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Karousel or Kartridge?


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Although I rather suspect I know what the answer will be, I thought I'd ask the collective wisdom here.

I now have a LP12/Mose-Hercules2/Ekos with a Grado Sonata MM.  I've never been a big fan of Grado carts on an LP12, and so replacing the Grado is in the cards.  So should I do something like an AT ART9 and stay with the Cirkus or go Karousel with something like an AT VM95ML?  Don't want to do both at the same time - been on a hifi binge over the summer!

Thanks in advance!

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To get the most from the Karousel, you really need an updated subchassis, also.  Ideally a Kore but minimally a Majik.  I assume since you mention budgets, that a Keel isn't in the picture!

Also, bear in mind that the Karousel is a tight fit around the Hercules PS board and has the potential for short circuits.

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36 minutes ago, Moomintroll said:

You’re correct, you do know the answer. Go for the Karousel.

’troll

Like he said.  No question.

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13 minutes ago, sktn77a said:

To get the most from the Karousel, you really need an updated subchassis, also.  Ideally a Kore but minimally a Majik.  I assume since you mention budgets, that a Keel isn't in the picture!

Also, bear in mind that the Karousel is a tight fit around the Hercules PS board and has the potential for short circuits.

While a better sub chassis would be nice, the Cirkus sub chassis is certainly adequate for you to get the benefit of the Karousel.  Personally I'd rather just do the Karousel and save up to skip the Majik and go to the Kore.  While the Karousel is not recommended with the Hercules II, just like it isn't with a Valhalla, the OP states he has a Mose/Hercules where the board is in an external case.  So there should be no problem.

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11 minutes ago, ThomasOK said:

While a better sub chassis would be nice, the Cirkus sub chassis is certainly adequate for you to get the benefit of the Karousel.  Personally I'd rather just do the Karousel and save up to skip the Majik and go to the Kore.  While the Karousel is not recommended with the Hercules II, just like it isn't with a Valhalla, the OP states he has a Mose/Hercules where the board is in an external case.  So there should be no problem.

Exactly correct re Mose/Hercules2 - the board that sits inside the plinth looks a LOT like the one for the Lingo 1.  So as long as the bearing cutout in the cross-brace is large enough, should be no problem.  

I'll hopefully do a Kore sometime.  

In the meantime, I'll have the Karousel done and do a MM cartridge like the AT 740ML.  

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You could even go AT VM 95 ml and put $150 into your Kore  fund :D

Whilst I agree with Thomas that in general, if you have a Cirkus Sub chassis then you could skip the Majik and go to Kore, if you can find a pre-owned Majik sub chassis for reasonable money then it is an option worth considering. I swapped out a Cirkus chassis for a Majik chassis and made no other changes - just to see if there was a difference. There is, but if I was spending the money on a new sub chassis then I would go to the Kore. One of my LP12s is Majik sub/ Cirkus/Mose&Herc/Ittok and it has a nicely balanced sound. One day it may well get a Karousel (it had one for a weekend-but it is difficult to say just how big a difference it made as the Karousel was zero hours new - that is now in my main LP12 and it changed considerably (for the better) 50 hours in). I run an Ortofon 2M black on the Ittok. I have also had than in the Ekos  - but to my ears it works better on the Ittok. I have had my dad's  AT VM95(e) on my Ekos- it worked well.

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1 hour ago, ThomasOK said:

While the Karousel is not recommended with the Hercules II, just like it isn't with a Valhalla, the OP states he has a Mose/Hercules where the board is in an external case.  So there should be no problem.

Quite correct.  I missed that!  The Mose internal board is fine with the Karousel.

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From my own experience I would recommend Karousel and Kore if you are able to stretch to both. Pound for pound (or dollar for dollar) this pair have been my best upgrades to date!

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Thanks all!

I think I'll go with a AT 740ML - someone on another forum has heard both and said the 740 is worth it - more refined.  

I'll add a Kore within the next few months - basically as soon as my Rega P6/Ania sells.  

