Technics 1200G or Linn Sondek LP12

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

  1. TarnishedEars

    TarnishedEars Forum Resident

    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    The big tricks are getting the suspension perfectly leveled and also bouncing like a perfect piston, and getting the optimal amount of tension on the tonearm cable. This is definitely doable with a set of soup-cans and enough skill and patience (speaking from experience). But it is still tricky.

    For most people, going to the dealer is probably the best option though.
     
    Fishoutofwater likes this.
  2. chacha

    chacha Forum Resident

    Location:
    mill valley CA USA
    Thanks. Sounds good to me. I certainly can’t afford a Radikal so this might be the best bet.
     
    Randoms likes this.
  3. tzh21y

    tzh21y Forum Resident

    Location:
    Buffalo
    interestingly enough, many of the comments are about things not working correctly on a LINN and even getting a new one not set up correctly. Hey it is possible that the Radikal that I heard was not set up properly either, even if it was in a Linn dealers shop. I do not need these hassles and to be honest, my VPI scout at the time had more air than the LINN and bettered it in some ways. There is something to be said about unipivot arms as they can be very nice sounding if time is taken with setup. The LINN did have a blackness and did have a deep soundstage. I just did not care for the sound. Everything sounded similar but did have a quality that many will like very much. I want each record to have its own sound. The Technics is very good at that. If it is a warmer recording, you will hear it that way, if it recorded in a prison, you will hear that too.
     
  4. tzh21y

    tzh21y Forum Resident

    Location:
    Buffalo
    The old Mission 774sm and 775sm combination is just killer and rare. if you can find this table with the arm, you really will have a magical combination. that arm is easily as good if not better than any Ekos or an Ittok without question. Its an incredible music making combination and if you see the table, you will see that a lot of thought went into its design. Its one of the best. You are fortunate to have the 775sm.
     
    darkmatter likes this.
  5. chacha

    chacha Forum Resident

    Location:
    mill valley CA USA
    Pretty much every record sounds different to me on my LP12.
     
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  6. JoeSmo

    JoeSmo SL1200 lover....

    Location:
    Maidstone
    Personal experience (2 x LP12’s) and forum testimonies. If you’re near a Sondek dealer who knows what’s he’s doing, fill your boots with the LP12. If not, consider carefully.
     
    Drewan77 likes this.
  7. Classicrock

    Classicrock Forum Resident

    Location:
    South West, UK.
    There are a lot of alternatives to the Linn that provide a similar or better level of sound for less. They aren't as fussy about sighting and are almost set up and forget / easier to get right. For Radkal money a comparison with the Avid Acutus Reference might be in order but there are cheaper alternatives from Michell, Roksan, and Notts Analogue.
     
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  8. Drewan77

    Drewan77 Forum Resident

    Location:
    UK/USA
    My friend with the LP12 Anniversary has spent so much with Linn over the years that he doesn't use the dealer, preferring engineers from the factory to personally visit & the results of this expertise are certainly impressive (it helps that he lives on the English/Scottish border).

    I had a similar history to JoeSmo so gave up on the periodic drift in performance.

    The 1200G fits my needs perfectly - played a lot of music on it since January & still mighty impressed. Definitely the last turntable purchase I ever need to make (....owned seventeen since the '70s & still have five of them)
     
    valvehead and HiFi Guy like this.
  9. Newton John

    Newton John Going for the one

    Location:
    Tynedale, UK
    That's a small self selecting group - hardly a representative sample of Linn's customers. Certainly not a reliable basis for damning all but 3 or 4 Linn dealers in the UK.

    Yet another unverfied jaundiced claim presented as if gospel truth. To quote Pat Moynihan, "Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts.”
     
    Randoms likes this.
  10. 5-String

    5-String Forum Resident

    Location:
    Sunshine State
    What amazes me with my recently acquired Technics 1200G is how the table is able to reveal the individual character and the sonic signature of the different cartridges that I install. I also own a Clearaudio Ovation and a Transrotor Apollon which are both incredible turntables but in this respect, in terms of transparency, I believe that the Technics is one step ahead.
     
    snorker, JoeSmo, recstar24 and 3 others like this.
  11. Pythonman

    Pythonman Forum Resident

    I'd love to have a Linn LP12 but I confess I am in the dark about all the differences in Ittoks and Ekos’s and Valhalla’s etc. I would take a chance with the Linn however because I’m a fan of quality belt drive systems over direct drive tables that look better suited for scratching and back spinning etc. Disco balls and strobe lights and whatnot.
     
  12. 5-String

    5-String Forum Resident

    Location:
    Sunshine State
    I understand that you prefer the belt drive turntables, there are differences between belt drive and direct drive and we all have our preferences. Personally, I like both systems and I think that both have their own advantages and disadvantages.

    However, when you talk about direct drive turntables being more suited for scratching and back spinning and disco balls and whatnot, no offense, but this is a very ignorant and prejudiced thing to say.
     
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  13. Pythonman

    Pythonman Forum Resident

    No offense taken but, since you fail to realize the previous iterations of the SL1200, the MkII and MK III actually were developed and refined with DJs and scratching in mind who’s ignorant here? Furthermore, l have had other direct drive tables that I actually did like over my own SL 1200, far better in fact so I wasn’t making a blanket statement about direct drives like you suggested I did either.

    I don’t doubt the latest SL1200 is a far different animal than the original model they look exactly like. From everything I have read from people’s opinions I respect it’s a hell of a nice table so if I don’t care for what it looks like that’s just me. Guess I am prejudiced after all.
     
  14. missan

    missan Forum Resident

    Location:
    Stockholm
    That is correct, they are better at that, over a BD.
     
  15. vinylkid58

    vinylkid58 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Victoria, B.C.
    Same here, and that's as it should be.

    If you enjoy working on mechanical contraptions, then dive in. Otherwise I'd choose something else.:)

    jeff
     
  16. Randoms

    Randoms Aerie Faerie Nonsense

    Location:
    UK
    There are some Linn dealers who have been doing an amazing job not just for Linn, but the other manufacturers that they support for many decades. Even though they may have been deemed competitors from my time in retail, they were and remain excellent dealers.

    Having set up hundreds of LP12s and numerous other makes of turntables and arms, sadly like many dealers, I have come across a lot that were simply not performing to their potential. There were far more non-Linn than Linn in this category - in my experience it was the Linn where the cartridge was correctly aligned and not so loose that gentle pressure would cause the cartridge to move.

    Like some other dealers, I always offered to re-align the cartridge and show how to set the tracking and bias. Happy customers was and still is the cheapest form of advertising, conversely an unhappy customer is in my experience not what anyone wants.

    It is a shame that your experiences haven't been more positive, because there are still many dealers who do a great job and there are certainly more than 3 or 4 Linn dealers in the UK who excel.
     
    Newton John likes this.
  17. Pythonman

    Pythonman Forum Resident

    That suits me just fine. I still have Linn factory literature from 199o of the LP12 Sondek, the Asak and Troika and k9 cartridges, the Ittok and Basik tonearms and the Axis turntable. At the time I’d still never heard a super high quality belt drive table and was learning all I could about brands like VPI, Micro Seiki, Oracle, SOTA etc. And Linn of course. So the bug definitely got under my skin long ago and I’d still like to hear and see an LP12 in person after all these yrs.
     
    Randoms likes this.
  18. plimpington2

    plimpington2 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Cleveland

    My Ittok LV3 was the first one, I believe. I remember this because it had a long headshell which accommodated any cartridge I wanted. When I "upgraded" to the Ekos 1, I distinctly remember cursing about the short headshell which would not fit my cartridge easily at the time. I gather this shorter headshell was though to be stiffer (particular with its side walls?). Anyway, i was not a fan. I understand the newest Ekos SE (is it the SE-1?) has a longer headshell than the original Ekos SE. This is a point in its favor as far as I am concerned. I ADMIT that my interest in it is one of aesthetics and covet-ture rather than need from a sonic perspective. It looks great and will "complete" my table even though I suspect its improvements may only be marginal from a sound perspective. It's damned expensive - but the brand has inspired such confidence for me over the last 25 years that I will bitch and moan about price, but NOT quality or value.

