Gone Overboard With a Linn LP12 Akurate Purchase

Dear Forum Members, I think I became carried away with upgrade specials on a second hand LP12 which is now, for all intents and purposes a new Akurate with an OAD Phono Pre-Amp with a Lyra Delos MC Cartridge.

My current HIFI system contains the following components:

Naim CD5 XS CD player
Naim Nait XS2 Integrated Amplifier
Flatcap XS Power Supply

This system grew as money became available. I possibly should have jumped in the deep end to start with a Supernait 2 at the time. Though I was so impressed with XS 2 I did not see nor could validate the purchase a SN2 at the time.

After playing a Cat Stevens vinyl album I feel back in love with vinyl again from my teenage years and early twenty’s, I am now 57 approaching 58 quickly.

Any how the sales person I purchased the Naim equipment from told me about his preference for vinyl and how much he had spent on his HIFI setup, about $24k AUD. Well after informing me about his Linn LP12 and how it was the heart of his system, I had to have one too, at least I thought I did. Well $14k AUD later over 12 months I now own one and do not regret the purchase. I have yet to pick it up due to COVID-19 travel restrictions for the last six months. I am patient and it is not going anywhere.

Later on, one chat led to another and I enquired since the turntable was of a high specification what would be a suitable complementing amplifier system.

He recommended the NAC202 and NAP200DR. No problems another $10k AUD which I will probably spend when I sell my Harley in six years time. Well at least that is the plan for the moment. I suppose anything can happen Naim wise in six years. Though I am put off by the purchase of this pre-amplifier due to lack of RCA inputs.

I already own one novelty vertical turntable which I have mentioned in another post and would like to continue to run this through the Nait XS2 or its replacement. I also enjoy the class A headphone output to listen to music when my wife watches TV in a separate room. Shelley does not have my same passion for Dire Straits or Pink Floyd. I do not believe that I am playing the music too loud at about 8:30 to 9 o’clock on the volume dial. Though evidently for her I am. Happy wife happy life and on with the headphones.

My question which I am sort of arriving at is whether to go with the dealers recommendations, forget the novelty record player altogether or possibly consider a SN3. A suitable streamer might be in the works later on. Though I have enough CD’s and vinyl, the latter of which is growing to last for ages and of course I have my favourites which I always find myself going back too.

Decisions and my reluctance to let go of the vertical record player and the headphone output of the Nait XS2.

Help required, please be gentle.

Warm regards,
Mitch.

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Hi Mitch
Great to read your post. I am a similar age, am a vinyl only source LP12 owner pretty much Akurate level playing through an xs2.
I am not looking to throw more money at the problem for a while- just really enjoying listening to the music…
I have a question for you though- did you notice much of an improvement with the flat cap- and if so could you describe what you noticed?
In relation to the perennial upgrade question- there’s masses of good info on this forum to help. It seems to divide opinion as to whether an sn3 or the 202/200 route is preferable- if you get a chance try and listen to the options. FWIW I would go SN3 but I have an aversion to multiple boxes- although not as badly as my lovely wife!
I asked a question about upgrading previously and was wisely advised to consider my end point- unfortunately if you read this forum regularly it means that the end point keeps moving :rofl:
Good luck and enjoy the fun
Best wishes
Jonny

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I was in similar situation as you both. 95% vinyl using a LP12 just a bit below akurate level into a stageline and XS-2. But instead of going up to a SN2 or 202/200 I’ve instead gone Olive 62/180. Sounds fantastic with vinyl and cost a sum total of £750.

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G’day Johnny,

Thank you for your reply. Yes I do understand the ever moving end point. I like your comment and the emoji that went with it as it speaks volumes. As I live a two hour country drive from my Naim dealer, when I went into purchase the CD5 XS I also purchased the Flatcap XS at the same time as both were on special and as I learned much later on the XS 3 and SN3 where coming out. At the time, I thought in for a penny in for a pound and why make two trips and miss out on a Flatcap on special.

So in short I cannot answer your question. As I have not disconnected the Flatcap XS at any stage from the system. I am sorry.

Thank you for the recommendation of the SN3. It will probably be the way I go and by then in six years time there maybe a SN4 with a MC input. I just require a push in the right direction and I also feel much relieved that I am not the only one with a XS2 and Linn LP12. I will now sit back and enjoy the Linn when I am able to pick it up.

