Best Turntable for the Price - Linn Basik

I added vinyl to my system recently. I originally felt that a CD source was superior until I heard just how natural and rich vinyl sounds with everything except perhaps hard rock, where the added dynamics and highs seemed to favor a CD source.

In my system, the Linn Sondek LP12, Thorens TD-125 MKII, Rega RP3, Oracle Alexandria and others bowed down to the Linn Basik Turntable with Basik LVX tonearm and Shure V15 VMR cartridge. Two top considerations, the Linn Sondek LP12 and Oracle Alexandria, sounded more detailed yet a little cooler and less rich and emotional than the Linn Basik turntable to me.

For the quality of sound that you get, the Linn Basik with Basik LVX tonearm has a rare "hard to believe your ears" musical synergy with the Shure V15 VMR cart which surprisingly bested all MC carts auditioned. Also, it is an ultra bargain with prices usually between $350 and $450, depending on condition.

Because I liked the sound so much (and the vinyl was peeling) that I had a beautiful Cocobolo Plinth made for it by John Piccioli of Furniture Craftsmen in Tucson, AZ. I left the original factory wooden top in place so as not to destroy the sonic signature by introducing a different material. BTW, I the preferred sound of the Basik LVX tonearm with its detachable head-shell, to the highly regarded Linn Akito tonearm with its fixed headshell.

I found the best cartridge depends on the turntable and tonearm it is mated with. I owned and trialed most of the best and more popular MM and high output MC carts including offerings such as the Sumiko Blackbird & Evo III, Dynavector 20X2H, Benz, Grado (too warm & dull to me), Ortofon Red & 2M Black (too bright to me), Shure M97XE (very nice balance of warm/detailed sound for the price), Denon DL-110 (sounded nervous and lacked richness in my system).

Of all the Cartridge/Turntable combinations that I tried, the Shure V15 VMR with the Linn Basik turntable and Basik LVX tonearm sounded the best, by a considerable margin. The Dynavector and Sumiko cartridges were close runner ups with this table.

BTW, Shure Specs the VN5MR without the stylus brush at 1.0 to 1.25 grams tracking weight. I have found that around 1.2g tracking weight, the sound is richer and less lean sounding than the recommended 1.0g setting.

FYI, the Thorens 125 MKII turntable seemed to come alive and have better synergy with the Sumiko Evo III cartridge (great sounding Cart, good balance, 3D imaging) than the Shure V15 V).
recently bought a Basik with Basik Plus arm as an extra TT and pandemic project.  also have a modded Systemdek IIX with Akito2 so plan to swap arms and carts for fun and variety.  main TT is currently a SL-1500c.  FWIW I've owned more than a dozen TTs over the years, including LP12 and Axis, so been around the proverbial block.

cleaned the bearing well, added fresh (Singer sewing machine) oil, treated the belt, and mounted an old Linn Basik Cartridge to the Basik Plus.  at first i was rather unimpressed.  a new stylus is en route

then, after putting the belt to the 45 rpm pulley, plugging it into a Music Hall Cruise Control 2.0 speed controller, and strobing/dialing in the speed exactly, i was captivated, even with the lesser arm/cartridge. what a fun, fairly detailed, and emotionally expressive little table!!  definitely looking forward to fall/winter listening sessions, switching between different table/arm/cartridge combinations.
And just think, Linn did nothing but copy the homely little AR-XA. Your praise should be going to Edgar Villchur.
minor course correction, lest this thread go further into a ditch.  the Basik is/was an non-suspended, original Linn design.  the LP-12, was, AFAIK, a copy of the Ariston, which was of course an evolution of the original AR 3-point suspended design, and which i definitely think of when i listen to my Systemdek.  sheesh, i'm outta here, hope my 2 cents is helpful to someone