both time and treasure greater or less than the cost of a substantially BETTER TT? Y/N

    g) Y = New TT, end process. N = Refurbish, end process.

    Keep in mind that most expensive part of your vinyl system is the vinyl itself. As long as your TT protects the vinyl and is as good as or better than the cartridge in it, it is as good as it is going to get. I keep a Rabco and a Revox, both quite 'old' legacy units. Both protect the vinyl, both are very easy on cartridges - and both are quite nice sounding. I have, really, no need to upgrade. But, that is writing only and solely for myself.


    ramon68

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    Re: LP12 next step

    Post by ramon68 on Wed Oct 26, 2016 1:17 pm

    I have a Linn I bought new in 1984. Back then it was worth the money. The new ones sell for stupid money, and at every model price point there are several TTs that are superior to a Linn.
    If you want to upgrade, consider your deck's stamped steel subchassis. It rings. Linn knew this and that is why they loosely fitted the armboard with three tiny wood screws. A lossy coupling
    to minimize energy transmission from subchassis to armboard.
    Greenstreet Audio in the U.S. makes a subchassis like Linn's Keel, but $875 instead of $3250. Across the pond, Vinyl Passion and Analogue Innovation both make vastly superior subchassis to
    your Linn's for between $700 and $900 shipped, U.S.
    If you want a new TT, the Sota Sapphire is, I think, the best sound per dollar out there.
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    rustybutt

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    Re: LP12 next step

    Post by rustybutt on Wed Oct 26, 2016 1:39 pm

    OK. This is my problem. You mention a sub-chassis for $875. Now throw in a new power supply and possibly a motor, and now I'm looking at investing $1200 to $1500, or possibly even more, on a table with a current market value of about $1100. If I sell the table at $1100 and then turn around and drop $1500 on another, and likely better table, don't you think I'd be money ahead?

    I've always heard good things about SOTA tables. Why do you like them?
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    Peter W.

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    Re: LP12 next step

    Post by Peter W. on Wed Oct 26, 2016 1:59 pm

    I am not given to suggesting equipment that I have not used personally - but this is an exception based on not one but two (2) friends who have "gone here" and been very well pleased.

    http://uturnaudio.com/turntables/

    Buy two, play! Sell your Linn, take the Significant Other out to dinner, and buy her something she wants.

    Otherwise, I would suggest you hold out for a linear-tracking turntable and invest in overhauling it.

    ramon68

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    Re: LP12 next step

    Post by ramon68 on Wed Oct 26, 2016 3:07 pm

    Rustybutt, what power supply do you have? Is your motor exhibiting issues?

    Sota has better customer service than VPI from what I'm told, and is less prone to need service.


    Last edited by ramon68 on Wed Oct 26, 2016 3:21 pm; edited 1 time in total
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    rustybutt

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    Re: LP12 next step

    Post by rustybutt on Wed Oct 26, 2016 3:12 pm

    The table has a 29 year old Valhalla power supply, which I'm given to understand doesn't have a great reputation for longevity. At this time it runs fine and so would be easier to sell than if it were not. I'm just thinking ahead.

    ramon68

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    Re: LP12 next step

    Post by ramon68 on Wed Oct 26, 2016 3:50 pm

    I had my Lingo power supply repaired by Class A audio repair (hifi-repairs.com) in England for $247. with transatlantic shipping 3 or 4 years ago. Darran, who runs it,
    is a straight ahead guy. Your Valhalla would cost a lot less to update as it is smaller and the pound has nosedived since my repair was done, $1.67 then, $1.22 now.
    Also, as a Linn repairer, he has lots of good used parts you may avail yourself of.


    Last edited by ramon68 on Wed Oct 26, 2016 4:28 pm; edited 1 time in total
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    LeGrace

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    Re: LP12 next step

    Post by LeGrace on Wed Oct 26, 2016 3:54 pm

    rustybutt wrote:I have a Linn LP12, serial number 1901. I picked it up 1987 and had it updated at the time to then current standards and am still running it today. It still has the original sub-chassis. I have a Rega RB300 arm on it with a Denon cartridge.  FWIW, I run an SP13 preamp with a PH12 phono board.

    I know there are any number of updates available – sub-chassis, power supply, etc. And they’re all bloody expensive. I think I could easily drop $1500 just on updates. Or I could unload the table, as is, probably for $1100 or so and get into something else at about the same price point or a bit more, but I have no idea what beyond the usual rep – SOTA, Well-Tempered, VPI. My wife certainly wouldn’t be happy were I to spend a whole lot more than what I could sell the LP12 for. Maybe $1500.

