PhotoMax

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PhotoMax last won the day on January 21

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About PhotoMax

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    Experienced Wammer

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  • Location
    Seattle
  • Real Name
    Maxwell

Wigwam Info

  • Digital Source 1
    Akurate DSM Hub
  • Digital Source 2
    Akurate Exaktbox Kat
  • My Speakers
    140s
  • Trade Status
    I am not in the Hi-Fi trade

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  1. One other thing: Linn is high end audio. Your new Linn digital system is going to be quite revealing, especially if it is a lot different from any previous systems. You might be following the footsteps of many others who discover that these systems can be very rewarding to good recordings but can be quite punishing with bad recordings. My experience, after building two systems, is that that this is more the case with digital than analog (ignoring cracks and pops with playing records). 😁 It can be quite unnerving to spend a few hours enjoying music when one recording will make you sit bolt upright and go “what the hell is that?” Just like nails on a chalkboard. A good stress test while you evaluate things is to stream recordings that have a reputation for excellent sound quality. And then play a couple of albums that are known for sounding bad. The reality is that expensive systems can sound great but can be fatiguing after some hours. If you are constantly reaching for the volume control due to irritability then that is a sign that you and your system are not a perfect match. The trick is to do all you can before jumping on the swapping components roller coaster...
  2. I would also download a decibel app for your phone and measure the distance from the speakers and decibel levels. What level makes you smile and what level makes you frown? Getting a similar satisfaction from low levels can be a challenge. The distance from the speakers to the rear wall can play a major factor here... How much playing time have these speakers had? I am not so sure about break in time for power cables, etc, but my recent new speaker purchases have demonstrated that the sound settles in and improves with time (40-200 hours)...
  3. Hi! Zee has some solid suggestions. The M140s are good speakers and are a relative bargain in the current Linn food chain. Stepping aside from the front end options I would do these two things first: 1) if your speakers have the stock bases then upgrade to the metal bases. I wish Linn would just sell the 140s with the better metal bases and charge a little more. 2) study SO and examine your listening room. Basically what SO offers is way for you to measure all your room factors, determine the best location for your speakers (optimal location) and then reposition your speakers to a more room friendly practical location while allowing you to tweak the sound. There are two favors of SO. I would try Version One first. This is all a fine mix of art, science, luck and voodoo witchcraft. It will take hours of study and experimentation. But worth the effort. Reading these forums can make you believe you must spend tons of cash to get good audio quality. Spending and improved sound is not a linear equation though. Where spending and satisfaction intersects is a personal thing. Trust your ears and take your time...
  4. You are spot on with your observation here Paul. Again, this is a complicated arena that is shifting rapidly. Look at SONOS. SONOS has enjoyed a huge market share with a reputation for flexibility and supporting more streaming services than just about any player in this market. Super audio quality was never the driving force. For years SONOS ignored and/or rejected any calls for adding hi res capability. Their main point was that with this level of kit the added bandwidth was not going to really increase sound quality. But things change. More and more manufacturers and streaming services began to champion hi res. People wanted hi res even if they really did not understand it. The growing gorilla in the yard for SONOS was Bluesound with their array of similar priced boxes but with hi res capability. The Bluesound message was this: “Premium music services like TIDAL®, Deezer®, Qobuz® and Spotify® – as well as virtually all other popular music services and internet radio stations are already built-in. High- end DAC technology built into every Bluesound player can decode and stream MQA files in all their lossless glory. ” After years of denying hi res had a future SONOS flipped. In orchestrating the rollout for a new SONOS 2 app with hi res the company stumbled (badly) through a series of steps that created legacy product obsolescence, component bricking, massive confusion, and waves of customer anger. Once the dust settles it will be interesting to see what kind of shape SONOS will be in...
  5. I listened to the new remastered version of Abbey Road, played at a hi bitrate via Qobuz. The clarity, detail, soundstage (add as many audio buzzwords as you need) was amazing. Very revealing! But the experience was a little disconcerting? After decades of listening to this album you become used to how it sounds. This new sound, while fabulous and rich just sounded “different”. Is this the sound Sir George Martin was striving for? If this technology was available to him at the time how would have he approached the mix?
