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What was your introduction to Linn?


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56 minutes ago, HansBertil said:

My first visit to my present dealer was during my university studies together with a friend. I remember a lot of IKEA Lack tables and various turntables. At that time I neither had the need nor the money for new equipment and was quite happy with my Denon CD player, NAD 3020 and Rega speakers. Some 20 (!) years later the CD player started to deteriorate; frequently skipping, sometimes not play the first track,... and I started ponder about some new gear. My colleagues talked me into streaming and the majority was using Linn. My first box was the MDSM, and I was hooked. The upgradeitis is at the moment under control and I think any move from the present status will involve a lot of money. Hence I’m happy :)

Nice. HansBertil, you already have a terrific system there so I'm pleased that you have no imminent thoughts of upgrading! Remember to just keep taking the pills!

Mike.

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I was 16 years old and saved my entire summer job earnings in 1985 to buy a new LP12 basic LVX/k9 after shopping with my ( future) brother-in-law for his new stereo ( Ariston RD11/ luxman reciever / JBL L100 ). He soon regretted not getting the LP12 and when I was ready, that’s what I got. Funny, I don’t even remember auditioning the lp12 before buying. I do remember other auditions...anyway, still have that lp12 with lots of upgrades since and more to come.  

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I was fortunate to have one of the best HiFi shops in North America called Sound Plus, with the Linn distributor for Canada, Aldburn Electronics in the Vancouver area. Sound Plus had 2 floors of showrooms and every conceivable type of Linn gear available for audition, whether it was speakers, electronics and turntables. If I purchased a piece of Linn, it was either in the Sound Plus’s warehouse, at Aldburn Electronics 30 minutes away, or would be flown into Vancouver from Glasgow in a few days. This was a golden time for Linn in North America.

Sound Plus was a huge promoter of Linn gear, and it was not long before I bought my first piece of Linn. My Linn adventures started out with a Movie Classik so I could play DVD’s and CD’s And eventually a pair of Ninkas to replace my Magneplanar speakers. When 5.1 DVD-Audio discs became available, I bought a TriKan centre channel speaker and a pair of Kans for surround duties. The Kans were soon replaced by Katans, to give me better surround sound.

All was sounding magnificent, and I thought I was done, until I joined the Linn Forum....

Not leaving well enough alone, I replaced the Movie Classik with a Unidisk SC so I could play 5.1 SACD’s, and that prompted a Majik 5100, and Aktiv cards with a second Majik 5100. Before I knew it I had somehow bought 2 6100’s, and sold off one of the 5100’s, giving me 17 channels of aktiv surround with Majik Isobariks, with an upgrade to a 112 centre channel speaker and a pair of 109’s. A Classé SSP-800 was doing surround processing. There was a whole lot of Dynamik power supply upgrades, and a plethora of Aktiv cards in the mix.

AFAIK, I bought the first pair of aktiv Akubariks in North America, which became the first Akubariks in North America to be upgraded to Exakt, and ultimately to Katalyst. The centre channel speaker became an Akurate 225 with a pair of 212’s for surrounds. Then came  the Akurate Exaktbox for the centre channel, upgraded to Katalyst  and a Majik Exaktbox I for the surrounds. 

I went from a Majik DS to an Akurate DS, a Klimax Renew DS to an AEDSM

The Akurate 212’s have recently been replaced by Akudoriks, which I plan to power with a Katalyst Akurate Exaktbox I.

Along the way, there were a whole lot of tweaks and upgrades to the power supply, vibration control, room acoustic treatment and cables.

My Linn dealers changed in Vancouver from Sound Plus to HiFi Centre, to Sound Room and now back to HiFi Centre.

It has been a fantastic journey indeed.
 

Edited by Paulssurround
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After I got divorced in 1985 I wanted to replace my turntable. At the time I was using a Connoisseur BD1 with SAU-2 tonearm - hand built by me from a kit.  I visited Audio Excellence in Cardiff and came away with a Linn Axis, That would have been 1986 0r 1987.  I no longer have any vinyl and the Axis is long gone.  My system is now Akurate DSM, Akurate Exaktbox 6 Katalyst, Akurate 4200, Kudos Super 20A.

