Bobulous91

Quads, Naims and Linn

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I recently acquired a system consisting of the following:

quad els 57 speakers (serviced about 10 years ago but not used since)
Naim Nac 22 preamp
Naim Nap 120 power amp
Linn LP12 turntable

Quads:

As far as I am aware the quads should be good as new, given they were serviced and then not used, unless the tension on the panels goes over time or there is some other issue. I do plan on removing the front grills to get a small dent out and repaint another colour.

Amp/preamp:

As far as I know, the preamp is fine, but given it has not been used in about 20 years and was never serviced before that, I've booked it in with a local audio engineer reccomended to me by a local reputable hifi company (James Morrow based in Edinburgh, Lothian Road) to have a general service.
The power amp is a bit more complicated, as I have been told that one channel does not work so I did not turn it on for fear it might damage the quads. It has also been booked in with the local audio engineer to be repaired and serviced.

These items are currently quoted at £80-£120 each, but I did get a quote directly from Naim at £270-£300 each not including shipping. I went with the cheaper option, as I am on a bit of a budget and I think it is just a missing capacitor, but I could be persuaded to go for the more expesive option if you think that it needs to be done by the people who built them, especially given they are one of the earliest models dating back to the early 70s.

Also worth mentioning that I plan on adding capacity for a smartphone input, but since the preamp only has 4 pin inputs the only way I can see to do this is to get a 3.5mm to RCA cable https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01D5H8JW0/ref=twister_B01N8WW6TH?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1 , then a 4 pin din to RCA cable Naim Style 4 Pin Latching DIN Plug - 2 x In-Line Phono/RCA Sockets

Linn LP12:

Fairly straightforward, it does not have a belt and has also sat unused for the last 20 years, and has not been serviced to my knowledge before that (made in the 70s) so I will book it in for a service with Linn and get them to replace the belt, costing £200.

Sorry for the information overload, but I just wanted to get some well trained eyes on my system to let me know if there are any huge mistakes or things that could be done better. I'm excited to get it all working together, as they are all impressive parts.

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Super Wammer

Hi

Sounds like you have acquired some nice things there.. 

firstly, I think your doing the right thing from your description. Naim fans will always tell you to get it serviced by Naim but they are old enough now to be done by a decent qualified engineer. When the naim kit was newer, it would be good to have a full naim history and original boxes as it adds to the value (a bit like a car with FSH). Do make sure you get a full receipt of work done tho.

Quads sound ok to use.

The linn is always subjective and always best to use a Linn dealer. For £200, it should be a full service including new springs and grommets, oil change, cartridge check, belt and bench test.

what year is the LP12? Does it have a box? What tonearm and cartridge?

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Yeah the service will include a full replacement of all moving parts, oil check and everything else they can think of.

I dont know exactly when it was built, but definitely before 1979. It has a rega r200 tonearm, and Im not sure about the cartridge, need to take a closer look and do some research to find out exactly what but hopefully the Linn people can tell me.

RE the amps, do you not think they have much resale value anyway since they are so old? Would they have significantly more value if they were serviced by Naim?

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Super Wammer
8 minutes ago, Bobulous91 said:

Yeah the service will include a full replacement of all moving parts, oil check and everything else they can think of.

I dont know exactly when it was built, but definitely before 1979. It has a rega r200 tonearm, and Im not sure about the cartridge, need to take a closer look and do some research to find out exactly what but hopefully the Linn people can tell me.

RE the amps, do you not think they have much resale value anyway since they are so old? Would they have significantly more value if they were serviced by Naim?

