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Linn Sondek/TT Advice


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It will soon be time to get a new TT.

 

For nostalgia, it will most likely be a Sondek. I had thought maybe a Clearaudio concept or the MoFi ultra deck.

 

I plan on using an MC cart of some type, as invariably every time I hear a TT running that makes my ears prick up, there is some kind of MC running.

 

i have a fair collection of Rock (Pink Floyd, Led Zep), folk (Bob Dylan predominantly), Alternative (Nirvana). 95% of my collection is NM+ original full analogue versions, MoFi.

 

I’m running an EC pre-power combo into Dali Opticon 8s with very good quality VDH cabling throughout.

 

My budget will be circa 4K (second hand) for the table, arm, cart, phono stage.

 

Thoughts, comments and recommendations sought.

 

Edited by furtherpale
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14 minutes ago, rodders3 said:

Check the Mober threads @furtherpale. I recently bought an old 1976 LP12 and did it up. Cost more than $4K but I got a new arm that was almost $3K alone.  It sounds wonderful to me. My cart is a Benz Micro Ace SL- came with the Lp12 so saved coin there.

Sorry... what are the “mober threads”?

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It will soon be time to get a new TT.
 
For nostalgia, it will most likely be a Sondek. I had thought maybe a Clearaudio concept or the MoFi ultra deck.
 
I plan on using an MC cart of some type, as invariably every time I hear a TT running that makes my ears prick up, there is some kind of MC running.
 
i have a fair collection of Rock (Pink Floyd, Led Zep), folk (Bob Dylan predominantly), Alternative (Nirvana). 95% of my collection is NM+ original full analogue versions, MoFi.
 
I’m running an EC pre-power combo into Dali Opticon 8s with very good quality VDH cabling throughout.
 
My budget will be circa 4K (second hand) for the table, arm, cart, phono stage.
 
Thoughts, comments and recommendations sought.
 
Buy yourself a stock standard LP12 with an Ittok arm, a good deck should be around $2k.

Then later on after getting better aquainted with your Linn, think about getting different bits like a 2 speed Hercules power supply/ board which I can highly recommend ,
A Cirkus upgrade or a different tonearm.

Forget about this Mober caper for now, Just too complicated and ultimately much better to work your way up and then hear the improvements as you go!
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Sorry but I'll disagree that a Mober upgrade is too difficult or complicated. Edmund who manufactures both the older Mose Hercules PSU and the much newer Mober digital PSU has made it extremely simple to swap out an old Valhalla PSU and pop in the new Mober.

It's a strobe sticker that you put onto the inside of your platter then you pull out the Valhalla or indeed the Moses Hercules and replace the motor with Edmunds new one. Another nice silver or black box has your digital control. You turn it on, you press 33 or 45 and ...you have the ultimate luxury of controlling exactly how fast your TT is spinning. Heavy 180/200grm vinyl, light 1960's/70's vinyl, heavy tonearm and cart, light tonearm and cart, the digital read out will tell you that your album is now playing at 33.4 or 33.6 or 32.9 so then you just use the handy control to get your turntable spinning at the required 33.3.

 

Without it you'll not know exactly what speed your going.. It was a proper eye opener when I first started using it. DC motor which Edmund swears by is vibration free when I held it in my hand and powered it up.

 

2K should get you a 1993 plus model easily and it'll already have the Cirkus bearing upgrade so no need to upgrade there. If you get a 90's model it'll also have some other upgrades that earlier models don't have.

 

So do use this handy guide to all the upgrades.

 

There are a million ways to upgrade a LP12. @evil c has gone one way and many others have gone other ways(myself included) so really in the end it all comes down to budget and how much you like to fiddle.

 

Poke your nose under a LP12 and you'll seriously wonder what all the fuss is about.

 

@Tasebass  has some absolutely superb LP12's that he's tinkered with and pimped to the Nth degree and @warrengday if he's still around has an LP12 that is all official Linn upgrades and it's the price of a reasonable small car...

 

So take your time, do some research and then do some more.

 

And good luck

 

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Edited by Luc
Spelling damnit!
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I have little to no perceivable mechanical skills whatsoever.

 

The Mober upgrade was very easy. Simply take your time. All you need to know is on the net. I had a basic tool kit that did the job. 

 

@Luc is correct, there are many, many options. I'm certain you will enjoy the journey as much as I have whatever route you take.

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Thank you all so far... no bad advice.

 

My loungeroom as a kid had a Krell pre/power (KMA160S - I remember as I inherited them) and Apogee Scintillas with a Sondek running (I think?) a Koestsu MC cart.

 

i know at this level it’s more ‘different’ than ‘bad/good’.

 

The dialectic is what I’m after.

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1 minute ago, rodders3 said:

I have little to no perceivable mechanical skills whatsoever.

