NAC82 523 phono cards v linn Urika

Hey All!

Hope everyone is having a great Christmas!

I’m wanting to ask if anyone has made the switch from MC phono cards in an NAC82 (or 52) to adding the Urika to their LP12 instead? Was there much of difference?

I’m currently looking at my next upgrade and whilst I’m wanting to keep going on the LP12 front end for now, I’m thinking of killing 2 birds with one stone by getting a used Linn Urika, so that I’d essentially be getting a trampolin 2 and phono stage in one go, as I’m wanting to get a trampolin 2 anyway.

With upgrades getting to be on the costly side now, I can only afford to do one at a time, rather than several.

Once I get the LP12 to a stage I can’t justify going further, I’ll then look at amp upgrades. Or, would someone say I’d be best doing that now? Current system is: LP12, black ittok, Radikal1A, majik sub, Karousel, hana Sl cart. Amps are NAC82 (with 523 cards) 2 X hicap 2’s and nap180 into SBLs. Everything on hutter stand.

Overall, I’m very happy with the sound of everything, but as ever, there’s still many upgrades in the chain to go and upgraditis is real!

Wondering if my LP12 is being held back by the 523 cards, or if I’m best upgrading elsewhere on the LP12 first before looking at phono stage. Other thoughts were better subchassis or upgrade the radikal to a v2.

Appreciate any input! I’ve read so many posts now, but still no clearer as to where best to spend for the best bang for buck.

You need to ask yourself why you think taking the cards out of an NAC82 or NAC52 will in itself produce an improvement in sound quality.

I’d leave the Linn as is and get an olive 250 or a pair of 135s. I’d then find an Ekos. If you fancy a phono stage in the Linn itself, look out for a used and serviced Prefix, which really does make a difference. Run it off one of your Hicaps.


Well, I’m guessing the cards were a relatively low cost item and possibly improved over time. Also thinking that taking them out of the 82 may be one less circuit to power by the hicaps. Also means I’m using the supply of the radikal that’s currently unused.

But, obviously this is all armchair theory! Be great to hear of others’ experiences with similar dilemas!


I was advised by my dealer that I would need a better tonearm and cart than what I had if I wanted to go down Urika level. This at the time was a Dynavector 10x5 and Akito which was upgraded, modified and rewired by Audio Origami. I have now now gone Ekos 2 and Dynavector XX2 mk2. Obviously this is a massive upgrade on what I had.

Anyway, the point I am making is that I was advised my tonearm and cart wasn’t good enough.

I reckon yours is just about good enough for a Urika.

Get it done as you have a Radikal 1. But be prepared to upgrade your arm to Ekos 2 to SE at some point.

You have a majik sub chassis which is okay. At Radikal Urika level you want to be looking at Kore or Keel sub chassis.

It seems like you are punching a little bit above your weight but I would go for it if you can continue to upgrade.

Obviously, I haven’t listened to your LP12 and sometimes one upgrade needs another.

For example I had a Karousel done and it made no impact on Kore, Akito arm Dynavector 10x5. When I upgraded I spent £1350 on expensive used phono stage too. I have Linn Lingo 1.

If I were you would look at Kore and Urika if you can. Get advice from dealer and buy used for a third of price.

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Hmmm interesting you say that, as I’ve thought of this one. I know the 180 is fairly ‘entry’ in the scheme of my system. Never compared a 250 with it to know what would be improved. I’m not looking for volume really… does a 250 allow more detail through?


I’m not sure about detail, which isn’t really something I particularly look for, but what it will do is provide more scale and drive, and kick the SBLs into life, making them sound larger and more solid. The 180 is good but the 250 is just so much better, and the 135s even more so. It’s not an expensive upgrade either.


I have just spent over £5000 on Linn LP12 upgrades with used Linn Ekos 2, Dynavector XX2 Mk2, Tom Evans The Grove + SRX power supply, Trampolin 2 and T Kable. The only thing new was the cart.

It has made a massive difference. My original intention was Radikal 1 and Urika and with advice from dealer I went down improving tonearm, cart, phonostage, cable instead. It has made a huge improvement. I was thinking something different, like I said.

And at some point I probably will go Radikal and Urika. But it all needs to be right. And LP12 upgrades are expensive.

You have a 180 and as HH says a 250 would be better or better still 2 x 135s. You really have to budget this out and work out the order of doing things. I have a 52 Supercap 2, 2 x 135s and amplification is superb. Prior to that the 82 Supercap 2 and 2 x 135s was also excellent. Maybe do that first. Do what you can and try not to get too hung up on upgrades. If you can do Urika then I would ideally get Kore done as minimum as well. These are just thoughts.

