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20 hours ago, DavidHB said:

I have a Urika II and have on several occasions heard the original Urika, though I have never been able to make a direct comparison between the two. But almost all the comparisons I have seen, both here and on the old Linn forum, come down in favour of the Urika II. To the extent that the judgement is valid (and I acknowledge that there are still a few dissenters), I don't think that the performance difference is fundamentally about the fact that the Urika II is partly digital and the Urika is all analogue.

Yes, the argumentation might be somewhat more complex when we get into details.

We did the Urika comparison sometimes ago at the dealer's and in course of a private upgrade at a friend's. At these occasions Urika II seems to be better. Yes. But I have no personal living and "happyness experience" with that. Seems to be a change you would want to live with for some weeks before making a final decison. 

And I'm uncomfortable with the idea to invest in an KDSM when looking at the huge depreciation on top notch digital components. That's money I wanted to spend into the LP12.

20 hours ago, DavidHB said:

It's a pity that you don't like Space Optimisation, as for many of us it has been a game changer. Is your objection on some sort of principle, or have you tried it and found you didn't like it? The version in Konfig (Version 1) was undoubtedly a bit tricky to get right. The newer version based in the Lin Account (Version 2) is much better in this respect, and anyone prepared to take a little care with room measurements and the like will, with most rooms, get good results at the first attempt.

I grew up with analogue speaker positioning. So mine are placed in the optimal position. Maybe I'm lucky with my room. So I had never an urge to do room optimization.

But beeing an experimental phisicist, we tried a lot with SO in different systems. When the system has a good "analogue" setup we always get this result: Just switching on SO without any active correction is enough to take the life from the music. Reading your statement makes me sad, because lots of people might have a bad analogue setup with no life or former "Linn magic" that could be taken away.

My guess: SO does only reduce singe room frequencies but not their harmonics, which corrupts the room information our brain is interpreting all the time. So the room of the recording room gets inplausible. And the room information of the listening room too.

An often reported effect of SO is: People tend to reduce SO correction over time. Sure. Being in a new listening room, our brains adapt to the room and are perfroming a kind of SO of their own. That would explain why guests often do hear the SO effects diffenrently compared with the inhabitants who have a "neural SO setup" for the room already in place.

Another problem is that for full effect of SO you would need an active system. Unfortunately we found that the Solo's qualities contributes a lot to listener's connection with the musicians. And a Solo active system is out of reach.

Finally I come back to my first post: The up to date full blown Linn Katalyst Klimax system at Linn's factory and at my elite dealer's presentation sound very very similar. From that we can assume, that SO was done in a similar perfect way, as the rooms were quite different. But unfortunately both setups were missing the essial qualities by far.

To be fair I need to add a second system, that is a very fine one out of the some 10 Linn systems I've been listening to during the last years: It's an old sub-Akurate LP12 with an old Majik DSM and even older Helix speakers. I performs like heaven. A piano standing between the speakers might have some correcting influence  :-) .

And there you have it again: It's all about mechanical harmonics. That's was our brains are expecting as there never were other sounds in nature. "Analogue" might be wrong, but it takes from our brains the load of construeing non harmonic sound information into a plausible "real" world.

With the free capacities the brain then can enjoy the music.

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I wish I could reply fully to @HH2010 and @ThomasOK among others who have recently contributed. But this is a thread about Karousel, and we have to be careful not to wander off topic. So while I should be happy to pursue in another thread many of the points that have been made, here I must let them lie where they fall. However, there are a couple of points that can legitimately be made.

Firstly, my assessment of Karousel, with which folk who disagree with me on other things do at least concur, was made on an Exakt system, with Space Optimisation +, version 2, fully set up. Previously, I had Space Optimisation version 1, fully tweaked by @Paulssurround, which was a wonderful revelation. Space Optimisation, by definition, has to be used in a DSM and cannot be implemented in an end to end analogue system, but I originally used it with a passive setup downstream of the ADSM I had at the time (ADSM/1 > A2200 > M109s and subwoofer), to which it brought considerable benefits. So I am confident that the way I am now using my LP12, with the Karousel, is actually the best use of the available technology, and is the very opposite of a missed opportunity or lost life, because it provides the best Hi-Fi listening experience I have ever enjoyed in well over six decades of Hi-Fi use. - an experience to which, of course, the Karousel is a major contributor.

My second point, is that the Karousel gives the lie to the implicit contention in some of what has been said that Linn have somehow abandoned either or both of their heritage or some true path of Hi-Fi rectitude. They have simply (well, actually, rather skillfully) taken a module of a modular product and improved it significantly, such that the whole product performs better. This is pretty much what they have been doing for nearly half a century, and not just with the LP12. The origins of Katalyst lie in much the same kind of thinking. What really matters is not that Karousel is part of an analogue or digital system (especially given that most systems, including mine, are analogue and digital hybrids), but that it is better engineered than its predecessor and that the resultant performance improvement is clearly audible.

David

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On 14/07/2020 at 18:04, Nopiano said:

A coincidence that two of you mention “In the wee small hours”.  At the last Hi-Fi Show I attended in Feb 2019, in Bristol (England), the ATC guy played a mono copy of this. He told the tale how he’d bought it in Tower Records in New York for 99 cents.  I listen to it often on Qobuz now!

