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DavidHB last won the day on March 7 2020

DavidHB had the most liked content!


1,482 Excellent


About DavidHB

  • Rank
    Veteran Wammer
    Veteran Wammer

Personal Info

  • Location
    Isle of Wight, UK
  • Real Name

Wigwam Info

  • Turn Table
    LP12 (Klimax)
  • Tone Arm & Cartridge
    Ekos SE/1, Kandid
  • SUT / Phono Stage
    Urika II
  • Digital Source 1
    Klimax Exakt DSM
  • Digital Source 2
    Majik DSM/4
  • DAC
    Akurate Exaktbox 10
  • Pre-Amp
    Akurate Exaktbox 10
  • Power Amp/s
    Akurate 4200s/2200
  • My Speakers
    Akubariks, M109s
  • Headphones
    Grado SR 225
  • Trade Status
    I am not in the Hi-Fi trade

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  1. Let's face facts. "Optimal sound" is about as real as the crock of gold at the end of the rainbow.. There is no point in trying to go there. The really clever trick is in training ourselves to get maximum enjoyment from what we have. Then each upgrade becomes not another step along the road to an unattainable ideal but a process of discovery in itself and valid in its own terms. David
  2. Obviously, Series 3 demonstrates that what you propose is a functionally viable setup. But it would ne interesting to see what styling and ergonomics Linn would come up with to provide on device control functionality. There's also the question as to what the expectations of the customer base might be at the £30K+ price point of the system. Would Linn be prepared to reduce that price if it no longer includes a System Hub, I wonder? David
  3. Yes, I know this. So does my family, but they are still insistent that I should be vaccinated before I travel at all far afield. A classic illustration of the fact that, though there are always reasons for what we do, it does not follow that those reasons are always rational. David
  4. That's what we get for being so near you lot in Tier 4 ... That's just wrong. I Assuming (1) that the KRDS is working normally and (2) you turned off its internal volume control,. Then even an original spec KRDS should significantly outperform a Sneaky, not the other way round. Did you by any chance try reinstating the volume control on the KRDS, and connecting it directly to the Klouts, bypassing the Kairn? I note that the DS output has (as I would expect) a rated sensitivity output sensitivity 2V RMS/150 Ohms at unity gain (i.e with the volume control off), while the Kairn CD input sensitivity is specified as 188mV/24 kilohms. Others more knowledgeable than I will be able to say whether this constitutes a mismatch. This seems unlikely. The Sneaky, like the KRDS, outputs at 2V RMS at unity gain (but has an output impedance of 300 Ohms) David.
  5. Well, 2020 started with the Karousel and Kandid upgrade and finished with the replacement of my second system with an MDSM/4 and a pair of 109s, and there was a lot of enjoyable listening in between. There are two things I want for 2021. The first is for my dealer Chris Fuller of Hidden Systems to recover from the serious illness he has had. And the second is to get vaccinated against COVID, so that I can visit him at his shop in Windsor, and see what kind of upgrade rabbit he can pull out of his hat. David
  6. While I might not have been quite as forthright as you, this was essentially my concern as well. A competent review will among other things, base whatever conclusions it reaches on considered facts and informed judgement. As IMO both were signally deficient in the review under discussion, the competence of the said review is in serious doubt. My own experience of the actual product, probably over a longer period than the reviewers had it is sufficiently at variance with what the review says that I consider it misleading and a disservice to the buying public. David
  7. Of course. That makes sense. I was puzzling over the connections I could see. Now I think about it, was not Neale buying the 302s for use as rears? That could mean that he is driving them from his DSM in the other room. I think it can. It's just that, in the diagram you show, all 3 Exakt ports are in use. David
  8. This is, at least in part, a valid point, given the way that Linn uses the dealer network to market its products. But circumstances alter cases. I think that the majority of users would be ill-advised to set up their own LP12, for instance. But the MDSM/4 which is the subject of this thread, is hardly more difficult to set up than a Sonos, which a user would expect to install. As we all know, setting up electronic gear of any kind is is as much about availability of information as about user competence and confidence. There are cases (dismantling and setting up the system during a house move, for instance) where, even if the initial setup was done by the dealer, we would normally expect to do the job ourselves. That is the point at which the messy presentation of the required information creates an issue, IMO unnecessarily. I think we are pretty much agreed on that. It would be equally true to say that some of us started buying Linn kit in earnest because the sound was not so much more analytical as more real and immediate than the competition could offer. It think that it is wise to assume that debates on this point are at least as much about what listeners are like as about what the kit is like. As regards Space Optimisation, I can only report that, after setting it up and testing it on my MDSM/4 in less than half an hour (and I'm a slow worker on these things), SO transformed the bass output from muddy and ill-balanced to precise and well integrated. Even though I had done SO (admittedly version 1) with the 109s before, I was surprised how much of a difference it made. David
