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new Majik LP12 review in Hifi News...


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OK, they liked the Majik LP12, which is nice.  But the review is full of technical errors the most important being the idea that you can take one home in a box and put it together yourself.  

"The deck is supplied to the customer with both the arm and cartridge pre-fitted. Then, it's simply a case of taking it out of the box, putting the inner platter on, then the drive belt, then the outer platter, setting the arm's counterweight and you're away."

No, it's not.  The deck comes with the arm and cartridge in their own boxes and even the armboard is unmounted.  The arm cable is also in its own bag and the P-Clip in another, the inner platter in another and the oil vial in yet another.  Furthermore, the suspension, while set at the factory, often (always?) requires adjustment for optimum perfromance.

As with all LP12s, proper setup by your dealer is essential to achieving the available musical perfromance unless you are a skilled LP12 technician.  To get the Majik LP12 running at all the least that will be needed is mounting the arm board, arm collar, tonearm, cartridge, arm cable and P-Clip.  Then the right amount of oil has to be put in the Karousel and the inner platted fitted gently in place.  The arm cable ground wire will have to be attached to the sub chassis, the suspension will have to be at least fine tuned and the arm cable will have to be adjusted to not hamper the suspension.  The cartridge alignment and azimuth will have to be set properly and the arm height, tracking force and anti-skating will need to be set, preferably by ear.  To really do it right the various torques will need to be precisely set, the belt put on with the proper orientation (it can go on four different ways, one sounds most musical), the platter clocked and the mat positioned with the right side up.  That noted slight speed inaccuracy would also be addressed.

Other inaccuracies are less important to the potential customer but still irksome to those familiar with the table.  The comment that "One more bearing change preceded [the Cirkus] since the original Sondek was launched." being one of those since the Cirkus was at least the seventh iteration of the eight bearing housings that have been fitted to the LP12, including the Karousel.  The historical commentary on Linn in general was OK but not likely to be all that helpful to potential new customers nor most readers and shows a certain bias in many cases.  So overall only an OK review, lots of room for improvement.  (This was called reviewing the reviewer by J. Gordon Holt, founder of Stereophile.)

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If I were considering a Majik LP12 and read this review, I might be having 2nd thoughts.  I believe the expression is "damning with faint praise".

‚ėĻÔłŹ

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On 10/09/2021 at 22:33, sktn77a said:

If I were considering a Majik LP12 and read this review, I might be having 2nd thoughts.  I believe the expression is "damning with faint praise".

‚ėĻÔłŹ

I've been toying with getting one for a long time now and I'm definitely re-thinking it. Having said that taking the price well over £3k put me off too..

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12 hours ago, Carrington said:

I've been toying with getting one for a long time now and I'm definitely re-thinking it. Having said that taking the price well over £3k put me off too..

I would read what ThomasOK said about the review and the reviewer's missteps on set-up etc.  But even with some of his reservations, the author thought the LP 12 was special.   HiFi Choice did a recent shoot out and the LP12 was the preference (remind me to post the scans.)  So while there is a tendency to "Linn bash"  there is still a lot to love about how the LP12 performs.  

Truthfully, the only to way to smartly purchase an audio component is to audition it.  Listen to the Majik and others in your price range.  What do your ears and heart tell you about the music?   There will be pluses and minuses to all. Some sonic and some monetary.  Everyone one this forum seems to have a "preference" for the way the LP12 reproduces music.  But there are plenty of fine options out there.  

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41 minutes ago, mskaye said:

Truthfully, the only to way to smartly purchase an audio component is to audition it.  

Absolutely agree, but I was disappointed that the Majik with Karousel and Krane wasn't described with the usual, Frankland-esque, superlatives.

:(

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  • 2 weeks later...

Sadly too many people who heard a mates LP12/Ittok/Karma at a party in the 80's think they know what a modern LP12 sounds like and every time the subject of the LP12 comes up there is a barrage of noise from the stalls but really, most folks have not heard a modern LP12 and their memories of the sound of the LP12 could not be further away from how they sound now. Truth is, if anyone is looking to drop 3-4K on a complete record player package, they need to hear the Majik because it is absolutely competitive at its price point.

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9 hours ago, fordy said:

Sadly too many people who heard a mates LP12/Ittok/Karma at a party in the 80's think they know what a modern LP12 sounds like

There are probably also way too many out there with knackered cartridges, disintegrating belts and which haven’t been serviced for 20 or more years. I can think of three in my circle of old friends that probably fall into that category. I sat in on a demo of a Majik system a couple of years ago and I was certainly impressed by the Majik LP12, and I have a Klimax deck.

’troll

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Hifi News and Stereophile are two of only a handful of journals that still measure their test kit.  I was interested to compare the measured performance with other recent turntable reviews.  As a subscriber, I find that easier flipping through the magazines than referring to the website.  For £699, you can get a complete Pro-ject Debut Pro with marginally lower flutter than the Majik, and to put the new Linn bearing into context, the Thorens TD124 DD (£7999 for turntable without cartridge) yields just -76.2dB rumble versus the Majik’s 70.1, a significantly superior performance.  Would it be fair to assume a Klimax LP12 would measure the same?  But against the Thorens is a poor wow figure, though they speculated this was a one-off out of spec version, so you pays your money… 

Anyone unfamiliar with Hifi News may not appreciate that the red Outstanding Product sticker is their highest accolade.  I agree with others that as a complete package I think the Majik is a very decent buy.  And, pace Thomas, I read the home set up description to mean that the dealer built the turntable, then the customer took it away and only had minimal reassembly to perform once at home.  But maybe, for your £3,450 you should expect home installation?

I’m hoping to see a Klimax DSM review soon, because I don’t think anyone has measured one yet.  

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5 hours ago, Nopiano said:

Hifi News and Stereophile are two of only a handful of journals that still measure their test kit.

This is very true.  "Hi-Fi" magazines of the 60s and 70s were mostly about measurements with a summary of any sound usually at the end of a review, which I thought was fine.  For example, in a 1970 issue of HiFi News, the reviewer heard an unacceptable harshness in the original B&W DM1 loudspeaker.  His measurements show an impedance anomaly which was communicated to the manufacturer.  The crossover was modified to produce a much less extreme impedance drop and a much smoother response.  By the late 1970s and beyond, anyone with a pair of ears could profer their opinion (as gospel) as to whether a component was "good" or "bad" based solely on a brief and TOTALLY subjective listen.  No investment in test equipment was required so anyone could join the crowd.  The DM1 would have been dismissed as unacceptable, the manufacturer would have dismissed the review as biased, and the consumer would have dismissed a very good loudspeaker from consideration.

Sadly, my closest "Hi-End" dealers are several states and hours away from my location.  So pretty much no opportunity to demonstrate any new purchases.  So what do I do?  Well, I haven't bought any new gear for over 20 years!  The only thing I have replaced is my cartridge (bought mail order, based on the reputation of the company and its staff- Lyra/Jonathan Carr/Yoshinori Mishima), and a couple of upgrades which I believe would improve the performance of my old LP12 (Kore, Lingo 4 and Karousel).

I'm happy (but I'm zipping up my flame suit)!

Edited by sktn77a
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