LP12 upgrade - whoa!

I picked up my LP12 after replacing subchassis, bearing, and power supply…all I can say is, whoa! Simply a different turntable.

I have pretty much had my LP12 in every configuration low to mod range possible. I bought a mint 1980 original owner - white sleeve original bearing, Grace 707, original power supply, etc. Then one by one changes to onboard Hercules, Cirkus, Ittok 3, Majik subchassis. Cartridges - 2m Blue, then Bronze, then Black. And now in one fell swoop Karousel, Lingo 2, and Kore.

Holy smokes. My first impression was actually slightly negative, because the new TT is so much more incisive - just simply grabs you. Much more of a “sit down, shut up, and listen” kind of experience. Unclean or poor recordings - no grace.

But OMG. I’ve always wondered where the bass was. Now I don’t. High end, air, even the precious sound stage is there. More detail, stuff I haven’t heard, etc… For whatever reason, grabbed an album I’ve never cared that much about, Gary Burton Quartet Real Life Hits, and it was riveting…I just sat down and listened to the whole thing. My wife is in the other room, commenting on how much better it sounds.

So there you go.

Sorry to do a separate post from the LP12 thread…just wanted to put this up standalone.


Congratulations, always really satisfying when new upgrades prove their worth - the changes seem to have really been effective.

Does the newly enhanced LP12 highlight surface more than before?


Gary Burton😎

Indeed yes - that is actually a definite negative. It’s not a small or minor change - I am wondering if I now need to clean everything before listening (and I’m already using records that were previously cleaned on my Okki Nokki). I don’t think the 2m Black does any favors in this arena.

Interesting. So I wonder how much off that is down to the upgrades or the cart. Similarly, I have a 2M Black, albeit on a lesser RP6, but even so, it can be a little brutal revealing surface noice - I do keep toying with the idea of swapping it out for something less prone in this area.

I think @hungryhalibut mentioned elsewhere something about changing from his 2M
Black to a Rega cartridge due to surface noise. I have been running a 2M Bronze on RB1000 / LP12 (Cirkus and Geddon type motor supply) for quite a while now and have never felt surface noise is an issue. The Shibata profile on the Black with its super wide contact area may be more prone to noise pick up though.

1 Like

Indeed he did and it helped, I think, but generally the sharper cuts are less forgiving than elliptical cuts, though Shibata may be even more revealing than the Rega’s fine-line. The good thing about the 2M is that one can change between the Black and the Bronze styli

1 Like

Yeah, I’m realizing I have several things going on at once here. It turns out I had turned up too much downforce previously. Also all the changes. Also, I have had an ongoing grounding issue with my 32.5 that might be playing a role. I’ll report back.

1 Like

Just saw the more recent posts - on my old setup, I went from a Bronze to a Black, and while I loved the ease and musicality of the Bronze, the Black was worth it hands down for me. However it is now at a different level of crackly.

The condition of the records surface may be a factor. Might be worth getting one or two cleaned - as a test exercise - and see if that can make a difference.

By the way, congrats. Hope you having fun playing lots of records this weekend


1 Like

I have an Okki Nokki…everything is clean…definitely took a step up.

Wanna be clear - this thing is amazing otherwise! I’ll get this sorted.

1 Like

Great to hear that you’re so happy with your latest upgrade… I find it amazing that vinyl still seems to have so much to offer, but there you go. I hope you have a great time with your record collection.


WIth respect to surface noise what’s the cartridge cantilever made of?

My old OC9’s had boron cantilevers and little surface noise. The newer Linn Krystal is aluminium and has significantly higher surface noise than a Dynavector I should have got in retrospect.

The 2M Black is aluminium as well, but did you have an older OC9 with the elliptical stylus before they went micro-line? The Krystal has a fine-line, so I would guess that’s more significant if you had the elliptical OC9

That would be a really old one, no? Since the MLII they’ve had line contact styluses.

Sure, I just asked because OC9 is not enough info

The current AT OC9 range has five different models, five different styli, bonded elliptical, nude elliptical, microlinear, Shibata and Special Line Contact.
I tend to be an odd one out, apart from an OM10 on a Dual 505 I have not enjoyed Ortofon cartridges and prefer the AT 33 series to the OC9.

It’s great to read that post, and congratulations. I do love vinyl, but not only vinyl, and I’m still amazed after all these years that a record holds the music I do hear (it seems so improbable) so to hear there’s even more in there, well, puts a smile on my face!


I did a similar set of upgrades on my LP12 - Kore + Karousel + Lingo 4. But I added a Hana SL cartridge and that almost entirely removed surface noise. Poor LPs are still noisy but decent copies are fine. Cleaning helps on my older vinyl but it’s not essential, which previously it was.


One thing to note with the Karousel is it needs a LOT of running in IMHO, I left my deck spinning 24x7 for about 10 days before it really settled down. The result is a significantly reduced soundfloor, so better detail and dynamics.
I’ve had a lot of upgrades to my own deck over the years but for me, the most impressive was going from a Lingo 4 to a Radikal, simply astonishing.