Technics 1200G or Linn Sondek LP12

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

  1. Dennis Metz

    Dennis Metz Born In A Motor City!

    Location:
    Fonthill, Ontario
    Just a slight exaggeration :cheers:
     
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  2. Sondek

    Sondek Forum Resident

    You don't have to. Mine's never needed a tune-up over a cold front lol.

    Mine was previously my dads. He passed away in 2005, and it was left standing for a decade. It was tuned up when I got it fixed up, and it's not needed a tune-up since.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2018
  3. plimpington2

    plimpington2 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Cleveland
    I’ve owned 3 (or 4, depending on how you count) LP12’s over the last 25 years or so, and I have come back to it over and over again because I have not found anything else that betters it. I’ll add that the length of time over which I have owned these tables means I have tasted of the ole’ fruit box in many various vintages and varieties and there is no doubt in my mind that it has gotten better over the years with each subsequent improvement.

    Regarding tuning, it is certainly true that if not set up correctly it will sound lousy (in fact, worse than lousy). But long gone are the days where a stiff breeze takes it “out of tune.” For at least the last 10 or 15 years, once you set it up properly it stays that way even with (reasonably careful) relocations, etc.

    Funny enough, my first tonearm on my first LP12 was the Ittok LV3, which I foolishly sold to finance an Ekos 1. I didn’t know what I had. The Ekos 1 was NOT a meaningful improvement in my opinion. Better bass, but less balanced overall. It seemed to focus on the extremes, and had a sort of recessed mid-bAnd by comparison. I didn’t think the Naim Aro was all that great either, which suffered the oppposite problem - I owned that for about a year. I would very much like to have the new EKOS SE1, but it’s $5,000, which is huge money. And I suspect the Ittok LV2 (which is what i have now) gets me 85% there. Moreover, I believe that if Linn still made the Ittok lv2 (or lv3), in Scotland, it would be damned near as much as the current Ekos SE. It exudes a sense of quality that the current Akito does not (and several others i am familiar with besides, such as the Regas, Morchs, Projects, Origin Live).

    Anyway, that has been my experience.

    Judd
     
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  4. Ghostworld

    Ghostworld Forum Resident

    Location:
    US
    My beautiful Ariston RD80 only sold for $199 on ebay. Fi on Technics lovers! I should have shipped it back to Scotland!
     
  5. chacha

    chacha Forum Resident

    Location:
    mill valley CA USA
    Curious if you’ve heard the Ekos SE? I have the Ekos 1 (have had it for 30 years). Curious how they sonically compare.
     
  6. plimpington2

    plimpington2 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Cleveland
    A few more things to add after I’d read a few more pages in this thread:

    I agree that an LP12 will not work on a table or cabinet on a suspended floor. Foot falls as you approach the table cause it to skip something awful. An unavoidable side effect of the kind of undamped suspension the LP12 uses. A light table spiked to the floor eliminates this problem (and is the way the LP12 always sounds best anyway). Mine now sits on a “built-in” cabinet, which decouples it from the floor anyway (almost like being suspended from the wall). Works great.

    My most recent LP12 was purchased new, by me, at the “Majik” level, which means it had the very economical Project arm. In this configuration (around $4000) it sounded fantastic, and bettered everything else I had heard at the time that was available for $4000 or less, including the Rega rp8 (I liked it better than the rp10 as well, though it was $5000), the Well Tempered (Amadeus, I think), and a comparably priced VPI table (I’m afraid I
    Can’t remember which one). I owned the P9 years ago, and tried, TRIED to love it, but never did.

    ALL these tables were good. None sounded bad. NONE “blew away” any of the others. At this level, I believe you should be skeptical of notions that one table “blows away” another at this order of magnitude of price. To my ears, though, the LP12 simply brought a better balance of virtues for me than these others.

    Since then i have upgraded to the Lingo 3 power supply and the Kore Subchassis, as well as fitting the Ittok LV2. So, mine has about $7000 in it now (not including the cartridge). It is slated for the new Lingo 4 soon. People love to hate on the LP12 more than ANY other table. Fine by me. But it hasn’t survived 40 years on in this crowded marketplace, be able to command $25,000 in its most luxurious configuration and spur the sprouting up of SO MANY 3rd party “upgrade” companies if it were the dog’s breakfast.

    Judd
     
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  7. TarnishedEars

    TarnishedEars Forum Resident

    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    FWIW: I need to recant my earlier conclusions inside of this thread. The entire when time I was comparing the 1210GR with my ancient Linn, I was using a Sota reflex clamp on the Technics because I had assumed that this would help the Technics perform at its very best. But I was mistaken. For whatever reason, this particular record clamp somehow sucked the life out of the music on this this table, and removing it restored the life. Although I found that the sounds lost a little focus in the process, which I was less happy about.

