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1 hour ago, mskaye said:

I spend more time trying to understand what Beethoven and Mozart are telling me and less time wondering if the dustcover is somehow degrading the sound.

Good for you! That’s the whole point, after all.  Life is too short to worry about dust covers. :-)

Edited by Nopiano
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2 hours ago, ThomasOK said:

"You take the red pill - you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes"  Do you want to take the red pill?  

I will admit to being the kind of person who does experiment with numerous issues that can improve the musicality of the system, as is Fredrik Lejonklou.  How far does it go?  Example one: Fredrik found that every single cable sounds slightly different.  I have about 8 pair of Linn Silvers, first generation.  I listened to every single cable separately and then marked them as pair 1, pair 2, pair 3, etc.  Pair 1 connects my SINGularity phono stages to my Sagatun Mono preamps, pair 2 connects the preamps to the Tundra Mono power amps (others would use them for the second source but my phono chain is more important to me), pair 3 currently connects to my Kremlin, etc.

Example two: If you thought precision torques questionable on an LP12 you will surely think I am completely nuts when I tell you that they make musical differences on electronics and speakers.  All Lejonklou electronics are built with specific torques for all fasteners except those that hold the feet on the amplifiers (as those are too low to measure).  Many of the products have a label on the inside listing the proper settings in case the unit has to be serviced.  Yes, the differences are audible.

So lets give a real world example of how extreme it can get.  My system at home consists of the best Klimax LP12 I have heard which uses a Woodsong movingui plinth and otherwise all Linn parts.  The arm cable is what is now called the Akito arm cable (basically the original T.Kable but with the new Linn DIN plug) on which I have put the original Linn Silver RCAs as I find this cable more musical than the current T.Kable.  This sits on my NOKTable stand which is a slight modernization of the Archidee stand with better hadrware and  bit better construction.  The LP12 plinth is 94mm from the back wall as this is where it sounds best.  My equipment is on three Harmoni racks with CNC machined aluminum Mimer top shelves and solid Sitka spruce lower double Tor shelves (18mm shelf then two fender washers then a 6mm shelf).  The bottom shelves are basically an inverted Tor with the thin shelf on top onto which you do not place any component but instead place a small piece of 1" thick Dacron polyester about 3" x 6" (I don't remember the exact size but an extra half inch of length is worse).  These racks are all four shelves on which you can only use three because that is how they sound the best.  They can go five high and you can add another 18mm above the inverted Tor on the bottom but neither setup is quite as good.  The top is generally for sources but with my concentration on LP sound I have the KRadikal on one Mimer and the SINGularity pair on another.  Second shelves are the mono preamps, third shelves are the power amps - always follow the hierarchy.  The third rack houses my Kremlin and my streamer/DAC.  It has occasionally held a CD player but currently doesn't.  These racks are placed 200mm from the back wall as this is where they are most musical.  The power amps are connected to a pair of completely rebuilt Quad ESL (commonly called 57s) originally built in 1978.  Panels were rebuilt by Sheldon Stokes, one of the best in North America.  I rebuilt the crossovers, since the parts were out of spec, with new turret boards and Vishay resistors and capacitors marched to tolerances of a few hundredths of a percent.  (I fully admit I didn't test to see if that was audible but the values were so close on them anyway I figured, why not?)  The resistors, capacitors and internal wiring were all tested for most musical direction and oriented that way (yes it does matter on individual parts, including fuses).  The power supplies were to speck and didn't need any work.  I soldered the connections using Lejonklou solder (he listened to 40 different ones to find the most musical) and at 677 degrees Fahrenheit (yes the temperature the solder connection is made at makes a difference).  These are connected to the Tundra Monos using Linn K400 speaker cable split in half, trimmed to 2.48 meters length soldered at 677F with Lejonklou solder to original style Linn Knekt banana plugs.  They are mounted on custom welded OFIL speaker stands - similar in basic idea to SARA stands but with a lot of experimenting as to best sounding metals, etc. (if I recall correctly at least 3 different steels are used) that have the Quads at a height of 10".  The fasteners that hold the stands together are fastened at around 20Nm (I don't recall the exact setting).  The Quads are placed 35" from the back wall on the inside corners and 38.5" on the outside corners with them being 80cm apart at the inside frame edges.  Power cables are all the latest version Lejonklou AC cables (by Volex) which are the first to beat my old Linn Longwell cables for musicality, except on the Quads where the AC cables have no sonic effect so I use a longer Volex cable for convenience.  All stands have spikes fitted onto Skeets as I have a hardwood floor.  

