A Suite of Updates for Linn Sondek LP12 Owners
Linn has announced the launch of exciting new Sondek LP12 upgrade components for existing owners and a refresh of their Sondek LP12 packages. If you want to know more about this iconic Scottish super deck, read our in-depth feature here.
The most recently announced updates include:
- Arko – an all-new, original, gimballed tonearm.
- Kendo – an elite performance moving coil cartridge; designed to pair perfectly with Arko.
- Krane – Linn's entry-level tonearm is now available to order as a standalone upgrade.
- Koil - a formidable entry-level moving coil cartridge.
Akurate LP12 has stepped aside to make way for a new model designation, with Linn's mid-tier turntable package now known as Selekt LP12 – and Arko and Kendo fitted as standard.
The entry-level offer into a Linn turntable investment, Majik LP12 (reviewed here), is now available in two variants including Majik LP12 MM, featuring the longstanding Adikt moving magnet cartridge. At the same time, the Majik LP12 MC features the new Koil moving coil cartridge, which offers an excellent first step onto the ladder of premium moving coil cartridges.
Linn's cartridge range is now expanded to offer six distinct performance levels - Adikt, Koil, Krystal, Kendo, Kandid, and Ekstatik.
Gilad Tiefenbrun, Linn’s CEO, told StereoNET:
With the 50th anniversary of Sondek LP12 fast approaching, these latest upgrades showcase the longevity of this iconic product. Linn is proud to expand the range of performance enhancements available to Sondek LP12 owners worldwide, regardless of where they are on their journey to vinyl perfection.
Linn's first entirely new in-house tonearm since 2006, Linn has returned to fundamentals with Arko, removing all but the mission-critical elements of tonearm design and boiling these down to their essence. They then honed what was left to excellent standards, as we've come to expect from Linn.
Linn says it has “greatly improved rigidity, precision, and coupling throughout the arm wand assembly, thanks to machined and cold-drawn 7075 aluminium specified throughout; and the ultra-stable gimbal platform facilitates superb bearing concentricity and alignment.”
According to the company, the gimbal design offers greater inherent stability and rigidity than alternative designs such as unipivots. “This results in an improved sense of depth, impact, and emotion for the listener”. Care was taken to ensure that 7075-grade aluminium would be used exclusively throughout the arm — from headshell to gimbal — with the resultant material synergy and coupling effectively banishing undesirable resonances away from the delicate generator and out through the sub-chassis.
By reducing the number of total parts, from headshell to operating housing, Linn says the result is improved rigidity, more fluid motion, and greater bearing stability and concentricity. These qualities, together with the unparalleled material synergy achieved by specifying 7075-grade aluminium, make Arko a fundamentally simple tonearm, yet highly refined.
Kendo MC Phono Cartridge
Linn engineers employed the use of trickle-down development methodology in the design of the Kendo MC cartridge. Capitalising on the elements of Ekstatik, which work so well, the outcome is claimed to be a more affordable, high-performance cartridge that retains the same core design principles and acoustic fingerprint.
It is one of a new breed of cartridges which produce the most level frequency response of any to ever bear the Linn name. It's not overly warm in bass, nor is it harsh in highs; its presentation is neutral, balanced, and uncoloured.
Kendo has a nickel-coated 7075 aluminium body, the same grade of aluminium used in the Arko tonearm, making the Kendo a perfect partner. Combined, the combination is said to “facilitate superb material synergy throughout the tonearm system, and effectively banishes unwanted resonances away from the delicate generator, along the arm, and out through the sub-chassis.”
Kendo features aluminium-bronze threaded inserts, a material Linn says is often selected by bell foundries due to its desirable resonance behaviour. In Kendo, according to the company, “this alloy helps to convey much of the subtle warmth of vinyl playback, and levels its balance
beautifully between crisp presentation and musical performance.”
Krane Tonearm and Koil MC Cartridge
Linn's Krane tonearm debuted in early 2020 and has been included with every new Majik LP12 shipped since. Now and for the first time, Linn has made this tonearm available to order as a standalone component.
This static-balanced design tonearm is hand-assembled with high-quality aluminium and stainless-steel components. It features a polished tungsten and sapphire vertical bearing, with a dual ceramic horizontal bearing assembly, both of which provide very low friction and rotational
Koil is Linn's new Majik-level cartridge and the perfect first step onto the ladder of premium moving coil models. It offers a step up in performance from Linn's moving magnet Adikt – either as an upgrade for existing Majik or legacy Sondek LP12 owners, or fitted as standard to a newly purchased Majik LP12 MC.
Linn's suite of product updates and releases are now available to order. Pricing is as follows: Arko Tonearm (AUD $5,995 | NZD $5,900) Kendo MC Cartridge (AUD $5,495 | NZD $5,500), Selekt LP12 (AUD $19,995 | NZD $19,500), Krane Tonearm (AUD $2,695 | NZD $3,180), Koil MC Cartridge (AUD $1,695 | NZD $1,600), Majik LP12 MC (AUD $7,395 | NZD $7,900).
StereoNET’s Founder and Publisher, born in UK and raised on British Hi-Fi before moving to Australia where he worked as an Engineer in both the audio and mechanical fields.