Linn LP12......That good??

I have an Ariston RD80 (very good) and a Thorens TD 160, also very good.
How good are the Linn Lp12 tt's??
I am always looking for the best most impressive sound.
I will have to sell the Ariston/Thorens if i buy the Linn because i will not need 3 turntables!
The Ariston almost looks like the Linn by the way.
So how great are the Linn's and what is the best combination to buy?

With all due respect Bill, John is not right. I’ve played with a few stand-up bass players (plus a "stand-up electric bass" player, but that's another story), and you’re right, a stand-up sounds very different from an electric. A good way to appraise the quality of a sub (or the woofer of a full-range loudspeaker) is to play a good recording of an acoustic bass through it; the better the sub, the more you hear it’s true timbre, tone, and woody resonance, which is markedly different than that of an electric bass. The hollow body of an acoustic has much more depth than does the electric’s solid plank of wood, only the sound of it’s vibrating strings being amplified. Some early Rock ’n’ Roll and Blues recordings contain the stand-up bass playing of Willie Dixon. Modern day Rockabilly bands wouldn’t dare have an electric bass---that would be sacrilege!

One stand-up player I worked with put a pick-up on his, running it into his electric’s amp. The other was more of a purist, using a microphone. Atkinson apparently believes that an electric bass, by virtue of it not having the large, hollow body of a stand-up, is now the mythical "bass guitar". There are a couple of things wrong with that belief:

1- The bass, and the guitar, are tuned an octave apart, the guitar, obviously, the higher. Putting a pick-up on a bass does not change that fact. Whether the bass is a solid body electric, or a hollow body acoustic/stand-up, they are tuned the same, and play the same notes---bass notes. They are both basses---one an electric, the other an acoustic. The fact that the electric has the movement of it’s strings turned into an electronic signal does not change the fact that the notes of those strings are still bass notes, not guitar notes. The same can be said about an electronic organ; a Hammond B3 is just as much an organ as is a Pipe Organ, not by virtue of it being electronic now being named something else. An electronic organ vs. a pipe organ, an electric bass vs. a stand-up bass---same difference.

Atkinson is not the first to call the electric bass a bass guitar, and neither I nor any bass players I know have any idea where that originated. What is surprising about Atkinson using that term is that it is commonly used by beginners and non-players, never, and I mean never, by seasoned bass players themselves. If you call the instrument in the hands of a good and/or pro bassist a "bass guitar", he will either take that as an insult, or dismiss it as coming from someone who just doesn’t know any better ;-).

2- An electric guitar and an acoustic guitar play the exact same notes as each other (assuming they are both 6-string versions, and tuned the same). The solid body and the pick-ups of an electric guitar does not make it instead a bass ukulele, if you follow my analogy. It is still a guitar, just an electric one. Same with an electric bass.

3- The standard electric bass has four strings. In the early 1960’s, Fender came out with a 6-string bass, naming it the Fender 6. It was still considered a bass, it’s four lowest strings tuned the same as those of a 4-string, the two extra strings tuned, as with the others, an octave above the corresponding strings on a guitar. Brian Wilson sometimes had one of his three bassists play one, the other two being a solid body Fender electric an a stand-up acoustic. Guitarist Duane Eddy played some of his distinctive early 60’s songs on a Fender 6---very cool sounding! The Fender 6 used lighter-gauge strings than a 4-string electric bass, and it’s tone was about halfway between a 4-string and an electric guitar. It was still considered a bass, though if any instrument could conceivably be called a bass guitar, it would have been the Fender 6.

In one sense, it’s just a matter of semantics---everyone knows what instrument is being referred to when someone says bass guitar. But come on, think about it literally: what the heck is a bass guitar? That’s an oxymoron!

Agree, but it’s not difficult to see how and why the "bass guitar" designation came about. First of all, the electric bass gained prominence at first, and mostly, in ensembles in which the electric guitar was already in use. It is shaped like a guitar and is played horizontally like a guitar; and, importantly, it has frets like a guitar which the acoustic bass does not. Obviously, its musical function is that of simply BASS; but, not hard to understand why it was referred to as bass guitar and some still do. Like you say, it’s mostly a matter of semantics and, to a degree, musicians’ pride and respect for their "axe" (applicable to any instrument); and ensuing "lingo". For me this falls in the camp of something like the use of "sax" instead of "saxophone". C’mon, man, it’s a saxophone not a "sax"....yuk!

Fair point. But experience is everything. Mine was not good.

I knew after a month or two of using it that the Grace arm was the weak link in my system. I told my dealer this and he agreed. But the price of a new Linn arm and cartridge -- I wouldn’t buy anything else -- was prohibitive. My hobby dollars have to be spent wisely. Even you would have to agree that "fixing up" a thirty year old turntable is fraught with a limited return on investment. Fortunately, when I sold the system as separate entities, I broke even.

If someone gave me a brand spanking new Linn, with all the SOTA bells and whistles it could accommodate, I bet I’d be singing a different tune. Alas, that was not the case...

(P.S., and, it was single speed only, which precluded me from listening to my high-end 45 RPM LPs (and my youthful 45s as well...)
@bdp24 - perhaps you are correct as a matter of terminology, but it becomes like ordering non-decaffeinated coffee- an acoustic bass to distinguish it from the far more common electric bass in rock or blues? Yeah, I get it, but the instruments sound different, and I guess I'm just expressing my preference for the double bass, given the tone, etc. Ditto on the B-3. Ain't nothing like it. 

audiovideonirvana, I don’t doubt that your 80’s Linn didn’t sound that great....due to the weakness of the arm. Question is how much influence people have when they go on a public forum...and post opinions that the whole line of tables is just no good based on their highly "limited" experience. I see so many posters on this and other forums who jump to conclusion based on their " limited experience" with the LP12. None of these guys have ever heard a top level LP12, or have ever heard one that is correctly set-up and/or are comparing an old model ( many times from the 80’s--occasionally from the 90’s!--if they have heard the table at all!) to something that now floats their boat. Problem is that what now floats their boat is usually a table that cannot hold a candle to a top line Klimax LP12!
BTW, how many other tables can you say this about...after "thirty years" the option of "fixing up" ( whatever that means to you) is an option for the table. Try saying that with a thirty year old VPI!! You cannot even update most VPI’s to the current level after a few months, LOL. Oh, I forgot, they have a new version out now, leaving the old model to collect dust!
The one thing I do agree with you on is when you say..." If someone gave me a brand new Linn, with all the SOTA bells and whistles it could accommodate, I bet I’d be singing a different tune"!!!! You bet you would buster!!!