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SnapperMike

Screw Coronavirus, it's Upgraditis that's got the better of me....

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Posted (edited)

I promised myself not to get involved with this. But, the longer I keep telling myself that, the harder it is to resist temptation.

But I have a dilemma...if I decide, after 25 years, to upgrade my Linn hifi, what path do I actually take?

The one box scenario of the Selekt DSM is appealing, but for ultimate upgradeability and maybe ultimate sound, perhaps there's a better alternative. My current 90's Linn system, a Majik LK amp/LK100/Keilidh with Sneaky DS to me is a lovely sounding system. But, of course I'm not content with that. There is better out there. I know, this forum has told me that!

What I'm thinking is, replacing the source first scenario, where I replace the Sneaky with an Akurate DSM (I'd like a DSM as opposed a DS as I occasionally play a Linn turntable and would like to benefit from Linn's SO). I assume moving up to Majik DSM level isn't enough of an improvement on my Sneaky to warrant that change? Plus, Katalyst isn't Majik complient.

Should I decide on an ADSM or Selekt (preferably with Katalyst) then what, in terms of power amplification should I look at to drive the Keilidh's? I think I'd be happy to run the Keilidh's with the new setup for a while before speculating on what front ends to replace them with. In fact, I may well end up with non Linn speakers. So maybe power amplification that would be suitable for whatever I decide on the speaker front.

Going forward I might want to go exakt, but I have no experience of that.

If it helps, I have no immediate ambitions to go 5.1 surround, but that may change in time.

Cost wise, I really need to be looking at second hand. Thankfully CJ at Krescendo has already offered me an ADSM at £1100 below cost. :nup:

Thanks for any assistance.

Mike.

Edited by SnapperMike

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Hi Mike, hope your keeping well. You’ve heard my ADSM through the Keilidhs and I think you should go for the ADSM now before this bloody virus gets you 😀. Life’s too short. You love your music. Go for it and enjoy.

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Posted (edited)

Thank Bill for your encouragement! How are your Akudoriks settling in?

Mike.

Edited by SnapperMike

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1 hour ago, SnapperMike said:

What I'm thinking is, replacing the source first scenario, where I replace the Sneaky with an Akurate DSM (I'd like a DSM as opposed a DS as I occasionally play a Linn turntable and would like to benefit from Linn's SO). I assume moving up to Majik DSM level isn't enough of an improvement on my Sneaky to warrant that change? Plus, Katalyst isn't Majik compliant.

IMO, there you have it in a nutshell. Yes, with your current system, the source is what needs attention first. And yes, while the MDSM at its current price is a good value product, it isn't really enough of a step up from your Sneaky, and its built in amplification, which makes it an ideal choice for some people, isn't a good fit with what you already have.

Remember that you are not getting yourself into this upgrade hassle just to buy new Hi-fi. You are investing in long term musical enjoyment. The old adage that, in the long run, it tends to make sense to go for the best option you can afford has particular resonances here. In 2013, I went into my dealer's showroom wanting a streamer, undecided between Linn and Naim, and thinking that the MDSM was about at my price point in the Linn range. The dealer didn't pressure me; he just left me to listen to the alternatives. I ordered the ADSM and never once regretted that decision. With the MDSM not (and never likely to be) upgradeable to Katalyst, that choice would be even easier to make these days. If you get your choice right (which means listening to your own preferences, not anyone else's), you will still be getting pleasure from your upgraded system long after the pain in your bank balance has become a distant memory.

My earlier advice that it's best to make one change at a time, and get used to that before changing anything else, still holds good. It is, generally, the path that i have followed down the years. I think that the ADSM might well transform your system for you, and it's clear that Billz has even better reason than I do to think the same. If you like what you hear from your Aktiv Keilidhs, there's no need to contemplate changing them at this stage. Likewise the LK amplification should stay as it is for now. For a significant improvement you'd need an A4200 (with the relevant cards unless you went over to Exakt at the same time); my advice would be not to go there yet awhile.

Frankly, you don't need to overthink your upgrade conundrum; it has untangled itself. You've heard the ADSM, and I guess you liked it. It will work well with the rest of your gear. CJ apparently has one at a price you are prepared to pay. I think that, deep down, you already know what you are going to do. Just do it.

David

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Posted (edited)

I think David is spot-on here.

I would agree to not change too much in one go. You’ll probably be bowled-over with the ADSM in your system, and may never need to contemplate upgrading anything else beyond this.

