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Hi all,

Just thought I’d share my recent LP 12 adventures. My table has seen an extraordinary amount of love in 2021: in early March a new Karousel, Kore and Krystal ... and just last week a pre-owned Ak Radikal and Urika 2 were fitted. I was previously using a Lingo 2 and the ASH built-in MC stage. Arm is an Ittok LVIII (mk1).

Having upgraded to Exakt early this year with Linn Winter promo (new ASH w/ surround module and 2x new Ak Exaktbox-6s) + the fast follow LP12 upgrades, I wasn’t really looking to spend more $ for new gear ... but I wanted to upgrade my motor, so I was on the lookout for a pre-owned Ak Radikal. I saw @akamatsuwas upgrading to Klimax Rad, so reached out if he would sell his Akurate. Alas, he’s keeping for another system, but connected me to Ron at Definitive who had a customer looking to upgrade to Klimax. Fortunately for me, that customer was also willing to part with his Urika 2 :-) (being replaced with a brand new one in his system). Ron was super helpful, fair and knowledgeable ... he boxed up the used gear beautifully and shipped to me in Chicago from Seattle. Fortunately for me, that Ak Rad also had a recent motor swap out (that Ron informed me of in advance) so I contacted Linn to verify date ... it was produced August 2020, so like new! So a huge thanks to this forum, @akamatsuand Ron for helping me find exactly what I hoped for and more!

Then, also by the goodness of this forum, I learned of @ThomasOK and that his shop is “only” about 3 1/2 hours drive ... so I made the trip. Wow was it worth it. Thomas is extremely kind, knowledgeable and skilled. We took about 5 hours and left NOTHING to chance with my LP12, testing and torquing everything that could be. I learned so much just watching Thomas, and he is what makes this hobby great for me. So full of fun stories and Linn history, and welcomed any question I had, including sharing a number of useful tips. His experience was put to great use as my Ittok arm stand bolt was too long, and my plinth not tall enough for everything to simply plug-and-play ... he wasn’t deterred in the least, and smartly deployed his tried and true adjustments on the fly.

We renewed my cartridge leads with the latest Ekos versions (mine were brittle and one lead had partially snapped), a new belt, installed the Ak Rad, installed the Urika 2 (which brings a Tramp 2 type base with it - bonus for me since I previously had only the fixed baseboard) ... even replaced/affixed my missing tiny lid feet! And of course, in true Thomas fashion, checked torque on everything including the electronics. Everything Thomas does is with great intention. I felt like he was setting up his personal table, and he wanted everything to be right. I love finding serious, experienced people dedicated to their craft. I know many on this forum have personal relationships with their local dealers, and there are certainly a number of pros out there ... so let me add, I’m fortunate to have met Thomas and proud to now essentially have his “signature” on my table.

I added a pic while my LP12 was in his workbench. You can see his (in)famous torque screwdriver in the bottom right of the pic. Most shocking discovery: we found my Karousel was absolutely cranked wayyy too tight (different previous installer), and making the change to a torque 2-3x less (around 3.2ish) was instantly FAR more musical! I also didn’t know there was such a thing as outer platter sweet spot alignment, but as Thomas diligently dialed in, you could definitely hear it’s worth the discovery effort.

Our most comical moment was needing a DS/system hub to hook up for testing with Urika 2, so we sourced a Klimax from a listening room. Lol, not bad for just some old test bench kit!

I have it home now, and it’s just amazing. I couldn’t be happier, not only for the improved sound, but also for the experience. Had I just dropped for later pick-up, I would have missed a rare chance to be part of what makes this hobby great. Thank you again Thomas and forum members who share all your stories, wisdom and good humor.

(yes, that’s Steely Dan Gaucho on the platter. First 15 secs of Hey Nineteen frequently repeated as the test track).

6D9D6914-30C3-4983-82A5-1008E64C6D27.jpeg

Edited by Matt Chicago
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Thanks for sharing a great experience!

Edited by Nopiano
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Wonderful story! I told you the biggest upgrade would be having @ThomasOK fettle your LP12. Isn't it amazing what a skilled fettler can do? I am absolutely thrilled that all this worked out so beautifully for you. Happy listening!