So, yes, many will consider me certifiable.  I just did a full setup on a late 80s LP12 two days ago for a customer who drove 3.5 hours to get here.  It needed a Valhalla rebuild and a new cartridge (he went with a Dynavector DV-20X2h).  Also put on a new falt mat, new cartridge tags, springs and grommets, a Trampolin 2 and a few misc. small parts.  He watched me most of the time and told me a couple of times I was insane.  But he said he was glad I was insane as it made his LP12 sound so much better than he had ever heard it before.  He is saving up to go with a Karousel, Kore and new PS/motor next year.

I featured that same system listed above, minus the tuner, DAC and one rack, with a 61 year old stock pair of Quad ESL in the Lejonklou/Nokturne Audio room at 2019 Axpona Hi-Fi show.  We received many comments to the effect that it was the most musical at the show and one of the editors of Stereophile, John Atkinson, said it was a highlight of the show.  It also lead to three new dealers coming on board for Lejonklou over the next few months.  In 2016 a similar system at RMAF, but with a $1766 pair of JBL professional cinema speakers, was awarded Best Sound of Show by Rafe Arnott of Part-TIme Audiophile.  So it appears this level of attention to detail (the systems were setup as close as possible to the setup at home) does pay off in terms of listener satisfaction.

Would I expect your average music listener to take things to the levels Fredrik or I do?  Certainly not.  But if you want anyone to be OCD about squeezing the most out of a music reproduction system, it can't hurt if that person sets up your LP12 or designs and builds your electronics - at least my customers feel that way.

Thomas, we have never met, but I do respect your opinions on all things Linn. I have been in this crazy hobby for more than 30 years ( shows my age) and I do agree with most of your points above. I was one of the very first people to state how raising cables off the floor is beneficial from a SQ perspective. I also strongly believe in the differences in the sound of cabling ( which is why i so dislike the veiled studio based T Kable). However, I also believe that while it is great to take care of the smallest details in your system set-up, it is also important to understand where the weaknesses lie in all systems. Those weaknesses are typically tied to the quality of the room that your system is located in and the ability of your source. BUT, like all systems, the audio system is only as great as its weakest link, and while i do NOT want to sound like a broken record ( pun), there are areas in the Linn platform that simply are no longer SOTA. ( Most folk know which ones I am talking about, so I will not repeat myself). Personally, and this is totally IMHO, there isn't a great amount of point in fretting too much over torque issues, when the other far more glaring ( and impactful) aspects that I have brought to the fore are not addressed by Linn.( or other manufacturer's that have areas that are glaring omissions!).

Again, all of the above..IMHO.

Edited by Daveyf
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In Thomas' fascinating and valuable exegesis, he muses as to whether his (by some standards) OCD approach makes him certifiable. To form a view on that point, we'd have to be of one mind on what we mean by 'sane', an issue on which humanity has failed to agree since the beginning of recorded history, and no doubt long before then as well. But this train of thought does lead to one point on which I think we can agree. The most unpredictable and unreliable and least well understood component of any Hi-Fi system is the one between the listener's ears.

David

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Hi all, I'm a newbie on here and just been reading with great interest all of your posts on the Karousel.

I have ordered one for my aging LP12 two weeks ago and can't wait for it even more now! 

I bought my LP12 in 1990 with an EKOS and a Valhalla power supply. I'm expecting a big improvements as I still have the original bearing (pre Cirkus). I bought a used Lingo 1 last year for it, so it's slowly getting up to date!!

As it has the original sub-chassis, is it worth spending a little more to upgrade this at the same time? Or the arm board? Would this make a much of a difference? I haven't got loads of money to spend on it at the moment but if changing the sub-chassis or arm board makes a massive difference then I will do it. 

I have to say that I think it sounds fantastic as it is so this is going to be good 😀

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11 minutes ago, AndyS said:

Hi all, I'm a newbie on here and just been reading with great interest all of your posts on the Karousel.

