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Thread: Differential in sound quality between turntable and digital - Old Linn system

  1. #21
    Join Date: Nov 2011

    Location: Seaton, Devon, UK

    Posts: 5,502
    I'm Adrian.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BDD View Post
    Iím running an active Linn system - Linn Karik with old Majik1, 2 x LK100s and pair of Keilidhs. Lovely, full, detailed sound with just the right amount of bass. Iíve also got a Linn Basik turntable with Akito arm on this system. Currently using an Audio Technica VM95EN cart. The turntable sound is quite disappointing - markedly less detailed than digital, but still retains quite a full sound - maybe slightly more so than the CD player. I appreciate that one needs to spend quite a bit on a turntable to equal digital but the difference is quite stark. Setup is all ok as far as I can see. Is it likely that I am missing something obvious or should I just manage my expectation with what is a budget end t/t?


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    I had a read of the thread and not knowing the Linn Majik1 personally looked for some pointers on the net came across this from What-HiFi review " the Majik-I isn't so skilful at delivering very low-level detail or the natural richness in a recording. Even a full-bodied disc such as the first The Lord of the Rings OST sounds overly dry and just a little clipped. There isn't he space, low-level detail or bass power we'd expect at this price." now this could be due to the power side of the amp and I take note that you are using it as a Pre-amp, but some aspect may be due to the pre-amp side. I cannot find anything about the SQ of it built in Phono Stage, but there is a board upgrade from Linn for MM/MC which implies it can be improved on and then support MC as well.

    My view would be to initially borrow a reasonable Phono stage and try it and see if there is an improvement, there was a Cambridge 541on sale here for only £65, it cheap as ships and they are good. If you get no improvement then try another cartridge or mew stylus as others have said and make sure it is set up correctly, there here are several thread on here on this on VTF and VTA. If you still have no joy then I would suggest you try an borrow a pre-amp or home demo one and see if solved.

    I hope that helps.
    [FONT="Arial"]
    Listening is the act of aural discrimination and dissemination of sound, and accepting you get it wrong sometimes


    Pro-Ject Signature 10 TT & arm, Benz Micro LP-S & Michel Cusis MC cartridge, Furutech AG-12-R4 High Performance Phono Cable, LFD MMC special phono stage, Rothwell MCX SUT, RaspberryPi/HifiBerry Digi to Beresford Caiman SEG DAC, Sony 3d blu-Ray for CDs to Caiman SEG, ALLNIC T1500 MKII SET 300B amp, Wilson Benesch Vector speakers and JBL L100 Century's , Chord Epic speaker leads, & signature links, the Eccose Conductor CA1 cd to pre, I think I am at audio nirvana, but donít tell anyone

  2. #22
    Join Date: Dec 2019

    Location: East Lothian

    Posts: 60
    I'm Brian.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AJSki2fly View Post
    I had a read of the thread and not knowing the Linn Majik1 personally looked for some pointers on the net came across this from What-HiFi review " the Majik-I isn't so skilful at delivering very low-level detail or the natural richness in a recording. Even a full-bodied disc such as the first The Lord of the Rings OST sounds overly dry and just a little clipped. There isn't he space, low-level detail or bass power we'd expect at this price." now this could be due to the power side of the amp and I take note that you are using it as a Pre-amp, but some aspect may be due to the pre-amp side. I cannot find anything about the SQ of it built in Phono Stage, but there is a board upgrade from Linn for MM/MC which implies it can be improved on and then support MC as well.

    My view would be to initially borrow a reasonable Phono stage and try it and see if there is an improvement, there was a Cambridge 541on sale here for only £65, it cheap as ships and they are good. If you get no improvement then try another cartridge or mew stylus as others have said and make sure it is set up correctly, there here are several thread on here on this on VTF and VTA. If you still have no joy then I would suggest you try an borrow a pre-amp or home demo one and see if solved.

    I hope that helps.
    Thanks, most helpful.


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  3. #23
    Join Date: Dec 2019

    Location: East Lothian

    Posts: 60
    I'm Brian.

    Default Differential in sound quality between turntable and digital - Old Linn system

    Deleted - duplicate post.

  4. #24
    Join Date: Dec 2019

    Location: East Lothian

    Posts: 60
    I'm Brian.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AJSki2fly View Post
    I had a read of the thread and not knowing the Linn Majik1 personally looked for some pointers on the net came across this from What-HiFi review " the Majik-I isn't so skilful at delivering very low-level detail or the natural richness in a recording. Even a full-bodied disc such as the first The Lord of the Rings OST sounds overly dry and just a little clipped. There isn't he space, low-level detail or bass power we'd expect at this price." now this could be due to the power side of the amp and I take note that you are using it as a Pre-amp, but some aspect may be due to the pre-amp side. I cannot find anything about the SQ of it built in Phono Stage, but there is a board upgrade from Linn for MM/MC which implies it can be improved on and then support MC as well.

    My view would be to initially borrow a reasonable Phono stage and try it and see if there is an improvement, there was a Cambridge 541on sale here for only £65, it cheap as ships and they are good. If you get no improvement then try another cartridge or mew stylus as others have said and make sure it is set up correctly, there here are several thread on here on this on VTF and VTA. If you still have no joy then I would suggest you try an borrow a pre-amp or home demo one and see if solved.