    Suggestions?

    Rega RP6? Easily serviceable, wide range of aftermarket parts available.
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    j beede

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    Re: LP12 next step

    Post by j beede on Wed Oct 26, 2016 6:47 pm

    FYI: In 40 years of spinning vinyl the only turntable that I have owned that exhibited main bearing wear was the Linn LP-12. Curiously the "special" black oil made the wear more visible. My Sony TTS-3000 has a similar integrated bearing design and shows zero wear after 50 years. WTT Classic is my go-to TT.
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    rustybutt

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    Re: LP12 next step

    Post by rustybutt on Wed Oct 26, 2016 7:13 pm

    So far as I can tell, my table is operating properly, but it's an old design.   It has the original 1st year sub-chassis.   The Valhalla power supply is not reputed to have good longevity, but is operating OK at the moment.  It just seems to me that now is a good time to consider various courses of action.


    • Do nothing and hope it continues to run.
    • Do minimal repairs when it does break.
    • Invest in upgrades which can likely cost over $1000
    • Unload the LP12 for about $1100 and buy something else for up to $500 (arbitrary amount) more than I sell the LP12?



    If I am to unload it, doing so while it is operating properly is probably my best move.

    GP49

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    Re: LP12 next step

    Post by GP49 on Wed Oct 26, 2016 9:46 pm

    I de-Linned my system with a Garrard 301 that I had bought in 1970 for $30. I'd never gotten rid of it while chasing the elusive Linn Valhalla (in more ways than one) but always seeming to go in circles.

    Finally I'd had it, reconditioned the Garrard, put it into a 45-pound plywood plinth, and once I heard it that way, never looked back.

    It seems there is always someone willing to pay a lot for a Linn. He was welcome to it.
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    Tube Nube

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    Re: LP12 next step

    Post by Tube Nube on Wed Oct 26, 2016 10:22 pm

    Hi Russ,

    A good idea bringing this up for input from the wider community. (Why didnt I think of that!?)

    Well, you already know where I stand on the decision of trade vs. renovate. A few other things to add to this we didn't discuss:

    In my experience, of the items under discussion, the subchassis is likely to add the biggest, most audible difference.
    Power supplies. Going from Valhalla to Lingo probably made significant audible differences, but I could't tell you what they were when I did it. Changing the tone arm (Ittok to PU7) was undeniable and memorable. Upgrading the subchassis was a similar improvement in type and magnitude.

    Springs and grommets have been improved a few times over the years. Again . . . By the time I got mine installed, I couldn't discern any difference, but these are not costly items, and probably worth doing unless. . .

    Analog Innovations' spring replacement rubber grommets... This time the difference was audible and memorable, and an indisputable benefit. More beneficial than the . . . .

    Plattamats, which are also unmistakable, memorable, and indisputably an improvement.

    The motor. I replaced mine with what was described as "the new quiet motor." I take it it's the current, new improved official, genuine item. Once again, it came, I installed it, I'm sure it's better but, to paraphrase the Christmas carol, Did I hear what they hear? Ahhhh... No!

    So. . . For upgrads that rise above the threshold of "I could hear THIS in my sleep, won't forget it, and will be able to explain it years from now" I recommend:

    A good subchassis. Keel is most expensive, Greenstreet is more affordable, as is Sole. I dont know which is better. Cetech (which goes in and out of production) is not as good as Sole, but gob smackingly better than the stock item.

    Next, in terms of impact, would be a vast upgrade to the tonearm--but that's no where near the same value for money as the subchassis, so I say hold off a few years on that.

    Next, I'd recommend you go for the AI suspension bobbin mod, replacing the springs.

    Next, the plattamat.

    Now falling in the category of "Honey, can you hear it? I'm really not sure..."

    The power supply: greenstreet also has an external PS that is well reviewed. And there are several other players in the 3rd party market providing alternates to Linn's own Lingo spawn.

    Quiet motor: I get it, it's "quiet", you're not supposed to hear a difference.

    Various baseplates--ahh, I got some acryllic thing or other--couldn't hear it. Read some debates about the physics of whether it's better to have nothing covering the bottom.

    New springs and grommets (if not the bobbins). I didnt hear a difference, but I felt good operating on my own Linn. Had I known I could do it successfully, I'd have done a brain transplant on my first Linn --my highschool girlfriend of the same name. Irish, not Scottish. A hah!
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    j beede

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    Re: LP12 next step

    Post by j beede on Wed Oct 26, 2016 10:31 pm

    Personally, even if the Rega or WTT give something (small) up to the Linn or TTS-3000 the convenience of using/maintaining a non-suspended TT is very real to me.

