Music makes life better.
Music is the soundtrack to your life. And we make it better.
Founded by Ivor Tiefenbrun in 1973, Linn was born from one man’s belief that he could vastly improve the sound quality of his music system at home, using precision-engineering and determined experimentation.
Our first-ever product, the modular and upgradeable Sondek LP12, revolutionised the hi-fi industry by demonstrating the huge musical difference a superbly engineered turntable could make to any hi-fi system. Its demonstrable ability to extract more music from the grooves of a record than the standard of the day led to the step-change in doctrine that the source component in a system, and not the loudspeakers, mattered most.
Over fifty retrofittable mechanical and electrical upgrades to its original design, over the last five decades, have ensured that Sondek LP12 remains the performance benchmark in vinyl playback through to present day.
From the outset, Linn championed direct A/B demonstrations, to enable fair and objective comparison of hi-fi components, and to set forth our assertion that technical specifications bear little relevance to musical enjoyment – and that one should ‘just listen’, trusting in tapping feet, smiling faces and nodding heads instead. This ‘tune dem’ method, for evaluating the relative merits of similar components, sits at the heart of our development of new products and upgrades; so we can always be certain that anything we subsequently release performs better – more naturally and with more musicality – than what has gone before.
We go to extremes to pursue musical perfection and, when you hear the results, you'll understand why.
We're now into our sixth decade of designing, engineering and manufacturing systems that deliver exceptional detail and emotional impact.
We've picked up our fair share of awards over that period - because we've consistently been pushing the boundaries of technology in the pursuit of breathtaking sound. From our very first product, Sondek LP12, we've been at the forefront of home audio. We don't just embrace technology for technology's sake, though. Everything we do has to answer one simple question: does this bring you closer to your music?
In a world of planned obsolescence, we staunchly do the opposite. Our hardware is modular and our software upgradeable. That means the best possible sound not just today, but for the lifetime of the product. So when technology improves, so can your enjoyment.
So good, we put our names on it.
Linn products look as good as they sound; they're even beautiful on the inside. Each system is built by hand in our Glasgow factory, and bears the name of the engineer who made it. It's built with precision and pride, designed for the future and engineered to extraordinarily tight tolerances. Every product is rigorously tested before it leaves our factory in order to ensure that it delivers outstanding performance.
A Linn system isn't just something to enjoy now. It's an investment in profound musical enjoyment for many, many years to come.
Linn Products is founded by Ivor Tiefenbrun to produce the Linn Sondek LP12 turntable, after Ivor discovered that the turntable he’d purchased was being adversely influenced by the changes in sound pressure of the loudspeakers.
Linn is founded by Ivor Tiefenbrun in Castlemilk, Glasgow.
Isobarik – Linn’s first-ever loudspeakers – boast unrivalled, deep and controlled bass performance from a loudspeaker of this size. They come to be known affectionately as “Briks” by those in the know.
Ittok LVII – a high-performance, direct-coupled tonearm for Sondek LP12.
Kan bookshelf speakers are brought to market, revered for their surprising power and sound quality given their very compact size.
Basik – Linn’s first moving magnet (MM) cartridge. It brings 'real hifi' to the masses, and encourages thousands to develop an interest in music, and to invest in the means of hearing it.
A Scully cutting lathe is purchased as a research project to test and improve Sondek LP12 and their source media – vinyl records.
Sondek LP12 receives its first electronic power supply – Valhalla. Valhalla’s circuit board marks Linn's first venture into electronics proper.
Following Ivor’s quest to overhaul the quality of reproduced sound at home, Linn Records is founded with the goal to improve the recording, mastering, master-cutting, and pressing of records.
The Blue Nile’s ‘A Walk Across the Rooftops’ and Carol Kidd’s eponymous debut are released on among Linn Records.
LK1, Linn’s first-ever preamplifier, is the world’s first to feature solid-state switching and microprocessor control in a hi-fi system.
LK2 – Linn’s debut power amplifier is released simultaneously. Linn is the first specialist manufacturer to produce high-performance components for a complete hi-fi system. Ivor and his team establish Linn as world leaders “from the microphone to the ear”.
Linn relocates its HQ to Waterfoot. This purpose-built factory is designed by Lord Richard Rogers (of Lloyd’s building and Centre Pompidou fame) and intrinsically built around Linn’s unique “Single Stage Build” manufacturing. As opposed to a traditional production line, Single Stage Build instead has skilled operators build complete products from start to finish, before signing with their name as a mark of pride and quality satisfaction.
Ekos is introduced, the first Linn tonearm to be conceived, developed and built in-house.
Akito incorporates much of the technology and mechanical engineering developed for Ekos the year prior – and sets new standards of performance at its price level. Testament to its enduring quality and value; Akito would go on to serve as Linn’s middle-of-the-range tonearm for the next 33 years.
Lingo, is the first external power supply for Sondek LP12. Lingo provides extremely precise motor speed control and eliminates interference caused by housing a power supply within the turntable body. Lingo is now in its fourth-generation and continues to accurately spin the platters of thousands of Sondek LP12s worldwide.
Linn’s first active-only loudspeaker design – Keltik – is launched to critical and market acclaim. Keltik has a much-improved isobaric bass system, and bears the Linn reference loudspeaker mantle for many years.
Karik is Linn’s first-ever digital source product – their debut CD player. Karik, partnered with Linn’s first DAC – Numerik – is remembered today as the system which proved that inferior sound was not a feature of CD - just a feature of inferior CD players.
Keilidh loudspeakers are, as the name suggests, a party in a box. A key development team member is a young student by the name of Gilad Tiefenbrun.
This year also sees release of the legendary Klout power amplifier.
