The Vinyl Record: How Do You Like Yours Packaged?

The Vinyl Record: How Do You Like Yours Packaged?

We find little coverage of the aesthetics of the format; while I definitely find the sound of vinyl appealing to my ears in a slightly indefinable way, I also find the large format artwork and the possibilities for a really good looking product to be a large part of the appeal when buying records. With that in mind, here's a whistle-stop tour of some of the best from my personal collection.

by Henry Wilson

Al's Classical Underdogs: Mozart, the lesser known masterpiece

In our new video blog series, award-winning Linn Records pianist, Alisdair Hogarth, sheds light on Mozart’s classical underdog – Piano Sonata in A Minor.

by Alisdair Hogarth Vlogs

My Favourite Record: John Frusciante - The Will To Death

My favourite record is the one that I keep coming back. I have quite literally lost count of the number of times I've listened to it, both on CD and vinyl.

by Henry Wilson

Pono saves the music industry

Pono saves the music industry

Contrary to all my fears, Pono is here to save the music industry! 24-bit music is about to hit the mainstream, backed by Neil Young, the major record labels and an army of world-renowned artists.

by Gilad Tiefenbrun  |  2 comments

Share, don't broadcast

Are some music streaming channels causing us to listen to music in a glass house? Can we really call the consistent, automatic Facebook posting of everything we listen to on streaming sites, such as Spotify, sharing?

by Jeremy Schlosberg

Mogwai - Rave Tapes

This is an album with a beginning, a middle and an end rather than a collection of songs to be thrown ad-hoc into a shuffled playlist.

by Henry Wilson

A Wee Taste of our 40th Anniversary Celebrations

A Wee Taste of our 40th Anniversary Celebrations
Enjoy a taste of our 40th Anniversary Celebrations which culminated in a fantastic day at the Linn Factory followed by an evening gig by Admiral Fallow in Glasgow's historic Merchant Square. by Linn

'Twas 24-bits of Christmas...

Check out the winning music review from our 24-bits of Christmas Kiko Competition. Matt Picco wrote a great, inventive poem telling us all about his favourite Studio Master track. Thanks Matt!

by Matt Picco

Is there any hope for eclectic listening online?

We are under-served by the internet when it comes to music. Not because we lack options. But because we lack options that relate helpfully to how we actually listen to and enjoy our music.

by Jeremy Schlosberg  |  1 comment

The Day Lou Reed Came to Linn

The Day Lou Reed Came to Linn

Listening to music on our top system Lou said, "I've been in the music business for nearly 50 years, my hearing's a bit shot at the top end, but I know a good sound... and that is the best sound I've ever heard."

by Gilad Tiefenbrun  |  1 comment

Tune Dem: If It Sounds Better, It Is Better.

The philosophy at Linn is very simple: if it sounds better, it is better. That's why we always recommend you listen and compare music systems...

by Fiona McMichael

Simple Gifts

It is not necessary in a performance to point out every single interesting detail of the music to the audience like a mad professor with a laser pen. In fact, what often works well is picking one really special moment and doing something musically magical with it, leaving the rest as simple as possible.

by Alisdair Hogarth

    What we’re listening to right now

    How Strange, Innocence
    How Strange, Innocence by Explosions in the Sky 4 hours ago
    Vapor City
    Vapor City by Machinedrum 5 hours ago
    I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning
    I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning by Bright Eyes 11 hours ago
    Conversations
    Conversations by Woman's Hour 3 hours ago

    50 albums. 50 words.

    STUDIO MASTER: MUSIC WITH NOTHING LEFT OUT

    A Studio Master download is the highest quality music file available anywhere. It allows you to hear a recording exactly the way the original artist and producer intended it to sound, before it was altered to fit on a CD or squashed down to MP3 size.

    Studio Master music can be downloaded from linnrecords.com and other high resolution music providers, and played back on any Linn DS player or system which supports 24-bit music playback.

    Guitar and amp

    The way digital music should be

    Studio Master files are released at the same quality level they were recorded at, so it doesn’t get any better. Uncut, uncompromised and available for download.

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    What they didn’t tell you about CDs

    When CDs were released they were actually the lowest quality format available. The convenience of the player and the shiny discs was great but at the expense of audio quality.

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    New Releases

    Bestselling Studio Master albums

    LINN RECORDS: INDEPENDENT PIONEER SINCE 1982

    We capture the finest performances and let you download them to play in your home. Everything from award-winning classical and jazz recordings to the latest pop, rock and electronica. You can buy tracks or albums and download immediately, or choose between CD, SACD and vinyl and we’ll deliver your music straight to your door.

    Awarded 'Label of the Year' by Gramophone in 2010, Linn Records is home to a wide range of music with many of its albums available as Studio Master downloads.

    You can listen to samples from any album page on linnrecords.com or tune in to our high quality web radio stations below to listen to uninterrupted music randomly selected from our entire catalogue.

    The birth of Linn Records

    We bought a record-cutting lathe in 1982 because the vinyl pressings we were using to test our turntable weren’t good enough — within two years we had recorded and released The Blue Nile’s classic debut 'A Walk Across The Rooftops'.

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    Pushing the boundaries

    We were the first label to release CD quality music downloads without DRM (Digital Rights Management) and the first to champion Studio Master downloads because we’re passionate about making the best recordings available at the highest quality.

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    OUR WEB RADIO STATIONS

    Tune in to the highest quality web radio. Our three stations bring you the best of the music available from Linn, broadcast in crisp 320 kbps MP3. That’s twice the quality of current DAB radio.

    Now playing

    Would You Believe - Claire Martin
    Would You Believe Claire Martin

    Previous track

    Living With You Now - Aidan Moffat & The Best-Ofs
    Living With You Now Aidan Moffat & The Best-Ofs

    Now playing

    Would You Believe - Claire Martin
    Would You Believe Claire Martin

    Previous track

    Living With You Now - Aidan Moffat & The Best-Ofs
    Living With You Now Aidan Moffat & The Best-Ofs

    Now playing

    Would You Believe - Claire Martin
    Would You Believe Claire Martin

    Previous track

    Living With You Now - Aidan Moffat & The Best-Ofs
    Living With You Now Aidan Moffat & The Best-Ofs

    HOW MUSIC SHAPED LINN

    Linn was started in 1972 by Glaswegian, Ivor Tiefenbrun. Ivor was passionate about music. He couldn’t find a music system that was good enough to meet his exacting standards. So he decided to make his own.

    The result was the Sondek LP12 turntable. This revolutionary product was designed to get more music out of a record. It worked. The LP12 is still produced by Linn and remains the benchmark for turntables worldwide.

    From analogue to digital

    Today, Linn DS sets the music standard for digital music players and outperforms every other CD or digital player on the market. It embodies everything we’ve learned about music and our passion for creating great music systems which last.

    Some things haven’t changed. Linn is based just outside Glasgow and still owned and run by the Tiefenbrun family. Most importantly, the passion for music and commitment to excellence that inspired Ivor back in 1972, still drives Linn today.

    The LP12 revolution
    Guitar and amp

    The LP12 Revolution

    Not only did the Sondek LP12 improve sound quality, it turned the hi-fi industry on its head by proving once and for all that the source of music is the most important link in the chain.

    The LP12 revolution
    Linn DS player

    Why we made the DS

    We wanted to make a digital music player without compromise — something that combined our passion for music with the latest technologies to make everything you listen to at home sound better.

    Why we made the DS

    THE LP12 REVOLUTION (SIDE A)

    Ivor Tiefenbrun has always been passionate about music. Sent out by his wife to buy much-needed furniture for their first flat, he came back with a hi-fi. He bought an expensive turntable and speakers but was deeply disappointed by the sound quality — he could only listen to music for a couple of hours, before wanting to turn it off.

    Ivor was also a keen engineer and he made an interesting discovery: the music sounded better when he put the speakers in a different room from the turntable. He found this rather puzzling. How could the speakers interfere with the turntable? He decided to explore this further and so began a 40-year old love affair with music systems.

    Precision Engineering

    The answer lay in the quality of the engineering. The turntable was so badly designed and made, it was affected by the vibrations from the speakers. The only solution was to go back to basics.

    Ivor redesigned the turntable from first principles using precision-engineered components to ensure a constant speed and minimum distortion. The result was the Sondek LP12 turntable. It was a revolutionary design backed by new levels of manufacturing quality, with parts made to the same standards required for aerospace.

    The Sondek LP12 was launched in 1972. It introduced the music world to unique features, such as the patented single-point bearing which inspired the Linn logo. More importantly, it retrieved more music from a record than any other turntable on the market, then and now. You only had to listen to hear the difference.

    This set a standard for Linn which still holds true today. We don’t just design outstanding products; we build them to the most exacting standards, sometimes to within 0.001 mm. It’s about accuracy, consistency and reliability.

    Ivor Tiefenbrun

    THE LP12 REVOLUTION (SIDE B)

    Source First

    Back in the early 70s, the conventional wisdom was that sound quality was determined by good or bad speakers. The experts believed the hi-fi chain started with the speakers and worked down to the source of the music, which at that time was the turntable. Ivor proved the opposite to be true — that the source of the music was the most important.

    Ivor took to the road with his new precision-engineered Sondek LP12 and demonstrated the difference to everyone who would listen. He could put the LP12 with their cheapest speakers and it would still out-perform any other turntable and speakers combination. The LP12 sounded so much better, it started a revolution — in thought, design and performance.

    Children of the Revolution

    No matter how good the amplifiers or loudspeakers, you can’t get back what has already been lost. Quite simply, information lost at the source is lost forever. In computing it’s known as Garbage In, Garbage Out; but it means the same thing. This seems perfectly sensible to us now. But then we’re all children of the revolution.

    Ivor didn’t set out to build a business; he simply wanted to listen to great music at home. But inspired by the musical improvements he achieved with the LP12, he established Linn Products with the aim of increasing the quality of sound all the way from the microphone to the ear.

    Ivor Tiefenbrun

    WHY WE MADE THE DS (DISC 1)

    Ivor’s son Gilad joined Linn in 2003 with the dream of creating a digital music player which would do for digital what his father’s LP12 had done for analogue: revolutionise the source by eliminating the weakest link.

    The rise and fall of disc players

    The launch of the iconic CD12 in 1999 proved that Linn could excel at both analogue and digital music players. But as good as the CD12 was, it was held back by the limitations of the compact disc format. The new CDs were easy to use and heavily marketed, but in truth there was far less information on a CD than vinyl or 8-track tape.

    Linn supported the emergence of disc formats such as Super Audio CD (SACD) and High Definition CD (HD-CD) because they offered better audio quality than the standard CD. We launched the Unidisk as an ''all-formats' disc player and began to release Linn Records music in these higher quality formats.

    SACD offered higher quality than the standard CD but it never really took off. Not much music was released and most people didn’t own a SACD player. SACD was a proprietary Sony technology and their tight control and high licensing costs made it difficult for both manufacturers and customers to enjoy the benefits.

    As head of R&D at Linn, Gilad experienced first-hand the difficulties involved in supporting a 'closed' proprietary format during the Unidisk launch. Despite the massive investment made in SACD by Linn and other manufacturers and labels, they were wholly reliant on Sony to correct problems within the SACD platform itself. Gilad resolved never again to put faith in a proprietary disc-based format that required specialised hardware. Instead, he started to think about a new type of music player that wasn’t tied to one particular disc or format but would fully realise the potential of digital music...a digital LP12.

    Ivor Tiefenbrun

    WHY WE MADE THE DS (DISC 2)

    Gilad’s dream was a music player that would play all digital music and make everything sound better, a digital LP12. The only way to create this was to build a system from scratch, using open standards and formats to create something designed specially for music and engineered to last.

    From discs to downloads

    By 2002, Linn Records were recording music at increasingly higher quality in order to capture every last detail.

    The logical step was to create a standalone music player that was capable of playing this higher resolution music and design it to work on a standard home network. Building it for the 'open' network rather than a proprietary system would ensure it worked alongside the growing number of networked products and make it easier for anyone to get started.

    We developed a streaming platform from scratch that would allow music to be pulled from the network rather than read from a drive within the player itself. Sound quality improved greatly and there would be no reliance on particular discs or formats — music could be ripped to a hard drive from any disc or downloaded from the internet at any resolution.

    The growth of broadband meant most homes already had a home network and faster download speeds were available to download better than CD-quality music directly from linnrecords.com. These new Studio Master files were too large to be stored on a normal CD anyway.

    Klimax DS was launched in 2007 and proved that Linn DS sounded better than any CD or digital player available.

    Ivor Tiefenbrun