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ARCHIVED FORUM -- April 2007 to March 2012

This is the first Archived Forum which was active between 17th April 2007 and 1st March February 2012


Latest post 04-29-2008 2:40 PM by Jandyt. 7 replies.
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  • 04-28-2008 10:27 PM

    Is there any advantage to linear tracking?

    I noticed that B&O made some linear tracking turn tables, but mine is the kind with a standard tone arm.  Was there any advantages or disadvantages to the linear tracking models?
  • 04-29-2008 1:22 AM In reply to

    • mort2578
    • Not Ranked
    • Joined on 04-13-2008
    • Silkeborg
    • Posts 2
    • Bronze Member

    Re: Is there any advantage to linear tracking?

    The idea of the linear tracking was that the pick-up would play the record in the same way it was cut. With a radial tone arm the diamond cannot play the entire record with the ideal angel at 90 degrees. It does, however, require a bit more electronics in the turntable as the movement of the tone arm needs to be done by a motor. Another benefit of this is that the tone arm reduces length (and on the newer models from B&O the arm has become even shorter). In this way there is no skating effect, and for that reason no anti-skating to adjust.

    You can find much more information and discussions on the Internet - just search on 'linear tracking'.


  • 04-29-2008 5:07 AM In reply to

    Re: Is there any advantage to linear tracking?

    I understand the theory of linear turntable tracking, but do they actuslly suond significantly better? i.e. would you notice the difference if you listened with your eyes shut?




  • 04-29-2008 8:05 AM In reply to

    Re: Is there any advantage to linear tracking?

    Turntables do sound different - in my opinion the 4000 sounds better than the 1100 radial deck which was around at the same time. However the 5000 sounds better to me than the 5005 - I had both! Therefore having linear tracking does not immediately guarantee better sound.

    Listening with eyes shut would be very challenging to me! I think differences in the cartridge could easily be more noticeable though it depends on the decks involved. I could easily tell a Beogram 3000 Thorens from any other Beogram. I think I could tell a 4000 from the later tangentials as well. Tellings others apart could be trickier! Laughing 

  • 04-29-2008 8:19 AM In reply to

    Re: Is there any advantage to linear tracking?

    Hi Simon

    I have both Linear and radial tracking turtables by B&O, i never use the radial one's at all. Id say after using a number of different linear turtables by B&O i have my favourites, but it comes down to how good your stylus is, which I have a number of and I notice the difference between them from MMC 20CL to MMC 3000 etc when on the deck. They are good though and much kinder to your vinyl which is a big bonus.


  • 04-29-2008 8:46 AM In reply to

    Re: Is there any advantage to linear tracking?

    I can certainly hear differences between the cartridges I have (MMC20E and MMC300 at present, saving up for a Soundsmith) but I am still unclear  how much difference the Radial/Linear issue would make if the same cartridge were used.


  • 04-29-2008 10:28 AM In reply to

    Re: Is there any advantage to linear tracking?

    It is supposed to make more of a difference with the contact line cartridges - think MMC6000, 20CL and MMC1 and 2. However if you think that almost all very high end turntables use radial arms, you soon realise that the benefits of linear tracking is on the whole outweighed by the disadvantages. It is much cheaper to make a good radial arm than a good linear tracking one.

    B&O concentrated on the linear tracking models as the high end model for the range and these decks will have good suspension and are well made. However the sound from my radial tracking 3000 is in another class. Much deeper bass extension than any of the other Beograms. This would seem to be due to the record support as much as anything.

    Linear tracking has big advantages for remote control systems and this I am sure is why the later decks are almost all linear tracking decks. The 4000 and 8000 decks were more about the short stiff arm and the precision drive of the arm. I think to an extent they sound good despite the arm rather than because of it though.

    The B&O radial arm possibly takes lightweight that bit too far - I actually prefer the earlier incarnation than the last version. The cueing mechanism was always not quite right in my opinion. 

  • 04-29-2008 2:40 PM In reply to

    • Jandyt
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on 04-01-2007
    • Clitheroe, Lancashire, UK
    • Posts 13,004
    • Founder

    Re: Is there any advantage to linear tracking?

    I also have both and, to be quite honest, would struggle to tell the difference through the same amplifier.
    I think that a linear tracking arm may protect the records more, as the stylus is not twisted near the end of play as in a radial. but don't quote me on that.
    I agree with Peter, the main benefit is the ability to remote control.

    Andy T.

    Poor me, never win owt!

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