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Linn Owners

Akurate Hub (AEDSM) Upgrade To Klimax Hub

Paulssurround

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Yesterday, I received my new Klimax Hub. It is a 2018 variant, manufactured in 2021 but only in service for 2 months.

‘This unit replaces my 2014 AEDSM/ Akurate Hub which has served me very well, since I upgraded my Akubariks to Exakt about 7 years ago.

‘I recently had the NGKDSM in my system, on loan, and was wondering how it compares to the 2018 variant Klimax Hub. An opportunity came up to purchase a virtually new 2018 variant. With some hesitation, on whether to hold out for a new NGKSH, I decided to buy one listed on Canuck Audio Mart from a fellow with an excellent sales reputation. 

The new Klimax Hub was eagerly installed in my system, with a few glitches for connectivity with the Linn hierarchy for Konfig, Kazoo and my Linn account.

‘Frankly, I was not expecting a significant improvement in sound quality but thinking it might be a moderate improvement over my trusty AEDSM. I was wrong.

‘At first, the music sounded thin and anemic, but after a few hours of playing music in stereo and surround, BluRay movies and TV, sound quality improvement was dramatic. I was using a brand new Linn power cord, so perhaps it needed a bit of burn in time.

‘I played a number of 5.1 music albums streamed through my OPPO 105 into the Klimax Hub (Steely Dan: Gaucho, Donald Fagen: Nightfly, Ten Years After: A Space In Time, Roxy Music: Avalon, The Police: Every Breathe You Take. This was the best setup I have ever heard in my system, bar the NGKDSM

As expected, TV picture quality improved as the Klimax Hub has an HDMI 2.0 board, which my Akurate did not. The TV picture was richer, with more detail and a 3 dimensional aspect to the people in the screen. TV sound quality was also a big improvement compared with the Akurate. The Akubariks seemed to disappear, with the sound appearing to emanate from the TV screen, but much bigger sound stage. I experienced this with the NGKSH in my system as well.

Playing a 4K BluRay movies, Bohemian Rapsody (the story of Freddy Mercury) and Samsara, an 8K extravaganza highlighting cultures and scenery around the world, picture and sound quality was more on par with what I experienced with the NGKDSM, compared to the AEDSM.

‘Overall, the difference between the NGKDSM and my new KSH was not as great as I thought it would be. The KSH was far closer to the sound quality of the NGKDSM than I thought possible.

‘This was money well spent and I think an admirable leap forward in the sound quality of my Linn.

‘With the new NGKSH and NGKDSM now available, a lot of pre-loved Klimax Hubs and Klimax DSM’s will be available on the market, at a more reasonable price.

If you have aspirations of wanting to improve your Linn system over Akurate, Selekt or Majik. IMHO, it would be well worth auditioning in your system.

‘I have enjoyed my AEDSM immensely over the years, but it will be moving on, and welcome to the new Klimax Hub.
 

 

frans5508

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With the new NGKSH and NGKDSM now available, a lot of pre-loved Klimax Hubs and Klimax DSM’s will be available on the market, at a more reasonable price.

If you have aspirations of wanting to improve your Linn system over Akurate, Selekt or Majik. IMHO, it would be well worth auditioning in your system.
Congrats again Paul! And great to hear that the KSH further improved things!

 

Chris Morton

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Yesterday, I received my new Klimax Hub. It is a 2018 variant, manufactured in 2021 but only in service for 2 months.

‘This unit replaces my 2014 AEDSM/ Akurate Hub which has served me very well, since I upgraded my Akubariks to Exakt about 7 years ago.

‘I recently had the NGKDSM in my system, on loan, and was wondering how it compares to the 2018 variant Klimax Hub. An opportunity came up to purchase a virtually new 2018 variant. With some hesitation, on whether to hold out for a new NGKSH, I decided to buy one listed on Canuck Audio Mart from a fellow with an excellent sales reputation. 

The new Klimax Hub was eagerly installed in my system, with a few glitches for connectivity with the Linn hierarchy for Konfig, Kazoo and my Linn account.

