LP12 shootout at Cymbiosis

I recently got back from a very interesting trip to Cymbiosis to establish which config of LP12 to order.

It was my first trip to the dealership. The shop and how Peter demonstrates his many LP12’s was impressive. Professionalism incorporated.

I have a Supercap/ Superline at home and took my DV XV1t and Geddon P/S down to be form part of the new package. A Keel and ARO had deposits on them. So many parts were determined but I wanted to establish which plinth/top plate to go for.

We started by comparing the full LP12 Klimax against a Tangerine Stiletto/ Scorpion LP12. Arm/ cartridge and phono remained the same (the best Linn offer) What can I say here? The Tangerine was clearly superior in every way and that comparison lasted only a couple of tracks. Easy decision to place the order.

Peter then suggested we compare SC/SL against Urika with two identical Klimax decks. My preconceived idea was that the Naim combo would be superior. Well it didn’t work out that way and I still have to tell myself that my ears were clearly preferring the Urika. My wife who was with me (she rarely joins me for listening sessions) said the Urika sounds much better :thinking: I found myself agreeing but needed a few back and forth comparisons to convince myself of the reality. The Superline was very open sounding and still great but lacked some natural timber and was a little shouty in comparison. Believe it or not I actually feel that the Urika had the better boogie factor also. We finally did a swap to ARO / XV1t (only with SL was possible here) and I heard a less enthusiastic sound with less zing shall we say but a calmer more natural presentation which I know from experience lends itself so well to providing a more consistently good sound album to album. All just my judgement of course.

So in three weeks or so Peter will be installing for me at home :

LP12 Stiletto/Scorpion
Urika 1 (used)


How are you going to power up the Urika without a Radikal?

Interesting write up. Will be a great set up.


Gosh that sounds fun.

I recently brought my wife along to speaker listening session to choose between Spendor A4s and A7s - she has a great ear and it helped her get at least a bit all the obsession - she definitely preferred the A7s which are now on order.


Good news for @Dan_M ! As he decided, without doubt, to buy the Urika.
Did the Superline had the right specs for the DV XV?


It did Rooster. It was a fair and honest dem. No question .
I’ve actually just struck a good deal with Peter to trade the Geddon in for a Radikal 1 to do supply duties until Krad2 is bought.


Congratulations @Cohen1263. I’m glad you tested it for comparison. So we both have lots to look forward to!

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For sure Dan. I feel that you’ve chosen really well. A good write up to come from you at the end of next week will be very interesting :+1:

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Honestly, I have never heard to the Urika/ Radikal. But a few times to Linn amps and was not involved. Found them cold and not involving. Though my fear was to have the same sound signature with the Urika.

Honestly Rooster I was (due to reading forum reports) expecting the same. It just didn’t sound like that at all. Nothing “digital” or “anaesthetic” about it. The opposite in fact. I played my favourite blues track “Fool No More” by Peter Green and on the Tangerine LP12/552/3 x 250/808 system it came close to my former passive system with (Tricked up) Solstice and S1/500/808. If I’d given that deck and the SME the swerve then I wouldn’t have missed so much listening time. Hindsight is a wonderful thing.


I’m rather surprised that Peter was able to supply an ARO, or did you have that already?

No Graham he found me one. Late sample. Tested excellent. Condition the same.

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That means that some silly sod has let one out of their hands.


Interesting how long held beliefs can be broken. I know my LP12 isn’t top spec but it’s reasonable. It has all the usual upgrades except the Keel. I’m using an Armaggedon PS, with Aro, Krystal and Superline. It sounds pretty good to me but my streaming system now gives it a close run, and with some music it’s better. I remember being very impressed with Linn’s top spec LP12 at the year before lasts Bristol show. Expensive but very good. Probably the best I’ve heard for a while. However, I’ve now had a couple of sessions at my dealers with the Rega NAIA. This has been on the back of a session with a friend who has an S1 and Rega NAIAD. I have to say I’ve found myself preferring the NAIA or NAIAD to the LP12. There’s something quite soulful about it. Not sure I can put my finger on it but to me it’s very close to master tape, and I did do a couple of years in a recording studio, so I know how good tape can be. If I had the cash I’m afraid my money would would be on the Rega not on the LP12.


I remember this photo of Peter’s LP12 selection for dem a while ago I reckon he had half of his decks in this picture with Naim Aro arms
It was certainly very convenient for cartridge comparisons on same decks. :scream:


The Ekos sounded great also though Skep IMO. I have heard a top LP12 sound not so great. It was the first time that I’d heard PS set up ones and they all sounded very good indeed. The Tangerine version has to be heard


I have heard it many times. That has been on 552DR and 500DR. The dealers in Uk tended to match LP12 Klimax with 552 and 500.

Now they match it with 200 and 300 system. It’s what I have wanted for the last 4 or 5 years.


While not a popular opinion 'round these parts, I’m with you. Not only does it sound better, but it’s really hard to beat the value of a used Urika if you already have a Radikal (which would in and of itself be a massive upgrade already). I did eventually go on to a Rega Aura, but I could have stopped with a Urika if I was still using Linn or DV cartridges.


So you say, globally, that you prefer the sound of the lp12 stiletto to Solstice and SME 20?
Or I misunderstood!

What are these? Non Linn Products?

There are a lot of non Linn parts for LP12s out there. Many are very good, and are sensible money.