Thumbs up on the lovely wife. I have one too.

Warm regards,

Mitch.

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G’day Steve,

I am glad you are enjoying your LP12 and Stage Line. It was the way I wished to go or the Superline though my Naim dealer talked me around to his recommendation. In away I am a little regretful as I like a neat system. As everything Naim just plugs into each other hardware wise. There is so much symmetry and I do like that. It maybe too late though I will broach the subject with my Naim dealer again.

Thank you for your input as it is very much appreciated.

Warm regards,

Mitch.

My Lp12 is at Akurate level and is my best source. I also have an NDS with 555PS and CDS3 with XPS2 which are very close.

I get immense enjoyment from the Lp12 and have had the Cirkus bearing and Kore sun chassis fitted. Spent a small fortune on the tone arm being repaired and upgraded. Was it worth it? Yes. Am I happy with it? Yes.

More upgrades for LP12? Yes. When I am ready a Radikal and Ekos tonearm.

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The OAD phono seems already to be a very good pre, specially if you are at the Xs2 level. I would not change.
Not sure the SN3 will please you more than Xs2. There is a recent thread on that, and a member is disappointed by the SN3 , vs his past Xs2 .
A real step would be 282/200 I feel, IMHO.

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I’m only a few years older, but decided it’s time to put together that final system, with no more up-grades. I had the 200/202 and went to the 282/250 dr +hi-capdr. I’m also waiting for my lp-12 to come back at Akurate level although, it has Ekos arm and trying the rega aura. Grsnted, not familiar with the used market there, but the 282/250 was a big upgrade and on the used market, it might be obtainable

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Dear Forum Members,

Thank you very much for you replies and the mentioning of your wonderful Naim systems. With respect to the 202 and 282 there are still not enough RCA inputs to satisfy my requirements as beautiful pre-amps these are I have no doubt.

I wonder if there is a DIN to RCA adapter. I see none on the Naim website. It is possibly worth mentioning that I run my 50" Pioneer plasma’s audio through the XS2 as well. This is not a must have though desirable because it is possible.

I will check out the SN3 vs XS2 post and thank you for bring this to my attention frenchrooster.

Warm regards,

Mitch.

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Plenty of firms do rca to din adapters or company’s like flash back do complete leads

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Hello Steve,

I found some on eBay from the USA. As I live in Australia and will contact my dealer if he knows of a source that he would approve of. Thank you for mentioning Flash Back, I will Google them and see where they are located.

Warm regards,

Mitch.

Hello Gigantor

I also live in Australia (Sydney) and am a long time ( very long time) user of Naim and Linn equipment. I have a couple of LP12s which are certainly giving me great pleasure, having got back into vinyl in a big way over the last few years

I’m currently using both with the Supernait 3 ( one with MM cartridge and other using the AUX output for MC cartridge) with HiCAP DR.

I can certainly vouch for the SN3, it’s an excellent integrated and I’m sure it’s a big step up from the XS2 . I think you would get many years of happy listening out of it before you think about moving up the ladder. Plenty of time to assess options over the coming years and you will be able to trade the SN3 very easily.

Happy listening

Bevo

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Dear Bevo,

Thank you for your reply as it is great to chat to another Aussie in similar circumstances, price wise and no demos to take home.

I think your evaluation is on the money as I feel the SN3 will be the next logical move and I am able to keep the headphone output.
If NAIM clean up the display on the 202 and similar pre-amps to reflect current Naim products on the market. Then this also could be an attractive solution. Though as mentioned by Endon, I should have an endpoint in mind.

Once the SN3 or SN4 by the time eventual am ready for the next purchase. No doubt there will be the usual accessories that one must add to one’s setup. Outboard power supplies and possible outboard amplifiers. I think my decision has been made for me and I will sit back and enjoy the LP12 and XS2 for the time being. Until the time arises when I must start to consolidate my hobbies to safer ones. Good bye beautiful Harley in 5.5 years. Hello new NAIM amplifier.

Thank you every one for your help and posts. They have not gone wasted and were/are most enjoyed and unclogged my grey matter to make informed, logical decisions.

