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Linn System Hub - Why Is It So Well Hidden?


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If you wanted to upgrade to a Linn Exakt system that used Exaktboxes to drive your existing (possibly already active) Linn speakers or those of another manufacturer, you'd need an Exakt equipped network streamer.  Which all of the DSMs can provide, in addition to a traditional analogue output.

But it is more cost effective to start with a System Hub, avoiding the cost of an onboard DAC, as all the DACs are going to be in your Exaktbox.

So you go to the Linn website and look at the Network Players section.  It seems that there is no such thing as a network player without analogue outputs.  They're pretty expensive, so you give up on the idea and spend nothing.

Only by digging into the systems section (remember, you have amps and speakers already, so why would you bother looking at the systems section?) would you find the System Hub.  If you've got this far, you'd think the System Hub was only available as part of a complete system, so, although you've persisted a bit longer, you give up and spend nothing.

An Exaktbox, which is an extension of the source (it has DACs, just like a source) is in the amps and speakers section where you then have to click on upgrades to find it.  As an existing owner of amp(s) and speakers, why would you go looking there for an upgrade to your source?

So no System Hub sale and no Exaktbox sale. Why make it so difficult to find?

Edited by sunbeamgls
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2 minutes ago, sunbeamgls said:

Why make it so difficult to find?

(1) Because Linn marketing has never "got" Exakt (remember "The source is in the speaker?"). (2) Because marketeers hate making cheaper products easy to find. (3) Because Linn want you to go to a dealer and have it all explained (=sold) to you face to face.

David

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3 minutes ago, DavidHB said:

(1) Because Linn marketing has never "got" Exakt (remember "The source is in the speaker?"). (2) Because marketeers hate making cheaper products easy to find. (3) Because Linn want you to go to a dealer and have it all explained (=sold) to you face to face.

David

(1) The marketing lead has changed since then.

(2) Last time I looked, buying a System Hub plus an Exaktbox didn't result in a particularly low cost solution.

(3) In that case they should just put a list of dealers on the website, it would save a lot of cost developing fancy graphics.

(4) Remember, the existing system owner has given up trying to find a solution for their system, and spent nothing.  The idea that a consumer wants to go to a dealer and ask "what if?" is somewhat out dated, given how easy it is to find out information about everyone else's products on the web.

Edited by sunbeamgls
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Linn just doesn't seem to be very good in explaining what they make and how it all fits together.

I can't imagine that a lot of dealers know their way through the product line either.

Quote

and ask "what if?" is somewhat out dated, given how easy it is to find out information about everyone else's products on the web.

Well, there is always the Linn forum to find that kind of information.. oh wait..

Edited by Tin
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Here in Taiwan, a country of twenty three million people, I emailed the only dealer here using their link on the Linn website, no answer after two months. Kudos!

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Their web site is in this perspective so bad it makes me sad.

Ok, it looks quite good, and under Linn docs there is real quality documentation available which I have not seen anywhere close at any other manufacturer. World class. But the thought behind this is not captured in the design of the other parts of the web page.

In order to promote and explain options and possibilities, it is a school example of missed opportunity (remember, as for any company, the purpose is to sell something and earn money).

Looking on Systems, for example Majik System:

Consists of Majik DSM and M140. There is no info whatsoever on benefits of adding a (or multiple) power amps. The DSM is such a well engineered product that you can turn of the power amp section and hence the power supply only has to serve as a pre-amp, something which is easily heard. 
On the table at the bottom there is a line mentioning Exakt being possible.  99% of people interested in HI-FI do not understand the benefit. 
Hence, not focus on something to keep hold of the customer and to explain how an upgrade path exist without having to sell the equipment (as with many competitors).

Moving on to streaming. Only focus on controlling stuff and stream anything :-(. Most people do not even know the difference between a streamer (where you cellphone is a visual control unit only) and streaming music via the phone to an apple TV or to the DS(M). Massive difference.in performance 

One could go on. A pitty. The difficulty of finding the System Hub was annoying at first, then When I had my Majik Isobarik, the possibility to go straight to the AEDSM (as it was called then) + Majik Exaktbox-I was a real winner.

