FoundMeALinn

LP12 Found in Garbage - What would you do?

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Hi all,

I find myself in a strange circumstance. I found someone's abandoned DIY project; an LP12 which looks to be in great condition. I've tried to find the owner to make sure this wasn't some kind of mistake, but no luck. I'm thinking maybe a divorce or messy breakup. I wanted to reach out to some communities who are familiar with this turntable for advice. It looks like, if this was running and in good condition it would be valuable to someone else. I don't think I can keep it (bills to pay, etc.)

Unfortunately I have no car, so I'm not able to bring it to a local shop. I'll attach some pictures below. There's no tonearm, but otherwise looks "stock". It's a low S/N (002960), and if my reading is correct that means it lacks most of the neat upgrades that came with later productions. Plugged in, the power  button lights up nicely and the platter turns smoothly.

Is there any way to test the electronics without buying and mounting a tonearm? Any other advice?

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Wow! If you're on Facebook there's a group about the LP12 with a lot of downloadable information, such as year of manufacture by serial - yours is early 'seventies.

Mick

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Looks around 74 to me.

It has the dual ribbed sub chassis ie no welded strengthening strap. The very earliest version of the sub chassis had a cross rib which is missing here.

Platter is probably heavier than modern platters. You could try adding some weight on top of the arm board to get it level with the top of the plinth if you want to try it set up without the arm. If you do that try hand spinning the platter (after checking the oil is ok) without belt to see if it spins freely. If it comes to a stop quickly then the bearing may be an issue due to wear

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Thanks for taking a look Mick and Cre. Some good info to check out. I did not check oil but when saw the platter spun easily by hand. I plugged it in and spun it via motor as well. Maybe this was a mistake? It seemed to spin without resistance so I didn't expect that would cause any harm.

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A few spins should not do any harm to see how the platter rotates but you do need appropriate oil in the well for any real use. If the oil has not been changed for a long time then that also creates risks with using it heavily.

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It depends on what you want. If you want to modernize it you will need to spend some on new power supply, bearing, springs , the sub-chassis and sort of . 
But if you prefer original ,  all you needs would be a SME tonearm with a cartridge, a new Linn Oil for the bearing, some new capacitors and resistors for the power supply. Maybe a belt too if you want? 

 As long as the motor runs smooth continuously, there is nothing more inside a LP12.

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neat, thanks kl; glad to know it's as simple as it looks. I'll poke around more online and see what my budget allows as far as a new tonearm and board go. 

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17 hours ago, kl122002 said:

It depends on what you want. If you want to modernize it you will need to spend some on new power supply, bearing, springs , the sub-chassis and sort of . 
But if you prefer original ,  all you needs would be a SME tonearm with a cartridge, a new Linn Oil for the bearing, some new capacitors and resistors for the power supply. Maybe a belt too if you want? 

 As long as the motor runs smooth continuously, there is nothing more inside a LP12.

This is exactly what I would do!

Find yourself a cca´74 vintage 9" SME . Hopefully you have a LP12 fettler somewhere near that you can it over to for a setup. Happy days!

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I guess an early, very largely unmodified LP12 is probably a fairly rare item these days, and a novelty in itself.

Not sure if the "export" aspect makes it anymore interesting. Maybe it's an export motor, which might mean it has speed issues in the U.K ? Hence the stripping of the arm and "scrapping" ?

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Yes, as has been stated this is a very early LP12, almost surely made in the first half of the 1970s.  There is some demand for a stock LP12 of this age.  There is very little to go wrong with these as long as the bearing and motor still work.  As you can see there are very few electronic parts and they are mostly there just to make sure the motor turns in the right direction.  To clarify the way to check the bearing is to remove the outer platter and belt and give the inner platter a little spin.  It should spin smoothly and come to a stop gradually without any jerky motion.  If it does that the bearing should be fine.  The bearing housing is also original as it has the multiple crimp marks on the bottom common to early housings.  The arm board is precut for an SME 3009 arm and the cabling for that arm is still in place.  So if you just want to bring it back to spec I'd look for an SME 3009, maybe a series II, which can be found on eBay all the time, typically running $300 - $1000US with the majority centered around $500.  Put on a decent cartridge, an inexpensive Grado is a reasonable possibility if you want something that still looks the same as it did back then.  Many cartridges that would have been put in it back then, like the Shure V15 II or III no longer have original styli available.  As to the oil, that bearing would originally have had an 80 weight bearing oil in it which might be still available from Linn.  If the housing has a gold tone (I don't think it has but can't tell from the photo) you shouldn't use the new black oil, but you can with all the other housings if you clean out the older oil.

I'd highly recommend having a good dealer give it a once over to make sure the fasteners are properly tightened and the suspension is optimized, but it really isn't likely to need much other than the arm, cartridge, oil and likely a belt as long as you want to keep it stock (which is what I would do with one like this).

If you can chow us a photo of the top without the outer platter we can tell you if it has the proper motor on it for use in the UK and Europe as opposed to the US and Canada.

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1 hour ago, ThomasOK said:

As to the oil, that bearing would originally have had an 80 weight bearing oil in it which might be still available from Linn. 

Thomas - are you referring to the Mobile Velocite Oil No6 (ie Linn Gold Oil) or a different oil specification again?

I have a bearing taken from the same type of early LP12 dual ribbed sub chassis that I want to try out and am not certain of the oil to use.

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Yes, the Mobil oil you mention would be the right stuff.

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56 minutes ago, ThomasOK said:

Yes, the Mobil oil you mention would be the right stuff.

Thank you

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Thanks @ThomasOKand others for your insight. I've had my mind elsewhere the past couple weeks and forgot to check back on this thread. Attached is an image with the platter removed. 110 V / 60HZ. It looks like there was another sticker which is now gone. There's a hair stuck to it instead–perhaps I should use it to track down the old owner :)1008364944_IMG_20200328_173653copy.thumb.jpg.21535c1f4309d07fad8cc7a824626481.jpg

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The missing sticker is the infamous torn yellow sticker that was used on the Castle built Ariston RD11 and continued to be used on early LP12s but with the reference to Ariston torn off.

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