‘Frankly, I was not expecting a significant improvement in sound quality but thinking it might be a moderate improvement over my trusty AEDSM. I was wrong.

‘At first, the music sounded thin and anemic, but after a few hours of playing music in stereo and surround, BluRay movies and TV, sound quality improvement was dramatic. I was using a brand new Linn power cord, so perhaps it needed a bit of burn in time.

‘I played a number of 5.1 music albums streamed through my OPPO 105 into the Klimax Hub (Steely Dan: Gaucho, Donald Fagen: Nightfly, Ten Years After: A Space In Time, Roxy Music: Avalon, The Police: Every Breathe You Take. This was the best setup I have ever heard in my system, bar the NGKDSM

As expected, TV picture quality improved as the Klimax Hub has an HDMI 2.0 board, which my Akurate did not. The TV picture was richer, with more detail and a 3 dimensional aspect to the people in the screen. TV sound quality was also a big improvement compared with the Akurate. The Akubariks seemed to disappear, with the sound appearing to emanate from the TV screen, but much bigger sound stage. I experienced this with the NGKSH in my system as well.

Playing a 4K BluRay movies, Bohemian Rapsody (the story of Freddy Mercury) and Samsara, an 8K extravaganza highlighting cultures and scenery around the world, picture and sound quality was more on par with what I experienced with the NGKDSM, compared to the AEDSM.

‘Overall, the difference between the NGKDSM and my new KSH was not as great as I thought it would be. The KSH was far closer to the sound quality of the NGKDSM than I thought possible.

‘This was money well spent and I think an admirable leap forward in the sound quality of my Linn.

‘With the new NGKSH and NGKDSM now available, a lot of pre-loved Klimax Hubs and Klimax DSM’s will be available on the market, at a more reasonable price.

If you have aspirations of wanting to improve your Linn system over Akurate, Selekt or Majik. IMHO, it would be well worth auditioning in your system.

‘I have enjoyed my AEDSM immensely over the years, but it will be moving on, and welcome to the new Klimax Hub.
 
Let's face it, it's a computer. It's like saying well I sent my resume by email but a few characters were changed due to interference so my name showed up as SaulaPound. We know this is not how it works. The exact information is transmitted from A to B, if it gets there. That's not the case with a laser disk reader. Those systems were designed to interpolate what was lost during realtime info retrieval. That's why streaming solutions are superior to disk reading solutions, if we are talking lossless, high resolution content. 

Now, I appreciate the point that a clock is important for synchronizing A/D conversion. There may be an argument for better clock/better Urika II sound. Something that is not clear to me is whether the clock from the System Hub is directly used by an Exaktbox for the DA conversion or whether it is simply used as a synchronization mechanism and the Exaktbox has its own clock.

There's still a bunch of marketing involved here, what with fishnet stockings on speakers and big nobs on electronics--something's going on behind the door at Linn 🙂

 
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Paulssurround

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Let's face it, it's a computer. It's like saying well I sent my resume by email but a few characters were changed due to interference so my name showed up as SaulaPound. We know this is not how it works. The exact information is transmitted from A to B, if it gets there. That's not the case with a laser disk reader. Those systems were designed to interpolate what was lost during realtime info retrieval. That's why streaming solutions are superior to disk reading solutions, if we are talking lossless, high resolution content. 

Now, I appreciate the point that a clock is important for synchronizing A/D conversion. There may be an argument for better clock/better Urika II sound. Something that is not clear to me is whether the clock from the System Hub is directly used by an Exaktbox for the DA conversion or whether it is simply used as a synchronization mechanism and the Exaktbox has its own clock.

There's still a bunch of marketing involved here, what with fishnet stockings on speakers and big nobs on electronics--something's going on behind the door at Linn 🙂
I read your other 3 posts on this Forum, and notice you have mentioned the same logic regarding music streamers just being computers.

‘I think most of us can confirm that the sound quality of a Majik, Akurate, Klimax and NGKDSM/NGKSH streamer improves as you go up the range in the Linn hierarchy. What are differences between these Linn streamers that result in significant differences in performance? Why don’t we all buy the entry level streamer if they are all the same?