Opening their front page, it is shown that Space Optimization is the most important reason for selecting a DSM. Bad enough, and then the next point is "control of everything" followed by "stream everything". Nowhere at this visual level is the qualify in music reproduction is presented as a key thing. A Sonos player and Apple TV does all this at a fraction of the cost. Where is the focus?

Regards 

Øyvind I

Edited by formann
Elaborated on content of web page and focus
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I’m loving reading this. We have 2 x EB6K, 1 x AB10K, AEB-i K.  When a new prospect arrives in your demo rooms, changing from Linn, Rega, Devialet in passive speaker domain with Kudos, Totem, LINN allows the prospect to understand source, control and playback in a timely manner.

Aktiv and Exakt requires a level of explanation similar to Spotify to HiRes, for some it’s too much info. Passive to Active is #thenextlevel Early Linn brochure documentation from the days of Anne Young explained differences pre Internet and websites well. LK range was the same size box, you just added to it to grow. Now  you have to explain the thick casework boxes are higher end/better and size matters.

Chris 

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16 hours ago, Hidden Systems said:

Aktiv and Exakt requires a level of explanation similar to Spotify to HiRes, for some it’s too much info.

Now  you have to explain the thick casework boxes are higher end/better and size matters.

Chris 

As you are a well known Linn dealer, I am sure you know your way around the catalogue, but in the Netherlands I can think of only one dealer, maybe two, who could. This firmly excludes 3 dealers that carry Linn in the 100km radius around my house.

But even at your place, the huge amount of possibilities and that Katalyst passive may or may not trump Exakt,  the fact that not all Akurate exakt solutions are equal, either in price or performance is a lot to process.

And for fun, let's assume that you just finished your explanation about caseworks, because that happened to be a customer first question, and the customer suddenly tells you they want to compare the following setups:

  • KDSM -> Twin -> passive Akudoriks
  • AEDSM -> integrated Exaktudoriks

I have honestly no idea which setup would sound best, but my guess would be the 50% cheaper one, the one without the solid casework and the one without the improvement that separates have over integrated equipment. I can also imagine that the customer would become angry with you, because in their eyes you're suddenly a liar.

Had you started with the merits of integrated equipment and Exakt, the customer could have asked for

  • Katalyst Selekt -> passive Akudoriks
  • ADSM -> A4200 -> passive Akudoriks
  • AEDSM  -> 530s

Again, I'm not sure which would be the better system, but Linn certainly doesn't make it easy for you nor the customer.

Edited by Tin
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23 hours ago, sunbeamgls said:

If you wanted to upgrade to a Linn Exakt system that used Exaktboxes to drive your existing (possibly already active) Linn speakers or those of another manufacturer, you'd need an Exakt equipped network streamer.  Which all of the DSMs can provide, in addition to a traditional analogue output.

But it is more cost effective to start with a System Hub, avoiding the cost of an onboard DAC, as all the DACs are going to be in your Exaktbox.

So you go to the Linn website and look at the Network Players section.  It seems that there is no such thing as a network player without analogue outputs.  They're pretty expensive, so you give up on the idea and spend nothing.

Only by digging into the systems section (remember, you have amps and speakers already, so why would you bother looking at the systems section?) would you find the System Hub.  If you've got this far, you'd think the System Hub was only available as part of a complete system, so, although you've persisted a bit longer, you give up and spend nothing.

An Exaktbox, which is an extension of the source (it has DACs, just like a source) is in the amps and speakers section where you then have to click on upgrades to find it.  As an existing owner of amp(s) and speakers, why would you go looking there for an upgrade to your source?

So no System Hub sale and no Exaktbox sale. Why make it so difficult to find?

Hello Sunbeam,

Totally agree with your post. I'm in exactly this situation, I'm about to trade in my old LK electronics and keep my Aktiv Keilidhs. I didn't know about Systemhub-I at all, I had read the on line brochure but it wasn't until I visited a Linn dealer and I explained what I had and what I wanted to do they said as I was already Aktiv, a Systemhub and Exactbox-I was what I needed, save me £4k in the process so i bought a Urika 2 and Radikal instead!