    Aside: I restored a 15 IPS open reel deck recently--the other analog--I am impressed. I may do some live recording with it once I learn a bit about microphones and such.


    Dogstar

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    Re: LP12 next step

    Post by Dogstar on Sun Nov 06, 2016 10:10 am

    From the replies the OP has made it sounds like he wants someone to give him approval to buy a new TT. I'd say he won't be happy until he gets one. $2600 ($1100 +$1500) can probably buy a nice new TT. But at that price point I'd say that does not include a cartridge. If it's supposed to include a cartridge then that means you'd be looking at $1600 to $2100 TT plus $500 to $1000 cartridge. Anything less than $500 on a cartridge probably would not suffice.
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    rustybutt

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    LP12 upgrade recommendations requested

    Post by rustybutt on Tue Nov 08, 2016 5:18 pm

    For you LP12 fans out there, one of my big concerns is that it appears to be something of a money pit. I corresponded with one guy who has dropped over $6000 on upgrades for his LP12! That's waaaaaaaaaay outta my league.

    The thing which got me started on all of this was the realization that my power supply could croak at any moment. The Valhalla power supply doesn't have a rep for longevity and mine is 29 years old. I have the original motor and sub-chassis.

    But one major advantage of keeping the LP12 is that I don't have to deal with trying to sell it, which would certainly be troublesome. Keeping in mind my current configuration:

    - Original chassis
    - original motor
    - 29 year old Valhalla power supply
    - Nirvana spring update
    - stock Rega RB300 tonearm
    - Denon DL110 cartridge

    So for you LP12 fans out there, given that I have an upgrade budget of $600 to NO F'ing way will I go over $900 max... what upgrades do you suggest will bring the most value?

    Dogstar

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    Re: LP12 next step

    Post by Dogstar on Tue Nov 08, 2016 6:48 pm

    On a whim I purchased a completely refurbished Thorens TD-160 with a custom plinth from a cable vendor at Axponia last spring. Everything other than the plinth is original equipment. I ended up investing in a dustcover that completely surrounds the TT. Right now I have a Shure M97xe on it which is what I would sell it with but if I decide to keep it I will probably put my Denon DL-110 on it. I don't think a $3000 new TT would sound any better than the Thorens. I bought it thinking it would sound better than the Technics SL-1200 MkII or the Technics SL-1100 I also have but I don't here a significant difference in the sound. And now I really have more turntables than I need.

    I'd offer to sell you the Thorens. :-)
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    Doctor Hugocat

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    Re: LP12 next step

    Post by Doctor Hugocat on Thu Nov 10, 2016 3:00 pm

    I jusr came upon this thread and can't resist adding my 2c.

    I've owned a couple LP12 decks, one of which I brought from the UK when I moved here. I miss them terribly, though I'm planning to fill that void by making a massive solid plinth for my Lenco idler-drive.

    OK, IMHO the biggest leap in improvement if going from the basic power supply to the Valhalla, which you have. Next I think the Lingo would be an appreciable upgrade. I may have missed this in the thread, but have you done anything to refresh the suspension since you've had it? That's not expensive and I think after so many years it's worth doing.

    After that I personally would call a halt to mods, considering that you don't wan;t to get into the multi-thousand dollar upgrade game. YES subchassis improvement can yield benefits, but from what you're saying, you don't want to put that much into the deck.

    Of course there's the question of tonearms. I REALLY like the RB 250 and the RB300 for these decks, more than the Linn Basik and Basik Plus. However, that's where you might want to upgrade after the PSU.

    Just my long 2c :-)
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    rustybutt

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    Re: LP12 next step

    Post by rustybutt on Thu Nov 10, 2016 4:31 pm

    Doctor Hugocat wrote:I jusr came upon this thread and can't resist adding my 2c.

    OK, IMHO the biggest leap in improvement if going from the basic power supply to the Valhalla, which you have. Next I think the Lingo would be an appreciable upgrade. I may have missed this in the thread, but have you done anything to refresh the suspension since you've had it? That's not expensive and I think after so many years it's worth doing.

    After that I personally would call a halt to mods, considering that you don't wan;t to get into the multi-thousand dollar upgrade game. YES subchassis improvement can yield benefits, but from what you're saying, you don't want to put that much into the deck.

