Technics 1200G or Linn Sondek LP12

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Airbus, Feb 16, 2018.

  1. Airbus

    Airbus Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Beirut - Lebanon
    If you had the choice between, which way would you go?
     
  2. rednedtugent

    rednedtugent Forum Resident

    Location:
    Funk, Ohio
  3. Dubmart

    Dubmart Forum Resident

    Location:
    Bristol, UK
    Hard to imagine two decks as different in approach or sound, assuming the basic spec LP12 I'd go for the Technics, but if it was the Technics against a Michell Orbe SE, Rega RP-10 or Roksan Xerxes 20 I wouldn't choose the Technics, personally I don't think the LP12 is at the front rank of belt drive decks, I'd rather have an old 1210 Mk2 with a decent arm upgrade than a Linn.
     
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  4. nosliw

    nosliw Azunyan! にゃーーー!

    Location:
    Ottawa, ON, Canada
    I'll have to check those samples out. With the new Technics SL-1200G, it'd be interesting to revisit the comparison with the Linn Sondek LP12, given the former's numerous under-the-hood updates.
     
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  5. Bob_in_OKC

    Bob_in_OKC Forum Resident

    Location:
    Dallas, Texas
    I’d choose the LP12. For me, I will freely admit I would not actually listen to them before making my choice.
     
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  6. Agitater

    Agitater Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto
    Which LP12? Majik, Akurate or Klimax? Which subchassis, baseboard and power supply? Just as important, with what cartridges?

    Based on a comparsion with the stock Majik, I don’t think there’s anything to talk about. The SL1200G is a superior turntable and arm in every way that matters, and sounds better without question. The Majik sounds good too, but it’s not much better than a Pro-ject Classic (with the Classic being half the price).

    Based on a comparison with the stock Akurate, I think the Linn is on a more even footing with the SL1200G. Some audiophiles will definitely like the LP12 Akurate better, and many will definitely like the SL1200G better. The Akurate is more expensive, and at this level I think the choice of cartridge could tip an audiophile toward one turntable or the other.

    Based on a comparison with the stock Klimax (including the Linn Kandid cartridge), the preference of SL1200G over the Linn LP12 becomes an even more polarizing subject. In several areas, to my ears, the LP12 Klimax sounds defintively better when playing some recordings. The audibility of inner detail and micro-dynamics and other musical subtleties that can be heard with turntables and cartridges such as the Soundsmith Zephyr MIMC, Ortofon Cadenza Black, Lyra Delos or better, all feeding a phono stage and amplification and speakers that are also capable of resolving and reproducing fine detail and dynamics, the LP 12 Klimax is a $14,000-$18,000 (depending on whether you’re in the U.S., Canada) or a GBP18,000 (including VAT) choice, compared to a $4,000/£2999 choice plus a cartridge - so, about a third or less of the fully kitted LP12 Klimax. Part of the superiority of the stock Klimax has to do with the superb Ekos SE tonearm. While the Technics arm of the SL1200G is also excellent and respected, it’s not quite up to the incrementally better Ekos. A well set up LP12 Klimax is a superb music maker, but it requires periodic maintenance by an technician who is experienced with the LP12 to every couple of years check and adjust the suspension, check the Keel and generally make sure the setup hasn’t drifted. The SL1200G does not require such periodic adjustment.

    The SL1200G equipped with a top-flight cartridge that competes directly with the Kandid, is also a joy to hear. I have now run into several people who consider their SL1200G (with different high end Ortofon, Soundsmith and Clearaudio cartridges) to be their last turntable. Directly comparing the SL1200G to the Klimax is really difficult at this level. Each turntable has its own distinct presentation, and each turntable is good enough to make the choice of cartridge and the physical positioning and isolation of the turntable in the listening room more important factors that the actual turntables themselves.

    After all that, the choice may come down to whether or not someone prefers a mass-loaded vs a suspended turntable. Personally, I can’t stand suspended turntables anymore. I really liked my Thorens TD126 MKII for a long time, But when I improved my listening room and properly isolated my turntables from the types of sources of resonance that suspended turntables are specifically designed to combat, mass loading became the way to go for me. So the suspended turntable was sold. For anyone who prefers suspended turntables over mass-loaded designs, the LP 12 Akurate and Klimax models are the best available in their respective price classes. Comparing direct drive to belt drive turntables is often difficult because each table has a different presentation, and the differences are easily heard by most audiophiles. Adding to that difference the comparison between mass loaded and suspension designs really tends to force people to forget about the merits of each design and instead just choose the turntable/cartridge combination that sounds best to them. Basically, either choice is excellent. There’s no bad choice here at all.
     
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  7. russk

    russk Forum Resident

    Location:
    Syracuse NY
  8. BigGame

    BigGame Forum Resident

    Linn 12
    I just love it
     
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  9. Airbus

    Airbus Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Beirut - Lebanon
    Thank you so much for your time. Much appreciated. You do not mind me (if I ever did) copying parts of your feedback to post it on an Audio group chat I am on. Do you?
     
  10. Erocka2000

    Erocka2000 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY, USA
    If you have suspended floors and don’t plan on using a wall shelf, you should rule out the LP12. I had a pretty high spec one for a bit but had to sell it because it would skip at the tiniest movement on my suspended floor.
     
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  11. Socalguy

    Socalguy Forum Resident

    Location:
    CA
    Neither turntable "sounds" better. Cartridge choice is the key factor when comparing high end turntables.
     
