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Old 6th April 2015, 08:42 AM   #1
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Default Linn Sondek DIY mods that work

Are there any, or should we believe the view an LP12 is like an old violin?

despite reading many threads, views on the commercial products vary widely. As for DIY mods, damping is thought to be the wrong principle for its design, or so it is said.

But in which case there seems little on diy stiffening.

Mine has Valhalla/ Basik LVX.

Replacing the psu with an external one is an obvious path but are there no mechanical DIY projects that work?

Anyone had any success with table or arm mods?
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Old 6th April 2015, 06:22 PM   #2
bgruhn is online now bgruhn  United States
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[QUOTE=el donkey;4283928]Are there any, or should we believe the view an LP12 is like an old violin?

Hi, Just a few words from my experience with Linn, model unknown. Time frame, decades ago, I had just placed my first working sample of a diy Corian TT in operation and was pleased with the results. Of course there was to be further development. Then I found a Linn TT at a second hand swap table and grabbed it based on the brouhaha that Linn was experiencing at the time. Took it home, cleaned it up some and simply could not believe what a poorly designed and built machine it was compared to all the rave notices that were in the press. This is now decades later with the Corian TT still going strong. Other than the prototype Corian TT I had at the time, I had the, now much maligned, Philips GA212 for comparison. Again no contest, GA212 winner in spades.

I'm sure that Linn has come a long way from there judging from their commercial success.

As to comparing an old Linn with an old violin, cigarbox fiddle or rusty roller skate would be more correct IMHO. YMMV!

Best,
BillG

Why not try building your own. You might even be able to salvage the bearing out of the Linn,
BG

Last edited by bgruhn; 6th April 2015 at 06:30 PM.
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Old 6th April 2015, 06:46 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by el donkey View Post
As for DIY mods, damping is thought to be the wrong principle for its design, or so it is said.
Damping the steel sub-chassis should be the "first" thing you do. Stock, it rings like a bell, which isn't a good thing IMHO.

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Replacing the psu with an external one is an obvious path but are there no mechanical DIY projects that work?


Quote:
Originally Posted by el donkey View Post
Anyone had any success with table or arm mods?
I put a Jelco 370H on mine. Huge upgrade from the Akito mkI. Also allows cartridge rolling with it's removable headshell.

jeff
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Old 6th April 2015, 06:53 PM   #4
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My very old LP12 was given to me as a box of bits. I'm no TT expert but had to get my head around it to put it back together. I've rewired the Ittok LVII arm, ripped out the basic power supply and connected a DIY Armageddon-esque PSU. I was forced to replace the armboard as mine was warped - I bought a new Perspex one on eBay. The armboard was the bit I couldn't get my head around. Why use a bit of thin MDF to connect a rigid metal sub chassis to a pretty decent metal arm? I don't buy the 'deliberate decoupling' argument - seems like an excuse for an obviously weak link in the chain. Ebay Perspex armboard gets my vote :-)

Last edited by sharpi31; 6th April 2015 at 06:54 PM. Reason: Typo
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Old 7th April 2015, 02:41 AM   #5
andyr is offline andyr  Australia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by el donkey View Post
Are there any, or should we believe the view an LP12 is like an old violin?

despite reading many threads, views on the commercial products vary widely. As for DIY mods, damping is thought to be the wrong principle for its design, or so it is said.

But in which case there seems little on diy stiffening.

Mine has Valhalla/ Basik LVX.

Replacing the psu with an external one is an obvious path but are there no mechanical DIY projects that work?

Anyone had any success with table or arm mods?
IMO, the responses you've got so far are written by people who have no idea of the construction philosophy of the LP12.

Yes, the pressed-steel subchassis is crap - and requires the armboard to be attached with 3 p*ssy little screws, to provide a lossy connection with the subchassis. The reason for this is to stop the vibrations inherent in the pressed-steel subchassis from 'invading' the armboard. Trouble is, this means there is not a rigid connection between the arm and the platter ... which loses you low-level detail. If you bolt the armboard to the pressed-steel subchassis (to get a rigid connection) ... you get vibrations in the armboard which degrade the sound - but if you then damp the pressed-steel subchassis, you suck the life out of the music.

