LP12 Support

Your resource guide for the Linn Sondek LP12 turntable

LP12 Support

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About the LP12

News

  • Friday, 10 May 2024: If you have a LP12 with a Valhalla power supply but are looking for 33/45 switching, look no further than the Minos LP12 motor speed controller. We are soon going to run an article of someone in the country who imported and installed one for his turntable. Watch this space.
  • Friday, 10 May 2024: Welcome to a new LP12 owner! I was contacted by someone the other day who was looking for his first ever LP12 and we managed to locate an absolutely gorgeous unit for him. We will shortly place his story. Congratulations, and welcome to the fold!
  • Friday, 9 February 2024: Looking for a massive and worthwhile upgrade? Why not consider the Dewaudio Starmap and Startrail.
  • See an article in Afrikaans about the LP12 turntable on Noordvandieberg.
  • Getting back into the vinyl format or bought a LP12? Take it easy.

Our focus is to offer advice and technical support to anyone who owns an out-of-warranty Linn Sondek LP12 turntable.



The Linn Sondek LP12 turntable is a classic that has stood the test of time. Like good wine, a LP12 ages well. In fact, many of the original LP12 turntables manufactured in 1972 are still around. Most have been upgraded to later specifications.

Technical Support

The LP12 fundis on this website are enthusiasts that have spent a lot of time with their turntables. Many are also technical wizzes who understand the technology driving the LP12, and can service these units to get the best out of them.

Service and upgrades

It is not advisable to transport a LP12 turntable using courier companies. Instead, we put you in touch with recognised individuals in your area, where you can take your unit to them to have it serviced and upgrades performed.

Spares

Your LP12 is a fantastic product, but it will eventually require replacement parts. Motors and power supplies, belts and mats, armboards and tonearms, and cartridges – these are normal items you can replace or upgrade.

Please note that we may be able to assist with certain spare items, mostly pre-owned. Unfortunately though, getting new items in South Africa is limited to the official Linn agent, whose website gets you no further than a landing page, without any contact options.

We are in the process of securing small spares items, which are not supplied via the official (read: non-existent) distributor.

Plinth
LP12 Plinth

The original LP12 plinth was made from Afromosia. Afromosia is a large tropical tree of the forests of Central and West Africa, and is now endangered. Modern LP12 plinths are available in a variety of hard-wood species such as birch, ash, cherry, and oak. In recent years Linn has also offered painted plinth options. A variety of aftermarket plinths are also available to suit every taste.


Early plinths are made up of a simple construction and later plinths feature additional corner bracing to strengthen the frame. If your plinth does not have it, it is no big deal.


Further information on the plinth...

Platter and Sub-platter
LP12 Platter and Sub-platter

Your LP12's platter is a precision-made product that is a vital compontent to your turntable. It consists of two parts: the sub-platter, also called the inner platter, is the one on which the second part, the outer platter, rests. Together, they form the basis on which your vinyl records will rest.


The thin felt mat is seen by many as a real pain, but it is probably still the default surface on which your LPs will lie. If static is a problem, use folded cellotape to stick the mat to the platter and avoid lifting it along with your record.


Information on the platter...

Motor and Power Supply
Premotec Motor

Your motor may have lasted for years, but somewhere down the line it will fail. It is not always fatal though, as motors can be serviced. Should you need a new motor, we can refer you to individuals who can source them. It could be a new unit, or pre-owned, depending on your budget.


The most common problem is failing capacitors, especially on the Valhalla power supply. This is an easy and affordable fix, and brings new life to older models.


Motors and power supplies information...

Main Bearing
Cirkus Bearing

Apart from the stylus, the platter is the most direct contact your turntable has with the record. It relies on a quiet and stable bearing. The more freely the platter can spin in the bearing, the more stable the motor will run. Upgrading from the pre-Cirkus (white collar) to the Cirkus (black collar) to the Carousel (stainless steel) is one of the most important upgrades you can make.


Further reading on bearings and platters...

Subchassis and Suspension
LP12 Suspension

The LP12 suspension is notoriously difficult to set up. Once it has been set up though, it should stay this way for a long time. LP12 fundis can supply suspension upgrade kits (springs, grommets, and fasteners) to ensure your LP12 can go on for a long time.


A number of upgrade options are available, from stock Linn items, to customised third-party products.


More on suspension systems...

Tonearm and Armboard
LP12 Armboard and Ittok Tonearm

The armboard and tonearm are the areas where very visible and important upgrades are made. Thousands of the older Ittok LVII, LVIII, and Basik arms are still peforming perfectly. The newer Ekos, Ekos SE, Arko, and Krane arms are all readily available.