I have modest Majik amps & speakers in my system, and I’ve upgraded the source(s) over the last few years with consistently good results. And I’m not looking to upgrade amps & speakers anytime soon. Maybe if I win the lottery? ;-)

IMO just get the ADSM & ENJOY! :D

Edited by kelly200269
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The ADSM is really the logical step here, as David, Billz and Kelly have stated. Just for fun though, I perused Hifishark for a Majik Exaktbox-I. There's currently a Dutch dealer offering an ex-demo package of an AEDSM plus Majik Exaktbox-I for € 4.650,- (around GBP 4.185). He states that they are "as good as new". And you could still sell off everything except the Keilidhs to finance an upgrade of the MEB-I to Akurate Exaktbox-I with Katalyst. Worth a thought...

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20 minutes ago, Tendaberry said:

The ADSM is really the logical step here, as David, Billz and Kelly have stated.

Yes. Hold on to that.

21 minutes ago, Tendaberry said:

I perused Hifishark for a Majik Exaktbox-I ... Worth a thought.

But not, I suggest, a very lengthy one. I get the impression that SnapperMike likes to do his upgrading in bite-sized chunks. I love my Exakt system, but part of the price I have had to pay for it is the degree of lock-in to the Linn way of doing things. And the Exaktbox-I, great product as it is, does rather limit subsequent freedom of choice. In the present case, I really think that keeping things simple is the way to go.

David

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Posted (edited)

I'll take the other side of the above and say that Sunbeam said a few days ago something to the effect that Exakt doesn't a limit freedom, as most speakers can be exakted. There are costs involved, and some surgery may be needed to accommodate binding posts. That certainly is the view I hold about my Exaktbox-i. And there is nothing stopping you from just doing an ADSM now, then Exakt later. The above mentioned combo does sound like a great move, and I'm just over the moon with my Exaktbox-i is all I can say from my personal experience. The thought that Katalyst will massively improve my system just boggles my tiny tortured mind!

Just an Exaktbox 6 on the end of your present setup later would also be pretty spectacular. So just make sure whatever DSM you get had Exakt would be my main suggestion.

In the Facebook group there is an LK whisperer who says all those vintage amps sound pretty great after he recaps them. This could be a cheaper option if he's right. He was mostly talking about Klouts I think, but I think he invoked LK too.

Edited by Jail4CEOs2

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Posted (edited)

I agree with others that the ADSM is probably the best route to go.

I also like the idea of an Majik Exaktbox I, and am very impressed with mine, but there are so many other options.

The best Keilidhs I have heard had a full Klimax Exakted front end and Klimax amplification, and it was truly delightful. I am not suggesting you go that route, but it opened my eyes to alternative amps to power them and how Exakt brings the Keilidhs to another level.

I would certainly biamp with a 4200, as that will provide some significant gains in sounds quality, but I do have to admit that a Klimax Twin as single passive would be my first choice.

As we are thinking outside the box, I would probably swap the Keilidhs for a pair of 212’s or a pair of 242’s , as the 3K brings a lot to the table. I do love the sound quality of a well setup pair of Espeks, if you are looking for something at a reasonable price point, driven by a Klimax Twin or 4200’s. Even better if you could find a pair of Aktiv 320’s in great condition at a good price

That said, I am firmly in Bill’s camp, as I have spent too much time in the past contemplating a purchase of something I desire, and now would not hesitate on just doing it. Life is too short 😊🙏

Edited by Paulssurround
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Posted (edited)

Or you could just go the ‘whole hog’ and just go for a KDSM?

I was very very sceptical when I acquired my KDS/3, but the more I listen to it, the more I’m flabbergasted about how good it is as a digital source :D

Edited by kelly200269
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Posted (edited)

C'mon, folks. It's not that I disagree with anything Paul and Jail4 have said, but just that I believe that Mike wants (and needs) to keep things simple. The best (which in Hi-fi is about as attainable as the crock of cold at the end of the rainbow) is very much the enemy of the good. My gut instinct tells me that Mike wants to buy himself an ADSM/3, and that our job is to tell him the plain truth, which is that this is not a stupid thing to do. Alternatives, shmalternatives.

David

Edited by DavidHB
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16 hours ago, DavidHB said:

IMO, there you have it in a nutshell. Yes, with your current system, the source is what needs attention first. And yes, while the MDSM at its current price is a good value product, it isn't really enough of a step up from your Sneaky, and its built in amplification, which makes it an ideal choice for some people, isn't a good fit with what you already have.

