Linn Troika

Am I correct in thinking that the ARO tonearm was designed around the Troika, which was Linn’s flagship cartridge around the time that Guy Lamotte was coming up with the idea of a tonearm that was radically different from Linn’s highly rigid designs?

I believe so, presumably hence why the Linn carts of that era worked so well in it.

He obviously wasn’t overly happy with the Linn approach cos in the mid-80s he developed a tweak for the Ittok. Can’t recall the specifics but perhaps something at the arm collar that tilted the arm for better VTA? I think only a handful were ever made for Naim staff and I know my dealer was offered one. This was about the same time that Guy came up with the chrome bumper NAPSA and I think the two together was viewed as a kit. Would be interesting if anyone here knows any more and how many were made but I’m guessing less than a dozen. I’ve never even seen a photo of the Ittok mod.

EDIT: Just done a search and seems like we’ve been round this before - my bad memory:


Dynavector cartridges also fit the ARO very well, thank goodness.

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Indeed. The deep cartridges like those from Audio Note aren’t compatible as the arm can’t be raised pivot end high enough.

If I had to change my heavily upgraded Solstice I’d look to source an ARO on a LP12 with Keel and Radikal. Fit a DVXV1t to that and it’s hard to beat!

Is the name of the Troika - which is a turntable ‘cart’ - from the Russian ‘cart’ - the wheeled & horse pulled one?


Yes, that’s what my Linn dealer told me about 30 yrs ago.

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My guess, is more the wider use of the word, the cart/sled, or a political/ruling group. The first is pulled by three horses, the second a group of three, the phono cartridge has three mounting bolts?
Happy to be corrected.


What he said. :+1:t2:

I think that a Russian troika was pulled by three horses.

Is the Troika cartridge so named because it has three fixing holes? (Just about any ARO that you see only uses the front two of the fixing holes with the third left unused.)

I have just fitted a Troika that has been repaired by Goldring into my Ittok and and can only say what have I been missing. it is running in but I cannot fault its performance or sound quality on rock and classical. I have been listening to the Kennedy 4 Seasons and now the lute and harpsichord are not merged together but now it is possible to differentiate which one is playing what.

I am now listening to the “favourite” classical piece of Cymbiosis (Bartok - Music for Strings, Percussion and Celeste) and again separation and differentiation of the players is superb.

I have a second broken worn out Troika and that will soon be on the way to Goldring.


That’s encouraging. I will be sending a Troika to Goldring shortly.

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Don’t rush, David is on holiday!!


Thanks for that, FF, I haven’t been able to get to the Post Office in the last day or so, so I haven’t lost time!

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Perhaps named for being the same color as the rose?


I thought that it was a Russian sledge pulled over snow by three horses - the cartridge has three mounting bolts, as seen on Linn tonearms and the ARO.


The flying leads eliminated an additional electrical connection and the three lands made for a better connection to the tonearm. I rotate between a Klyde, Troika and Asaka and they all sound very good to me.


From 1983 to’ 87 I ran a Linn Asak and then a Asaka from '87 to 2001. Both were good, at the time.

I then ‘downgraded’ to a DV 10X… :smiley:

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