Linn LP12 - Sunday Musings

Good afternoon,

I am very happy with my streamer but some music I can only get on LP. Not worried about cost and happy to compromise a bit on overall quality to fit the criteria.

Can I get an older LP12 to be a one box unit? I want to include the phono stage and power supply within the unit. I don’t want to change the existing Fraim setup I have by adding more levels BUT I would like to add a decent player.

How high spec can I realistically go and how close (relative) to the ND555/2*555 can I get with the constraints of keeping it all in one unit. This would be mandatory :slight_smile:

Ideally I want to wall mount the LP12 or similar on an internal plasterboard style wall (new house)

Thanks in advance!

Hi @Steve

First, good luck with your LP12 project. That’s an interesting challenge…

It’s possible to get a great LP12 - maybe late 80’s or early 90’s as a single unit “system” (internal PSU) and with a decent tonearm - like Ittok or Ekos.

Then just select a cartridge of your choice. Maybe use a Naim Prefix, which is also installed on board.

All one unit, so no extra boxes. Simple and elegant solution for playing vinyl.

Gives you the option to add external boxes later - for example, external PSU or phono stage - if you feel the need.

Lastly, some on this forum might say even a top spec’ LP12 might struggle to achieve the same SQ of the source you’ve mentioned. Others argue maybe different character or presentation. But, it’s all a personal perspective, very much dependant on what your ears tell you.

Hope that musing helps?

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LP12 could be done in one box, as has been suggested a Prefix/Valhalla would achieve this. Suggest you talk with Peter Swain @Cymbiosis who is expert in this stuff.

However, the comparison with your digital source is another issue. There is no absolute here you could have a fully maxed out Linn Klimax or Vertere RG and still prefer the presentation of your ND555. On the other hand some have said that a Rega RP10 sees of a ND555, this really is a matter of personal preference.

Good luck.




Ooooh ok, this is great news! Thanks for your help so far!

So a Naim prefix and maybe an Aro… :grin: that would be nice :wink: I guess I could modernise/upgrade the rest of the player anyway at the expense of the compromise of a one box solution. Regarding the Phono Stage I was thinking Urika II maybe the way to go as this is ‘internal’ as well.

I take your points re the ND555 being a great source, I guess my take on an LP12 will be that maybe Its not as good at resolving detail but I am after something that does not sound like a poor cousin in comparison I guess! Engagement is key not HiFi detail!

So from what I thought/read above I could get a custom build LP12 possibly based around an LP12/Urika II/Prefix that would not better but would not be shamed by my current source?

@Steve just adding there are lots of great LP12 specialist out there. Most if not all, are passionate about what they do and can guide you.

If you decide to involve a dealer, the trick is to find a LP12 specialist and develop a relationship.

Where ever you are in the world.

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@ratrat Cymbiosis are actually not that far from me, probably the closest of the LP12 specialists actually. @LindsayM mentioned them above also. I guess I wanted to see how ‘possible’ this idea was before going the whole hog and starting the discussion with them during our current lockdown!

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Most UK dealers seem to coping with L2 and continue as best as they can. Including advice and consultations by email, phone and video call. Plus, home demo’s by arrangement and click and collect.

The only thing they can’t do - during L2 - is invite you into their demo rooms.

Maybe a good time to just have lots of conversation and learning ???

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One of the amazing things about the Linn LP12 is how it was / is still designed in a modular way and all the bits are completely inter-changeable.

However, some bits only go with others. Also, some previous bits no longer work with more modern bits.

For example, IIRC, the Urika base and phono stage - requires Radikal - which is an external box.

Lots of reading and learning. Or get to know a good LP12 specialist to help you on your journey.

More musing to help you along.


If it really must be one box, best you could get would be Prefix and Hercules (to give you 45rpm, which the Valhalla won’t).

If you don’t mind a small box (similar in size to some wall warts out there), a Lingo4 opens up as an option.


Is it sacrilege to suggest putting something like a Lingo 4 on the floor?!

Not at all, it will be fine. If you got a Prefix it could be powered by the 552. It should be rather good. If going for an external PS an Armageddon would match Naim boxes, but it only plays 33 unless you use an adaptor on the pulley.

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Nope, it’s meant to be hidden out of sight.

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Ok so the fact the Lingo can be on the floor opens up the possibilities a bit! I am happy with a P/S that can be on the floor!

Depending on your budget you could go down the new or second-hand route. My LP12 is 1980 vintage, well the plinth and lid are, pretty much everything else has been replaced over the years so I would suggest looking for a second-hand LP12 with the arm you want and get it updated and fit the cartridge you want.


Other TTs are available!

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@LindsayM I suggested the LP12 as I think that would be an easy entry into vinyl with a single box BUT happy to listen to other options!

A couple of points beyond the advice already given. Whatever the subjective comparisons between the ND555 and an LP12, you should bear in mind the Naim philosophy of separate power supplies (to which you subscribe with two 555s on your streamer). The same principle applies to the LP12 and other turntables - if you investigate you will see that most turntable manufacturers offer a separate power supply as an upgrade if they don’t provide one in the first place. So I would definitely recommend considering that seriously.

You also asked about putting an LP12 on a wall shelf fixed to plasterboard. I think this may be a problem. I have my LP12 on Fraim as I don’t think it would be as well isolated on the plasterboard wall behind the Fraim. Others however, may have been able to succeed in supporting a turntable in this way.

I would certainly contact Peter Swain, especially as Cymbiosis is not far from you.


Most up -to -date lp-12s will be a two box solution as the newer linns have separate “lingo” power supplies. Until recently, I had lp-12 with lingo 2 (half-sized box) and a prefix inside the tt, powered from the 282. One of the reasons I switched to the lingo 4 is the power supply it is now in a much smaller box (the size of a power-strip) and was easier to stash. My prefix worked/works fine but is now just sitting in the attic as a rega aura was added (an absolute shelf filler and heavier than most amps), but sounding very good. I was able to find a quadraspire wall shelf and the wall has a crawlspace behind it, so they were able to mount it properly. It was a big improvement over the time it was on quadraspire rack (couldn’t even walk near it before… )

I think you need to take yourself to a dealer sypathetic to your aims. A one box LP12 might struggle to compete with a top spec ND555, but that’s what the dealer is there for. It must be possible to build an LP12 from the used bits in the back of the parts bin. A dealer who trades used LP 12s would be helpful to you as well. Setting up recent Linn’s has become easier from earlier days, but is still a skilful job and not for anyone not knowing the little quirks involved.
A top spec LP12 with all the power supplies and 3rd party “upgrades”, without naming names is a formidable sourse but is pretty costly. This puts you in competion with other TTs all having their good points. At this level they should’nt have too many bad ones.
I am waiting for the Antiques Roadshow to find a very early Linn in pristine condition and in its origional box. Quality hi-fi is not a main stream product unfortunatly.
Another factor is how much vinyl you have. If its a few hundred you might think is it worth it?
A few thousand would be another matter.
A nice job to consider.
My first LP12 dates fron the early 1980s. The second one was some 12 years later and I still have it but not anything like it when I bought it. Nothing origional apart from the outer platter.
If you like what it can do stick with it.

Some interesting comments regarding the comparison with an ND555. I’ve used my CDP555 as a gauge to how good my 1989 LP12, Aro, Geddon and Krystal sounds. Up until recently I’d say the CDP just had the lead. Then I upgraded to a Kore and Karousel. Now I’m not so sure. I’ve been listening to an awful lot of vinyl recently and it definitely seems more engaging than digital. I think the new Linn bearing may have changed he landscape slightly?