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[#85] Linn LP12 Fans    
Dear all,

I think my comment on avoiding oldies turntable also applies to other made. That is to stay away from vintage turntable as general rule.

There are few exceptional goodies in the second hand market but they are almost as rare as chicken teeth.

If you were newbies in turntable and really fond of finding one in the second hand market, please ask someone who is experienced enough to perform the checking for you. Otherwise, I would suggest buying a NEW Rega or Clearaudio unit at lower cost to warrant your investment.

dkyyu
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210.xxx.xxx.23
2007-08-07 18:56
[#86] Linn LP12 Fans    
Dennis, yes, it is about time to call for your expertise to fine tune my latest edition of 2nd hand LP12 which has the Cirkus bearing upgrade, old version Lingo PSU, and the EKOS I (upgraded to II spec) tonearm. How about next week day when you can spare the time.

I agree that buying a brand new LP12 system will set the mind at ease once and for all but then it may not be easy with the bank account (and the wife factor) for most of the hifi fans if I may dare say, plus the fact you still need lots of reserve to search for the software. I however am having lots of fun playing with the 2nd hand market. After all, the LP12 is only mechanical pieces so it is repairable in most case provided you don't get a real piece of shXt to start with. Even then, the motor, the Cirkus bearing, and even the plinth are replacable by new parts. And of course, we can subsitute the old Vanhalla PSU with the excellent Hercules PSU. I was lucky to get hold of 2 excellent 2nd hand pieces from the UK, one set is now playing happily to the delight of my friend and one set is now serving me.

For a very basic 2nd hand LP12 with early version Ittok II arm (there are 2 early versions distinguishable by their counter weight), the price should be around $15K to $18K and if the LP 12 comes with the Cirkus bearing upgrade, you will need to pay around $5K more. An old version Lingo PSU will fetch you around $8K to $10K. The Ekos I tonearm is around $12K whereas the II version will cost 5K to 6K more. The Ittok III is almost as good as the Ekos I but it is even more difficult to get than the Ekos I so the price is not cheap if you can find one.

Buying from ebay is the most popular access and there are quite a few good UK sellers (who are actually 2nd hand hifi dealers) who give honest description of the condition of the LP 12 they were selling. Check them out and get in touch for further details and more photos and decide youself if the deal is good to you or not. These gentlemen are usually very good to communicate with.

Dennis is right that even a good condition 2nd hand LP12 may sound better than a lot of the exqusite and expensive counterparts.

tkchan
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202.xxx.xxx.205
2007-08-08 00:54
[#87] Linn LP12 Fans    
LP12 is so popular is mainly because its large and healthy 2nd hand market, and some UK users insist the old ones, with valhalla and pre cirkus bearing, sounds the best/producesthe most original linn sound(may be not very accurate). If you are a real Linn die hard fan, as suggested, you have to buy the oldest LP12 to taste the real/original sound. Provided that the LP12, even at high mileage, in good working order.

rover901
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202.xxx.xxx.52
2007-08-08 09:15
[#88] Linn LP12 Fans    
The Legend. I agree it looks much better and sounds much better than many of those fucking cyber looking turntables. Even the world best CDP still can't beat it.

pete7013
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202.xxx.xxx.45
2007-08-08 09:43
[#89] Linn LP12 Fans    
I've found this from a former user of LP12 who has now switched to TT2. It's quite interesting to read:

Audio Note TT2 VS Linn LP12/Lingo

This review began at the stereo shop where the TT2 was the conduit for some arrestingly dynamic, detailed and musical sounds. It was paired with an Audio Note Soro amp and Audio Note speakers and I was truly intrigued. The AN TT2 seemed to be doing some things my Linn/Lingo only hinted at-could this be so? And at about 40% less than the Linn's price?

What follows are notes from two consecutive weekend demos in my own system of Audio Note's honest overachiever of a turntable-the AN TT2-as compared with my Linn LP12/Lingo. It should be noted that I am not a professional reviewer or industry worker, I just enjoy inspiring sound and music.

The Turntables Up Close
The AN TT2 is a three point suspended belt driven design-like the Linn-but uses an acrylic platter and two motors for increased dynamic torque. It is Systemdeck IIX derived but the bearing is also modified by Audio Note. The power supply is internal-not outboard- and the arm installed was Audio Note's Arm 2. This tonearm is an Audio Note rewired Rega RB300 but our local turntable guru Lou Reda has added a few mods to this arm as well. Specifically, Lou uses a teflon counterweight with bronze weights as well as a teflon sleeve on the end of the arm. Additionally, Lou has added an acrylic armboard to the 'table and says that this also improves the sound.

