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1978 LP12/ FR12 Tonearm?
2018-07-02, 06:28
Post: #1
1978 LP12/ FR12 Tonearm?
I am building a second system comprising of Naim 102/180 and have been offered a 1978 'Red Button' LP12 with original Fidelity Research FR12 tonearm for not very much money.

I have always wanted to try a pre Cirkus LP12 but do not know very much about the FR12 arm a quick google shows it was built especially for Linn and was a variant of the longer more expensive FR14.

I already own a Cirkus'd LP12 with an Ittok and Lingo 1 so I fully understand the perils of buying a deck of this age but am going to view it and listen to it before I buy.

So I would be very grateful for a few pointers and what to look for buying a deck of this age are there any tell tale signs of serious problems that are apparent by looking at and listening to the deck.

Thank you.

LP12/Ittock/Lingo Mk1 Dynavector 20x2L Naim 282/300/Dual Teddycap/ Dynaudio Contour s3.4/ Liv Zen/Chord 2Qute. Naim 102/180.
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2018-07-02, 08:40
Post: #2
RE: 1978 LP12/ FR12 Tonearm?
(2018-07-02 06:28)Natara Wrote:  I am building a second system comprising of Naim 102/180 and have been offered a 1978 'Red Button' LP12 with original Fidelity Research FR12 tonearm for not very much money.

I have always wanted to try a pre Cirkus LP12 but do not know very much about the FR12 arm a quick google shows it was built especially for Linn and was a variant of the longer more expensive FR14.

I already own a Cirkus'd LP12 with an Ittok and Lingo 1 so I fully understand the perils of buying a deck of this age but am going to view it and listen to it before I buy.

So I would be very grateful for a few pointers and what to look for buying a deck of this age are there any tell tale signs of serious problems that are apparent by looking at and listening to the deck.

Thank you.

Hiya! The biggest worry would be whether the mitres of the plinth are falling apart. Construction and set-up of the LP12 was nowhere near as critical then as it has become, so you're unlikely to have too many problems. There is nothing to the old decks. Simple devices.

Loricraft Garrard 401/Collinson/12"Bokrand-Ortofon/EMT TSD15 VdH.
LP12 Wakonda/Black Ittok/Metak,
'75 Red Button LP12/Grace G707/Supex900Super.
'73 Red Rocker LP12/SME3009/Shure V15/II.
'73 Twin-Button LP12/Grace G707/Supex900Super.
'71 Castle Ariston RD11/SME3009/Ortofon MC10.
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2018-07-02, 09:14
Post: #3
RE: 1978 LP12/ FR12 Tonearm?
+1 and check the bearing to make sure it hasn't been run without oil.
Bearing should be nice and smooth with no flat or rough spots.
Springs should have nice piston bounce, not out of alignment from improper care.
Good luck!Smile

Original 1978 Fluted Afromosia LP12, Ekos 2, Lyra Kleos SL and lots of other stuff from the 70's that still work fine.
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2018-07-04, 06:35
Post: #4
RE: 1978 LP12/ FR12 Tonearm?
Thanks for your replies and tips I'm going to have a look at the deck on Saturday before the quarter finals so hopefully a great Saturday.

LP12/Ittock/Lingo Mk1 Dynavector 20x2L Naim 282/300/Dual Teddycap/ Dynaudio Contour s3.4/ Liv Zen/Chord 2Qute. Naim 102/180.
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2018-07-05, 17:06
Post: #5
RE: 1978 LP12/ FR12 Tonearm?
As mentioned the biggest concerns are the plinth and the main bearing. Take a look at the plinth to see if the corner miters are splitting and try to see if the plinth is pretty level. The best way to check is to take the feet off (and if there are screws in the center holding on the baseboard take them off too) and place the table on a flat surface to see if it is flat. Since they may not want you to do that you can check to see that all four feet sit on the surface it is on with no rocking.

Then remove the outer platter and belt and give the inner platter a little spin. If it comes to a stop very gradually with no sign of the bearing grabbing you are probably fine. The motors on LP12s almost never actually go bad and the "power supply" on that type of table only consists of a couple resistors and capacitors and failure is pretty uncommon and easy to fix.

I wouldn't be overly worried about the suspension bounce as you really want to have the turntable gone over and setup properly by somebody who knows what they are doing. At that time they are likely to replace the springs and grommets with new ones anyway and the cost of them is pretty minimal.

I don't have any recent experience with the FR12 arm but a good dealer could easily check that out for you. FR arms were very well built so it is unlikely to have problems if it hasn't been mishandled.

LP12SE Movingui • KRadikal • Kandid • Urika • Kremlin • LS-NAS • KRDS • Lejonklou Sagatun Monos & Tundra Mono 2As • JBL 3677s & 4645C Sub • NOKTable • Harmoni Mimer/Tor Racks
AV: Pioneer BDP51 BluRay • Akurate Kontrol • 2 LK280 SPARK • 4 Isobarik DMS • 2 DQ1W

www.nokturneaudio.com

Fine-tuning LP12s since 1978!
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2018-07-06, 06:36
Post: #6
RE: 1978 LP12/ FR12 Tonearm?
(2018-07-05 17:06)ThomasOK Wrote:  As mentioned the biggest concerns are the plinth and the main bearing. Take a look at the plinth to see if the corner miters are splitting and try to see if the plinth is pretty level. The best way to check is to take the feet off (and if there are screws in the center holding on the baseboard take them off too) and place the table on a flat surface to see if it is flat. Since they may not want you to do that you can check to see that all four feet sit on the surface it is on with no rocking.

