Linn Sondek LP12

admin_exported

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Aug 10, 2019
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I listen mostly to vinyl and am considering buying an LP12. What do members think of the Majik LP12? I would prefer a 'proper' LP12, but these are quite expensive,even in basic mode. Is the step up from Majik worth it?

I have seen numerous LP12s for sale on a well known auction site, but most of these seem from the 1970s or 1980s. What is the minimum specification forum members would recommend and what should I be able to get if I spend up to £1,000. Do forum members know whether Linn dealers will sell second hand decks at this sort of price.

How much would it cost to bring an older LP12 up to current specification?

Current system - Rega P3, Project Phonobox USB, Arcam Alpha 1 amp, Arcam Alpha 5 CD, Cellestion DL6 speakers.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
I bought a Majik LP12 in 2008, and was very pleased with it. However, when you buy a Linn turntable, there is always a great new upgrade to tempt you to spend more cash.

The Majik LP12 had three disadvantages - my wife thought the carbon fibre Project 9CC arm looked like it was made from a Citroen Saxo dashboard (so we spent another £800 on a Linn Akito), it doesn't come with a lid (£150), and most seriously, to play 45s you had to remove the outer turntable platter, remove the drivebelt, attach a metal pulley over the top of the motor, put on a different drivebelt, and put the turntable back on. You can avoid this by investing in a Lingo 3 (£1500) or a Radikal (£2500).

When Linn launched the Radikal in 2009, they had some sort of summer promotion on where you could upgrade the LP12 at a discounted price, so I've now got all the upgrades available, as well as a very empty bank account. The sound quality is now superb - it combines the best elements of both analogue (e.g. warmth, rhythm etc) and digital sound (quiet background, wide dynamic range).

With regard to what you get for your money secondhand, I've just bought an old LP12 for my office from a Linn dealer in Hampshire - it was less than £1000 and is of a better spec than the Majik LP12. With Linn's policy of flogging upgrades to their existing customers, dealers will end up having a lot of bits traded in, so a they should be able to build you a secondhand deck for not too much money (relatively speaking).

The cost to bring an older LP12 to current specification depends on how old the LP12 in question is. In 1991, a new turntable bearing was introduced as standard - the Cirkus. To fit this to an older turntable costs around £400 I think. An older LP12's arm might not be as good as the Project 9cc that comes with the Majik, and you might need a new cartridge too.

There are some hi-fi enthusiasts who think all the upgrades have ruined the LP12. The secondhand LP12 at my office has a coloured sound, which was very pleasant to listen to. The newer ones are more neutral, more detailed, and sound closer to real music in my opinion, but not everybody considers that a good thing.
 

nopiano

Well-known member
Troy62:
Have a look at these.

http://www.inspirehifi.co.uk/inspirehifi/vivid.html

Oddly, I came across these recently, when doing much as the OP was, namely looking on ebay for LP12s. Not sure why I was, as I have an old one in the attic, from about 1986. But would love to resurrect it!

The Vivid looks very nice, but they are strangely silent on their website about the bits that matter, like springs, bearings, set-up, etc.

Has anyone here heard one?
 
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Anonymous

Guest
I have an inspire lp12 and couldnt recommend it highly enough. Did a side by side comparison with £1000 project and the difference was huge. It has a lovely chunky sound, all genres sound great on it. If you live anywhere near chesterfield then I am sure bob would do a demo at home for you. He came over to Manchester for me.
 

lindsayt

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Apr 8, 2011
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Buying a new Majik LP12 makes no sense to me from a point of view of sound quality per pound spent.

You could buy a 2nd hand LP12 with a much better arm, cartridge, power supply - resulting in better sound quality - for much less than the price of a Majik.

The LP12 sounds better than lots of turntables. But there are also plenty of turntables that sound better than the LP12.

I've got an LP12 with a Lingo, Ittok and Troika - making it rather better than a Majik LP12. However, it's the 3rd best sounding turntable that I own. My other 2 turntables were bought for less than the price of a Majik LP12.
 

bretty

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Jul 20, 2007
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Do you like Gyrodecs? Their looks aren't for everyone, but they sound brilliant. £1000 would get you a great s/h Gyro SE with an arm. I haven't had a LP12, but i've been hearing that they're a bit high maintenance. The Gyro is the opposite of high maintenance. Just a thought
 

lindsayt

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Apr 8, 2011
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I'd rather pay a bit more and go for a 2nd hand Orbe instead of a Gyro. Might as well go to the top of the range. Similarly I'd rather go for a 2nd hand Nottingham Dais instead of a Hyperspace.

