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Sondek LP12 arm options

Discussion in 'audio' started by 749er, Nov 10, 2017.

  1. Tim Jones

    Tim Jones pfm Member

    The Ittok for the most part is not a great arm IME. An Aro will thrash it on an LP12. I haven't A/B'd them, but have a hunch that a Nima would be a distinct improvement on an Ittok. The Morch is an interesting idea.
  2. 749er

    749er pfm Member

    I think it’s most likely I will end up with an Ittock as most LP12s have those fitted but I will keep my eyes open for a good base deck without arm.

    As to why an LP12 and not something else? A few reasons most of which are not sound related.

    1) I am a Glasgow lad with loose connections with Linn and there is a fair bit of nostalgia involved.
    2) I have wanted one for over 30 years
    3) it is an icon
    4) it’s an upgrade on the Systemdek
    5) I will enjoy several years exploring different upgrades - does any other deck offer the same range of upgrade paths. I have done as much as I can to the Systemdek bar maybe a much more expensive cartridge which could be transferred across to an LP12 but I just feel now is the right to time to make the change. Moving from an RB250 to an RB300 isn’t the level of step change I am looking for right now.
  3. forester

    forester pfm Member

    A lot of years ago I stopped getting hung up about whether my LP12 was the best TT at it's price or not, and the same goes for the arm. If you can afford it get whatever components you like the sound of best. I would suggest a secondhand 'Ekos 2' as an alternative. I bought mine new 'back in the day' and over 20 years later I can't fault it. I would need to upgrade a lot of other components before it made sense to change it.

    Bearings in the Linn arms do get damaged (I think I read that they aren't mechanically that strong in the way they're configured) but Audio Origami can fix and upgrade just about anything. It's a pain having to take the arm off to change cartridges, but unless cartridge swapping is your hobby how often do you really need to do it? Early and late Akitos are pretty much completely different arms by the way.

    It's also a pain trying to find ways to audition alternative arms and cartridges, but one of the good points of the LP12 is that the older ones with the separate armboards allow arms to be changed at minimal cost. Upgrading the subchassis is a bit more of a commitment to one arm fixing though.

    If you're in Glasgow I believe Johnny from Audio Origami is Loud and Clear's resident turntable fettler every Saturday. Who knows one of them probably has a TT and arm available right now.
    audioorigami likes this.
  4. flatpopely

    flatpopely Prog Rock/Moderator

    There are several LP12s on eBay, this one looks interesting

    As to the ARO thrashing an Ittok, not in my experience.
    The Ittok has more musicality and by that I mean you can hear more. Also it allows my ASAKA to track better.

    Get an LP12 with Ittok (I prefer the Ittok to the EKOS btw). If you don’t like it you will be able to sell it on.

    If your ever near York your welcome to pop in and have a listen.
  5. martinab2

    martinab2 Active Member

    A couple of other considerations with the LP12:

    Staying with Linn mount arms will allow you to do subchassis upgrades later if the mood takes you. I think you can also get a Keel to suit the Naim ARO but all the stuff I have seen secondhand is linn mounting.

    Getting the subchassis to bounce evenly is really important when setting up your LP12. Very heavy arms can make that a real challenge as can arm cables that don't exit to the left e.g. Rega. You can bend an RB300 arm cable round using cable ties but it's a time consuming fiddle.

    Many of the arms mentioned are old as in 20+ years. Condition is all important when shopping as damage and wear is not always obvious. Buy from a good dealer if you can - usually far cheaper that ebay anyway.