I have ordered one for my aging LP12 two weeks ago and can't wait for it even more now! 

I bought my LP12 in 1990 with an EKOS and a Valhalla power supply. I'm expecting a big improvements as I still have the original bearing (pre Cirkus). I bought a used Lingo 1 last year for it, so it's slowly getting up to date!!

As it has the original sub-chassis, is it worth spending a little more to upgrade this at the same time? Or the arm board? Would this make a much of a difference? I haven't got loads of money to spend on it at the moment but if changing the sub-chassis or arm board makes a massive difference then I will do it. 

I have to say that I think it sounds fantastic as it is so this is going to be good 😀

Congratulations and welcome! In my opinion, the Karousel is the most impactful LP12 upgrade ever! And I went from 1975 vintage model to Klimax level upgrading little by little over 30 years.

As for a sub-chassis, a Kore would make for a huge improvement. However, I don't know what to you is "a little more." If a Kore is a little more than "a little more," I'd hit up the dealer for a used Cirkus bonded sub-chassis with armboard. I had one lying around and gave it to the dealer.

One more thing, if this hasn't been done already, have the Lingo recapped. I had mine done at about 25 years of age (the Lingo, not me) and it made a very nice improvement for less than $300.

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I would definitely highly recommend replacing the sub-chassis/armboard.  The Karousel will not actually fit on some (most?) pre-Cirkus sub-chassis as the locating pips stick up too much to allow the Karousel to be properly tightened down.  Since Linn said you could upgrade all LP12s with the Karousel they have told the dealers that they have spacers that will allow it to work.  I haven't seen the spacers but it doesn't seem like a great idea to me.  Possibly not Linn either, as they say they would recommend anyone buying the Karousel to consider moving to one of the better sub-chassis to get the best value out of their upgrades.

If you can stretch to it I would recommend a Kore as it is stonking good perfromance for the money.  It is not cheap at $1200US but still close to a third of the Keel at $3250.  If that stretches your budget for now I would recommend seeing if your dealer has a used Cirkus sub-chassis.  This is twice as thick where the bearing housing mounts and will support the Karousel quite well.  Since these were originally $170 I would expect you could pick up a used one for $100 or less.  They aren't made anymore so a used/trade-in one is the way to go.  As they get taken off LP12s when they are upgraded to Kore or Keel they shouldn't be too hard to come by.  You dealer might have one laying around.  If your armboard is in good shape it can be transferred over.  If not a new armboard for Linn arms is about $50.

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@ThomasOK I think you and I were typing at exactly the same time. Fortunately, we gave the same advice.

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By the way, if you happen to be in North America, @ThomasOK is the person to rebuild your Lingo.

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1 hour ago, ThomasOK said:

I would definitely highly recommend replacing the sub-chassis/armboard.  The Karousel will not actually fit on some (most?) pre-Cirkus sub-chassis as the locating pips stick up too much to allow the Karousel to be properly tightened down.  Since Linn said you could upgrade all LP12s with the Karousel they have told the dealers that they have spacers that will allow it to work.  I haven't seen the spacers but it doesn't seem like a great idea to me.  Possibly not Linn either, as they say they would recommend anyone buying the Karousel to consider moving to one of the better sub-chassis to get the best value out of their upgrades.

If you can stretch to it I would recommend a Kore as it is stonking good perfromance for the money.  It is not cheap at $1200US but still close to a third of the Keel at $3250.  If that stretches your budget for now I would recommend seeing if your dealer has a used Cirkus sub-chassis.  This is twice as thick where the bearing housing mounts and will support the Karousel quite well.  Since these were originally $170 I would expect you could pick up a used one for $100 or less.  They aren't made anymore so a used/trade-in one is the way to go.  As they get taken off LP12s when they are upgraded to Kore or Keel they shouldn't be too hard to come by.  You dealer might have one laying around.  If your armboard is in good shape it can be transferred over.  If not a new armboard for Linn arms is about $50.

I just had a Lingo4 and Karousel installed in a 1990 LP12 that previously had a Lingo 1 and Cirkus.   I've never had the sub-chassis or original Aro armboard upgraded.   The dealer has never mentioned any compatibility issues to me.   I have opted to not upgrade to an Aro Kore for the foreseeable future. I know it would probably be nice but it sounds pretty damned sweet as it is and I'd rather save a little money during the pandemic.  

