Turntable Advice

I have an opportunity to acquire a linn Axis turntable in pristine condition.

I got rid of a Rega P3 years ago when l my old CDS3 outperformed it.

My question is whether it’s worth the hassle of setting it up and presumably I need get hold another box to plug into the 252 to get it to work?

My head tells me the NDS / 555PS DR will still be better and more convenient.

Also my old record collection is in the loft and would need updating

Also no room on the Fraim

I think I have talked myself out of this already !

Yes, you would need ‘something’ to connect to your 252.

Worth the hassle…? Only you can decide.

As to a Linn Axis, no sure thats the best option. A Rega ‘anything’ would be my suggestion.

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When faced with this dilemma recently after I had rediscovered my vinyl. Someone (dealer) suggested that I place the two ‘shoe box’ items (NAT01 and SNAXO) side by side rather than on different shelves. Is this an option?

Yes, neither has a transformer inside (NAT01 head unit) so that would be fine positioned next to one another.


Is the cartridge in good condition ?
Do you have a phono stage ?
As for place, you can buy a wall shelf.

You make it sound as if this was a surprise. The CDS3 with an XPS2 cost like ten times more than a P3!
A friend of mine has a nearly 30 year old Axis and it’s working fine, though the system does not allow to make a judgement on its quality. The lid hinges tend to break but are easily sourced and replaced.

Whether it’s worth it will depend on your vinyl plans. You can get a rather cheap Pro-Ject or similar phone preamp and try if you still like the whole vinyl thing with all the hassle that comes with it.
As for quality, my system is all new and a final verdict will take more time, but so far my P8 with Ortofon 2M Black and Rega Aria into 252 is for SQ my favorite source over the NDX2/555PSDR with Qobuz, though not for convenience and choice obviously.
(CDS3 still to be set up because the XPS is in Salisbury)

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I liked my axis when I had it (many years ago)
But it doesn’t compare to the LP12 all that favourably…and the LP12 can be bested by Rega at half to a third of the equivalent money spent …if I have explained that correctly?

I am not sure what you mean by bested. Rega and LP12 each have their fans, so not all would agree with such a value-for-money assessment.

OP is wanting to minimise hassle. There is a perception that Rega is less hassle, though I have never found my LP12 a hassle.


I had a Linn Axis about 5 years ago and a RP3 about 20 years ago.

The Axis is a nice turntable and is a great introduction to the Linn world of turntables. Be careful of the bearings on the tonearm and try to get it checked over if you can.

A RP3 is probably a safer bet.

I now have an LP12 but that’s much more pricey!

No one has yet addressed the question regarding the NDS and CD555PSDR. I strongly suspect that would sound better than a Linn Axis. It would certainly be more convenient than vinyl. I used such a combination for six years alongside my LP12. The NDS was used a lot more than the LP12 and that must say something.

How much would the Linn Axis cost?
It may visually appear in good condition however the main issue will be mechanical wear and tear, certainly the bearings, and the cartridge may be beyond its prime and need replacing as well.
You may well find that you can get a lot of value for money spending similar to what would be required to acquire the Linn Axis and not then have the overhead of having it stripped down and serviced and setup to work as optimally as it was originally intended to.
Where you live in the world may also play a part in what is a good brand to evaluate, if you’re in the UK then of course Linn and Rega are well supported and readily available, elsewhere in the world other brands tend to be more prevalent and accessible.

I agree it will be a more capable source, it partly comes down to what level of investment in time and money @CDI wants to put in to vinyl as a source. If as it appears, it’s more a casual re-engagement with the format, then something new or newer with less complexity may be preferable to get up and running quickly. Lot’s of us have both analogue and digital sources, some as good as each and some better one way or the other.
I see mention of a 252 which would suggest that a vinyl source would need to be of a reasonable standard to make best use of the source, plugging in a Rega P1 would work but it wouldn’t be the last word in sonic engagement.
Total analogue source budget indications would help narrow things down a bit as well.

A doubt I would have, over the Linn Axis, is what level of support and/or spares are available… ? Given its not a current LInn product - and AFAIK, hasnt been for quite a while… :thinking:

Another way to reason this is to consider how much time and money is required to get to a point where you can actually enjoy a vinyl source, relative to the system it’s joining.
It takes all of 5-10 minutes to connect a CD or streaming source and have a feel for what it can do, the same can’t be said for vinyl. You need a deck that’s well maintained and setup correctly, a suitable phono stage and cabling for it, then the vinyl itself needs to be cared for and ideally cleaned on a regular interval, you also need to be prepared to stand up, prepare the record for playing and sit down again a lot more than if you were flicking through a CD or even more readily accessing a streaming source.
A good quality digital source can come close to a high end vinyl setup and be a lot easier to engage with and maintain over time and yet a lot of people still spend a significant amount on an analogue source, which seems to contradict logic.
Time and budget play a part here in what is good advice and the rest of the system it will go in to are important points of reference.

A Linn Axis will be a reasonably good turntable, but I wouldn’t get too hung up on the Linn brand name. Decent though it will be, it will certainly not be as good as a Linn Sondek LP12 from the same era.

I recall a review of mid priced turntables in a hi-fi magazine in the early or mid 80s. The turntables (as far as I can remember) included the Linn Axis, Rega Planar (3?), Michell Syncro, CJ Walker, Acoustic Research, Manticore Mantra and Heybrook. I can’t remember exactly where the Axis came, but it certainly wasn’t considered by the reviewers to be in the top 3.