Using your line of thinking, here is a possible analogy:

‘I charge my car at an electric car charging station at 240 volts using a J1772 connector. The electrical current and voltage is the same no matter which electric car is plugged into it. But a Tesla Model S Plaid has a zero-to 60 time of less than 2 seconds. My car has a 0-60 mph time of around 7.5 seconds. The electricity is the same in both cars but the performance is far better in the Tesla. What is the difference?

A Toyota Corolla uses petrol as does a Dodge Hell Cat, but one produces just over 130 horse power and the other, more than 700 horse power. What is the difference?

I have heard Majik, Selekt, Akurate, Klimax and NGKDSM and NGKSH’s in many Linn systems, and there are most definitely differences in sound quality between them.

‘My new Klimax Hub is a significant improvement over the Akurate Hub it replaced.

 

aurelio

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Yesterday, I received my new Klimax Hub. It is a 2018 variant, manufactured in 2021 but only in service for 2 months.

‘This unit replaces my 2014 AEDSM/ Akurate Hub which has served me very well, since I upgraded my Akubariks to Exakt about 7 years ago.

‘I recently had the NGKDSM in my system, on loan, and was wondering how it compares to the 2018 variant Klimax Hub. An opportunity came up to purchase a virtually new 2018 variant. With some hesitation, on whether to hold out for a new NGKSH, I decided to buy one listed on Canuck Audio Mart from a fellow with an excellent sales reputation. 

The new Klimax Hub was eagerly installed in my system, with a few glitches for connectivity with the Linn hierarchy for Konfig, Kazoo and my Linn account.

‘Frankly, I was not expecting a significant improvement in sound quality but thinking it might be a moderate improvement over my trusty AEDSM. I was wrong.

‘At first, the music sounded thin and anemic, but after a few hours of playing music in stereo and surround, BluRay movies and TV, sound quality improvement was dramatic. I was using a brand new Linn power cord, so perhaps it needed a bit of burn in time.

‘I played a number of 5.1 music albums streamed through my OPPO 105 into the Klimax Hub (Steely Dan: Gaucho, Donald Fagen: Nightfly, Ten Years After: A Space In Time, Roxy Music: Avalon, The Police: Every Breathe You Take. This was the best setup I have ever heard in my system, bar the NGKDSM

As expected, TV picture quality improved as the Klimax Hub has an HDMI 2.0 board, which my Akurate did not. The TV picture was richer, with more detail and a 3 dimensional aspect to the people in the screen. TV sound quality was also a big improvement compared with the Akurate. The Akubariks seemed to disappear, with the sound appearing to emanate from the TV screen, but much bigger sound stage. I experienced this with the NGKSH in my system as well.

Playing a 4K BluRay movies, Bohemian Rapsody (the story of Freddy Mercury) and Samsara, an 8K extravaganza highlighting cultures and scenery around the world, picture and sound quality was more on par with what I experienced with the NGKDSM, compared to the AEDSM.

‘Overall, the difference between the NGKDSM and my new KSH was not as great as I thought it would be. The KSH was far closer to the sound quality of the NGKDSM than I thought possible.

‘This was money well spent and I think an admirable leap forward in the sound quality of my Linn.

‘With the new NGKSH and NGKDSM now available, a lot of pre-loved Klimax Hubs and Klimax DSM’s will be available on the market, at a more reasonable price.

If you have aspirations of wanting to improve your Linn system over Akurate, Selekt or Majik. IMHO, it would be well worth auditioning in your system.

‘I have enjoyed my AEDSM immensely over the years, but it will be moving on, and welcome to the new Klimax Hub.
 
Hi Paul,

enjoy your new Klimax. May it give you many hours of musical enjoyment. And maybe there is already a NGKDSM somewhere waiting for you on the horizon. 

 
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Newton John

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Let's face it, it's a computer. It's like saying well I sent my resume by email but a few characters were changed due to interference so my name showed up as SaulaPound. We know this is not how it works. The exact information is transmitted from A to B, if it gets there. That's not the case with a laser disk reader. Those systems were designed to interpolate what was lost during realtime info retrieval. That's why streaming solutions are superior to disk reading solutions, if we are talking lossless, high resolution content. 

