Linn Owners

Making my Selektion

CheckedShirtMatt

Newbie
Wammer
Oct 15, 2018
34
58
38
London
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
Having just turned 50, and having not upgraded my front end for 14 years, I decided it was time to explore the possibility of replacing my Linn Majik DS/Kontrol combo with a new DSM.

I've been to Grahams this morning to demo the Majik DSM, Selekt DSM with standard DAC and Selekt DSM Katalyst. As I have tri-aktiv Ninkas in my system, Paul at Grahams though it best I hear the options through active speakers, so in the room were a pair of Klimax Aktiv speakers, which I wasn't expecting.

We used the following tracks for the demo (all streamed from QoBuz)

The Song Remembers When - Trisha Yearwood
Please Remember Me - Tim McGraw
Home by Now - Muna (I am utterly obsessed with this track at the moment)
Something Wonderful - Carly Simon

Apart from the Muna track, these have been my test tracks for 20 years - I know them very well.

We started by playing the tracks in the order above on the Majik DSM. Paul had explained when I booked the demo that this wouldn't be much of an upgrade compared to what I have already, but I was still quite impressed. I'm sure part of this was the quality of the amplification and speakers, but the Majik DSM did a very good job. Paul commented that in his view, the Majik DSM is a respectable streamer and pre-amp combo, but the power amplifier isn't as good as the previous version's.

We then switched to the Selekt DSM with the standard DAC and played the tracks again, this time in reverse order. The improvement was dramatic, and shows how important the source and pre-amp are in a system - same speakers and amps, but much better sound. Easier to follow the different parts of the music - harmony vocals on the Tim McGraw track were easier to follow, as was the orchestral accompaniment on the Carly Simon track. The biggest improvement was to the Muna track - there's a lot going on and the Selekt DSM made a much better job of putting all the pieces where they belonged than the Majik DSM. It was clear at this point that the Majik DSM was off the table.

There was a small break while the Selekt DSM was taken out of the demo room to have its standard DAC replaced with the Katalyst version. It was at this point that Paul explained that Akurate kit was coming to end of life, with Selekt being being the future. He added that at some point, Organik would be offered for the Selekt DSM. I mentioned at this point I'd already heard standard vs Katalyst Selekt DSM at a launch event at KJ West One and had not been impressed by Katalyst so was interested to hear it again.

We started the demo with the Trisha Yearwood track, and I was pretty unimpressed - Katalyst didn't seem to add much at all. Moving on to the Tim McGraw track, I was more impressed. It wasn't as big as the jump from the Majik to the Selekt, but the separation of the instruments and voices improved, and the music seemed further forward in the room, without being oppressive.

From there, Katalyst won me over more and more. Katalyst did a great job again with the Muna track making it easier to follow the instruments as well as the main vocal - it was much easier to focus my attention on the different instruments. To my surprise, the improvement on the Carly Simon track was also quite big, with the orchestra better placed. I was pretty sure I was hearing things I hadn't heard before in all the times I've played that track.

So, I've ordered a Selekt DSM with Katalyst. Lead time is quoted by Linn for Selekt DSM at 10 weeks, but Paul's going to call them next week to see if they have a more up-to-date estimate.
 
Last edited:

akamatsu

Michael
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Oct 9, 2018
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Michael
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Congratulations! Well played! An excellent write up. I've been to a couple Selekt demos and was quite impressed. In one demo, I thought the application of space optimisation made a bigger difference than going from standard to Katalyst DACs. And Katalyst did made a nice improvement.
 

Nestor Turton

Nestor Turton
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Jan 30, 2019
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Nestor
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Congratulations! Well played! An excellent write up. I've been to a couple Selekt demos and was quite impressed. In one demo, I thought the application of space optimisation made a bigger difference than going from standard to Katalyst DACs. And Katalyst did made a nice improvement.

Exactly my thoughts when I heard a Selekt demo’d. Seemed to the consensus in the room. Linn used B&W speakers, which are not a brand I’d usually consider, but when optimised I was impressed. Similar to my experience with Kudos speakers, SO makes all the difference.

