LP12 baseboards - a necessary upgrade or pure WOO?

There are lots of LP12 users on here, many who have had them for 30 years, so you are just the people to give me a steer…

My ancient LP12 has Core, Karousel, Ekos, Lingo 4 and Krystal, feeding SL/52/SC/250.
Following recent experiments, i now have granite and rubbery feet between it & the Targett wall shelf - the visual loser but acoustic winner. It now sounds better to me that any comparable LP12 I have heard on a wall shelf or Fraim.

However, that process reminded me that my baseboard is the oldest and flimsiest imaginable, and getting as saggy as Bagpuss.

I could get a new standard LP12 baseboard from Linn.

I could get a Trampolin 2 from Linn instead.

I could get a replacement baseboard from a third party provider.

I could ignore the whole thing if no SQ benefit is available, and just take care when picking it up.

Has anyone changed from the thin old baseboard to any of the above? What was the effect on SQ? What spec LP12 and supported by what?

I appreciate that whatever I do may mean having to change what is under my LP12 - I don’t want multiple sets of suspension interacting in weird ways.

For example, Stack Audio has a few potentially good options, but do encourage me to use their baseboard and sprung support platform together.

I am also aware that Stack is only one option, and look to have no dealer anywhere near Wimbledon.

Is it worth sending any money on this at all?

All comments gratefully received.

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I replaced the flimsy hardboard base with an acrylic Silentbase some years ago. As I remember there was an audible difference to me. However, a well respected Linn dealer once told me that nothing below the “waterline” on an lp12 has much effect on the sound. Regardless, I feel happy with a more substantial base. I’d have gone with a used Trampolin at the time but there wasn’t one available and the brand new acrylic was about half the price anyway. Never felt the need to change it.

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I did exactly the same.
Felt the bass for one was better with the SRM Tech Silentbase.
Never felt the need nor ever had any suggestion from my dealer to change the SB.

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I don’t have a base on my LP12 as it sounded better without the hardboard one. Was going to get a Trampoline 2 but it won’t fit with the Hercules power supply, so that upgrade will have to wait until I get a Lingo 4.

Tricky one this. I’ve had a series of LP12’s over the years mated to my 17 year old Naim set-up of differing spec’s and my current deck is a 3 year old Cymbiosis custom build which has a Trampolin 2. The stock baseboard was switched out for the Tramp when I had a couple of hundred quid left over after an upgrade. I heard no difference but that’s the way with many of the Linn upgrades and after all, my ears are 55 years old so that’s a factor at play too.

My LP12 prefers a naked bottom. You can try it.

Stack products I believe are very good and are good value.

Certainly not putting Trampolin wobbly feet on my deck.

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I’m not the best person to advise here Nick since I haven’t had an LP12 since 1992! However, when I had mine I did also have a copy if the official set-up manual from Linn Products - yes there was actually a manual that you could get! It has always stuck in my mind in that it said something to the effect of that all the parts were made of the best sounding materials chosen specifically for their effect on musical performance.

If I recall correctly it mentioned that people had tried replacing the flimsy hardboard base with more substantial alternatives and it always resulted in a less musical performance. They said they had tested many alternatives and suggestions at the factory but nothing sounded as good as the hardboard base.

Of course I realise that things have moved on since then. But I would say that if you are happy with the sound of your LP12 as it is then leave well alone. If the base is really in poor condition then just get a straightforward replacement.

I do also vaguely recall my dealer telling me that it sounded better without any base but that this couldn’t be officially sanctioned since it exposed live wires and was therefore a potential safety issue.

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Yes, I was told that too. :slightly_smiling_face:

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Bit late to the party, but have to agree with some of the previous comments.
Like others, I run my 1980 LP12 without a baseboard. It ran with one for the first 9/10 years of it’s life but when sited on an Audiotech table on a carpeted/concrete floor it was removed on the suggestion of my then dealer. I can recall him telling me that it didn’t serve any useful purpose and was just “flapping about”.
That said, Linn clearly had to fit some sort of cover to prevent inquisitive or small fingers making ingress especially when 240V motors were in common use.
As to SQ, the removal of the board, as much as I recollect neither subtracted nor added.
Clearly, I can’t say if a Tramp or another board would sound beneficial in your set-up but I’ve never felt compelled to try one out.
However, baseboards are comparatively cheap in Linn terms so if you are sufficiently interested you could always give them a go.

