How to service a Linn Lingo (mk1)

Ben Zotto
9 min readSep 8, 2020

Recapping and calibrating a power supply for the iconic Linn LP12 turntable.

A running Lingo with the 33rpm signal phases showing on an oscilloscope. You only need a voltmeter to calibrate the Lingo! The scope is totally optional. This just looks cool.

Linn’s Lingo, the first outboard power supply for the LP12 turntable, was introduced in 1990 and sold in its original form for about a decade. Because of their (relatively!) compact form factor and first-party branding, early Lingos (“version 1” or “mk1”) remain popular on the used market. These power supplies have now reached the age where their electrolytic capacitors can become marginal or dried out, and for optimal operation they should be “serviced.” This consists of a new set of capacitors followed by a voltage check/calibration. I did this to a Lingo recently, and seeing no other comprehensive guides online, I’m writing this one.

Disclaimer: This is a best-effort guide and is not guaranteed to be free of errors. If you discover any, please let me know. Also, during calibration, live voltage including mains voltages is accessible; mains electrocution can injure or kill. Only work with live current if you know how to do so safely.

This is what we’re servicing. If yours looks different, stop now!

Performing this service may correct (or head off) motor-related problems of low torque, no-start, or difficulty getting to speed. This guide won’t fix a power supply that has non-capacitor-related issues; for other concerns, look around for a Lingo service manual or take it to an expert.

Experience required

This is mostly straightforward desoldering and soldering, but given that the market value of a used Lingo still runs to a few hundred dollars, probably not recommended as a first-time project if you’ve never done anything like this before.

Tools

Phillips head and hex screwdrivers, desoldering pump/gun/braid, soldering iron, digital voltmeter. Bonus: bench isolation transformer.

Parts

There are 20 electrolytic capacitors (“caps”) on the Lingo board, and if you’re bothering to do any, you should just replace them all. The three largest caps are axial (leads coming out each end) and all others are radial (both leads coming out one end). Axial style caps have fallen out of…

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