There are no absolutes here.

I certainly wouldn’t upgrade to Radikal 2 at your level. You need to improve subchassis, phonostage, tonearm and cart at that level. And probably amps. Your system needs synergy.

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The 135s have gone up to around £3000 for a pair. A 250 around £900 to £1200.

Thanks Dan… I’ve been following your threads recently, so it’s great to hear that you’re happy with your upgrades!

My arm was also upgraded by audio origami… Rewired and with better phono leads. I’d hope it’s relatively close to an ekos, but obviously not the SE.

Absolutely would do kore as a minimum too. The upgrade to a secondhand kore from magik wouldn’t be too cost prohibitive. Keel would though and would mean I’d get into single upgrades at a time. Most I’ve seen go for circa £2k, which is more than updating the radikal 1 to radikal 2.

I’m trying to follow the hierarchy method, but I do hear conflicting stories where arm and/or cartridge making more improvement than bearing and ps. I was really happy with cirkus to Karousel and Armageddon to radikal. Sounds loads better.

But, didn’t want to splurge on a cartridge if it was the wrong thing first. The Hana is only around a year old, too.

Far too many choices of path, eh! All I’m wanting to do is get a nice uplift for each one I do. Most are going to be around £2k from here on in… just want to make sure I feel each is worth the outlay. There’s no wrong way as such, but hate feeling underwhelmed when it gets to serious money.

Really appreciate your replies and input. It’s interesting to hear you found more improvement from cart and arm, rather than Karousel. Out of interest, have you tried the keel against kore?


Thanks IanRobertM… Yeah, it’s been my nagging doubt in all fairness. I’ve never heard a nap250, so no idea what benefit it brings beyond volume. Are they more resolving/detailed?

Yeah, I’ve been looking around already and they’re still pretty expensive. The Nap300 can be had for less… but as you say. A nap250 from around the £1k mark. I’d possibly look at a used DR though if it meant avoiding a service cost straight away.

Hmmmm decisions decisions.

Thanks for the insight HH… Nice explanation and really helps!

I reckon go for for used Urika. Buy for £1k and get local dealer to fit it. Go source first. See how it sounds. Should work well. Get other upgrades done as and when. You can’t loose as I reckon you want the Urika anyhow.

I want Radikal Urika too. Funnily enough I spent more on on my temporary MC phonostage than intended final Urika used.

These things are all a bit of research and trial and error. In used market half the time you are buying blind and have no idea what you are getting.

But do your research on here and you won’t go far wrong.

I think Urika with Radikal will work. Tonearm is pretty damned good. Should work see how it goes.

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I had a CB250 prior to 2 x135s. To be honest not a great deal of difference in sound signature. 135s had alot more power. Don’t get overwhelmed with it all. Your amplification and LP12 are good. Take your time and enjoy the changes.

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Indeed Ian, I suggested the Kore. +1 mate.

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I have heard full Linn Klimax. And it makes you want it all. So haven’t heard individual upgrades slotted in to my system.

Full Klimax everything comes together. Everything you want is there. But can’t afford it.

My turntable is pretty good now. And you are halfway there with Radikal 1. Kore and Urika. Done mate

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I must admit, I haven’t heard a full spec LP12 as yet. Not sure I want to!! :slight_smile:

Ultimately, I guess I will do them all in time (within reason). I will upgrade the radikal to rad2, too… It’s just what makes a good change as you do each. Some are more noticeable than others as you know. I always wanted an aro, but they’re like hens teeth and then not as easy getting subchassis etc.

Again, I’ll definitely do the amp too. I’ve toyed with a 250 for a while as they’re not ridiculously priced now. But following from what Peter at Cymbiosis said… source first so far has proved right. Peter has built my LP12 up and he’s been awesome with everything so far. Just didn’t want to bother him just yet until I’ve built up a better picture of what I’d like to change next… even though I fully trust his advice.

Sure, you need everything in balance, but getting the front more sorted first has been what I’ve had in mind. I know the Urika isn’t as high on the hierarchy, but a kore and Urika would (I hope!!) upgrade a few things at the same time (phono stage, chassis and tampolin) for around the same price as the rad2 upgrade.

Peter reckoned the rad2 upgrade was a really significant upgrade though (hard to imagine how), hence the amount of avenues you can go down to get to the same end point!

The joys, eh!!

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