For the record, Peter Quotrop-Audio Note's chief-has assessed both mods and likes the arm counterweight but has some misgivings about the acrylic armboard. To be clear, the TT2 I listened to had both mods and I had not auditioned one with stock arm/armboard.
My Linn LP12 is just over 1 1/2years old and of course has the now stock circus bearing. It also has the outboard Lingo power supply in its new full sized case-said to be improved over the previous Lingo, as well as the Trampolin feet and the now in-house fabricated Akito tone arm (said to be in the previous Ittok range).

Other System Particulars
The cartridges on both 'tables were the Audio Note IQ2 moving magnet cartridges and both turntables were sited on my Sound Org table which was individually levelled for each turntable. The turntables were partnered with my Audio Note OTO SE Phono amp and my Linn Index Plus speakers and speaker wire was single run Linn wire. My speakers are on Linn Sara stands and the amp sits on hardwood floor. (Not having a high quality purpose built equipment stand I find the average wooden furniture stand makes the sound a bit less dynamic for the Linn than simply placing the amp on the floor. Since the Linn benefits better from having the amp thus this is how tests for both turntables were done. In an interesting final check I found the AN TT2 sound signature less affected when the amp was on the wooden stand, perhaps because its sound is so inherently dynamic to start off with. Speaking of stands, I found that the TT2 benefits considerably sonically just like the Linn in having its plinth leveled on the Sound Org table. Peter Q. has also confirmed that like any spring suspended design, greater stress on individual springs occurs when the TT2 turntable is not level.)

Musical Comparisons
First up was Steely Dan's "Aja", the title cut that is a workout for any system and for me still a fascinating complex musical ode to bohemian existentialism. In detail retrieval the AN TT2 is on par with the Linn/Lingo, with a smidge less in one passage offset by a smidge more in the next. But differently, the TT2 sounds faster, has more localized images of instrumental lines, greater dynamics and unravels musical layers with a notch or two more transparency. One aspect that also started to dawn on me here was the AN TT2's strength in reproducing more varied instrumental timbres. Electric guitars were higher and more wiry sounding, Wayne Shorter's sax solos more resonant and piano lines had more prescence. Bass was also more solid but extremely articulate. In all, "Aja" sounded more honest, real and atmospheric than with my Linn/Lingo. An example of that atmospheric quality would be the way the layers of synth notes trail off in fixed acoustic space over the repeated guitar chords at the end. Spooky.

The second comparison was Lenny Breau's live performance of "Bluesette". Here again the bass had a more integrated lower bass quality but in no way did it make the bass bloated or concealing of pitch or slow. It just sounded right. Lenny's guitar of course is the real star here, showing off its refinement, quick melodic twists, subtle echoes and airy, electric but resonant tone. In contrast, though it resolved all the melodic notes extremely well, the Linn/Lingo didn't get to the nuances of Lenny's inspiring and delicate guitar work here-it couldn't reach that last level of refinement.

The third cut was something from mainstream rock, Don Henley's "The End of The Innocence". It's actually quite a sophisticated rock song recording and the AN TT2 here reaches back to the last musical layer to transparently reveal guitar lines that are the eerie steely backdrop to the song's lament. The Linn/Lingo doesn't get the whole layer of notes here- only snatches-and so misses out on atmosphere. Surprisingly, Henley's voice is also larger in size as is the bass though both lyrics and bass are well resolved and the voice expressive. Finally, Bruce Hornsby's piano is more weighty than on the Linn and propels the song with greater power. The song just has bigger scale here. My notes say "more emotive". (It is interesting to note that the soundstage here was much larger than on the previous Breau track whereas on the Linn both recordings had about the same sonic size. The AN TT2 is perhaps showing a greater fidelity to the recording characteristics).

My fourth sampling was jazz again as I continued the search to test the TT2's ability to portray emotional power. I thought I'd try "Somethin' Else" and see how Miles Davis and Cannonball Adderley were remembered on the TT2.
Suffice it to say that Adderley's first solo takes off and flies with an intricacy in tone and melodic structure that leaves you breathless. It's delicate, dynamic, punchy and gyrating all at the same time. With the Linn the virtuosity of the performance just isn't there. The notes are but not the soul and dynamic range. On the same track the TT2 also highlights Miles with more energy, showing off the hip swagger of his playing that goes from cruisin' to bruisin' at a moments notice. The TT2 also renders the differences in tone between Davis and Adderley more clearly. I could more easily follow when each player calls and answers the other.

