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?



Peoples values in sound vary considerably. It is appropriate you voice your opinion based on your experience. As we do with different experiences than you have had.

When I recently chose an LP12 over a Sota (which I really wanted to be my choice), VPI, Basis, Walker… a number of others it was based on a lot of research, listening (not all… I did not listen to Sota ). But recent professional reviews were that Sota had not kept up. … A good friend who loved them and had heard contemporary ones could not recommend them versus Linn, Basis and other contemporary tables. I had to listen to the overwhelming evidence.

I love the idea of owning a Sota… and I may buy one just for fun at some point. However, I can say with certainty the contemporary Linn LP12 is an exceptional table worthy of the cost. It’s performance is exceptional. There are many exceptional tables in it’s price range. One could be very happy with any one of them.

Mijostyn himself highlights that history is littered with turntables of no significance. That is true. Many models have emerged, had a moment in the sun and faded away. This has been ongoing for decades. And yet the LP12 endures. For fifty years! The LP12 is the lightning rod for passion and debate. Most forum threads on this topic disolve into what we see here.

I don’t have a horse in this race. I have never owned an LP12. I do know solid audiophiles who love their LP12. These are smart people who earn good money. They can buy whatever they like and some of them continue to tinker with their LP12 tables. You can buy a top spec model new for like $30,000. Or you could buy a used model for $1500 and create your own upgrade path and budget and play. You can hire a professional to do this for you or you can do it all yourself. You might be a keen woodworker and build your own fancy custom plinth out of exotic woods or purchase one from several well known craftsmen who do this kind of work. There is a solid market for all kinds of LP12 stuff. Perhaps a wider market than any table ever made?

The point is the LP12 is a very successful product. It had fans in the 1970s and it has fans today.

That being said folks are perfectly welcome to prefer other options, upgrade paths and budgets. No problem. There are a zillion choices. But think of this: maybe the popular (audio forum) alternative that is popular today might just not be around in 15 years but the Linn LP12 might continue to endure and attract new fans?

The comment "It's suspension design is inherently unstable and if it is not on a supremely stable surface it will skip easily. Footfall issues are legion with this turntable. A little bump will cause a skip...."

The above statement can be said of virtually any table.  It is accepted by most audiophiles that to get the best performance out of almost any turntable, no matter it's design (whether it's suspended or mass loaded, etc.) that you must use a proper base or stand under the table.  

As shown in the photo below, I use a wall shelf that is attached to the studs of a load bearing wall for a proper support for my LP12.  My wife and I can quite literally dance, jump up and down, etc right in front of the turntable and it will not skip a beat.  It plays rock solid and completely undisturbed.



@photomax  I agree with everything you have said in your post above. Very well said.

Best wishes to all,