LINN Sondek CD12 CD Players

4.75/5 (12 Reviews)


Product Description

The finest CD player in the world?


Review Options:  Sorted by Latest Review | Sort by Best Rating

Reviews 1 - 5 (12 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:3
Submitted by carl11529 a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: November 13, 2006

Bottom Line:   
Linn CD-12, though expensive, is worthwhile investment for those who care about the ultimate CD playback. Before CD-12, I used Forsell Air Reference MkIII transport, together first with Forsell Reference D/A Mk III, then with Cello Reference DAC. The digital cable is XLR NBS Monitor 0. You know these combinations are also very costly, and are reputed to have rather "analogue" sound. However, the musicality of CD-12 surpasses all these. I never regretted in investing in CD12. Will give ten stars if possible for quality and my enjoyment of music from this machine; but three stars for value-rating. This CD player is obvious not for everyone.

Expand full review >>

Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2002

Price Paid:    $12000.00

Purchased At:   With briefcase inTai



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Convinced a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: February 22, 2001

Bottom Line:   
I was initially skeptical of a $20k CD player, but one listen was enough to convince me. I listened to the Linn with a Levinson amp-preamp/Vienna Accoustic Mahler setup. This combination made me a believer immediately. The music was palpable! Words cannot describe the effect - it was the first time in many a moon that I was getting that same tingling along my spine that live music provides. I tried to figure out what element of this system was producing this effect on me...I asked the salesman to replace the Linn with the Marantz SACD player (the one Stereophile had raged about). It became immediately apparent that the Linn was the key to the system - with the Marantz, the music immediately lost that articulate, visceral, dynamic element that was present with the Linn. I left the store amazed and angry at the world that I couldn't afford something that would make me so happy.

Within days, the long-term down side of the Linn became apparent - I became addicted to that feeling I had experienced with the Linn. Nothing I subsequently listened to came close. So take heed - don't listen to this machine if you can't afford it. Everything else you listen to will absolutely not cut it. Even though I initially blanched at the thought of a $20k CD player, I eventually bought one... admittedly a $15k demo. Is the Linn that good? Absolutely. Is it worth $15k-20k? Absolutely.

Expand full review >>

Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   1999

Price Paid:    $15000.00



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Devil's Advocate a Casual Listener

Date Reviewed: June 7, 2000

Bottom Line:   
Have you watched that film the Fifth Element where an imaginary alien opera singer sings that aria? During my visit to London hifi show those nice guys from Linn plays this piece of music again with their new shiny silver colour Sondek with a few Klimax driving a pair of active speakers. It was wonderfully natural and involving. It shows how good a singer is Meiwenn Le Basco. I was instantly in love with this piece of box of magic. The only thing that top that was a pure Sony SACD demonstration set up.

I have a friend who could justify buying for himself a Mark Levinson transport, 335 monoblocks and Revel Salon speakers. A lot of audiophiles do owns Krells and speakers like B&W 801, 802, and Wilson System 6 and it cost more then that box of magic. Unfortunately, they do sound better (but as some of you point out not much so). I am afraid the Sondek CD12 is targeted at them. It is also true Linn may have made the CD player as a demonstration of their ability and I say they did it very well indeed. Mercedes & BMW invest lots of their money in making top end cars, which are not destined to sell many but to move their cheaper products. Do we make fun of them? Do I detect envy in some of the reviewer here?

Think of it in another way. There are many paintings, sculptures, potteries and so call art objects, which are also priced the same if not easily more. Would you fault me if I try to convince you that I would buy it because I believe it is truly a beautiful limited edition work of art in its own right that just happen to play CDs wonderfully. Love is blind.

Expand full review >>

Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   Casual Listener

Product model year:   2000



Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:1
Submitted by James a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: June 6, 2000

Bottom Line:   
That Monkey Boy review was spot on. I don't usually write in to comment, but when someone lays it out that honest, I got to applaud. Now, I love Linn gear, and the CD12 is cool looking and all that, but the only type people who could seriously buy into the CD12's hype are a) audio reviewers -- who want to make sure the cool toys they get keep coming in, b)people who got rich through some type of inheritance, or by scamming investors and hyping their own BS .com companies that will never turn a profit.

Expand full review >>

Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2000



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:1
Submitted by Monkey Boy a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: May 23, 2000

Bottom Line:   
This product's sole reason for being is to sell Ikemi and Genki players... Nothing else. [OK, I take that back. It's also a Scottish plot to separate American dot-com millionaires from their easy-come-easy-go money.] If Linn manages to sell a few, then they're way ahead of the game.

You covet the Sondek, but could never afford it, so you steal from the kid's college fund and pay $3500 for Ikemi---it's worth it, right? After all, it shares components with the Sondek, right? Hell... It's a damn bargain!

I'd be willing to bet the cost of the unit, that in a double-blind test, nobody could pick the player out from a lineup. In fact, I bet if I stuffed it's guts into a Marantz case, and sold it for $500 dollars, suddenly there would be all sorts of imaginary flaws that make worse than some 5,000 dollar Meridian, or such. What a racket.

Think how much great gear you could have for 20,000 dollars!!

Geez. P.T. Barnum was right.

I bought the Classik. It was worth it, right? I mean, after all... ;-)

Expand full review >>

Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2000




Reviews 1 - 5 (12 Reviews Total) | Next 15

Review Options:  Sorted by Latest Review | Sort by Best Rating



PSB Speakers:



Axiom Audio: