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Lingo 4, Ekos 2 or Kore?
2018-07-26, 11:52 (This post was last modified: 2018-07-26 11:54 by indukta.)
Post: #1
Lingo 4, Ekos 2 or Kore?
Hello, I consider myself fortunate in owning an LP12. Typically the upgrade bug has been working its magic, so I'm looking to formulate a list and prioritise it. Currently my LP12 consists of;
  • Cirkus bearing and chassis
  • Akito Mk1 (rewired and new bearing by Audio Origami prior to my ownership)
  • Hercules PSU
  • K9 cartridge (upgraded with a 95P Paratrace)

(No Trampolin, but I have a good quality / rigid wall shelf)

I'm unlikely to have the budget to go Radikal in a single move, and after reading lots on here and other forums I have come up with an initial short list. However, I have not been able to order it in terms of priority (well not so that the order has stayed the same for more than 5 minutes!!), so thought I'd post and see what thoughts are out there. here's my current shortlist;
  • Lingo 4 (with the speed control and 12V AC motor it seems like a good step toward Radikal and adds an external PSU along with replacing the original early 80's motor)
  • Ekos 2 (just as a step up from the early Akito)
  • Kore (Keel is a bit too far for me, so thought this could be a sensible compromise?)

All (except the Kore, which might leave change to look at the cartridge!) are about the same cost, and I have enough to do one initially.

Please feel free to let me know your thoughts / reasoning, and of course if I've got it all wrong (or missed something obvious from my list entirely) then equally feel free to go outside the box!!
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2018-07-26, 12:25
Post: #2
RE: Lingo 4, Ekos 2 or Kore?

following the principle of hierarchy, power supply, subchassis, arm.

So Lingo 4 first, then Kore.

When it comes to EKOS2 that could almost be same cost as traded L4 to Radikal (esp. pre-loved Radikal/a).

But you'll probably want to be changing that Akito.


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2018-07-26, 12:26
Post: #3
RE: Lingo 4, Ekos 2 or Kore?
If those were my choices, I'd purchase the Lingo 4 power supply. It will provide more musical improvement, than the Ekos II or Kore.


Sondek built by Thomas at Overture Audio; with Chris Harban Movingui plinth, Cirkus, Keel, Khan, Radikal(D), Urika, Ekos SE, Kandid, and NOKTable stand.
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2018-07-26, 12:36 (This post was last modified: 2018-07-26 12:37 by indukta.)
Post: #4
RE: Lingo 4, Ekos 2 or Kore?
Thanks J, I had the Lingo 4 first on my list as the biggest likely gain, but then an Ekos early next year - so interesting you opted Kore first (the reality is I will be able to afford a Kore before a good used Ekos quicker so it's better in that respect too!!).

Although it doesn't have the DC motor I believe the Lingo 4 should be a huge step on from the Hercules, it would be interesting to know how close it actually gets to the Radikal given it has the constant speed feedback over earlier Lingo generations. From a number of sources there seems to be a difference in the noise floor, presumedly from the AC vs DC motor, but aside from that I wonder what else is different in experience / listening terms?

Anyway, as I said - Lingo 4 should make a big difference over the Hercules, and maybe I can dispense with hand assisting the start too?!

Another vote for Lingo 4 - I think we have an early winner for the top spot at least!
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2018-07-26, 13:18
Post: #5
RE: Lingo 4, Ekos 2 or Kore?
I had a rebuild done from Hercules to Kore/Lingo 3, two weeks before Lingo 4 was announced, I was then lucky to be able to go to Lingo 4.
I would say 3 to 4 was the same as Hercules to Kore/3.
Therefore my vote is for Lingo 4
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2018-07-26, 13:38
Post: #6
RE: Lingo 4, Ekos 2 or Kore?
Hercules to Lingo 4 should be a real step up then! Out of interest in what regards did you see the improvement -musically, detail, timing, noise floor, etc., etc.?

I'm a little guarded against the potential to sacrifice enjoyment for perfect reproduction. I have a DSM so I don't want the LP12 to gravitate towards the digital too far, as for me putting on vinyl is all about getting the foot tapping!!

I know that purest would likely argue that regardless of the source the sound should ultimately be the same (aka as it was recorded - be that good or bad). However, I'm sure we all have albums that weren't recorded all that well - but just like the tunes they have on them. If things are taken too far I'm just worried it could wring the fun out of listening to all but a few select records??

For example; I have read of instances in the past where people have reverted to older bearings as they have found the Cirkus upgrade provided lots of detail, but at the expense of sounding too 'cd like'...
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2018-07-26, 13:44 (This post was last modified: 2018-07-26 13:45 by Antonew.)
Post: #7
RE: Lingo 4, Ekos 2 or Kore?
I have quite the same configuration .I'd advice you the same as I've been thinking on mine:

Twice in a row ,cheaper serviced older Lingo + Kore ( should you find it used the better).


*A good cart

Replace Lingo with Radikal

Replace Kore with Keel

*A better cart or the good one should you have postponed the purchase at that stage
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2018-07-26, 17:07
Post: #8
RE: Lingo 4, Ekos 2 or Kore?
My first thought would have been to go with JDEC. So in your list the order should be:

Lingo 4
Ekos 2

But as he hinted you would be better off to put the Ekos 2 money towards a Radikal, which I won't hint - I'll just state it blatantly. In addition I'll go ahead and say you would be better to take the Kore money and get the Radikal as it again will make the bigger musical improvement. While the Lingo 4 is a pretty big upgrade over the Lingo 2/3, the Radikal is bigger yet and more fundamental than the subchasssis and arm. I have a couple of customers who have Majik LP12s where they have been upgraded to Radikal keeping all else the same and they are very happy. I even have one customer with the Radikal with Cirkus subchassis, Basik LV-X arm and AT95e and he is still thrilled with it several years later.

But then there is the thought from Andrew to get an older Lingo 2 or 3 and upgrade that to Radikal when funds allow. This makes sense especially if you see the possibility of getting a Radikal before too awfully long. You trade off not getting the better perfromance right away of the Lingo 4 vs. getting closer to what you pay for a used Lingo 2 or 3 when you sell it and possibly being able to afford the Radikal sooner. I think you see where our thoughts are all trending!

Now there is a case or two where I might place the Ekos 2 before the Kore. One is that the Ekos 2, being no longer made yet still highly desirable, isn't always available in good condition and from a trusted source. So this might be where it is prudent to take advantage of a good opportunity when it arises. This would especially be the case if your long term goal is the Keel and you are OK with skipping the Kore as an intermediate step. The Keel doesn't work as well with an Akito (unless you are comfortable giving up your cueing device) so having the Ekos 2 gets you all ready for the Keel. And it will work great with the Kore too.

Lastly, I would add the Trampolin 2 to the list wherever it fits financially. Wall shelf or not, unless you have a Mana shelf or rack, the Trampolin 2 is easily a worthwhile improvement and relatively inexpensive.

By the way, my experience is that the better the LP12 gets the better records that you didn't like sound because each real improvement gets you closer to the music. Just a year ago I started playing a record that I only ever liked the first track on as a demo and when the second track came on one of the people listening commented on how good it was. I started paying attention and found he was right and we ended up listening to the whole side because it was all great. This is what any true upgrade should do. Certainly there are any number of things you can do to an LP12 to mess up the sound (see the 100 Ways to Mess up an LP12 thread) and some of them do make it more clinical sounding. But anything we have talked about here will just let you hear more of what the musicians intended and have you pulling out old records to hear what wonders they actually hold.

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2018-07-26, 19:53
Post: #9
RE: Lingo 4, Ekos 2 or Kore?
Just when I thought my list was forming nicely!!

Firstly thank you for the response and explanations, it really does help the debate I'm having with myself right now. Lot's in the replies to weigh up. It is also very reassuring to hear that my digital concerns are not founded with what is on my current list, although I will check the thread that's been mentioned out for interest, and to help guard against any future 'good ideas' I may have...

I suppose the idea (in part) behind going Lingo 4 was that I'm in a position where I can commit that level of expenditure within the next few weeks. If I were to put the Ekos and Kore funds towards a Radikal it will be another 12 to 18 months before I can do anything. That's not to say I shouldn't wait and that is the best plan, but I'll need to fight the upgrade bug head on if that's what I do!!

The idea of an earlier Lingo as a way of upgrading now, but losing very little (hopefully) when I can afford to go Radikal is a very interesting idea, and one I'm going to seriously ponder. Especially if a 2 or 3 (same electronics in different cases I think I remember reading?) is still going to be a significant positive change in the musicality of my LP12 over the current Hercules onboard power supply setup.

The Ekos (good point well made on the need to make sure it's a good one - from what I have been reading this afternoon I should focus on condition / history, rather than whether it's a Mk1 or Mk2 if I do go buying one at any point?) was there more to guard against moving everything past the capabilities of my Mk1 Akito. That said, I suppose the K9 with the 95P will be struggling to match the capabilities of an Ekos if I were to get one. This is why I need a list, and to stick to it unless there is a good reason not to - as otherwise I just end up with a shopping list that totals way beyond what I have to spend right now!

So, conclusion thus far is that it is power supply first - I'm making progress at least!!
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2018-07-27, 02:49 (This post was last modified: 2018-07-27 02:50 by vicdiaz.)
Post: #10
RE: Lingo 4, Ekos 2 or Kore?
(2018-07-26 12:36)indukta Wrote:  Although it doesn't have the DC motor I believe the Lingo 4 should be a huge step on from the Hercules...

Hi, Lingo 4 DOES have a DC motor (12v).

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