How much to spend on a Linn Sondek?

I’m considering purchasing a pre-loved LP12 at some point in the near future. It would likely be a secondary source as I don’t have a great deal of are powered by well known third party power supplies. In addition I have NAC252 due for delivery this week.

My question is how much would I likely need to spend to get an LP12 that would be worth adding to my system? I’ve seen nice looking examples from £1500-2000, which is appealing. If something at this level isn’t going to do itself justice in my system and I really need to be looking in the region of £5000+ I’d likely put the idea to bed.

Thanks in advance.
Andy

The best LP12 I owned a late 70’s model with a Fidelity Research FR12 arm cost me £500 about 7 years ago. I also bought a nice black ash late 80’s model with the Cirkus bearing and a Linn Basik arm for £600 a couple of years before I then added an Ittok to it that cost me about £275 after I sold the Basik and Lingo Mk1 I paid £350 for so about £1200 in total.

The point is you can spend hundreds or thousands my advice if you have £2,000 to spend is to go to Peter Swain at Cymbiosis drop him a line with your budget and he will build you a nice example.

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Is that 1500-2000 including or excluding arm & cartridge?

Linn LP12’s are like Lego or Meccano - you can build them up…

In your position, I would start with something say around £1500 (or less, if you can). You can always add to it, later… :grin:

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Thanks for this advice. I have just taken a look at the Cymbiosis website and I agree that reaching out to them seems to be a wise option. The added benefit is they’re only an hour away from me, so it’s easy enough to visit them in person. Thanks for sharing!

This is my one concern. I think I’m getting close to my ideal system, I’m worried about opening another rabbit hole…

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Sondeks and Naim are both the proverbial rabbit holes.

“Just another PSU, dear” is equivalent to “It’s just another sub-chassis, dear’

Though Sondek “upgrades” tend to be a tad less costly than Naim PSUs - my most recent being a mere £26!

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£1500-£2000 is a good place to start with an LP12 if going 2nd hand. In general, most of the budget will probably be spent on the chassis, bearing and PSU which generally reaps the greatest performance rewards. You don’t need to spend big bucks on either the tonearm or cartridge at that level, I’d recommend setting £200-£250 aside for an Audio Technica cartridge with a micro-linear (ML) stylus, it’s really well worthwhile for the extra detail retrieval. Last but not least is the phono stage and Rega have a good range at every price point.

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I don’t know what you would deem acceptable so impossible to say. However, certain components are good value 2nd hand such as a Lingo 1 or 2. If it’s a late-L2 (2005 - 2010) then probably doesn’t need a service for a little while.

I also rate the £100 Audio Technica VM95EN but might not be your thing - the stylus will fit on a Linn K9 body if that helps in any way.

A Linn arm will probably be out of your budget but the Jelco one (from previous gen Majik LP12) was a decent arm and shouldn’t cost much.

The current Majik subchassis is supposed to be very good and there are loads of those knocking around the dealerships. Same for the Majik PSU but not compared that to a Lingo.

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I went to Cymbiosis a couple of years ago and came away with a Peter Swain special: LP12, Lingo, Cirkus, Ittok LVII and AT cartridge for around £2500 (unless my memory is failing). I’ve a 52 and NDS and the LP12 just about competes with streaming.

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That’s alot of kit for the money @Camphuw and a very good LP12.

When buying used I would advise going to a dealer who specialises in LP12s such as Cymbiosis.

I made the mistake of buying a very good looking LP12 on ebay only to find the tonearm bearings were shot which cost me alot of money to get fixed.

Peter at Cymbiosis will be able to build one from 2nd hand parts and will be a fine LP12.

Expect to spend anything from £1500 to £3000 depending on spec.

Try to get one with a Lingo 1, Ittok or Ekos tonearm and Cirkus bearing. Avoid Akito and Basik tonearms.

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I have been using Peter Swain at Cymbiosis to maintain my LP12 for years.

I have also recommended Cymbiosis to a couple of friends who have had LP12s built by Peter using pre-used parts. They have both been very pleased with their new LP12.

Well worth speaking to them, you won’t be disappointed.

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IIRC the plinth was around 1k and Peter talked me through the options. I can’t recommend him highly enough.

Absolutely, specially for people who use their turntables a lot, Audio-Technica ML cartridges do provide tremendous value. AT-OC9XML/AT33PTG/2 for MC or VM740ML/VM540ML for MM (depending on what goes better with your tonearm) would be great choices.

I would look for a Lingo 2 if possible. My first LP12 was a secondhand put together by a Swedish dealer and I had to wait a few weeks for the Lingo 2 but got a Lingo 1 during the wait. The price difference was relatively small and I would definitely recommend Lingo 2 over 1 based on that experiance.
That said, the hide away possibility of the Lingo 4 would probably tempt me to spend the extra cash for that if starting today! Newer heard it though, but assume it is the best Lingo version to this date?

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My understanding is that the Linn Lingo 1 and 2 are essentially the same, just different casing. The Lingo 3 has a different earthing arrangement and the Lingo 4 is a different beast with an AC motor speed controlled by circuit.

I had my Lingo 1 serviced and it sounds awesome. I am not an expert on Lingos and would be interested in other views and experiences.

If upgrading from a Lingo 1 I would go down the Radikal route.

The other option is a Hercules power supply for the OP.

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I believe only the very first Lingo 2s made were the same as the Lingo 1s, the vast majority of the Lingo 2s produced afterwards had an improved surface mount component board, and are the same as the Lingo 3s except for the case. Lingo 4 is a whole different animal as you stated with the digital processing technology it uses to manage the motor speed.

VP Revolution is also a good option, I have it on my LP12 and performs very well.

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I have considered non Linn power supplies and other non Linn mods but have stuck with Linn so far. How are you getting on with VP power supply?

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Long story short, I bought my LP12 close to a year ago for about £750 without a tonearm, it is a 1987 pre Cirkus in very good working condition, but my idea was to rebuild it completely at once and that is what I did (except for swapping tonearms), so I cannot really talk about what sonic difference it made over the stock Valhalla. I can say the tuntable is sounding very good with it, and so far I cannot attribute any issues to the VP Revolution. Torque is good, it starts quite fast, no noise coming from the motor, or vibration felt anywhere, no electronic induced noiise that I had been able to identify either. The speed logic works very well and quite predictable. I have Lingo 4 on my wishlist but it’s rather low priority for the reasons stated above.

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@AndyL68

as others have mentioned speak to Peter @Cymbiosis - he has looked after my deck for 20 + years, Peter is a Zen gru on LP12’s

ideally with LP12 think about bearing, PSU, Chassis, Arm and then Cartridge = the karsouel is one hell of a bearing, but Cirkus is also still very good

my deck started on a budget and I have added upgraded it over the years - I love it as source they is somthing magical when Salisbury and Glasgow work togther IMO

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