Inquisitive?

Although I gave up vinyl replay some time ago and having owned a full at that time Linn Lp12 with Ittok and Troika I was really taken back by the mention of Mushroom suspension units for the LP12 to replace the original spring and grommet set up. I fully understand that personal choice and spending power is personal but made me wonder what actually drives the need to modify to the degree that it isn’t what is was construction or the SQ that was intended by the manufacturer including updates that were developed by the manufacturer like Linn in keeping with the character of sound that had envisaged and designed. Surely a highly modded LP12 is not an LP12. I had a similar experience in the eighties when I had my LP12 modded with a Russ Andrews Totlyte kit. Subchasis and armboard and new lower plinth extension. My dealer at the time was horrified! Mounted on three leg torlyte turntable stand and still bearing the Ittok and Troika. Was it different yes better I cannot recall but in heart of a 250 Isobariks system it at the time seemed more musical. It lasted about six months and I reverted back to steel sub and original arm board due to a nagging doubt that I had bought the LP12 combo because of its SQ. It really feels a little like modding Naim gear. Surely the sound is what we bought our gear for and upgrading through the Naim range is following a route of more of the same. Just a thought. Getting ball bearings this week and cups to modify my rack…

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I believe many mods or “improvements” are not always such…

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I’ve tried the mushrooms. Different, yes, better, no, not to these ears. Others disagree.

There are however so many permutations of LP12 that this may have a lot to do with it, obviously I’ve only tried on mine.

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I never liked the original. To these ears it was reasonably neutral but ever so dull. The many options available nowadays make it seem more like a kit car than a turntable.

Not my area at all but I’ve heard a few mods. friends have had done. 1 was very much different but not better. They swore it was better then reverted a couple of years later. The other made it sound so much like another well known turntable it just seemed easier to have bought the other. Haver also heard 1 fettled by Peter at Cymbiosis. That struck me as well worthwhile because, if you liked what the LP 12 did then hius work gave you more of that. A bit like the shock of a Naim service and realising that what you thought was okay had actually been sounding off for quite some time.

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Apart from arm/cartridge (once had a Hadcock & the ubiquitous Grace) if it’s not Linn it goes nowhere near my Linn LP12. I recall Darren at Class A showing me a pile of stuff he’d removed from Naim amps (& replaced with Naim parts) which users had introduced to their kit having bought the hype from companies claiming to improve the Naim sound. Buyer beware. The ‘Linn’ LP12 is iconic.

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An LP12 is a highly modded RD11, which in turn is a highly modded TD150, a highly modded AR XA, and it doesn’t stop there. The point is what we call today an LP12 has “highly modded” in it’s DNA and neither Linn, who BTW didn’t design it, or anyone else can change it’s nature.

It’s a good point but…

You could try polling support for insisting that anyone without a purely-Linn LP12 has to refer to it as LP12A or LP12 Turbo or somesuch. You may not get many takers, but I’d be happy to be proved wrong on that.

From name chat (rather than Naim chat) to substance:-

Is my changing the cartridge from Linn what the company intends? If not, is it always worse, and should anyone who does that stop calling the result an LP12?

If the answer to both is No, where should we draw a line?

If changing from Linn cartridges is not heresy, why are arms different? Is it just because using Linn arms is so common?

If the arm can be changed from Linn without heresy, why not the phono stage? If those are ok, is it too late to argue against a different sub-chassis to that supplied 20 years ago, if adding the non-Linn part improves the sound?

I remember that many argued that any other sub-chassis was not what was designed and therefore bad. Now we have a basic Linn sub that is apparently superior to those found in any LP12 20 years ago, with Kore clearly better than that and Keel better again. And some may say that a Kore sounds remarkably similar to a couple of those heretical bits.

Of course, an LP12 purist from 20 years ago might have rejected the SQ of many changes that have come along since, not just been upset by the maker’s name. Otoh, in that case they would probably also reject the current Linn bearing, sub-chassis and PS - which are audibly different from the LP12s of yore. So is a modern LP12 a real
LP12 at all?

Rather than delving too far down this road, can’t we just agree that some non-Linn parts work better than some Linn items, but not all? And that some Linn upgrades are more likely to be worthwhile than others?

And if anyone wants to call a turntable like my Stiletto a Not-An-LP12 or NALP12, I won’t be offended.

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Good read
Nick, as always, eloquently said

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I still like FrankenLinn LP12 better.

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