Then remove the outer platter and belt and give the inner platter a little spin. If it comes to a stop very gradually with no sign of the bearing grabbing you are probably fine. The motors on LP12s almost never actually go bad and the "power supply" on that type of table only consists of a couple resistors and capacitors and failure is pretty uncommon and easy to fix.

I wouldn't be overly worried about the suspension bounce as you really want to have the turntable gone over and setup properly by somebody who knows what they are doing. At that time they are likely to replace the springs and grommets with new ones anyway and the cost of them is pretty minimal.

I don't have any recent experience with the FR12 arm but a good dealer could easily check that out for you. FR arms were very well built so it is unlikely to have problems if it hasn't been mishandled.
Thanks Thomas,
Really excellent advice with those tips I now feel a bit more confident and I'm lucky to have the lads down at Audio T in Brighton to look after me they have done a few bits and bob's to my existing deck.

I do have another question will my Dynavector 20x2 L be a good match for the FR12?
I'm actually really looking forward to hearing this old deck.

LP12/Ittock/Lingo Mk1 Dynavector 20x2L Naim 282/300/Dual Teddycap/ Dynaudio Contour s3.4/ Liv Zen/Chord 2Qute. Naim 102/180.
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2018-07-06, 19:59
Post: #7
RE: 1978 LP12/ FR12 Tonearm?
(2018-07-06 06:36)Natara Wrote:  
(2018-07-05 17:06)ThomasOK Wrote:  As mentioned the biggest concerns are the plinth and the main bearing. Take a look at the plinth to see if the corner miters are splitting and try to see if the plinth is pretty level. The best way to check is to take the feet off (and if there are screws in the center holding on the baseboard take them off too) and place the table on a flat surface to see if it is flat. Since they may not want you to do that you can check to see that all four feet sit on the surface it is on with no rocking.

Then remove the outer platter and belt and give the inner platter a little spin. If it comes to a stop very gradually with no sign of the bearing grabbing you are probably fine. The motors on LP12s almost never actually go bad and the "power supply" on that type of table only consists of a couple resistors and capacitors and failure is pretty uncommon and easy to fix.

I wouldn't be overly worried about the suspension bounce as you really want to have the turntable gone over and setup properly by somebody who knows what they are doing. At that time they are likely to replace the springs and grommets with new ones anyway and the cost of them is pretty minimal.

I don't have any recent experience with the FR12 arm but a good dealer could easily check that out for you. FR arms were very well built so it is unlikely to have problems if it hasn't been mishandled.
Thanks Thomas,
Really excellent advice with those tips I now feel a bit more confident and I'm lucky to have the lads down at Audio T in Brighton to look after me they have done a few bits and bob's to my existing deck.

I do have another question will my Dynavector 20x2 L be a good match for the FR12?
I'm actually really looking forward to hearing this old deck.

You should be quite fine with that combination. The FR12 has an effective mass of 12 grams, the DV20x2 has a mass of 9 grams and compliance of 12. according to the online calculators I've found that puts your resonance frequency pretty much at 10Hz, right in the 8Hz to 11Hz recommended range.

I tried to find the specs on the Ekos SE/1 and Kandid for comparison but Linn appears to not want to publish those specs any more. However, the original Ekos was 11.5 grams effective mass and the Kandid is 5.7 grams. If we assume the Kandid has a compliance of 12 (which every other cartridge Lyra makes has) and that the Ekos SE/1 has about the same effective mass as the Ekos then the resonance frequency ends up at 11. Pretty close to the FR12/DV20x2 combination.

LP12SE Movingui • KRadikal • Kandid • Urika • Kremlin • LS-NAS • KRDS • Lejonklou Sagatun Monos & Tundra Mono 2As • JBL 3677s & 4645C Sub • NOKTable • Harmoni Mimer/Tor Racks
AV: Pioneer BDP51 BluRay • Akurate Kontrol • 2 LK280 SPARK • 4 Isobarik DMS • 2 DQ1W

www.nokturneaudio.com

Fine-tuning LP12s since 1978!
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2018-07-06, 21:19
Post: #8
RE: 1978 LP12/ FR12 Tonearm?
Thanks again Thomas,
I'm actually really looking forward to hearing this combination myself and comparing it to my Cirkus bearing LP12 with Ittok/Dynavector 20x2L with the Lingo 1 PSU.
A recent experience with a Naim Olive 102/180 I bought against my existing 282/300 showed me that sometimes in hifi things can just sound different rather than better or worse.

LP12/Ittock/Lingo Mk1 Dynavector 20x2L Naim 282/300/Dual Teddycap/ Dynaudio Contour s3.4/ Liv Zen/Chord 2Qute. Naim 102/180.
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2018-07-07, 22:38
Post: #9
RE: 1978 LP12/ FR12 Tonearm?
Picked up the player today here are so photographs.
[img][Image: 42359460905_4b842058bb_z.jpg]
IMG_2154 by

[img][url=https://flic.kr/p/28V23zv][Image: 43263167991_14fd094bdd_k.jpg]
IMG_2153 copy by

[Image: 41453716680_068bb16eff_k.jpg]
IMG_2160 copy by

[url=https://flic.kr/p/27xah9n][Image: 42359454845_65189f324a_z.jpg]
IMG_2155 copy by [url=https://www.flickr.com/photos/141362658@N06/]

LP12/Ittock/Lingo Mk1 Dynavector 20x2L Naim 282/300/Dual Teddycap/ Dynaudio Contour s3.4/ Liv Zen/Chord 2Qute. Naim 102/180.
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2018-07-07, 23:02
Post: #10
RE: 1978 LP12/ FR12 Tonearm?
Congratulations on a classic combo...enjoy the music!Smile

Original 1978 Fluted Afromosia LP12, Ekos 2, Lyra Kleos SL and lots of other stuff from the 70's that still work fine.
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