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Early 80s. Hifi shop in the North East of England. Went looking for a cassette deck.

When I went in they were playing an LP12 (probably Grace and Supex but I didn't know much then), Nytech receiver and Heybrook HB3s. Up to that point I'd only heard my parent's half decent radiogram. It really opened up my perspective on what was possible from hifi.

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I came to Linn in 1995. At the time I had my current Townshend turntable, a Myst TMA3 amplifier and a pair of Gale speakers. The Myst amplifier was a lovely bit of kit, beautifully made and minimalist. I had moved there from a few Japanese amps which in my view were needlessy feature laden. The Myst developed a fault and rather than try to fix it I thought I'd use it as an excuse to get something new. (I still have it, couldn't bear to just bin it). I was aware of Linn having probably seen some adverts and there was a dealer just a few doors down from where I worked. I knew of the Majik integrated and was keen to get one (again the minimalist look appealed) so in I went for a demo against an equivilent Naim with an LP12 and Keilidhs. I can't remember all the records I took with me but I definitely had my copy of Clapton's unplugged. The Linn sounded great so home it came and I'm still using it! Now I have it internally set as a preamp with a pair of LK85s with aktiv cards driving Katans plus a Genki for my CDs. These other components were all added in 2018 secondhand when my old Gales gave up but I had bought them in the 80s so I felt I'd had reasonable value from them!

I'm not sure if my Linn adventure has much more to give now, I'm not sold on streaming/downloading plus the kit is getting ridiculously expensive. I've been very tempted to get an LP12, either s/h or perhaps a new Majik but I still really enjoy my current deck, I'm sure it will be better but will it give me £3-4,000 more enjoyment?

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I went into a store in the Edgware Road in the late 'seventies, just looking around with no intention of buying anything. They had an LP12 with Grace 707 and Supex cartridge playing through Naim amps (can't recall which) into Isobariks.

It sounded nothing like the Japanese kit they also sold (and which I was used to) and for a moment I thought "this doesn't sound right" but moments later realised that it did, and that it was the wall of chrome fronted stereos near me that was wrong, not this setup. Shortly afterwards the hifi press kicked off about how an LP12 should be in every stereo system - I started saving and finally picked up a new LP12 from Unilet in South Kensington in August 1980, to which they fitted my existing SME arm and Dynavector cartridge, taken from my Thorens TD160.

The rest is (financially painful) history!

Mick

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Late starter 

originally had gerrard with lateral tracking arm then thorens Tdl 150 with sme arm through luxe an and imf speakers eventually went to surround system tag McLaren AV 32 r then 192r with tag speakers for 5.1 and a sme 30

then got Neil from rip caster to home trial the accurate he also had a Klimax kdsm  conveniently in his car so tried that at the same time and was hooked went for the Kalimax

tag closed at the time the exakt system came out and went to the Linn launch so went to 350 ekakt 

then later lp12 klimax and akudorik for surround 

kept with Linn because of dealer have been a bit disappointed by Linn who have shipped brand new products that needed to go back for replacement with no apology from Linn the light on the 350s didn’t work and the arm on lp12 faulty as sound cut out half way through record 

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I'm relatively new to the Linn cause.  My journey started nine years ago when I took my first steps into streaming, initially nurtured by a most informative chat with Phil at Cymbiosis who was the first to convince me that a decent streamer could outperform any CD player.  Armed with this, I auditioned Linn's then flagship KDS/1 at my local dealer (then Newcastle Hifi, later Peter Tyson) and found its finesse exactly right for my, mostly classical, tastes.  Although I'd intended to buy just the digital source, it was clear that the KDS sounded even better with Klimax amps than my trusty Quad II Integrated valve amp so I threw caution to the wind and spent a tidy sum on a KK/1 and KCT too.  That was it - I was lured.

