Adikt replacement?

General HiFi discussion, using the Tune Method to evaluate performance

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David Neel
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Adikt replacement?

Post by David Neel » 2008-11-14 21:52

I have an Adikt (LP12/Keel/Ekos2) which I have always liked, except when I play orchestral or choral music, when it sometimes fails to cope with the complexity (tracking?). The stylus is now at the end of its life - I listen to CDs more.
I could simply get another stylus, or for a bit more money a Dynavector 10x5. What I'd really like is a good MC - DV17D3 or equivalent, but money is scarce at the moment. Does anybody have experience with the Dynavector, and could tell me the respective merits, or indeed recommend another cheap cartridge? MC/MM is no problem, I have a switchable stage in my Wakonda.

Thanks.

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Post by Charlie1 » 2008-11-15 11:00

I'm afraid that I'm not very well up on non-Linn cartridges. Fredrik tried several Ortofon a while back, preferring the Ortofon Kontrapunkt A. Link: http://www.lejonklou.com/forum/viewtopi ... ontrapunkt

As an alternative, you could always ring round the Linn dealers and see if any has a second hand Akiva or Arkiv B. People do trade in entire LP12s when moving to digital, so you might be in luck.

Could your Adikt problem be an issue with the LP12 setup? Just a suggestion. Or could the mis-tracking be caused by the cartridge being worn? Again, I don't know about these things, but am just trying to make sure you haven't jumped to any conclusions re Adikt's not being able to cope with complex classical music. Was this always the case or just of late? Maybe a new Adikt and service is all you need and you'll being enjoying your LP12 once again :D
Last edited by Charlie1 on 2009-12-22 21:47, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by David Neel » 2008-11-15 12:35

A cartridge costing as much as an Akiva is definitely not a goal! Until recently I was going to take a deep breath and follow recommendations for a DV17D3 - the most expensive cartridge i could possibly justify. However, the current economic climate is bad news for me - I work on a temporary basis, and work has dried up. Even if I get a new contract very soon, I'll still keep expenditure to a minimum for a while.
So, a 10x5 is currently the most expensive I can consider (£250), and is recommended by several dealers, over the Adikt. An Adikt stylus is £145.
If anybody can confirm these good reports on the 10x5, I may spend the extra. Otherwise it's a new stylus. LP12 setup should be fine after keel/ekos installation earlier this year.

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Post by lejonklou » 2008-11-16 00:59

Hi David!

I haven't listened to the DV17D3, but a couple of years back I did try a lot of different cartridges. Some of the tests resulted in articles in HiFi magazines. It was fun, but actually I didn't find anything that was exceptionally good and in the end I returned to my Adikt.

I think the Adikt is a really great cartridge, much better than the old asking price would indicate. Linn raised the price almost 25% a while back, but I still think it's great value for money.

Some details in the construction are not so great, though. As I have pointed out in an earlier thread, the Adikt really needs a lot of work to be positioned correctly in a Linn arm. The tags at the back protrude too far and have to be replaced (which is risky as some wires sound quite bad) or bent quite a lot. The matching connecting part in the arm often has to be moved in a bit, too.

It doesn't stop there; the two tabs that protrude out of the Adikt body at the top are slightly off, so if you want it 100% aligned they usually need to be removed. The result of all this is that close to all of the LP12's I get in for service that have an Adikt, have it misaligned. It seems the people who mount them either don't check the position or find it too much of a hassle to get it where it should be. In addition, the Adikt is often screwed to the arm with too much force - which makes it sound slightly brittle and distorted.

Now, I don't want to accuse anyone working with LP12's, but the truth is that the Adikt doesn't really shine when mounted misaligned and overtightened. It sounds ok, but not delivering its full potential. It's often possible to detect the most common misalignment from a close up picture of the Adikt/headshell.

If I was to upgrade from the Adikt, my first choice would be either a Klyde or a rebuilt Troika. A Troika will probably be a lot cheaper and it's a very nice cartridge. If I sent it for renovation (Expert Stylus is a suggestion), I would make sure to tell them to stay as close as possible to the original specification and to please observe the exact position of the stylus tip. Due to the third mounting point, you can't move those carts around much and if the cantilever is of the wrong length (I have seen that happen), it will be very difficult to get it perfectly aligned in the arm.

Just my 2 cents. Best of luck in your search!

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Post by Linntek » 2008-11-16 09:46

How about the "new" Goldring's

http://www.goldring.co.uk/moving_magnet_cartridge/

23/24/2500

They seem nice and nice priced.

I can't get the fact out of my head that Adikt is based upon 1042 so maybe Goldring has something going on that makes music ??

