NL.

Upgrade from Majik DSM to Akurate DSM - pros and cons

Recommended Posts

Posted (edited)

One thing about the M140’s is their ability to “grow “ with your up stream choices. After upgrading to A4200’s I truly realized that these speakers were underestimated. I think this comes from most people having heard M140s without the metal upgrade stands. These make a huge difference in bottom end. But they are really expensive for hunks of metal ( keel anyone ? ) . So, I think they are dismissed as immediate upgrades.
 

When I went to an Akurate system hub ( from MDSM) and an exactbox10 ( from Internal aktiv cards) I started thinking about upgrading my Ekos 1 and my Hub to Kilmax level well before a speaker change. The Linn Hierarchy is alive and well!  

Edited by arm
  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One more inquery re Akurate level amps - should I go for the ones with an XLR balanced inputs, or RCA unbalanced variants are equally good?

IMHO balanced connections should be used whenever available/posible... yet I don't have any personal expiriance in that respect. So any thoughs on the dilema balanced vs unbalanced Akurate level amps?   

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 minutes ago, NL. said:

So any thoughts on the dilemma balanced vs unbalanced Akurate level amps?   

I've heard both, and I don't think that there's a lot of difference, if any. At the time I bought my A2200, the dealer said that he preferred the RCA version, which confirms my view that it's a close call. With an ADSM, you can use either.version, so, if you are buying second hand, you can, I believe, confidently buy what's available. What I don't know is whether you can mix types in a multi-amp system; my guess is that you can't, but I'm open to correction on that.

David

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Many thanks David. If I follow you correctly, I could start with a single A2200 + existing M140. That combo should (at least in theory) sound better that my current setup (which is running on Majik class amplification).

This in my case looks relatively future proof - if I decide to migrate to passive Akubariks. Then I could add one more A2200, or A4200 (or even a pair of A4200). This should work fine, yet the cost effectivness is higly questionable...

Now I come to what I wanted to ask - how does active cards story fit in my plans? Theoreticaly, if I add a pair of A4200 and keep my M140, I could add 4 active cards in A4200s and run my M140 actively? ...and my whole setup should be considered as an active setup? ...or I still dont understand the "active" concept?  

What would be the difference between active concept explained above and the "activation" via Akurate exaktbox? Exaktbox is a digital crossover whilst active cards fited in amps are analog crossovers, right? Does aplication of these two thalternatives make speaker inernal crossovers redundant?

Sorry for bothering again with this, but I dont feel clear on this "activ story" and I would realy like to understand it.

Best, NL.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

There is a lot to unpack so I will take a shot at just the the first question since I lived it recently. You will need to have 8 channels of amplification ( 4 x 2200 , or 2 x4200, or 2x2200 +2x4200) before you can launch into aktiv cards. You cannot half aktivate, as it were, M140’s , it’s all or nothing. These internal amp cards take the place of the less efficient crossovers in your speakers by separating the signal for each driver prior to amplification , then sending it to its specific amp. All more efficient ending in cleaner SQ and more head room. This was my route first (  2X 4200) before stopping over with active cards prior to replacing the cards with an AEBox10. 

Edited by arm
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, NL. said:

Exaktbox is a digital crossover whilst active cards fited in amps are analog crossovers, right? Does aplication of these two thalternatives make speaker inernal crossovers redundant?

Yes to both questions.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Super Wammer
On 06/07/2020 at 14:55, DavidHB said:

I've heard both, and I don't think that there's a lot of difference, if any. At the time I bought my A2200, the dealer said that he preferred the RCA version, which confirms my view that it's a close call. With an ADSM, you can use either.version, so, if you are buying second hand, you can, I believe, confidently buy what's available. What I don't know is whether you can mix types in a multi-amp system; my guess is that you can't, but I'm open to correction on that.

David

I don't think this is possible. The sensitivity levels of the inputs are different. So you'd end up with one amp playing louder than another.

Not sure if both RCA and XLR outputs on the ADSM are live at the same time, and if you could connect one amp to their respective connectors and get the same volume levels.  I don't think I'd gamble on that working, but helpline@linn.co.uk will confirm.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 06/07/2020 at 15:55, DavidHB said:

What I don't know is whether you can mix types in a multi-amp system

In general you can, because the voltage gain factors of both types take the different output voltages of the ADSM (or any other Linn source) into account. The output voltage of the XLR output is twice as high as the RCA’s output voltage. Since the balanced type has a voltage gain of 22.6 dB, whereas the RCA type has a voltage gain of 28.6 dB, both amps will play at the same volume (6 dB is equivalent to a factor of 2).

Of cause you can’t connect an output of a balanced Ax200 to an input of an RCA Ax200 input or vice versa in a multi-amp system. Although adapters from XLR to RCA and RCA to XLR are available, using them would lead to a mismatch in volume of the amps. Let’s assume that the volume setting of the DS is 50. If connecting an RCA amp to an XLR output, it would play as loud as if the volume setting is 56. Accordingly a balanced amp connected to an RCA output would play as loud as if the volume setting is 44.

