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  1. #1
    Founding Member ClassikFan's Avatar
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    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!


    Just coz you got the power... that don't mean you got the right.

  2. #2
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    Classik, nice write up, and I think you have described the sound of the system spot on.

    I have to admit I prefer the sound of the Ninkas to the PMC GB1 but I'm dyed in the wool Linnie and really like what Linn speakers do.

    The benefit of the ninkas are going active with them, then you would really notice how good the speakers/amps together can be. From my experience, going active with the Linn gear really makes a serious step up in their performance.

    Have to say if I had the money, I'd also be seriously tempted by the Majik system.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator Duvet's Avatar
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    Excellent write up Stuart. Seems like you now have a good idea and long term plan about upgrading the system. How does the Majik compare to your vinyl as a source.
    First pressings son !

  4. #4
    Founding Member ClassikFan's Avatar
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    The Ninkas nearly put me off Linn for life a couple of years back, but I have heard that they are better in active mode.

    Without having carried out a direct comparison with my TT I would say the Majik CD is fairly close. They offered to let me take it home, but I had to be strong and say no.

    These hifi dealers are like drug dealers offering free samples to get me hooked!

    What I forgot to say in the main review was in respect to the bass. The Majik CD produced a lot more of it than the Classik CD. I thought it was the speakers and amplification that was making the difference but was surprised to discover how much was down to the new CD player.

    Just coz you got the power... that don't mean you got the right.

  5. #5
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    ClassikFan wrote:
    The Ninkas nearly put me off Linn for life a couple of years back, but I have heard that they are better in active mode.

    As much as I quite like the ninkas, after demoing them when they first came out I decided to stay with my Keilidhs - and trust me these aren't popular with Linnies let alone non-Linnies.

    In my opinion ALL Linn speakers sound better active, which is why there is the upgrade path to them. I don't think Linn dealers always push this properly.

    I agree with your comments about the bass from the new cd player - it is very good.

  6. #6
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    Good write-up Classikfan - Linn systems seem to elude me in domestic environments, and I'm fast learning not to trust what I hear at shows...

    Are you using your Classik and LK140 to biampyour PMCs? I ask, because my experience of the PMCs is they respond better to biamping than to an incremental increase in amplifier quality - it's possible that a more comparable Majik setup with two power amps would more accurately highlight the differences? (And more comprehensively blitz your wallet... )

    churz, eofs

  7. #7
    Founding Member ClassikFan's Avatar
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    Hi Earl

    I'm with you on Linn at shows. The first one I went to I made straight for the Linn demo and was most disappointed.

    The TB2's are bi amped and the Magic System I would hypotheticaly buy would probably use a 4 chanel amp to bi amp. The demo I had used the GB1's with a 2 chanel amp and they sounded mighty fine to these ears.

    Its all pie in the sky anyhow as I am £5999.98 short of six grand at the moment!

    Classik
    Just coz you got the power... that don't mean you got the right.

  8. #8
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    Hey nice to see a write up....... I had a similar demo a few weeks back, I used the classik system to compare my 5125 against the C4200 AKTIV into Ninka's.

    To my mind you only buy Linn speakers because you plan togo active... (Katan and the older Tukan are superb active). If wanted to stay passive, there are loads of others to try....... BUT not heard a passive speaker do what an active one can yet !...it's a one way trip !!!

    Classikfan, you could do 80-90% of the update for a lot lesscost.... The Majik CDP on it's own is good move... Then either an exdem Exotik about £1100, or even a S/H 5103 is still a great sounding pre-amp and a bargain at about £600 on fleebay. Then for a power amp either a second LK140 to bi-amp, or sell it and get a 5125 which is much better, and bi-amp with that. OR a used 2250, which "officially" falls between the C2100 and C2200.... I've only compared them active, and mine had updated internal wiring, and it beat the new chakra !!! So don't discount the slightly older amps.... the 5125 or 2250 should be found for about 700-800 notes.

    I found the Ninka quite bassy, and needed carefull room placement, demo room was a bit poor anyway..... oh so much better than Keilidh ;) Active bass rules !

    Playing Tunes the Linn Way.

  9. #9
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    9designs wrote:
    I found the Ninka quite bassy, and needed carefull room placement, demo room was a bit poor anyway..... oh so much better than Keilidh ;) Active bass rules !
    Thanks for proving my point ;)

    Active bass does indeed rule

  10. #10
    Founding Member ClassikFan's Avatar
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    Delivered some printing to Infidelity today and had another look at the Majik system, they had a black one on one shelf and a silver version on another. Looks superb IMO.

    Where can I get £6k? without doing anything illegal.
    Just coz you got the power... that don't mean you got the right.

  11. #11
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    ClassikFan wrote:
    Delivered some printing to Infidelity today and had another look at the Majik system, they had a black one on one shelf and a silver version on another. Looks superb IMO.

    Where can I get £6k? without doing anything illegal.
    Be patient the serial box swappers will have some on ebay soon..... or a dealer will sell them off in the spring exdem, after the winter demo/selling season....

    Do you really thinkI paid full whack for my 1.1

    I think black still looks the best, I converted my player from silver, cost about £80 for the new front and top sleeve.

    Remember looking out for any of the Chakra power amps or the Exotik Pre is buying the same level of kit.....Doesn't have to say Majik on the front ;)
    Playing Tunes the Linn Way.

  12. #12
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    Like others I am about £5,9990 short of the money to buy the system demo'd. I did buy some speakers from Infidelity many years ago (Musical Technology Kestrel SE) which I still use and still love. My wife and I had a wonderful afternoon demo-ing speakers. I can't recall who the staff member was who was with us but his enthusiasm for music was obvious. Even when it was clear which speakers we were going to buy he kept bringing out more CD's just so we could listen to music he thought we would like. What an attidude. We ended up with a new pair of speakers and about half a dozen new CD's which we had to go elsewhere to buy. Good times. A shop well worth visiting and using.

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