As the universe of the Linn LP12 – and its various iterations – expands with a variety of mix-and-match accessories and upgrades, Linn strengthens the armoury with the new pairing of Arko tonearm and Kendo cartridge.
While the new Arko replaces Linn’s long-running and highly acclaimed Akito tonearm, the Kendo Moving Coil (MC) cartridge is a new from-ground-up design. As a matter of fact, the Arko tonearm is Linn’s first all-new design since 2006. It’s a relatively simple enough tonearm that has, however, been meticulously designed and constructed.
For starters, the tonearm headshell and wand are machined from 7075 high-grade aluminium (cold-drawn for the arm tubing) while also employing machined stainless steel through the spindle and gimbal allowing what the company claims is “… superb bearing concentricity and alignment”. This has allowed the elimination of unwanted distortions and inherent resonances.
The tonearm’s specified effective mass is 10 grams while its length is quoted as being 229mm (approximately 8.5 inches). The design allows for a cartridge weight range from 2 grams to 10 grams. The Arko’s offset angle is said to be 24 degrees while the overhang is 18mm.
The headshell’s design allows the mounting of a variety of cartridge types, of course with particular synergies being available via Linn’s own excellent offerings, of which the new Kendo is an optimum match.
The Kendo is inspired by Linn’s superb Ekstatik flagship cartridge, applying many of its design principles in a somewhat simplified design in order to offer affordability. The nickel-coated aluminium cartridge body supports a “stiff, low-mass boron cantilever with a super-fine-line stylus”. The aluminium and bronze threaded inserts allow easy and sturdy coupling to the Arko headshell design. The Moving Coil design uses 4N pure copper wiring.
The Kendo is specified with a tracking force of 2 grams. The recommended phono load is 100 ohms (internal impedance is 12 ohms) while the output voltage is quoted as 0.45mV. Linn claims the Kendo Moving Coil cartridge is its most linear design with a presentation that is “... not overly warm in the bass, nor is it harsh in the highs; its presentation is neutral, balanced, and uncoloured”.
Linn’s new Arko tonearm and Kendo Moving Coil cartridge are available via local importer Advance Audio Australia’s large country-wide network of audio specialist dealers.
Linn Arko Tonearm & Kendo Moving Coil Cartridge
Price: Arko AU$5995, Kendo AU$5495
Australian Distributor: Advance Audio Australia
+61 2 9561 0799