Upgrade to a Supercap (olive) or Karousel for the Linn?

@ratrat good question…I listen mainly to CD at the moment as I think its sounds slightly better than the LP12 at the moment, a little more convenient but who knows what will happen with a Karousel upgrade and possibly the Troika later on?

Okay, that’s useful to know.

CDX2 + XPS is a fine CD playback solution.

Given what you have just said…
Also, assuming you would like to do both, but have limited budget right now and can only do one, then here are a few thoughts.

Add the SuperCap for now. The whole system will benefit. Most immediately it will benefit your primary source CD.

The only caveat here is that others have reported changing 2xHC for SC is a minor, not major, upgrade. But in any case the important consideration is this is an upgrade that will benefit both sources.

Come back to the LP12 later. Knowing your NAC pre-amp will better resolve any upgrade improvements on the LP12.

The only reason to cause any change and go the other choice, is if you make a conscious decision to play more vinyl.

Out of curiosity, is your LP12 original bearing or later Cirkus?


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More musing…

Just in case you are considering spending more time with vinyl, via your LP12…

My own was a basic LP12 untouched from the 1980’s. It got used and loved lots. Never any problems. Just plonk a record on and play.

Having added several upgrades concurrently, recently, it is now our best source and magical to listen to. We are transfixed listening to vinyl records and marvel at how good this old retainer has now become.

But, it now asks for more downstream and so I’ve been looking at better (best) phono stages and Naim amplifiers a new. In your case, maybe the rest of your (Naim) system is already there or there abouts.

However, for you, (adding a SC) freeing up a HC might be useful later to use with an external Naim phono stage : Pre-fix ; StageLine ; SuperLine.

Win win :wink:


I would always go source first - and as others have said the Karsouel on LP12 is superb, but the supercap on th 82 should be a game changer on the 82 - when I added SC to my 282 it was a game changer

both are great upgrades, SC will add to whole system - Karsouel to LP12 both will make you smile


So, I guess the summary is:

Go for the Supercap right away, smile;

Hear the LP12 fall behind CD more, frown;

Make an upgrade plan for the LP12, cringe (at your wallet damage);

Once the LP12 has returned upgraded, smile double. :grinning:


Its is a Circus but not the original. Peter at Cymbiosis changed it out last time it was there…

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Peter at #Cymbiosis would be your best guide on this, he has both LP12’s Karousel and Circus set up to demonstrate. Whilst you are there speak with Phil about going down the streaming route. If you listen to CD’s more than vinyl, then streaming could be a good choice. My LP collection is around 250 LP’s, I have determined it is not cost effective to do any more upgrades to my vinyl listening. I admit to having a Pink Triangle, the original, with a DC motor, which has being upgraded by Peter, Arm/Cartridge and a general service. It made an LP12 Majik sound quite pale. I’d do it quickly, as soon as international travel restrictions are lifted he will have two years worth of globe trotting to do visiting his international clients.


I’d go for the SuperCap. When I had a NAC82 with 2 x HiCap and upgraded to a SuperCap, it was one of the biggest WOW moments I’ve ever experienced. It’s a superb improvement, which opens the opportunity to upgrade later to a NAC52 (which is only bettered in the Naim range by the NAC552 and the S1 IMO). It also benefits all your source components, of course.


Difficult one.

I had my Lingo 1 LP12 upgraded to standard Radikal a few years ago and took advantage of the free Karousel upgrade, also added a Trampolin (2?), Kore and Krystal (probably should have gone for a Dynavector in hindsight). Bright and detailed but was it really all that much better than the Cirkus, or is my old Linn Linto holding things back?

I have an old NAC 72 which did well for several decades. I now have a NAC 282, again I’m not entirely bowled over by it as all upgrades seem to make things brighter. Have used SBLs passive and active with both CB/Olive HICAPs, NAXO and 1/2 olive NAP 250s.

