Linn Owners

Review Of The Next Generation Klimax DSM A/V

Moomintroll

Fictional Character - not to be taken literally
Wammer
May 20, 2014
2,636
3,054
148
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
I’d also like to know if the Music version outperforms the identically priced AV model that both Paul and yourself have auditioned.  
AFAIK, there’s no reason why it should and no suggestion from Linn that it does.

’troll

 

sunbeamgls

Wammer
Wammer
Mar 19, 2011
5,029
2,157
193
North Wales
HiFi Trade?
  1. Yes
Excellent review, Neil - thanks.  I doubt I’ll ever be able to afford the new KDSM but I’d still love to hear one in a head-to-head comparison with my KDS/3.  I’d also like to know if the Music version outperforms the identically priced AV model that both Paul and yourself have auditioned.  
Linn say that the music version is there to placate those customers who would not take a product with HDMI seriously.

I relate a conversation another Wammer had with a Linn engineer at the factory (or words to this effect) about DSMs in general:

Customer: "does HDMI degrade the sound?"

Linn: "I can't comment, but we allow you to turn it off"

Customer "oh, so it does degrade the sound!"

Linn: "I can't comment, but we allow you to turn it off"

 

Moomintroll

Fictional Character - not to be taken literally
Wammer
May 20, 2014
2,636
3,054
148
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
There’d seem no valid reason for its existence then, at least at an identical price point.  Who would pay the same for a product with less functionality if there was no commensurate sonic advantage?
Marketing, as far as I can tell - apparently there are some “audiophiles” out there who wouldn’t take it seriously if it came with HDMI.

Sunbeamgls beat me to it.

’troll

 
Last edited by a moderator:
  • Like
Reactions: akamatsu

akamatsu

Michael
Wammer
Oct 9, 2018
5,431
5,373
183
Point Roberts, WA, USA (Vancouver)
AKA
Michael
HiFi Trade?
  1. Yes
  2. No
Linn say that the music version is there to placate those customers who would not take a product with HDMI seriously.

I relate a conversation another Wammer had with a Linn engineer at the factory (or words to this effect) about DSMs in general:

Customer: "does HDMI degrade the sound?"

Linn: "I can't comment, but we allow you to turn it off"

Customer "oh, so it does degrade the sound!"

Linn: "I can't comment, but we allow you to turn it off"
It was @zee9 who tipped me off that HDMI degrades sound quality, and is not a hifi option. I have since found supporting evidence for this on the internet. So I can see that "purists" wouldn't want it anywhere near their systems. I would just turn it off as I do on my AEDSM.

 
  • Like
Reactions: Moomintroll

7ryder

Newbie
Wammer
Oct 10, 2018
65
99
38
Bend, Oregon USA
AKA
Chris Gossard
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
There’d seem no valid reason for its existence then, at least at an identical price point.  Who would pay the same for a product with less functionality if there was no commensurate sonic advantage?
The reason they offer both is because audiophiles in Asian countries won't buy audio products with HDMI capability. That's why Linn brought back the KDS. 

 
  • Like
Reactions: uk030 and akamatsu

Paulssurround

Space Explorer
Wammer
Oct 11, 2018
3,500
3,165
148
Vancouver
AKA
Paul
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
It actually reminded me of the shift dial on a BMW. I wish my car had a dial instead of a lever.
I remember when BMW first came out with the control knob for accessing a lot of functions for their cars. I remember reading that the early versions were not very user friendly.

This past week when I had the Klimax DSM to audition for 3 days, and I only used the control knob on the top a few times. Most of the time, I used the remote or my iPad 

 
  • Upvote
Reactions: Moomintroll

Nrwatson

Linn Lover
Wammer
Feb 8, 2017
553
370
68
London
AKA
Neale Watson
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
it definitely did with the Klimax when I ask if Linn could have an option of turning off hdmi without having to reboot was told no one else had asked and they didn’t see the need

It was @zee9 who tipped me off that HDMI degrades sound quality, and is not a hifi option. I have since found supporting evidence for this on the internet. So I can see that "purists" wouldn't want it anywhere near their systems. I would just turn it off as I do on my AEDS
 

Jail4CEOs2

Well-Known Wammer
Wammer
Dec 2, 2018
1,413
643
148
Taiwan
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
I remember when BMW first came out with the control knob for accessing a lot of functions for their cars. I remember reading that the early versions were not very user friendly.