    Eventually I decided to try an old ADC record clamp which I had sitting in a drawer which I purchased back in the early 80s just out of curiosity to see if it made any difference. And surprisingly it made all the difference in the world.

    Now while running my 1210GR with a felt matt combined with this record clamp, the results in some regards now exceed that of my prehistoric Linn, while roughly equaling it in most other regards. At this point, I'm thoroughly enjoying this table. and I do not find that it is lacking either in resolution or in the retrieval of ambient information.
     
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  8. plimpington2

    plimpington2 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Cleveland
    I’ve heard it, but only at my dealer and in the context of a full month LP12 into a system with which i was unfamiliar. It sounded great - but i had no context within which to judge it.

    That said, I want one. It looks the business. After I get the new Lingo fitted, that will be my next (and final) piece of the puzzle.

    Judd
     
  9. plimpington2

    plimpington2 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Cleveland
    Btw, I run my LP12 with a $200 ortofon MM cartridge at the moment. I have NEVER been more convinced of the primacy of the table/PSU/arm over the cartridge in my life. Take from this what you will, but a well sorted LP12 almost (. . . almost) renders the cartridge a triviality.

    Judd
     
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  10. chacha

    chacha Forum Resident

    Location:
    mill valley CA USA
    I want to hear the Lingo 4 as well. I have a later Lingo 2.
     
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  11. McLover

    McLover Forum Resident

    Location:
    East TN
    My multiple physically challenged body (I have Cerebral Palsy (mixed type, mostly Athetoid, a major startle reflex) and Spina Bifida. My muscles do not have an off switch. They're firing always, my hip (left) barely stays in socket. My existence is painful if not uncomfortable. I try to let none of this get in my way in broadcast engineering, life, and in adaptive sports (in recent weeks, I've pedalled 6 miles on borrowed recumbent bikes and handcycles, golfed, kayaked, and climbed rock gym walls in a Wellman Harness (designed by Mark Wellman, a paraplegic forest ranger for those who can not use feet or legs to climb). This is my routine. I expect you who are challenged and frustrated to do this before you gripe. I am challenged, nearly 55 years old. Mother believed in this preemie from the day he survived and came home. I am uncomfortable, if not in pain (and keep pain meds to the barest minimum). If I want to achieve it, I do it, muscles, joints, or body be darned (I refuse any less, I AM ADAPTIVE, I overcome, I BOUNCE BACK). I find a way to make it work, physically or audio repair related. If you're near Knoxville, or Chattanooga, TN. I would love you to start a conversation, visit, and get to know me. It's a good thing. I like good people, relationships (which matter) and those who like great sound, and those like minded. Once I know you, you're not forgotten.
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2018
  12. Randoms

    Randoms Aerie Faerie Nonsense

    Location:
    UK
    Set it up properly then!! Unless they are thrown around, and still has a grommet from the one bad batch (from around 1993!), an undamaged, correctly set up LP12 doesn't go out of tune.
     
  13. McLover

    McLover Forum Resident

    Location:
    East TN
    I owned one! Once set up properly (and if anyone could make it fail, it would be me). It stayed stable and reliable. It made music, and well. Didn't meet my daily needs. But was reliable and did what it did well. I can recommend it to most audiophiles, without reservations (near a Linn Dealer or someone who understands and can get the suspension dialed in and right). The LP 12 was musical, performed well and accurately). I won't put it down or diss it. Even though the Technics meets my needs the best.
     
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  14. darkmatter

    darkmatter Gort Astronomer Staff

    Yes owned both the EkosII and the Naim ARO both didn't really gell for me either. I am running and original RB300 on mine atm, but have a Mission 774SM to play around with too. The Mission was made by the same firm that made the heavyweight Zeta.
     
  15. JoeSmo

    JoeSmo SL1200 lover....

    Location:
    Maidstone
    ......My biggest bone of contention with the LP12 is that you need a local setup expert and very few Linn appointed ones are any good at that; there’s only 3 or 4 in UK of any repute!
    At a price point that exceeds the Technics, this is a strange state of affairs. I’ve even heard of Linn customers getting brand new LP12’s incorrectly set up....
     
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  16. darkmatter

    darkmatter Gort Astronomer Staff

    Close to me are Basically Sound (Graham) in Norfolk, a bit further afield Cymbiosis in Leicestershire, but that's a fair hike.
     
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  17. plimpington2

    plimpington2 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Cleveland
    I can’t argue with this - this IS a legit issue for the LP12. My closest dealer dealer who can set one up is a 3 hour drive each way.

    Judd
     
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  18. Newton John

    Newton John Going for the one

    Location:
    Tynedale, UK
    Have you got access to the results of a survey of customer satisfaction with Linn dealers across the UK or some other reliable evidence which may substantiate that statement?
     