    Of course there's the question of tonearms. I REALLY like the RB 250 and the RB300 for these decks, more than the Linn Basik and Basik Plus. However, that's where you might want to upgrade after the PSU.

    Just my long 2c :-)

    New Lingo power supplies (version 3) are something over $1800! I did a google search for used Lingo power supplies and the only one I saw was some guy in Germany who wanted 750 Euros for it. I have no idea how the Hercules power supply ($300 US) stacks up against a Lingo.

    More than one person has urged me to re-wire my RB300 arm and to upgrade the counterweight. Re-wiring is not a project for the faint-of-heart, but doable.
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    Doctor Hugocat

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    Re: LP12 next step

    Post by Doctor Hugocat on Thu Nov 10, 2016 6:17 pm

    rustybutt wrote:
    Doctor Hugocat wrote:I jusr came upon this thread and can't resist adding my 2c.

    OK, IMHO the biggest leap in improvement if going from the basic power supply to the Valhalla, which you have. Next I think the Lingo would be an appreciable upgrade. I may have missed this in the thread, but have you done anything to refresh the suspension since you've had it? That's not expensive and I think after so many years it's worth doing.

    After that I personally would call a halt to mods, considering that you don't wan;t to get into the multi-thousand dollar upgrade game. YES subchassis improvement can yield benefits, but from what you're saying, you don't want to put that much into the deck.

    Of course there's the question of tonearms. I REALLY like the RB 250 and the RB300 for these decks, more than the Linn Basik and Basik Plus. However, that's where you might want to upgrade after the PSU.

    Just my long 2c :-)

    New Lingo power supplies (version 3) are something over $1800!  I did a google search for used Lingo power supplies and the only one I saw was some guy in Germany who wanted 750 Euros for it.  I have no idea how the Hercules power supply ($300 US)  stacks up against a Lingo.

    More than one person has urged me to re-wire my RB300 arm and to upgrade the counterweight.  Re-wiring is not a project for the faint-of-heart, but doable.

    Gah, is the Lingo that much?? Point taken. Then I would research the Hercules.

    In terms of the rewire, it's not that difficult IMHO, but I like doing electronics. The counterweight upgrade is well worth it, and not too expensive. There's a company that markets an underslung counterweight which I'd be curious to try.

    I think there ARE some incremental upgrades you can do for not much money: refresh the suspension and improve the tonearm. Considering the price of the Lingo, that's what I'd do....
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    LeGrace

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    Re: LP12 next step

    Post by LeGrace on Thu Nov 10, 2016 6:50 pm

    Recently replaced my RB303 arm with an AudioMods 5 arm. VTA adjustment via micrometer, silver litz wiring/plugs, ceramic bearings, choice of finishes. Huge improvement! The RB303 and Groovetracer counterweight were snapped up within a few hours listing them. (sold separately) No problem getting rid of used Rega gear!

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    Tube Nube

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    Re: LP12 next step

    Post by Tube Nube on Fri Nov 11, 2016 3:18 pm

    I fired off an enquiry to the Hercules people, or a vendor for it, to see if there's a north america friendly model available. So far, no reply, but it's only been a couple a days yet. Maybe it was an old link, as Im not sure the PS is still in production.



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    rustybutt

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    Re: LP12 next step

    Post by rustybutt on Mon Nov 21, 2016 8:06 pm

    A few weeks ago I met a local audiophile who has a Well Tempered Reference table with a Delos cartridge he wants to sell. Apparently this table was a Stereophile Class A listed item, last retailing for about $5500 and the cartridge was supposed to be about $2000. He brought it over to the house and I got a chance to listen to it vs. my old LP12. This was terrific because I needed to know how well the LP12 would stand up against other good gear. He wants $3000 for the package. I could probably get it for $2500.

    I heard differences, but they weren't huge. I admit to preferring the WTT package, but my wife prefers the LP12. The differences certainly aren't worth the money I'd have to come up with to buy the WTT package.

    In conversation with one of the kind audiophiles here decided a used Cetech sub-chassis needed a good home and so he sent it to me along with a cork platter mat. I have taken this as a sign from The Audio Gods, along with my listening experience against the WTT that I need to keep the LP12 and do the work to update it.

    I figure that the Mose-Hercules power supply, at about $400, my new-to-me Cetech sub-chassis and a rewire of my Rega RB300 arm, at about $200, from Brit Audio and I'll have a rig that'll last longer than I will.

    http://www.britaudio.com/tonearm-rewire-service.html

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