linn lp-12

What consumer electronics product has been made for 40 years?

I bought a Linn LP-12 way back in 1978, and used Linn turntables until five years ago, when I bought a VPI Classic. Turntables last practically forever, which is one of my favorite things about high-end audio gear: the best products have incredibly long lives. As I recall, the LP-12's initial claim to fame was conceptual; Linn promoted the idea that the "front-end," aka the source -- a turntable, CD player, or cassette deck -- would make or break the overall sound of a music system. If the source's sound quality was poor to start with, … Read more

A CD player built to last 30 years?

While most of today's consumer electronics goods are designed with limited life expectancies, high-end audio gear has always been built to last for decades. Sure, it's more expensive to buy the good stuff, but when you stop and consider how many years of enjoyment you'll get out of a pair of really great speakers (or electronics) the investment makes a lot of sense. So instead of buying and replacing gear over and over again, just buy something really nice, once.

My Samsung Blu-ray player conked out just before its second birthday, and the one before that was … Read more

Who needs a high-end audio system?

Before we get to the high-end audio question, I wonder who needs a Porsche 911 Turbo to drive to work? Wouldn't a Prius make so much more sense? Why would you buy a $10,000 Rolex watch when a $20 Casio keeps better time? Who needs an Yves Saint Laurent sweater; I'm sure one from Wal-Mart will keep you just as warm.

No one "needs" luxury products, but that doesn't stop a lot of us from coveting them--or at least reading about them. Have you ever noticed that almost every car magazine in the world … Read more

Poll: What's your favorite audio product of all time?

Audiophiles have been known to develop unnaturally strong bonds with their gear, but civilians also have their faves. It might be a type--a speaker, an MP3 player, a car audio system--or a specific product. For me it was my first Linn LP 12 turntable I bought in 1979. I told my wife I wanted to be buried with it. That 'table rocked my world.

Or are you just hung up on 8-track players, or maybe it was a radio your father gave you? In other words, I want to know if it's a type of gear, or a specific … Read more

Vinyl: Not just for audiophiles?

Vinyl is back, big time, but the fact is most folks, probably close to 99 percent of the under 40-set, haven't heard records.

For them, music is about portability and vinyl is a stay-at-home deal. Vinyl has more of a hands-on work ethic: you've got to cue the tonearm, lower the "needle," and when the side's over, turn it over or play another LP. Digital requires almost nothing from you; no wonder it's dominated the music scene for the last couple of decades.

Me, I'm having something of a vinyl fling right now. I've always owned a turntable, but there were times I played only CDs for months on end. I guess I didn't want to deal with the extra work of playing vinyl. Sad, but true.

As for LP vs. CD comparisons, I didn't do any. Trust me, you don't have to be a golden-eared audiophile to notice the two formats sound very different. Records are "warmer" and sound more like the sound of real instruments and voices; CDs almost always make them more detailed and brighter-sounding than they are in real life. … Read more

The 30-year-old iPod?

Does anybody buying an iPod in 2008 expect to get more than a few years of use out of the thing? My five year old iPod still plays, but I can't get it to work in newer iPod docks or iPod speakers. My iPod is too old.

A good friend of mine plays his 30-year-old Linn LP-12 turntable almost every day. It was an expensive turntable in 1978 when it sold for around $1,200. But he's gotten 30 years of use out of the thing, and even now listens to a lot more vinyl than CD. So … Read more