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One of my LP12s has a Trampolin 2 and the Valhalla was swapped out for a Hercules without any problems, the boards are very similar ?

As you have a Lingo 4, you really don’t need a baseboard. I think it was put there originally for safety reasons (110/240 volts under there) and perceived completeness. With the lingos, there’s no safety issue any longer.

Oh, and a Trampolinn 2 works just fine with a Valhalla or Hercules (I used both before getting my Lingo 4).

Long time LP12 owner here. The conventional wisdom used to be that the Linn was happiest with no baseboard at all, with the major caveat that removing the baseboard from a Valhalla-era LP12 would expose careless fingers to the possibility of a serious electric shock. After I put my LP12 on a phase four Mana shelf I initially had a Trampolinn 2, which is most situations was said to be an improvement, however diehard Mana users found that it was less good. I had my dealer remove it and got a noticeable bump in SQ as a result.

It makes sense to me that the more recent solid baseboard, having no squishy feet and secured by a dozen or so screws, would be an improvement over nothing at all, even on Mana, but I hesitate to interfere with a good thing, especially as removing it would leave me with a dozen screw holes in my plinth.

In your situation I’d try either the Trampolinn 2 or the solid baseboard. After a couple of wrong turns many years ago, I’m hesitant about putting any third party parts on my Linn, unless I first had the opportunity of a long audition e.g. in a friend’s system.

Not sure what you mean, the Platform is not sprung, it comes with three steel spikes that will replace the Baseboard feet and fit on the Platform’s top indentations. The three feet from the Baseboard are then screwed to the bottom of the Platform and go to rest on the shelf. The feet are also very firm, no wobble at all. Both Baseboard and Platform are of substantial weight and machining quality.

Here’s the Alto Baseboard with the spikes in place, ready rest on the Platform:

I bought my LP12 used and came without a baseboard. I used it like that for some time, with the plinth resting on Herbie’s Fat Dots, and seemed to work okay. The first upgrade I did was the StackAudio Alto Baseboard/Platform combo, and as soon as the first record started playing my head turned. Everything gained better focus, with the low end becoming clearly heftier.

One more vote for running the LP12 without a baseboard although mine is an old LP12, now re-fitted due to probing little fingers.

I run my LP12s without a baseboard. I also use CDS feet on the Armageddon deck - although, because there’s no give to them they have to be very carefully shimmed to ensure there’s absolutely no rocking and all feet are perfectly square on whichever table, shelf or stand they’re on.

Always one of the benefits of using three feet. Hard to make it rock.

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I’m always very suspicious of third party modifications for any product. The problem is that they are usually conceived to address perceived design weaknesses by people who do not have a full understanding of the overall design objectives and the inevitable and deliberate compromises made to achieve them. The result can easily be something that subtly worsens some aspects of the overall performance even if it may appear to lead to gains in specific areas.

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It is due to the age of my plinth, more recent plinths are fine, my 1979 vintage isn’t unfortunately.

I personally find the LP12 more aesthetically pleasing raised up a few millimetres.

@llatpoh76 - thanks for the correction. Since the platform is no longer promoted on the site, I was relying on memory and it clearly failed!

I have swapped emails with Theo Stack, who was helpful. He can offer baseboard and platform together. However, I am having problems getting their website to open on any browser, and in any case my approach to DIY begins: “First find someone competent, and then pay them”.

Ideally, I’d like to compare Stack and non-Stack LP12s for sound. If a dealer dem was convincing, I’d be happy to pay them to fit it. Sadly, I can see dealers in Scotland, SW and midlands, but none near Wimbledon.

I am nervous about fitting anything that involves inverting my LP12 and very nervous about fitting something that I have not heard, esp when not from the manufacturer. Sadly, but not surprisingly given the small market and small ticket size, other firms like SRM Tech also seem unlikely to have dealers able to dem & fit.

Perhaps I should just ignore the whole issue - if it sags a lot more, I can just take if off. Or, by then, Stack or SRM or another 3rd party maker may have a good dealer near London. Or Lin my make an improved Tramp 3 that works better than no board at all…

If anyone has a better suggestion for the lazy/ sceptic/ non-DIY among us, please suggest away!

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