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Sabby's picture
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New Clearaudio Concept or used Linn/Ittok?

I have the opportunity of getting either a late 1981 Linn/Ittok with a Grado Black cartridge or a new Clearaudio Concept. The Clearaudio is almost twice the price of the Linn combo. Which would be the better option?

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RE: New Clearaudio Concept or used Linn/Ittok?

Hi Sabby

I can give you my experience, but I don't know how much help it will be.

I owned a mid 80s LP12/Ittok/ Asak, and had the Valhalla (p/s) and Nirvana (springs) upgrades a little later on. I played it through Naim 42/110/Snaps and Monitor Audio R852, and I loved it. You should check if it has had any upgrades and what they are.

Compared to modern LP12s, it is less neutral and had a slight mid-range bloom that I really liked.....which might work well with the Maggies.

Linns are high maintenance due to their suspension, so you need to know what condition it is in, and when it was last serviced.

If you like your TT to sound clean, neutral and crisp, maybe the vintage LP12 isn't for you; but if you like your music warm, comforting and emotional then it's just the ticket.

Please bear in mind I have a very nostalgic view of the 80s LP12, and only heard it through the above system.

Please keep us informed with your decision.

Cno

"We should no more let numbers define audio quality than we should let chemical analysis be the arbiter of fine wines."  Nelson Pass

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RE: New Clearaudio Concept or used Linn

Hi Cno

The seller was able to confirm that the Linn was recenty serviced and had new springs installed. I cannot vouch for the condition of the turntable or the arm other than what the seller tells me as he is located a great distance away from me. I know exactly what I would be getting with the Clearaudio but the Linn would be a bit of a gamble. My biggest worry is the unknown factor as far as the Linn is concerned. Thirty one years is a long time. There will always be lingering doubts as to how well the Linn has held up over this time.

However sound quality is paramount to me and would overide all other considerations in my decision making. I'm hoping to get a Clearaudio on loan later this month and hope to gain a better insight as to it's strengths and weaknesses, although all the reviews I've read seem to indicate that it's an outstanding turntable in it's price range. If it's all that it's made out to be, then it might be just what I am looking for in a turntable. Unfortunately I will not be able to audition the Linn, but if the Clearaudio does not meet my expectations, then I might take a gamble on the Linn.

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RE: New Clearaudio Concept or used Linn

Sabby wrote:

Hi Cno

The seller was able to confirm that the Linn was recenty serviced and had new springs installed. 

Can you ask him to get a written report from the dealer who did the service, and/or get the phone number of this dealer, so you can speak to them about this deck.

There are also a lot of modern updates, that could be done over time, which would bring the LP12 fully up to date and give you a true hi-end TT.....this is also worth considering:
http://www.cymbiosis.com/lp12.html

"We should no more let numbers define audio quality than we should let chemical analysis be the arbiter of fine wines."  Nelson Pass

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RE: New Clearaudio Concept or used Linn

CnoEvil wrote:

Sabby wrote:

Hi Cno

The seller was able to confirm that the Linn was recenty serviced and had new springs installed. 

Can you ask him to get a written report from the dealer who did the service, and/or get the phone number of this dealer, so you can speak to them about this deck. There are also a lot of modern updates, that could be done over time, which would bring the LP12 fully up to date and give you a true hi-end TT.....this is also worth considering: http://www.cymbiosis.com/lp12.html

The seller has given me the name of the dealer who performed the service and I will contact them and establish exactly what was done to this deck in terms of replacing the springs, etc. Thanks for the link, it made for a very interesting read. Unfortunately I am not able to avail myself of their services as I live in South Africa. A great pity really as they seem to be great Linn enthusiasts and would be the kind of place where one would take their Linn to be fully restored to all it's original glory.

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RE: New Clearaudio Concept or used Linn

I really sent the link so as to give you an idea as to how far you can take the LP12......the sky's the limit.

If you went this route, it would be a long term project, where the goal is a thoroughly modern Sondek....which I've heard, and they have a wonderful organic sound.

It may be worth contacting Linn, who are very helpful, and may be able to tell you where the outstanding dealers are located in SA.

"We should no more let numbers define audio quality than we should let chemical analysis be the arbiter of fine wines."  Nelson Pass

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RE: New Clearaudio Concept or used Linn

Thanks Cno. Linn is represented in this country and I think I will give the local agents a call and find out if they can suggest a dealer that might be able to do the necessary refurbishments.

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