Tom1980

CA CXN v1 vs Linn Sneaky DSM

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Hi all, I currently use CA CXN purchased from one of the forum members. I have been using it for few months now but I have a chance to buy Linn Sneaky DSM. The later has build in amplifier but I would use it as a streamer/dac. Does anyone had a chance to listen to the Sneaky as a source/dac and compare it with other streamers, e.g. CXN?

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Hi Tom,

I have never heard the CA components but the Sneaky is a mighty fine streamer / dac. I had the DS version, not the DSM and only ever used it as a source, don't think I even heard the built in amp. The beauty of the Linn streamers is you get Space Optimisation, which is really useful for tweaking the sound. I kept my Sneaky for many years and only upgraded to Klimax Renew a couple of years ago. Linn do make some very good streamers.

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Posted (edited)

If it helps, you can open up the question to anyone who's heard a V1 or V2 against a sneaky.

Same dual wolfson DACs in both versions.

I've had the CXN before, which is now owned by Myles of this parish, and I loved it. Not heard the Sneaky though so I can't comment.

Edited by Amormusic

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Super Wammer

I had a Sneaky DS.  Confusingly, that has a modest power amplifier built in, whereas with the Majik DS you get just a streamer.  The Majik DSM has a power amp.  Then at Akurate level the DS is just a streamer again, while the DSM has a preamp, but not a power amp. Not very consistent!

The Sneaky DSM is newer and more powerful.  It’s also costlier than a Sneaky DS, so may be at a higher price if you’re only looking to stream.  I regret I’ve not heard the CXN, only the Edge. 

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The Sneaky DSM that I can purchase will cost me the same as what I paid for CXN. I would use it as streamer/DAC hence I don't mind how good/bad is the pre/amp section in DSM. I know that RRP of the Sneaky was close to 2.5x of the CXN but as the first has build in amp, it is not like comparing apples with apples. Hence I wonder if Sneaky DSM is better than CXN as streamer/DAC...

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... another subject would be if Sneaky DSM would be better than 'some' streamer connected to quality DAC, e.g. Chord Hugo?

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18 hours ago, Rayymondo said:

upgraded to Klimax Renew

How does the Klimax compare to Sneaky DS that you had?

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Super Wammer
Posted (edited)
20 hours ago, Tom1980 said:

... another subject would be if Sneaky DSM would be better than 'some' streamer connected to quality DAC, e.g. Chord Hugo?

Chord make fine DACs, and the Hugo is a premium model.  Aside from the TT, it’s meant as a portable, though many use in a system.  Technically it’s superior to a Sneaky, but if folks don’t like the Chord sound it is usually  because they find it too analytical.  You’ll find lots of threads discussing DACs with a quick search. 

Edited by Nopiano

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Super Wammer

Here is one...

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On 29/07/2020 at 12:56, Tom1980 said:

How does the Klimax compare to Sneaky DS that you had?

The Sneaky was good , but the Renew better, which it should be at several times the price (hard to put an exact price on it really)

The Renew is bigger, lusher and more full bodied. Has a liquid fluidity..... and dare I say a more "analogue" sound. Puts a bit more meat on the bones . Sneaky is really detailed and resolving though, great for the money, particularly when used as a source component. I would also recommend using the Linn streamers through a pre amp rather than the built in digital volume if you can.  

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2 hours ago, Rayymondo said:

 I would also recommend using the Linn streamers through a pre amp rather than the built in digital volume if you can.  

So might I unless you pick up an upgraded Katalyst machine where the digital volume control is just fine (Akurate and Klimax level only, though).

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