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Linn’s New Circuit Boards Versus Old Circuit Boards


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As you may be aware, Linn make their own circuit boards in-house.

Anyone that has visited the Linn factory exactly  3 years ago will have seen the old equipment for producing the old circuit boards. Then around August 2017, Linn invested more than £1 million in new equipment to manufacturer their new circuit boards.

The new circuit boards are significantly smaller than their previous counterparts, with much smaller components, shorter signal path and better shielded. The new circuit board manufacturing process uses a much more advanced machine that greatly improved construction of the boards circuitry.

The question is, do the new boards sound better?

The answer is a definitive yes
 

One of my Linn friends in the UK upgraded his Klimax DSM which was a 2016 variant, with a brand new Klimax DSM a few days ago.

He has had some other Linnies over to listen, and they all confirm that sound quality is much clearer and detailed  on every level.

I will search for my pictures of the new manufacturing equipment and post them on here later, from my December 2017 visit to the Linn factory.

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Hi All, I happen to be one of the UK people who have heard the differences and have been convinced enough to have upgraded!  My understanding of why's and when's of this change maybe a little dif

Yes, and 2.48m is the optimal speaker cable length...

How could a new Klimax DSM not be Katalyst?

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Here are 2 pictures from the visit to the Linn factory in December 2017.

The one picture is the new circuit board machine

Checking my photo library, I only have the picture of the circuit board manufacturing machine, not the new high tech soldering machine

IMG_5031.jpeg.f046b014fcd29cc4af5dd6a77d004a53.jpegIMG_5037.jpeg.4e223fe7c27228c1e7b33edbec382e6a.jpeg

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40 minutes ago, Paulssurround said:

One of my Linn friends in the UK upgraded his Klimax DSM which was a 2016 variant, with a brand new Klimax DSM a few days ago.

He has had some other Linnies over to listen, and they all confirm that sound quality is much clearer and detailed  on every level.

Are we talking like for like here Paul? i.e. both Katalyst versions ?

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1 hour ago, Sound Hound said:

Are we talking like for like here Paul? i.e. both Katalyst versions ?

Yes, my understanding is they are both Klimax  Katalyst DSM’s

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Nope. Neither of them are Katalyst.

The circuit boards aren't smaller, although the components are.  The machines don't make circuit boards, the first populates them and the second solders them. As it happens, this product also may have had design changes, not just the new production method.

However, I'm pretty sure, from what I know, that there could well be a difference, and two listeners to one product have confirmed it so far. I would venture to suggest that there is evidence that the new boards make a difference in one product. But as that ppssibly also had design changes,  not sure that yet qualifies as definitive.

If it is, it would be a nice earner for Linn to offer like for like board replacements as an upgrade option.

Edited by sunbeamgls
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4 hours ago, Stuart 1872 said:

So are we saying that a newly manufactured Klimax System Hub will sound better than my older Klimax EDSM?

Possibly, not definitively :)

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22 hours ago, sunbeamgls said:

Nope. Neither of them are Katalyst.

How could a new Klimax DSM not be Katalyst?

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1 minute ago, Ukandrewf said:

An ekdsm would have katalyst in the speaker

This is true, but I didn't think we were talking about a Klimax Exakt DSM, rather Klimax DSM. Furthermore, the new one would be a Klimax System Hub.

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6 hours ago, Stuart 1872 said:

So are we saying that a newly manufactured Klimax System Hub will sound better than my older Klimax EDSM?

The short answer is yes.

the reason is that linn are constantly evolving and making tiny changes as they develop and move forward. One small change probably won’t be noticed two, again maybe not but five small changes and you start noticing the difference.

since 2016 of my original ekdsm linn have installed new manufacturing processes which means that smaller components with shorter and more accurate signal paths can be installed. They’ve also made improvements to the clocking.

the only way to be sure is to ask your dealer for a demo because although linn have renamed to a klimax hub they’re not saying much about improvement.

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4 minutes ago, akamatsu said:

This is true, but I didn't think we were talking about a Klimax Exakt DSM, rather Klimax DSM. Furthermore, the new one would be a Klimax System Hub.

The older kdm’s had to be upgraded to katalyst, if you were using exakt speakers from a Kdsm with exakt out there was no need to upgrade so you didn’t get the benefit.

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28 minutes ago, Ukandrewf said:

since 2016 of my original ekdsm linn have installed new manufacturing processes which means that smaller components with shorter and more accurate signal paths can be installed.

What’s often forgotten is that making use of the capabilities of a new pick-and-place machine requires a lot of engineering work for existing designs. It involves a new PCB layout which needs to be thoroughly tested for function and SQ.

29 minutes ago, Ukandrewf said:

They’ve also made improvements to the clocking.

As far as I know all 2018 variants of any DSM were caused by the fact that a clocking device prior in use has become obsolete. Whether the DSM sounds better due to the replacement part or not, is pure speculation, but for sure Linn’s main intent was not to replace this component for sonic reasons.

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On 29/02/2020 at 17:37, Paulssurround said:

One of my Linn friends in the UK upgraded his Klimax DSM which was a 2016 variant, with a brand new Klimax DSM a few days ago.

Why would he have thought it was an upgrade, and how come the newer one isn't a Katalyst version?

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