The Keel Alternative

Discussion in 'British Audio' started by VinylRob, Mar 7, 2010.

  1. VinylRob

    VinylRob Vinylphile

    Turns out the Aluminum CNCed subchassic/tonearm board that Linn offers for the Lp12 Sondek at 3250.00USD is quite the upgrade. Unfortunately, that kind of cash is not even an option for many of the folks that have owned this landmark table for decades or even the newer owners. As many of you well know, it doesn't cost anywhere near that to cut a piece of billet and anodize it black. I have no issue with people like Linn Products making a few dollars for their R&D and they deserve to eat well, they've done a good job in the past. Now someone after my own heart Green Street Audio has come along and decided to make a cost effective alternative that is also accommodating trusted arms such as Rega and Naim Aro as well as the Linn arms or even custom set-ups. Something Linn had felt not necessary to offer. Wonder why? Check this out, I am certainly considering one for my old table. Curious what others have heard or might think of this product.

    Happy Listening! :beatnik:
  2. vinylkid58

    vinylkid58 Super Member

    I've seen older Linn arm boards for sale for various arms, SME, Naim, Rega. Linn obviously stopped offering these arm boards when sales started to drop off, probably back in the 90's.

    The Greenstreet is supposed to sound quite nice, I haven't read any comparisons with the Keel. There are other sub-chassis on the market. I've heard needledrops of Sole equipped tables that sounded quite good.

  3. VinylRob

    VinylRob Vinylphile

    ><((((º>`·.¸¸.·´¯`·.¸.·´¯`·...¸><((((º>`·.¸¸.·´¯ `· .¸.·´¯`·...¸><((((º>‏

    I guess as a long time industrial product designer for the transportation industry when I look at the current state of the art in TT's I find one major reason for feeling that Green Street Audio may be on to something really special that is a cost effective answer to the likeness of the Linn Keel. It is one CNCed piece of aluminum. Tolerances are far tighter between arm and spindle bearing and remain constant over time. It is sonically far more stable, controllable, and predictable than multi piece, multi material configurations and all other attempts that I am familiar with, including Linn's old answer, are a mishmash of materials and retaining hardware that creates a complicated stack up of tolerance dimensionally and unusual dampening variables throughout the sub chassis. I think Linn (and possibly GSA) is correct once again to keep it simple.

    Happy Analogue Listening! :beatnik:
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2010
  4. rkay5

    rkay5 Active Member

    You should also look at the Analogue Innovation Sole sub-chassis its a structural grade aluminium and mdf bonded together with high tech aerospace adhesive I have custom one for my Thorens TD150 and I love it and it costs a lot less than the Green street or Keeled, have look at:
  5. billyz

    billyz New Member

    I have installed the Greenstreet subchassis into my 1986 lp12, pre cirkus with Ittok . I also had greenstreet rebuild the Valhalla. I am more than pleased with the results. Bass it noticeably extended and detailed, mids are firm and fleshy, highs are sweet and smooth. Details, sound stage ,imaging all improved . I was able to extract even more when I added two small lead weights to the ittok head. 4.5 grams total. The Helikon responded with love. The linn sondek has never sounded better. It has been over a month now and I like it better each time I listen to vinyl, everyday. Highly recommended.
  6. VinylRob

    VinylRob Vinylphile

    Well, as the turntable spins...

    With the U.S. dollar in the toilet, the Keel is now £2450/4000USD. Hmmmm.

    And we have a new player in the Linn aftermarket sub-chassis/tonearm board quagmire. AudioFlat's RibiKon, for the paltry sum of £1250/1933USD. Let us take a moment and look at the math here...4000, 1933, er 875... and then there is the parts.

    I know it's all in the listening and blah, blah, blah, I'm there, but here goes, my basic decades of automotive industrial design guide me to simplicity and on that point Linn's Keel hit the nail on the head, only to possibly be bettered by GreenStreet Audio's economy and (arm) versatility. I know why so many people hate the Linn Sondek regardless of its results, the experience along the way is part of it, aside to the music.

