When is an Ariston a Linn Sondek LP 12?

Discussion in 'British Audio' started by theophile, Nov 10, 2016.

  1. theophile

    theophile Pheasant Plucker. Subscriber

    Yep. The Ariston details might have been sliced-off, but the yellow sticker on the top plate of that extremely early Linn Sondek betrays its origins to be an altered Ariston sticker.
     

     

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  2. totem

    totem AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Sorting through all the half truths and simply incorrect statements on the net makes this particular
    topic one of the most convoluted to wade through.

    Glad to see its been brought into the light with some rational discussions.
     
  3. Hamstall

    Hamstall Member

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    I was recently contacted by the owner of RD11 serial number 000073. His is identical to mine. Interestingly, the Castle RD11 used a spot welded subchassis which predicted the design on the LP12 used a few years later. The first single switch LP12s used a cheapened single-piece pressed steel item, and the spot-welded one arrived as a revision in 1974.
     
  4. Hamstall

    Hamstall Member

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    This deck was also offered to me recently. This is the LP12 bought by a former Castle Engineering employee from Ivor direct from the factory. The owner writes thus:

    "As I said before my father in law was a foreman tool maker who left heavy industry in Glasgow to go and work for a new company starting up - which was Linn. This deck sat in my husbands room when he was a teenager. - early 70s. Later on, one of his friends, Paul Buchanan went on to record with Linn.* It has the serial number 003503 so is quite early."

    Quite obviously an RD11, and a two button job, but 003503 is not even a very early serial number. Note the solid non-fluted plinth. An RD11 one.

    This reinforces my belief that old RD11s made up early LP12 numbers, but they were 'unofficial'. The Wiki and Linn forum serial number list suggesting the twin buttons were changed to a single rocker switch is a red herring. No 'official' LP12 had twin buttons. No LP12 was ever demonstrated at a dealer's with twin buttons, and no sales lit shows a twin button deck. They did not officially exist, because they'd be immediately identified as RD11s. Every twin-button LP12 I've traced has had a back-story of being bought from the factory. Often cheaply. This must have been their method of disposing of old stock which would never have been accepted by dealers.

    All dealer demo LP12s had a single rocker switch and a fluted plinth. This would have given it a new appearance and distracted the eye from recognising its origins.

    * Paul was in The Blue Nile, a Glasgow band later signed to Linn's record label.

    IMG_4061.JPG IMG_4062.JPG IMG_4041.JPG IMG_4058 (2).jpg
     
  5. Hamstall

    Hamstall Member

    Messages:
    54
    Note that grey label. "Final Inspection". On the RD11, it was signed by the person who inspected it. On the LP12, the words make no sense, because the panel is over-typed with the deck's serial number.
     
  6. rl1856

    rl1856 New Member

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    In skimming this and other LP12 origin threads, I noted several references to Jack T (owner of Castle) and Hamish Robertson having co-designed the bearing of what became the RD11. If true, there would be a basis for a later claim of ownership of the design. The court case awarded the design to Linn. What if Hamish R registered his company (Ariston) but failed to patent the bearing design, and Jack T was able to prove he had significant involvement in the actual design ?
     

     

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  7. Hamstall

    Hamstall Member

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    Jack T was the owner of Castle engineering, who put up the cash for his son Ivor to start Linn Products in the unit next door.

    Hamish Robertson was the owner of Ariston, who contracted Castle to make certain parts for his turntable, the RD11.

    Both are brahhn bread mate. Thrown sevens. Shuffled off this mortal coil... etc.
     
  8. cre009

    cre009 Active Member

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    The OP made a request for copies of the HiFi News coverage.

    I covered this in a detailed post at the PFM forum bottom half of page 5

    https://www.pinkfishmedia.net/forum/threads/sondek-lp12-arm-options.208572/page-5

    The Patent Officer at the initial hearing came to a decision in favour of Hamish Robertson based on a technicality which tells me there was no inherent bias against Hamish. On the other hand he provided a background that favours the Tiefenbrun version of events. This would not have happened if he did not have solid corroboration that the prototype turntable was built by Ivor.

    My view is that Ivor Tiefenbrun developed his prototype turntable based on or heavily inspired by a TD150 he had previously owned.

    Hamish Robertson created the Ariston brand and used the Ivor Tiefenbrun prototype to add a turntable to the speakers he intended to market under that brand. The prototype may have needed a lot of work to get it to a marketable condition and Hamish was mainly responsible for that work. The turntables were however entirely developed and built at Jack Tiefenbrun's company.

    The turntable had a successful debut at the 1971 Harrogate show. As a result a further batch of around 100 turntables was commissioned at Castle Precision Engineering. Hamish refused to purchase them and instead switched the manufacture to Dunlop Westayr. In doing so I suspect he fabricated the back story about the deck being entirely his development. That false story was the reason that the decision was finally awarded against Hamish.
     