No, they are still very popular but servicing by Naim will not increase the value by the extra amount.. both amps are pretty simple designs so shouldn’t be an issue for an approved service outlet. Just don’t modify them as that would be detrimental to their originality. Kendal caps (capacitors) in the poweramp is the only option of improvement I would suggest 

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Super Wammer

Sounds like the LP12 is pretty basic and I’m sure the dealer will recommend loads of upgrades. Have it serviced and listen to it before you make any changes.. a lot depends on what you paid for the whole kit in the first place

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1 minute ago, radiant red said:

No, they are still very popular but servicing by Naim will not increase the value by the extra amount.. both amps are pretty simple designs so shouldn’t be an issue for an approved service outlet. Just don’t modify them as that would be detrimental to their originality. Kendal caps (capacitors) in the poweramp is the only option of improvement I would suggest 

Ok thank you very much. I'll be in touch with the engineer whos fixing them to see what costs will be.

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Super Wammer
14 hours ago, Bobulous91 said:

I recently acquired a system consisting of the following:

quad els 57 speakers (serviced about 10 years ago but not used since)
Naim Nac 22 preamp
Naim Nap 120 power amp
Linn LP12 turntable

Quads:

As far as I am aware the quads should be good as new, given they were serviced and then not used, unless the tension on the panels goes over time or there is some other issue. I do plan on removing the front grills to get a small dent out and repaint another colour.

Amp/preamp:

As far as I know, the preamp is fine, but given it has not been used in about 20 years and was never serviced before that, I've booked it in with a local audio engineer reccomended to me by a local reputable hifi company (James Morrow based in Edinburgh, Lothian Road) to have a general service.
The power amp is a bit more complicated, as I have been told that one channel does not work so I did not turn it on for fear it might damage the quads. It has also been booked in with the local audio engineer to be repaired and serviced.

These items are currently quoted at £80-£120 each, but I did get a quote directly from Naim at £270-£300 each not including shipping. I went with the cheaper option, as I am on a bit of a budget and I think it is just a missing capacitor, but I could be persuaded to go for the more expesive option if you think that it needs to be done by the people who built them, especially given they are one of the earliest models dating back to the early 70s.

Also worth mentioning that I plan on adding capacity for a smartphone input, but since the preamp only has 4 pin inputs the only way I can see to do this is to get a 3.5mm to RCA cable https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01D5H8JW0/ref=twister_B01N8WW6TH?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1 , then a 4 pin din to RCA cable Naim Style 4 Pin Latching DIN Plug - 2 x In-Line Phono/RCA Sockets

Linn LP12:

Fairly straightforward, it does not have a belt and has also sat unused for the last 20 years, and has not been serviced to my knowledge before that (made in the 70s) so I will book it in for a service with Linn and get them to replace the belt, costing £200.

Sorry for the information overload, but I just wanted to get some well trained eyes on my system to let me know if there are any huge mistakes or things that could be done better. I'm excited to get it all working together, as they are all impressive parts.

You are a lucky boy - as for the Linn.  No need to pay them £200 for a service - all they will do is change the oil put on a belt and level it up to bounce nicely .. all of these things are well within the scope of the common man and for those not too sure then get your dealer to do it for you (doubt he will charge Linn Prices)

As to Naim stuff - there are a couple of ex Naim engineers who have a business called Witch hat Audio.  I found them to be lovely to deal with and they know their stuff and I would trust them more than Naim for my servicing of the old classics https://witchhatservicing.co.uk/

You do not tell us the arm and cartridge on your LInn - if you need any arm servicing the place to go is Audio Origami (well mail to they are up in Scotland) 

If you want to expand the inputs to your Naim get a quality passive preamp to connect to one of the line in stages (in my view the best option) also make sure you get some quality din to RCA connectors .. I am not a cable fanatic but the cheap thin jobbies from the likes of Amazon are not ideal.  