There are many other non-Linn tonearms that will work perfectly with your LP12.


Armboards and tonearms...

Cartridge
benz Micro Glider SL

Whether you use a budget MM cartridge or a super high-end MC, your tonearm must make the cartridge come alive. Arms and cartridges should be properly matched.


Our LP12 fundis can advise you on the best way to ensure your tonearm is perfectly set up to accommodate the cartridge of your choice.


Cartridges...

Base
LP12 Base

The original LP12 was sold with a base of masonite and simple, yet effective, rubber feet on each corner. Over the decades Linn issued upgraded base plates. Many effective baseplates are from third-party manufacturers featuring rigid milled alloy constructions with the option to fit threaded feet or spikes to level the turntable.



Bottom cover options...

Miscellaneous
LP12 Belt

Top plates, bottom covers, power switches, lids, and belts – all these can be replaced, upgraded, or repaired. If your top plate is a bit scratched or dirty, our LP12 fundis can guide you to the correct way to make it look like new again. [ See this article for more miscellaneous information. ]


Trust those that have done this, and maybe made a few mistakes along the way, to share their valuable experience.


More on these items...

We offer the following services

Our various Linn fundis supply a range of services. All are perfectly capable of servicing your LP12 by performing maintenance, or add new or replacement parts. Some will offer more services, especially where non-original Linn solutions are used, such as modified suspensions, power supply solutions, and tonearms.

General maintenance

Have an expert look at your LP12, check the main bearing, add oil if necessary, check the position of the motor, test the startup speed, check for speed consistency, and perform a general cleanup.


More general maintenance information...

Subchassis and suspension

Suspensions are subject to movement such as lateral and vertical upsets. In time, the suspension needs to be checked, springs tightened, the main bearing and platter checked, and the armboard levelled at all four corners. We can offer upgrades where relevant, else suggest expenses relating to smaller items that form part of the subchassis and suspension.


More on suspensions...

Power supply upgrades

Each time an upgrade is made to the power supply, the objective is to provide a smoother operation, and more effective isolation from disturbances through your home's power feed.


Motors and power supplies...

Various upgrades

Some owners decide they want a new plinth for their trusted turntable. There are a few experts that can build a new plinth in the finish of your choice. Even if they do not go this far, they can service the plinth, deal with nicks and scuffs, and generally make the plinth appear as good as new.


More miscellaneous information...

LP12 Stories

We share the stories of some LP12 owners.

The biggest mistake I made during 40 years or more of having hifi components, was to sell my LP12 years ago. I regretted that decision. Circumstances prevented me from getting another LP12, but the moment it was possible, I bought a pristine unit made in 1982. My vinyl days have restarted, maybe not in the way I used to enjoy the hobby, but this time I am sure my LP12 will outlive me.

Testimonials

Andries

Web developer, LP12 enthusiast

When I first saw the silhouette of the Sondek LP12 in the mid nineties I was obsessed with how it looked. This of course sparked a fiery interest in the turntable and its story, and in 2016 I got my first LP12. It has been a love affair since then.

Testimonials

Dewald

LP12 enthusiast

What do others own?

Here are some random photos to show what the LP12 turntables and components of some of our visitors look like.

  • All
  • Turntables
  • Motors and Power Supplies
  • Suspensions
  • Bearings and Platters
  • Armboards and Tonearms
Linn Basik

Linn Basik

Turntables

LP12, Lingo, Ekos, Ortofon, with modified sub-chassis, base, and top plate

LP12 with Ekos tonearm

Turntables

The Dewaudio Starmap sub-chassis.

After-market Suspension Systems

Suspensions

The Dewaudio Starmap sub-chassis.

Third-party Suspension Systems

Suspensions

The Dewaudio Starmap sub-chassis.

Suspension Systems

Suspensions

1982 LP12, Valhalla, Ittok tonearm, Cirkus bearing, pretty much a stock unit. The big attraction when the owner bought this unit was the excellent condition of the plinth.

LP12 with Ittok tonearm and Valhalla Power Supply

Turntables

LP12

Early LP12

Turntables

LP12

LP12 with Ittok tonearm, AT VM95E MM Cartridge

Turntables

LP12 Cirkus Main Bearing with black sleeve

Cirkus Bearing

Turntables

LP12

Older LP12

Turntables

Ittok tonearm mounted on classic Sondek armboard.

Ittok LV II

Armboards and tonearms

A closeup shot of the classic LP12 plinth. If taken care of, it can remain this way for many more years.