I think the Acoustic Research came 3rd, but I do remember that the Manticore Mantra with Moth (rebadged Rega RB250) arm came 1st with the Heybrook TT 2nd. The conclusion of the review was that the Manticore Mantra was the best mid priced deck you could buy, and fell just a little short of the top level tier at the time of Linn Sondek, Roksan Xerxes, Pink Triangle etc.

So, the Axis will be a reasonable deck that looks quite nice and may satisfy your vinyl requirements, but it probably isn’t quite the best you could buy from its era or its price.

I would be extremely surprised if the Axis could come close to matching, let alone beating your NDS/555PS DR.

However, if you do go down the vinyl route with the Axis or something a little better, then I would also invest in a record cleaning machine (such as a Project VC-S2) which you will find will work wonders with your record collection in the loft. When it comes to vinyl LPs, recent is not always better.

Hi, @CDI.

I’d fiddle with the Rega 3 a bit more, before selling it on. (Joking, a bit.) If you enjoy playing vinyl records, a good player is a treat.

I eventually upgraded my c. 2000 Planar3 Exact + Aria, up the predictable Rega/Naim path; but my point is, my 3 earned its place next to various Naim CD players, all of which I loved.

I admit I find modern record players (including my old 3), and the lack of constant surface-noise, a revelation compared to what I grew up with in the sub-Linn world of the 60s-80s.

If you have some nice vinyl records you like, the “horse race” between records and other forms can become irrelevant, IMHO. Personality and logistical factors matter too, of course. I cannot recommend vinyl to any beginner, unless they are extremely keen and fascinated by the form, as I am.



With the greatest of respect for your view, IMO running a good Vinyl source is - in my experience - very little effort.

I have had an LP12 since 1981 and the amount of ‘servicing’ it has needed is negligible. Yes, I have had it reset occasionally, but never because of any problems… :sunglasses: And - if we avoid the LP12 et al, and swap into Rega’s, the need for any servicing is even less… :smile:

As to cleaning LP’s, hmm… well, I do own a few ‘cleaning products’, including a Decca Brush and a Zerostat, but none that are essential. The Decca Brush (carbon fibre) or similar is perhaps a god habit - and is fairly easy to use. The Zerostat can be useful when a record brings the LP12’s mat with it. Some records just seem to do this… :thinking:

So, in my view, a Vinyl source is a little more faff, but not so much as to avoid. Try… With say a less expensive Rega, to start with.


I’ve got 2 systems, both with a Rega deck so I’m not saying it’s prohibitive, but if you were someone like @CDI that was looking to dabble with a vinyl source it’s making them aware of the inherent overheads. However you look at it it’s not as straightforwards as using a digital streamer or even a CD source. Vinyl is a physical medium that does need care and maintenance over time to get the best from it, the same can’t be said for say an NDS or equivalent as they themselves referenced.
It also helps others here to establish what the rest of their system is made up of and what their overall budget expectations are relative to a vinyl source.

IMO - YMMV - a Rega (or similar - Project - ?), is near perfect as a way to try Vinyl. Very low maintenance - zero (IMO) - and easy to set up. Not finicky - AFAIK - on where or what its stood on - within reason. Unlike an LP12.

As to care & maintenance of Vinyl, I am sorry but I am struggling here, with what you are saying. I have a Vinyl collection dating from the 1970’s onwards. I do not ‘actively’ clean or do anything to it. Albeit, I have always ensured that the records were in decent, lined inner sleeves - which are still readily and cheaply available, on say…eBay. I then just play them. Simple.

I have rarely found that cleaning records did much. A noisy record, is just that. Cleaning never made that much difference, in my experience. Other than removing obvious dust. Getting a better copy was a better solution - or just live with the noise. Now getting a better turntable did definitely help here - in making any noise less obtrusive… :grinning:

This is just my experience, which I am happy to share. Clearly, your experience @Mr.M, is different to mine… :thinking:

I don’t disagree, I think I made that point already, but I’ll say it again, just in case :slight_smile:
I’m trying to empathise with @CDI to establish what is right for them, with their system given the options they have available to them, which was focused on availability of a used, but cosmetically sound Linn Axis.
To quote the OP, “My head tells me the NDS / 555PS DR will still be better and more convenient”.
I’d say with a degree of confidence, considering they are comparing that thought to a used and likely to require service Linn Axis that their head is correct on this occasion.
That or a similar digital source, will give better sonic performance, not require tweaking and tuning and matching of cartridges, phono stage and tonearm and there is still a degree of uncertainty as to the condition of their existing vinyl collection and the requirement to potentially buy new vinyl to establish what level of enjoyment is possible for them relative to the system it will join. That’s without even thinking about brushes, cleaning, antistatic guns or whatever else may be added to the mix.
Panning back out again, looking at used prices for a Linn Axis, they come in around £500-600 on average, considering the budget requirement, for that sort of money I’d be looking at a Rega Planar 6 at around £1000, with a dedicated NEO PSU and for a little more, a factory fit Exact MM cartridge, that’s brand new, a little less used or ex demo can be found under £1000 without too much searching.
That is on the basis of hitting the ground running with minimal setup requirements and the fact a 252 is mentioned by the OP suggesting their system would benefit from a deck of at least this quality level to make it a meaningful exercise.
That still leaves a phono stage to consider, a Rega Fono MM is £199 new and a valid entry point, other options and more exotic paths exist beyond that.
This brings us back to budget, time and performance expectations relative to systems synergy, I think we need more details here to make a meaningful judgement of best options!