Linn’s Klimax LP12 Gains New Radikal and Ekstatik Upgrades
Linn's Klimax LP12 turntable is treated to New Radikal motor system and Ekstatik flagship phono cartridge.
Linn's Klimax LP12 turntable now sports new Radikal, comprising hyper-accurate speed management technology, a whisper-quiet power supply, and a state-of-the-art motor design. Additionally, the new Kilmax LP12 wears the new flagship Linn Ekstatik cartridge. Furthermore, it makes its public debut at the Dutch Audio Event, Eindhoven, this Saturday, 30th October.
We are told that the new Klimax LP12 sustains rotation closer to 33⅓rpm than any turntable; and thus produces the most musical, pitch-perfect performance from a Sondek LP12 ever.
Linn has designed, manufactured, and released more than forty upgrades for Sondek LP12 in its forty-eight year history, with each consecutive upgrade improving its performance and keeping it ahead.
Gilad Tiefenbrun, Linn’s Managing Director, told StereoNET:
Announcing Sondek LP12 upgrades is always an exciting time at Linn, but when they improve our very best version, the Klimax LP12, it's doubly exciting. Between our new Radikal motor, motor control unit, and power supply – and our new reference cartridge, Ekstatik – we've achieved an astonishing leap in performance.
The arrival of the new Klimax LP12 means that existing Sondek LP12 owners can upgrade their decks with the two new components - no need to buy a whole new turntable.
Even minor speed changes from a turntable's motor will result in the music's pitch deviating from the original performance. Linn's new Radikal reference turntable power supply features hyper-accurate speed management technology, generating sustained, uniform rotation closer to 33⅓rpm than any turntable. Linn says this is down to a digitally (FPGA) managed motor control and the latest, precision-engineered motor technology.
Accurate to five times tighter tolerance than its predecessor, new Radikal's persistent auto-calibration boasts more consistent and precise speed management than ever before.
The improved power board design at the heart of Radikal incorporates whisper-quiet power supply rails, coupled with the use of smaller, more modern components – yielding the all-time lowest noise floor in a Sondek LP12, states Linn. Moreover, Radikal's motor design is said to generate negligible electromagnetic interference, effectively eliminating it as a source of distortion.
To make things mechanically quieter than ever, an all-new acoustic housing decouples the motor from the deck more effectively. In addition, the motor itself features smaller, lower-noise components, making everything electrically quieter than ever.
Additionally, an all-new, six-layer board – designed and manufactured in-house at Linn, of course – facilitates shorter signal paths, smaller componentry, and minimal overall noise via dedicated ground and power planes.
Apparently, these quieter, regulated supply rails not only provide impeccably pure power to the motor but have the added halo effect of making Linn's Urika phono stages sound even better.
Furthermore, Radikal has migrated to what Linn calls “a precision reference voltage”, served up by a new DAC derived from technology found in Linn's network streamer range.
Linn tells us that it has conducted extensive experiments, auditioning different materials and configurations for the body, inserts, cantilever, suspension, windings and leads. The result of all this alchemy is Ekstatik – the new jewel in the crown of the Linn cartridge range.
The Glasgow-based company states that Ekstatik's unique construction “forges a harmonious synergy with the Ekos SE tonearm, wicking away more unwanted resonances along the arm and out through the suspended sub-chassis”.
In the search for ever better materials, Linn's experiments led them to implement aluminium-bronze inserts. These inserts “allow listeners to reap the sonic benefits this alloy possesses”, although we're not really told what to expect here, so this will be down to us getting ears on.
With a custom honeycomb cut into the cartridge body, Ekstatik is skeletonised to reduce overall mass to Linn's preferred sweet spot of close to 7g. A micro-ridge stylus on a sapphire cantilever promises an extraordinarily responsive cartridge as sapphire is far stiffer than boron or aluminium, resulting in less loss between the stylus and the generator.
As of today, orders for Klimax LP12 ($41,995) will ship with New Radikal and Ekstatik fitted as standard. New Radikal is available in a standard ($8,995) or machined enclosure ($12,995) to upgrade existing LP12s, and owners of the current Radikal can have theirs upgraded ($3,995). The Ekstatik cartridge is also available separately for $11,995.
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