A selection of comments from satisfied customers

 

 

Sole sub-chassis feedback:

 

Here's an interesting Linn forum link below discussing Sole VI  customer returned to us and also purchased Sole VII.

 

http://forums.linn.co.uk/bb/showthread.php?tid=15663 

 

 

Sole VII arrived well packed and it is clearly a beautifully engineered piece of kit, though I had had to struggle with my guilt at spending over £500 on this self indulgence.

John's instructions were excellent but I still had to battle with the odd complication, two being entirely of my own making. The earth wire from the arm was no longer long enough requiring me to solder on an extension lead and terminal. Then after screwing back the last screw under the Trampolin I discovered the reason why Audio-T had omitted the cap at the bottom of my Ekos, which I had foolishly replaced, and after screwing back the Trampolin again I found that I had failed to push the Lingo ribbon lead fully back home resulting in the LP12 playing dead.

First I put on Joan Armatrading's 'Woncha come on home' and felt both puzzled and disappointed. It just wasn't what I expected having briefly heard Keeled LP12s. Next I put on Chris Rea's 'Your warm and tender love' and everything snapped into place. I guess things needed a couple of minutes to settle down and warm up. There followed a race through track after track from Led Zeppelin to Vivaldi flute concertos while I struggled to describe to myself what was happening. The obvious thing was a massive increase in subtle detail with singers' voices having inflections I had never heard before. All the details seemed far better controlled and showed me that all the start of notes had been smeared before. The sound stage was now not only deeper and more forward but it was filled with detail where previously there had been gaps. Where before the music had been quite exciting it now gelled and for me became totally enthralling.

I was puzzled by John's lack of enthusiasm for Cirkus as I was impressed by the effect it had in my system, but I can see that the Sole VII is a much more significant upgrade.

As far as I am concerned it has improved my system by an order of magnitude and it was absolutely worth every penny.

 

Richard F. 


 

 

Hi John.

Just a quick note to say thank you for your Sole upgrade. A marvelous product. Due to other work commitments, it took me 4 days to fit the Sole and set up my turntable (the LP12 is fiddly to set up and thanks again for the telephone support). During this time, because it was so long, I started to worry that I wouldn't recognise any difference in the sound, I shouldn't have!  Almost immediately, I burst out laughing at the improvement. Superb. More of everything. Everything easier to hear. A well built piece of kit and I hope the next £350 (option3) I spend on an upgrade, will reap even half the benefit of the Sole.

Many, many thanks and kindest regards.

Stephen L.

 

"WOW! That should say it all really. The impact of the Sole was instantly and spectacularly noticeable, the focus of the new sound was immediately apparent - almost as though flashing lights and fireworks were involved.

Notes had much, much better defined start and stop points, the level of detail really jumped out and grabbed me, I could waffle on using the terms seen in reviews, but the bottom line is its probably one of THE best upgrades I've ever made. And to say that it cost much less Linn's Keel underlines it well.

Having heard the Keel on a couple of occasions, I must say that it was remarkable. Its hard for me to be able to quantify any difference between that and the Sole. In some ways that's probably the best praise I can give it.

A cup of coffee and a few more tracks, heavy rock, acoustic singer/songwriter stuff followed. The sound was so much more involving and explanatory of what was going on. It just grabbed the details with so much precision that what came out was the music. I'm describing this badly, what I mean is that the soul of the performance came over together with any amount of detail you may have wanted to hear. Tighter bass, more expression in the voice, more space between the instruments on the stage that the active Isobariks do so well.

Tracks I thought I knew well had much more about them.

Steve S. Harrogate


 

"First impressions are very good indeed! Cleaner, tighter, funkier. The effect is in the order of adding a Supercap".

Duncan C. of London.


 

"What a great piece of work!  Construction, fit and finish - all top drawer; fabulous quality - really!"

Neil E. of Swanley.                                                                                                                                                                                                          

 "Thank you for breathing new life into my turntable I'm very happy"


Gary L. of Fife.

 

Hello John. 


I have built in the Sole and tested it extensively.

The system is: LP12, Cirkus bearing, Trampolin,  Naim Armageddon, Ittok LVIII, BENZ LP
MC Transformer Z-Coupler Nagatron Ag 9200, Cable BNC (RG 400)Preamp Audio Research SP 9 Phono BNC, Amplifier - Mark Levinson 333, Speakers - IMF MKIV Improved/Duntech 2001. Cables: Apature Signature 500/Accusound

The safe packing of the Sole was impressive. A closer view of the craftsmanship confirmed my view - clean edges, the sunken screws and polished surfaces, really a master piece!

The instructions on how to build in the Sole were helpful and simply great. It was really simple to do and I finished the job in about two hours. After the arm was built into the set again and correctly adjusted, you could just feel the tension in the air to hear what the result was.

