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Linn Sondek LP12 Servicing

Arguably one of hi-fi’s greatest success stories, especially for the Glasgow-based brand, the Linn LP12 will soon be celebrating its 50th birthday and has seen many improvements since its release in 1973.

Designed initially by Linn’s then CEO Ivor Tiefenbrun as he wasn’t satisfied by his hi-fi system’s sound quality, the LP12 was a revelation as this was a time where you just upgraded to bigger and better loudspeakers and amplifiers to improve your system. However, Ivor proved that his ‘Source first’ theory (or rubbish in, rubbish out as we like to call it) confirmed that no matter how good your loudspeakers and amplifiers were, if the turntable wasn’t picking up all the information from the record groove in the first place, how can the your system reproduce what’s been missed?

The 70s design really benefits from a caring service, and this is the best value upgrade you can give your turntable. There are many myths about the set-up of the LP12 with one of the most persistent being that they can easily go “out of tune”. The truth is that a well set up deck can stay in tune for many years. This is even when it has been transported long distances so long as care is taken when packing it, which we are happy to advise on. In fact, we find that most under-performing decks are simply not correctly set up when they arrive, yet with some care, attention to detail and patience, virtually all these ailments can easily be corrected, thus allowing the deck to perform to its full potential. However, it can sometimes be easy to overlook a compressed or poorly set-up suspension until you compare it with a well-sorted ‘dek. A simple service every 2 to 3 years comes highly recommended.

Nintronics offers a full servicing and upgrading of your turntable, specialising in the iconic Linn Sondek LP12 turntable. Servicing your LP12 is vital to keep it running and sounding the best it possibly can.

Our LP12 turntable service is £150 flat rate. starting with a complete strip down of the deck to just the plinth and top plate, to ensure the fit of the top plate to the plinth is just as it should be, which is critical to sound quality, and then a careful rebuild.

We will also during this strip down and rebuild process:

1)      Health check: A report back on the general condition of your LP12 covering all aspects such as wear to the spindle, motor and belt etc.

2)      Re-terminate mains plug if lose.

3)      Check wiring is pinned and run correctly and tightened appropiately

4)      Change bearing oil

5)      Clean and inspect Belt

6)      Clean and inspect motor

7)      Clean and inspect stylus

8)      Check cartridge alignment and tonearm balance. Corrected if needed.

9)      Included in the service costs are new replacement springs, bushes, nuts and washers

10)   General clean as we go, make sure your LP12 leaves us dust free and ready to crown the top of your HiFi again.

11)   Finally, without exception every LP12 will then sound tested in one of our demonstration rooms before being repacked for transportation. 

This will revive your turntable and bring it back to the type of performance that had you fall in love with it in the first place.

Improve the best

While your LP12 is being serviced, why not treat it to an upgrade? While we have it in the workshop, we could make it even better than it was when you bought it.

The modular design of the Linn Sondek LP12 lends itself to upgrades and future proofing. Here at Nintronics, we can improve your already great turntable by using the following:

  • Linn Trampolin
  • Linn Radikal
  • Linn Urika II
  • Linn Keel
  • Linn Kandid Moving-coil cartridge
  • Linn Adikt Moving-magnet cartridge

There are even more options, so please call to discuss your needs. However, Linn’s own suggested upgrade path for increasing performance in a current spec LP12 is Power Supply --> Sub-chassis --> Tonearm --> Cartridge --> Phono stage. Naturally, should you have an older Sondek LP12, there may be other avenues to explore beforehand. We are, of course, happy to discuss the best route for you and your particular LP12.

Power Supply

For instance, the Radikal - Klimax enclosure power supply is the highest performance motor control and power supply available for the Sondek LP12 turntable and comes complete with a brushed DC motor that replaces the standard LP12 AC motor. Radikal also powers the Urika internal phono stage for the LP12, where fitted. Radikal is also available in a Klimax chassis, machined from solid aluminium, or our standard Akurate-style chassis, so you can match it to your Linn system.

Sub-Chassis

The Keel sub-chassis is actually an integrated sub-chassis, armboard and tonearm collar, giving your turntable a significant leap in performance, helping to retrieve even more music from your vinyl.

Machined from a solid piece of aluminium, Keel provides exceptionally rigid support to the tonearm and platter. There are no screws, fixings and joins between each component so that virtually all vibration is removed, providing you with a more faithful reproduction of your music collection. Finally, to ensure that the Keel is integrated seamlessly with the suspension system of every Sondek LP12 turntable, it has been engineered to maintain the same mass and centre of gravity as achieved with a separate sub-chassis, armboard and collar.

Tonearm

The Ekos SE features advanced materials carefully selected for their sound performance and low resonance properties. These minimise interference, resonance and microphony, meaning you’ll hear even more from your vinyl collection.

The arm tube is machined from titanium to reduce resonance, and stainless steel bearing housing ensures precision.

The ultra-low friction bearings and temperature-compensated precision-springs ensure that exceptional performance from the Ekos SE tonearm is maintained. Furthermore, every Ekos SE tonearm is precision-engineered to last and is hand-built to the highest quality so that you can continue to enjoy your vinyl collection for decades to come.

The Ekos SE tonearm is the perfect partner for any cartridge. Specify Kandid, Linn’s reference moving coil cartridge for ultimate performance from your LP12 turntable.

Cartridge

Kandid is Linn’s best moving coil (MC) cartridge yet. It sports an exposed motor housing, which means there are no potential sources of resonance, resulting in a purer, cleaner sound, making all your vinyl sound better than ever.

The weight of the cartridge has been kept down by using a plastic front yoke screw rather than metal. Also, as well as allowing the counterweight to be moved closer to the bearing point giving a quicker reaction to changes in the vinyl, using a plastic screw eliminates any magnetic interference to the delicate coils in the cartridge.

Another notable innovation in Kandid is the angle of the mechanical body and the tracking angle of the cantilever which have also been moved from 23° to 20°. The result is that it’s placed under tracking force on the LP surface the flux lines remain symmetrical, ensuring that mechanical effects on the coils and iron core remain equal in all directions, avoiding any deformation.

Kandid uses the finest nude diamond Line Contact stylus and benefits from a ceramic boron cantilever for ultra-low mass and extremely high rigidity. The suspension mechanism supports hand-wound coils secured in a high-precision rigid assembly, terminated with gold contacts on flying leads for superb signal transmission. The coils in the Kandid also feature an extra winding to increase output.

Phono Stage

Urika II carries out the critical process of implementing the RIAA curve in the digital domain thanks to Linn’s digital signal processing technology. The upshot of this is lower distortion, lower noise and more music.

Transported over Exakt Link, the musical information that Urika II delivers is perfectly preserved until the moment it reaches your ears, providing a musical experience like never before.

Furthermore, we can optimise each and every individual device, correcting the variations inherent in the analogue stage to ensure outstanding performance every time. Urika II can be optimised to work with your preferred cartridge load values.

Urika II is powered by the Radikal power supply and is mounted on the integrated Trampolin baseboard within the plinth of your Sondek LP12 to maintain phono stage isolation and improve deck suspension.

While You Wait

Lastly, our LP12 services and upgrades can be carried out on a while-you-wait basis if you wish, provided you book a mutually convenient time with us in advance.