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Linn Forums / Linn Music Systems & Hi-fi Separates / Turntables & Record Players: Linn Sondek LP12 / 3rd Party Modifications and Parts v / Tiger Paw Tranquility

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Tiger Paw Tranquility
2017-01-21, 17:38 (This post was last modified: 2017-01-21 17:40 by matthias.)
Post: #21
RE: Tiger Paw Tranquility
(2017-01-21 17:24)John G Wrote:  So you still have the top plate sitting between the two magnetic plates. The magnetic plates appear to be larger than the hole in the top plate so I'm not sure how the top plate reacts to the magnetic force.

no the lower assembly is sitting above the top plate. I think the last posts of Roger and Mark on PFM made it pretty clear.


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2017-01-21, 17:40
Post: #22
RE: Tiger Paw Tranquility
(2017-01-21 16:57)Dr_Eddie Wrote:  OK guys, I have one fitted to my deck and I will be posting a very long and detailed review of this unit. It has literally changed the landscape here. Be patient I am still writing up the document itself.
Hi dr Eddie
Nice to have you back ! Where have you been ? Hope you are well Cool
Looking forward to your review as they are always a great read and normally force me to get my wallet out !
Kind regards
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2017-01-21, 17:55
Post: #23
RE: Tiger Paw Tranquility
Hi to everyone here on the Linn Forums, I have not posted on here for some time, simply because in my world my hifi system and music have been at a level where I had lost the will to change the equipment and upgrade to anything better. My expectations were being satisfied on all levels and listening and enjoying my vast collection of records has been my prime motivation. I have not been browsing the forums much at all of late…………………………………………….shame on me.

Then, of course, fate stepped in and dealt me a blow that has turned out to be a stroke of good fortune. The first event was that my Dynavector XV-1T died quite suddenly losing the RH channel. Unfortunately for me, I was hosting a Kabin social gathering with a party of friends, made here on the forums, a few days later, and getting the deck fixed became somewhat urgent. Once the car was packed, it meant a trip up to Leicester to let the Fixit Man wave his magic wand over the invalid. And so a few hours later I was the proud owner of a brand new shiny Linn Kandid cartridge.

I’d already decided that if anything befell my XV then having heard the Kandid before at Hotel St. I was going to be more than happy with the results. The Captain still set up a demo though.
This was actually one of those rare upgrades that for me meant a frenzied re visit to my all my much beloved albums to hear the way the Kandid, Ekos-Se, and Urika synergise together. A heady mix, as it is truly an optimised array of components as I had expected, but sounding more than the sum of the parts , so the jaw on the floor factor was pretty much off the scale.
My system had never sounded better, so what need did I have to change anything ?
None, whatsoever , and Alison, my partner was emphatic in her belief that it couldn’t possibly get any better. In her mind it was as good as it gets…………………………
My undying gratitude must got to Linn and DW for getting all this so darn right.
The Kabin Social went well thank god……….. more of that later.

Then, I got a call from my dear friend Roger…………He is for the benefit of those who don’t know, the man behind Tiger-Paw the company that makes tuning enhancements for the Linn LP12. A lot of people might make the mistake of assuming that Roger thinks the LP12 is thus deficient in some way. Actually, the opposite is true, there is no more an ardent admirer of the dear old fruit box, than our man. He is a true blue Linnie right down to his socks. He is also an incredibly clever and interesting personality. Thoroughly an English gentleman first, a trip to his house is rather overwhelming. In the hall, lies an old knocked about pair of DMS Isobarik speaker orphans awaiting a full refurbishment.He is still, in this modern age, of the opinion that the Brik remains one of a mere handful of speaker designs that can fully recreate the drive and impact of an electric bass guitar. There is a huge scale model of some ancient Biplane hanging from the rafters, which looks capable of sustained aerobatic flight and frightening grannies…………..and helicopters everywhere, some tiny, some huge. He is one of those rare persons that used to abound in London in a bygone age. A vivacious character, larger than life, but so easy to get on with.

In the lounge is his much beloved Linn system, which one day, no doubt, will be once again driving Briks, when the time is right. I was lucky enough to get his PMS Black Ash Briks when his dear wife decided she’d like her living room back, every cloud has a silver lining for sure, but I digress.

