|Type||Private Limited Company|
|Industry||Audio/Visual equipment manufacturing and distribution|
|Founded||19 February 1973|
|Headquarters||Glasgow, Scotland, UK|
|Key people||Ivor Tiefenbrun
Linn Products is a Scottish company, based near Glasgow in Eaglesham, East Renfrewshire, that manufactures hi-fi audio equipment, home theatre, and multi-room integrated audio systems. It is the manufacturer of the Linn Sondek LP12 turntable.
Company history 
Linn was founded in 1973 by Ivor Tiefenbrun to produce the Sondek LP12 turntable.
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.
Sondek LP12 
The Sondek LP12 is a suspended sub-chassis turntable with a single-point platter bearing. From its introduction in 1973, there have not been any radical changes to the turntable design, which remains in production. However, the LP12's sound quality has been improved through retrofittable upgrade kits. The successive upgrades consist mostly of refinements in materials used and improved manufacturing tolerances.
In 2011, some thirty years after the birth of the compact disc, sales of the LP12 and accessories still accounted for 10 percent of the company's turnover.
In 1975, Linn patented its isobaric loading principle, and launched the Linn Isobarik loudspeaker. Initially Linn manufactured the LP12 itself, but not any other components such as tonearms and cartridges. This gap was filled with a largely complementary range from, amongst others, Grace, Sumiko, and in the 1980s, Naim Audio.
Digital compact disc 
Linn's first CD player, the Karik, was released in 1993 – 11 years after the CD format itself. Its flagship compact disc player, the CD12, pioneered by Alan Clark, was launched in 1997 and discontinued in 2005 because some OEM transport components could no longer be obtained from the supplier.
The founder of the company, Ivor Tiefenbrun, remains leader of Linn. In 2007, a number of the company's longest-serving directors left following a program of redundancies and the rapid promotion of Ivor's son within the company. In February 2009, Gilad Tiefenbrun, son of Ivor, was named Managing Director of the company. Ivor remains Executive Chairman.
During much of the 1970s and 80s, Linn adopted a symbiotic relationship with Naim Audio. Their product ranges were complementary, and their names were often mentioned together. During this time, the Linn/Naim system was a preferred combination for many audiophiles. The two companies advocated a 'source-first' philosophy based on the same principle as garbage in, garbage out – that an amplifier that correctly performed its role would only faithfully amplify a signal, but that all things being equal, a superior source component would allow the recorded music to better connect with the listener on an emotive level. It followed that a superior source signal paired with lesser amplification would sound better than an inferior source through high-quality amplification and speakers. In line with the philosophy of the comparative demonstration, the companies' dealers eschewed multi-speaker demonstrations with switched comparators to "single-speaker dem rooms". The two companies had almost the same sales and marketing strategy, and shared many of the same retailers/dealers. Since many of the principles the two companies subscribed to were thought to be heretical, or flying in the face of conventional wisdom, Linn/Naim aficionados were nicknamed "flat earthers", sometimes affectionately, sometimes derogatorily. The two companies diverged during the 1980s, at the dawn of digital audio.
In 2002 Linn formed a brand partnership to supply audio systems to Aston Martin cars. Linn supplied amplification and loudspeaker systems for the Vanquish and DB9 models but three years later was replaced by Alpine Electronics, the previous supplier.
Awards and recognition 
- Ivor Tiefenbrun was awarded the MBE by HM Queen Elizabeth II in for "his and his company's engineering achievements and outstanding service to the electronics industry."
- As of 1 January 2002, Linn Products Ltd has been awarded The Royal Warrant of Appointment as a Tradesman to His Royal Highness, Charles, Prince of Wales, as a provider of Entertainment Systems.
- Linn was awarded the Queen's Award for Enterprise in Innovation in 2012.
Products and trademarks 
Linn have a number of trademarks for their products, many of which have the characteristic "k" in place of a hard "c". The origins of this practise have been relayed in a number of ways during Linn's history. Ivor Tiefenbrun stated it is a contraction of both 'sound deck' and the word soundex as all designs have their own unique recognisable sound. Many of the names have Scottish origins, e.g. Kairn, Keltik or Ekos (cairn, Celtic, Ecosse), some have relevance to the function they perform e.g. Knekt (a system to connect many rooms together) or Klout (a powerful amplifier), while the origins of others are rather more obscure. Some products have had relatively simple names such as the Index loudspeakers.
- Hi-Fi News & Record Review, Vol. 6, No. 2, February 1973
- David Price, - OLDE WORLDE - ARISTON RD11 TURNTABLE, Hi-Fi World, June 1998
- Ford, Jez (28 July 2011). "Linn joins Advance Audio". Sound + Image"
- "Hi-fi firm stops making CD players". BBC News. 19 November 2009. Retrieved 20 November 2009.
- Gilad Tiefenbrun appointed Managing Director of Linn (Press release), Linn Products, 6 February 2009
- Steve (29 March 2012). "History of Linn". Hidden Systems
- "Company History". Linn Products
- Wheeler, Mark (Summer 2008). "PRaT", TNT UK
- "LINN Launches The Kiko Music System At CEDIA 2012" AV Guide, 28 August 2012
- Interview with Ivor Tiefenbrun, Positive Feedback Online, 2002