Another great song that stunned in its holographic recording of the rich male vocal - Leonard Cohen's Field Commander Cohen on his New Skin for the Old Ceremony LP.  I played the Sundaze reissue and was just speechless.  Not just the recording but the music, the lyrics, everything.  It's a simple recording but give this one a try on an LP12 and prepare to shake your head in amazement.  

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On 19/07/2020 at 18:15, mskaye said:

Another great song that stunned in its holographic recording of the rich male vocal - Leonard Cohen's Field Commander Cohen on his New Skin for the Old Ceremony LP.  I played the Sundaze reissue and was just speechless.  Not just the recording but the music, the lyrics, everything.  It's a simple recording but give this one a try on an LP12 and prepare to shake your head in amazement.  

Slightly off-topic, but do try to find the original US pressing and you will be even more stunned ;)

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16 hours ago, Tendaberry said:

Slightly off-topic, but do try to find the original US pressing and you will be even more stunned ;)

Thank you. I will search one out.  

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For those still contemplating that are on Pacific time .....

Shelley's Stereo | Linn Karousel Bearing Zoom Call and Upgrade Promo - Friday July 24, 2020 at 4PM PST

 

The new Linn Karousel bearingTo celebrate the release of Linn’s new Karousel bearing for their legendary LP-12 Turntable, you are cordially invited to join us on a Zoom call Friday 7/24 at 4PM PST. We’ll be discussing what the Karousel can do for your LP-12 with Shelley’s Stereo staff and Gordon Inch from Linn.

Additionally, for those that join us on the call we’ll be extending our Linn upgrade promotion – spend $4,000 on Linn products and receive the Karousel for free ($975 value).

The new Karousel bearing offers smoother rotation and greater stability for even better sound from your Sondek LP12.

Enhancements to the base of the bearing include a stronger housing for the thrust pad, and combined with a smaller, stiffer form improves the critical area that supports the platter rotation and mass, meaning your vinyl reproduction is more accurate and detailed than ever before.

 
 
 

To learn more about the Karousel bearing and other Linn products please join us on Friday.

Join Call

 
 
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39 minutes ago, 13th Duke of Wymbourne said:

For those still contemplating that are on Pacific time .....

Shelley's Stereo | Linn Karousel Bearing Zoom Call and Upgrade Promo - Friday July 24, 2020 at 4PM PST

 

The new Linn Karousel bearingTo celebrate the release of Linn’s new Karousel bearing for their legendary LP-12 Turntable, you are cordially invited to join us on a Zoom call Friday 7/24 at 4PM PST. We’ll be discussing what the Karousel can do for your LP-12 with Shelley’s Stereo staff and Gordon Inch from Linn.

Additionally, for those that join us on the call we’ll be extending our Linn upgrade promotion – spend $4,000 on Linn products and receive the Karousel for free ($975 value).

The new Karousel bearing offers smoother rotation and greater stability for even better sound from your Sondek LP12.

Enhancements to the base of the bearing include a stronger housing for the thrust pad, and combined with a smaller, stiffer form improves the critical area that supports the platter rotation and mass, meaning your vinyl reproduction is more accurate and detailed than ever before.

 
 
 

To learn more about the Karousel bearing and other Linn products please join us on Friday.

Join Call

 
 

I too saw this notice from Shelley's. Will try and be on their webinar tomorrow. Presumably they offer fitting services as well? I had heard that maybe their fettler was going to be retiring.

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I have never met Stan but I ordered some bits from him recently. He said he was working part time at present as he was recovering from an illness (not COVID)

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Just got off the zoom call. What a delightful conversation.

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Nice to put a face to the moniker. As you saw I've changed a little since my avatar picture was taken. Gordon from Linn seems like a great guy for job and the job is great for him, someone who is passionate about what he does.

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Great to be able to meet you guys. Gordon is definitely a great asset to Linn.

I didn’t mention it to Stan, but he’s going to have a fit when he sees I have a Well Tempered Black arm, and how that has to be reset when he installs the new bearing, lol.

Edited by Daveyf
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  • 2 weeks later...

I have to agree with the plaudits here - huge step up. I’d liken it to the improvement I got when I moved from standard sub-chassis to Keel all those years ago.

92627154-FA0C-486D-ABF6-E168C09B482E.jpeg

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On 23/07/2020 at 21:56, 13th Duke of Wymbourne said:

I have never met Stan but I ordered some bits from him recently. He said he was working part time at present as he was recovering from an illness (not COVID)

Had heard the was retiring.  Thankfully, that seems to be incorrect.  Met him last week when I brought him my LP12.  Nice man, full of energy and opinions ;)

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  • 2 weeks later...

I spoke to a few US dealers today about adding a Karousel bearing. I am now being told that the price of the kit --$975-, does NOT include fitting. There is now a considerable upcharge for the labor. Apparently there is such a big demand for the upgrade that US dealers are no longer offering it as fitted at the retail price. Anyone else experience this?

Edited by Daveyf
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@Daveyf I had the same issue with a Lingo 4. I had the impression they included fitting and was charged. 
I’d be interested to know whether UK Linn dealers are charging for fitting the Karousel 

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