The Vinyl Passion VP-12
What Started with a simple upgrade over 30 years ago slowly developed into the genesis of a totally new turntable.The VP-12 has been created with a lifetime’s work invested in developing the best components, made from the finest materials available, bringing forth a product that can challenge any turntable at any price for absolute musicality. Available direct to the customer at a fair price, keeping the famous musicality of the LP-12 intact. But every measurable aspect of the engineering is improved, focusing on what really made this proven design sound even better.
The Linn Sondek LP12 is the turntable of choice for many audiophiles. After 40 years of production, it is still going strong and is our speciality. While the basic LP12 is a great turntable, the improvements that can be gained via Vinyl Passion modifications have to be heard to be believed. They are all highly engineered solutions, designed and developed by ourselves. We use these components in our custom builds and, of course, the upgrade service that we provide.
Turntables by Vinyl Passion
The upgrades and parts that I have designed are a result of many years of research and development. I have striven for the perfect sonic solution in each case and only when I am proud to put my name to it will it be released as a product for sale. I have been working with LP12 turntables for the past 30 years. I am passionate about the sound that they produce, but still find myself amazed at what is sonically possible with carefully chosen upgrades and setup.
It all started with the Vinyl Passion VP-1 Carbon acrylic arm board. Unhappy with the standard fitment MDF arm board we set out to find a better solution.Trying many materials out, engineering polymers have long been recognised for their excellent mechanical properties in stiffness and dimensional stability. They are cost effective to machine and far superior to the original MDF unit that negated much of the quality of any tone arm fitted to it. Just the VP-1 Arm board alone was a surprising leap forward in audio reproduction and bass control but this was no real surprise. The first unit was made for myself and friends some 30 years ago and we first made this for sale as a DIY Upgrade through our eBay shop over 10 years ago after several customers visiting our premises to pick custom cables up had listened to our LP-12. Most remarked on the quality of sound, when I explained the mods we began to get requests for it as a product having finished most of my in depth research regarding our cable range. This again fuelled my desire to look at the LP-12 in far more detail and with the added knowledge I had gained over the previous 20 years in the audio industry we set about looking at every aspect of the LP-12 with much appreciated input from DR Andrew Tavernor, a passionate practical physicist, lecturer, audiophile and friend. After 7 years we finalised the project which we called Unity as each Vinyl Passion component had been designed to work in harmony with each other to get the maximum electromotive energy into the cartridge without being absorbed or excited by unwanted resonance. This lead to the redesign of every component of the LP-12 except the main bearing, the very heart of the LP-12 and a simplistic masterpiece of engineering in its own right. The first VP-1 arm board is sadly now widely copied, however we have always regarded ourselves as innovators and not imitators.
The success of the VP-1 was soon followed by the Unity Sub-Chassis. Made from aerospace grade alloy and designed with a Cad program to optimise the cross section to be inert at audio frequency making the perfect platform to retrieve the most information from the record groove. This has gone on to be one of the most popular LP-12 upgrades world-wide. The research that went into the aerospace alloy for the chassis was then applied to the arm board resulting in the superb VP-2 arm board.
Regardless of cost, Unity upgrades are the best there are for your LP-12. Why ?
Made from 7075 T6 aerospace alloy material, the strongest you will find In any turntable is a 5mm thick bearing seat. The thickest you will find on any chassis designed for the Linn & almost twice as thick as the Linn Keel, our design also uses a 316 stainless steel top clamp for the bearing to make the bond even stronger. This creates the strongest bond possible, more so than any other product between the bearing housing and the chassis.
The interchangeable arm boards are torque bolted to the sub chassis and are 20mm thick at this point, making it stronger than any other sub chassis even if of a one piece design. The added advantage of interchangeable arm boards allows more economical future upgrades if required.
The Vinyl Passion Blue Spring has a special epoxy based anti-harmonic coating developed for the aviation industry to increase lifespan in components subjected to vibration. This not only improves the mechanical isolation and reduces ringing at audio frequency it also increases life significantly making the Blue Springs last a lifetime.
Don’t take our word for it, see what customers and reviewers have to say. VP Upgrades will not be pushed by main agents or get rave reviews from mainstream dealers as it simply offers very little trade margin, unlike alternatives, and buying direct from the manufacturer gives you, the customer, the best product at a fair price. Or simply book a demo & hear it for yourself. Despite the ever-increasing polarity of the Full Unity TWO upgrade we have long felt that very much more was achievable.First on the list was a plinth engineered to our exacting tolerances from the finest hardwoods. The Vinyl Passion plinth is hand made in Olerton, nestled in the heart of Nottingham's Sherwood Forest, a fitting location in the UK for what is sure to be one of the finest pieces of bespoke craftsmanship available. Every plinth can be made to each customer’s bespoke specification by our specialist craftsman Neil, with a love for wood and also a gifted musician. This unique combination has led to a plinth which we believe provides a unique energy absorbing action on the top plate with aesthetic beauty to match. Our new blue springs can accommodate a wide variety of platter and tone arm weights but the weak link has always been the standard top plate… Enter The Orpheus Top Plate. Made from a much stiffer grade of stainless steel, 33% thicker, it transforms the stability of the crucial plinth to suspension interface. Look at any LP-12 that has been in service for some time and you will see a sag in the top plate near the arm board. In an attempt to address this we decided to install a support pillar linked to a custom carbon acrylic base board - the Foundation. After much research and listening tests, we discovered that a particular bushed carbon fibre arrangement not only provided support but actually significantly reduced top plate vibration and resonance. The Apollo Carbon Fibre energy drain was born and the results can only be described as spectacular. Music is more focused, impulse response is much improved and the sound is the most realistic reproduction we have ever heard from any LP-12 type turntable. Finally our attention was drawn to the platter drive system. Our Revolution power supplies produce a pure sine wave AC drive for the motor, unlike the heavily distorted waveform produced by many units on the market.
VP-1 Carbon Acrylic Armboard
Unity Aerosapace Subchassis
VP-2 Armboard VP-1 Armboard
VP Orpheus Top Plate Fitted to VP Wallnut plinth
Vinyl Passion Orpheus Top Plate
Vinyl Passion Master Craftsman Plinth
Got the Blues ?
VP Foundation High Mass Baseboard
Each Unity component is carefully inspected for perfection & hand assembled in our workshop then set to exact torque settings ensuring perfect performance every time.
Appolo energy Drain
The Standard AC Motor Fitted to the LP-12/VP-12 is very quiet and very accurate, although we see many claims from different manufactures we have yet to measure any belt drive turntable with lower wow/flutter regardless of motor used. The main concern with the standard Airpax motor is to make it run as quietly as possible and to be presenting it with a good sine wave on both phases, making sure the voltage is the same on both phases and as low as is practically possible to allow reasonable start-up. We supply the very economical Wave Single speed supply and also standard and modified versions of the Hercules to get the very best from the motor. The supply quality is easily checked by using a stethoscope on the top plate while the turntable is running, it should be virtually inaudible. The other issue having 24 poles is to reduce the cogging motion that is passed to the platter. This can be achieved by using a softer formula of polymer and precision grinding it. We have reduced the thickness of our belts from 1.0mm to only 0.7mm, this allows the belt to soak up much more of the 24 pole vibration and allows the flywheel effect of the 2.5 kilo platter to keep things even smoother and will give as good if not better results than any DC motor while remaining silent. This is simply a fact! We developed our iso-belt along with the blue springs and Apollo energy drain to get the very best from the standard motor. They are, as with all our upgrades, very reasonably priced and this is often why they can be overlooked.