How does the "Sole" account for itself against Linn's premier sub-chassis?

 Tubingen,  Germany on 06.08.2010 .

We had the opportunity to take part in a listening comparison between the two sub-chassis upgrades organized and conducted by Kanwar Nick Sathi at his premises, the Hifi Cornershop.

The comparison was a three part procedure where in each part we played the same 5 samples of music from the Rock, Classical, Folk and Jazz genres. At the same time recordings were made using a Sony Professional WM DC6.

Nick first demonstrated the LP12 standard Cirkus version and later swapped over the sub-chassis.  He then carried out the setting up and fine adjustments and had the player assembled and ready for further listening. His setting up skills are fluent and professional and had the change over and set up completed by approximately 30 minutes.

The second phase of the comparison was with the Sole sub-chassis.  This was attached to the latest pre-drilled Linn arm board version with three Allen bolts; as opposed to the three tiny wood screws that are used to fasten the Cirkus sub-chassis to the arm board.

It was clearly evident from the opening first beats of Elvis Costello's My Little Angel that the song was considerably more musical, especially the bass which was much more precise and deeper. With the Cirkus sub-chassis the bass sounded in comparison softer and undefined. This was especially evident with the jazz piece, Charlie Christian's Swing To Bop, you could make out the individual plucks on the contra bass.

With Wagner's Tannhäusers Overture the difference between the Sub-chassis's was again, from the very opening, obvious. The definition of the strings and trumpets were enormously more prominent with the Sole. It was suddenly immediately easier to pick out individual instruments and their place within the orchestra. Altogether the performance was very much more musical and the goose bumps were more prominent.

These improvements were again topped with the Keel during the third phase. However, the differences between the Sole and the Keel sub-chassis's were nowhere near as prominent as with the Cirkus and the Sole sub-chassis. We agreed that if this difference was expressed in terms of percentages then the Sole offers 80% of the same improvement that the Keel offers over the Cirkus sub-chassis. Considering the difference in cost between the two it wasn't difficult to decide which one to go for; we're definitely not prepared to pay10 times the increase in price for the Keel. Thank you, Nick for a revealing comparison.

Sauldorf, 08.08. Regina Dunz und Kai Bruder.

Post script.

1)   The fourth & fifth tracks used for the comparison were "The Nearness of You" sung by Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong., and Wahan Kaun Hai Tera by S.D. Burman.

2)  There is a more elaborate description of this comparison in the Forum Pink Fish Media. See: Standard sub-chassis v Sole v Keel.