  6. This could all be bored silly audio chatter in a pandemic if Linn’s sales and future are solid. I have no idea how Linn is doing? What I notice in the three other forums I follow is how much confusion there is with bit rates, sampling, “quality” and streaming in general. The recent increase in higher resolutions only complicates this further. Opinions are all over the map. The “bits are bits” arguments are but one example. If most amps “go to ten” and some “go to eleven” you can be assured that some buyers will go for the eleven. Just human nature. Most streaming serves a huge majority that does not own Linn level gear or cares about hi res. But the minority that does want the best sound and hi res pay dearly for it. This is a crowded manufactuer market even though the market in terms of consumer numbers is pretty small. Only a couple of the streaming services offer hi res. Tidal is a major player here even though their share of the market is nothing like Spotify, etc. For better or worse their hi res delivery is MQA. Linn can publish a thousand papers on why MQA is a solution looking for a problem. But if MQA, DSD and other hi res rates are attracting consumers then sales and development budgets will follow. There are a lot of cheaper and more expensive options than Linn. Most cater to this hi res market with better flexibility than Linn. My concern with Linn is are they being Don Quixote here?
  7. The other end of the stick: say a user is satisfied Tidal customer who wants to upgrade their hardware: would they choose a Linn DSM knowing that the increasing volume of hi res albums would not be compatible? It might be “marketing stuff” but that drives sales, which drives profits which drives increased development...
  8. I get that. But one wonders about the market here? Linn was an early pioneer in this arena. But there is tons of competition now. I follow other forums beyond this cozy Linn nest. Out there comments like “Linn is resolution challenged”, etc, abound. In this challenging time of a pandemic on top of declining dealerships, reduced home trials, etc, specs comparisons rule the day. If a buyer compares an equally expensive box from Lumin, DCS, etc, to a Linn and that box does more, is more flexible, then I would think Linn would see their market share erode...
  9. I agree with Kelly. There is a portion of the streamer/DAC buying public who WANT MQA and DSD. Once they learn that Linn does not give them that they move on to other options of which there are plenty of solid choices...
  10. There should be a search tool at the bottom. Linn DCMs will not play hi res files via Tidal as they are MQA. If you really want to play hi res then your main options are to add Roon (with costs extra money but will unfold the MQA files from Tidal) or use Qobuz...
  11. Everyone’s mileage is going to vary. I have an old friend who mainly listens to YouTube for his music. I used Apple Music when I leaned on SONOS more. Once I started upgrading my Linn system and building a second system around Pass Labs gear I gladly dropped Apple Music. I have flirted with several other options but now subscribe to Tidal and Qobuz.
  12. If I recall correctly my XA had a nasty hum when I purchased it. Most likely this fault was reflected in the purchase price. At that time I had very little money. I aspired to becoming an electrical engineer in high school. I remember opening the guts of this table and using a soldering iron removed the wire that connects to the tone arm on the deck. I added a shrink tube and resoldered the wire. This worked! I used this table while attending the Rochester Institute of Technology in upstate New York. Rochester had two massively AWESOME record stores: the Record Archive and the House of Guitars. I loved wasting countless hours and all my money buying great music...
  13. Gig Harbor Audio is a classic: owned and staffed by guys who love audio. Highly recommended...
  14. Great thread! My college days turntable was a used AR-XA. I loved this thing. Playing albums without a tone arm lever did present challenges while “under the influence” though! 😇 A local shop in Washington State has made modifying these classics a signature product line... https://www.gigharboraudio.com/gha-custom-units
  15. Some Hifi guys believe you need to spend 3X over your existing kit to really hear a worthy upgrade? Is that true? It depends. This is not a one size fits all arena. You can spend 4X over your old component(s) and you might feel punched in the stomach after realizing you can not really hear any real 2X performance gain. Or you might swap a component for a different one of equal value (or less) and suddenly gain a perfect system with better synergy with other existing gear. Such is the game of high end audio. Keeping everything Linn means that you will be following a well tested path blazed by other Linnies. But there are a lot of different upgrade options with older/upgraded/new DSM units, amplification and speakers. So many combinations with a massive price range. What might be one owner’s budget compromise might be another’s “no way, that’s silly money!”. Your mileage may vary, as the old saying goes. My $.02 is to come up with a realistic budget. Don’t go crazy but try to settle on a figure of “the best you can afford”. I would then try to have a careful listening audition to hear what you will get for your chosen budget. Then try to listen to other option(s) below and above your budget. This can be dangerous as you might consider selling a kidney if you become instantly seduced by much more expensive gear. But I think it’s good to identify what Linn (or any brand) kit sounds like? Ask yourself how much better sounding is the kit that costs four times (4X) than the cheaper option? Your ears and your ears alone will determine if that expenditure is worth it. You might conclude that the upgrade is worth it. I find that time helps you recover from the shock of spending a big chunk of money. You could decide that the cost of the contemplated upgrade is not worth it. It’s good to be honest with oneself here. If you are not connecting with the up the food chain Linn options but still find your existing system lacking then your best option would be widening the search to alternatives beyond Linn. There is a ton of quality gear out there...