If a balanced connection is of benefit, depends on two factors: Cable length and how the balanced output and input stages are designed. The longer the cable is, the more susceptible it is to coupled in noise from the outer world. Since such outer noise effects both signal lines the same, such noise cancels itself out on the receivers side, which „calculates“ the difference between both signal lines.

At Akurate level the XLR output signal is generated by additional components which invert the RCA output signal. On the amps side, additional components are needed to transform the received balanced signal to an unbalanced one (i.e. RCA). The errors introduced by these additional components can outweigh the benefits of the balanced transmission, hence I’m not surprised that your dealer prefers the RCA version.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
30 minutes ago, sunbeamgls said:

Not sure if both RCA and XLR outputs on the ADSM are live at the same time, and if you could connect one amp to their respective connectors and get the same volume levels.

Again, yes to both questions. ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
35 minutes ago, sunbeamgls said:

The sensitivity levels of the inputs are different.

That's why the voltage gain factors of the amps are different.

Edited by BB1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had always understood that balanced XLRs were for long cable runs, you know the microphone lead trailing across the stage and several times round Freddy Mercury. For domestic use, unless a long cable run is needed (in which case exakt?) RCAs should be fine. It does depends on what you alrerady have.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
39 minutes ago, BB1 said:

If a balanced connection is of benefit, depends on two factors: Cable length and how the balanced output and input stages are designed. The longer the cable is, the more susceptible it is to coupled in noise from the outer world. Since such outer noise effects both signal lines the same, such noise cancels itself out on the receivers side, which „calculates“ the difference between both signal lines.

At Akurate level the XLR output signal is generated by additional components which invert the RCA output signal. On the amps side, additional components are needed to transform the received balanced signal to an unbalanced one (i.e. RCA). The errors introduced by these additional components can outweigh the benefits of the balanced transmission, hence I’m not surprised that your dealer prefers the RCA version.

Indeed interesting explanation, many thanks.

If I understand you correctly, Akurate DSM has been in fact designed to work with the unbalaned (RCA) inputs and outputs. But it has "a component", or an imbedded adapter so to say, which is responsible for transforming unbalanced to balanced signal, right? So its inner circuits havent been designed truly balanced (like some American style equipment, e.g. McIntosh), in fact they are just "compatible to balanced".

If this is correct, in case of Linn it apsolutely makes sence to buy unbalanced amp... and balanced connectins are justified only in case of larger distances between compinents, ie. necesity for long cables...  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, NL. said:

Indeed interesting explanation, many thanks.

If I understand you correctly, Akurate DSM has been in fact designed to work with the unbalaned (RCA) inputs and outputs. But it has "a component", or an imbedded adapter so to say, which is responsible for transforming unbalanced to balanced signal, right? So its inner circuits havent been designed truly balanced (like some American style equipment, e.g. McIntosh), in fact they are just "compatible to balanced".

If this is correct, in case of Linn it apsolutely makes sence to buy unbalanced amp... and balanced connectins are justified only in case of larger distances between compinents, ie. necesity for long cables...  

It is system dependent. If your amp sounds better balanced, then use the balanced output and vice versa. If ADSM is not designed for balanced, then the same would be true for KDSM. But that is not true as balanced Klimax sounds better if connected to an amp that prefers balanced vs singled ended (think BAT, Ayre types)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 06/07/2020 at 13:05, NL. said:

Many thanks for the comments and suggestions.

As my ADSM has a Katalyst, I'm also considering  to find a pair of older aktiv Akubariks (maybe even a pair of 350' ) with XLR balanced inputs, and not to buy amps at all... to reduce the system to ADSM and XLR aktiv speakers. Exact Akubariks with Katalyst are to expensive, but also my ADSM's inner Katalyst is redundant in that case. The same story of redundancy goes with the AExaktbox 10 and AExaktbox-I.

That's a very cost effective approach. If you consider separate boxes, no not forget 5 pairs of Linn silver, speaker cables etc. Doing active analougue Akubarik is very cost efficient and a samshing combo with ADSM kat.

  • Like 1
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I’m in a very similar situation and although I agree that our stay at home order has really been making me think more about upgrades I’ve managed to control it quite a bit.

I have an mdsm/1 (unfortunately no exakt) with 7 available akurate amp channels and tri-Aktiv kabers.

I don’t know what to expect from the upgrades as I haven’t heard any of the planned upgraded gear but eventually would like to move to an Adsm and 242’s or passive akubariks. (Not heard either)

I don’t use the internal amplification of the mdsm/1 and was thinking of finding a used Adsm/1 or 2 so as to gauge each upgrade before reaching exakt and or katalyst

There is an opportunity to get an Adsm/0 (no exakt which really kills the possible experiment with home demoing an exaktbox 6) would this be any upgrade to my mdsm/1. I’d have to sell the mdsm/1 in place of the akurate as work is almost dead for me during these troubled times. Or should I wait it out to find a suitable Adsm/1 at the minimum. (Please Message me if you have one for sale)

Alternatively there is a chance to get a nice pair of 242’s and i’d sell the kabers but something tells me I should first just concentrate on matching my source to the amps.

Anyone ever had these problems??


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Anybody?


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.