Linn Owners

Selekt DSM Katalyst phono inputs or phono stage ?

macfan

LP12 Newbie
Wammer
Feb 7, 2019
404
605
98
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
Is analog to digital conversion better i n Katalyst than pre-Katalyst? I ask because I recently found the internal ADC of my Kii3 speakers superior to that of my pre-Katalyst Akurate DSM and I am about to replace my Linto for a PS Audio Stellar whose XLR outputs will deliver analog signal to the Kiis. But if Katalyst is better I might hang on to my Linto. As the Kiis do DSP I am not in the choice between analog or digital but the discovery that the now old AD conversion was limiting my musical experience was a big surprise.

For streaming and cds the digital output is coaxial to the Kiis and that is excellent.

I also noted that What Hifi was happy with everything about the Klimax Organik DS except the phono input quality.
So a few thoughts on this one.

  • I have only owned Katalyst based Linn ADC/DAC in my LP12 and SDSM. These are essentially AKM DACs and Linn worked with AKM to tweak them for their use case. Also don't forget that part of and ADC/DAC is the analogue stages. Personally, I feel Katalyst easier betters any other DACs I have owned.
  • Organik is a very different beast and is based on custom circuitry and FPGAs or field programable gate array's. Two of the major players who have been using FPGA would be Chord and PS Audio. The cool thing about FPGAs is they are programmable in such a way you can have one core DAC have a very different sound based on a software update.
If at all possible I would try it both way's to see what you prefer but I use an Urika-II which is a Katalyst DAC internally which then applies the RIAA in the digital domain. Purists will not like this approach but I have found it works for me. Especially if you have an Exakt based system.

Of course you could do exactly what you propose - get the PS Audio Stellar phono amp, especially if you want to take the cartdrige level signal and bring it up to line level in the analog domain. Then convert to digital on the way in to Kiis

Either way you wil result inl a fine system. And, if you make the wrong choice, you can always sell of the components you do not like and try again. Right now I am very happy with my Katalyst based system and look forward to a day when Linn offers the Organik upgrade for my kit.
 

Nestor Turton

Nestor Turton
Wammer
Jan 30, 2019
1,085
1,547
148
UK
AKA
Nestor
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
What HiFi does not provide data (measurements) to substantiate subjective reviews. It’s the opinion of someone who listened to music in a specific system and room. Crime writer Ian Rankin, wrote an interesting essay about his life as HiFi Reviewer.


What ADC does Linn use? Is it COTS (commercial off the shelf), custom ASIC (application specific integrated circuit) or FPGA (field programmable gate array) and why are there so many abbreviations? FPGA would let Linn offer ADC upgrades as a download.

I have Urika II, Samsung TV, Sky Q and Sony BluRay plugged in to my ADSM Katalyst - all send a digital signal in to it, so my ADSM ADC isn’t in use. My only Linn ADC experience is Urika II. My subjective opinion is Urika II is better than Urika, which in turn betters a Dynavector P75, which I prefer to Naim’s disappointing SuperLine/SuperCap II.

Digitalising output from my record player wasn’t something I thought good until I threw aside prejudice and listened. I have no data to back up my opinions. I’d be interested to know how Linn does ADC and differences between products.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Roonster111

Per A

Newbie
New Wammer
Aug 23, 2022
14
7
3
Sweden
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
@Per A

First of all, Welcome! I think you would be better off not paying too much mind to opinions in hifi magazines/online reviews. I've found that the writers really don't know a lot about the subject matter. I think you would do better asking your dealer and this forum, as you are now doing.
Thank you. I joined a wigwam that looked slightly different than this some years ago and did not consider myself new but thanks anyway.
There is not very much written or said about new Linn products anymore but as always you need to consider who is say what or why regardless or where.
 

Per A

Newbie
New Wammer
Aug 23, 2022
14
7
3
Sweden
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
So a few thoughts on this one.

  • I have only owned Katalyst based Linn ADC/DAC in my LP12 and SDSM. These are essentially AKM DACs and Linn worked with AKM to tweak them for their use case. Also don't forget that part of and ADC/DAC is the analogue stages. Personally, I feel Katalyst easier betters any other DACs I have owned.
  • Organik is a very different beast and is based on custom circuitry and FPGAs or field programable gate array's. Two of the major players who have been using FPGA would be Chord and PS Audio. The cool thing about FPGAs is they are programmable in such a way you can have one core DAC have a very different sound based on a software update.
If at all possible I would try it both way's to see what you prefer but I use an Urika-II which is a Katalyst DAC internally which then applies the RIAA in the digital domain. Purists will not like this approach but I have found it works for me. Especially if you have an Exakt based system.

Of course you could do exactly what you propose - get the PS Audio Stellar phono amp, especially if you want to take the cartdrige level signal and bring it up to line level in the analog domain. Then convert to digital on the way in to Kiis

Either way you wil result inl a fine system. And, if you make the wrong choice, you can always sell of the components you do not like and try again. Right now I am very happy with my Katalyst based system and look forward to a day when Linn offers the Organik upgrade for my kit.
Thanks. I find my preferences are taking the cartridge signal via PS Audio Stellar and XLR to Kii3

What makes me go on about this is that since about 2015 when I got an Exakt system with 242s I played less LPs because I preferred the fine sound of digital sources in the ADSM. It never struck my mind that the ADC made the LP12 sound worse than before. You might say I feel it robbed me of years of vinyl enjoyment. And there may be others who had the same experience who could benefit from knowing. But I really have no idea of Linn’s later ADCs. Urika I am sure is excellent for the price of it and the Radikal unit it takes.

