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?


Marketing. If Linn had renamed their product with each upgrade, we’d be free of the inevitable comparisons between the original LP12 and the current variant, which although an upgraded variant, we’d now call an “LP20” or the like. Psychologically this might have been better for the Linn image. I liken it to Technics with the SL1200. They were foolish to re-use that name and to reproduce that appearance in the context of the current G/GR series tables, which are different and better in every way compared to the original SL1200 lineup. Many novice buyers cannot separate the old from the new in their thinking. Likewise too, the original SOTA Sapphire vs the Cosmos. The latter is really an upgraded Sapphire, a 40 year old design. But we discuss it as if the Cosmos was something new. Shakespeare had it right when he wrote”what’s in a name…?” 

I understand why some people do not like the Linn they want to see lots of parts and wild design and "original" thinking and bold, decisive, distinctive executions using parts that are unique, unusual, and unexpected these kinds of people think they can judge a product by simple "examination" when they lack the technical skills, knowledge, and understanding to comprehend the folly of their assessment method which lacks discipline, confirmation, and rigor it is alwys this one guy whoo attacks Linn

Ivor Tiefenbrun was a genius marketeer who could sell ice to Eskimos!

@fatboyriding +1

Ivor also knew the original Swiss TD150 was a sweetheart along with Hamish Robertson of course!


You guys can not get it though your heads that the LP 12 in it's current form is a BAD design. Forget about how it is made or the quality of the parts it is a bad design and just a glorified copy of the AR XA which was groundbreaking in the 60s.

@lewm , yes, the suspension morphology is the same as the Old Sapphire because unlike the LP12 it is the right design for a spring suspension. Both Avid, Basis and SME use basically similar  setups. The look is also generic SOTA. Other than that it is a totally different turntable than the old Sapphire. Nothing else is remotely similar. You could say the same for the LP12, but it's problem is that it is based on a bad design and nothing anyone else can say is going to change that. The LP12 is an overpriced Toyota Corolla. The Thorens TD 1600 is every bit as good if not better and much less expensive. Frankly, nothing Linn makes is of interest to me. If they went out of business tomorrow I would not even notice. 

@daveyf, do yourself a big favor and get yourself a decent turntable and you will never look back.


You could say the same for the LP12, but it’s problem is that it is based on a bad design and nothing anyone else can say is going to change that ... Frankly, nothing Linn makes is of interest to me.

You sure seem to be interested in the LP12. Rarely do you miss an opportunity to denigrate it, often in a lengthy tome. So I have to wonder: Who is it you’re trying to convince?

While the LP12 isn’t to my taste, I’ve heard recent versions of it. It’s a fantastic turntable. My preference for higher mass designs hardly makes the LP12 a "bad design."