Roger’s mind is constantly looking for ideas to try out on his LP12 in order to find out what makes it tick. The modular construction makes for an ideas factory. What he usually comes up with is a way to make it rock, he would make a superb musician, if he ever found time to learn an instrument. With a background of engineering in the world of F1 he is the first person to acknowledge the quality that Linn strive for when making all their products. Nearly every TP product starts out as a “what if” idea in Roger’s mind, an experiment will then usually follow.

That idea will be chewed on for some time while he refines it in his mind, then he’ll try to make a prototype or roughed out piece and this is then refined in the flesh until it reaches a stage where he will put it on his own deck and try it out. If it fails abysmally then it will be put to one side until any other ideas about why it hasn’t worked are tried out. Change the material, listen again, and so on. If a product has any musically valid merit it might go through 12 – 15 iterations before it is ready to sell. Bottom line, is, it HAS to work in Roger’s system and his wife has to be able to confirm that she thinks it is better too. She, herself , is a musician and does not pull her punches. At that stage thought is then given to how it will be made and finished. So this is a very long drawn out process. TP products have a very long gestation period, and Roger has many, many sleepless nights, I imagine

So, you know I am a friend, actually a very close friend, but for the purposes of this review I am going to simply state the facts as I and my Alison heard them. The question I had to ask myself was would I buy this unit after hearing it on my own LP12?

With all that in mind, I am now going to review his latest brain child, It is called Tranquillity………..

What does it do? The unit itself consists of 2 machined disks of alloy about 3 inches in diameter. Each disk contains an array of small powerful neodymium magnets with a very powerful localised field. One has a plastic collar that slips over the main bearing housing. An engrooved O ring retains this on the housing. The magnetic disc is about 5 mm proud of the top plate when fully home. The other disc sits on the subplatter spindle boss, also retained by an embedded O ring.

It takes barely 5 minutes to fit or remove and does not mark or modify the deck in any other way. Once fitted however the two discs come into close proximity when the sub-platter and outer-platter are refitted. The two discs repel each other and remove 90% of the weight of the two units ( approx. 9 kg I believe, ) bearing down on the centre spindle contact point on the thrust plate.

Roger has studied the engineering of the Linn bearing in some detail and in his opinion, it is already the finest unit that is possible for anyone to make, so making a better bearing was not feasible, but as any engineer will tell you, lightening the load on any bearing will help it run smoother and quieter, and as this bearing is the heart of the Sondek, one can expect this to make a difference. This is, quite simply, what the TP Tranquillity sets out to do.

I first learned about this new idea from Roger about 2 years ago, and instinctively I knew this was going to be a “good thing”

In my own mind I had expectations of what the effects of relieving the bearing load would do.

1. The bearing would run smoother.
2. It would produce less noise, ie. Rumble as a by product.
3. The oil film at the point of contact would become thicker.
4. There would be less drag from the bearing.
5. The motor would need less torque to maintain constant speed.
6. The motor would run smoother and last longer too
7. The bearing would last longer.
8. The drive belt would probably have an easier life too.
9. There would, in all probability, be audible improvements to reproduction, since this is the true source component in the replay chain.
10. It will improve any generation of Sondek right back to the early big red neon switch pre-Nirvana models.

So, when Roger phoned and asked if I was interested in hearing his new baby, I was like the proverbial pig, in you know what.
A cup of tea welcomed him, and before long the system was fired up and playing a Richard and Linda Thompson album as he has recently discovered what an absolute treasure trove of R.Thompson et al, lies in Island records vaults waiting to be plundered.

We listened to the first two tracks side one of Shoot Out The Lights. Richard sings the first song and Linda the ballad which follows. It was good , not a lot of room for improvement really in my mind. Then the unit was installed and we listened again as the needle dropped.

Well………………..there are those very rare moments in this hobby of our when something causes a seismic change in the landscape that it astounds, surprises, and literally takes one’s breath away. It was what I call a “Bloody Nora” moment.
Huge, isn’t the word. I can’t even begin to describe the adrenalin rush that went through me. The last time I experienced anything like this was hearing my 6 pack Active Isobarik system for the first time, and yet , here I was again, but this time the jump was enormous. Far more than you’d expect. This humble disc sounded like it was a Sheffield Lab direct cut. This isn’t veils being removed, no, its knocking walls down………………..9 inch party walls………..with cavity insulation.

Roger was quite happy to leave at that point satisfied that the unit did what it said on the tin and all was well. Despite my reaction I knew the acid test would come later after dinner when Alison and I would settle in the lounge and listen to some records.