 

The Mober upgrade was very easy. Simply take your time. All you need to know is on the net. I had a basic tool kit that did the job. 

 

@Luc is correct, there are many, many options. I'm certain you will enjoy the journey as much as I have whatever route you take.

Yup... my dad was an airforce trained mechanic (so by default a trade trained engineer, fitter and turner and boiler maker in one)... nothing was out of his ability. My grandfather was an RAF engineer who designed and built his own amps from scratch... I always feel underqualified!!!

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12 minutes ago, furtherpale said:

Thank you all so far... no bad advice.

 

My loungeroom as a kid had a Krell pre/power (KMA160S - I remember as I inherited them) and Apogee Scintillas with a Sondek running (I think?) a Koestsu MC cart.

 

i know at this level it’s more ‘different’ than ‘bad/good’.

 

The dialectic is what I’m after.

 

Wow!  Krell & Scintillas with a Koetsu/LP12 - that's one helluva system!  :thumb:

 

Andy

 

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14 minutes ago, furtherpale said:

Thank you all so far... no bad advice.

 

My loungeroom as a kid had a Krell pre/power (KMA160S - I remember as I inherited them) and Apogee Scintillas with a Sondek running (I think?) a Koestsu MC cart.

 

i know at this level it’s more ‘different’ than ‘bad/good’.

 

The dialectic is what I’m after.

My Favourite Krell mono power amps, with the "Don't make a wrong move or your dead" heatsinks.The Mober thing sounds good to me. My only other personal advice would be a SOTA Nova, as thats what I've got and last Turntable unless I win Lotto.

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15 minutes ago, andyr said:

 

Wow!  Krell & Scintillas with a Koetsu/LP12 - that's one helluva system!  :thumb:

 

Andy

 

Yup... Dark Side of the Moon is yet to be replicated to that standard... and it was UHQR (As a kid I just assumed that’s what everyone had...)... what’s this akai ‘all in one’ and why does it sound like a transistor radio?

Edited by furtherpale
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2 hours ago, Luc said:

@Tasebass  has some absolutely superb LP12's that he's tinkered with and pimped to the Nth degree and @warrengday if he's still around has an LP12 that is all official Linn upgrades and it's the price of a reasonable small car...

 

So take your time, do some research and then do some more.

 

Different upgrades have different levels of improvement.

 

A profound truth, deliberately mentioned in order to gratuitously bring up some much cherished upgrade memories that illustrate this.

 

The best example is a motor example, when I went to a dealer to get a damaged plinth replaced.  My deck at the time was very high spec, and a few years before it would have been top spec (this is not ego, this is a reference for what's coming): a Keel subchassis, Ekos 2 arm, Linn's top mc cartridge the Akiva, and the much cheaper, a Trampolin 2 baseboard.  While the work was being done we listened to a new entry level LP12 that was being run-in to be used a forthcoming Hi-Fi show.  It had a standard subchassis, not a Keel, it also had a ProJect arm, an entry level Dynavector MM cart.  Oh, and it had LInn's top of the line Radikal DC motor.  Once the rebuild was done, we listened to my deck, then relistened to the Radikal deck.  WHICH COMPLETELY TRASHED MY MORE EXPENSIVE DECK.

 

A few years ago I upgraded cartridge, and then arm soon after.  Now I'd performed five cartridge upgrades over the years, but only one arm upgrade.  I'd heard so much about arm upgrades, but my previous arm upgrade, even though "on paper" it was huge one (early Japanese made Akito to one of the last ever Ekos 2) it didn't seem to be a big upgrade when I did it.  And so I wasn't expecting a great deal when, after performing a huge cartridge upgrade (Akiva to Kandid), I then upgraded arm (Ekos 2 to Ekos SE) (and also play with all four combinations), and as my amp and speakers were then a lot more revealing than when I performed my first arm upgrade, it was clear that arm upgrades have a bigger impact than cartridge upgrades.

 

Obviously not all DC motors are the same, in terms of what other design decisions have gone into them and the resulting performance levels.  But clearly if you can get a Radikal do so.

 

I also LOVE the Trampolin baseboard, and ever since the mark 1.  It has a human naturalness of timing and syncopation that I've never heard from any other upgrade.

 

I prefer the Cirkus bearing's clarity of note precision in time and space.  Some people prefer the original bearing.  Find out which you prefer from listening.

 

The best upgrade per buck I ever did was from a 1990 Lingo "1" to a 2005 Lingo "2".  300 AUD for a huge leap in timing clarity.

 

I've NOT heard the individual AB differences that the corner bracing of the plinth or the 4th top plate bolt make, but they are cheaper to do than high precision arm and cartridges, so that may be something to explore.

Edited by warrengday
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