Linn Sondek LP12 - Cetech vs Sole, Keel, etc. preference?

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by fxsuperglide, Sep 4, 2011.

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  1. fxsuperglide

    fxsuperglide Active Member Thread Starter

    Hi all... Just thinking, since I have a Cetech subchassis in my current LP12, I just noticed that the Cetech website has finally disappeared again, and it seems as if this fine upgrade has gone out of production for a second time (perhaps due to competition from other aftermarket mods, such as Sole and others? combined with a lack of continued interest in such a limited demand product)...

    Which leads me to the question: Anyone here have their preferences? I've never heard the Sole and though I've heard the Keel, it's well out of my price range. I really enjoy the Cetech and it seems to bring out the best in everything, IMHO. I can still enjoy a stock Linn LP12, but I really like the Cetech. I know there's other options, both past and present (out of production and still currently available, that is)... Anyone have any input or firsthand knowledge about those?

    Then there's the "stock Linn" subchassis/bearing question: Early/intermediate (pre-Cirkus) or Cirkus upgrade? or Keel? ...I know there were several variations of the early and intermediate subchassis units (from the original ribbed version (first 2,000 made) followed by the 10 to 22 spotweld versions (it varied over those years), to the epoxy bonded crossbrace). Original (non vented) bearing liners, vented bearing liners, and finally the harder "PEEK" black bearing liners, which transitioned into the Cirkus version. No doubt, there's preferences here, too.
    TubeHead likes this.
  2. fortherecord

    fortherecord Forum Resident

    Upstate, NY
    I still think that good tuning and set up is a lot more important with the LP12 than any of the "upgrades" for it. That said, I'm happy with my Cirkus bearing, spot welded sub, and Hercules II PSU. I still prefer the sound of a suspended deck compared to all others, no matter how unfashionable it may be right now
  3. Classicrock

    Classicrock Forum Resident

    South West, UK.
  4. fxsuperglide

    fxsuperglide Active Member Thread Starter

    Cirkus bearing with a spotwelded subchassis? Sounds like an odd combination, but as long as the bearing sits true in relation to the armboard (a problem with many of the spotwelded units, except perhaps the last of them, which had strategically placed welds - the epoxy bonded ones essentially eliminated that problem) ...I happen to have a spare Cirkus subchassis (metal part), since I installed the Cirkus bearing into a Cetech subchassis (for my current setup)... The Hercules II is an excellent upgrade... As for the suspended turntable setup? It makes the most sense, as proven with my friend's system (he listens LOUD and the ONLY turntable that passed the test without acoustic feedback and skipping was the Linn Sondek LP12 - I'd have to guess that a Thorens would pass, too, but I didn't have one to try for him at the time)... After all, it's about the sound, not fashion or fads. ....OH, Yeah, disagreement here that a well tuned, straight spotwelded pre-Cirkus subchassis unit is obviously going to perform better than a poorly tuned Cirkus (or any other upgraded variant for that matter).
  5. Scott in DC

    Scott in DC Forum Resident

    Washington, DC

    I use an LP12 with the Cirkus upgrade and the Greenstreet Audio subschassis. Since I use the Naim ARO tonearm I got the version of the Greenstreet that was machined with the ARO in mind.

    I love the results.

  6. fxsuperglide

    fxsuperglide Active Member Thread Starter

    ...but if one follows this link, it says "This item is not currently available". I have to believe that all those ones being sold on ebay a few years ago were being "cleared out" for final sale (and now that they're gone, I'm guessing that's it)... Glad I have 3 of them in my possession (I may sell my present turntable, which has one installed, but plan to keep the remaining two if it comes to that)... My thoughts.
  7. adam1864

    adam1864 Well-Known Member

    I bought a Cetech based on forum hear say. I hated what it did to an LP12. It robbed it of all its character and made it anaemic.

    Unless you can afford the Keel, the Sole, Rubikon, and Greenstreet are all better options.
  8. darkmatter

    darkmatter Gort Astronomer Staff

    Have you compared either of the Sole, Rubikon, and Greenstreet with the Keel?
  9. adam1864

    adam1864 Well-Known Member

    Nope - Its virtually impossible to get all the various sub chassis together under one roof for any sort of comparison.

    In the UK the best I could suggest would be Keel vs. Rubikon at a couple of dealers. Unless you know someone already running a Greenstreet or a Sole theres very little chance of comparison as they are mail order only.
  10. fxsuperglide

    fxsuperglide Active Member Thread Starter

    Oddly enough, I find my Cetech equipped LP12 to be quite enjoyable. I'm guessing it's the combination of everything, including the tonearm and cartridge (Rega RB100 and Ortofon Super OM20). If anything, it DOES get rid of the "Linn" sound and replaces it with "hearing the music" sound, IMHO. One of the first albums I listened to on that setup was Marshall-Tucker Band "Searchin For A Rainbow", and if anything, it sounded better than it ever had!
  11. scottyb

    scottyb Member

    Dallas, Texas
    get the Keel and move on :righton:
  12. Metralla

    Metralla Joined Jan 13, 2002

    San Jose, CA
    with an empty wallet. ;)
  13. TubeHead

    TubeHead New Member

    SE Wisconsin
    It seems that you and I have a similar setup...I have the Cirkus mounted on the Cetech, and have an Origin Live Silver tonearm, which is a similar design of the Rega....basically the Origin Live is an updated Rega. My cartridge is an Ortofon X5-MC, and I JUST LOVE the sound that I get from that little guy!! I also have a little 3 watt Decware tube amp which is hooked to a set of Marantz Imperial 6-G speakers(circa 1975) I feel really lucky that I've got a nice little musical micro-climate going on...I DID have to do a bit of careful spending to get it, don't happen for free :p
  14. TubeHead

    TubeHead New Member

    SE Wisconsin
    Superglide, I forgot to thank you for your is interesting to know what others think about the Cetech/Cirkus equipped LP12. Plus the fact that a lot of us can't afford the way overpriced Linn upgrades! It just boggles my mind that you have to piece a LP12 together with very expensive add ons just so you can play it!!
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