Remember that you are not getting yourself into this upgrade hassle just to buy new Hi-fi. You are investing in long term musical enjoyment. The old adage that, in the long run, it tends to make sense to go for the best option you can afford has particular resonances here. In 2013, I went into my dealer's showroom wanting a streamer, undecided between Linn and Naim, and thinking that the MDSM was about at my price point in the Linn range. The dealer didn't pressure me; he just left me to listen to the alternatives. I ordered the ADSM and never once regretted that decision. With the MDSM not (and never likely to be) upgradeable to Katalyst, that choice would be even easier to make these days. If you get your choice right (which means listening to your own preferences, not anyone else's), you will still be getting pleasure from your upgraded system long after the pain in your bank balance has become a distant memory.

My earlier advice that it's best to make one change at a time, and get used to that before changing anything else, still holds good. It is, generally, the path that i have followed down the years. I think that the ADSM might well transform your system for you, and it's clear that Billz has even better reason than I do to think the same. If you like what you hear from your Aktiv Keilidhs, there's no need to contemplate changing them at this stage. Likewise the LK amplification should stay as it is for now. For a significant improvement you'd need an A4200 (with the relevant cards unless you went over to Exakt at the same time); my advice would be not to go there yet awhile.

Frankly, you don't need to overthink your upgrade conundrum; it has untangled itself. You've heard the ADSM, and I guess you liked it. It will work well with the rest of your gear. CJ apparently has one at a price you are prepared to pay. I think that, deep down, you already know what you are going to do. Just do it.

David

Thank you so much David. Yes, I really would prefer to upgrade stage by stage over time and obviously the source is the best place to start.

From memory the way that my Linn dealer, Stereo Stereo in Glasgow, set up my current system in the 90's was by adding aktive cards to both the LK100 power amp and the power amp section of the Majik Integrated amp. The latter drives the Keilidh's tweeters and the LK100, the bass. I'm sure they installed cards into both my amps to make that an aktive setup. Would that make sense? I think it was the 'budget' way of going aktive at that time.

Should I get an ADSM, how would that be integrated into my current amp setup to its best advantage? Would aktive cards need to be installed into the ADSM too? Would I still use the pre-amp in my Majik or use the pre-amp of the ADSM? I would want to use my Linn Basik turntable through the DSM so it benefits from SO too.

Apologies for the connectivity muppetry!

Mike.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, kelly200269 said:

Or you could just go the ‘whole hog’ and just go for a KDSM?

I was very very sceptical when I acquired my KDS/3, but the more I listen to it, the more I’m flabbergasted about how good it is as a digital source :D

Thanks Kelly, I'm sure you're right. However, I have already had 3 jobs cancelled due to Coronavirus and am still paying two mortgages!

Mike.

Edited by SnapperMike

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1 hour ago, Paulssurround said:

I agree with others that the ADSM is probably the best route to go.

I also like the idea of an Majik Exaktbox I, and am very impressed with mine, but there are so many other options.

The best Keilidhs I have heard had a full Klimax front end and amplification, and it was truly delightful. I am not suggesting you go that route, but it opened my eyes to alternative amps to power them.

I would certainly biamp with a 4200, as that will provide some significant gains in sounds quality, but I do have to admit that a Klimax Twin as single passive would be my first choice.

As we are thinking outside the box, I would probably swap the Keilidhs for a pair of 212’s or a pair of 242’s , as the 3K brings a lot to the table. I do love the sound quality of a well setup pair of Espeks, if you are looking for something at a reasonable price point, driven by a Klimax Twin or 4200’s. Even better if you could find a pair of Aktiv 320’s in great condition at a good price

That said, I am firmly in Bill’s camp, as I have spent too much time in the past contemplating a purchase of something I desire, and now would not hesitate on just doing it. Life is too short 😊🙏

Thank you Paul, very interesting. I'm pleased that everyone is in agreement in the choice of an ADSM!

So many other potential additions to think about too. That's great but I'll be considering all in a calm and considered way. 9_9

Mike.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Jail4CEOs2 said:

In the Facebook group there is an LK whisperer who says all those vintage amps sound pretty great after he recaps them.

Thanks Jail, I'd seen that too. Worth the consideration.

Mike.

Edited by SnapperMike

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