Upgrade my older Linn Sondek or move on?

Hi All,

I have a 1984 Linn Sondek that is still as it came new with a couple of exceptions. I did rebuild my Valhalla board as I was having some issues. Still has the Basic LV X arm, but I added an XTC counterweight as the stock counterweight bushing turned to mush. I am running a Nagaoka MP-200 cartridge. 

Question is do I drop the money to upgrade the arm, bearing, and power supply or move on to a new or used table? Looking at used parts to upgrade the Linn I can easily spend $2k. I can sell the Linn and that puts me in the $3.5k budget range for a different table. 

I have been looking at Well Tempered and VPI. Any thoughts on these or other recommendations? Better sound quality and ease of set up / use would be the objectives. The rest of the system: Quicksilver M135 mono amps, Fisher CX-2 preamp, and Magnepan LRS+ speakers.


Or if this seems like a hassle, get the best Rega table you can afford and have fun with it. 

Either way, good luck and enjoy!

@audiovideonirvana  while you are correct that the Linn LP12 Klimax comes in at around $30K, there is also the entry level LP12 Majik, which comes in around $5K. The nice thing is that one can upgrade the Majik to Klimax level if and when funds come available, how many tables can you say the same thing about?


@ddrave44 The problem the OP has is apparently there is no dealer anywhere near him, which is unfortunately becoming more common with Linn LP12 dealers.

I have the exact same issue, as my "fettler' retired and the closest guy now is hours away. This is the one thing that is a negative with the Linn table, it pretty much requires set up experience/expertise and some specialized tools. For this reason, I suggested a different table to the OP, one that is not requiring basically any set up. 


@daveyf ”The problem the OP has is apparently there is no dealer anywhere near him, which is unfortunately becoming more common with Linn LP12 dealers.”

BINGO! These are very fussy tables. One definitely needs a local dealer to be able to fix common problems, or do upgrades correctly. Just as an aside, my local Linn dealer no longer is. He got tired of the BS with parts and shipping, etc. and he decided to go VPI. Maybe if I had the inclination to be constantly tweaking it I wouldn’t mind, but I’d rather listen to music than tweak the turntable. With my VPI it’s play it and forget it.

@audiovideonirvana   While the LP12 does require an experienced set up, once it is set up, it does not drift. Since you have had no experience with the Linn table for what sounds like decades, this is probably something new to you. Nonetheless, the LP12 has not had this issue for decades. SO, they are in fact NOT very fussy tables, in fact exactly the opposite, but they do need an expert set up initially. Would i trade my LP12 for any VPI, even though I do not have a local Linn dealer and I do have a VPI dealer....nope. 

Just to pile on, Linn tables need to be tuned up every 3-5 years so lack of a local dealer would be an ongoing problem.

At your $3.5k all-in budget a Rega Planar 8 is well worth a listen. Maybe compare to a Planar 6 at $1.9k. Rega's are also low maintenance, great sounding TTs.