    I intend to get the Lingo4. But I've saving up just a bit more so I can get the plinth changed out at the same time with one trip. I have the Rosenut plinth, which is fine for what it is, but I hate the way it looks and wish I had not chosen that color. I'm going to get a nice walnut one (non-fluted, unfortunately, because they will not sell me a fluted one without attaching a whole new mid-level LP12 to it).

    Judd
     
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  19. plimpington2

    plimpington2 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Cleveland
    It's impossible IF you don't know what it is supposed to look like after you have it right. And it's hard to explain without the benefit of actually have seen it. But once you have seen (really SEEN) the right "bounce", it can be recapitulated without too much drama. I reject that it is a "black art" - but it requires skill and some are better than others. I have set my own up several times over the years and can get it right. I don't have a jig, so I have had to use two blocks set up on my table. Not ideal, but works in a pinch. All that being said, it is a pain in the ass without the jig and the right tools and it takes some time and I MUCH prefer now that I am older and slower and lazier to have my dealer take care of it - he does a fantastic job. At the present time, I have not had to ever set up or tune by current table because my dealer set it up when I got it, and it has been in for upgrades since purchase often enough that I haven't had to go under the hood at all.

    Judd
     
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  20. plimpington2

    plimpington2 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Cleveland
    I won't pretend to have heard every table available at the respective LP12 prices (generally speaking, the three levels come in at about $4000, $9500 and $16,000 - all without cartridge or phone section). There's no question that you can buy some pretty nice alternative tables at these prices. And I have heard MANY (though have not owned many). My experience has been that the LP12 does something for me that the other ones simply did not. This has been particularly true for the big, heavy "inert" tables I have heard (Dr. Feickert, VPI, Clearaudio), but also I have experience with the some of the suspended tables (Sota, Michell) . These all sound GREAT. But they don't move me in the way the LP12 does. I don't know - I can't explain it fully. I am fully prepared to accept that other people value the kind of sound these other tables make, and would not want to mess with an LP12 (or its sound). Fine . . . but at this level, you should EXPECT all these tables to be very competent and decisions will begin to be driven by taste. Anyway, that's the way I see it.

    Judd
     
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  21. John Moschella

    John Moschella Forum Resident

    Location:
    Christiansburg, VA
    I have completely built/re-built LP12s and really, it's not that hard. There are no special tools, the only PITA is the springs, of course. I would describe it as tedious, not hard. You need something to prop it up to you can get at the springs while observing the bounce. The big step for me was finding out how to "excite" the suspension correctly. Years ago when I had it adjusted at the dealer I had the tech show me, and from then on I did it myself. You can look up videos on youtube, but basically half way between the spindle and the tonearm pivot, you push down straight down on the platter and then release. I like to to this with a sharp tap. The oscillations should be "harmonic", or straight up and down with little sideways wobble. It's best if someone shows you on a properly set up table, or look up a video. Follow the rules in the setup manual as to the order of adjusting the springs and your good. I may take some time at first, like I said tedious.

    Once set up it basically stays that way and once you know how to "excite" the suspension you can check it in 5 seconds any time you want.
     
  22. John Moschella

    John Moschella Forum Resident

    Location:
    Christiansburg, VA

    Yeap.
     
  23. John Moschella

    John Moschella Forum Resident

    Location:
    Christiansburg, VA

    I started out with an Ittok LVII (a black one), and used it for many years. Then I had the thing re-wired by J7 at Audio Origami and was blow away, and I mean blow away, by the improvement. I actually called the guy I was so shocked, and he said that they just used crappy wires in the old arms. Then I managed to get a latter generation EKOS (long story but I bought an entire system and then sold off the parts) and this arm without question is more revealing than the re-wired Ittok. So I would strongly advise getting the Ittok re-wired, it's only a few hundred bucks.
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2018
  24. John Moschella

    John Moschella Forum Resident

    Location:
    Christiansburg, VA
    I have a Lingo 2, so is the 4 just a plug in replacement?
     
  25. Randoms

    Randoms Aerie Faerie Nonsense

    Location:
    UK
    chacha likes this.

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