Plinth closeup

Turntables

Premotec motor used with Valhalla power supply.

Premotec Synchronous Motor

Motors and power Supplies

LP12 Cirkus Bearing

LP12 Cirkus Bearing with black sleeve

Bearings and Platters

LP12 Inner Platter

LP12 Cirkus Bearing with inner platter fitted

Bearings and Platters

The Valhalla power supply remains one of the most popular power units.

LP12 Valhalla Power Supply

Motors and Power Supplies

LP12 Outer Platter

LP12 platter on Cirkus Bearing

Bearings and Platters

Motors and Power Supplies – The Premotec Motor

Premotec AC Motor

Motors and power Supplies

LP12

Lp12 with Ittok arm

Turntables

LP12

LP12 with Ittok tonearm

Turntables

LP12

Side View of LP12 with Ittok tonearm

Turntables

A LP12 with a black fluted plinth. The client also still has the original owner's manual.

Gorgeous LP12

Turntables

The classic LP12 has the Valhalla board, Cirkus bearing, and Ittok arm. There is a good reason why they are so popular.

Beautiful LP12 with Ittok tonearm

Turntables

The Team

This website is not a business. It simply aims to be a quality support site, assisted by enthusiasts who enjoy their turntables. Here are some of our LP12 fundis who are ready to help you. If you need assistance, we advise you to contact the LP12 fundi closest to you. As we said elsewhere, sending your priceless LP12 by courier is just about the worst mistake you can make. Apart from having to pack it properly for its journey (Few of us have the original packaging material our turntables were originally delivered in.), the courier company is not going to treat the parcel properly. Rather just take it yourself. Here are some pointers before you drive off, to ensure that even if you take it yourself, mishaps and expensive repairs can be avoided.


  • Remove the outer platter. Protect it properly with any soft material. Be careful that it does not slip out.
  • Insert pieces of folded cardboard under the inner platter so that it is lifted up by about 1 cm. This way the central shaft's contact point does not touch the bottom of the bearing. At the same time there is little chance of spilling bearing oil.
  • Remove the tonearm's counterweight. This protects the arm's bearings, even if the arm is tied down.
  • Cover the cartridge. Nuff said.
Andries Oberholzer

Andries Oberholzer

Web developer and general contact
084 531-8046
Dewald Visser

Dewald Visser

LP12 Fundi, Pretoria region
072 039-5379
Wayne Roux

Wayne Roux

LP12 Fundi, Johannesburg region
072 336-5599
Leander Van Rooyen

Leander Van Rooyen

LP12 Fundi, Stellenbosch region
082 088-6688


Let us share some information about our team of LP12 fundis.

Andries Oberholzer, is me, just the web developer, but with a keen interest in music and vinyl. My vinyl days, like with many others, had its ups and downs. I started with decent products in 1983 when I upgraded from a Pioneer rack system to my first decent hifi. Lemmie Davis from Soundlab in Milpark patiently sat with me, a student at the time, for many hours and allowed me to listen to systems I could never afford (LP12/Ittok/Asak frontend, Naim amplification, and Linn Kan, Sara, and Isobarik speakers) but man, they sounded unbelievable. What I bought eventually was something more in line with my university bursary payout – a Rega Planar 3, NAD 3020A, Boston A40, Linn Kan stands, and Monster speaker cable. Later on I would sell these and go digital. It sounded excellent, but the same passion was never there again, until the second Planar 3 came my way in 2004, then the first LP12 in 2006. We often do stupid things. I admit that being out of the loop with vinyl for many years was one of the stupid things I did.

If you are in the Pretoria area, Dewald Visser is the man to contact. There is little he cannot do. I was fortunate enough to chat with him about the development work he has done for the LP12 sub-chassis. I saw the parts, and let me tell you, the build quality is exceptional. Dewald designed the various parts – sub-chassis, armboard, base, and top plate. Along with the smaller bits like springs, spacers, bolts, and nuts, this is a formidable kit that will let your LP12 really shine. While the bad exchange rate makes it expensive to source parts from abroad, it is great to see that locally there is immense talent. Dewald also builds his own amplifiers, and services just about any product that has to do with audio. More information is available on Dewaudio.

I have known Wayne Roux since 1989. In 2004 I bought a Rega Planar 3 (my second one), and Wayne installed a new motor for me. In 2006, he coaxed me to look at a LP12 and in no time I was the owner of a mint unit with an Alphason HR100S tonearm and Ortofon Kontrapunkt a moving coil cartridge. That was most definitely the best turntable I ever owned. Wayne is passionate about turntables, cartridges, phono stages, and vinyl, and has helped many fortunate LP12 owners to get the best out of their equipment, and many others to get a LP12. If you are in the Johannesburg / East Rand area, Wayne is your answer.