Since then, I've replaced my ProAc floorstanders with passive Akudoriks and, because I still spin CDs on a regular basis, added a used CD12 to what is now a mostly Linn main system, including Linn Silver interconnects and K200 speaker cable.  My KDS/1 has been upgraded with Katalyst (therefore now a KDS/3) and the KCT traded in for two Solos.  The only non-Linn element in my main system is (shock horror) my SME 20/12 turntable (retained primarliy because of my preference for a 12" tonearm) but even that is driven by a Uphorik bought from Cymbiosis in acknowledgement of their great early advice.  I also used a Krystal until its cantilever failed on me: my only Linn disappointment, though I'm prepared to acknowledge that maybe my V-12's extra mass might have had an influence on that.  I'm therefore back with Ortofon where my cartridge is concerned.

The Quad valve amp lives on at the heart of my second system, by the way - driving those ProAcs with a Sugden Masterclass CD player as principal source.  However, it doesn't get much use these days!

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1 hour ago, sunbeamgls said:

Early 80s. Hifi shop in the North East of England. Went looking for a cassette deck.

When I went in they were playing an LP12 (probably Grace and Supex but I didn't know much then), Nytech receiver and Heybrook HB3s. Up to that point I'd only heard my parent's half decent radiogram. It really opened up my perspective on what was possible from hifi.

Similar story for me, I was about 13 or 14 (circa '81/82) my pal and I wandered into the new hifi shop in Inverness and heard an LP12/Naim/Isobarik set-up. I was blown away, never heard anything like it. I wanted to own an LP12 from that day and finally got one earlier this year (!) and very frustratingly only a couple of months before Karousel :doh:.

My first proper system was a Dual 505, NAD 3020 and KEF Chorale 3s. CDs took over and the Dual was sold (:doh:) and it has been evolving ever since.

Currently I've got ADSM/3, LK140 (x3) and Aktiv Ninkas alongside the LP12.

This week I changed all my ethernet cables to Blue Jeans Cables and very pleasantly surprised with the improvement.

I fear the LKs are getting a bit tired, one has developed an audible hum (albeit not through the speakers) so I'm trying to figure out what to do about it... one option is revert to passive with a used Klimax Twin or a new Lejonklou Tundra, I'm a little doubtful about reverting to passive though. I guess I'm going to try some stuff and use my ears.

Or do I just get the LKs serviced and live with them for a while yet, decisions decisions...

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36 minutes ago, JohnnyBuchan said:

Similar story for me, I was about 13 or 14 (circa '81/82) my pal and I wandered into the new hifi shop in Inverness and heard an LP12/Naim/Isobarik set-up. I was blown away, never heard anything like it. I wanted to own an LP12 from that day and finally got one earlier this year (!) and very frustratingly only a couple of months before Karousel :doh:.

My first proper system was a Dual 505, NAD 3020 and KEF Chorale 3s. CDs took over and the Dual was sold (:doh:) and it has been evolving ever since.

Currently I've got ADSM/3, LK140 (x3) and Aktiv Ninkas alongside the LP12.

This week I changed all my ethernet cables to Blue Jeans Cables and very pleasantly surprised with the improvement.

I fear the LKs are getting a bit tired, one has developed an audible hum (albeit not through the speakers) so I'm trying to figure out what to do about it... one option is revert to passive with a used Klimax Twin or a new Lejonklou Tundra, I'm a little doubtful about reverting to passive though. I guess I'm going to try some stuff and use my ears.

Or do I just get the LKs serviced and live with them for a while yet, decisions decisions...

A cost effective step for the mean time would be an AV5125. Only bi-active but  should be a good step up for relatively little money, especially after selling on the 140s, you could be close to break even.

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I went to Grahams Hi Fi on the Pentonville Road (at that time) in London in the early 1980s and met with Jimmy Hughes, then showroom manager, for a demo of the Rega Planar 2.  An LP12 with Grace 707 and Ortophon VMS20e was playing as I left and when I got home I couldn't stop thinking about it. It was way out of my budget but I knew I'd never be happy with the Rega and I phoned to change the order.

I had a lovely Sugden A48 amp and a pair of Tangent TM1s that were Grahams 'go to' speaker at that time.

After a year or so a Supex 901 high output mc found its way into the 707 and I had that system unchanged for 3 years.

