Booplinth

Picture 029People are only now waking up to what a turntable plinth really should do. Any deck that has an independently sprung subchassis should not have a heavy plinth that stories mechanical energy like a kind of mechanical capacitor – instead, it needs to be light. The problem with this though is that light things tend not to be strong, which is why companies such as Linn have traditionally gone for sturdy hardwood plinths – which are of course heavier.

The Booplinth addresses this issue; bamboo is a naturally unresonant material, yet is very light (being full of air bubbles) and also extremely strong. It’s an ideal solution, and rather surprising that so few manufacturers are using it. Well, maybe not – because it is extremely hard to machine, and can easily damage tools that can cut conventional woods without breaking into a sweating. It’s nature’s carbon fibre, one might say…

This plinth is made by Quadraspire, but designed by Brian and Trevors. The Linn LP12 plinth is machined from a solid block of bamboo laminate to very tight tolerances. It avoids traditional plinth construction methods of gluing, screwing and clamping sides and corner bracings; the latter were tried but added mass without improving rigidity and didn’t sound as good. Booplinth has just one corner bracing to secure the Linn top plate. It is available in a range of natural bamboo finishes and costs £1,650 including fitting.

Having had the chance to audition an early pre-production sample, I was surprised by how much better a Booplinthed Linn LP12 sounds compared to any of the standard Linn plinths. It gives the deck a faster, lighter, more musical feel, with a tighter and more tuneful bass and a crisper, cleaner treble. Midband is slightly more three dimensional and obviously more detailed, while imaging is subtly improved too. It will be interesting to try a final production plinth; these should be ready by September. Not only a thing of beauty, this promises to be a significant sonic upgrade for LP12 owners; it’s not cheap but provides a real step up in sound.

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