    The geometric tolerances between the spindle and the tonearm centerlines and rogue harmonic anomalies can all be minimized by not building a rubiks cube of panels and fasteners on multiple planes. It matters not whether you are hand crafting two or three of these things in your garage or running a production line producing thirty-thousand a year for the next five years, both conceptually and practically, simple is not easy (at least not at first), it is just smarter and more efficient, not to mention saving your life from being a tedious, living hell. In the past, Linn copied/found inspiration from AR XA (1962) and many others then followed into this fertile compost, this can of worms, and although they deserve regards for mastering some beautiful sound out of a huge mess, genius is in simplicity. Funny thing is, you find that the further you go up the Sondek chain of upgrades, the easier (less magical) the set up becomes.

    To my way of thinking, getting rid of that damn P-clip dressing necessity means my grandmother could probably do a pretty good job of setting one of these decks up today and people who hated relying on a sometimes dodgy dealer chain can now love the Linn, maybe a little easier. This kind of love ain't cheap but, it could still be called true love, even when you have to pay for it. Maybe, just pay less.

    Happy Listening! :beatnik:
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2012
  7. VinylRob

    VinylRob Vinylphile

    Another happy customer

    Wow billyz, very nice to hear.

    Happy Listening! :beatnik:
  8. gregswaim

    gregswaim Neutral Organic Sound

    I bought my Keel new for $3750.00 USD so I guess that I saved a few bucks compared to now, lol. :)
  9. ictmanager

    ictmanager New Member

    My GS looks BLACK, and is beautifully made. OK, so maybe it's not diamond polished like a REELKEEL, but then there are CNC cutter marks on the underside also. I really liked the Rubikon when I saw and heard it at the HiFi Wigwam show last year, but I think the GS is a bargain!

    Attached Files:

  10. GreatTone

    GreatTone AK Subscriber Subscriber

    I'm kind of new to this whole area, as I just bought an old Ariston RD11S about a week ago. I really love it, but was surprised to find this whole can of worms surrounding Linn -- something I was blissfully unaware of before.

    Regarding the idea of simplicity, I found this odd. I've found plans for a DIY Armageddon power supply online, but when I looked at the schematic, it was nearly identical to the power supply in my Ariston -- basically 2 caps and 2 resistors. I could see why people would be frustrated if they bought a big board PS (Valhalla?) to upgrade, then were told to further upgrade by purchasing something that resembled the simple original.

    Maybe I'm missing some details, but I thought that was interesting.
  11. vinylkid58

    vinylkid58 Super Member

    It's really a bit of apples and oranges. With a DIY Armageddon, or any other transformer, the motor "sees" mains frequency, whereas with a PS like a Valhalla, the frequency is generated electronically.

  12. goldear

    goldear Certifiable Audio Junkie

    Hmmm... Seeing this makes me think that I should use one of the CNC machines at work to create a sub-chasis along these lines to upgrade my ancient Linn.

    Does anybody have some precise measurements for the new subchasis? Even the "bargain" priced units above seem kind-of spendy to me.
  13. VinylRob

    VinylRob Vinylphile

    ><((((º>`·.¸¸.·´¯`·.¸.·´¯`·...¸><((((º>`·.¸¸.·´¯ `· .¸.·´¯`·...¸><((((º>‏

    Yeah, I mentioned the idea of borrowing a Keel, point cloud scanning it, and having a cutter path laid out, with a four hour cutting time, and having it ready for anodizing on another popular audio site and they pulled the thread. I figure it would cost about four hundred dollars for the billet.

    My issue as a long time Linn advocate is the price, and nothing more. I understand making a living, R&D, etc, but shish!

    Happy Listening!:beatnik:
  14. VinylRob

    VinylRob Vinylphile

    ><((((º>`·.¸¸.·´¯`·.¸.·´¯`·...¸><((((º>`·.¸¸.·´¯ `· .¸.·´¯`·...¸><((((º>‏

    It's more like oranges & lemons to me Jeff,

    if the motor sees the mains the resulting timbre, tone, and pace are only as accurate as the mains (which is rubbish) and every respectable TT builder in the business has pretty well offered a product (some better, some worse) that isolates and regenerates the current flow and frequency to the motor. Either you have that or you have something inadequate in my view.

    Any XTC fans?!

    Happy Listening!:beatnik:

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