As you stated, Linn either hiding this particular way of configuration of an Akurate system or they just want you to spend lots more cash.

Still awaiting on house move first before I can take delivery of it, komplete with Katalyst too!

Stu

Edited by stupra
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5 hours ago, stupra said:

Hello Sunbeam,

Totally agree with your post. I'm in exactly this situation, I'm about to trade in my old LK electronics and keep my Aktiv Keilidhs. I didn't know about Systemhub-I at all, I had read the on line brochure but it wasn't until I visited a Linn dealer and I explained what I had and what I wanted to do they said as I was already Aktiv, a Systemhub and Exactbox-I was what I needed, save me £4k in the process so i bought a Urika 2 and Radikal instead!

As you stated, Linn either hiding this particular way of configuration of an Akurate system or they just want you to spend lots more cash.

Still awaiting on house move first before I can take delivery of it, komplete with Katalyst too!

Stu

It could be that the marketing department don’t understand what the various components do, and how they could be configured?

I don’t think many companies are going to show on their website how to get the best sound for the least money?   

The speakers that have the DAC’s and amplifiers built in such as the 350’s, Akubariks, Akudoriks, 530’s and 520’s are easier to present  on the webpage.

The Exaktbox options for the passive speaker versions are more difficult to explain, and would most likely only be of interest to hard core audiophiles.

Perhaps if Linn had a section on their website for Higher Performance Options, for audiophiles?

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On 05/05/2019 at 11:56, sunbeamgls said:

(1) The marketing lead has changed since then.

But as others have pointed out, the website hasn't. And these days, that will be the first port of call for buyers.  There needs to be enough explanation on the website about what complete systems look like to ensure that what Chris of Hidden Systems calls his prospect arrives at the dealer with at least some degree of understanding.

On 05/05/2019 at 11:56, sunbeamgls said:

(2) Last time I looked, buying a System Hub plus an Exaktbox didn't result in a particularly low cost solution.

Indeed. But a System Hub is still a much cheaper way of fronting up an Exakt system than the corresponding DSM.  I part-exchanged my (then current model) ADSM for a KEDSM. That put a second hand (and almost certainly better value) DSM on the market in place of a new one Linn might have sold.

On 05/05/2019 at 11:56, sunbeamgls said:

(3) In that case they should just put a list of dealers on the website, it would save a lot of cost developing fancy graphics.

Can't argue with that.

On 05/05/2019 at 11:56, sunbeamgls said:

(4) Remember, the existing system owner has given up trying to find a solution for their system, and spent nothing.  The idea that a consumer wants to go to a dealer and ask "what if?" is somewhat out dated, given how easy it is to find out information about everyone else's products on the web.

My point was about what Linn appear to want, not about what I think is sensible. I agree with you on this.

David

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On 05/05/2019 at 11:46, sunbeamgls said:

So no System Hub sale and no Exaktbox sale. Why make it so difficult to find?

I've often wondered why they don't even have a search.

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Frankly the website is just p*ss poor.  The most recent item under ‘news’ is the availability of timorous beastie fabrik for 5 series n 2016.

Good thing they haven’t developed anything newsworthy since then....

Edited by Mark57
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There are some very expensive boxes compared with Akurate System Hub that bridge UPnP/Ethernet to Coax S/PDIF . I wondered if Akurate System Hub could do this job and allow me to connect HDMI and Toslink into the bargain. I think it can and sync my non-Linn system and Linn system. However, trying to find out about this from Linn web’s site was harder than it should have been. 

The Linn docs are superb, but it’s front end site seems to have been designed by marketing men. It is a criticism I have of many modern website. I preferred the days when Web sites were simpler, less graphical and I could find information. I guess, as a Linn user, I’m not interested in seeing adverts, whereas this may be appropriate for those who are not Linn users.  

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