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?


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!

@photomax Thank you for your points. I pretty much agree with you, except if set up correctly, the current LP12 can actually be set it and forget it, no need to tinker.

Personally, I give no credence to folk who naysay the table and who do not own it, (even worse if they do not own it..and have never heard a current model--like most of the denigrators) or do own it, but have an older table that is nowhere near what the recent models feature and have never had it set up correctly!

I have an Ariston Rd11. There are many accounts of how this design was “stolen” by Igor Tiefenbraum, I am not sure if the whole story will ever come out. High quality bearing, 9 pound aluminum platter, clock radio motor with little torque, hence speed stability when up to speed.

and hard to balance the damn sub platter, having to take off and reinstall the plinth, having to dress cables, and boy are you on your own to install an arm (mine is n old Grace 707.

has a dust cover, which modern ones often don’t have.

 I have developed tremor in my hands, so adjusting the damn thing and the cartridge is one reason why I have gravitated to streaming- so easy, and yet superior in my system to vinyl.

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.                        

I have owned the Garrard 401, it is the TT that was able to move myself away from using the Belt Drive TT's. I do not recall the desire to try out other Belt Drive TT's in my system once moved over to the Idler Drive.

The 401 ended up seated on a '9 Stone' Granite Plinth.

A PTP Solid 9 is its replacement today but not its betterment, each have their merits in the realm of Vintage Idler Drive Systems. Each Idler Drive method, are also now able to be modified with a modern design approach where materials are able to be used that are produced with improved machining tolerances and potentially have a beneficial impacts on the overall function of the original design.   

I have an Ariston Rd11. There are many accounts of how this design was “stolen” by Igor Tiefenbraum, I am not sure if the whole story will ever come out.

Multiple Parts that were produced for the Ariston Deck and the earliest Linn Decks were produced on the same premises that was carrying out the machining.

The Ariston and Linn are allegedly sharing parts in the Linn’s earliest build guise, the Ariston was a Branded and Successfully Marketed TT, prior to the first produced Linn Deck.

This is a fable that is voiced regular within the British Isles. I only know this version of the origins, through handed down story telling.

The reality is the founders of Linn were inspired to create a marketable product, which they did, they have now 50 Years on, developed a Brand that is household across the globe that as a business is turning over £ 1 000 000 000 per annum.

This type of story is not restricted to one British Brand, Rega have had their earliest RB Tonearm designs, become the bedrock products of many Companies that offer sale items based on the Rega RB Tonearm Design.

I’m not knowing how successful these Companies Sales are in comparison to Rega, when it comes to turnover solely from a Tonearm sale.