Lennert

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Post by David Neel » 2008-11-16 23:21

Thank you for the responses. I've asked this forum because advice will be based on tune-dem, which is important to me - I don't want to have less tune than Adikt, even if I want more in other areas. Nobody here has direct experience of 10x5, nor have I.
My Adikt should be correctly set-up: my dealer rebuilt the LP12 completely early this year. His view is/was that I have to put up with the Adikt's shortcomings because it's the best cartridge at the price - he sells almost only Linn, and cannot offer any current experience with other cartridges. Since he seems unwilling to listen to my concerns, or to consider that anybody other than Linn can produce a good product, I have sought telephone advice from UK dealers who sell other cartridges as well as Linn. One says Dynavector 10x5 is better than Adikt, one says 10x5 better than Adikt, but not suited to my system as I use Kans (the combination will apparently be bright/harsh), and one says that this harshness can be eliminated by good setup. Overall this adds up to a consistent preference for 10x5 over Adikt, by Linn dealers who sell both.
Fredrik believes the Adikt to be a great cartridge, and says that many are incorrectly installed. I respect this view as I know it is based on tune-dem. This challenges the advice I received from the dealers, as I don't know how much they rely on tune-dem.
I will try to get photos to see if incorrect installation may be the case with mine. This may take a few days as I need to move the LP12 to make photography possible, then get my teenage son to work the digital camera.

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Post by David Neel » 2008-11-19 20:00

lejonklou wrote: It's often possible to detect the most common misalignment from a close up picture of the Adikt/headshell.
Fredrik, I've taken some photos which may show whether or not my Adikt is correctly aligned, but I can't post them, so I'm emailing you - I hope this is okay. I'd be very grateful for your opinion.
Thanks.

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Post by lejonklou » 2008-11-20 00:11

Thanks for the pictures.

I can easily recognise that your Adikt is not mounted perfectly. It is too far forward in position.

Most likely it has been pushed as far back as it will go with the standard cartridge tags mounted. As I said, it's tricky and a lot of work to get it right - the standard tags won't allow it and neither will the tabs on the top.

No offence to the dealer - he might be good at what he does. But for me, this kind of mounting is not satisfactory. If it's also tightened too hard (naturally I have no knowledge of this), it will not sound as good as it should. I did both of these mistakes myself with my first Adikt.

I have gotten the impression that some people are upset with me for bringing up details like these and "critisising Linn and their retailers". I don't see it that way. I am merely pointing out a problem and what can be done to resolve it.

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Post by Charlie1 » 2008-11-20 09:50

Lejonklou wrote:I have gotten the impression that some people are upset with me for bringing up details like these and "critisising Linn and their retailers". I don't see it that way. I am merely pointing out a problem and what can be done to resolve it.
If no one ever says anything for fear of upsetting people then issues like this would go unresolved which does not reflect well on the product in the long term, so I think it's good that you highlight these problems.

It sounds like a design issue is the root cause, but one which can be worked around with due dilligence. Do you think Linn should have highlighted the problem and trained their dealerships to resolve it or the dealerships themselves should be able to work it out - not everyone has your experience and understanding (but perhaps they should)?

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Post by David Neel » 2008-11-20 11:27

This is very interesting! Fredrik, the Adikt user manual on Linn's website shows a drawing of the correct installation into what looks like an Ekos headshell, from above. The two raised lugs on the top of the Adikt body are shown as being fully to the rear of the headshell slots. Is this what you have detected as the misalignment, and does the Linn manual show the optimum position for the Ekos?

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Post by ThomasOK » 2008-11-20 19:46

I am quite familiar with possibility to over-tighten the Adikt as I have found it prefers the torque to be on the low side of the many cartridges I have installed. I haven't, however, gone so far as to cut the plastic tabs off except when putting it in a non-Linn arm. I would be interested to see a photo of a properly aligned Adikt in the Ekos tonearm as I don't believe I've taken this as far as you have.

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Post by lejonklou » 2008-11-20 23:07

David Neel wrote:The two raised lugs on the top of the Adikt body are shown as being fully to the rear of the headshell slots.
Thanks for the word "lug". I wasn't sure what to call them.

Yes, the intention of the lugs was to make installation easy. Quite a clever idea. The problem is that the cartridge tags at the back don't allow it to be placed there. On the picture you sent I can see that the Adikt has been pushed back until the tags stop it - not the lugs.

Thomas: If you check the alignment with the Linn protractor, you will find that the Adikt sometimes ends up correctly aligned when being mounted with the lugs fully to the rear. But often it needs to go a little further back, and then the lugs need to be removed.

