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Linn’s New Circuit Boards Versus Old Circuit Boards


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37 minutes ago, Nopiano said:

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

It was my upgrade. I upgraded from ekdsm 2016 to  klimax  hub 2020 - I’m exakt only so no need for katalyst in hub

48 minutes ago, BB1 said:

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.

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.

The new pick and pick machine came in  2017 so three years to fine tune.

ive heard that the engineers have developed their understanding of clocking and that has resulted in small improvements. 
 

anyway the only way to be sure is to listen a/b yourself and make up ur own mind. 

Edited by Ukandrewf
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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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1 hour ago, akamatsu said:

How could a new Klimax DSM not be Katalyst?

Hopefully you've been able to see why in the rest of the thread :)

Don't believe everything you read on the internet :D

Edited by sunbeamgls
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7 minutes ago, sunbeamgls said:

Hopefully you've been able to see why in the rest of the thread :)

Don't believe everything you read on the internet :D

When is a new Klimax DSM not Katalyst? When it isn't a Klimax DSM.

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29 minutes ago, Ukandrewf said:

The new pick and pick machine came in  2017 so three years to fine tune.

Well, in October 2019 I’ve asked Linn why there is no option for the KSH to drive a headphone amp (i.e a digital S/PDIF output option) as introduced for the Klimax DSM/3. The official reply was:

When we redesigned the board on the Klimax DSM for the Katalyst DAC (KDSM/3), we added the option, as part of the board re-design to make the option to make an input an output.


There has not been a redesign of the KSH board.

Therefore I’ve asked whether this feature will make into the KSH in the future. The official reply was:

I am unsure if a board redesign would be necessary for the KSH. If there is, I am sure that if it is possible, we would make this change

So, does your 2020 KSH support S/PDIF out? If not, it’s more than likely that there is absolutely no difference between a 2020 KSH and a 2018 KSH. Hence only one year to fine tune, but not three…

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39 minutes ago, Ukandrewf said:

ive heard that the engineers have developed their understanding of clocking and that has resulted in small improvements

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

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1 hour ago, BB1 said:

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

Seems a rather strange and somewhat irrelevant direction to take the discussion.

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On the topic of board redesigns, there will be 2 aspects to this.

1 - physical redesign - I would expect every single board will have needed a physical redesign in order to accommodate the new smaller components and possibly to work with the new soldering technique. It is also possible that the physical redesign and the new machinery delivers some shorter paths or greater component accuracy. Maybe some of these things change the sound.

2 - circuit topology redesign - the new machinery may enable an opportunity to make changes and some of those may give a sonic benefit or not. The need for a physical redesign of the board may have given the opportunity to apply topology changes the engineers had wanted to do for a while, or were able to achieve with the greater effective real estate offered by smaller components. Unless Linn tell us about these on a product by product level, it remains speculation.

Listening is the other option for assessment and will always be open to challenge.

Meanwhile, back to listening to music, with some of the chain on old boards, some of it on new boards and some of it on boards that don't even come from Scotland.

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2 hours ago, Ukandrewf said:

It was my upgrade. I upgraded from ekdsm 2016 to  klimax  hub 2020 - I’m exakt only so no need for katalyst in hub

Thanks for clarifying that it wasn’t quite what Paul reported originally, hence my question.  I’m only really interested in the source DS and DSM models. 
Glad you’ve found it better!

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2 hours ago, BB1 said:

So, does your 2020 KSH support S/PDIF out? If not, it’s more than likely that there is absolutely no difference between a 2020 KSH and a 2018 KSH. Hence only one year to fine tune, but not three…

Does it matter? Just listen for yourself and decide. If you don’t hear anything there is no improvement and if you do there is...

to my ears there was definitely an improvement but you might be different.

the other question is if there is an improvement is it worth the cost of swapping?

Edited by Ukandrewf
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https://hifipig.com/1-3m-factory-investment-for-linn/

reads a bit like a Linn press release see this quote ...

New Surface Mount Technology

‘The new machines allow the use of significantly smaller components than before that can be placed with greater efficiency and precision. These improvements across Linn’s surface mount technology minimise the distance the audio signal travels between individual components‘

Vapour Phase Soldering

Circuit board soldering accuracy has been optimised by replacing the traditional reflow process with the most up-to-date vapour-phase ovens available. Boards are placed directly inside a 230 degree vapour solution and solder is converted in an inert atmosphere as opposed to normal air. Normal air contains oxygen which can oxidise the solder joints to a very small degree. This move to vapour soldering ensures that each and every part of all Linn circuit boards are targeted with the right temperature at exactly the right time.

Edited by Ukandrewf
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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 different to the other comments here - so let me explain form the beginning.

Early last year my dealer (Chris at Hidden Systems) had rather excitedly suggested that I needed to hear the latest KDSM/3 that he had recently purchased as he had been blown away with the improvements and was interested to compare with my KEDSM (which was 4 years old and I had been considering looking at the HDMI 2.0 upgrade). Upon demonstration, frankly, the improvement of the KDSM/3 to my KEDSM where clear and were to my ears of the same magnitude as the Katalyst upgrade had been to my exakt Akubariks. 

Now this was: 

a) not what I was expecting nor was it particularly what I wanted to hear (given the likely cost to change), 

b) not very clear as to why there should be such an improvement (given that my system would not be utilising the DSM/3's katalyst DACs and that Linn had not pronounced that there should be such improvements) and;

c) whether this improvement would translate to the KSH which was what Chris was suggesting that I should consider.

I asked whether I could compare, in my system, my KEDSM versus a new KSH - but unfortunately Chris was not able to source a KSH at that time so I decided to think about it for a few months before I did commit (on the understanding that the KSH in my system would need to be as good as the KDSM/3 previously demonstrated).  I was pleased to confirm that it was every bit as good as I had previously heard with the KDSM/3.

Whilst this thought process was ongoing Chris was trying to obtain an understanding from Linn what the changes were.  Although there was a reassurance from Linn that a KSH in an exakt system should sound as good as a KDSM/3 it was only later, after my upgrade, that a detailed response emerged as:

Quote

Quote removed as not officially issued as a Linn public statement.

My view, FWIW, is that the improvement is significant and easily heard on an A to B comparison. It improves the DSM in all the areas that the Klimax is an improvement on an Akurate level DSM. Naturalness, clarity, space around the notes that just makes a piece of music easier to listen to.

Clive

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Thanks Clive for that response, very concise, Chris is my dealer [edited]

at the Bristol Hifi show Linn we’re talking about constant small incremental changes which alone don’t mean much but in combination make good improvement. I think this, with the board, component changes mentioned and clock enhancements all add up. Perhaps Linn couldn’t flag it as an an upgrade because there’s nothing majorly new (like there was with katalyst for example). They have changed name to hub and perhaps this is more than just a name change but hints at performance improvement.

andrew

Edited by Ukandrewf
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Does anyone know if this applies to ASH too please?

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If I recall Darren correctly form my factory tour in 2012 (?), Linn constantly improve their circuit boards. This is why they don't produce tons of them, but rather build them on demand (per order).

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22 minutes ago, uk030 said:

If I recall Darren correctly form my factory tour in 2012 (?), Linn constantly improve their circuit boards. This is why they don't produce tons of them, but rather build them on demand (per order).

Interesting would back the small incremental changes idea

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