Linn Karik CD Player

Linn Karik CD Player


The Linn Karik is probably one of the best transport/CD players ever built. I say transport/CD player because the Mk I Linn Karik has no on board DAC and must be partnered ideally with the Linn Numerik DAC (if you want to take advantage of Linn's proprietary clock syncing). The Linn Karik was launched in January 1992 and it was not until after serial number 3000, that an onboard DAC was included. This is something to be wary of when buying the Linn Karik on ebay although I have seen late model Kariks auction for under £250 which is fantastic value considering the original cost was over £4000 for the Linn Karik/Numerik combination.

The Linn Karik was manufactured until May 1999 and not including various updates was produced in three guises. We have mentioned already the differences between the Karik I and II. The Linn Karik III first appeared in December 1994, and the main differences are mainly internal with a brand new circuit board being used which took advantage of surface mount technolgy rather than thru hole. The Linn Karik III also had a different remote control system which was auto calibrating unlike the original.

A wonderfully well made and musical CD player whether the internal DAC is used or it is partnered with the more sophisticated Linn Numerik, it has a truly excellent transport system which was developed by Linn, and if you can find a machine in good condition on Ebay at a sensible price, then they are well worth the outlay.

This entry was posted on Friday September 15th, 2006 at 5:29 PM and is filed under CD Players. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response.

11 Responses to Linn Karik CD Player

Marco pieraccini Says:
January 29th, 2007 at 2:47 AM


Do you know what type of transport is used on the Karik III? I'm not quite sure if it's Linn's own or one of the popular Philips-based ones. And are they still available if anything should go wrong?

I'm in the market to buy a Karik III and wondered what the going rate for one is in good condition?


Hi-fi insight Says:
January 29th, 2007 at 10:17 AM


I am fairly certain Linn use their own custom built transports.

Marco pieraccini Says:
January 29th, 2007 at 10:18 AM

Thanks for the reply - interesting.

Do you know if Linn still carry transport mechs for the Karik, or if not, if they can be (reasonably) easily obtained elsewhere?

If I'm going for a Karik I'd like some peace of mind that I won't be left with a relic when the laser goes.


Hi-fi insight Says:
January 29th, 2007 at 10:19 AM

I think you would need to contact Linn for an answer to that one.

Allan sã¸rensen Says:
June 1st, 2007 at 1:03 PM

And thanks for an interesting article. I am proud owner of one of the original Karik (II) from 1992 and it is still running like a jewel. It needs a replacement laser head but I found a site in Germany which sells replacements, which are apparently also used in some Denon units.

Linn does not carry any parts or do any service to the Karik (answer from Danish distributor) but you can still order laser heads from Germany (

My question is if there is a site for DIY people to guide me as to how I replace the laser head.

Thanks & Regards,

Filip kaslik Says:
July 22nd, 2007 at 6:35 PM

For folks who wants DIY the laser head of their Kariks.

S.m. Says:
October 21st, 2007 at 11:19 AM


FYI, the price of the Karik/Numerik at launch, in 1991, was £2590.

When discounted, in 1999, they were priced as follows:

Karik III - £1850
Numerik - £1500

Also, I can confirm that the Karik, in any version, uses Linn's own transport, as does the Ikemi, Sondek CD12, and current Akurate CD player. It is the lower priced players, such as the Mimik and Genki, that use non-Linn transports.

Donald venables Says:
August 29th, 2008 at 4:11 PM

can you obtain any main boards for linn karik cd players ?

Paul bras Says:
February 11th, 2009 at 12:55 PM

Does anyone know where I can get a circuit diagram for this?

Steve Says:
September 19th, 2009 at 8:00 PM


Can anyone confirm if replacing the laser will solve my Karik I (one of the first) from skiping while playing. Gerarally it will not play track 1 on any cd

Steen Says:
December 18th, 2009 at 12:33 PM

Hi Steve:
To my knowledge it could be two things: close to burned-out laser, or a bit more likely the servo circuit, as it is the first track which is placed close to the center where the laser do not have to be adjusted vertically so much. My machine has faults in skipping, the laser is new, and I was advised to replace the electrolytical capacitors in the servo circiut. With no diagram I will simply replace all! Costs me 30 PS as I can solder.

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