Alison does not like doing a/b’s its all so much b/s for her, so it would be a cold appraisal and she is brutally honest. If she can’t hear a difference, she will say so. No airs and graces. If it got past her, believe me it will be a big change, easily heard. If you must know, she has clinically perfect hearing too……………. Unlike me, I might add.

So what was her verdict you say ?. This time she said nowt………..zilch, zero,
She just looked at me and a big smile went right across her face.
So, you can take that as a big yes.

Roger Rocks……………..more about my thoughts in the next instalment, because this unit begs a very big question, and I feel compelled to find an answer.

I was expecting an improvement for sure, but just not on this scale and I want to find out why. The answer I think lies with an experience I had many years ago in the recording studio. If you can be patient I will post about this in a follow up, but rest assured you WILL want one of these. For what it does bang for buck it must be the best value for money upgrade I have ever , or likely to ever hear again.

Get one and see.

Classic Linn/Naim Six Pack Active Brik System.
Turbocharger driven by a Peter Swain Signature LP12 Music Power Station
TP Tranquillity Rocks

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2017-01-21, 18:33 (This post was last modified: 2017-01-21 18:34 by moog_man.)
Post: #24
RE: Tiger Paw Tranquility
^^ Big thanks are due to Dr_Eddie for his generous insights to the Tranquility (I keep wanting to call it The Tranquilator; moving on...)
One of the things I admire most about Tiger Paw is that their products appear unassuming and discreet (thinking sKale here) yet make genuine improvements to our favourite hobby. And, at an accessible price point.
I look forward to trying one out soon.

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2017-01-21, 19:07
Post: #25
RE: Tiger Paw Tranquility
It's worth noting that YNWaN (designer of the RubiKon) had a big part in the Tranquility. It was his original mag-lev ideas that caught Rogers imagination.

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2017-01-21, 19:09
Post: #26
RE: Tiger Paw Tranquility
I wonder what Linn will make of all this?

Certainly sounds good in theory.
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2017-01-21, 19:19
Post: #27
RE: Tiger Paw Tranquility
Well that was quite a post Eddie, and thank you very much for your kind words. Obviously I'm pleased you like it, and thought you might have some fun later in the evening with some more albums:-) Just for the record, I used to supply several teams with a very specialist motor that was used to drive system pumps but that was the (limited) extent of my F1 involvement, although it did make sundays a bit more nerve wracking!!

But yes, you are right, I think the LP12 is a wonderful player. I have to also admit that it is generally a pleasure to deal with the owners and many of the dealers, perhaps because everyone has a shared interest in music reproduction and it's always exciting when you take it up a notch regardless of where you are on the LP12 on the LP12 ladder. I remember when I got my first Troika and thinking I wish I could keep that feeling of discovering my records again for ever and hoping that I didn't get used to it!

Anyway, glad you like it, it was interesting for me to hear it once again in the context of a different system.
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2017-01-21, 19:21 (This post was last modified: 2017-01-21 19:23 by Dr_Eddie.)
Post: #28
RE: Tiger Paw Tranquility
I'm sure Roger has acknowledged Mark's work in the overview of Tranquillity on his website.
Having said that getting it all to work in the package size dictated by the dimensions of the deck has been extremely difficult. I , for one , would love to see DW's face if he ever gets one to play with.........that is.
Not just theory anymore. I will try to explain what I think is going on and it involves dynamic range and how human hearing interprets it.

Classic Linn/Naim Six Pack Active Brik System.
Turbocharger driven by a Peter Swain Signature LP12 Music Power Station
TP Tranquillity Rocks

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2017-01-21, 19:25
Post: #29
RE: Tiger Paw Tranquility
(2017-01-21 19:07)flatpopely Wrote:  It's worth noting that YNWaN (designer of the RubiKon) had a big part in the Tranquility. It was his original mag-lev ideas that caught Rogers imagination.

Very much so, when I was originally looking at magnetic bearings I came across an interesting article he had written and his experience and development was instrumental in developing the Tranquility product.
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2017-01-21, 19:35 (This post was last modified: 2017-01-21 19:46 by John G.)
Post: #30
RE: Tiger Paw Tranquility
Read somewhere that the pressure of the bearing is two and a half tons per square inch so if this mod reduces that pressure by 90 percent it's then down to one quarter ton per square inch!

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