Edited by akamatsu
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You're so luck to have Tom so close.  He's ~12 hours away from me and probably the closest competent LP12 tech.  Much as I'd like to make the pilgrimage, I can't see it happening.

:(

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I do hope you didn’t escape Ann Arbor without a visit to Zingerman’s Deli. 

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@akamatsu- you were absolutely right! I’ll score the improved sound 60% fettler, 30% Radikal, 10% Urika 2 ... after all, fettler truly comes first in the hierarchy ;-)

@Jazz Kisaten- thanks so much ... Horace Silver Serenade to a Soul Sister never sounded better ... plenty of boogie!

@sktn77a- yes, 12 hours is a bit much ... I know he works on decks shipped to him, but I wanted to drive it carefully home 😁

@chickenlogic- unfortunately it was all work, no play this visit. I’ve been to Zingerman’s before, and it’s definitely a special place. I’ll be passing through again later this year, and I’ll bet my girlfriend will agree to a deli stop if I agree to not stop and spend hours at Overture Audio!

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2 hours ago, Matt Chicago said:

@akamatsu- you were absolutely right! I’ll score the improved sound 60% fettler, 30% Radikal, 10% Urika 2 ... after all, fettler truly comes first in the hierarchy ;-)

@Jazz Kisaten- thanks so much ... Horace Silver Serenade to a Soul Sister never sounded better ... plenty of boogie!

@sktn77a- yes, 12 hours is a bit much ... I know he works on decks shipped to him, but I wanted to drive it carefully home 😁

@chickenlogic- unfortunately it was all work, no play this visit. I’ve been to Zingerman’s before, and it’s definitely a special place. I’ll be passing through again later this year, and I’ll bet my girlfriend will agree to a deli stop if I agree to not stop and spend hours at Overture Audio!

I’ve been to Zingerman’s as well, after spending a couple of hours visiting ThomasOK at Overture Audio.  Great day indeed 😊👍🏻

It was wonderful to meet ThomasOk at Overture and see their showrooms and chat for a couple hours

At Zingerman’s, I got to taste some balsamic vinegar that cost over $500 US for a small bottle, and we purchased up a couple pounds of smoked bacon from Tennessee. It was so well smoked that it doesn’t even need refrigeration. When you open the package of smoked Tennessee bacon, it smells like you had a campfire inside your home.

We also went to Crazy Jim’s Blimpy Burger in Ann Arbour, where the people who take your order are extremely rude, unless you order it in exactly the order and procedure  they list on the menu. Tasty indeed

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What are your setting for the Urika II in Konfig? Mine is all default except gain is increased from 50 db to 56 db. This was the case for my Krystal, as well as for the Kandid.

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26 minutes ago, akamatsu said:

What are your setting for the Urika II in Konfig? Mine is all default except gain is increased from 50 db to 56 db. This was the case for my Krystal, as well as for the Kandid.

What prompted you to make that change?

’troll

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Just now, Moomintroll said:

What prompted you to make that change?

’troll

When I got the Urika II, the Krystal was already in place. I noticed that the volume was lower than I was used to. So, I gave the higher 56 db output a try, and I liked it. I later confirmed that many with Urika IIs use the higher setting.

I also tried the next higher 62 db setting. 56 sounded better.

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Re: the gain setting (Urika 2 + Krystal), when I first played a track last week on my LP12 “side-by-side” with Qobuz (as a comparison), I noticed the same thing you described Akamatsu.

Full disclosure, I was already searching in the forum for any suggestions to change default Urika 2 settings (taking advantage of collective wisdom). I stumbled on to your other post about adjusting your gain to 56db, so I just blindly did the same to copy you!

Of course, this brought my LP12 output much closer to Qobuz so all around I decided to keep it.

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22 hours ago, Matt Chicago said:

Fortunately for me, that customer was also willing to part with his Urika 2 :-)

Ron and I had a backup plan for you. That was for me to buy the Urika II at discount with the Radikal, then pass the savings on to you. It's good to have high friends in places. Did I say that right? :)

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4 hours ago, psj said:

Springs on the jig!!! I must do that.

I saw that too and thought the same!

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