Now, I appreciate the point that a clock is important for synchronizing A/D conversion. There may be an argument for better clock/better Urika II sound. Something that is not clear to me is whether the clock from the System Hub is directly used by an Exaktbox for the DA conversion or whether it is simply used as a synchronization mechanism and the Exaktbox has its own clock.

There's still a bunch of marketing involved here, what with fishnet stockings on speakers and big nobs on electronics--something's going on behind the door at Linn 🙂
There's at least a couple of issues in your post that would be worthy of discussion in appropriate threads some other time. However, the way you throw them in here just comes over as a spiteful and rude attempt to rain on someone's parade. Maybe, that wasn't your intention, but it is the way it appears.

 

sunbeamgls

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Let's face it, it's a computer. It's like saying well I sent my resume by email but a few characters were changed due to interference so my name showed up as SaulaPound. We know this is not how it works. The exact information is transmitted from A to B, if it gets there. That's not the case with a laser disk reader. Those systems were designed to interpolate what was lost during realtime info retrieval. That's why streaming solutions are superior to disk reading solutions, if we are talking lossless, high resolution content. 

Now, I appreciate the point that a clock is important for synchronizing A/D conversion. There may be an argument for better clock/better Urika II sound. Something that is not clear to me is whether the clock from the System Hub is directly used by an Exaktbox for the DA conversion or whether it is simply used as a synchronization mechanism and the Exaktbox has its own clock.

There's still a bunch of marketing involved here, what with fishnet stockings on speakers and big nobs on electronics--something's going on behind the door at Linn 🙂
Some of this, from a technical perspective, is correct, some of it is wrong and some stuff is missing.

But the tone is so inappropriate that its not worth engaging with.

P.S. Paul's KSH stocking is in a very fetching shade of violet.

 
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Jeff R

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Congrats Paul.  I too can confirm that the New Klimax HUB doesn't sound substantially different than using my KDSM/1 as in the same Exakt system for years.  The newer one is slightly better sounding (little more refined and detailed) but not $10k better sounding IMHO than my older KDSM I was using as a HUB.  That said, I have two systems going and purchased it, which I'm still happy with... for sound and long-term reasons.  I'm using my older KDSM/1 on a video system with an Akurate EBI (212s and a 221... also have a Rega P8 with a Slipsik on that one).  That second system is hands down the best value proposition I've ever owned. It sounds crazy good for the money.  Buying second hand Klimax gear is always the way to go, of this I'm 100% convinced.  Jeff 

 

Chris 1970

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‘I have enjoyed my AEDSM immensely over the years, but it will be moving on, and welcome to the new Klimax Hub.
Nice move Paul!

To me – from my only listening comparison – the Klimax DSM Katalyst is wonderfull. So must be the hub!
And going to Klimax case is always " 😊 " to ears and eyes… and even better fresh second hand!

 
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Paulssurround

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Thank you everyone, I really appreciate the vote of confidence.  😊

‘It is my hope to buy a NGKSH someday, as it is a marvellous feat of engineering prowess, and sounds so good.

‘I agree Jens, now may be a good time to look at used Klimax Hubs and Klimax DSM’s. If the current owners of these knew there was a good demand for their Klimax streamers, it may encourage them to upgrade to the NGKSH or NGKDSM.

 

Chris Morton

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I read your other 3 posts on this Forum, and notice you have mentioned the same logic regarding music streamers just being computers.

‘I think most of us can confirm that the sound quality of a Majik, Akurate, Klimax and NGKDSM/NGKSH streamer improves as you go up the range in the Linn hierarchy. What are differences between these Linn streamers that result in significant differences in performance? Why don’t we all buy the entry level streamer if they are all the same?

Using your line of thinking, here is a possible analogy:

‘I charge my car at an electric car charging station at 240 volts using a J1772 connector. The electrical current and voltage is the same no matter which electric car is plugged into it. But a Tesla Model S Plaid has a zero-to 60 time of less than 2 seconds. My car has a 0-60 mph time of around 7.5 seconds. The electricity is the same in both cars but the performance is far better in the Tesla. What is the difference?

