Linn Products Limited, founded in 1972 by Ivor Tiefenbrun, is an independent precision instrument manufacturer specializing in high-quality audio reproduction systems. The company grew out of its founder’s belief in the vast possibilities of improving the sound quality of his own hi-fi system. At one time, Ivor noticed that his music center, which consisted of a turntable, amplifier and speakers, sounded worse than his father’s audio system with an old serial player, which his friend modified. He decided to get to the bottom of the truth and discovered that the record contains a huge amount of sound information, but only part of it reaches the listener. The discovery amazed him. The young Scot didn’t know much about turntables, but he was a good engineer. And the result of curiosity, perseverance and design talent was the creation of the revolutionary Linn Sondek LP12 vinyl turntable – the company’s first product.
To this day, this turntable is the standard with which everything that came after it is compared. From the Sondek player to the present day, Linn has been committed to the ideology that the truth in music reproduction is directly dependent on the quality of the signal source. The Sondek LP12 was released at a time when amplifiers and speakers were considered the foundation of good sound. This player demonstrated that getting more information out of a vinyl disc was critical. Because information not read from the media is lost forever. At the heart of the device is a patented single-point low-noise bearing from Linn. Its simple and carefully thought-out design ensures smooth and silent rotation. The turntable’s heavy, perfectly balanced, belt-driven platter ensures stable rotation speeds, while the solid wood plinth and independent suspension completely neutralize vibrations. The combination of these precision-engineered components results in a turntable that accurately reproduces vinyl records. To obtain the highest possible sound reproduction quality, the user can choose from a range of accompanying tonearms and cartridges.
The Linn Sondek LP12 turntable is available in several fine wood finishes. Standard finishes include black ash, American cherry, maple and walnut. Custom finishing to order is also possible. Linn manufactures a complete line of products including turntables in all commercially available formats, home theater processors, preamps, amplifiers and speakers. Another direction for the company was the creation of a music system for Aston Martin cars. The company currently produces about one hundred models of home cinema components, multi-zone audio, High End stereo, as well as vinyl players and accessories. All Linn components are hand-assembled at our Glasgow factory. The name of the master, akin to the assemblers of the best Swiss watches, is put on the product. The owner knows the performer by name, so quality is a matter of honor at Linn. In 2002, the company became the official supplier of the Royal Household of Great Britain. Ivor Tiefenbrun likes to quote Einstein: “Everything should be simpler, but not simpler.” Linn’s motto is the only sound.
Despite the fact that since the advent of the Sondek LP12, cassette players, CD and MP3 players have become widely used and become obsolete, despite the fact that even Linn itself has stopped producing such players, the stormy storms of technological competition do not affect the fate of this vinyl player. The turntable still retains the title of the only product in the world that has been produced continuously for more than forty years. In 2008, this market long-liver received the title of the best high-end technology product awarded by Stereophile magazine. Over time, the instrument certainly improved, but its appearance remained unchanged. To this day, the Sondek LP12 looks the same as it did four decades ago. When updating the model, the creators did not forget about those who purchased it at the dawn of its appearance. The first buyers do not need to scrap the player. Linn modernized it gradually, replacing individual components with more modern ones. Therefore, the device can be improved without changing the deck. In principle, you can come to a company with a forty-year-old player and pick it up a couple of days later with a 95% modernization. This possibility of improvement is what makes many choose this turntable.
And today the demand for Sondek LP12 is stable. They buy a record player to stand out even from the ranks of those who buy all the most fashionable things. Linn is not afraid that the high-tech future will affect the place of this model in the company’s budget structure. Rare items from almost half a century ago are still sold at high prices even on eBay. The player is called a living legend, and how could one not celebrate the 40th anniversary of this flagship? The Limited Edition Sondek LP12 costs no less than 25 thousand pounds sterling or $40 thousand. Needless to say, the gift is not for the middle class. To buy it, it’s not enough to understand the nuances of sound; you also need to have the appropriate wallet. Well, Linn expects to warm the heart of the buyer with a gift bottle of 40-year-old whiskey from Highland Park, included with the vinyl player. Spending shouldn’t leave an unpleasant aftertaste, right? It’s not about the money, of course. It is unlikely that for Linn Products Limited, a cult brand in the world of music, the cost of audio products reaching the price of cars, the motive in this case was commercial interest. The company seems to generally consider money to be the wrong criterion for evaluation, preferring to talk about quality. “When people ask me how much our system costs, I say, ‘How good of sound do you want, sir? Great, more great, or just the best?” says current Linn director Stephen Croft.
The company knows who they work for. This is not just a buyer, and not even just a rich buyer, but a buyer who is completely devoted to the company, connected with it almost by cultish worship. After all, only great passion can make you part with big money. “These are Linn pilgrims, not ordinary audiophiles or owners of luxury apartments in which the brand’s products appeared by chance. No, accidents are unlikely here,” Linn states on its website. To celebrate its 40th anniversary, Linn has released a limited run of 40 of its iconic Limited Edition Sondek LP12 turntables, valued at £1 million. The project was prepared in collaboration with the famous Scottish distillery Highland Park, a distillery founded back in 1798. That’s why it received the informal name “Barrel of Whiskey.” The exclusive player comes with a bottle of 40-year-old single malt whiskey. The body of the player is made from the wood of the oak barrels in which this drink matured, and it still smells like whiskey. All components are in-house designed and manufactured by Linn: the Kandid cartridge, the Ekos SE tonearm, its Keel platform and chassis, the Radikal DC motor and power supply, and the Urika phono stage. In 1994, Linn released the Knekt system. This high-end multi-room audio distribution and control system has set new standards in performance and ease of use in this new and technologically advanced market sector. Knekt integrated entertainment systems can now be found in royal residences, luxury homes and luxury yachts.
Another direction for the company was the creation of a music system for Aston Martin cars. Owners of such cars are focused on the highest quality engineering solutions, and Linn was able to offer them in its field. All Linn products are designed and manufactured by highly trained Linn engineers and meet the highest quality standards. Linn’s engineering capabilities allow it to fulfill OEM contracts, supplying other renowned companies with solutions that provide the highest quality sound. Linn is now one of the most successful independent firms. It produces more than 50 products, including CD players, tuners, amplifiers and speaker systems. Linn equipment is sold in more than 30 countries, and the company’s specialists are recognized experts in multi-channel equipment. Today, Linn produces about one hundred models of home cinema components, multi-zone audio, hi-end stereo, as well as vinyl players and accessories. All Linn components are hand-assembled at our factory in Glasgow, Scotland. Linn systems are installed on superyachts and megayachts. In 2002, Linn became the official supplier of the Royal Household of Great Britain. The company’s motto “Simply Better” needs no translation. Ivor Tiefenbrun himself likes to quote Einstein: “Everything should be simpler, but not simpler.” The company’s goal is to continually simplify and improve everything it does. “Everything should be as simple as possible, but not simpler,” said Einstein. Linn customers are people for whom the sound quality of their equipment matters. The answer to their needs is Linn – the only sound. Today, LINN is recognized as the world leader in crystal-clear audio reproduction. Multimedia systems “LINN” can be found all over the world: in royal apartments, luxury homes, cars and the most beautiful yachts.