Replacement for Linn K18

My friend in Switzerland has told me that his venerable K18 has finally passed away. He’s looking for advice on a suitable replacement and I’m no longer familiar with what’s available at that level. System details are LP12, Ittok, lingo 1, NAC102, HiCap, NAP180, Arrivas. I’m aware that there will be many suggestions about servicing and other upgrades but he’s only looking to replace his cartridge at this point. Also any advice on Linn LP12 experts in the Geneva area gratefully received. Thanks, Mark.

He could try the Audio Technica VM95E stylus for peanuts. If he likes it then the more expensive VM95EN is worth a try as well. I don’t find either as musical as a K9 stylus but if you want a new replacement stylus then the VM95s are the only option I’m aware of. They will slot straight onto a K9 so I presume the K18 a well but I never owned one.

I enjoy the Adikt with Lingo/Ekos deck but found it a bit lazy in Ittok/Valhalla deck, both using 322 cards. Your friends deck is a mix of the two and its all subjective anyway, so I’d just start with a cheapo 95E and take it from there. You can order online in the UK from a retailer called Audio T but perhaps he has an in-country alternative.


As an alternative wouldn’t it be possible to have the original stylus retipped by one of the respected companies ?

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I’m not sure about the condition of the cartridge. I’ll get him to send me a picture to see if it’s just a re-tip or if the suspension has failed. It’s got to be over 25 years old anyway so a full replacement may be a safer option.

The body should be fine assuming wiring is still good. My dealer encouraged me to keep the original K9 metal body. Said it should be better than the plastic AT body, although we didn’t compare.

Just remembered that I did try the paratrace retip by Expert Stylus. Wasn’t for me but others may prefer it.

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Try looking at the LP12 Facebook pages and theaudiofiles website, whether the audio files paratrace fits a K18 I am not sure. They also promote the RigB body modification for the AT95 which may be an option?

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I believe Linn Adikt is made by Goldring and near identical to G1012X.

Cheaper alternative is the already mentioned VM95E or EN elliptisch with option for finer stylus tip such as ML or SH.

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It was the suspension that gave out on my old ortofon, not the lump of rock

Yep - no doubt the K18 suspension won’t be too good by now. Probably best just replace the stylus assembly or change the cart altogether.

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