Inevitably, 'upgraditis' took hold and the lure of an Ittok, Supex 900 and Naim 12/120 combo was irresistible.  An Asak followed and the Tangents moved out for a pair of 2nd hand Quad Electrostatics that cost me more to have serviced than I actually paid.  But it was a great system that I lived with for several years.

I was once at a Hi Fi Exhibition at the Cunard Hotel in Hammersmith, London and found myself standing next to Julian Vereker of Naim.  I said I was thinking of upgrading the 120 power amp to a 160 or a 250 and well remember Julian saying to me  I was better off keeping the 120 as he thought it sounded better with the Quads! 

Nice guy.

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My first encounter with Linn was in Umeå in northern Sweden back in 1985. I wandered into a hifi shop, that I didn't know, just to have a look. At that time I had a Marantz record player and receiver as well as some Jamo speakers, I had only bought that kit the last year. Anyway, I walked into the shop with Robert Cray's Bad Influence under my arm. I saw a couple of LP12's and some Naim amps, none of which I had ever heard of.

The salesman started talking and telling me the the record player is the most important part of the hifi, well you all know roughly what he said ;) He played the record on the LP12, the Naim amps and Kans. Looking at speakers, I thought they're so small, they can't be any good. To my surprise it sounded very engaging and musical. The sales guy then played the lp on a very big Thorens (I think it was a TD126) and the song just died, it sounded muffled and uninspiring. Hmm, maybe there's something to what he says? Anyhow, I couldn't afford an LP12 at that time, but I decided I had to have one. My thoughts were confirmed when I came home and put Bad Influence on the turntable and it sounded even worse than it had in the shop with the Thorens spinning the lp.

My dream came true the following year after a bit of financial luck and I purchased an LP12 in fluted afromosia with a Basik Plus tonearm and a K9. By then the receiver and speakers had been replaced by a Luxman L430 amp and Mission 737 speakers. In January 1987 I brought a Naim Nait (CB) back from London, which was so much more fun than the Luxman. At that time I was living in Lund in southern Sweden and my local hifi dealer got me interested in the German Écouton loudspeakers. I was able to snap up their top model LQL-200 for only around SEK 15.000,- (€ 1.500,-), normally they were around SEK 60.000,-

However, the Naim with its 20 Watts struggled to drive LQL-200's, so it was exchanged for a Musical Fidelity preamp and a Luxman M-03 power amp. Looking back, not a very smart move, I never warmed to the Luxman sound. So I picked up a Distech LS-2 power amp, which was a lot better and could almost hold its own against a Linn Klout, as later comparisons showed. So, not a lot of Linn so far in the story. This changed when I bought a Kairn, which was so much better than the Musical Fidelity, that I asked myself, why I hadn't done this earlier. An Ikemi cd-player was added and the LP12 meanwhile had had a few upgrades: Cirkus Kit, Akito 1, K18 II and a Lingo.

After returning from a year and a half in Portugal, I decided I finally wanted an all-Linn system. I sold off the Distech amp and Écouton speakers and bought a 5125 with active cards and Ninkas. I had been worried about the Ninkas being a step down, but finally the sound really gelled and I was extremely happy. The K18 was exchanged for a used Troika, which was a sizable step forward. Somewhere around 2004 a Unidisk 1.1 was added to replace my Ikemi, this was a very enjoyable upgrade. Then the Kairn was exchanged for a 5103 plus a Linto and the 5125 was exchanged for a 6100. In 2007 an Akurate DS streamer was added along with an Akiva and the following year saw the addition of a Keel and an Ekos 2. Around that time the Ninkas gave way to a pair of Akurate 242's. Late 2014 an Akurate DSM/1 replaced the aging 5103 and Linto (I regretted selling the latter later).

Now we're up to 2016 and I got a Radikal for my LP12, which was one of the best upgrades ever and a pair of beautiful piano black Akubariks to replace the 242's. In 2017 I added another 6100 amp as well as active cards and went active with the Akubariks, very nice upgrade ;-) One of the 6100's later gave way to a 4100, which also was a step up and provided cash for another Linto. This didn't stay with me long, as there was a surplus of Urika 1's, when the U2 appeared and I snapped up one of the former, also a big step forward. Meanwhile, I'm now on my fourth LP12 (with Karousel), each having stayed with me for about 10 years. Oh, and 2 years ago an Akurate Tuner replaced my aging Kudos. So, that concludes my Linn-journey for now.

