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Exhaustive review of the SSP12 inner platter for LP12

Discussion in 'audio' started by anhammond, Mar 5, 2020.

  1. anhammond

    anhammond pfm Member

    After a pretty frustrating experience with a Lingo 4 (mine had a noisy motor, made my setup sound worse, and had to be swapped out), I've had a surprisingly pleasant one with Edmund Chan's SSP12 inner platter.

    Other pfm members have praised the SSP12 in this thread, and I had a similar experience. I noticed a significant improvement right away, and found that all of my test tracks sounded better. The 6.25% average improvement I found (according to my own idiosyncratic, but consistent, methodology) was the second-largest improvement of any component I've tried: behind Edmund's Mober subchassis, ahead of the Tiger Paw Khan top plate, the Audio Desk ultrasonic cleaner, and the Lingo 4.

    In the previous pfm thread, there was a lot of attention to the SSP12's composite construction (stainless steel with a brass insert), but I didn't see any comments on what Edmund considers it's main structural difference: its fixed ball bearing contact point. I've photographed it below (that's the SSP12 on the left; my Cirkus Linn inner platter is on the right).


    You can read my full review, which includes more photos and information on the construction of the SSP12, as well as a short "interview" with Edmund.

    Disclosure: Edmund sent me the SSP12 for free to review. It's the first component I've reviewed that I haven't paid for.
    Mr Pig and Torris12 like this.
  2. Woodface

    Woodface pfm Member

    Looks an excellent risk free upgrade, especially given the latest one from Linn
    Mr Pig and anhammond like this.
  3. FireMoon

    FireMoon pfm Member

    1. We have very similar setups and arm wise, I'd have a look at an Audio Origami PU7 before a Linn Ekos. I moved from a Nima to a PU7 and it has most of the best qualities of both gimbal and unpivot designs.
    anhammond likes this.
  4. anhammond

    anhammond pfm Member

    Thanks for the suggestion, @FireMoon I've already bought the Ekos 2 (one of the first purchases I made on this quest!), so will definitely try it out. I've also got an Aro patiently waiting for me in my basement storehouse of riches. But I'd love to try the PU7. It's effectively the same as the Roksan Sara, correct? Perhaps I could convince Roksan to send me a review unit :) My profligate spending on turntable gear — it's incredible what an inducement "but I need to test it, for science" can be — means I probably can't afford another expensive tonearm until I sell one of the expensive ones I've already got.
  5. Mr Pig

    Mr Pig ^'- -'^

    No the Roksan arm is a unipivot designed by Audio Origami. The PU7 is a development of Syrinx PU3 so the two arms are completely different.
  6. sq225917

    sq225917 situation engineer

    I run one of Edmund's SSP12 inner platters in my Kuzma, along with a Linn bearing and outer platter. It spins quietly, fits the bearing and pmatter perfectly and has no run out. Paired with his Mober DC tacho controlled psu and motor it forms the foundation of the best vinyl playback I've ever owned.

    Sensible money, great service from Edmund.
    FireMoon likes this.

    YNWOAN 100% Analogue

    Absolutely, one is a unipivot (the Roksan arm deigned by AO) and the other is a gimbal bearing arm (also developed by AO). Apart from the AO link they have absolutely nothing in common.
    nmtjb likes this.
  8. anhammond

    anhammond pfm Member

    My mistake — just mixed up the two Audio Origami arms.

    I’ve just spent some time in the Karousel thread — and wonder if Edmund’s ball bearing contact point isn’t another way of “reduc[ing] friction between the tip of the spindle and the base of the bearing itself.”

    YNWOAN 100% Analogue

    I thought your review/commentary was very interesting but the interview with the ‘designer’ Edwin Chan was truly ridiculous - not your questions but his answers which were so naive, in terms of engineering, that it rendered his comment absolutely meaningless! I don’t say this lightly, or with any agenda, but every justification, for his design, that he gives is absolute nonsense (in terms of the engineering precepts it references).
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2020
  10. YNWOAN

    YNWOAN 100% Analogue

    Please use a micrometer to measure the relative diameter differences between the two bearing shafts, you will need to do this over a number of rotations and a range of positions top to bottom. I’m afraid vernier callipers will not be sufficient in this application - could you do this please?
  11. sq225917

    sq225917 situation engineer

    It's just a way of getting a perfectly polished radius when you dont have the engineering access to a rotary lapping head
  12. deebster

    deebster Half Man Half Biscuit

    This all sounds rather dirty to a non-techie :D
  13. YNWOAN

    YNWOAN 100% Analogue

    No, it’s the relative shaft diameter I am interested in.
  14. sq225917

    sq225917 situation engineer

    English isnt his first language so I'd give Edmund plenty of latitude on his answers.

    Realistically, Mazak is easier to machine that stainless and linn just copied it off Ariston. I suspect material choice has more to do with availability than anything else.

    It's a great bit of kit, very well made and fairly priced.
  15. anhammond

    anhammond pfm Member

    Yeah, I can’t speak for the engineering side of things (humanities education!). I thought it would be nice to give Edmund some space to explain his thinking since I hadn’t seen his rationale anywhere else (perhaps it was on the Linn forums pre-purge).
  16. anhammond

    anhammond pfm Member

    I don’t have access to a micrometer myself. @sq225917 — did you already compare the diameter shafts in a previous thread?
  17. anhammond

    anhammond pfm Member

    And I imagine Linn DO have this access — so the differences in sound quality would more likely be down to materials than to the ball bearing tip?
  18. peterm

    peterm pfm Member

    I've looked at this thread with a sense of reverse deja vu.

    50 years ago turntables like AR, Thorens 150 and others used a ball bearing (sometimes captive, sometimes free) at the bottom of the platter spindle to bear against the bearing thrust plate.

    I believe that when Hamish Robertson asked Castle Engineering to manufacture his Ariston RD11 that it used the same arrangement.

    When Linn Products released their LP12 (and I don't intend to delve into the disputes and court cases surrounding that) they applied for a patent on the basis of their "single point" thrust bearing, this being a machined "point" at the base of the spindle which was supposed to offer greater accuracy than the "flat" surface of the tangent to a spherical ball bearing, (this advance being incorporated stylistically into their logo).

    Since a "single point" bearing (wouldn't that have to be a point as sharp as a single molecule?) be so sharp that the pressure against the thrust pad would result in the "point" friction welding itself to the thrust pad repeatedly, and instantly breaking that weld under the force of
    rotation, resulting in rapid erosion of the "point", Linn machined a radius on the end of their "point".

    Thus Linn's "point " bearing becoming a "tangent to a radius" bearing just like everyone else's ball bearing (albeit of maybe a slightly different radius).

    So what does the SSP12 spindle use against the thrust pad? a ball bearing!
    2ManyBoxes, FireMoon and anhammond like this.
  19. anhammond

    anhammond pfm Member

    Really interesting bit of design history, @peterm -- thank you! Now I understand the Linn logo! (Even if it doesn't make very much sense as a logo!)
  20. sq225917

    sq225917 situation engineer

    The thing with a ball and a plate is that the contact patch relates to the hardness of the materials and not the radius. Ie the contact point on a diamond ball on a diamond plate would be the same size almost irrespective of radius, within reasonable limits, ie from a couple of mm radius to 10mm

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