Do I upgrade my cartridge or my turntable

I just bought a new preamp a rouge rp7 and a pro ject tube box DS3B  phono preamp. I also replaced the phono cable with a fully balanced set with xlr ends. My turn table is a 1989 linn basik with a akito 2 tone arm and a linn adikt cartridge. The old preamp was a linn pretec. The rest of my system is a Bryston 4 B power amp a pair of Dynaudio special forty speakers and a rel S510 sub woofer. My speeker wire is Naim audio solid copper coated with silver.all my interconnect cabels are solid braided silver. Now when I play vynal there is a vast improvement in sound now but I would like to get more seperation and be Abel to hear the different instruments better, when listening to classical and jazz.also get a bit deeper base my highs and mids are  great. When I listen to other styles of music on vynal  I am good with it. Now do I upgrade my cartridge at this point  or do I need to upgrade to a linn lp12 at this point I like linn turntabels .Thank you Michael. 


First- if you just bought a preamp and phono stage, I would give them at minimum a month to break in before doing anything. Then, if you have a dealer, bring in the Linn for a checkup, probably get a new belt at least and probably a new stylus for the cart. Then see where you are. In my experience with Linn, they are very dependent on where they sit, so you might try some different platforms. I had very good results with a corian shelf myself. You can really tune the sound more than you would think. 

@chayro gave good advice IMO.

I’d be inclined to climb up the cartridge or stylus food chain before swapping the TT.


You really have lots of great options. One big improvement would be to upgrade the bearing on your table. The con

I have a contemporary lp12 which I bought at the midlevel an then have upgraded to nearly the top level. I upgraded the sub chassis and arm, very worthwhile. Lots of great upgrades to be had with your table. 

if your cartridge is doing great, I would do the bearing and power supply first. 

Thank you for the responces. the first thing i will do is to let the new tube preamp and tube phono preamp break in for at least 250 hours of use. As for the linn basik turntable i had a full tune up done on  it as well as the current linn adikt cartridge installed and the belt replaced. I was told that it is in excelent condition both functionaly and asteticly. As for upgrading the braring and the power supply i cant they are not interchangeabel to the basik turntabel  only work with the lp12. the only things i can up grade are the cartridge and the akito2   tonearm. was told dont wasist money on a tone arm on the basik that i wont get much improvemrnt out of it. or to upgrade to a different cartridge.  Now if i replace the cartridge where do i go do i stay with linn and go with a MC or do i go somewhere else. if i dont get the improvements i am looking for with a cartridge up grade then i am going to get a lp12 and transfer the tone arm and new cartridge over. Now with a lp12 is there any models  i should look at that i can up grade and improve on as money allows .thank you Michael.

Buy the Denon I think model 103 and have the wood body installed  then you are finished for sure.

When I bought my Basik back in the day, it didn’t sound a whole lot different from a then-current LP12, to me or to my lady. I had to spend rather a lot to hear a big difference, eventually a Nottingham Analogue Mentor, which is not much different from a modern NA Dais.

But I also moved from 3B to 3BSST a century or two ago, and that did make a big difference. According to Bryston, the SST is the big change in sound quality and that accords with my perception. I still use a 4BSST for extra bass in the 2-channel system and a 9BSST for HT. Not too expensive and won’t wear out like a cartridge.

Good luck.

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Buy an earlier generation LP12 and transfer arm and cartridge to it. Later you can do the bearing/sub chassis upgrade. 

How old is the phono cartridge? If it’s from 1989 also and you played it one hour a week it’s ~1700 hours old.   It’s time to replace it.


I would upgrade the cartridge. I do like the advice with having the Linn checked out, new belt etc. IMO, the cartridge plays a bigger, more noticeable role in the overall sound than the actual TT (assuming you don't have a chepo, junk TT). Your Linn is far from being an entry level or junk level TT. 

Just be careful that you’re not trying to hear detail that is not in the recording. 

I'd agree with those that say upgrade your cartridge. Look into SoundSmith cartridges maybe something like The Voice. 

Well depending on the cartridge, that would be the least expensive and easiest upgrade.  But purchasing a new LP12 is your best bet if staying with the Linn simply because it's a fresh new product with the latest main bearing.  You never know what you get in a used product and upgrades to a new LP12 is a snap, the dealer does it for you.  I've owned an LP12 since the eighties and can suggest the best (that I think) choices in an upgrade path.  One more thing, avoid basically all the second party upgrades out there.  Sometimes an upgrade is just different sounding and not better, even some of Linn's own products in my opinion.

Unfortunately, you are looking to outperform your phono pre with any other change you make. That's not what you wanted to hear, but it's true. Be prepared to do an upgrade there soon if you go with a lp12, which will also require a better cartridge. $10k later and what do you have? Maybe a better system, maybe not. You have built a nice system. Enjoy it and let the upgrade bug bite someone else. Buy more records, maybe a modest cartridge. 

The most significant component improvement you can make is your room. If that's taken care of, then sit back and enjoy. 

There are quite reasonable costing methods available to be considered that can move your TT on in advanced Tech.

A LP12 Motor can be adopted for use.t

The Old Power Supply PCB Board can be swapped out, this will give a Board built from components not at risk of age related issues. 

The Platter Spindle Bearing can be serviced. 

Linn in their latest £50Kish TT, have now got on board 'pardon the pun' with using Resin Impregnated Densified Wood produced as a Board Material for their support structure. It is almost certain the product being used is Panzerholz or Permali.

For your own TT a Board Material such as  P'holz or P'mali used as the Plinth Blank, to be used to create a New Structure can be acquired for approx' £300.

Working on a TT's Supporting Structure will also bring very impressive results.

Some of the above suggestions utilised will give the user assurity the TT is in the finest of fettle. 

All of the above suggestions utilised have the potential to produce a TT, that will easily be able to get best from improved TA>Cart' assemblies, and I will be surprised if it does not take comparisons on TT's with multi £0000's attached to show it a clean set of heels. 

OP.....Please ...The comment "deeper base" ...It’s Bass as in Acoustic Bass, Double Bass, NOT Base....If you want Base, try Baseball....Ever read an album cover? Ever see a refrence to Ray Brown, Base????err...No....

Stylus cleaner, the Audio Technica AT 607a stylus brush and fluid works great, it dries quickly,  and, it is inexpensive. Cartridge demagnetizing. It works with moving coil cartridges. It works so well it has to be seen to be believed. Do not demagnetize a moving magnet cartridge as you will ruin it. Your Linn Adikt cartridge is a moving magnet cartridge, Do not demagnetize it.

Check tracking force and the anti skate setting. Anti skate should no more than the tracking force, I believe it should be a little less than the tracking force.

Degaussing MC Cart’s and SUT’s does have a notable effect on a how the sound is produced that follows the treatment. It certainly reigns looseness in and produces an improved resolution to certain frequencies.

Is it worth the expense of purchasing a degaussing device at approx’ $300, that is for the individual to decide, a loan of a degauss tool, might be the best first steps to make a discovery of the influence on a home set up.

Has the OP got an update on their direction being considered?