So you are stuck between a rock and a hard place, with the classic pressed-steel subchassis - which is why the Keel is such a good-sounding upgrade (it now gives LP12s the kind of low-level detail retrieval which other TTs have had for a long time).

The 'Sole' subchassis is one man's attempt to overcome the deficiencies of the classic pressed-steel subchassis and screwed-on armboard. Well before John, there was the Cetech CF-composite subchassis (which came out in about 2000, when the Keel wasn't even a gleam in Ivor's eye! ) - I installed one in about 2004 and thought it made a huge difference - although most Linn dealers thought it didn't sound any good. There is a reason for this, though - when you wind up the nuts too tight, the bolt heads stress the top skin of the armboard ... and this stress reaches the arm itself and queers the sound. What you need to do is epoxy some metal collars into the armboard, around the holes drilled for the bolts, so that the bolt heads contact these collars ... and not the top skin of the armboard.

Regards,

Andy
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Old 7th April 2015, 03:49 AM   #6
nezbleu is offline nezbleu  Canada
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Originally Posted by andyr View Post
If you bolt the armboard to the pressed-steel subchassis (to get a rigid connection) ... you get vibrations in the armboard which degrade the sound - but if you then damp the pressed-steel subchassis, you suck the life out of the music.
I have never understood how removing vibrations that have been added by a vibrating chassis can "suck the life out of the music". This would imply that the vibrating chassis is what contributes "life", as opposed to the vibrations pressed into the vinyl.

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What you need to do is epoxy some metal collars into the armboard, around the holes drilled for the bolts, so that the bolt heads contact these collars ... and not the top skin of the armboard.
Wouldn't a washer do the same thing?
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Old 7th April 2015, 04:02 AM   #7
andyr is offline andyr  Australia
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Wouldn't a washer do the same thing?
Not really - as the washer is still pressed against the top skin of the armboard by the pressure of the bolt head (resulting from winding the nut up tight).

Whereas, if you epoxy a short length of thick-walled ss tubing (slightly shorter than the thickness of the armboard, so it sits slightly shy of the top and bottom surfaces) into the armboard, then the bolt head presses down on this collar... and not directly on the top skin.

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I have never understood how removing vibrations that have been added by a vibrating chassis can "suck the life out of the music". This would imply that the vibrating chassis is what contributes "life", as opposed to the vibrations pressed into the vinyl.
Yes, it's an anomalous situation. What you say makes sense - yet there is a long thread on the Linn LP12 Forum about "1001 ways to stuff up an LP12" and many of the posts refer to situations where someone had damped the sub-chassis or the underside of the outer platter.

Andy
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Old 7th April 2015, 04:10 AM   #8
nezbleu is offline nezbleu  Canada
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The really funny part is that there is near-universal approval of damping (and stiffening) the sub-chassis of a Thorens. That's really all I know about, I have never modded a Linn, and I have been told repeatedly that the Linn and the Thorens, though nearly identical to visual inspection, follow different laws of physics.
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Old 7th April 2015, 04:20 AM   #9
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IMO, the responses you've got so far are written by people who have no idea of the construction philosophy of the LP12.
Yeah, the philosophy of copying other people's ideas, screwing them up, and charging ridiculous amounts of money for them.

jeff
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Old 8th April 2015, 05:33 PM   #10
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Never an agreed line of thought when it comes to the LP12
I my previous tables have been B&Os and prior to that Japanese.
comparing the construction of a B&O 4000 to the Linn you would indeed see one as a masterpiece of period engineering and the other leaving you scratching your head.
however, despite my respect to the design of the B&O I can see how the complexity could work against it. Some 20yrs back a friend had an LP12 and I know it sounded considerably better than my Sony direct drive of the time.
So, curiosity meant I needed to own one. And further curiosity makes me wonder why upgrades are so expensive and home engineering understood to make these worse not better.
I moved home and passed on my B&O so cannot give a fair comparison between the two.
with some pressings I find the LP12 very impressive, and on others not.
I have an mose external PSU on the way and a project 9cc arm. I hear some praise the cirkus bearing as the must do update but others say keep the original.
I still find it surprising there are no 'winning' diy mods after all these years? Ive removed the base board as this appears the only recommend action.
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