Turntable choices - upgrade cartridge or LP12

Currently got a Debut Carbon with 2M red and finding myself listening to more and more vinyl recently.

Am I better off upgrading the cartridge (Bronze or Black) or moving it on and investing in an LP12 ?

I’ve got a couple of hundred LP’s but want to commit more time to listening to them now and invest in more every month.

Note - am very impressed with the phono stage on the SN3.

It’s probably not a good idea to invest more in a better cartridge for the debut carbon. The deck itself is more important than the cartridge, so that’s where to put your efforts. The Linn is great but there is a huge range of permutations and it’s really important that it’s set up by someone who knows what they are doing. I’d say it’s worth considering a Rega as an alternative. They are much more plug and play and can be bought packaged with a cartridge for a good saving.

As an aside, the SN3 has a very good DR power supply on board, and I’d be very surprised if the non approved power supply you are using actually made it better rather than worse. It seems an odd choice.


Personally Gav, I would go for the LP12 as you wish to get into vinyl playing more often . Key is a good dealer to set it up correctly

And yes I totally agree with you the SN3 input is great .

Can’t go wrong


An LP12 is a serious - and expensive - commitment…
For a new one, you are looking at £3450, I think…?
Alternatively, look for a ‘pre-loved’ example perhaps…?
Some dealers will actually build you one, from pre-loved parts, I think…?

A Rega would be far less expensive… :thinking:


HH’s recommendation of a Rega is really worth considering. A LP12 would be great but at a cost 2nd hand or otherwise. You might set a budget. Roksan Radius and Vertere DG could also be added to the list.



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For the new price of a base LP12 you could get a Rega P8/apheta 3 and an Aria phono stage which run into a SN3 would be a great compact vinyl set up. Better than a majik with a adikt MM cart into the phono of the SN3… imho anyway…


The new Roksan Attessa is getting good reviews. Paul Rigby praised it highly on his YouTube 'Audiophile Man" channel. £999 for deck, arm and cart with built in phono stage which can be bypassed.

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If you have the hots for a Linn, it doesn’t have to be new. Unless you insist on new.

Many dealers will discuss it with you and build you what you want at a good price for considerably less than, say, a Majik.

How far you take it from there is up to you…

(Worked for me, deck in profile, YMMV)


I went from a project xpression ukx to a linn lp12 , i am using the same cartridge (quintet bronze) and it sounds so much better on the linn. Although the project was very good, I had modified it with better feet, classic evo sub platter and a few other bits in the project catalogue, the actual turntable itself was holding the cartridge back from performing. I had always wanted a linn lp12 so for me that was the obvious choice as it was always my end stop.


My first deck apart from on an old style music system was the Rega Plana 3. It’s a great entry turntable. 25 years later I ended up with a Linn Axis which got me into Linn. The LP12 followed and I had to spend alot of money to get it right as the bearings were damaged on the tonearm. Been several upgrades to the Linn LP12 and I love it. It’s my favourite source versus my NDS with 555PS and CDS3 with XPS2. So that should tell you how good it is.

The Rega decks are less hassle and probably better value.

The Linn LP12 can be a money pit if you choose upgrade upon upgrade. I’ve probably spent around £3500 on mine and many out there have spent well over £15000 on theirs, not including the purchase price. If going for an LP12 you need to do quite a bit of research and be really careful where you buy one from. I would recommend using a good dealer who specialises in LP12s.


You can go wrong with LP12s. Shot bearings and poor set up can make repairs expensive. It’s not a plug and play turntable by any means.

Worth it. Yes. Just make sure it’s set up and I would advise buying from a dealer as there’s alot of damaged LP12s out there.


There is a house in bury with two absolute gentlemen I can recommend :grin:

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Personally, I would go down the second-hand LP12 route. I have had mine since 80 or 81 and it is still going strong, most of it has been replaced over time as I have upgraded it. As others have said, get it from a reputable dealer and it will give you many years of use.


I agree with the others about getting a pre-loved LP12 from a dealer.

Like many others, I’ve had mine since 1986 and it’s been upgraded along the way.

I use Peter Swain at Cymbiosis in Leicestershire and earlier this year he built a deck using pre-loved parts for a friend of mine.

Give him a ring and have a chat about what you want and he put a deck together for you. That way you’ll get real value for money.


A Debut Carbon vs. LP12… Hmm. Like comparing a ten year old Nissan Versa to a brand new Lexus. No brainer.

In the UK, seems like so many LP12 options…Peter at Cymbiosis at top of the list. He could definitely set you up with a terrific TT and you’d be off and running.

Lots of great in between options, Rega etc… But if you can stretch to the LP12 now, just do it.


Thanks for all the advice.

I’d be more than happy with a pre-loved LP12 and Cymbiosis is only half-hour from me so I think I’ll do a bit of research and then reach out to Peter.

I have no set budget in mind but hoping £2k would get me into a decent used LINN.


Excellent move Gav

Peter is a genius . Even though I live in Sydney I have met him here when he visited my Naim dealer. He has been here a few times on his global travels

For a few of us Linn enthusiasts he demonstrated best ways to set up Linns.

He will do the best for you



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Interesting. I wonder what spec LP12 you’ll get at £2k even 2nd hand, and how that would compare performance wise with a Rega P8, Roksan Radius, Vertere DG, Michell Gyro etc.

But Peter at Cymbiosis is a great guy, he looks after my Xerxes.


Good point Lindsay

Peter can demonstrate both the Regas and Vertere DG.