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Akurate class-D power amp?


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I have consulted Linn Docs now... it seems active 350s do have Chakra packed inside.

So Solos are indeed a rare animal

Edited by NL.
...rare instead of rear :)
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3 minutes ago, NL. said:

a rear animal

Er, rare ? :) 

Solos are a development of the Klout, the 1990s top of the range Linn amplifier that still has a loyal following. The Klimax Solo (originally just called the Klimax, I think) differs from the Klout in that the bipolar transistor based amplification has been further refined, it has the Dynamik power supply and is housed in the now iconic machined case. Subject to correction, I think it was the first Linn product with the last two features.

So the Klimax amps are indeed very different creatures. The Twin (200 watts per channel) is the top of the Chakra range. The Solo (single channel, 500 watts) is very much its own design. As that state of affairs has persisted for the better part of two decades, we have to assume that Linn decided a long time ago that they could not make a Chakra amplifier with the power output and quality of the Solo. Clearly they are moving quite deliberately in replacing Chakra amplification with Class D lower down in the range. One has to assume that designing and making a Class D amplifier that could better the Solo would be a greater challenge even than replacing the Twin with a Class D design. Hence my conclusion that the Solo could outlast the Klimax Twin in the Linn catalogue.

Thinking about things a bit more, and with what you say about the 350s in mind, it would not surprise me to see Linn, as their next step, introducing new Exakt speakers with Class D amplification. Arguably, the more efficient Class D is better suited than Chakra to the confined form factors of integrated speakers. In this respect, the Series 3 eggs could be pointing the way.

David

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As a user of a non-Linn class D amplifier, my own view is that amplifier class isn’t a good way to determine how the end result will sound.  There are good and less good implementations of all classes, though designers have a good deal more familiarity with A and AB designs than D, and the ‘hybrids’ like G and H.  

Bruno Putzeys is a good example of a talented engineer who designs and listens to class D in order to better understand what works well.  I’m sure Linn could customise one of a handful of excellent Class D designs, rather as they did with AKM’s DAC to create Katalyst.  What they need to do, assuming class D is their future, is come up with Katalyst Class D.  

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6 minutes ago, Nopiano said:

amplifier class isn’t a good way to determine how the end result will sound.

I agree. The reason for paying attention to Linn's use of Class D is that it is the first new amplifier design (or group of designs) they have produced in the better part of two decades. Ultimately, of course, what really matters is how the resultant products actually sound.

Funnily enough, when I was looking up the original Linn literature on the Solo, they were saying pretty much the same as you.

11 minutes ago, Nopiano said:

What [Linn] need to do, assuming class D is their future, is come up with Katalyst Class D.  

Katalyst is not, in any sense, an amplifier technology, but in the Selekt, for which a Katalyst DAC module is optionally available, the integrated power amplification (also an option) is Class D.

David

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1 hour ago, DavidHB said:

Katalyst is not, in any sense, an amplifier technology, but in the Selekt, for which a Katalyst DAC module is optionally available, the integrated power amplification (also an option) is Class D.

Ha, yes, I know that, David!  I was merely using it in a branding sense, because I’m sure they could reuse the name as an amplifier ‘architecture’ if they wished.  They could have regular D and Katalyst D versions, even.  But maybe another K that’s equally suitable, but without reusing the not entirely subtle Klimax legend?

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  • 2 months later...

Solos are in another league. Wish my AV5140s where passive so I could get a hold of two Solos to drive them. Would need six and a Tunebox, or switch to ADSM Hub and Exaktbox 6 + 6 Solos to drive them active!

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1 hour ago, vicdiaz said:

Would need six and a Tunebox, or switch to ADSM Hub and Exaktbox 6 + 6 Solos to drive them active!

But then, with 500wpc provided by 16 carefully matched power transistors, would you need to?

David

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On 14/08/2020 at 08:44, DavidHB said:

Er, rare ? :) 

“Solos are a development of the Klout, the 1990s top of the range Linn amplifier that still has a loyal following. The Klimax Solo (originally just called the Klimax, I think)”

Originally called the Kilmax 500 Solo 

“differs from the Klout in that the bipolar transistor based amplification has been further refined, it has the Dynamik power supply and is housed in the now iconic machined case. Subject to correction, I think it was the first Linn product with the last two features.”

actually , the  CD12 was the first product with a machined case.  