I’ve tried NAC 282 with an olive HICAP for 282 (active SBLs, 2 x oliveNAP 250, CB NAXO+olive HICAP), 2 x olive HICAP for 282 (passive SBLs with an olive NAP 250), olive HICAP+DR HICAP (active SBLs, olive NAP 250, CB NAXO/olive HICAP). There are lots of permutations.

Recently acquired a Supercap DR which is up and down, sometimes like today sounds amazing, other times not so amazing.

The biggest Supercap DR improvement for me has been a lot more detail, better soundstage, and surprisingly (given my age) so much better detail at fairly high frequencies (cymbals etc which are much more focussed). The biggest overall difference which must be a combination of effects is how much easier it is to understand vocals without reference to a lyric sheet.

My personal thoughts are:

1 - if you can get an olive Supercap at a good price (preferably serviced) it’s likely to be very synergistic with your system, and they don;t crop up often. That then leaves you with the question of how to repurpose or offload the HICAPs, Do you intend to go active or get a Naim phono stage for the LP12? Would you consider a NAC 52/282/252 down the line?

2 - the Karousel is widely regarded as a bargain compared to an old potentially worn Cirkus, however it’s current and readily available unlike secondhand Supercaps. I think the Karousel is revealing but I perhaps miss some of the warmth (admittedly probably artefactual) from my lower spec LP12.

3 - I’m not using my upgraded LP12 as much as I thought I would, and am captivated by how good unconventional use of a ‘temporary’ Uniti Nova with variable level RCA out to the NAC 282 is. As much as I love my vinyl collection the Karousel/Krystal/other upgrades are ruthlessly revealing of surface noise and other pressing/wear and tear issues.


I’ve found my recent upgrades to my LP12 Karousel/Kore/Trampoline 2 made a huge effect on reducing surface noise. Adding a Lingo 4, and later on a Krystal did not change this characteristic.

I use 523K boards in an NAC82, the record buttons are set to Mute/Aux which makes a noticeable difference in SQ.

If I’m perfectly honest I think the increase in surface noise is purely down to the aluminium cantilever in the Krystal, my previous Audio Technica and Linn Arkiv cartridges had boron I think.

I went from DV10x5 which is a high output MC feeding 523S boards, I was worried that I’d lose my low surface noise when I upgraded to the Krystal but I didn’t :slightly_smiling_face:

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I compared the Krystal to a Dynavector XX2 - Krystal was more exciting, but I could hear higher surface noise at the time, and in hindsight I would now have gone for the smoother less exciting cartridge. Very hard when testing many many miles away from home. The Krystal is a fine cartridge but for me has higher surface noise than previous cartridges which I think is due to the aluminium cantilever and how overall tonal characteristics impact on an individual system.

I do have a Pink Triangle Achromat ‘stuck’ ( :frowning:) to the LP12 outer platter - spades of detail but I suspect the felt mat would work more synergistically. I could rip it off but the Achromat is a few mm thicker and I can’t get my head around any VTA type calculations currently.

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Yikes! Don’t forget to ‘side’ the Linn mat if you do change.
Surely you just need to make sure the arm/cartridge is level with a medium thickness LP?

I’ve only ever had aluminium cantilever cartridges so can’t comment on Boron types.

So the SC I’m looking at circa 1991…any issues with age? Its been serviced at A class in 2018.

A cheap gamble at the Bristol show a few years ago - certainly adds detail/brightness, but it wasn’t perfectly flat so I used the included double-sided fixers to attach it to the outer platter to try to reduce that. It may be easy to remove but I’m reluctant, I think it was 5mm thick and my Krystal was set up with it attached.

Despite having had Linn TTs since the mid 80’s I’d never heard of ‘siding’ the mat, though more recently found info on ‘clocking’ the outer platter etc - I tire of all this subjective tweaking these days even if it works.

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Don’t even know what that means?

Well actually even on my humble spec LP12 there is a clear audible difference between which side of the felt mat is up, with only one side being the right one. So…


Sounds ideal if the price is good.

It’ll be non-DR and potentially not upgradable to DR (check) but I assume otherwise fairly in keping with the rest of your boxes which can impart a lot of synergy.

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Blimey…never knew! :astonished: