Music is Life – When Passion Becomes Purpose

In any industry, paradigm shifts in doctrine come around once in a blue moon, and are normally the result of radical thinking, talent, and passion. In the 1970s – the golden era of British hi-fi – all it took for the industry to be turned on its head overnight was for a talented, young, music-daft Glaswegian engineer to interrogate the status quo.

Visit any hi-fi dealer at the time and you’d most likely be shown an impressive array of loudspeaker options, with little attention paid to what components were ‘up-stream’ in the demo system; because, after all, 'what does a turntable actually do other than spin round and round’? The young engineer boldly contested this commonly held belief, retorting ‘what does a speaker do except pump in and out’?

And then, he would present for evaluation his prototype record player, designed around the controversial idea that the source of the music – the turntable itself – was FAR more responsible for sound quality than was previously imagined. People initially thought he was mad. But let’s not forget that, as Aristotle said, “there is no great genius without some touch of madness”. Upon hearing the resultant performance uplift, the hi-fi establishment was converted.

The entrepreneurial, young engineer was a man named Ivor Tiefenbrun. His turntable would become the world-renowned Sondek LP12. Ivor would go on to found Linn in 1973, and thus was born our “source first” philosophy.

Prioritise the accurate extraction of music from the source material at the outset, and the result isn’t subtle. Music becomes vastly more evocative and enjoyable. With Sondek LP12 placed at the start of the chain, the musical experience with any system – affordable or premium – was night and day.

Today, fifty years later, the revolution is still revolving – Sondek LP12 is the longest continuous-production hi-fi component in history – and has since been joined in our lineup by generations of award-winning digital players, amplifiers, loudspeakers, and more. Linn products span the entire hi-fi chain at various performance and price points.

Tune into the other episodes of “Music is Life” to learn how Linn has spent the last five decades pushing the envelope of digital and analogue innovation, and to take a peek behind the curtain at the inner workings of Linn’s purpose-built factory, and the workforce that keeps this Scottish success story steaming ahead.

Watch the full Music is Life series on YouTube.