LP12 Priorities?

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LP12 Priorities?

Post by David Neel » 2019-10-16 20:54

I'm prioritising my next LP12 expenditure. So if anybody can help my thinking along...

The LP12 is close to the ultimate spec. Possible upgrades are: Ekos SE to SE/1; Majik Radikal/D (the very early casing) to Klimax Radikal; and Urika 1 to Entity. I have heard Urika 2, and whilst it is cleaner and more detailed than Urika 1, I am unconvinced of any gains in musicality.

I had planned to do the phono stage first, and address the other options over time, but now there is a spanner in the works: my Kandid will shortly be on its way back to Linn because it has stopped functioning correctly. I have little hope that Linn can revive it, nor do I suspect a fault on their part - I would just like to be sure why it has died so that if a user mistake has been made it is not repeated. The timing of this is unfortunate - I was hoping for another year before replacing the Kandid.

Should I replace the Kandid and leave any more expense until later, or buy a Krystal to leave funds for one of the other changes? And what should be the order of priority?

I suppose I could also dig my Adikt out of the drawer and give it a new stylus and a Slipsik, or at the other end of the scale just raid the pension fund and do the lot!
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Re: LP12 Priorities?

Post by Charlie1 » 2019-10-16 22:22

A couple of thoughts.

I recall how highly you rate the Kandid over the Akiva and I also know from experience that cartridge downgrades can be very unsatisfying at this level, even when trying to offset with a source first upgrade. I went from worn Akiva to Klyde but upgraded the Radikal with Dynamik PSU at the same time. I was never truly happy with the final result and ended up getting a used Akiva some time later. Based on that experience, I would get another Kandid and not risk Krystal with Radikal upgrade. After all, you have something that works really well for you so why bugger it up.

Entity is more cost neutral isn't it, or not too far off. Perhaps you could pay your dealer for their time to setup a dem against your Urika.

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Re: LP12 Priorities?

Post by David Neel » 2019-10-16 23:10

Thanks, Charlie1. Yes. the Entity is more cost-neutral, and yes, my Linn dealer will help out. And yes, I was remembering your experiences of balancing a cartridge downgrade with an upgrade earlier in the hierarchy. I can try for a Radikal comparison, but Ekos SE to SE/1 is more difficult. In theory, and IF these are both useful upgrades, I should start there...
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Re: LP12 Priorities?

Post by tokenbrit » 2019-10-17 17:01

With the caveat that it depends on what Linn come back with, of course, the easiest, least exciting option is just to replace the cartridge, but where is the fun in that? Especially when it's someone else's hard earned...
If Entity is cost neutral, and the cartridge has to be replaced anyway, then why not both? I know it's backwards vs power supply & arm, but curiosity would get the better of me, and I'd have to listen to Entity vs your'rika...
Hopefully Linn will give you a decent(?) trade-in to ease the 'kost' of a new cartridge. As far as decision on that, and if I were in your (enviable) position, using phono stage of choice, I'd have to listen to Krystal & Klimax Radikal vs Kandid with your Radikal, and go from there...
I'd defer on the SE/1 unless someone made a compelling argument to prioritize that over a Klimax Radikal - leaves something for later to look forward to ;) Maybe Kandid & SE/1 together in a few years. Or Klimax Radikal and SE/1 later, if you can't live with the Krystal.

Be sure to let us know how you get on, especially if you get to listen to an Entity, and what you decide... Best of luck, beginning with news from Linn.
(reaches for the popcorn and waits for other views, or updates :)

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Re: LP12 Priorities?

Post by ThomasOK » 2019-10-17 22:15

It sounds like you are going to have the replace the Kandid one way or the other. The question is how much it would cost. I would recommend replacing the Kandid with another Kandid. In the US the Kandid is $4710 and you get $1200 return credit for the bad Kandid regardless of its condition. You cannot apply this $1200 to any other cartridge. On another thread you asked about investigating the Lyra cartridges as an alternative. I have no experience with the upper end of Lyra cartridges but have installed some of the less expensive versions and did find them to be musical. However I have it on very good authority (and not Linn authority) that the Kandid was so well designed by Linn to mate perfectly with an Ekos SE that no Lyra would would outperform it in that arm.

Then I would go for the Klimax Radikal as it is a worthwhile improvement and the first upgrade in the hierarchy you can make. The phono stage may be close to cost neutral, depending on what you can get for the Urika, so an Entity is certainly worth investigating as well, assuming you hear an improvement. The SE/1 would be what I'd hold of until funds recover, unless you can afford the whole ball of wax at once.
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Re: LP12 Priorities?

Post by Ianw » 2019-10-18 09:40

That’s unfortunate about the Kandid. Can you tell us the mode of failure?

My Kandid is 5 years with just over 1,000 hours and is still great but will require replacement at sometime due to wear, suspension or channel failure.

My view is that Linn designed the Keel, Ekos SE and Kandid as a complete system for optimum synergy and, for that reason, I’d be reluctant to depart from it.