As a premiere, I played Amanda McBroom´s Dreaming - my first impression was that it was incredibly smooth and clean without losing the feel of the LP 12.

Of course, we are moving on the floor of High-End and the improvements to such a system are often just marginal or simply subjective impressions or wishes. With this Sole, however, it is just different. The Benz LP cartridge is suddenly playing with a dynamic that one would only imagine is possible to obtain from CD players upward of £3k. The Sole gives the Linn a new dimension in musical imaging. The spatial distribution is unbelievable and the colour of the instruments so realistic, and definitely not obtainable from the Linn LP 12 without the Sole.

The sound of great classics like with the piece Tchaikovsky´s 1812 (I have the Cincinnati symphony orchestra) is just perfect - there is no wandering of the sound, the strings stay in the focus and even the hairs on my arms stood upright for the cannon shots of the 1812 - with a vehemence, clean and deep and rolling as they spread through the entire room. After this performance, I wanted to hear all the music that during my years as a developer of speaker systems, often caused raised eyebrows and were definitely no fun to listen to on the Linn - like Tracy Chapman´s LP Crossroads (Bridges), with her marvel of a voice which is a provocation for any Hi-fi system. The deep passages in these music pieces are a nightmare for the room and the speakers (any woofer larger than 8"). 

With the record on the turntable, suddenly the bass guitar starts up without any uncontrolled vibration or hum, and Tracy sings with a warm and clean sound, in a really mind-blowing performance, the bass coming across deep and precise.  It is as though Tracy stands in reality in the room and the depth of the sound came right across.

I have only gained these impressions since building in the Sole, and probably I could wax lyrical on many other things that I have listened to, but to come to the point, in 30 years of High-End music, I have never before made an investment of  £300  and achieved such a breathtaking result.   I can only recommend every LP12 owner to buy your Sole. The price/performance ratio is simply UNBELIEVABLE!
 

And whoever doesn't believe me, they can just mail me at uwe.baur@labzero.de    

Best regards
Uwe.


References:
Amanda McBroom,  Dreaming, (Gecko Records 1986)
Tchaikovsky 1812, (Telarc DG 10041)
Tracy Chapman, Crossroads, (Elektra UK 96088-1 EKT 61)

 

 

 I have been listening to the turntable with the new Sole Mk VI and PU7, I can confirm that the sound is really astoundingly good. I just didn't know how much information (and emotion) I'd been missing by using the Linn sub-chassis (current version) and my venerable Ittok.

The combination of Sole Mk VI and PU7 is clearly symbiotic, and with the AI arm-board in place too (yes, you were right, John!), the performance is quite remarkable. I didn't know that my venerable old Karma cartridge could sound so good. The tracking seems much improved; surface noise is now almost non-existent; there is more detailed information retrieval, and the depth and clarity of the lower registers has to be heard to be believed.

Since Thursday, I've been able to listen at leisure through my own system at home. The first albums I played were Syrinx recordings from the 1980s ( I treasure these works, engineered by Scott Strachan himself). Well, I've never heard that music sound so realistic before. It was sublime! I then tried a few other well-recorded albums and the verdict was the same - this is a much more natural and detailed sound than I've been used to, with no obvious colourations.

Highly recommended! And a grateful note of thanks to John R and to J 7  for their advice, enthusiasm, and talents.


Martin M.  Herts.



Hi John - After tweaking the springs to improve the bounce which I felt was a little off - I got the deck bouncing beautifully freely and realigned the arm-board. Bass - deep and powerful, bass I can feel combined with a new level of delicacy. Somewhat surprisingly I'm now using the Plattamat exclusively as the felt mat now seems to blur the tremendous bass and the traces of HF harshness that I sometimes noticed with it have now disappeared.

A spin off benefit has been my much increased understanding of how to set up the LP12  (and to know when it's in the sweet spot) - Rocket science and magic it isn't - just care and attention to detail. I found Peter's Linn Forum thread on setup was also very helpful as my top plate was loose, not aligned, and had loose chassis bolts (as all had been declared 'in good order' by my local Linn dealer when he checked it last year and declared it didn't need a service) - Back to rediscovering my LP collection and listening to my wife singing along in the background.

Another LP12 saved from Ebay and a very happy customer.

Thanks again

Steve M.  

 

The Khan (with Cetech sub-chassis) also gave a considerable leap in focus and detail in all areas but especially in the bass. It also allowed for a much deeper soundstage.

The Sole mk VI sub-chassis/arm-board gave an even greater leap in all of the above than the Khan, much to my amazement.

Vocal emotion and different tonal range of backing vocalists gave the soundstage an almost holographic effect.

The sense of place and detail of all musicians is much more defined.

 

Davey.

Northumberland.

 

 

Plattamat feedback:

 

John.

Firstly thanks for the prompt service. The Plattamat arrived in Washington DC within a few days of my order!