@CheckedShirtMatt you’ll really enjoy your upgrade - great choice.
 

macfan

LP12 Newbie
Wammer
Feb 7, 2019
400
595
98
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
For what it is worth I have had me SDSM w/ Katalyst for several years now. Off all the DACs or components that had DACs in them this is by far the best sounding to my ears. I really like the implementation of the AKM DACs and the analog output stage. Looking forward to Organik some day, but feel Katalyst does great job of giving instruments and vocals there own space and overall make listening to music more enjoyable and far less fatiguing than the other components I have owned.

Overall my system tilts to the warm side which I like. I also no longer use tubes.
 

Nrwatson

Linn Lover
Wammer
Feb 8, 2017
551
369
68
London
AKA
Neale Watson
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
Having just turned 50, and having not upgraded my front end for 14 years, I decided it was time to explore the possibility of replacing my Linn Majik DS/Kontrol combo with a new DSM.

I've been to Grahams this morning to demo the Majik DSM, Selekt DSM with standard DAC and Selekt DSM Katalyst. As I have tri-aktiv Ninkas in my system, Paul at Grahams though it best I hear the options through active speakers, so in the room were a pair of Klimax Aktiv speakers, which I wasn't expecting.

We used the following tracks for the demo (all streamed from QoBuz)

The Song Remembers When - Trisha Yearwood
Please Remember Me - Tim McGraw
Home by Now - Muna (I am utterly obsessed with this track at the moment)
Something Wonderful - Carly Simon

Apart from the Muna track, these have been my test tracks for 20 years - I know them very well.

We started by playing the tracks in the order above on the Majik DSM. Paul had explained when I booked the demo that this wouldn't be much of an upgrade compared to what I have already, but I was still quite impressed. I'm sure part of this was the quality of the amplification and speakers, but the Majik DSM did a very good job. Paul commented that in his view, the Majik DSM is a respectable streamer and pre-amp combo, but the power amplifier isn't as good as the previous version's.

We then switched to the Selekt DSM with the standard DAC and played the tracks again, this time in reverse order. The improvement was dramatic, and shows how important the source and pre-amp are in a system - same speakers and amps, but much better sound. Easier to follow the different parts of the music - harmony vocals on the Tim McGraw track were easier to follow, as was the orchestral accompaniment on the Carly Simon track. The biggest improvement was to the Muna track - there's a lot going on and the Selekt DSM made a much better job of putting all the pieces where they belonged than the Majik DSM. It was clear at this point that the Majik DSM was off the table.

There was a small break while the Selekt DSM was taken out of the demo room to have its standard DAC replaced with the Katalyst version. It was at this point that Paul explained that Akurate kit was coming to end of life, with Selekt being being the future. He added that at some point, Organik would be offered for the Selekt DSM. I mentioned at this point I'd already heard standard vs Katalyst Selekt DSM at a launch event at KJ West One and had not been impressed by Katalyst so was interested to hear it again.

We started the demo with the Trisha Yearwood track, and I was pretty unimpressed - Katalyst didn't seem to add much at all. Moving on to the Tim McGraw track, I was more impressed. It wasn't as big as the jump from the Majik to the Selekt, but the separation of the instruments and voices improved, and the music seemed further forward in the room, without being oppressive.

From there, Katalyst won me over more and more. Katalyst did a great job again with the Muna track making it easier to follow the instruments as well as the main vocal - it was much easier to focus my attention on the different instruments. To my surprise, the improvement on the Carly Simon track was also quite big, with the orchestra better placed. I was pretty sure I was hearing things I hadn't heard before in all the times I've played that track.

So, I've ordered a Selekt DSM with Katalyst. Lead time is quoted by Linn for Selekt DSM at 10 weeks, but Paul's going to call them next week to see if they have a more up-to-date estimate.
Any news on delivery
 

CheckedShirtMatt

Newbie
Wammer
Oct 15, 2018
34
58
38
London
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
I've now been using my new Selekt for nearly a week now, mainly streaming from Tidal but also streaming music from my server. It sounds fantastic. What's really impressive to me is that although there's much more detail than my old Majik-level combo and the music has moved past the speakers and into the room more, it still sounds natural and musical. It was a large amount of money to drop at once on an upgrade, but I'm really pleased with the outcome.

