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Linn Ekos Mk 1

Discussion in 'audio' started by Fuller, Jul 12, 2019.

  1. Fuller

    Fuller pfm Member

    The Linn Ekos tonearm is 30 this year, if I remember there were a few reviews late in 1988, but came on to the market early 1989 ?
    Anyway I bought mine in March 1991, and it cost almost double the cost of my LP12 at the time ! They now seem to sell for more than I paid for it back then !
    Apart from the sticky dial problem (just needs a twiddle now and again to stop it sticking) I have never had any kind of maintenance or service on it. Seems to work well but was wandering if it would be good to get it looked at ?
    I know at one time many years ago Linn did a service to bring it up to Mk 2 level for about £500 ? Don't think they still do that though. Also I spoke to a dealer a few years back who suggested a re-wire.
    Anyway any Ekos Mk 1 or Mk 2 owners have any thoughts or experiences of a service or other associated upgrade work ?

    YNWOAN 100% Analogue

    If it works fine I would resist the temptation to do anything (though I’m sure lots of people will tell you otherwise). As you suspect, Linn stopped offering any form of upgrade some years ago now.
  3. Wolfmancatsup

    Wolfmancatsup Empire State Human

    The sticky dial was the only issue I had with mine. The upgrade to mk II involved a complete swap for a new arm (mine was one of the last to be done) - I only kept the counterweight, lift-lower device and the collar from the original.
    As YNWOAN says, it’s probably fine to leave as is.

  4. Konteebos

    Konteebos Ignorant Uninformed Hard Remainer

    An interesting fact about the Ekos is that it was originally developed by Linn as a cheaper (to manufacture) version of the Ittok, however - when the prototypes proved to sound better than the Ittok it was decided to make it their top of the range arm.

    YNWOAN 100% Analogue

    Hmm... I’ve never heard that before (including when I was the manager of a Linn dealership when the Ekos was introduced) and I would be very surprised to learn Linn were so naive that they would think they could ever make an Ittok style arm cheaper in the UK
    chris@panteg likes this.
  6. manicatel

    manicatel pfm Member

    Had mine for years. Can’t remember how long. Over 20 years anyway.
    Still sounds good on my Orbe & it all moves as freely as I think it should. I’m of the “if it ain’t broke..........” mentality.
  7. TheDecameron

    TheDecameron Unicorns fart glitter.

    I was going to upgrade to an Ittok from an LVX+ but while it was better, I thought it sounded ragged in the treble so didn’t buy it. Just not ‘better’ enough. When Robert Ritchie let me hear one of the first Ekos arms to get to a dealer, it was just so obviously better within five minutes that I bought one straight away without a further dem. The thing I remember was the bass was so much better than the Ittok and that ragged treble had gone.
    Rico and chris@panteg like this.
  8. Konteebos

    Konteebos Ignorant Uninformed Hard Remainer

    I worked with several ex-Linn engineers, I heard that story from the guy who designed the original Intek.
  9. flatpopely

    flatpopely Prog Rock/Moderator

    And yet when I fitted an Ekos MK1 to my deck it sounded worse than my Ittok, I wasn't the only one to think so too.
    YNWOAN likes this.
  10. YNWOAN

    YNWOAN 100% Analogue

    Ah well, apologies all round then. I’m very surprised Linn were quite as naive as that though.
  11. Konteebos

    Konteebos Ignorant Uninformed Hard Remainer

    It started as a way of re-engineering the Ittok to be cheaper to build, the intention may have been to manufacture it in Japan at the time, I'll ask Dave for the details next time I speak to him.
  12. Chris

    Chris pfm Member

    My hands on experience of Ittok LVIIs is very limited but I think it is misleading to talk about "Ittoks" generically as most people seem to agree that the infamous ragged treble , if it ever existed, had disappeared with the advent of the LVIII. From contacts with a very prominent UK specialist in rewiring and adjustment of bearings of arms including loads of Ittoks etc. , once done, the difference between an Ittok and an Ekos is minimal ( not to mention the latest Akitos which are supposed to be up there with the rest).
    By the way, I was also told that there are a goodly number of Linn arms with "dodgy" azimuth adjustment from new, including my own LVIII which has been suitably fixed by placing a spacer under one of the 3 collar bolts which fix it to the armboard because the headshell is glued on and cannot be loosened.
    Of course, I could be talking BS - it´s all hearsay, anyway.
  13. amazement

    amazement pfm Member

    Never heard my ittok sound ragged in the treble, sounds very smooth to me.
  14. Oneandtwo

    Oneandtwo pfm Member

    Although Linn stopped the mk2 upgrade they still support the mk1 Ekos - Linn rebuilt my very early mk1 (serial number 100 or so) at the factory a couple of years ago after it suffered the usual stuck tracking weight. It was completely rebuilt with a new mk2 tracking weight dial and new bearings. Looked like new and sounded awesome when it came back.

    Even came back in a new Linn tonearm box marked with my original serial number!
    Wolfmancatsup likes this.
  15. YNWOAN

    YNWOAN 100% Analogue

    Jolly good - but that was two years ago - do they still support the mk1 Ekos?
  16. wylton

    wylton pfm Member

    That was my experience too, which is how I ended up with an Aro, but I won't open that can of worms!
  17. Fuller

    Fuller pfm Member

    Anyone recall the tonearm shoot out article in Hi-Fi Review back in 1988/89 ?

    I think Chris Frankland preferred the Ekos and Malcolm Steward the Aro, not unexpected at the time.
  18. Woodface

    Woodface pfm Member

    I've had a Basik, Ittock & Ekos2. Actually still have the Ekos. Difference between Basik & Ittock was huge, less so between the latter two. Ittock does look quite crude compared to an Ekos.
  19. wylton

    wylton pfm Member

    Yes, I'm sure I have a copy at home. I originally had an Ittok LVII/Asak T and later upgraded to a Troika. My recollection is that the combinations sounded a trifle heavy and dull and hence one would track the cartridges towards the lower end of their range to liven up the sound a bit. If you took this too far, then tracking would be compromised, and the top end could become a bit tizzy, bearing in mind, that tracking ability was not one of the Asak's strong points. I replaced the Ittok with an Ekos, but was disappointed. To this day, I can't explain it, but:

    1. The normal guy who set up the LP12's was off on holiday and the shop manager did the set up, so he might not have been as good.
    2. Also, some of the early Ekos's were a bit suspect on quality control.
    3. Maybe I just didn't like the Ekos?
    Anyway, it went back and I did a deal for an Aro, which worked fine for me. I found that I could track the cartridge at a more realistic TW, without it sounding too slow and ploddy.
  20. chris@panteg

    chris@panteg pfm Member

    I've still got that issue.

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