  9. I thought that Neale actually had a KEDSM, though that's not what his Wigwam info says. Either way, he must be running his Exakt 350s from an Exakt port on the DSM. Depending on which model Neale does have, there are either two or four such ports, and I guess that the only way he can be running the Series 3s is from another Exakt port. Later: it now occurs to me that Neale is also using the Urika II. So if he has a KDSM, its two ports will be insufficient for both sets of speakers and the Urika. The KEDSM, with four ports, would be fine. David
  10. Perhaps the most sensible antidote to the review is a discussion of what the MDSM/4 is actually like. The casework certainly seems plainer than I had been led to expect from pictures, but plain is not the same thing as "less premium". The cleverly machined pattern of ventilation slots, and the Linn logo at the left rear corner, on the top of the case are clear indications that the device is not meant to be stacked or shoved into a tight shelf space. The rear panel is as orderly and as well labelled as we have come to expect, though the presence of a USB socket will prompt a wry smile from those who remember Linn's former outspoken hostility to USB. Even now, the socket is for audio playback only, not to connect storage devices. The rear mounted mains switch will be regarded by some as a regression, but, if, as intended, the device is placed on a shelf or the top of a cabinet, the switch is fully accessible. The display is, in terms of quality of presentation, better than anything else I have seen from Linn (other than the Selekt, of course). It is far superior to the display on my KEDSM. The buttons are both neat and easy to use. The case buttons, including the 'joystick' are neat but not overly fiddly to use. There's the sense that the device is there to do a job reliably and without fuss. There are some niggles (none mentioned in the review, incidentally). Those ventilation slots reveal that three blue LEDs have been fitted to the main board, and that they glow brightly whenever the device is powered. The light shines up through the slots, and can be annoying in a darkened room. There seems to be no way of turning the LEDs off. Setup is also more complicated than it should be, because there is no single document that tells the new owner, step by step, what he or she needs to do to get the device working. I have now owned four DSMs; this is the one on which, even as an experienced user, I have found it hardest to navigate through the documentation, while, for different aspects of the setup process, I have found myself using three separate applications - Kazoo, the Linn Account and Konfig. I had dealer help with the installation, but the setup should be no more complex in most cases than setting up an old-style component Hi-Fi and well within the capabilities of many owners.Tidying up the documentation would make this process a good deal easier. The final niggle relates to the power amplification. The inbuilt class D amplifiers do deliver the same 100wpc RMS into 4 Ohms as their Chakra counterparts in the previous MDSMs. However, the Class D amplifiers have, as the documentation makes clear, significantly lower gain than their predecessors. I find that music I would play at a volume setting of 50 to 55 on my main system, needs, for a similar perceived volume level, to be played at a setting of 60 to 65 on the MDSM.This difference is a small irritation when moving between my systems. I have set the startup volume on the MDSM to 60, which helps. But, of course, most of the above is of relatively little significance compared to what the MDSM sounds like, with the M109s with which it is paired in the Linn marketing literature. Now that the system has been pretty much run in, it is proving itself fully capable of bringing out the character and dynamic of any music it is asked to play. There is a fullness and an immediacy in the sound picture which keeps the listener's attention and is very enjoyable. There is less sense of the acoustic environment in which the music is playing than there is in my primary (Exakt) system, and also some limitation in the tonal range. As would be expected, the lower bass is somewhat lacking in depth, but that is an inevitable limitation of the 109s or almost any reasonably priced standmount speaker, and previous experience tells me that it is fixable with a decent subwoofer. (I have already reported that a simple application of SO v2, using the room model inherited from the Kiko that was the MDSM's predecessor, tightened up the bass and greatly improved the tonal balance of the system.) As I indicated in my previous post, I see the MDSM/4 plus passive speaker setup as all the Hi-Fi many music lovers and even some audiophiles will need, neatly packaged and sensibly priced. The Kiko served me well for six years, but the MDSM has proved to be all of the substantial upgrade I was looking for. In terms of value for money, I think that it challenges pretty much everything that sits above it in the Linn product hierarchy. David