The first fix - to get it with the lugs fully back in the slots - is the important one. The second - to remove the lugs in case it's still not perfectly aligned - is trying to make the alignment perfect. It can of course be argued that the Adikt doesn't get much better by perfecting the alignment, but I think it's worth it.

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Post by ThomasOK » 2008-11-21 18:39

Fredrik, I think we're on the same page on this. I do modify the cartridge tags in order to allow me to get the lugs all the way back on an Ekos tonearm. I have only installed a few Adikts in Ekos arms and haven't run into a situation where it seemed to need to be farther back than the lugs will allow. However, to be honest I probably only checked the first couple on the Linn protractor and then didn't bother after that. If the arm collar has been properly positioned with the Linn Kinky I don't see why the position should vary from cartridge to cartridge.

I have seen a couple of Adikts where the metal inner body has slipped forward in the outer plastic body when some tight cartridge tags have been fitted but I have just pushed the inner body back in. I would imagine there could be some variance in whether the inner body is all the way in, and I know that the little color indicators on the pins can get in the way, but once the inner body is pushed fully into the outer body they would seem to have the same stylus to mount distance. I'll have to check the next few Adikts (I have a couple on the way - one going into a new Akito 2) and see if there is a variance there. Thanks for the clarification.

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Post by David Neel » 2008-11-28 13:09

The outcome: a new Adikt stylus has been ordered - the current one is no longer usable. Then at some point early in the new year, the cartridge will be re-aligned at the same time as a Lingo 2 is installed. The Lingo was purchased second-hand some months ago, but has sat on a shelf since.

Further conversation with my original dealer resulted in the assertion that my Adikt is correctly aligned according to the protractor, despite being further forward than the Linn user manual indicates. I had hoped that by raising this issue he would have told me to bring it in for rectification, and gave him every opportunity to do so. Since Keel and Ekos have no adjustability, I am not happy with this explanation.

The dealer who sold me the Lingo has revised his advice - when we talked about cartridges over the phone I did not remind him that I was using Kans - he agrees that 10x5 and Kans will not be a good combination for me. He also agreed that the Adikt needed to be aligned correctly, as per Fredrik's advice, and will do this when the Lingo is installed.

It is sad that I cannot implicitly trust a dealer I have used for over 25 years, and who has an exemplary reputation, but I have found others who appear to have high standards of advice, and have phoned them to express my thanks. I'm also grateful for the advice on here - particularly Fredrik's about the alignment.

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Post by lejonklou » 2008-11-29 00:30

Hi David!

As I hope you understand, my intention is certainly not to create tension between you and your retailer. I am merely pointing out how an Adikt ideally should be installed - and that Linn have made some mistakes when designing it. There have been reactions to this thread and some people think that the gain in sound quality is too small for the effort involved. And that I should never have brought it up and made people worried.

The alignment is easily checked with a protractor, there is nothing to discuss there. If it's not straight to the eye, you can discuss how close to perfect it really needs to be. The stylus is only occasionally perfectly straight in the groove when playing a record. And anyone is free to stand up and voice their opinion on this matter.

Mine is that it does pay off getting it rather close to perfect. And that the tightness of the screws is really important. Linn's recommendation in the tiny Adikt manual is quite good: It says how many turns the headshell screws should be tightened, and this results in a reasonably good torque when I have tried it. But most Adikts I have come across are mounted much too tight.

Best of luck with this!

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Post by David Neel » 2008-11-29 12:19

lejonklou wrote: As I hope you understand, my intention is certainly not to create tension between you and your retailer.
Fully understood. If the Adikt alignment was the only concern I had, I'd pursue it further with my original dealer. But there are a couple of other minor niggles, and as I hope to upgrade over the next few years, I want to be able to hear equipment other than Linn - I may well buy Linn, but I want to know that Linn is better than alternatives. So I'm going to use a dealer who is an LP12 specialist and also stocks other brands, whereas my original dealer is 99% Linn.

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Re: Adikt replacement?

Post by Defender » 2019-11-07 21:53

is the lug/alignment topic solved in newest latest versions of the Adikt?

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Re: Adikt replacement?

Post by lejonklou » 2019-11-07 22:02

No

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Re: Adikt replacement?

Post by Defender » 2019-11-08 20:11

thank you for your answer - 11 years and no change means they are not aware of it
what do you do to take the lugs off?
do you cover it with tape for no partikels finding the way into the cartridge and use a Dremel to take them off?

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Re: Adikt replacement?

Post by ThomasOK » 2019-11-08 21:17

I use a utility knife with a sharp razor blade - no particulates that way.
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