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  19. Randoms

    Randoms Aerie Faerie Nonsense

    Location:
    UK
    I'm a bit out of touch with Linn dealers and haven't seen a current list, but there are several dealers I can think of without trying too hard that do an excellent job. Of course it is perfectly possible that a dealer has done a less than ideal job.

    Out of interest, do all Technics dealers fit cartridges for customers?
     
  20. Gibsonian

    Gibsonian Forum Resident

    Location:
    Iowa, USA
    Ok then. If i ever get down your way I'll take you up on that offer!

     
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  21. Randoms

    Randoms Aerie Faerie Nonsense

    Location:
    UK
    My first LP12 was Afromosia which I bought with the magazine's favourites, a Rega RB300 and AT 31E (both the arm and cartridge were against the dealer's advice). This was a big upgrade from my previous Rega Planar 3.

    A few months later, I started working in the shop and borrowed a LP12 fitted with Basik Plus and K9 - I was mortified that this was better than my RB300 / AT31E. I bit the bullet and chopped in the complete turntable for a black plinth LP12, the fairly rare black Ittok LVII (there was a price premium for black) and Linn K9 cartridge - the improvement was very worthwhile.

    However good the Rega RB300 is, and it is a great arm, for whatever reason, it isn't the best solution on a LP12.

    Many years later, two brothers who both owned a LP12 / Ittok auditioned arms, one bought the Naim Aro and the other the Ekos!

    The shop Ekos sounded much better than the Ittok LVII, after the Ekos was returned to Linn and the bearings replaced.

    The first version of the Linn Ittok LVIII was introduced (you can see it doesn't have the little screws in comparison to the LVII) and was noticeably better than the LVII.

    One day, the next Ittok LVIII arrived at the shop with the Ekos type headshell - shorter and with side bracing (the LVIII Mk 2). Apart from looking stunning, this sounded better again than the LVIII, and very, very close to the (repaired) original Ekos. If the Ekos had not been repaired, and hence performing not as expected, it would not have bettered any of those last three Ittok (there was also earlier thin pillar version, which was less good again).

    Performing as it should perform, on numerous demonstrations the only Ittok that the Ekos didn't outperform, was the LVIII Mk 2. If anyone bought this version of the Ittok, price / performance, they got a bargain! I was saving to buy one, but unfortunately it was discontinued before I could.

    Before I could afford an Ekos, it had been upgraded to Ekos 2 specification, which was a big improvement over the original Ekos, and more importantly didn't have the bearing problems which afflicted some original Ekos, though from memory the first batches were all good.

    @chacha the Ekos SE is a big improvement over the Ekos and Ekos 2 - as it should be.

    @plimpington2 I heard a Lingo 4 recently, I believe you may be very impressed! I couldn't agree more about your comments about the cartridge. The shop used to demo a LP12 with an AT95E in an Ekos with an original Lingo against a LP12 with Valhalla Ekos and Troika. Not one person preferred the more expensive Troika combination and couldn't believe how good a sub £20 cartridge could sound, through a full range active system when given the chance to shine.

    Most of these opinions go back to daily demonstrations, installations, my own use from 25-30 years ago, and results were easily repeatable and consistent from person to person. Your mileage may vary!

    Being so long ago, I hopefully have recalled everything accurately: it is a real shame that there are fewer dealers, or in some areas none, as all of the opinions above were commonly held, the results of listening and people wanting a better music playing system.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2018
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  22. chacha

    chacha Forum Resident

    Location:
    mill valley CA USA
    Curious if you can describe the difference you heard from the Lingo 4. I currently have a later Lingo 2.
     
  23. Randoms

    Randoms Aerie Faerie Nonsense

    Location:
    UK
    More tuneful, seems more detailed and dynamic, surface noise less intrusive. All the aspects that the Lingo gave over the Valhalla, but more so. Musicians sound like better musicians, singers more expressive singers: the music is even more involving.

    If you can, audition for yourself. If you don't want to buy one immediately, don't take a credit card!

    Older Lingos are always in big demand.
     
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  24. Gibsonian

    Gibsonian Forum Resident

    Location:
    Iowa, USA
    Does anyone at all at SH know how to "setup" an LP 12? How difficult and mysterious can this be?
     
  25. Randoms

    Randoms Aerie Faerie Nonsense

    Location:
    UK
    Search for Setting up your LP12, Peter Swain, there are three parts and decide for yourself. Some of the Linn tools make life easier and arm collar alignment better.

    Nothing difficult, no black magic and Peter with his 30 plus years of experience explains it brilliantly.

    I'm not sure I'd want to set one up without a jig.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2018

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