A short afternoon of Linn, Basis and Redpoint

For all three front ends - the LP12, Basis 2001 Signature and Redpoint (it's all in red) - they were maxed-out, meaning, their setups had top-of-the-line arms, cartridges and power supplies, making a nicely-matched shootout, at least, for the Linn and Basis.

My impressions?

It's obvious the Linn can only appeal to Linn-heads. It can no longer compete in the 21st Century.

Stereophile thinks it's the most important hi-fi equiptment that came along in the last few many years. Probably, but in today's competition, it sounds so mediocre that it's more of loyalty than good sound that really makes the grade.

There's not much more you can do to a table that's forward, bright and sonically thin. The bass, by the way, is lacking. A thumps down!

The Basis 2001, with the Vector arm, has better texture, quieter and darker background. Not as forward as the Linn, and has a better chance of getting upgraded. A base for the table is coming out soon. A surprise, really, since I thought the table was mid-fi.

The Redpoint is a cross between the two in presentation. More, I think, in the likeness of the Teres and Galibier.
Tables that share many traits and past friendships.

The Redpoint was quite good, but, suprisingly I enjoyed the Basis a little bit more. (And not because I have the 2000, which is not in the same league as the Signature.)

Hi George. Sounds like a fun day. Being a "Linn-head", I am obviously disappointed; however, if there was one "best" product, there would be no market for anything else. Your description of the Linn is the classic description of an improper vertical tracking angle, where the cartridge/cantilever/stylus is canted too far forward. See if you get the same results when you lower arm height a bit.
Interesting report, George. I have only recently listened to the LP12 and a VPI Scoutmaster and the Linn sounded better but it may have been setup. I do want to listen to the Basis and some Clearaudio TT's but haven't found the time. I did a head to head comparison with the Linn and my Rega P25 (tweeked out) but the Linn was a definite winner but it should be.
You didn't mention cartridge or pre-amp in your comparison did you use the same on all three? And what were they?
I think, you got it right. I listened the last years to 8-10 Linn LP12 with all kind of upgrades, and a few at special Linn dealers. At the very best it was mediocre, normally below average ( for me ). A hyped product, which is coloured through the frequency range. I know, there are lots of enthusiasts out there, but unfortunately I never was able to find the reason for that.
Nice chance to hear a few tables.

But, we'd really like to hear about what the "top-line arms and cartridges" were, on each table, so we can have a more insightful look into this comparison.

We heard about the Vector arm on the Basis, what cartridge was on it? How about what was on the other tables?

What phono stage?
What loadings for the cartridges?
Good questions from Twl.

Comparing rigs with multiple differences can be interesting and fun, but it only tells you how they compare as packages. Concluding that one table (or arm, or cartridge) is better than another based on such a comparison may be a stretch. Can you elaborate a little?
Mea culpa! I didn't mentally take notes to recognize the amp nor preamp, but they were quite high-end. The speakers, however, were not easy to miss. They were the latest incarnation of the Eidolon from Avalon.

The cartridge on the Vector was the Transfiguration. The Linn, their top cartridge. And the Lingo.

I would name the dealer but, with all due respect, take a pass. (I must say, however, that it became quite apparent that he wanted me to make a commitment after a short listening session of the systems. When I said I wasn't going to go for it because I still wanted to audition more tables, he said he didn't think I would commit anyway. Well, that was a turn off for me and I said goodbye.)

Honestly, I would have considered the suspension (pods, they call them) for my Basis 2000 and a new base that's about six weeks away.

But like they say, "Listen to as many as you can - it's your money."

Dear George: *** " My digital front end still beats my analog system. " ***

Try to change your cartridge/tonearm combo. What happen with the Myabi 47 cartridge?, it is an exellent cartridge.

Regards and enjoy the music.
Hi Raul,

I have so far bought a Shelter 501 II; can't afford the Miyabi 47. :(

At this point, however, I'm slowing down because this process of upgrading is for the long haul. Don't want to keep changing gear and spending needlessly.