As far as I understand it, there is no sonic benefit between the Ekos SE and SE/1. The difference is the headshell on the SE/1 is longer to facilitate easier fitting of cartridges and , ironically, other cart types like DVs etc. The arm length was reduced to compensate for the longer headshell, all to maintain the same effective arm length. The silver finish on the bias outrigger is just cosmetic.

Having mentioned no sonic difference between the ‘arms I’m going to contradict myself by saying Linn don’t claim any sonic improvement between the Radikal Akurate Dynamik case and the Klimax case. Having changed my Radikal from Akurate to Climax I can definitely state there is a worthwhile sonic improvement but, then again, I would say that after making the investment. Could it be there is a sonic improvement between the Ekos SE and SE/1?

Hope my rambling thoughts might help or perhaps just hinder.

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Re: LP12 Priorities?

Post by lejonklou » 2019-10-18 09:52

There's a rather big difference between Ekos SE and SE/1.

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Re: LP12 Priorities?

Post by David Neel » 2019-10-18 15:34

Thanks all for the input. The Kandid is now with my Linn dealer for return and investigation. This was a sudden failure, and the cartridge has done probably 1200-1500 hours - this is guesswork as I don't keep count.

At some point shortly I shall demo Kandid vs Krystal and Ekos SE vs SE/1. Later I will investigate Radikal casework. This will probably have to wait until last because I anticipate two causes of difference, electrical screening and mechanical isolation, which will probably be affected by positioning in the rack and the nature of the support - I will experiment with a bronze upgrade for the Radikal on my Quadraspire SVT bamboo rack. Of course doing this means I need my LP12 back home and working...

And as soon as the Entity becomes available...
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Re: LP12 Priorities?

Post by tokenbrit » 2019-10-19 03:51

While the actual benefit of Klimax Radikal in your system can't be exactly known until in situ, a comparative audition of the difference can be assessed at a dealer if that is the only parameter being changed. It'd be a shame not to hear the difference between Radikals in the same session as Krystal vs Kandid & SE vs SE/1, to determine which makes the greater musical difference to your ears: power supply, cart, or arm...

While on the subject of racks, do you have any opportunity, locally, to compare a NokTable (or Harmoni ;) to your Quadraspire in support of your LP12, or Radikal?

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Re: LP12 Priorities?

Post by David Neel » 2019-10-19 09:57

tokenbrit wrote:
2019-10-19 03:51
While the actual benefit of Klimax Radikal in your system can't be exactly known until in situ, a comparative audition of the difference can be assessed at a dealer if that is the only parameter being changed. It'd be a shame not to hear the difference between Radikals in the same session as Krystal vs Kandid & SE vs SE/1, to determine which makes the greater musical difference to your ears: power supply, cart, or arm...

While on the subject of racks, do you have any opportunity, locally, to compare a NokTable (or Harmoni ;) to your Quadraspire in support of your LP12, or Radikal?
I will possibly compare Radikals at the dealer also - but I have realised that the only difference that will count is in situ. As for racks, neither are sold in the UK...
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Re: LP12 Priorities?

Post by David Neel » 2019-11-06 22:54

The Kandid is back, but as yet unheard. Linn inspected it, pointed out a lot of tiny bits of dirt (looking like iron filings) around the cantilever root and hole. But they could take no action as it is out of warranty, and Lyra (the manufacturer) will not do any work on cartridges out of warranty. To be fair to Linn, my ask of them was to determine cause of failure, as I knew they don't themselves work on cartridges. So it was returned to my dealer, and I then took it elsewhere for further investigation. I might well have chosen Goldring, but they never responded to my enquiry via their website, and they don't publish a telephone number... taking it elsewhere revealed that the suspension had become loose - cause unknown. The Kandid was dismantled, cleaned and realigned, and new paper fitted.

Tomorrow I will hear the reassembled Kandid, re-united with my deck at my dealer. Then I will know more about the quality of the repair. At the same time I will compare my SE with an SE/1, and my old Majik Radikal with a new Akurate - a Klimax is not immediately available - to see whether an eight-year-newer unit has any benefits.
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Re: LP12 Priorities?

Post by lejonklou » 2019-11-07 01:19

I hope for the best, David!

And I really like that signature of yours. Every time I read it, I feel energized.

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Re: LP12 Priorities?

Post by David Neel » 2019-11-07 10:43

lejonklou wrote:
2019-11-07 01:19
I hope for the best, David!

And I really like that signature of yours. Every time I read it, I feel energized.
Thanks! The signature is taken from Carlo Rovelli. Not enough space to credit him.
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Re: LP12 Priorities?

Post by Charlie1 » 2019-11-07 19:26

How did it go today?

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Re: LP12 Priorities?