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@arm

Something went wrong with your quotations, and I found myself quoting your words attributed to myself! Anyway, when you say that, "actually , the  CD12 was the first product with a machined case", you are quite correct. I now discover that the CD12 was introduced in 1998, and the Klimax 500 Solo, as it then was, in 1999. The Solo was the first to have the Klimax name. In fact I think that, originally, it was intended to be the only product with that name, and it was not until 2003 or thereabouts that the name was appropriated to designate the whole product range.

David

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On 12/08/2020 at 15:10, DavidHB said:

I still think that the watershed moment came with the introduction of the Selekt, because that was the first time that a product with Class D amplification was placed above a product with Chakra amplification in the hierarchy, and so was a statement by Linn that Class D can better Chakra.

David

Perhaps this is just a temporary situation, until the separate Majik power amps are phased out

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On 12/08/2020 at 05:47, Solanum said:

I can't find any real specs on the new MDSM (not on Linn docs yet). The Selekt has significantly lower gain (20 dB vs 28 dB) than other Linn power amps, meaning you can't mix and match.

Just to play Devil's advocate - perhaps they are aligning themselves to Lejonklou  :D

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My take is that there won't be any new Majik separates.

What I can imagine is a new power amplifier platform. But what range?  Well, that's tricky.

Imagine a Selekt style chassis with 8 "slots". Then the following Kartridges:

Selekt single channel (1 slot) Class D

Selekt dual channel (2 slots) Class D

Akurate single channel (2 slots) whatever Class is deemed good enough

Taking the concept a little further, but maybe too far, allowing stand alone or integrated Exaktboxes:

Exakt engine up to 4 channels (1 slot)

Exakt engine up to 8 channels (2 slots)

Katalyst DAC up to 4 channels (1 slot)

Katalyst DAC up to 4 channels (2 slots)

Exakt engine and Katalyst DAC up to 4 channels (4 slots)

Unlikely.

Edited by sunbeamgls
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2 hours ago, sunbeamgls said:

Perhaps this is just a temporary situation, until the separate Majik power amps are phased out

Your guess is as good as mine. The one thing we can be reasonably sure of is that Linn will not replace an existing product, however old, until  they are convinced that the replacement represents a significant and marketable improvement. I also agree with the assessment in your separate post that the standalone Majik amps will not continue in the catalogue all that much longer, and in that sense Class D in integrated products will replace Chakra at the Majik level.

In part this is because, by not fitting Exakt Links to the MDSM/4, Linn seem to be signalling that Exakt (and, by extension, Aktiv) are not technologies they want to market at the Majik level. Perhaps we are going to be seeing a sharper product differentiation between the Majik and Akurate levels, something that I think is notably absent from the corresponding levels of the LP12.

What then of the Akurate level, with which this topic is primarily concerned? As I said in a previous post, I can see Linn producing Class D power amplifiers at the Akurate level. This could work well in multi channel configurations in particular. From a styling perspective, the ramge could do with a refresh, and Selekt and the MDSM are showing the way. So why not change the internals at the same time? And Linn, already fully committed to SMPSs, has been signalling since 2003 that Class D topology is the probable next development after Chakra. If that development could also be used to make component Exakt less overpriced, that too would be a good thing.

David

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Checking the Linn website for careers, they are currently advertising for a Software Engineer and an Electronics Engineer.

The qualifications for the Electronics Engineer certainly point towards development of Class D amplification

https://www.linn.co.uk/careers

Edited by Paulssurround
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20 hours ago, vicdiaz said:

Solos are in another league. Wish my AV5140s where passive so I could get a hold of two Solos to drive them. Would need six and a Tunebox, or switch to ADSM Hub and Exaktbox 6 + 6 Solos to drive them active!

... don't talk me into something 😬

I'm thinking for quite some time, how my AV5140 might sound with better amplification than my C6100/D.

Having stepped up from passive, to active, to Exakt, I don't think that rolling back to passive is a good option, though.

But 6 channels are quite an investment, and this year's priority was to upgrade the LP12, which turned it nicely 😎

This threat is definitely causing the next wave of upgradeditis!

Edited by TooManyCatweazles
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