Linn began as an offshoot of Castle Precision Engineering (Glasgow) Ltd., a company now specialising in CNC machining, and many of the methods and processes of precision engineering form the philosophy behind the production of Linn's audio components. It was founded in 1973 by Ivor Tiefenbrun to produce the Sondek LP12 turntable, which utilises a suspended sub-chassis and an "innovative single-point platter bearing" machined to extremely tight tolerances. Suspending the platter- and tonearm-bearing subchassis from springs, an innovation pioneered by the US company Acoustic Research, was extremely efficient in isolating the system from loudspeaker and floor-induced acoustic feedback. The Sondek's subsequent success was also instrumental in reestablishing the superiority of belt-driven turntables, which were then thought to be old-fashioned compared with the supposedly more modern direct-driven ones.
Hamish Robertson designed the Ariston RD11 in 1971 with Castle Precision Engineering Ltd machining many of the parts. Robertson left Ariston, which had been taken over by Dunlop Westayr Ltd and reorganised as Ariston Audio Ltd. In February 1973 Linn Products Ltd. was formed to sell turntables made by Castle Precision Engineering. This was officially announced in an advertisement in Hi-Fi News & Record Review, with the following text: "The turntable previously available under the name Ariston RD11 is now available under the name Linn LP12." There were claims, and even patent litigation at the time, that the first Linn Sondek LP12 was a carbon copy of the RD11, and many parts interchangeable.
Everything bearing the Linn name is designed in-house. We manage all the production processes, from casting metal cases to creating advanced electronic circuits. Our speakers are built in the workshop, our systems are assembled by hand and everything is individually tested before it’s packed for despatch.
We don’t run a standard production line. Each product is built, tested and packaged by one person. They take all the time they need to make sure that product meets the Linn standard. Only then, do they sign their name on it and prepare it for despatch. Every Linn system is signed off in this way. It is a mark of our commitment to excellence, our attention to detail, our passion for music and our pride in what we do.
The longer you have a Linn, the more you’ll appreciate it. You can start small and build as you go — everything we make is modular and our belief in open systems means it will work with everything else you use. So you can expand or upgrade at your own pace. And there's no hurry; Linn products are built to last.