I was never quite happy with the sound of those 242s and tried some others before getting the Kiis that sound fantastic. And since they do room adaptation by their own there is no need for Space optimisation.

But now I am very happy and the LP12 sounds much better than the DS. Which of makes me wonder about this but that is another story.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Paulssurround

StellanH

Newbie
Wammer
Jun 12, 2020
54
65
38
But now I am very happy and the LP12 sounds much better than the DS

Order restored then, I guess

I am also interested in taking the plunge with one of these new digital speaker system, since I like the idea of an ultra-compact system, with a minimal number of boxes.

In that case I will go for a system where everything is built into the speaker, ADC and DAC, like the Kii ( they actually have an external control box for the volume, which I dont like).

In that way one can assume, at least, that the speaker manufacturer have listened to all inputs, digital and analogue, and found them, more or less, equal in performance.

I am still sceptical to digitilize vinyl, but a more precise control of speakers may outweigh this. Not sure about this.
 

Nestor Turton

Nestor Turton
Wammer
Jan 30, 2019
1,085
1,547
148
UK
AKA
Nestor
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
I am still sceptical to digitilize vinyl, but a more precise control of speakers may outweigh this. Not sure about this.
So was I until I heard Urika II then I changed my mind. You need to have a listen and then you may lose your scepticism or you may hear things differently and prefer to remain analogue.

The Linn Exakt system sounds great and if I hadn't got my Spendors then I'd probably go that way as I like the idea of everything being built in to the speakers.
 

macfan

LP12 Newbie
Wammer
Feb 7, 2019
404
605
98
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
Thanks. I find my preferences are taking the cartridge signal via PS Audio Stellar and XLR to Kii3

What makes me go on about this is that since about 2015 when I got an Exakt system with 242s I played less LPs because I preferred the fine sound of digital sources in the ADSM. It never struck my mind that the ADC made the LP12 sound worse than before. You might say I feel it robbed me of years of vinyl enjoyment. And there may be others who had the same experience who could benefit from knowing. But I really have no idea of Linn’s later ADCs. Urika I am sure is excellent for the price of it and the Radikal unit it takes.

I was never quite happy with the sound of those 242s and tried some others before getting the Kiis that sound fantastic. And since they do room adaptation by their own there is no need for Space optimisation.

But now I am very happy and the LP12 sounds much better than the DS. Which of makes me wonder about this but that is another story.
Glad to read you have something that works. I agree that Linn seem to do digital very well and I am more than happy with my setup.

And while my LP12 is close to Klimax spec, I find I am too lazy to play records as much as I would like and fall back to my streamer/server/SDSM combo. Perhaps if I sell my LP12 and SDSM it would get me a good deal of the way to a NGKDSM. Most likely will have to wait for trickle down tech and an Organik upgrade for the SDSM.
 

Per A

Newbie
New Wammer
Aug 23, 2022
14
7
3
Sweden
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
Order restored then, I guess

I am also interested in taking the plunge with one of these new digital speaker system, since I like the idea of an ultra-compact system, with a minimal number of boxes.

In that case I will go for a system where everything is built into the speaker, ADC and DAC, like the Kii ( they actually have an external control box for the volume, which I dont like).

In that way one can assume, at least, that the speaker manufacturer have listened to all inputs, digital and analogue, and found them, more or less, equal in performance.

I am still sceptical to digitilize vinyl, but a more precise control of speakers may outweigh this. Not sure about this.
The Kii control is a must as I see it to adjust them to your room. I don’t use its volume dial often, my Linn remote works for that.

With the ADSM there are endless ways of inputting and outputting but for analog it’s best bypassing the DSM and go xlr into the Kiis. Here a really good cable rewards you.

I also Toslink the tv the system.
 

airV

Newbie
Wammer
May 16, 2022
48
49
18
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
I had the opportunity to listen my LP12 (Majik Krane MC + Trampolin + Lingo4) connected to the MC input of the Selekt DSM Katalyst.

To tell the truth, I was rather skeptical about ADC rather than an analogue path.
In spite of my preconceived ideas I have to admit that it is really very good.
The fluidity is great and seemed to me perfectly analogical. The processing is 24/192, if I do no mistake.
At no time did I have the impression of listening to digital. If I had to find something that could make me think of it, I would say that it could appear a little more precise than a purely analog playing.
Frankly speaking it's not at all annoying. On the contrary, because you don't have the impression of artificial accuracy but of a natural precision.
 

MickC

Expert Thread Disruptor
Wammer
Oct 8, 2018
1,186
1,054
148
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
I had the opportunity to listen my LP12 (Majik Krane MC + Trampolin + Lingo4) connected to the MC input of the Selekt DSM Katalyst.

To tell the truth, I was rather skeptical about ADC rather than an analogue path.
In spite of my preconceived ideas I have to admit that it is really very good.
The fluidity is great and seemed to me perfectly analogical. The processing is 24/192, if I do no mistake.
At no time did I have the impression of listening to digital. If I had to find something that could make me think of it, I would say that it could appear a little more precise than a purely analog playing.
Frankly speaking it's not at all annoying. On the contrary, because you don't have the impression of artificial accuracy but of a natural precision.
That’s how I felt moving from Urika to Urika II. No trace that I can hear of any digital nasties at all.
 

Latest posts

Forum statistics

Threads
108,056
Messages
2,287,871
Members
69,154
Latest member
DollyCBDGummies