No plans to buy one (where's the weed killer Auntie?) yet, but I went along to InFidelity in Hampton Wick yesterday to have a listen to Linn's new comitment to the two channel cause. Having heard Linn kit sounding pretty average at the last few shows I have attended I was looking forward to hearing a good demo in a decent room.
There are 3 units to the system, CD (£1950), Pre (£1750)and Power (£1400), all in the current Linn style and all controlled by a single remote.
The system was set up using Linn cables with a pair of PMC GB1 floorstanders.
I took a couple of CD's that I had listened to at home just before leaving, so with Grace by Jeff Buckley in the tray the demo began.
Well what struck me first as the difference between my system (Linn Classik, LK140 & PMC TB2+) was the extra emphasis on the bass, which I put down to the speakers, but all in all it was a nice tidy sound not disimilar to the home set up. Played a few tracks and then a bit of Jean Michel Jarre and the Who and I was thinking that for the money I might as well stick with what I had because it sounded so similar, So not to be beaten down we tried the system with the Classik assource and then switched back to the Majik CD - from the first pluck of the guitar string on Lilac Wine by JB boy could I hear the difference, more detail and sense of realism and when the vocal started more emotion and space to the presentation (much more like vinyl than CD). So we quickly discarded the Classik and tried a more powerful amp instead of the 100 wattC2100 we plugged in the 200w version. Now the music was propelled along with a bit more oomph, there was more poise and every note was pin sharp and started and stopped in a very precise way. There was very little background noise with the bigger amp and it offers a lot more than just the ability to play louder. Putting my hand on the amps revealed them to not produce as much heat as my LK140.
The pre amp looks simple but has a lot of features, so I suppose for those who want to fiddle can have fun or it can just be used in default mode for ease of use. The pre also has a pretty good MM/MC phono stage but I didn't get to try it out. The remote lets the side down a bit by being complicated to use with a big variety of different shaped buttons, but the fit and finish of the Majik components is very good with silver and black options.
To finish we removed the PMC speakers and brought a pair of Linn Katan standmounters. These gave the sound a sweeter midrange but with considerably less bass slam than the PMC's and were in my opinion not as good. The PMC speakers seemed really well matched to the Linn amps, and I would recommend them over the Katans or the Ninkas.
So to conclude, Icould be tempted to buy a Majik system, I think it would sound great with my TB2+ speakers, but I would ideally swap the C2100 amp for a C2200 or even the C4200 to really make the set up sing! The CD player is the best part of thestandard Majik system and I think Linn are missing a trick by marketing it as a part of a system rather than as a stand alone item of quality hifi.The basic system costs £5100 but an extra £800 buys the 200 watt amp for extra control. There is a lot of electronics in modern Linn gear, but it seems to be put to good use in making a nicely musical controlled sound. I am sure that mixing and matching various manufacturers kit could give a better sound for this sort of money, but there is a lot to be said for a setup which is simple to buy and deploy and looks as good as this one does... and I've always had a soft spot for Linn gear!