My fifth example is a Miles Davis collaboration again and it illustrates some of the best abilities the Audio Note TT2 has to offer. The cut is "Someday My Prince Will Come", and it's an easy song to sentimentalize given the Disney overtones. And through the Linn/Lingo this song has been good-all the melodic structures resolved-but its nowhere near as involving and comlex as with the TT2. Why? Dynamics and resolution of instrumental timbre again. Not to say that the TT2 doesn't get the notes down, it does. But more than that, Miles' opening trumpet solo literally pushes out the speaker in his insistent yet moody and sullen delivery, and is almost piercing in its lament. It just grabs you. Miles just doesn't have anywhere near the insistence with the Linn/Lingo. And then sax player Hank Mobley comes in calmly, velvety with a round resonant tone, as round as Miles is piercing, and plays a loevly counterpoint. And then, what really floored me-because it was the first time I recognized this in the song-John Coltrane steps up and delivers a completely different sax solo-darker, more angular, urgent and shifting. So what I am getting to is that with the differences in instrumental timbres so faithfully rendered with the AN TT2 this is the first time it was obvious that there were two different sax players playing with Miles on the same cut. Finally, not to leave out the bass and piano work-which is also great- the last passage builds an effective tension with the two increasing their loudness together before the fadeout. It's a dynamic tension that fixes your attention completely. With the Linn it's diluted.

One question I'm certain audiophiles will ask about is noise-specifically surface noise and how quiet the AN TT2 is. Well, I paid close attention to this and have to say that the TT2 is one of the quietest 'tables I've auditioned, pretty much on par with the Linn/Lingo.

Summary, Ramblings and Conclusion
Its pretty obvious that Audio Note has an incredible performer in the TT2, and both Peter Q.'s team and local Lou Reda are to be congratulated for some inspiring work. I'm not into 'dissing' Linn's LP12 as it so faithful to the music-and many turntables don't get that important foundation right. But the AN TT2 also gets a wealth of subtleties involving transparent layers, dynamic contrasts, varying timbres, soundstages and recordings that the Linn doesn't quite approach-at least that's my sense. And without an outboard power supply! And at such an affordable price!

Some people reading this review might wonder about synergy and its role here. Would it have made more sense to compare my Linn to the TT2 if it had a Linn moving magnet cartridge? Perhaps, though Audio Note and Linn mm cartridges are made in the same Goldring factory so there should be some family resemblances there. Also, some might wonder about the synergy of the TT2 with my tube amp-also Audio Note. Undoubtedly there is some synergy here but I would not hesitate to suggest trying the TT2 with other amps. Its a fallacy to think that all tube amps are rolled off on the top end-modern tube amps like my OTO SE reach pretty high in the treble range. I can finally hear readers asking, "So is the AN TT2 as warm sounding as the Linn or is it brighter and colder?" Well, through my system it was only sometimes brighter but not irritatingly so. And some recordings were actually warmer or darker sounding on the TT2, believe it or not, than on the Linn/Lingo. To summarize, I'd say that the TT2 had a greater range of tonal colors than the Linn/Lingo, but they were never harsh.

So there it is. I hope I've covered enough ground to inteest the reader in tis turntable. At about 40% less than the asking price than my Linn/Lingo/Trampolin/Akito the Audio Note TT2/Arm 2 extracts a stunning amount of information. It is easily on par with the Linn in the ability to resolve melodic detail and greatly supercedes it in the recovery of detail that involves the playback of transaprent musical layers, a wide range of dynamics, a wide range of instrumental timbres and even recording characteristics.

As a last note, if you purchase this 'entry level reference' over-achieving turntable there is a good chance that at some point down the road there will be an outboard power supply available for it. Peter Q. has indicated a willingness to do so, however he is swamped with other projects for the immediate future. The upgrade when it comes would of course take the 'table to another level though as I hope I've made clear, the AN TT2 is pretty amazing just the way it is!

pete7013
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202.xxx.xxx.45
2007-08-08 10:02
[#90] Linn LP12 Fans    
I like that cherry plinth, I wish to change my black ash to this or maple....still struggling

since I am using a very heavy rack, I am very interested in trampolin 2, anyone actually try this??
rover901
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202.xxx.xxx.46
2007-08-08 10:51
[#91] Linn LP12 Fans    
I still prefer to bottomeless LP12 like this.