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  9. theophile

    theophile Pheasant Plucker. Subscriber

    I typed a long reply to that attempt to muddy the water. I hate typing on mobile phones.

    Why supply a thief? Where were Castle's prior turntables? Hamish had an audio company and designs which continued after Castle. The only audio design that Castle had for many years they acknowledged was the Ariston RD 11.

    One scenario is plausible, the other beggars belief.
     
  10. theophile

    theophile Pheasant Plucker. Subscriber

    Okay I finally have a physical keyboard and a screen bigger than my hand. I typed a very long reply to that post and my phone rendered it irretrievable due to losing the internet connection.

    Hamish designed more than one turntable. He established more than one audio corporation. That is what Hamish did. Hamish was an audio designer, audio company founder, turntable designer. Ariston Audio existed as an entity prior to Hamish approaching Castle to manufacture... What exactly? A turntable, did I hear you say? Funny, Hamish establishes a company, subsequent to that approaches Castle and pays them to produce a turntable that he knows nothing about before approaching Castle. How is it that a turntable which Hamish supposedly couldn't have known about, which wasn't being made by Castle prior to Hamish commissioning Castle to make it, which was only made(as a fully fledged realised design from the word go) subsequent to Hamish paying Castle to machine and assemble it, had nothing to do with Hamish. Why did Hamish establish an audio company prior to engaging with Castle? Why did Hamish commission Castle to machine and assemble a turntable he didn't know about? Why did Castle not have any prior precedent in this area in which they were groundbreakers? Why was the design fully realised from the first one made? It didn't seem like they were figuring it out as they went along. Right from day one the turntable is an Ariston( it had stickers. It had a label saying Ariston Audio). Right from day one it was the same fully realised design. Hamish wasn't taking a turntable from the Castle factory which had Castle Audio stickers and labels on it, switching over to his counterfeit Ariston labels and stickers and selling Castle's product behind their back by disguising the true origin of the product. The Thiefenbruns were putting the Ariston labels and stickers on the turntable and handing them over to Hamish. Supposedly at least one year before the Thiefenbruns registered the patent, the turntable was displayed to the public under the brand of Ariston against the wishes of the Thiefenbruns. In light of that, the Thiefenbruns continue to carry-out manufacturing work for a man they claim is stealing their property, the very item they are manufacturing, assembling, holding for collection or delivering, accepting payment for manufacturing. This is the crux of the argument. The Thiefenbruns say that they never gave permission for their design to be displayed(sold by?) Ariston. They had a funny way of showing disapproval. Accepting payment for manufacture. Producing. Assembling. Providing. Prospering from the income provided by the commission from Hamish. Isn't that what most people do when they are having their design stolen from them in front of their very face?

    The judgement rested on I said/they said. Castle said we never gave permission for Hamish to even show the turntable/ Hamish said it was his design that he commissioned Castle to manufacture on his behalf.

    The actions display that the Thiefenbruns were integral to Robertson continuing to do business. The Robertson business( the Ariston RD 11 turntable) could not have garnered one sale without Castle enabling the entire process via their input. Sales were brisk it would seem. There would have been more than one production run commissioned by Hamish, paid for by Hamish, manufactured for Hamish, assembled for Hamish, held or delivered for Hamish but Castle maintained that Hamish was being underhanded and was going behind Castle's back. They said they were being stolen from. They said Hamish provided no input, played no role here. They said he was just a thief. Castle said they were having everything stolen from them, even for one whole year prior to them patenting the design. That's how long this claimed underhanded theft went on for. It's only logical that your company provides the entirety of a product to someone who is stealing that very product from them. You co-operate. Enable. Provide. Assist. Dutifully deliver. On and on and on it would seem. Provide and assist as long as Hamish kept paying Castle bills.

    Those poor maligned Thiefenbruns. It's obvious that they acted consistent with their claim of being victims of theft. Doesn't every victim of theft play the key role in nurturing the theft taking place? The irreplaceable pivotal role without which there could be no theft?

    Instead look at the actual historical evidence. What was done. Not what was said. Especially look at the timeline. Then look at what was said by both sides. Weigh that against the number of subsequent divergent different reasons Ivor has proffered about the events preceding the legal battle. Such divergence tends to indicate something. You would think that the Hamish = Thief story would have been told from the very beginning, from 1971 in fact. Immediately after the Harrogate public showing, in fact. That version of the story took decades to be ontold. The other versions don't even touch on it. That's strange. You would think that it would be central to Ivor's story pertaining to the provenance of the LP 12 if Ariston was being mentioned or the origin of Linn was being discussed. But since there are as many versions of the Linn origin story as there are inteviews about it, it should come as no surprise that they never accused Hamish of being a thief while he was still alive and while he was paying Castle to make his Ariston turntable. You don't kill the goose that is laying the golden eggs, unless the goose threatens to leave you and have his turntable manufactured elsewhere.

