system based on linn sondek lp12, need help

aidan

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May 27, 2008
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this is my first post on anything like this. i own an lp12 turntable, a nad 3020, and slightly damaged b&o speakers (cheap)

i think the amp and speakers are letting the turntable down a lot. i have heard to beat the performance of the linn i would have to spend a lot of money. after an audition i was thinking of buying a rega brio 3 and rega stand mount speakers. my room is extremely small and i like their laidback sound.

would these components do the linn justice or am i over estimating the linn? any help would be appreciated. alternatives at the same price point would be appreciated to.

also linn turntable seems to be slightly bent while playing, i think this is the rubber mat rather than the base, but it is very noticeable. was wondering if it was economic to get this fixed?

thanks a lot for any help received
 

Miker

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Jul 26, 2007
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I'm not sufficiently qualified to comment on amps or speakers. I have a circa 1978 LP12 and when I had my LP12 modified, the engineer threw in a new soft cloth mat to replace the old warped rubber one.
 

fatboyslimfast

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Jan 10, 2008
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Hi, and welcome to the WHFSV forums!

The LP12 is a fine turntable, and would certainly benefit from a better amp and speakers, although I would probably suggest a slightly cheaper amp (as £200 can buy you a great amp such as the Marantz 6002) and better speakers.

Which speakers you go for may also depend on what arm / cartridge you have on your LP12. If the cartridge is a few years old, then £60 on an Ortofon 2m red may also make a marked improvement...

What arm/cartridge are you currently running?
 

aidan

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May 27, 2008
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sme arm with a b&o cartridge... not sure of exact models, cartridge was about $300 aus, so about... 100 pounds i think. maybe a little more.

reason i was thinking of rega amp and speakers was because i really like they relaxed sound they produce, and the speakers need to be placed very close to a wall, and they do not have a rear port...

also thinking of eventually adding a rega apollo cd player. think these would work well together.

better speakers is ok but my budget isnt huge, and i want the amp so i can upgrade it all later when i have more room (i live with parents currently). thanks for the help, other improvements i intend to make eventually (after cd player) are a better arm and cartridge combo for my lp12. it is a very old model but sounds superb as is, however, i would love to tweak it and make it better

more advice is welcome, thanks
 

up the music

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Mar 13, 2008
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I never knew the LP12 ever had a rubber mat. Interesting. Well it sounds like that has to go. You must have an elderly model. I'd guess it may well need a new cartridge and perhaps an oil change and new belt. It sounds like you can't stretch to the expense of a full service even if you have a Linn dealer in your vicinity. Some care is needed in setup too. You report a good sound so you might not be too far off on setup. When you've upgraded the amp and speakers to something more revealing do give the LP12 another tweak. It could reap dividends.

I can't offer any suggestions on new amp and speakers as I'm somewhat out of he loop on new kit. Linn/Naim was always a classic and potent combination though. I suspect this is the sort of laid back sound you could be after, all the music is there, natural and unforced, it just doesn't shout at you like 'impressive' sounding kit can. Maybe check out 2nd Naim amps.

New cartridge and oil are on the cards for my 1989 LP12 when I find the space to get it out of storage.
 

up the music

New member
Mar 13, 2008
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LOL, don't let that experience put you off the LP12/Naim amp combo though it's a classic for a reason. Big speaker, small room, loud volume, Wagner and mad Scot. That is a bad combination. I've heard Isobariks twice, once in a big room and once in a gargantuan conference room. The bass never really did work for me. I've heard a few old KEFs which I think use the same bass units and they sounded slow and lumpy in the bass end too. Anyway back to the man's upgrade. I don't think he's 2 grand to spare. You're probably right to suggest keeping the amp until the speakers are replaced (he did say the speakers were slightly broken didn't he?) In my day you'd get a pair of Heybrook HB1's with that and you'd be smiling. I don't know the new fangled stuff though.
 

aidan

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May 27, 2008
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thanks very much everybody, i have the same problem as my room is very small. money is only slightly a consideration really... i have just decided to take a "gap year" from university, so i am working basically full time and have no other payments to worry about, so i am happy to save for a bit longer to achieve a fuller sound.

shopping list at this stage... rega speakers (i know theyre not the "best" in class but i love their sound, which is what counts, particularly as i think they'd suit my room...), rega brio3 (also love the sound, and apparently they have a good phone stage built in), full service for the linn, rega apollo, then possibly new arm/cartridge, but i dont have an apportunity to audition much equipment without a lot of travelling and bother. naim sounds really apppealing, but i have no way of trying it before buying it, which is something i like doing

is there anything significantly better than the gear ive listed worth saving for with a similar (though hopefully better) sound?

and yes the linn is.... for lack of a better word rather ancient, i dont want to replace it because it sounds amazing with good kit, so i want to maximise what i have, and only get new stuff when completely necessary.

thanks everyone for the help, and the speedy replies, last question i promise
 

aidan

New member
May 27, 2008
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decided to go with b&w 705 speakers after demoing them with a rega brio 3, and apollo cd player. taking my record player in tomorrow for a service.

i am not buying the brio 3 anymore but the mira 3, think this will do the b&w speakers a lot more justice. also allows for future upgrades more easily as it has a preout.

so as it stands the shopping list goes. service for record player tomorrow, then in 6 weeks b&w 705s, after that the mira amp, probably 11 weeks after the speakers, the the apollo cd player.

these should complement each other well shouldnt they? hope they sound as good as i expect them to
 

aidan

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May 27, 2008
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i have demoed all the rega speakers, but interestingly considering what i have read, i found the b&w 705s to be a warmer sound. i also dont have the room to put floorstanders.

point taken about the demo of the mira, i am making a trip to a bigger city soon so will hopefully be able to demo one up there, then get my local store to order it when i have the money.

the amp is a few months away yet now anyway, i didnt expect to be spending this much. i hope i like the mira sound better as it allows for an easy upgrade in the future, biamping with a maia power amp.

i hope the b&w 705s sound ok with what i have currently for the time being while i save for the mira (if i like it)

my room is small, this is my only concern about the 705s, but i noticed they are front ported and i made sure to demo them close to a wall, and they still sounded very warm without being overblown bass wise.

very clear sounding speakers as well, particularly with the rega combination.

i also just noticed another interesting option comparitively priced, the rotel rc1070, and rb1070. will audition these next time i am at the store with the b&w705s to see how they sound.
 

aidan

New member
May 27, 2008
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just out of curiousity what does the what hifi team think of the new rega range? brio, mira, maia, exon, apollo....
 

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