I’ve just purchased an LP12 (1979-1981 model).
It comes with a Mission 774 tonearm and a Grado F-1+ cartridge. It’s in lovely condition and the seller has re levelled the springs.
I deliberately went for a pre Cirkus model as I’m running it into a Nait 2 with Linn Kans. It’s also pre Valhalla - so am thinking of possibly upgrading the PSU in the future.
I purchased this for under £1k and am not interested in spending thousands on it but am more thinking of any incremental improvements that might take it up a notch or two.
It’s already sounding very nice but not as expansive as my current set up. See here:
Naim Nait 2
Sbooster BOTW with Ultra MKII
Linn Kans Mk1
Which Hat Phantom speaker cable 2 x 4 metres
Allo Digione Signature with custom LPSU
NUC running Roon Rock OS
Has anyone had any experience of great synergy between the Mission 774 and a specific cartridge on a LP12 with a Nait or perhaps other Naim gear?
I’d love to hear any thoughts from anyone that’s had a similar system!
Any reply will mean spending decent money so you should just enjoy it as is until you make your mind up.
You can sometimes get second-hand Valhalla boards, ideally, go for one that has been serviced. Alternatively, go for a Hercules power supply either internal or external in a Mose box I think it is called.
The Mission was a well-regarded arm in its day but I suspect it isn’t the best synergistic choice for an LP12. The Linn Basik arm and cartridge would probably be better.
As others mentioned, really worthwhile improvements are likely to cost big money. So hold off until you’re sure that it’s what you really want.
Thanks for the feedback. From what I’ve read some people like 774 as much or sometimes more than an Ittok.
I would personally, avoid any Valhalla board, because its circuit includes power resistors to drop voltage, which generate a lot of heat. This is why you usually see blackening of the PCB around these resistors.
Either look at any of the modern Valhalla replacements, which often also add 45 rpm. Or look for a Lingo of any era - but remember older ones would appreciate a service.
I got a Lingo 1 this way. Lingo was £350, service was £85-00 including swapping out the filtered IEC input.
Thanks. I was looking at the Hercules but I also then came across more modern boards like the Minos or VP Revolution that seemed highly recommended.
Thanks - yes, Lingo is definitely another option. Surely the power supply would make a valuable difference in sound?
A Lingo is better than a Valhalla… And has 45 rpm, natively.
But… a modern Valhalla equivalent (*) would no doubt also be good.
(* - cost might be similar to a used Lingo.)
I’ve never heard that but you could be right. In the very early days I’ve seen LP12’s with the Mission and of course the Grace G707 was the default choice before Linn started supplying their own arms.
The Mission 774 was a low-mass design, ideal for high compliance cartridges like the Shure V15. The LP12 ususally seemed more at home with higher mass arms and low compliance cartridges like the Supex. That was always my impression anyway. One didn’t see many LP12’s with SME arms and Shure cartridges!
Okay, that’s interesting. I had a look into it before purchasing the LP12 as I didn’t want to get a something that wasn’t compatible. After having a search it seemed that it was a relatively popular combo outside of the Linn system/arms.
Interestingly I was looking at both those cartridges you mention here! The Supex doesn’t seem exactly easy to come by. Thanks!
First arm I had on my LP12 was a 774.
Ah, I knew it! Lovely to see
At first, it was the Grace, then the arm to get before the Ittok was the Syrinx PU2, which my deck had on it initially. I changed it for an Ittok which was a lot better to my ears. I don’t recall many people rating the Mission with a Linn. This is not to say it wasn’t a good arm, just that it worked better in other decks.
Over the years, I have gradually updated the TT over the years and it is around Selekt level now. If you discount money spent on cartridges I reckon I have spent in total less than 5K to get here and that includes the purchase price. An early model LP12 is a real bargain and you can take it as far as you want.
There used to be an LP12 on display in the Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh, which had an SME tonearm on board.
I haven’t ever visited, but I wonder if it’s still there?
Definitely seems like a good investment and yes, as you say you can take as far as you like.
I could also very easily just try a different Grado stylus than which it came with like an 8MZ or a MCZ…
Was in 2021 (not my photo):
Thanks, Stevie! Good to know that it’s still there.
I would imagine that Linn would greatly prefer it to have one of their own, Scottish-built tonearms.
This thread reminds me - must make an effort to locate my SNAPS (up in the loft somewhere), and get that and the 32 off for service when funds permit… I’d love to hear how they sound with the 300DR.