Edited by Tendaberry
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Back in 1986, I moved to Dallas, Texas and was introduced to Audio Concepts, one of the premier Linn dealers in the USA. The following year, purchased a pair of Linn Index Plus speakers from them. My last purchase from them was a Kore in 2016.

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My circuitous meandering in Hi-fi bypassed Linn in its early years. It started when I was 10 or so, and my father discovered to his chagrin that his beloved radiogram could not be adapted to play LPs. There followed a series of failed attempts to get good sound "cost-effectively"; I recall a Philips record player with a push fit cartridge, a pair of Linear valve amplifiers used in the first attempt at creating a stereo system, and Wharfedale speaker drivers fitted to homemade cabinets of various (questionable) designs.

Eventually, Dad woke up to the fact that (if you are lucky) you get what you pay for, and the first system which might have claims to be Hi-Fi consisted of a Thorens TD135 turntable, a Rogers HG88 Mk.II integrated valve amplifier succeeded by the rather fine J.R. Sugden A21, and then a pair of "Saturns", built by Studio 99 in Hampstead using KEF drivers, and similar in sound but not in appearance to the KEF Concertos. Dad kept that system, with a tuner (Rogers R51) and then a cassette deck, until he died in 1983, and during my university years, followed by bedsit and flat dwelling in London, it was my only access to Hi-Fi. Eventually, despite the demands of children and a mortgage, I did buy a second hand system, which was so forgettable that I no longer remember what it was, other than I think that the amplifier was a Leak Stereo 20 and the TT was probably the ubiquitous GL75.

There followed the purchase of a succession of respectable but undistinguished components from Japanese manufacturers, and then something possessed me to buy the combination of a Connoisseur BDi turntable with an SME II arm and Ortofon cartridge, a combination which, though fashionable at the time, was pretty much the antithesis of the Linn philosophy. In all of this, my mistake was that I didn't seek out and develop a relationship with a 'proper' Hi-Fi dealer; my 'destination' supplier was Lasky's (remember them?) with the occasional foray down the Tottenham Court Road. I did (occasionally) read Hi-Fi magazines, from which I formed the view that Linn was this weird and somewhat loudmouthed little company in Scotland making a rather uninteresting looking turnable and selling it at a lunatic price to people with more money than sense.

By the late 1980s I finally woke up to the fact that better Hi-Fi was to be had than was available from the box shifters. The focus at that point was not Linn but Quad, which seemed to be the favourite of friends with BBC connections, of whom, as we were living in West London, we had a fair few. This new focus and an increase in disposable income brought me into contact with two dealers who knew their onions, the charming and musically minded Thomas Heinitz in Moscow Road W2 and Uxbridge Audio in (you've guessed it) Uxbridge High Street. From the former, I bought the LS 3/5As and subwoofer to replace the  20 year old Saturns I had inherited from my father; from the latter came the Quad FM4, 34 and 606. These components were to be the core of my system for the next more than 20 years. The Quad CD player I bought at the same time was quite quickly replaced by a Mimik. This was my first (and, curiously enough, also probably my least successful) Linn purchase, chosen on sound quality and eventually replaced because of unreliability. If I'd known at the time of the replacement what I know now about Linn support, I might still have the Mimik. There followed the purchase of my trusty Basik TT, Basik Plus tonearm and K5 cartridge, another combination that served me well for over 20 years. It was with the Basik more than the Mimik that I locked on to Linn as a manufacturer I could usefully keep track of.

Which brings us to 2013. By now widowed, and with the offspring living their own lives, and not being all that fond of TV,  I was finding that I was listening to music more and more. Despite the fact that that I had been a user of both Hi-Fi and computers since the 1960s, I had never joined them up in a home entertainment system. I decided that it was time to get into music streaming. My original interest was in the Naim range, but, after extensive listening (at the huge and wondrous showroom of Stone Audio at Lytchett Minster in Dorset), I bought the ADSM/0, and a journey into Linn land began.

David

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