Post by David Neel » 2019-11-07 22:12

Charlie1 wrote:
2019-11-07 19:26
How did it go today?
The good news is I've got my turntable back and the Kandid is working. The bad news is that I'm listening to Hakai as it's more fun. My Kandid now reproduces music without horrendous distortion, but also without any semblance of enthusiasm at all.
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Re: LP12 Priorities?

Post by David Neel » 2019-11-07 22:13

lejonklou wrote:
2019-10-18 09:52
There's a rather big difference between Ekos SE and SE/1.
Yes...
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LP12 Priorities?

Post by Ron The Mon » 2019-11-07 23:28

David Neel wrote:
2019-11-07 22:13
lejonklou wrote:
2019-10-18 09:52
There's a rather big difference between Ekos SE and SE/1.
Yes...
Please show me where Linn, the designer and manufacturer, agree with you.

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Re: LP12 Priorities?

Post by lejonklou » 2019-11-07 23:36

Ron The Mon wrote:
2019-11-07 23:28
David Neel wrote:
2019-11-07 22:13
lejonklou wrote:
2019-10-18 09:52
There's a rather big difference between Ekos SE and SE/1.
Yes...
Please show me where Linn, the designer and manufacturer, agree with you.
Have I claimed that they do?

Have you compared the two arms? I sold my SE and bought an SE/1 after having compared them. And I know at least 5 others who did the same. Perhaps even 10 if I think hard enough.

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Re: LP12 Priorities?

Post by David Neel » 2019-11-07 23:58

Ron The Mon wrote:
2019-11-07 23:28
David Neel wrote:
2019-11-07 22:13
lejonklou wrote:
2019-10-18 09:52
There's a rather big difference between Ekos SE and SE/1.
Yes...
Please show me where Linn, the designer and manufacturer, agree with you.
Why?
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Re: LP12 Priorities?

Post by David Neel » 2019-11-08 16:30

David Neel wrote:
2019-11-07 22:12
My Kandid now reproduces music without horrendous distortion, but also without any semblance of enthusiasm at all.
I have now discussed this with the repairer. The outcome is that the Kandid will be returned for further checking.
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Re: LP12 Priorities?

Post by Charlie1 » 2019-11-08 16:40

1-year warranty on a £3k cartridge does seem pretty poor to me,

I suppose you can claim on home contents insurance but even so.

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Re: LP12 Priorities?

Post by ThomasOK » 2019-11-08 18:08

David Neel wrote:
2019-11-07 23:58
Ron The Mon wrote:
2019-11-07 23:28
David Neel wrote:
2019-11-07 22:13


Yes...
Please show me where Linn, the designer and manufacturer, agree with you.
Why?
+1
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Re: LP12 Priorities?

Post by ThomasOK » 2019-11-08 19:27

Charlie1 wrote:
2019-11-08 16:40
1-year warranty on a £3k cartridge does seem pretty poor to me,

I suppose you can claim on home contents insurance but even so.
Many people are not aware of this but most phono cartridges have short warranties. This is in part because they are a wear item and partly because they are delicate yet frequently handled leading to higher possibility of damage. Lyra has a one year warranty as well as Dynavector and likely many others, despite making cartridges over twice the price of the Kandid.

This is also not limited to phono cartridges. CD players now often have a shorter warranty on the transport than on the rest of the unit. Simaudio Moon has a ten year warranty on their electronics but the CD transports are only covered for one year. In the US Rega electronics and turntables are covered for 3 years but the transports are covered for 1 year. Just something to be aware of.
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Re: LP12 Priorities?

Post by Charlie1 » 2019-11-09 00:24

ThomasOK wrote: Many people are not aware of this but most phono cartridges have short warranties. This is in part because they are a wear item and partly because they are delicate yet frequently handled leading to higher possibility of damage. Lyra has a one year warranty as well as Dynavector and likely many others, despite making cartridges over twice the price of the Kandid.

This is also not limited to phono cartridges. CD players now often have a shorter warranty on the transport than on the rest of the unit. Simaudio Moon has a ten year warranty on their electronics but the CD transports are only covered for one year. In the US Rega electronics and turntables are covered for 3 years but the transports are covered for 1 year. Just something to be aware of.
Thanks for fleshing out the hifi marketplace some more. It still 'feels' like a crap deal for the customer but I take your point about wear and treatment. Even if they offered 2 years it would seem a lot better. Spending thousands on a cart that fails after 2 years and 1 week is a lot better than 1 year and 1 week.

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Re: LP12 Priorities?

Post by David Neel » 2019-11-09 01:14

I'm not very worried about the rights or wrongs of short warranties, for the simple reason that I made the Kandid purchase with eyes open, knowing it was a limited-life object. But I have learned that my vinyl-playing habit means that three years will be the very maximum for a Kandid, and probably rather less.

So while I wait to see if some further tweaking might rescue my Kandid and keep it in use for a while longer (I'm not holding my breath), I'm contemplating a Krystal - I'll hear the demo next week. The funds saved here will go into other upgrades.
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