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In Reply to: RE: Continuum 'Caliburn' TT posted by andyr on March 05, 2023 at 02:57:05
I never owned an LP12, only ever even saw one once, in a long ago showroom, but kind of mentally wrote them off after reading the ad campaigns published when they first hit the market, that emphasized the long Scottish tradition of excelling in machine work, as if I were a genetic trait.
I am a great one for skepticism, and while I did conceive that they might possibly machine the finest main platter bearing on the market at the time, what they were building was not unique except in the quality of execution. I couldn't afford one anyway, so my opinion was, and remains , inconsequential.
I recognize the value of institutional memory, but that ad campaign was kind of stretching it, especially since I was in Southern California, where people were machining parts for space stuff. And I was very familiar with fine optical and time instruments as a sailor, and from my brother's interest in telescopes.
It seems their products certainly outpaced my evaluation, but I am not surprised when a newer product displaces them in a system. It might be the finest execution of the old design thinking ever, but at those price points it seems to be almost a believers cult by now, where the amount of money required justifies the slavish allegiance to one design. At some point , it would seem you quit improving on the design and just start over, incorporating the new thinking. A lot of absolutely valid designs have become obsolete in performance, even when the task of record playing is unchanged.
I usually am banging on the advantages of low mass, but also try to make clear I value function over ideology . with that particular set up, I really thought the tone arm support bearing was advanced well beyond the conventional. I still lust over such a design, but my realistic needs would be sensible to match with how much time I really spend with my system, which is not a primary hobby.
Edits: 03/05/23Follow Ups:
I appreciate your opinion, but you're basing it on second hand, longstanding, Linn bashing cliches--you haven't owned an LP12 nor have you ever heard an LP12.
That said, sure it was cultish years ago, it was based on former designs, and the constant parade of upgrades is expensive, BUT at the end of the day it's just a turntable and a musical one at that. Forget all the BS that surrounds it.
I bought mine in 1986 for $895 and soon after put a very lightly used Ittok on it for $595. That $1500 table has lasted 37 years and the only upgrade I've done is add an Origin Live DC motor. Does it need the dreaded constant adjustments? Not really. Some LP12s may, but mine is pretty much set and forget. (It's mounted on a Target wall shelf.) I've probably adjusted mine about 4 times over the years and changed the springs twice. All simple tasks.
Are there better tables today? Sure. But there are thousands of LP12 users out there who bought their tables years ago, and it's proved to be an outstanding value even at original spec.
Personally, I'd give it 5 stars for practicality. But the myths persist...
Edits: 03/06/23 03/06/23
Always glad to have someone improve on my opinions. Not much understanding can be advanced without contrast
I am a great believer in spring suspended turntables, and own one myself, so we have that in common. I'd also wager we are also pretty close in appreciating design practicality. My table has a self oiling main platter bearing, hard to get more practical then that, even if it might not excel sonically over all other designs.
I went from a nicer direct drive japanese table of the seventies , to a belt drive suspended design in the eighties, and the improvement was so impressive, and my budget so limited, I felt mo reason to change from a design that worked for me when I secured my all the turntable I will ever need item, although I do realize other designs can be just as valid.
For myself, I'm glad t have an acoustic isolation system incorporated in the design, and that I don't have to devise, as an amateur , some kind optimal additional isolating device between the turntable and the supporting shelf.
Your opinion is just as good as anyone else's! :-))
My own view is that Linn was always a " believer's cult "; I bought one in 1979 - after I received an insurance payout when my new Mitchell 'Transcriptor' TT got stolen, the day after it was delivered to my house! :-o
I took the first few upgrades that arrived on the scene in the 80's ... but then stopped drinking the Linn Koolaid - particularly when a 3rd party subchassis appeared (the 'Cetech').
You probably already understand that I threw in that contriteness to not light the fuse of any true believer who's has ridden that train all down the track.
I didn't want to try to support my opinion verses someone rabid enough to spend cubic dollars to support a fine state of the art table from about fifty years ago.
Plus, I am just here for fun, and would never want to kick sand in another's harmless enjoyment. I have publicly embarrassed myself enough so that I only go hard against the plainly stupid rip off stuff, that even I can see violates science.
Mainly I just wanted to say that I am always pleased when someone with actual experience supports my, from the sideline, opinions.
There was a time when owning an LP12 impossible for me, now it is only an impossibility because of logic, thank goodness.
By coincidence, I just recently watched a Youtube posting by a mechanic who recounted a couple of stories where people kept pouring money into fixing a car , which eventually ended in disaster .
I don't think upgrading a turntable has ever ruined a person's life, but the common thread of not being able, or wanting to, step back and consider the path seems the same.
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