Ivor Tiefenbrun is awarded an MBE by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II for his (and Linn’s) engineering achievements and outstanding service to the electronics industry.
Cunard’s ocean liner Queen Elizabeth 2 (QE2) is outfitted with Linn audio systems and speakers throughout. These are switched on following the refit and don’t stop playing music until the QE2 makes her final voyage 15 years later.
Knekt multi-room system achieves a new benchmark of audio quality in multi-room audio systems, and is the first in the world to allow multi-user operation with access and control of remote sources.
The only other product made by Linn to earn the Sondek moniker, Sondek CD12 crests a new pinnacle of performance and build-quality for CD players. Its enclosure is machined from a solid billet of aluminium, bringing superior mechanical, electrical and acoustic isolation for the circuitry within. The astonishing audible improvements are such that Linn establishes a new flagship range – Klimax – using the machined-from-solid approach.
Klimax Solo is the first Linn product to bear the Klimax name; a powerful, machined-from-solid mono amplifier still in production to this day.
Linn Records begins to use cutting-edge digital technology to make recordings of far-higher quality than possible with CD.
A new flagship loudspeaker – Komri – is released featuring an accelerometer servo system in a fully active loudspeaker, providing greater control and accuracy of the bass drive units to match its unprecedented accuracy at higher frequencies.
Ivor Tiefenbrun is named ‘Scottish Entrepreneur of the Year’.
Linn is the first specialist hi-fi manufacturer to produce an in-car audio system, for both the Aston Martin V12 Vanquish and latterly the DB9.
Linn is awarded a Royal Warrant by appointment to HRH The Prince of Wales (now His Majesty King Charles III) as suppliers of entertainment systems to the Royal Household.
Linn’s HQ at Waterfoot benefits from a £7m expansion, which almost doubles manufacturing space and adds vital extra space and resources for future growth. HRH The Princess Royal performs the official opening ceremony.
Linn introduces Artikulat 350A, the first fully-integrated Aktiv loudspeaker to incorporate on-board Chakra technology and ingenious upper drive unit placement in a ‘3K Array'.
The meticulously hand-built and precision-engineered Ekos SE tonearm arrives alongside a single-piece, machined-from-solid Sondek LP12 sub-chassis, armboard and tonearm collar – Keel. Ekos SE and Keel are amongst the finest Sondek LP12 components ever made and are fitted as standard to the flagship Klimax LP12 to this day.
Linn Records is the first label in the world to release Studio Master quality downloads for download.
Gilad Tiefenbrun recognised that home internet connections would soon be fast enough, and reliable enough, to deliver Studio Master recordings to living rooms the world over, so with his team he conceived a way to play them – Klimax DS. With Klimax DS, music could break free from the constraints of physical media.
A fully formed, all-new Klimax loudspeaker range is launched, and significantly outperforms and replaces its Artikulat predecessors.
Mirroring the Sondek LP12 range, Majik DS and Akurate DS join Klimax DS to establish a family of digital music players at a variety of price and performance levels.
The controversial decision is made to cease production of CD players, instead focusing on the superior-sounding network music players.
Dynamik, the latest evolution of Linn’s unique switch-mode power supply technology is launched. Dynamik has gone on to power most every Linn product since.
Gilad Tiefenbrun is appointed Managing Director; with his father, Ivor Tiefenbrun stepping aside into the role of Executive Chairman.
Majik DS-I is an entry-level, integrated network music player; combining streamer, pre- and power-amplifier in one box for ultimate convenience without compromising performance.
Linn Records is awarded ‘Label of the Year’ by Gramophone Magazine. The citation applauds Linn’s ongoing commitment to both improving the recording process and the distribution of Studio Master music online.
Linn DSM players combine source and pre-amplifier into one box. The new range of network music players, which now incorporate an array of digital and analogue inputs and outputs, are named Klimax DSM and Akurate DSM. Majik DS-I is rebadged as Majik DSM.
Linn is awarded the most prestigious accolade available to UK businesses: the Queen's Award for Enterprise. Linn’s award, in the Innovation category, recognises the passion for music and engineering expertise embodied in the industry-leading range of digital streaming systems.
Linn launches their groundbreaking, proprietary Exakt technology in a new Klimax 350 variant. Exakt technology delivers unrivalled realism and connection to the artist’s performance; it turns the loudspeaker into an intelligent, software-upgradeable product.
Linn introduces Space Optimisation, a room-correction technology built into every Linn network music player. Space Optimisation mitigates the negative effect caused by interaction between your speakers and the room around them; allowing the performance of the system to be optimised uniquely for each Linn DS or DSM owner and their listening room – no matter which speakers they own or where they’re placed.
Linn delivers a huge leap in performance to Klimax DS and DSM with Katalyst, their 4th-generation DAC Architecture.
The world’s most configurable digital music player – Selekt DSM – is launched to critical acclaim.
Series 3 – the ‘best-sounding wireless speaker’ on the market – is launched at Harrods.
Karousel – the third evolution of Linn’s single point bearing for Sondek LP12 is released. It is an instant sensation, with Sondek LP12 owners the world over waxing lyrical about this affordable upgrade and the huge performance gains it brings. Karousel is fitted as standard to every new Sondek LP12.
Linn completely redesigns Klimax DSM from the ground up. This next-generation flagship network music player wins seven Product of the Year awards and is praised for its aesthetic appeal, build-quality and superlative performance. The latter being largely down to Linn’s all-new, entirely homegrown 5th-generation DAC Architecture – Organik.
Organik is rolled out as an upgrade available to every single Klimax DS and DSM ever built – even the very-first models that left the Linn factory fifteen years prior.
Linn celebrates their fiftieth anniversary. Watch this space…