As you may remember, my vinyl front end comprises LP12, Keel, Radikal, Ekos SE with Akiva cartridge and Urika phono stage.

The fit of the Plattamat on the spindle and around the platter rim is perfect.  Sonically, the Plattamat makes perceived voices and individual instruments clearer and solidifies images of performers. There is absolutely no hardening of the music; though transients may be a little quicker they are not more pronounced than with the felt mat. Musical involvement is very strong, which to me is what Linn is all about anyway.

I have tried other mats and the sonic differences are noticeable, but  I'm continuing to use the Plattamat with no temptation to change back to the others.

Thanks and regards

Bob.

Washington DC.

 

 

Can I just say.... WHAT A FANTASTIC PRODUCT!  I  can't believe the Plattamat is still available for this price.


The moment I placed it on my turntable (Rega P25) the sound improvement just grabbed me. The clarity of vocals and the instrument separation was instantly improved by this little gem of a mat. I would recommend it without hesitation to any vinyl lover looking to improve the quality of their system at minimal cost. Well done you guys at Analogue Innovation for producing such a great product.


Mike B.  Swansea.


 

"I was hoping for something that combined the positive aspects of the Linn felt mat and the Ringmat without any of the negatives.  I can honestly say the Plattamat has exceeded my expectations and is now my mat of choice. The Plattamat allows  greater flow to the music and offers the listener more emotional engagement, an excellent product - thank you! My next upgrade will be the Sole sub-chassis"

Nigel M-P. Southport.

 

  

"SUPERB !  What more can I say about your Plattamat?  Its contribution brought  the word FOCUS to mind.   Detail, phrasing and expression in the human voice which was just hinted at with the felt mat  was there to be enjoyed to the full.. There's heaps more definition  to any sound;  be it bass,  treble or the aformentioned human voice.  Plattamat just grabs it and portrays it   The difference is so marked   buyers will truly be amazed !  "

 I must admit that the very idea that a turntable mat could really alter the sound of a rather good active system made me very, very sceptical.

The Plattamat was not only the best value for money upgrade, but of the very same nature that came from having the Sole sub-chassis installed. The whole sound just shot into a more precise focus. How the band felt as they played the music when it was recorded was no longer hinted at. It was there - big style.

A mat can't make that much difference, came the inner reply. Off came the Plattamat and on went the felt mat again. The whole picture had fuzzy edges again. The band sounded good, but not that good.  Off came the felt mat and on went the Plattamat.  There it was again!

Even I had to admit it was a huge difference. Everything that the Sole had done to the sound from the LP12 was improved upon. This topped it off wonderfully.

So few pounds for so much improvement.

That concludes the case, m'lud......


Steve:  Yorkshire dales.

 

Frankly I'm astonished. My turntable, (Manticore Mantra) seemed pretty good but the difference was immediately noticeable.  The sound is smoother and the slight hard edge has disappeared. Bass seems more controlled and extended, treble sparkles and distortion is much reduced. The sound is very seductive and you feel you could go on listening for hours.

Everything has just snapped into place. I am now relistening to some of my  favouriute  LP's with a sense of mounting excitement. Well done on an excellent product !

Russell:  St. Albans.

 

 

Hi John,

After our wee chat last night regarding my Sole I went off to do some serious listening with the Plattamat fitted to my LP12. Like lots of hi-fi components, the sound could just be referred to as 'different'.  But NO, it's not really different at all!   After much exchanging with my Linn felt mat I can be really positive about the Plattamat. The interface between the vinyl and the platter is obviously very important and with the Plattamat fitted everything was sharper, faster and more detailed. The focus was more accurate and the sound just came alive. (something I would expect too when I fit the Sole; when will this search for hi-fi Nirvana ever end??) Cheers!

Gordon: Fife.

  

 

Hi John,The Plattamat arrived a week ago - thank you. I have taken time to trial it both in quick A B comparisons with other mats I've been using recently and also some extended sessions listening to several favourite albums in succession. My system comprises LP12, Lingo, Ekos, Denon DL304 into Naim NAC82, NAP250 and SBL's. The other mats are a new Linn felt and a 2mm Herbie Way Excellent ISo far I'm finding the Plattamat to be generally the more pleasing overall. The Herbie can be exciting with suitable material, but does tend to emphasize sibilance and can sound a little splashy at times. It would probably work better with amps more laid back than my Naim's?


The Linn mat always sounds very familiar - I've been using one for a long time! However, by comparison to the Plattamat (and Herbie), vocals are a little smeared and things sounds smaller.

In terms of value for money and performance the Plattamat is excellent. It fits perfectly on the LP12 platter and looks good. It's also wonderful to be able to lift LP's off the platter without a felt mat attached!

Thanks again and kind regards.


Ian S.   New South Wales, Australia.