As I said, I went on a hifi binge, so need to have at least some restraint with the LP12.  I also bought a Revolver (which started the whole turntable thing again), the Rega, another LP12 in a custom plinth, a pair of Thiel CS2.2s, and a stack of Meridian gear - a 500, 502, 557, 566, 551, and 596.  So I'm kinda swimming in gear at the moment . . . 

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Just to update - Karousel and Trampolin2 appointment next Tuesday . . . 

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On 13/07/2021 at 18:07, sktn77a said:

To get the most from the Karousel, you really need an updated subchassis, also.  Ideally a Kore but minimally a Majik.  I assume since you mention budgets, that a Keel isn't in the picture!

Also, bear in mind that the Karousel is a tight fit around the Hercules PS board and has the potential for short circuits.

To get the most from the Karousel you need to upgrade everything else in your system. But the Karousel alone will make a great improvement to the LP12.

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Well, I did both.  At least sort of on the cartridge side.

Karousel and Trampolin2 were installed by Rick at Audio Alternative in Ft. Collins, CO.  And the table came back sounding remarkably better - no surprise, I'm sure to those who have jumped on the Karousel.  And it underlined again just how valuable and what a big difference a gifted LP12 person can make to the table.  

I had started with an AT VM95E, and while it's remarkable for what it is, I wanted more.  So I tried a AT VM95ML, which was noticeably better but still . . . So I ordered an OC9XML, which is now breaking in - it has about 4 hours on it at the moment.  And it's a rather dramatic improvement over the VM95ML.  Now actually thinking about either a Stack Audio Alto subchassis or going up to the ART9X.  (Or other cartridge - not fixed on the ART9 - I just seem to like AT carts.)

So thanks all - I've never had a better sounding/more musical LP12.  And have the record buying binges to prove it!

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I don't know anything about how your LP12 is setup, that is, the stand it's sitting on, position relative to walls, leveling, etc. But most can eek out a bit more, sometimes a lot more, music by shoring up the installation. I found good improvements by moving a self unit away from the LP12 as it was creating a corner with the wall behind. Also, I bought a Sterritt make level that I posted about. It really made a nice difference once the deck was really leveled. I was using a torpedo level prior.

Just some friendly suggestions. Perhaps you are already on top of all this. :)

P.S. I made a couple of trips to Ft. Collins during the final few years of my working days. I visited a company that does wind tunnel testing of buildings. I did drive by what I thought was the local Linn dealer. Was temped to stop by, but alas, no time.

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20 minutes ago, akamatsu said:

I don't know anything about how your LP12 is setup, that is, the stand it's sitting on, position relative to walls, leveling, etc. But most can eek out a bit more, sometimes a lot more, music by shoring up the installation. I found good improvements by moving a self unit away from the LP12 as it was creating a corner with the wall behind. Also, I bought a Sterritt make level that I posted about. It really made a nice difference once the deck was really leveled. I was using a torpedo level prior.

Just some friendly suggestions. Perhaps you are already on top of all this. :)

P.S. I made a couple of trips to Ft. Collins during the final few years of my working days. I visited a company that does wind tunnel testing of buildings. I did drive by what I thought was the local Linn dealer. Was temped to stop by, but alas, no time.

Thanks - it's on a Target TT2sa stand, on top of a Auralex isolation platform.  Spiked through carpet to whatever is underneath the carpet.  Positioning isn't ideal - it's right behind a Monitor Audio GX300, but I'm space-limited.  At least it isn't in a corner!  I may get a couple pieces of tile to put under the TT2sa, to give it a better base until I replace the carpet with hardwood - hopefully next year.  

Table and platter/arm are as close to perfectly level as I can get them.  

Too bad you didn't have time to stop in - I worked at the local Linn dealer (Rick at Audio Alternative)from late 94 through 96.  He's simply brilliant with LP12s, and I like to think I picked a few things up from him.  Just took a friend of mine to introduce him, and my friend is now busily redoing his system . . . 

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