    There is a smell of rat and Hamish ain't where it is coming from.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2018 at 12:02 AM
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  11. theophile

    theophile Pheasant Plucker. Subscriber

    Look at Ivor's words in this interview(previously posted): https://hifi-unlimited.blogspot.com.au/2011/12/10-qs-for-ivor-tiefenbrun-of-linn.html

    So, Ivor; How is it that Castle are making a turntable with Ariston stickers and labels all over it, which uses the bearing that you claim your father developed, which you provide to the company in question whose Ariston labels are all plain to see. How was this going on without your knowledge?
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2018

     

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  12. theophile

    theophile Pheasant Plucker. Subscriber

    I'll adress the paragraphs which follow the link above. Paragraph by paragraph.

    First paragraph: There was a initial challenge to Linn's patent by Hamish which Hamish won. The patent judge said that the historical timeline indicated that Hamish had sold product using the bearing prior to the patenting of the bearing by the Thiefenbruns. This invalidated the Thiefenbruns claim. So Hamish did not win on a technicality. He won because the bearing and the product utilising the bearing predated the 1972 Thiefenbrun patent appliucation. Linn appealed that ruling. Because there is a precedent which states that if a designer's property is publicly displayed without the consent of the designer this negates to prior existence of public knowledge and nullifies any existence in the public domain prior to patent. In other words Ivor said that his family never gave permission for the design to be publically released. So what won the case for the Thiefenbruns was I said/ He said. Ivor said he never gave permission. It's probably not all false. If Ivor doesn't own the design, he doesn't give permission, right? It's not a lie. When the judge asks Hamish "Did you get permission?" Hamish says "No". But Hamish never had to get permission for his own design. How does the Thiefenbrun company Castle make a turntable for Hamish, hand production runs(plural) over to Hamish to sell via his own separate company(ie not under the Castle label) and say that they didn't give permission? How does the Thiefenbrun company Castle during the assembly and finishing process stick Ariston stickers all over the turntable and then say that they didn't give permission nor did they have any knowledge that Hamish was stealing their turntable?

    Second paragraph: Your view takes one of Ivor's explanations and surmises. Like I said for Hamish to have approached Castle to machine and assemble a turntable and Castle to have accepted the commision, Hamish must have had something to present to Castle by way of if not rough sketches, full blueprinted drawings. Once he handed the drawings over to Castle, Hamish hands over the proof that the design originated with him. They are not obligated to incriminate themselves and produce documentation that proves Hamish is correct. All they have to do is deny. " I don't recall that Your Honour".

    Third paragraph: The Harrogate showing. Hamish arranges for his turntable to be shown at a trade show. Castle have made it for him and it is plastered with Ariston stickers. Interest is good. Further runs of the turntable commissioned. Ariston stickers all over it. Every Ariston sticker lovingly placed on the RD 11 by a Thiefenbrun Castle employee. The timeline clearly shows that the Thiefenbruns were aware of the sales of the design being made as Ariston RD 11, were intergral to the existence and provision of product to Ariston. In doing so it is clear that the Thiefenbruns fabricated the back story about the deck being entirely their development. That false story was the reason that the decision was finally awarded against Hamish.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2018 at 12:02 AM
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  13. theophile

    theophile Pheasant Plucker. Subscriber

    Linn's argument vs Hamish's argument. bucket-holes-water-coming-out-34846036.jpg image.jpg
     
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  14. IMF_Pioneer

    IMF_Pioneer Member

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  15. theophile

    theophile Pheasant Plucker. Subscriber

    Last edited: May 14, 2018 at 2:17 PM
  16. theophile

    theophile Pheasant Plucker. Subscriber

    See Ivor, the trouble with telling lies, is that you have to keep telling more lies in an attempt to patch the incongruities of your previous lies and the problem that arises is that the lies upon lies upon lies aren't true. So when the truth comes out, the lies are immediately exposed for what they are: Untruths.

    Now I can see why you named the company Linn. It's meant to be pronounced: Lyin'.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2018
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  17. theophile

    theophile Pheasant Plucker. Subscriber

    Ivor: We had no knowledge that Hamish was doing this. We never gave our consent for Hamish to show or sell our property. Hamish stole from us.

    Linn # 00005

    Ivor to customer: This is only number 5. We don't have a manual printed yet. Here is the Ariston RD 11 manual. It is exactly the same turntable, so keep this.
     
  18. IMF_Pioneer

    IMF_Pioneer Member

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  19. theophile

    theophile Pheasant Plucker. Subscriber

    All of the earliest Linn Sondeks will bear the imprint of the RD 11 because they are the RD 11 under another name. Gotta love that chopped off yellow sticker Ivor. Haha.
     
  20. mkane

    mkane AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    looks like the Heybrook TT2 that passed through here a while ago
     

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