In case anyone's interested, here are a few tracks that really blew me away on the Selekt

The Day Before You Came - Meryl Streep
Bette Davis Eyes - Gwyneth Paltrow
84,000 Different Delusions - Shawn Colvin
If These Walls Could Speak - Shawn Colvin
Only A Dream - Mary-Chapin Carpenter

As an aside, I'm absolutely delighted that the latest update for the Linn iOS finally lets you go from a Tidal track to the album it comes from and lets you use track radio directly from the app too. Part of what I love about Tidal is the convenience of accessing music, but for me the ability to discover new music, or rediscover music that I'm familiar with but haven't heard in ages is a big selling point, so this is a big improvement for me.
 

Nrwatson

Linn Lover
Wammer
Feb 8, 2017
551
369
68
London
AKA
Neale Watson
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
I've now been using my new Selekt for nearly a week now, mainly streaming from Tidal but also streaming music from my server. It sounds fantastic. What's really impressive to me is that although there's much more detail than my old Majik-level combo and the music has moved past the speakers and into the room more, it still sounds natural and musical. It was a large amount of money to drop at once on an upgrade, but I'm really pleased with the outcome.

In case anyone's interested, here are a few tracks that really blew me away on the Selekt

The Day Before You Came - Meryl Streep
Bette Davis Eyes - Gwyneth Paltrow
84,000 Different Delusions - Shawn Colvin
If These Walls Could Speak - Shawn Colvin
Only A Dream - Mary-Chapin Carpenter

As an aside, I'm absolutely delighted that the latest update for the Linn iOS finally lets you go from a Tidal track to the album it comes from and lets you use track radio directly from the app too. Part of what I love about Tidal is the convenience of accessing music, but for me the ability to discover new music, or rediscover music that I'm familiar with but haven't heard in ages is a big selling point, so this is a big improvement for me.
Great to hear
 

entdgc

Wammer
Wammer
Oct 9, 2018
617
576
113
Congleton, England
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
The Day Before You Came - Meryl Streep
That is an interesting track. I have never heard the Meryl Streep version but the version by Steven Wilson is on my Favourite Covers playlist. I liked the Steven Wilson track and then found out it was a cover of the ABBA original. I believe it was one of the last tracks ABBA recorded and they have been quoted as saying it was one of their favourites.
 

CheckedShirtMatt

Newbie
Wammer
Oct 15, 2018
34
58
38
London
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
@dikki Mystery solved - I had to use the Signature option the drop down menu that appears when you click your profile pic to amend my signature.

@entdgc Glad you enjoyed the Meryl Streep version of TDBYC. I'll check out the Steven Wilson version.
 
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Geektastic

Newbie
Wammer
Jan 7, 2021
161
119
48
Near Wellington, NZ
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
And now you can upgrade to Organik!

My Selekt is in hub form, connected to an Exaktbox-I with Katalyst.

At present the only upgrade route to Organik is to lose the Exaktbox and put amplifiers in the Selekt.

I’m not at all sure which offers the better option!

I’m glad you’re enjoying it. I think Selekt is a great device.
 

CheckedShirtMatt

Newbie
Wammer
Oct 15, 2018
34
58
38
London
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
I was going to get in touch with Grahams to see about upgrading to Organik now, given I've only had the Selekt DSM a few weeks.

Having thought about it, I've decided to wait a couple of years and just enjoy what I have now. I suspect that by then there'll be new (Selekt?) Exaktboxes with Organik which I could use with my current 6100 amp, or I could just put an Organik DAC in the Selekt.

For the time being, I'm just going to enjoy the music.
 
Last edited:

Solanum

Wammer
Wammer
Oct 9, 2018
377
259
68
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
And now you can upgrade to Organik!

My Selekt is in hub form, connected to an Exaktbox-I with Katalyst.

At present the only upgrade route to Organik is to lose the Exaktbox and put amplifiers in the Selekt.

I’m not at all sure which offers the better option!

I’m glad you’re enjoying it. I think Selekt is a great device.
Your speakers are 4-way, Selekt can't run 4-way speakers actively (as you are doing with the AEB-I), you would have to drop to passive and then you would likely be much better with an external amp (e.g. an A2200), rather than using an internal one.
 

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