This past week when I had the Klimax DSM to audition for 3 days, and I only used the control knob on the top a few times. Most of the time, I used the remote or my iPad 
I think I remember the Naim stuff has a gee whizz effect of the knob moving when you attenuate with the remote control. Does the same thing happen with the KDSM, or does just the light ring light up?

 

Patu

Newbie
Wammer
Dec 6, 2019
241
326
83
Finland
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
Thanks for the comparison to ADSM/3 Paul, very informative since I use ADSM/3 in front of my active ATC's. Linn has clearly taken a huge leap in DAC-technology and it shows in sound quality. With that kind of leap in price, it better show though.

Just some thoughts, not about your review but few others I've read: It worries me little that in many reviews and comparisons between Katalyst Klimax vs Organik Klimax, people say that Katalyst can't even touch Organik and you get this feeling that the old Klimax DSM is completely useless now. I mean, how good has it ever been if it's suddenly so bad compared to the new one? Linn's previous flagship product should still hold its own even after new version is released. 

I also hope that the little extra brightness I've seen mentioned in few reviews goes away in time since any extra brightness usually translates to listening fatigue and unpleasant listening sessions in long run. 

 
Last edited by a moderator:

Paulssurround

Space Explorer
Wammer
Oct 11, 2018
3,500
3,165
148
Vancouver
AKA
Paul
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
I think I remember the Naim stuff has a gee whizz effect of the knob moving when you attenuate with the remote control. Does the same thing happen with the KDSM, or does just the light ring light up?
The knob does a little light show as it powers up.

‘The centre of the knob changes colour to show you that it has an internet connection and that it is powering up. If you have no internet connection the Linn logo is lit red, then turns white when you are powered up with a connection.

Thanks for the comparison to ADSM/3 Paul, very informative since I use ADSM/3 in front of my active ATC's. Linn has clearly taken a huge leap in DAC-technology and it shows in sound quality. With that kind of leap in price, it better show though.

Just some thoughts, not about your review but few others I've read: It worries me little that in many reviews and comparisons between Katalyst Klimax vs Organik Klimax, people say that Katalyst can't even touch Organik and you get this feeling that the old Klimax DSM is completely useless now. I mean, how good has it ever been if it's suddenly so bad compared to the new one? Linn's previous flagship product should still hold its own even after new version is released. 

I also hope that the little extra brightness I've seen mentioned in few reviews goes away in time since any extra brightness usually translates to listening fatigue and unpleasant listening sessions in long run. 
Thank you Patu 

The Katalyst Klimax is still a brilliant sounding streamer and has many very happy owners, that remain highly engaged with their system.

‘The new Klimax DSM has made a number of advances that has taken everything several levels up. There is no trace of any digital edge to the music, the music flows so smooth and effortlessly it is highly compelling. Perhaps a good analogy would be driving a Tesla Model S performance model. Most people would be astonished at the acceleration and performance of that model, with a smile that would be hard to wipe off your face.

‘But then you are offered to take the Tesla Model S Plaid for a drive around the track. The increased performance over the other Tesla Model S would be quickly forgotten as you realize this is a completely different beast, with performance that is in a completely different league. 0-60 mph hour in under 2 seconds is extremely impressive 

Regarding the initial brightness with the new out of the box Klimax DAC’s, it just needs some more burn-in time. The sound quality improved with each passing hour, and by 20 hours of burn-in was sounding excellent already with just a trace of brightness in some songs. I imagine another 20 or 50 hours would refine that even further. 

The new Klimax DSM used as a hub in my system was staggering and completely unexpected by me. I imagine the Organik DAC’s will build on that success 

 
  • Like
Reactions: Chris 1970 and Patu

Patu

Newbie
Wammer
Dec 6, 2019
241
326
83
Finland
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
Hey @Patu, send me $1000 and I will safely dispose of any useless Klimax products you need removing.
I’m only at Akurate-level of uselesness now, hoping that maybe some day Linn will provide an upgrade to Organik. But I suspect Akurate won’t see upgrades anymore with the old casework. Selekt DSM stock model would be good bet now since it’s almost certain Linn will provide modular Organik upgrade for it in future. 

 

Latest posts

Forum statistics

Threads
108,170
Messages
2,290,496
Members
69,184
Latest member
cdak02