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.


@ddrave44   Where do you get the idea that Linn tables need to be tuned up every 3-5 years??? The versions with the old Nirvana springs ( we are talking from the late 70's here) usually did...but since the springs have been updated ( from the mid 80's on), that is not true. OTOH, if the LP12 is incorrectly set up in the first place, then yes, it will drift through time. Who does the set up on your table??


I agree they're less fussy now with the aluminum sub chassis and all that, but I find that every 3 or 4 years its good to get mine tuned up at my local dealer. Typically Linn has some new upgrade available that I get when I bring it in. YMMV

One dealer website ..

For best performance, an LP12 should also be regularly fitted with a new belt, oil charge, and suspension springs and grommets, and be ‘tuned up’. A tune up includes having all fittings and connections examined and tightened, tonearm and cartridge checked for correct alignment and operation, and the suspension calibrated for proper isolation and performance.

How much of this is real or marketing? I dunno, but it makes sense to me and I've been happy getting these tune-ups done.  I think its a relevant consideration for the OP in deciding how to handle this question. 

I’m sad that my first and only Linn experience was less than optimal. I will say this, if I ever win the lottery, I’m earmarking $$$ for a fully loaded Linn Sondek Klimax and a VPI Direct. That’ll be the ultimate shootout…


I just chatted with my local Linn dealer and he did say that there’s less wear and tear on the tables nowadays. Especially for the ones with the with the newer motors - Radikal or Lingo4 compared to the older motors and suspensions. Often now a customer comes in for a cartridge and while it’s there he’ll tuneup the table and do the other upgrades they ask for.