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Thread: Linn Asak

  1. #1
    Join Date: Apr 2015

    Location: Southampton, United Kingdom

    Posts: 505
    I'm Paul.

    Default Linn Asak

    Think I got a bit of a bargain on eBay this week as I took a chance on a 35-year old Asak MC, the seller saying it hadn't been used that regularly down the years and still sounded great.

    Well, after a bit of fettling and fiddling I've got it singing now and it's made an obvious difference to the sound from my vinyl source compared to the P77 I was using previously.

    I had a sesh last night and played lots of different types of music on lots of different ages of vinyl and was much happier than I had been previously.

    In particular, a forty-five year old copy of Kate And Anna McGarrigle's Dancer With Bruised Knees sounded brand new

    Rock never sounded that good before - always a bit muddled - but playing some Smiths, ELO and Bowie proved otherwise.

    The soundstage is better, there's more clarity overall (especially treble-wise), the bass feels tighter but really it's just more musical all round.

    My only slight concern is that on some reissues - like the Bowie Diamond Dogs that I bought new in about 1984 spookily enough - are rather quiet and I actually had the gain on the Tisbury up to the max.

    Newer vinyl is much louder though and some of the thicker old stuff is fine too - it's just those semi-flexidisc RCA black label reissues that sound quiet. Good, but quiet.


    Anyway .. thanks for everyone who chipped in with advice : I've taken my first step on the MC ladder.


    I'll be looking to sell the P77 now. It had a brand new old stock stylus fitted three years ago when I last had the Linn serviced by Simon of The Audio Files in Crowthorne.
    I've not used it that much since then, generally preferring the CD player, so it's probably had about 150 hours use. Not sure how much to ask, really - does 70 sound about right ??
    Linn Sondek LP12, Ittok, AT-F7 > Musical Fidelity XLPS v3 Phono Stage
    Sony CDP-XE520 CD Player > SMSL Sanskrit DAC
    Pure DAB tuner
    Tisbury Mk.1 pre-amp > 2 x Meridian 205 monoblock power amps > Linn Kan mk.ii speakers on Kan stands and I'm about to do a handstand
    Grado SR80 headphones

    www.paulridgeblog.com

  2. #2
    Join Date: Apr 2012

    Location: Southall, West London

    Posts: 35,328
    I'm Geoff.

    Default

    Not a bad MC the Asak. Originally made by Osawa for Linn if I'm right and based on their OS-80L model I think. Which was a related design to the well respected Supex SD-900. All from memory, but I think that should be correct.

  3. #3
    Join Date: Jan 2009

    Location: Essex

    Posts: 17,676
    I'm openingabottleofwine.

    Default

    I had a Linn Asak once. Not a bad cartridge at all; bought following a favourable review in The Absolute Sound magazine, who at the time rated it better than the Koetsu Black.

    All my friends however pleaded with me to return to the EMT cartridge I had been using up until then. I did so, and the Asak was sold on. No regrets.

    However it is all a matter of choice: if you are pleased with your sample, then well done - enjoy!
    Last edited by Barry; 17-02-2018 at 20:30.
    Have you listened to this month's choice in the Album Club?

    Barry

  4. #4
    Join Date: Jan 2017

    Location: Bristol

    Posts: 105
    I'm Clive.

    Default

    While I have been reluctant to spend huge money on cartridges I have found a pattern that the best results for me tend to be with MC's. However I would advise you give yourself a couple of months with the new cartridge before selling the old one or even hold onto it as a reserve in case of accidents.

  5. #5
    Join Date: Jan 2009

    Location: Essex

    Posts: 17,676
    I'm openingabottleofwine.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by cre009 View Post
    While I have been reluctant to spend huge money on cartridges I have found a pattern that the best results for me tend to be with MC's. However I would advise you give yourself a couple of months with the new cartridge before selling the old one or even hold onto it as a reserve in case of accidents.
    If your post is directed to me - then I would say it was a few years before I sold my Asak. By then I had a couple of dozen or so cartridges: both moving coil and fixed coil, so was able to make an informed decision.
    Have you listened to this month's choice in the Album Club?

    Barry

  6. #6
    Join Date: Jan 2017

    Location: Bristol

    Posts: 105
    I'm Clive.

    Default

    My post was meant for Paul - there is often a honeymoon period with cartridge changes and I find that several weeks evaluation is needed to confirm there are no negatives that will eventually detract from the positives. In Paul's case the Asak is used so wont require much running in but there will be a period of time where he gets used to the new sound. Hopefully he is getting the step change he perceives and he will find he just wants to play records that will continue over multiple sessions. Personally I would expect the Asak to be better. However if any doubt sets in then temporarily swapping back to the A&R cartridge can be a useful double check so should avoid selling it on until he is sure.

  7. #7
    Join Date: Apr 2015

    Location: Southampton, United Kingdom

    Posts: 505
    I'm Paul.

    Default

    Thanks for the sound advice, Clive
    Linn Sondek LP12, Ittok, AT-F7 > Musical Fidelity XLPS v3 Phono Stage
    Sony CDP-XE520 CD Player > SMSL Sanskrit DAC
    Pure DAB tuner
    Tisbury Mk.1 pre-amp > 2 x Meridian 205 monoblock power amps > Linn Kan mk.ii speakers on Kan stands and I'm about to do a handstand
    Grado SR80 headphones

    www.paulridgeblog.com

  8. #8
    Join Date: Jan 2008

    Location: Forest of Dean, Glos

    Posts: 9,964
    I'm Jerry.

    Default

    I had a VdH retipped Asak, and I was just blown away by it.
    I've no idea what difference the VdH retip made, but the underlying bouncy robustness and downright clarity of the cart must be similar.
    It was, in retrospect, the best sounding cartridge that I had owned over decades of playing with quite high endish carts.
    I suspect that if it just happens to coincide with your preferences then it is one stonker of a device!

    Marco recommended using a vintage battery powered Lentek step up with the Asak. Sound advice indeed - the combination is superb, a huge improvement on an already good result.
    If you can be bothered, have a look at my system blog from here

    And btw Paul - thanks for changing your avatar to the "real thing" - that way too chirpy looking cartoon was driving me batty!!
    Jerry

    Qobuz Hifi / Spotify Premium streaming, SMSL M8 DAC + L-PSU, Herron VTSP-2 valve preamp, Trigon TRE 50 monoblocks, MBL 116F.

    Cables: Wireworld Starlight USB, Ixos Ixotica i/c, W&M speaker cables, Belden 19364 mains cables

  9. #9
    Join Date: Jan 2009

    Location: Sheffield - UK

    Posts: 5,982
    I'm Mark.

    Default

    The Asak, Karma and Troika are great cartridges. They seem very long lived and once the stylus is worn out they can be re-tipped to advance their performance further than ever before. Personally I run a rebuilt Troika with new coil windings, a ruby cantilever an a Gyger sylus and am more than happy.

    100% Analogue

  10. #10
    Join Date: Jan 2008

    Location: Wrexham, North Wales, UK

    Posts: 78,151
    I'm AudioAl'sArbiterForPISHANTO.

    Thumbs up As approved by Trigger...

    Quote Originally Posted by YNWaN View Post
    Personally I run a rebuilt Troika with new coil windings, a ruby cantilever an a Gyger sylus and am more than happy...




    Marco.
    http://www.thestainedglasscompany.com

    "A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do" -- Milan Kundera.

    BE HAPPY EVERYDAY!

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