Edited by mskaye
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1 hour ago, mskaye said:

The dealer has never mentioned any compatibility issues to me.

That's almost certainly because, as noted by @ThomasOK, the Cirkus subchassis is compatible with the Karousel. You have already decided that the Kore is a step too far. Incidentally, the wording of your post left me a little unsure as to whether you knew that the Kore is a combined subchassis and armboard; my apologies for any misunderstanding. 

David 

Edited by DavidHB
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Thanks so much to you all for your advice. This is exactly what I needed 😀

I think, for now, I will speak to my local dealer and see if he has a used Cirkus sub-chassis, if not, I will try and track one down. I don't like the thought of spacers being used.

I will also recap my Lingo 1. As I'm an electronic engineer, this is a job I can do myself. it's been in the back of my mind to do it!

Thanks again. 

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Back to the core issue of how well Karousel performs.

Yesterday, Jonathan Monks of Keith Monks Audio Works came over to deliver my new Record Cleaning Machine. Discussion of the RCM itself belongs in another thread, but I had also offered Jon the opportunity to listen to my system. He is having work done to his house and his own Hi-Fi is in storage, so the opportunity was welcome.

Jon brought with him one of the Sheffield Labs direct-to-disc jazz albums (I'm afraid I didn't take a note of the title), which we cleaned as part of the setup of the system, and then played as a first test. Jazz is not really my thing, but this is a fine album and the recording is splendid - wholly natural sounding with amazing presence and dynamic range. I had explained the architecture of my system to Jon, and he expressed surprise that a setup embodying so much digital technology should sound to natural and unforced. He also said that he had never heard his album reproduced with such a transparent, noise free background.

Bearing in mind that it is the reaction of someone who, as a designer of RCMs, spends a goodly amount of time listening to LPs to detect noises they shouldn't be making, this has to be regarded as a very positive assessment.And, given that we are talking about a low noise floor, Karousel has to be a major, if not the major, contributor to the overall result. Which is further confirmation in my mind that the new bearing is a real winner.

David

Edited by DavidHB
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i've had my karousel for a month now and decided to give my opinion on it. first my system is a linn lp12, kore, ekos2. krystal, trampoline 2, radikal /dyn. p.s., linn uphorik phono stage, accustic arts tube preamp 2, hegel h30 amp and gamut L7 speakers. when i got my lp12 back from the dealer i didn't play it right away which was hard seeing i order it (karousel) in march. i let it spin for 3 hours a night for 5 nights before the big day. after lunch on my day off and the system was all warmed up an ready to go. the first thing you notice is how low the noise floor and you say to yourself man this thing is quiet. after listening a bit more i notice the music was disjointed and lost its usual flow. the other thing i was hearing was a bit of booming bass that wasn't there before, my room is treated with acoustical panels. not a happy day after waiting months for this upgrade but i know knew new parts take time to settle. fast forward to yesterday and it was a good day the bass boominess is gone, the flow is back . the music sounds more dynamic and sounds seem to come out of nowhere. there seems to be more space around the instruments and are more separated. if you get this upgrade you have to be patient but will be rewarded in the end. one other thing i noticed is the end of the spindle tip the part you see when the record is on is a different colored finish. it doesn't look polished. i played a couple of records today and one of them was frank zappa - grand wazoo. i bought this album used and it was noisy but i love this record and still play it hoping one day it will be reissued. when i was listening to it i was really surprised how much more quieter it was now. i won't be looking for that reissue of this album now. another record was janis ian- between the lines, the separation and space around the instrument was amazing, it didn't sound like this a month ago.   john            

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On 30/08/2020 at 00:18, AndyS said:

I think, for now, I will speak to my local dealer and see if he has a used Cirkus sub-chassis, if not, I will try and track one down. I don't like the thought of spacers being used.

Don't.

Please, leave that pre cirkus crappy sub-chassis to the dealer and get the latest majik if you cannot stretch to the Kore.

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2 hours ago, Harbie said:

Don't.

Please, leave that pre cirkus crappy sub-chassis to the dealer and get the latest majik if you cannot stretch to the Kore.

A cirkus sub-chasis is a perfectly fine alternative to a Kore as it will only cost £100.

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