    Hope you enjoy your LP12 as much as I'm enjoying mine :)
  6. jair

    jair pfm Member

    Perfect thinking. Rationalise your options first, and only then follow your heart. In audio its all too easy to get it back to front. I should know.
  7. Chris

    Chris pfm Member

    Dunno about Linn bearings being suspect. My Ittok LVIII is nigh on 40years old and when I sent it to J7 to be rewired he checked them and declared them to be fine. Even when He startled to sell the very hi-spec bearings he has he told me not to bother because in his experience the bearings were one area where Linn never skimped. By the way, I have never removed the arm to change cartridges, I suspect that was a ruse to discourage people from changing them themselves.
  8. Vinny

    Vinny pfm Member

    Buying second-hand, advice (opinion) from others is pretty much irrelevant as, unless you get ripped-off, you can buy and sell used components at no loss, the only difference being between what any two components generally sell for. Personally, I see absolutely no reason whatsoever to do other than buy second-hand, so long as you have patience if you want something really rare on the used market.

    Take the plunge on what seems a good deal and then change things around, or not, as and when you have the inclination and the funds for the outlay between buying and selling. At least you can do your own auditioning that way, so long as you are happy to do the swapping over yourself; if not, then you are looking at real unrecoverable cost in having a dealer do it for you.
    As for armboards - most cuts can be picked up for around £30-40 on FleaBay and new ones are around £70 (IIRC).

    Certainly tonearm choice will cover a huge range of detail and presentation of the music.
    749er likes this.
  9. Anh

    Anh Naim ghetto blaster

    I did listen to both arms on my TT, on my kit the ARO was relatively tamer on the ear and more midrange, not by much. Both arms sounded very good, especially considering how much you have to pay for an ARO these days.

  10. Anh

    Anh Naim ghetto blaster

    Well if there is no room to adjust the cart alignment, so if you get the wrong cart on the ARO, it won't live up to its billing.

    Also that the ARO is a bit fiddle to setup to get the best out of it. The azimuth can change as it swings between 1st and last track so need to be careful with that. The VTA needs to be parallel to the disk platter.
  11. flatpopely

    flatpopely Prog Rock/Moderator

    The ASAKA is spot on in the ARO.
    It was setup superbly - look I get what the ARO does but in the context of my system the Ittok LVII is clearly superior.
  12. gary yeowell

    gary yeowell pfm Member

    Having owned 2 AROs on different LP12s and several Ittok/Ekos over the years, i'd stay with the Ittok. If a Nima is a cut price ARO with 70% of its performance as i've heard it said, then even less of a reason to change an Ittok for one.
    749er likes this.
  13. abbydog

    abbydog pfm Member

    That’s the opinion I would expect from someone who listens through a Chinese ghetto blaster...
  14. Anh

    Anh Naim ghetto blaster

    Indeed. But it's the finest ghetto blaster I have ever heard!

  15. Anh

    Anh Naim ghetto blaster

    OK, I just don't understand why you would advise people that the tiktock is level or better than the ARO based on a setup that no one else is likely to have.

    Everyone else will rate the ARO above any tonearm that Linn has outsourced.

    Suffolk Tony likes this.
  16. gary yeowell

    gary yeowell pfm Member

  17. flatpopely

    flatpopely Prog Rock/Moderator

    Tim Jones and Suffolk Tony like this.
  18. audioorigami

    audioorigami Trade: AudioOrigami

    take a trip into loud and clear in glasgow
    I've just fitted a 2nd hand Naim Aro to a lp12...get a demo and see what u think....its for sale
    your welcome to bring your own deck for comparison
    I am also building a 2nd hand lp12 that will go on sale in the next couple weeks and it will be priced to sell :)...ask for Ian in the shop and he can give u whatever options u want in the deck before its built sort of thing
    the shops prices are always cheaper than eBay ...it amazes me peeps buy the shit on eBay then pay for me to fit it all together...if they just bought local we would have fitted and supplied much cheaper than they end up paying :) and as Scotlands premier linn dealer...we only give top class parts with a gtee
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2017
  19. RossB

    RossB Member

    No they won't. I thought the ARO sounded dreadful. I couldn't wait to get rid of mine and back to an Ekos.
  20. ColinC

    ColinC Member

    Aro, if you can find one and it will hold value. I have had one on an LP12 for about 27 years, not once considered a change. Nima worth a look.

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