Have fun that is a great system - and make sure to get a lot of air around the Quads - they will not appreciate being close to the wall at all 

Edited by uzzy
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20 minutes ago, uzzy said:

You are a lucky boy - as for the Linn.  No need to pay them £200 for a service - all they will do is change the oil put on a belt and level it up to bounce nicely .. all of these things are well within the scope of the common man and for those not too sure then get your dealer to do it for you (doubt he will charge Linn Prices)

As to Naim stuff - there are a couple of ex Naim engineers who have a business called Witch hat Audio.  I found them to be lovely to deal with and they know their stuff and I would trust them more than Naim for my servicing of the old classics https://witchhatservicing.co.uk/

You do not tell us the arm and cartridge on your LInn - if you need any arm servicing the place to go is Audio Origami (well mail to they are up in Scotland) 

If you want to expand the inputs to your Naim get a quality passive preamp to connect to one of the line in stages (in my view the best option) also make sure you get some quality din to RCA connectors .. I am not a cable fanatic but the cheap thin jobbies from the likes of Amazon are not ideal.  

Have fun that is a great system - and make sure to get a lot of air around the Quads - they will not appreciate being close to the wall at all 

Thanks for the info about the Linn, I did think they were asking a bit much but I was incorrect in saying I was sending them to Linn, I am actually sending them to a local retailer (got confused with the amps) so it doesnt look like I will be able to find a cheaper price for a professional service, but I should be able to change grommets etc myself.

The arm is a rega r200, and I do not know what the cartridge is but I'll be sure to look up Audio Origami.

The only place I could find a din to RCA connector was on a reputable website and costs £25 so that should be fine, but as for the aux to RCA I dont see the need in splashing out for that, since its industry standard.

Thank you very much for the witch hat audio details, that may well come in handy I will definitely be in contact with them.

Thanks for all the advice!

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Super Wammer
16 minutes ago, Bobulous91 said:

Thanks for the info about the Linn, I did think they were asking a bit much but I was incorrect in saying I was sending them to Linn, I am actually sending them to a local retailer (got confused with the amps) so it doesnt look like I will be able to find a cheaper price for a professional service, but I should be able to change grommets etc myself.

The arm is a rega r200, and I do not know what the cartridge is but I'll be sure to look up Audio Origami.

The only place I could find a din to RCA connector was on a reputable website and costs £25 so that should be fine, but as for the aux to RCA I dont see the need in splashing out for that, since its industry standard.

Thank you very much for the witch hat audio details, that may well come in handy I will definitely be in contact with them.

Thanks for all the advice!

To change the oil - Rega use Hypoid 80 - not sure what Linn uses but back in the 70s it was hypoid 90.  Empty out the old oil and clean with a cotton bud - then replace with a synthetic equivalent.   It will take a while for the bearing to sink down and seat properly (keep spinning it by hand until it is in place)  If you google search it will tell you how many ml of oil is needed and best to not overfill or some will force out the top.   New belts can be had on ebay for about a tenner (not genuine Linn ones but to my ears I couldn't tell any difference sound wise.  I am thinking about getting one of these https://www.ebay.co.uk/p/Thakker-Linn-Sondek-LP-12-Genuine-Belt-Turntable/13019366166?iid=223580392589&chn=ps&norover=1&mkevt=1&mkrid=710-134428-41853-0&mkcid=  which looks to be a quality item and I have bought music gear from Thoman and find them very good to deal with.

If you need a new lid there is a guy makes them on ebay - sells them for about £55 quid and they look great.

Unless the turntable has been left in less than ideal conditions the grommets should be fine.  

If it has the original Rega Arm if it has not got a VTA adjuster treat yourself to one of these to make cartridge alignment a doddle  https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/VTA-VERTICAL-TRA-ADJUSTER-SPEED-LOCK-NUT-FITS-REGA-RB250-RB300-RB600-MICHELL/183867218062?hash=item2acf57188e:g:aO4AAOSwgbVdGgfi   if it is a newer three point fixing one (the old one was a bolt on affair with a thread on the arm base) then you need one of these https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Michell-Engineering-Rega-3-Point-VTA-Adjuster-Silver/233227143159?epid=1976073314&hash=item364d6bc7f7:g:s6cAAOSwAAJdQIUf

The Rega is a superb arm and can be further upgraded by adding something like this https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Michell-Tecnoweight-Rega-Counterweight-Upgrade/293100392504?epid=1073945668&hash=item443e251038:g:amoAAOSwg5tdQLb1  the Michell comes with two weights to accomodate heavier cartridges and makes arm weight set up a doddle.