  11. Perhaps I should have said that the Lejonklou phono stages do not require regular user intervention; once the switch position has been set for the cartridge, the Entity, like the Slipsik, can be placed in any suitable free space at the back of the shelf, out of sight. David
  12. This is, I concede, to an extent fair comment, albeit more generous than I am prepared to be. What the review does not do explicitly, however, is describe one or more actual use cases and relate the product to those cases, thereby providing an assessment from the user perspective. With all-in-one products particularly, this is important. The MDSM/1 was, I found, unsuited to the use case of my primary system. Its /4 successor is ideal as my second system. For a prospective purchaser, that kind of experience-based information is invaluable. The comments on both SO and sound quality are so much at variance with my experience of the MDSM/4 over the past couple of weeks that I can only believe some kind of external bias is at work. Now I'm not saying that the MDSM/M109 combination is the best system I have ever heard (my much more expensive primary system is in another league and does a different job), but I am saying that it is at least as good as the Quad and LS3/5A system I had for over 20 years, and which cost me in real terms a lot more money. If I were using the MDSM as a primary system, I'd probably add a subwoofer (I had one with the LS3/5As). If my late wife were still alive, that configuration might be all the Hi-Fi system we would want or need for the 2020s. I suspect that there are plenty of people in a similar situation. To the extent that this review deters such people from listening to the MDSM/4 for themselves, it is seriously unhelpful. David
  13. Obviously, Linn are not giving What Hi-Fi enough advertising revenue. This is a mealy-mouthed review if ever I read one. There are two criticisms of the MDSM/4. The first is of the build quality. When you read the review, you find that the criticism is not of the physical build quality, but of the styling, which the reviewer finds rather plain in comparison with the Selekt and its joystick control. A comment which IMO definitely fails the "so what?" test. As the owner of an MDSM/4 and a previous owner of an ADSM/1, I'd say that the build quality of the former is, for all practical purposes, similar to that of the latter (the extra thickness of the Alurate case is the main difference). The other criticism is enunciated in these words: "The Linn Majik DSM is not as versatile and all-encompassing in the sound department as it is for its features and that ultimately costs it a fifth star." What on earth that is supposed to mean I have not the faintest idea. We are told is that the reviewer prefers the Naim Uniti Atom on some tracks. But the range of musical comparisons that are reported seems pretty narrow to me, with no classical music and (unless my limited knowledge is at fault) no jazz either. The reviewer also judges Space Optimisation on the basis of a short and badly self-taught acquaintance. I found myself wanting to shout in his ear that the simple use of the one preference slider - in other words, pretty much the simplest tweak imaginable - would have changed his view completely. But then, perhaps the editorial direction had been that the review had to be a bit sniffy, justifiably or otherwise. A useful review would have considered likely use cases for a product such as the MDSM, and assessed the extent to which it meets possible requirements. There's none of that here. The obvious question - "is this ,'just add speakers' solution all the HiFi users with £4K to spend are likely to need?" - is not even hinted at. All we get is an ill-focused and ill-informed expression of subjective opinion. It's just such a pity that people out there who could make good use of an MDSM/4 will believe this nonsense. David
  14. Quite And you'd find that, as you'd expect, the Urika is better again, though there is reason to believe that the Lejonklou Entity tops the bill for MC users who do not have Exakt systems. For MM users, I think that the Lejonklou Slipsik 7 is in a class of its own among phono stages I have heard. Incidentally, the Lejonklou phono stages are quite tiny and require no user intervention, so in many systems they can be hidden at the back of a shelf, thereby not adding to the visible box count. David
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