But then for my taste in music, which is mostly Rock and Pop, I prefer a good idler or direct drive to most belt drive turntables. It's about the crispness of the bass and percussive transients that the idlers and direct drives do well.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
I'll ask the obvious question, lindsayt. What are these two turntables that sound better than the Sondek?
 

bretty

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Jul 20, 2007
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lindsayt said:
I'd rather pay a bit more and go for a 2nd hand Orbe instead of a Gyro. Might as well go to the top of the range. Similarly I'd rather go for a 2nd hand Nottingham Dais instead of a Hyperspace.

But then for my taste in music, which is mostly Rock and Pop, I prefer a good idler or direct drive to most belt drive turntables. It's about the crispness of the bass and percussive transients that the idlers and direct drives do well.
That's a fair point, but you'd have to spend over £1500 to get a S/H orbe with a decent arm. For me, the Orbe platter robs the deck of it's distinctive looks. I rather see those cool brass weights spinning under the platter of the Gyro.
 

CnoEvil

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Aug 21, 2009
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I had a LP12 (Ittok/Asak) in the early 80s, which then had the Valhalla upgrade. I loved it. It was rich and musical (a little too "mid-rangey" for some) and complemented Naim amps superbly.

The newer ones would be more neutral, with better control over platter speed, but they still need a fair bit of "love and care" to keep them singing right.
 

lindsayt

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Apr 8, 2011
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Grottyash said:
I'll ask the obvious question, lindsayt. What are these two turntables that sound better than the Sondek?
EMT 930st, bought for £1925 off UK eBay. This included the EMT 929 arm and built in EMT 155st phono amp.

EMT 950 E, bought off German eBay for £2250. I collected it during my summer camping holiday to Europe. This included the EMT arm, cartridge and MC phono amplification cards. It had recently been restored by Hans-Ludwig Dusch. I expect this to be good for many years maintenance-free usage - apart from getting the cartridge rebuilt by EMT every year or two.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Hi....Just bought an Lp12....holy mother ...Incredible deck .What an idiot i was not to buy one all those years ago.totally amazing sound even on my bog standard amp/speaker set up .A totally quailty bit of kit.No question...its awesome to be honest.

It does take a leap of faith for the uninitiated in terms of cash but when you do. I'm now hooked on getting myself kitted out with an amp and speakers to compliment it!

I was also looking at the inspire upgrade at Chesterfield and was wondering 2 things.Although i think i know the answer already.

1/ Can the sound be that much better for 740 large ?

2/ When you actually upgrade at what point does it NOT be a genuine LP12 Linn Sondek?

Plinth change/arm etc...? Are the genuine ones returned on upgrade...

Anyone had this done and seriously is it worth it?

I myself have been impressed with Robs site and press reports at Chesterfield but i i wondered who has been through the process?

Regards

Rob
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Hi Daskeg.....

You have the inspire upgrade?

Been seriously thinking about this one. Is It really worth it?

And i posted a question earlier as to when does the genuine LP12 not become an LP12 .Too much upgrade additions etc?

And does the vivid upgrade package return the Sondek bits back as well?

Regards

Rob
 

mitch65

Well-known member
Dec 16, 2003
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Robbiewilliams said:
Hi Daskeg.....

You have the inspire upgrade?

Been seriously thinking about this one. Is It really worth it?

And i posted a question earlier as to when does the genuine LP12 not become an LP12 .Too much upgrade additions etc?

And does the vivid upgrade package return the Sondek bits back as well?

Regards

Rob
Good review in another current publication, (which I obviously Cannot name on pain of death :)) on the Inspire mods
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Hi Mitch....yeah i have a review from hi fi world on pdf sent by rob at inspire....but its always nice to know from customers what they think.
 

nopiano

Well-known member
So anyone here actually heard an Inspire-modded LP12?

Maybe too busy loving their LPs to look on the forum? Or maybe wary of de-Linning (is that a word) their precious TT?

What Linn updates would cost around £800 fitted?
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Plus the Gorbe sounds worse than the standard Gyro IMO, the Orbe is a different story though.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Sorry for massively delayed response, yes I own an inspire upgraded LP12

My position was a little unusual in that I didn't own an LP12 to begin with, Bob at inspire sourced one, charged me a nominal sum and then upgraded it (900 for deck and upgrades but prices have increased in last year). I was replacing a project debut and had £1000 to spend. Nothing brand new really appealed and this seemed like the best of both worlds, modern technology and looks brand new but much cheaper than brand new from linn.

It hasn't got that soft mid bass associated with the lp12, the sound is much tighter. Still a nice warm sound though. Heard it back to back with nearly new project that bob had traded in (forget exact model but it was about £1000 new). Both had ortofon 2m blue but difference was huge. Soundstage and depth to linn was enormous compared to project which sounded lifeless by comparison.

Great service as well, bob came over to Manchester for a home demo.
 

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