A Toyota Corolla uses petrol as does a Dodge Hell Cat, but one produces just over 130 horse power and the other, more than 700 horse power. What is the difference?

I have heard Majik, Selekt, Akurate, Klimax and NGKDSM and NGKSH’s in many Linn systems, and there are most definitely differences in sound quality between them.

‘My new Klimax Hub is a significant improvement over the Akurate Hub it replaced.
Hi PS, I believe you about improvements from Majik to Klimax. Also I'm sure the new Klimax DSM (NG) is superior to the previous version. I won't get the chance to hear the differences, given all the restrictions on travel etc. My point is more specific, that when we use an Exakt link out on the DSM/SH and we have ethernet in from a network supplied music archive, we have a purely digital operation of the Klimax box. It may be true that there's a firmware difference between the previous generation and NG, however, I would say that's unlikely. Then what leaves the Exakt port in both cases is exactly the same. Where there would be potential differences is with a Urika II which, I believe based on other comments, directly uses the clock signal from the DSM/SH to digitize the analogue signal from the LP12. A more precise clock may improve the Urika II/LP12 sound in this case. Now if the output of the DSM is analogue, then the Organik D/A conversion is involved, and one would expect quite superior sound, based on Linn's claims and also the findings of those trying it out.

My jibe at Linn's Marketing is somewhat serious in that I feel that they are targeting a new market, as yet untapped. To use your analogy, how many people who buy a Ferrari or Porsche, actually know how to get the most out of the car? They often buy for status and perceived luxury (not everyone but a significant portion). It must be very expensive though. Linn looks to me to be rebranding with this in mind. I hope they don't lose their way, as happened last time when Ivor had to step back in. I hope the new KDSM is a wonderful success for them.

I hope they didn't standardize on Xilinx FPGA technology which, I believe, is manufactured by TSMC out of Hsinchu. As a small-scale customer, they might run into considerable supply chain issues.

Anyhow, I opted for a previous generation Klimax System Hub with a Klimax Organik Exaktbox driving Klimax Twins into my Isobariks. We'll see how that goes when the system is finally up and running.

Cheers, Chris.

 
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Paulssurround

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Hi PS, I believe you about improvements from Majik to Klimax. Also I'm sure the new Klimax DSM (NG) is superior to the previous version. I won't get the chance to hear the differences, given all the restrictions on travel etc. My point is more specific, that when we use an Exakt link out on the DSM/SH and we have ethernet in from a network supplied music archive, we have a purely digital operation of the Klimax box. It may be true that there's a firmware difference between the previous generation and NG, however, I would say that's unlikely. Then what leaves the Exakt port in both cases is exactly the same. Where there would be potential differences is with a Urika II which, I believe based on other comments, directly uses the clock signal from the DSM/SH to digitize the analogue signal from the LP12. A more precise clock may improve the Urika II/LP12 sound in this case. Now if the output of the DSM is analogue, then the Organik D/A conversion is involved, and one would expect quite superior sound, based on Linn's claims and also the findings of those trying it out.

My jibe at Linn's Marketing is somewhat serious in that I feel that they are targeting a new market, as yet untapped. To use your analogy, how many people who buy a Ferrari or Porsche, actually know how to get the most out of the car? They often buy for status and perceived luxury (not everyone but a significant portion). It must be very expensive though. Linn looks to me to be rebranding with this in mind. I hope they don't lose their way, as happened last time when Ivor had to step back in. I hope the new KDSM is a wonderful success for them.

I hope they didn't standardize on Xilinx FPGA technology which, I believe, is manufactured by TSMC out of Hsinchu. As a small-scale customer, they might run into considerable supply chain issues.

Anyhow, I opted for a previous generation Klimax System Hub with a Klimax Organik Exaktbox driving Klimax Twins into my Isobariks. We'll see how that goes when the system is finally up and running.

Cheers, Chris.
Hi Chris,

Welcome to the HiFi Wigwam Linn Club.

‘Your comments are interesting and well noted.