Leander Van Rooyen is a legend in the hifi industry in South Africa. He gets his passion from his father, who, along with Lemmie Davis from what was then Soundlab, was one of the first people to bring Linn products to our shores. Leander recalls that his dad knew how to perfectly set up a LP12. The apple certainly has not fallen far from the tree. We are delighted to have Leander on board. He brings a wealth of knowledge about the turntable and hifi in general. It is great to hear that there are individuals who are still passionate about spinning the black stuff. If you are in the Western Cape and your LP12 needs a bit of TLC, contact Leander without delay.

If you are experienced in working with LP12 turntables and would like to join the team, send us your details and we will list you here.

Your questions answered

Here are some common questions we hear all the time, answered as honostly as possible.

  • Your suspension needs to be set. Contact any LP12 fundi in your area. They will know what to do.

  • Your suspension needs to be set. Contact any LP12 fundi in your area. They will know what to do.

  • Discolouration is sometimes annoying, but it is normal. As your platter ages, it loses its original shine. It is protected by a layer of lacquer. Do not remove this unless you really must do it. Some owners like a shiny, almost chrome, appearance. If you must do this, let us suggest the best way so that you do not ruin your very expensive platter. Learn more...

  • The first place to start is to see if the power is switched on. If the red LED shines, but dimly and you have a Valhalla board or an external Lingo power supply, eventually the capacitors dry out and must be replaced. This is an easy fix, but ony by an experienced person. Do not touch your Valhalla board or any other electric components under any circumstances. Touching those capacitors can be fatal.

    If you think the capacitors are in order, have the motor checked by a LP12 fundi. Sometimes all that is needed are a few drops of oil. Note that Ordinary Joe cannot do this himself as it requires taking off the bottom plate, removing the motor, and using the right oil.

  • There are many scammers out there who will take you for a ride, or just someone who does not know what they are talking about. Before you commit to buying a LP12, here are some pointers:

    Online photos: You can spot a scammer a mile away. If there are five photos, for example, and each shows a LP12 with a different power switch, arm, cartridge, platter, and so on, it is probably not the actual unit for sale. I see this on Gumtree and Facebook Marketplace every day.

    Price: A LP12 with a standard Valhalla power supply and Ittok cannot cost more than about R30 000.00. Any more than this is a ripoff. Check the serial number as a guideline to see when it was manufactured. See this article for an indication of milestone changes.

    Ekos 1 tonearm: As good as the Ekos arm is, earlier versions had problems with the bearing and grease. This is difficult to fix locally.

    Function: Arrange to see the unit yourself and let the owner (a) switch it on – check the startup speed. Anything more than five seconds from 0 to 33 means the power supply's capacitors or on their way out, or that the belt is worn out.

    Arm bearings: If possible, ask the owner to rebalance the arm. This should indicate if there are possible issues with the arm's bearing.

    General impression: Ask to listen to at least a few seconds of music you know. This will tell if the motor is stable, and if both channels work.

    Appearance: Look out for obvious signs of wear that is more than usual – the plinth, lid, top plate, and arm board should be reasonably clean and clear of any dents or scratches that may indicate abuse. If there are signs of abuse here, chances are good that more sensitive parts may have been damaged.

    If at all possible, ask a more knowledgeable friend to go with you to check out the unit. Remember that even if things look OK, you are buying the unit voetstoots and once it has left the seller's location, what goes wrong is for your pocket.

  • This is a very effective and easy fix. Take some teak oil and a sponge. Pour a small amount of oil on the sponge and carefully smear it around the plinth. Using a sponge ensures the oil penetrates the grooves. If you live in a dry climate, you may have to do this every few months.

  • The Axis and Basik turntables and excellent units in their own right. Sometimes though, they are a little bit harder to service, and spares are even more difficult to obtain. However, it is often only the power supply that gives problems and, like the Valhalla board on the LP12, it can be recapped and will function as new. If you have one of these turntables, then of course we will assist where we can.

Contact

LP12 is not a business entity, but part of the Andries Oberholzer Consulting group of activities, and we do not have a shop or store. We rely on our LP12 fundis to assist owners of LP12, Basik, and Axis turntables. Feel free to contact us on info@lp12.co.za for general enquiries, else contact the various LP12 fundis listed in the team section.

Location:

Montana Park
Pretoria
0182

Call:

084 531-8046