Enjoy your journey - have fun and take care in your choices and it will be a journey to remember

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If the Quad 'stats have been unused for 10 years, then I think you will be very fortunate if they perform  to  A1 standard.

Re the panels, a lot depends on the room conditions in which they have been stored. Deterioration / splitting of the dust covers could possibly have occurred .There is also the likelihood that the  components in the E.H.T. blocks will have 'aged'  / drifted out of spec over time  and as a consequence the panels may not charge quickly / correctly leading to insensitivity when driven by the amplifier. 

Before using the speakers, I would strongly suggest that you leave them on charge for 24 hours and listen for any 'strange' noises coming from the treble and bass panels.  Initially,  test at  low volume so there is a much reduced risk of them being over-driven and damaged.   

Fingers crossed that you get lucky !

Edited by TECUMSEH VALLEY
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Super Wammer

Pretty certain the Rega Tone arm that is being referred to is the S shaped Lustre arm that was the original for Rega before the RB series was introduced .

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6 hours ago, bencat said:

Pretty certain the Rega Tone arm that is being referred to is the S shaped Lustre arm that was the original for Rega before the RB series was introduced .

Thats sounds correct, and they look very similair if not identical.

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Super Wammer
7 hours ago, Bobulous91 said:

Thats sounds correct, and they look very similair if not identical.

In which case check the bias control (the plastic belt used to adjust the bias breaks with age) .. other than that see how you get on with it ..

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I wouldn't argue with any of the specific advice folks have proffered re the LP but would add my slant on it.

The most important thing is to have the LP12 serviced & set up by a well  recommended local dealer . With an LP12, the integrity of assembly and set up is everything !

So long as the deck gets a clean bill of health  [bearing condition being  important for example ]  don't feel  pressured or tempted  by the very  many and often expensive upgrades which are today available.

A correctly  set up  70's LP12 with the old  S Shaped Rega arm and a sensible moving magnet cartridge can still provide a wonderfully musical and enjoyable level of performance.

It is worth having the springs grommets, suspension bolts  and critical fasters  changed because this will make for easier and more stable set ups. [Most good  dealers would sort out these bits and bobs as a matter of routine within  the service  & set up...partly because it makes their  job easier. ;)

In the fullness of time you may want to look into sensible value for money upgrades ....but, for now,  just get it fettled  and enjoy it.:D.

Edited by Smokestack
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Super Wammer
2 hours ago, Smokestack said:

The most important thing is to have the LP12 serviced & set up

I worked in the trade in the 70s - anyone with a dab hand at using a screwdriver and spanner - and understands what they want to achieve can do the set up .  We had no special teaching or training but I guess we were used to setting up Thorens TD150s and often had to tweek so we got experience.

In this wonderful digital age there is You Tube - where you can get a host of videos showing you exactly what needs to be done and how to do it.

I would recommend watching the videos if you are unsure of what to do and then decide "can I do that?" and if you can then no need to take it anywhere.  If you cannot then yes take it to a recommended person to set it up for you.

To set the levels yourself you will need a couple of small spirit levels (one for each side of the platter to ensure it is balanced because the weight of one will place weight on one side and tip the scales so to speak) or if you can find one get a turntable spirit level with two levels built into a plastic holder that slots over the spindle (I purchased in WH Smiths in the 70s - we were more enlightened then lol).   With two spirit levels first do them top and bottom of the turntable parallel with the front to ensure it is all level then do the same with them parallel to the sides of the plinth to ensure it is level in that plane too.

Check out You Tube for Linn Set up videos (here is the first of a six video set )

Fir those who are wondering what the hell a turntable spirit level looks like - here is mine .. if you can tackle the set up yourself that will give you £200 towards say a new cartridge etc.

IMG_20190919_162747469.jpg

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