Exactly the way it happened folks: Linn LP12 and a/b demonstrations

From and including the 1970s, Linn popularised the concept of the A-B demonstration. It was, on the face of it, a faultlessly logical ethos. It was adopted by reviewers and dealers alike, myself included. It was rumoured they had mystery shoppers in circulation, prepared to report back any deviation from the dogma.

For a while at Subjective Audio I kept meticulous records of the outcome of such demos.

Generally, if the A-B demonstration was carried out in front of the listener, i.e. they knew which was the LP12 and which was the Pink Trangle, JBE, Trio LO7D, etc, 9 out of 10 buyers bought the LP12.

Pandering to my latent anarchistic tendencies, and therefore unwilling to be totally subservient to the Linn regime, I decided as an experiment to carry out the A-B demonstrations behind the listeners.

The conversion ratio dropped to 5 out of 10.

My sales of alternative decks increased, and those of Linn declined, hastening the decay in the previously cordial relationship between Subjective Audio and the then highly influential maker.