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  12. Newton John

    Newton John Going for the one

    Location:
    Tynedale, UK
    Not denying the importance of the cartridge and often what you say may be true. However, the turntable/arm/cartridge is a complex system and it is dangerous to pick out one component in isolation as being critical to SQ.
     
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  13. Socalguy

    Socalguy Forum Resident

    Location:
    CA
    Neither the Technics nor the Linn have any significant motor or platter noise.
     
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  14. 4011021

    4011021 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brazil
    My mistake, of course. You meant these two and other high end tts. I deleted my comment, too stupid to stay visible. Sorry.
     
  15. Socalguy

    Socalguy Forum Resident

    Location:
    CA
    Right, but as between those two turntables, the cartridge will make the sonic difference.
     
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  16. missan

    missan Forum Resident

    Location:
    Stockholm
    Between these two I will take a Brinkmann DD. ;)
     
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  17. Classicrock

    Classicrock Forum Resident

    Location:
    South West, UK.
    I think the main factor here is price. The Linn Klimax clearly will not justify extra cost even if slightly better. At that level you would be better comparing to the Avid Acutus Reference or SME 20. These are not necessarily preferable to the much cheaper Michell Orbe, Rega P9, Roksan Xerxes 20 or Notts Analogue Hyperspace with suitable arm and cartridge. Certainly have toyed with the idea of the 1200G as a second TT but maybe the upcoming new SP10 (not in the overpriced Technics plinth) will be the benchmark. Even with the plinth and arm it is comparable in price to the Linn Klimax and I would expect it to embarrass it and other similarly priced decks.
     
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  18. Agitater

    Agitater Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto
    Go for it.

    I could add that one of the things that Technics improved in the SL1200G is the adjustment mechanisms for arm height, anti-skate and tracking force. They adjustment controls were good on the older generation of the SL12xx models, but they’re better now. The mechanisms rest in place without even microscopic drift after being set, and arm height/VTA adjustment is exceedingly smooth and accurate. All adjustments are delightfully easy to make.

    The LP12 tonearms, by comparison, are nowhere near as easy to work with for audiophiles who like to tweak settings or who are experimenting with cartridges or using a selection of different cartridges for stereo, mono and whatever. A selection of headshells and pre-mounted cartridges provides an audiophile with the ability to almost instantly swap in whatever he wants to use. There’s an obvious significant expense associated with that kind of turntable use, but the generally lower price of an SL1200G compared to an LP12 Akurate or LP12 Klimax means some part of that difference can be put toward cartridges and headshells. Can’t do any of that anywhere near as easily and as quickly with the LP12 and its Ekos SE, Akito or Pro-ject 9cc tonearms, which means that if such considerations are important to an audiopile who’s considering the two different turntables, the superb SL1200G might be the best choice.
     
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  19. Threshold

    Threshold Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Manchester NH
    The Linn. I've had mine for many years and have added various upgrades. But make sure you have a qualified Linn dealer near by.
     
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  20. Agitater

    Agitater Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto
    I agree. I think the biggest problem with the LP12 Klimax and Akurate combinations from Linn is their retail pricing. Linn has built mystique and cachet around the LP12 for a very long time, gradually building the prices to blatantly inflated levels. The LP12 in Akurate or Klimax form are both wonderful turntables that deserve almost every accolade accorded to them, but the Klimax is in my view simply not worth $18,000. That said, I still wouldn’t elevate my own SL1200G/Soundsmith Zephyr MIMC to the rarefied atmosphere of a perfectly set up and. fully Linn-kitted Klimax.

    I think it’s also reasonable to compare the SL1200G to the Rega RP8, Roksan Xerxes, Origin Live Aurora/Ruby, Avid Ingenium and Diva II (although not the Diva II SP), Kuzma Stabi S/Stogi S, Pro-ject RPM 10.1/10cc Evolution (remarkable turntable for the money - a really serious contender - and the Pro-ject Evolution arms are excellent by every measure and audition), and a variety of other turntable and arm combinations in the $4,000-$9,000 range (including cartridge). Spending more money for an even more finely designed and engineered turntable, arm and cartridge combination also demands a listening room that is quiet enough to actually hear the micro-dynamics, nuances and other finely detailed musical things these superb turntables are capable of providing.
     
  21. Steven_Glasgow

    Steven_Glasgow Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Glasgow, Scotland
    The main difference is whether you listen to your hifi or listen to the music.

    I know what turntable I would buy between those two and I don’t own either.
     
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  22. John

    John Forum Resident

    Location:
    rhode island
    Is there a qualified dealer in NH?
     
  23. Newton John

    Newton John Going for the one

    Location:
    Tynedale, UK
    You can do one without the other?

    Which one?
     
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  24. Newton John

    Newton John Going for the one

    Location:
    Tynedale, UK
    If that was true, Linn would be celebrated in business schools throughout the world and the management shelves in bookshops would be full of books telling other businesses how they could do the same
     
  25. Drewan77

    Drewan77 Forum Resident

    Location:
    UK/USA
    When he sold his business, my friend bought the anniversary version of the LP12/Kandid which replaced a 30+ year old Sondek. It's rarely used (& he will never drink the 40yr old Malt that came with it it!). I must say that it manages to track LPs that display sibilance on every other turntable I have listened to which is impressive. In other respects, it surprised me how similar it was to his old model considering the age/price difference ($40k+ !).

    (I never really got on with the LP12 & sold mine several years ago ....I'm impressed with the 1200G though)
     

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