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  • LP12MF Listening Test: Audio Desk Vinyl Cleaner Pro Ultrasonic

    In this, my most ambitious Listening Test to date, I test whether the Audio Desk Vinyl Cleaner Pro ultrasonic cleaner makes records sound better. If you’re curious about how and why I bought the Audio Desk, and what exactly my cleaning system is, please check out my post “Washing Records with the Audio Desk Vinyl…

  • LP12MF Listening Test: Tiger Paw Khan Top Plate

    A few weeks ago, I swapped out the stock stainless steel top plate from my Linn LP12 and installed an aluminum Tiger Paw Khan in its place. You can read about the installation process for the Khan, and check out my listening methodology. Full listening impressions on the Khan-modified LP12 are below; digestible, numerical summaries…

  • How I Finally Got into Jazz; or, Records from Jared

    I am currently obsessed with jazz. This is due entirely to the wisdom, taste, and generosity of my friend Jared. For many years, I’ve wanted to get into jazz — a kind of music I had absolutely no contact with growing up, either from my parents or my friends. In undergrad, when everything in my…

  • LP12MF: Installing the Tiger Paw Khan Top Plate

    Well, I maybe wasn’t quite as excited about this as I was about installing the Mober subchassis — this was my second major bit of hifi DIY (say it out loud), so some the novelty had worn off. But still, I was pretty excited. This is a pretty fundamental upgrade and there were lots and…

  • Record Shopping in Los Angeles, San Diego, and Palm Springs

    In case anyone wondered whether I’m one of those people whose equipment is worth more than their record collection… I wish! I am, for better or (probably) worse, even more obsessed with records than with gear. Case in point: my recent two-week trip to Southern California. I used to live in San Diego, but I…

  • LP12MF Listening Test: Mober Subchassis

    Below you’ll find all my listening notes for my first “modification”: the replacement of the pressed steel Cirkus subchassis + laminated armboard with the machined aluminum Mober one-piece armboard/subchassis. You can read about the installation process of the Mober. You can read all about the “pre-modification” Base setup. You can read about my listening methodology…

  • LP12MF Listening Test: Before Any Modifications

    The LP12 Modification Frenzy has begun: I have swapped my Cirkus shuchassis + laminated armboard for a one-piece machined aluminum Mober subchassis. Before doing that, I did my first detailed listening test, so that I could have a reasonably well-described “before” position against which to analyze these upgrades. Methodology I’m an English professor, not a…

  • LP12MF: Installing the Mober Subchassis

    Oh how I have been anticipating and dreading this day! Ever since I got the idea to systematically unbuild and rebuild my LP12, it’s all been leading here. I ordered a bunch of parts. I ordered an LP12 jig (something I’ve been dreaming of since I was a teenager, fml). I downloaded Peter Swain’s LP12…

  • Physical Comparison of Three LP12 Subchassis: Linn Kore, Greenstreet, Mober

    I find myself in an unsual position: I have three different LP12 subchassis in my possession, none actually installed in a turntable. I doubt very many hifi shops in the world have similar bounties — and if they do have three, they’re probably the three Linn models, not these ones. So why not take advantage…

  • Test Tracks, Test Albums

    Things are all in place now to get started on my LP12 Modification Frenzy (as I’m calling it). I’ve got three subchassis (Mober, Linn Kore, Greenstreet), two tonearms (Linn Ekos 2 and Naim Aro), a top plate (Tiger Paw Khan), and two cartridges (Linn Troika and Dynavector XX-2). That’s a lot to play with. But…