Warm regards,

Mitch.

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here is my time line with my LP12 and NAIM

purchased an Old 1980’s LP12 from a well known LP12 & NAIM dealer - then my NAIM source was CDX2 - XPS through 202/HCDR/200 - did not spend a lot on money on my deck - just enjoyed the vinyl as source to play my old vinyl - the vinyl bug then got me

Had the old girl serviced new plynth, cross member, Valhala power service and DV10X cartridge this was back in 2010 or something like that

2014 moved from CDX2 to NDX and also 282 - the 282 was a real up lift on both NDX and LP12, away couple of years went by and Linn introduced an offer of 1 x item at full price - get the other 50% off - so the deck then really started - added Lingo 4 & Kore - arm then was they trusty Ittock VII, but I did upgrade cart to DV20 - also a year or so later 300 (non DR) to join the 282 - music was really starting to come on in big leaps, I had at this point always had a Stageline with no PSU

next upgrade on the deck was internal NAIM Pre fix powered by the HCDR, to get a shorter signal path, power by HCDR as I now had a supercap for 282 and no longer needed the HCDR - also arm went to Ekos SE was looking at TP Javelin which did not last long

again some big leaps - I also the following year had the DR on the 300

so system then was 282/SC/300DR - LP12 was Lingo 4/Kore/Ekos SE/NAIM pre/DV20x - the musical results were just stunning -

now this year went karsouel (A MUST) powered by Radikal on the recent offer, also DVXX2, my full system is in my bio

the musical results are just what I had hoped they would be

sorry about the long winded story - for me each time you add to LP12 the music just follow’s, from my experience I would now try and balance the rest of your system to build around LP12

Hope this helps! - enjoy the journey and the MUSIC!

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Hi Mitch,

First congrats on the new LP12. It’s all about getting the information off the record in vinyl world.

NAC202/NAP200DR makes a lot of sense to me, if you want more than your XS set can give you.

But if you are going to miss the headphone amp, what about the fairly cheap Rega Ear? I use one on the preamp out sockets on my NAC152XS and am very happy with it.

Best,
C.

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I don’t use it this way, but might be worth looking into, I re-connected my Tandberg cassette deck and it has a headphone connection. Would an older deck with headphone jack be usable for listening nowadays? The deck has it’s own output controls, so volume is adjustable.

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Dear Antz,

This is my end goal, as you say to balance my NAIM equipment around my LP12. It will be a journey that will start in six years with the sale of my motorcycle and retiring from the military motorcycle club that I belong too. After 10 years membership I will be allowed to keep my vest and still attend meetings as a non-financial retired member. Though no voting rights which is fine and no motorcycle required.

Shelley went on a coffee date this morning and I enjoyed listening to two CD’s whilst she was away. It was wonderful to be immersed in the music from my NAIM system and Celestion SL6si speakers. I had not played the TOTO IV album for quite some time and it brought back fond memories of my late teens when I had my first car and friends I friends I would visit.

I will see what NAIM has to offer in six years and hopefully their button panel selection will have a more up to date menu selection for the current availability of equipment they sell. A streaming button would be one such selection and two AUX buttons would be nice as well. Maybe two Phono buttons, one for MM and another for MC.

Thank you for your reply, it was most welcome and a nice tale of how your system progressed over the years. It gives me something to aim for.

Warm regards,

Mitch.

Way back in the day my dream system was a Linn table, Naim amp and Spendor BC-1’s. The best i could do for a long time was a Japanese turntable, used electronics and Roger’s LS3/5a’s. The cables were a mixture of used ones.
I missed all the fun of Sondak ownership. My record collection is gone and i’m into audio streaming.
Have fun with your kit.
Incidentally, I kept being told that the preamp was the most important piece of my system, even more than the streamer/DAC. It took me a long time to find out that it was true. When you are deciding between all in ones and separates, keep that in mind.
If I was younger, healthier and still had my LP collection, I’d find out how my NAC 552 sounded with Vinyl.

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Thank you for the tip about the preamp.

Warm regards,

Mitch.

Your Naim dealer in Aus should be able to make them for you, otherwise there are on-line options for more boutique ones.

I admire your resilience to plan an upgrade 6 years away!

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