A picture showing my bottomless LP12 with EKOS

dkyyu
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210.xxx.xxx.23
2007-08-08 11:37
[#92] Linn LP12 Fans    
Retry

dkyyu
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210.xxx.xxx.23
2007-08-08 11:39
[#93] Linn LP12 Fans    
Thanks pete7013 for the interesting article on the comparison between the LP12 and the AN TT2. I think someone will be quick to point out that the Akito arm is no match for the Ekos or even the older Ittok. May be the little bit of misgiving suggested by author of that article will be more than made up if the Akito is switched. The cartridge no doubt is the most vital front line of the sound system as it is the dynamo where the musical notes are generated. Even the same cartridge will sound differently on 2 different arms as one may utilise the potential of the cartridge better than the other. But then, of course, if on the basis of music value for money, the author has his point.

rover901, I love the cherry plinth as well. It is beautiful. Does the Hong Kong agent have the LP12 set up with the trampolin2 for audition? I like to know as well.
tkchan
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218.xxx.xxx.13
2007-08-08 11:40
[#94] Linn LP12 Fans    
Another angle of my LP12

dkyyu
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210.xxx.xxx.23
2007-08-08 11:40
[#95] Linn LP12 Fans    
I still love the classical look of LP12. Mine was the last lot rolled out in year 2004.
dkyyu
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210.xxx.xxx.23
2007-08-08 11:41
[#96] Linn LP12 Fans    
Dennis, thanks for showing your "bottomless" LP12. Mine too ;-). And mine now looks almost identical like yours except for the money and except for the cartridge which is blue on mine, ha ha with 2 golden nuts vs your 3 silver ones.

I still think Pete's cherry plinth looks more beautiful and modern.



tkchan
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218.xxx.xxx.13
2007-08-08 11:49
[#97] Linn LP12 Fans    
I still own a 90s Systemdek IIX fitted with a RB250 arm and a cheap high output Benz Micro MC. New belt and new oil

My experience with the Systemdek is that it sounds pretty well but its performance nowhere near to one of my previous aged LP12 (serial number 26???, of course, new belt, new springs and motor) + black Ittok + cheap BM MC cartridge. Eventually I gave it to my brother for fun.

I wrote Peter Q for the spare drive belt and he praised highly to his decks. I didn't hear the Audionote's modified ones yet but most British turntable has its own musicality and charisma where no other US or German made can match with.

Should budget permit, please try the latest LP12 and its MC cartridge. It sounds much much more accurate than the old ones.
dkyyu
個人訊息 正式會員
210.xxx.xxx.23
2007-08-08 11:50
[#98] Linn LP12 Fans    
TK,

How about next Thursday noon, that is 16/8. Service will take about 1 hour.

See whether you can join me, Edmund and CH Lee on this Friday. Call me when you return.
Dennis
dkyyu
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210.xxx.xxx.23
2007-08-08 11:53
[#99] Linn LP12 Fans    
hihi,

just passing by!!

i have a systemdek IIXE with new belt... but it runs slow and vibrates badly... is there anything i should do for the new belt? the oil is really old (since day 1) and should i change the oil? where to buy such oil? any suggestions? thanks...

btw. to own a lp12 is one of my ultimate tt goal!
aliu
個人訊息 正式會員
203.xxx.xxx.155
2007-08-08 11:56
[#100] Linn LP12 Fans    
Dennis, both appointments should be ok. I may have to take a look at a new Samsung PC monitor with my friend on Friday but the timing can be fixed to suit. Will call you back then.
tkchan
個人訊息 正式會員
218.xxx.xxx.13
2007-08-08 11:59
[#101] Linn LP12 Fans    
For Systemdek, Audionote's boss Peter Q advised me to use Singer sewing machine oil where you can get hold of one big bottle for 30 dollars.

Be warned, use original Linn black oil for LP12!!!!!

About vibration, I suspect it's time to check your Systemdek's motor.
dkyyu
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210.xxx.xxx.23
2007-08-08 12:07
[#102] Linn LP12 Fans    
aliu,

Life is short and we only live once. Get the best you could afford for yourself.

Have fun and enjoy.
dkyyu
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210.xxx.xxx.23
2007-08-08 12:11
[#103] Linn LP12 Fans    
Rover901,

With its bottom removed, the LP12 sounds excellent on light weight stand such as 2-tier target or sound organization.

I guess the trampolin is badly needed if on heavier rack.
dkyyu
個人訊息 正式會員
210.xxx.xxx.23
2007-08-08 12:16
[#104] Linn LP12 Fans    
dear dennis, I agree.

do you know the price of trampolin 2 and changing plinth in HK?
rover901
個人訊息 正式會員
202.xxx.xxx.52
2007-08-08 12:23
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