Thoughts on the Linn LP12 turntable

I don’t see many discussions that include the Linn Sondek LP12 turntable and was wondering why? They’ve been around since the late 70’s and other then power supply and a few other minor changes (IMO) are relatively unchanged. I had one in the early 80’s and another in the late 90’s. They are somewhat finicky to get setup correct and once you do, they sound great. That being said I know there have been a lot better designs to come out since the LP12’s hey-day. Are they worth considering  anymore or has the LP12 just become another audio vintage collectors item?


After having been influenced by Art Dudley, I bought a Garrard 401, and did a DIY overhaul. I built a plinth that I love, put a Dynavector 501 arm on it, and have been enjoying it for years.

The 401's are not fussy, built very robustly, and sound great. Sure beats the Project table and VPI Scout that I bought when first returning back to vinyl. But what it does is more than sufficient to keep me happy with its performance.

The analog front end is superior to my digital these days, so yes, it's quite satisfactory for me.

Best regards,


Meh - it may have been a great table when it came out, but I don't think anyone in their right mind would buy a new one now.  There are many tables that sound and look better at that price point. It may be a great starter table at some of the used price levels. There used be an ad for a Linn 40th anniversary LP12 here on Agon which started out at $40k and came with a bottle of Highland Park scotch. It dropped down to $22.5k over months - not sure if it ever sold. I was always tempted to make an offer of $50 for the scotch.

I have always been a fan of vintage audio having gotten into my first “high end” equipment In the late 80’s. I had been using a SOTA Sapphire for many years but found a decently priced used LP12 (circa 1990) last year. As someone who likes to tinker, I took the time to upgrade the motor and control (dual speed) and tune the table. Once I properly installed my cartridge, I was extremely amazed at the how much better this table was than my SOTA- quieter background, phenomenal dynamic range and outstanding soundstage. I do see all the “naysayers” but in my system, the LP12 is staying. I like the fact that I can continue to upgrade it as time goes by. In fairness, I haven’t had any of the newer higher end turntables (don’t have any need at this point), but I wouldn’t dismiss the LP12. 

Post removed 

I don’t own a LP12. But these threads on various forums always seem to be filled with posts that state “I had one in 1978” or “I have not heard one since 1982” but that 40 year gap does not mean that naysayers are not experienced “experts” in the steady evolution and upgrade path that so many owners have enjoyed over the years.

The LP12 is perhaps the most successful longest running product in high end audio history. Is it the ultimate for everyone? No. Is is a solid platform for those who enjoy long term tinkering with many upgrade options? You bet!