‘I have heard well over a hundred Linn systems in North America, the UK and in Europe. These systems ranged from entry level, legacy Linn products and the newest and best of Linn’s top of the line products. 

There is a Linn hierarchy, and in every case I have heard, sound quality of Linn’s streamers improves as you go up the chain. I suspect a lot of this is a more rigid cabinet, improvements to the power supply, mitigating noise transmitted along the digital stream, isolation of circuit boards, improved shielding and attention to vibration control for the sensitive electronics.

‘It looks like your Klimax System Hub, Klimax Organik Exaktbox with Twins and Isobariks will be extraordinary, and looking forward to hearing how it sounds when it is set up.

‘’All the best and happy posting

 
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Solanum

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My point is more specific, that when we use an Exakt link out on the DSM/SH and we have ethernet in from a network supplied music archive, we have a purely digital operation of the Klimax box. It may be true that there's a firmware difference between the previous generation and NG, however, I would say that's unlikely. Then what leaves the Exakt port in both cases is exactly the same.
I have a fair bit of sympathy for your 'just a computer stance' and there is plenty of money spent by people on equipment that needs to defy the laws of physics if it is to work as advertised, however, in this case I think you are mistaken. Just because Exakt uses an Ethernet cable does not mean it is using TCP/IP (if it was I would be tempted to agree with you). In fact, I think Linn have specifically stated that it does not use TCP/IP? If Exakt is not packet based and is not sending unmodifed PCM, there is plenty of opportunity for different source hardware to send different signals to the DAC and the different levels of Exakt hardware to result in different sound from the same DAC.

Whether the differences are artificial and justify the cost differences is another matter and one I am sadly not in a position to comment on!

I am also extremely jealous of Paulssurround now, as swapping out my AEDSM for a KSH would be something I would be more than happy to do (albeit I'd need to get a phonostage, so it would be even more expensive!). Sadly not on my financial horizon..... Enjoy!

 

frans5508

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As a marketeer in heart myself, I applaud Linn for being able to tap into the even more luxury product segment and being able to address different markets and different budget levels within the audiophile (and beyond) audience, while offering high quality products on all levels.

At the end this is a luxury hobby, Majik to Klimax level and it cost money. It's hard to justify this investment on any level and at the end it's all about your budget and what's it worth to you to have even better sound/musicality. The sky is the limit and Linn just raised the bar even further with Organik and the New Gen Klimax. It's awesome that there's something new to aspire and it would be quite boring on this forum if Linn would not come with all these new products/innovations. 

To minimize and trying to rationalize a luxury product and its marketing just doesn't make sense. A lot has to do with emotions and their marketing and product development is connecting with our emotions around our drive to have ultimately the best sounding music coming out of our systems...within our budget restrictions and offering upgrade paths along the way to get you to the 'ultimate' level whatever that is.

Last week I ordered the NGKSH, after i did a direct comparison between the 'old' Klimax SH and the New Gen version in the summer. It was the first time I heard Klimax level and I was very impressed with the old version (staggering difference with my ASH), it sounded so good, so engaging. But then I listened to the new version (in the same setup) and it sounded even better. Differences were subtile, but even more open sound stage, slightly more detail, bit more peaceful etc. Is it worth 10k extra? I am not even going to try to justify it, but I knew I wanted it! Paul made the smarter choice and buying Klimax level second hand makes more financial sense but this is not about 'sense' is my point :)

 

Nopiano

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As a marketeer in heart myself, I applaud Linn for being able to tap into the even more luxury product segment and being able to address different markets and different budget levels within the audiophile (and beyond) audience, while offering high quality products on all levels.
I agree with your whole post - it is luxury goods indeed.  And just like a Casio keeps as good time as a Rolex, that doesn’t stop many rich folks buying a Rolex.  

 

Newton John

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Is it worth 10k extra?
That is something no one but the person spending the money can judge. In the case of the extra going from the 2016 KSH to the Next-Generation KSH, there's actually a difference of £5,800. Still a lot of money though.

As you say, it presents a great opportunity for people currently at Akurate level to upgrade to Klimax.