Here’s a challenge: how to interview Ivor Tiefenbrun of Linn over in the U.K. without barnbusting expense.

Ever the adventurous souls, the PF gang decided to do so via questions submitted via the Internet. Our fearless contributors would query in writing; Ivor would respond in like fashion. While not as lively as an actual meeting, such an approach did allow both parties to formulate questions and answers more thoughtfully — with the results that you see below.....]

Bruce Kinch: Could you reprise the basic background of the LP 12’s creation? Were there significant design influences from the Thorens 150, original AR or other decks? During design and development - or since, were other engineers/designers involved, or just yourself?

Ivor: Much background information can be found on our web site and we have recently posted an old article on our site which appeared in the UK press on the background of the LP12 (a copy of which is attached).

The LP12 used a suspended sub-chassis as per the AR and the Thorens. However, we used the sub-chassis not just to isolate the motor noise for shock isolation but to maximise acoustic isolation. The strategy for eliminating motor noise was to select a quiet 24 pole device, couple it to a large mass and ensure uniform distribution of residual vibration through the suspension and the drive belt to maintain the correct relationship between the cartridge body and the record surface.

The design benefited from the input of my late father who designed the patented single point bearing and from the key engineering staff at Castle Precision Engineering, my late father’s company, including John Cross, Bob Hamond, George Borthwick and the late Russell Christie and Edgar Clumpas who all enthusiastically helped me with this ‘lunchtime’ project, along with many other employees at Castle.

Bruce Kinch: It’s been said that the importance of the letter "K"as opposed to "C" in Linn product nomenclature is that Linn gear costs "thousands" rather than the "hundreds" conventional gear goes for. The new CD-12 might be a case in point. Your literature states it costs a small fortune, but also asks listeners to decide for themselves if it’s better than a LP-12. While technology does "trickle down", what do you see as the implications for the future of audio if "proper" reproduction of digital recordings is beyond the means of most music lovers?

Ivor: The Linn Sondek originally cost £36 as a chassis and £64 complete with plinth and cover and the ‘K’ came from the idea of using the name sound deck simplified to communicate the revolutionary idea that the turntable would influence the sound. Thereafter the ‘K’ acquired a kind of mystic significance.

We are confident that, although …...

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