    I hope that helps.
    Iíve found a cambridge audio azure 551p for sale for not much....I wonder if itís worth a punt?


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  5. #25
    Join Date: Apr 2012

    Location: Southall, West London

    Posts: 43,435
    I'm Geoff.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BDD View Post
    I’ve found a cambridge audio azure 551p for sale for not much....I wonder if it’s worth a punt?
    If it's cheap go for it.
    "when common sense, logic and plausibility are excluded. All that remain are foolishness and lies"

  6. #26
    Join Date: Nov 2011

    Location: Seaton, Devon, UK

    Posts: 5,502
    I'm Adrian.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BDD View Post
    Iíve found a cambridge audio azure 551p for sale for not much....I wonder if itís worth a punt?


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    Yes definitely
    [FONT="Arial"]
    Listening is the act of aural discrimination and dissemination of sound, and accepting you get it wrong sometimes


    Pro-Ject Signature 10 TT & arm, Benz Micro LP-S & Michel Cusis MC cartridge, Furutech AG-12-R4 High Performance Phono Cable, LFD MMC special phono stage, Rothwell MCX SUT, RaspberryPi/HifiBerry Digi to Beresford Caiman SEG DAC, Sony 3d blu-Ray for CDs to Caiman SEG, ALLNIC T1500 MKII SET 300B amp, Wilson Benesch Vector speakers and JBL L100 Century's , Chord Epic speaker leads, & signature links, the Eccose Conductor CA1 cd to pre, I think I am at audio nirvana, but donít tell anyone

  7. #27
    Join Date: Jul 2013

    Location: Kingsbury, NW London

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    I'm Clive.

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    IMO it’s the cartridge. Can you use a MC cartridge which would give a smoother SQ, if so try a model from Audio Technica or Ortofon or even a Hana SL.
    If a a MC is not possible you would need a better stylus for your current MM cartridge.
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  8. #28
    Join Date: Dec 2019

    Location: East Lothian

    Posts: 60
    I'm Brian.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Clive197 View Post
    IMO itís the cartridge. Can you use a MC cartridge which would give a smoother SQ, if so try a model from Audio Technica or Ortofon or even a Hana SL.
    If a a MC is not possible you would need a better stylus for your current MM cartridge.
    Food for thought there - thanks. I thought that the new Audio Technica VM95EN was a reasonable quality cart? Iíll do a bit more research. I guess fundamentally speaking the limiting factor will be the Ďbasikí turntable but Iím not getting into LP12 territory just yet with a rampaging toddler and another coming up through the ranks!


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  9. #29
    Join Date: Dec 2019

    Location: East Lothian

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    I'm Brian.

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    Looks like a choice between a Cambridge Audio 551p or 640p - the latter has no on/off button but is MM and MC. The former is MM only. I think that the 640p is an older model but may be Ďbetterí spec. Any thoughts welcome - sorry for all the questions, itís been a great help this thread.


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  10. #30
    Join Date: Nov 2011

    Location: Seaton, Devon, UK

    Posts: 5,502
    I'm Adrian.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BDD View Post
    Food for thought there - thanks. I thought that the new Audio Technica VM95EN was a reasonable quality cart? Iíll do a bit more research. I guess fundamentally speaking the limiting factor will be the Ďbasikí turntable but Iím not getting into LP12 territory just yet with a rampaging toddler and another coming up through the ranks!


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    Hi Brian, I did not realise from your first post that the AT cartridge was new, and you are quite correct is is a decent cartridge. Did you fit it or did a dealer?

    Anyway if it is a different cartridge from what was previously on the arm then the set up might not be quite right for VTA, VTF and Azimuth, all of which are critical to sound quality. Have a read of https://zstereo.co.uk/2016/05/24/linn-basik/ in this review there are some important points about getting the best out of the Basik by isolating it, also the set up of the arm in the manual may help if you don't have the manual https://docs.linn.co.uk/wiki/images/..._user_manl.PDF, in case you don't have this. If you need advise on Vertical Tracking Angle with the Audio Technica VM95EN, I am sure one or two on here can advise. Vertical Tracking force you can check with a cartridge simple tracking gauge.

    As it is a fixed head shell on the arm setting up Azimuth is not so easy if it is not correct. A simple way to checkout is correct is to get a test record with a 300hz Azimuth test track like the HiFi Answers one and when you play that track you can measure the decibel level coming from each speaker using a dB meter on a mobile phone, (SPLnFFT is a free one and is good) the level should be identical from each (you need to hold the phone about 1 foot in front of each speaker, in front of the mid range driver).

    Apologies in advance if you have already done or checked all this stuff.
    [FONT="Arial"]
    Listening is the act of aural discrimination and dissemination of sound, and accepting you get it wrong sometimes


    Pro-Ject Signature 10 TT & arm, Benz Micro LP-S & Michel Cusis MC cartridge, Furutech AG-12-R4 High Performance Phono Cable, LFD MMC special phono stage, Rothwell MCX SUT, RaspberryPi/HifiBerry Digi to Beresford Caiman SEG DAC, Sony 3d blu-Ray for CDs to Caiman SEG, ALLNIC T1500 MKII SET 300B amp, Wilson Benesch Vector speakers and JBL L100 Century's , Chord Epic speaker leads, & signature links, the Eccose Conductor CA1 cd to pre, I think I am at audio nirvana, but donít tell anyone

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