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Linn Akurate 242’s - my first impressions in 2020


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25 minutes ago, Fitter Stoke said:

Having auditioned both a Klimax-level integrated Exakt system and a similarly full-spec Solo-driven analogue set up, I personally felt the latter to be the more musical and involving experience, particularly with the orchestral and acoustic music that forms the lion's share of my listening.  It was a close run thing, mind - and there are still times when I yearn for the extra accuracy and impact that those Exakted 350s revealed to me, especially when I want to rock to The Who's 'Live At Leeds' or Deep Purple's 'Made In Japan'!

If I may say so, I find that description more convincing than Ben's (and yes, that may say more about me than about the respective descriptions :)). I suspect that the idea we are all trying to express (and it's always difficult) is about how the sound seems inherently natural, and "the system" is notable by its absence. But it's not a quality that I associate specifically with either analogue or digital systems and components. Everything I have heard about the Solos suggests that they have that quality to a remarkable extent. But it's also a quality that was particularly noticeable when my Akurate Exaktbox 10 was upgraded to the/1 (Katalyst) standard. I believe that the Linn development team are always striving towards the same aural goals, whatever technology they happen to be working with.

37 minutes ago, Eldarboy said:

While the Twin was better, it was not that much better: the Akurate, on SQ balance and price point, is preferable to it.

That was exactly my conclusion from the same comparison. It does seem that the Twin represents the best that the Chakra topology can provide, and suffers from diminishing returns to increased cost. That, I suppose, is one of the reasons that the very different Solo has survived in the catalogue for so long.

David

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I’ve tried Keilidhs, Ninkas, Centrik 1’s, Kann II’s and Kabers in multiple configurations and created a rather long thread on the Ninkas as I so thought they would out do my Kabers. I ended up selling

Many moons ago, I was very fortunate to have Murray Smith (from Linn Products, LTD) march an old friend (who I believe was actually the second ever Linn dealer) and I through all the technical changes

I appreciate you didn’t direct the question at me, David, but I’ll offer a comment or two if I may. My Linn power amp history has been, over twenty-seven years, the following:- 3 x LK100s +

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1 hour ago, DavidHB said:

Two questions:

1. Given that "analogue" is simply a mental construct, how can it have a sound?

2. What systems did you listen to to reach your conclusion?

David

Ad 1) sorry, as non-native speaker it maybe a bit fuzzy description. 

Ad 2) three friends of mine did this journey and and I had the honor of accompanying them. Sources were Klimax LP12 and KDS/2 or KDS/3, Klimax Kontrol, several Amps and 242 Mk I or Mk II with the one-piece base.

In my own systems (Keilidh, Kaber, Katan, 350, Komri) I always preferred the passiv option over the active option with the cheaper amps.

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1 hour ago, DavidHB said:

If I may say so, I find that description more convincing than Ben's (and yes, that may say more about me than about the respective descriptions :)).

I was not trying to convince you or any other people here in the forum. It was only a try to describe my journey and the the journey of most of my Linn friends. It‘s more than ok if you have a different opinion. 😊

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50 minutes ago, Ben Webster said:

I was not trying to convince you or any other people here in the forum. It was only a try to describe my journey and the the journey of most of my Linn friends. It‘s more than ok if you have a different opinion. 😊

For sure, and that works in both directions. I hope I made it clear in my later post that we do have a struggle with the language on the issues we are discussing, and that applies whether or not we are native speakers. Would it be easier if we were having the conversation in German? From my days, many decades ago, of reading Kant, Hegel and suchlike people at university, no, I don't think so. The French have a saying "des goûts et des couleurs, on ne discute pas"*, and that applies with just as much force in the aural domain.

David

*"You can't have a discussion on tastes and colours"

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So the only way is that everyone makes his own experience? So there is no need for a forum like this?

Not sure what you want us to tell.

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1 minute ago, Ben Webster said:

So the only way is that everyone makes his own experience? So there is no need for a forum like this?

Not sure what you want us to tell.

We're between a rock and a hard place. We do experience some things (including some Hi-Fi) as being better than others, but we struggle to understand and express what we mean by "better", and we struggle even more to communicate our understanding to other people, when we have no real way of knowing whether or not their experience is analogous to our own. Faced with this problem, some people try to take refuge in "scientific" analysis and measurement, which can be useful but never provides a complete answer, and others just withdraw into a corner. Neither of these approaches is ultimately helpful.

For myself, I prefer to continue the struggle. Difficult as it is for us to be sure of common understanding, we can at least seek to share our mutual interest as best we know how. And what I, or any other individual, might say we want from this process is far less important and valuable than those moments when we achieve what seems like genuine communication and common insight. That's why I'm grateful to folk like @zee9 for starting threads like this one, because they create channels of communication in which we can all participate.

David

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21 hours ago, zee9 said:

First day of listening to the 242’s Aktiv. Realized something very very important. Linn sells mediocre speakers until you take them aktive. Phew! Transforming experience.

When I heard the 242’s passive with the an akurate amp I could see potential and on a scale may have rated them as a 6/10 but now when I hear aktiv I have to say they are an 8.5/10 however also reminding myself that the 6/10 in passive was a completely false score. What I’m trying to say is that maybe in the excitement of getting a new to me speaker I gave it too much credit in passive form. After hearing them aktiv, passive seems more like a 2/10.

It’s unbelievable how transformed and different this speaker is when aktiv and maybe I took it for granted as my kabers were also aktiv. I’m curious as to how much i’ll like the kabers when they are never yes back to passive. Maybe makes more sense to buy a 6100 and keep the kabers aktive for a second system. Besides the slight lack of bass I loved every moment of the kabers not to say that moving from the 242’s back to kabers is gonna be easy.

I’m presently running the 4200/1 (D) on the bass and the two 3200’s (non Dynamik) on the 3k arrays. I’ve been advised that the Dynamik amps would work better on the mids and the tweeters but due to complicated speaker placement, short speaker cable runs etc this was the easiest way to set it up.

Now I’m looking for 4 x 12’ of k400’s (since my rack is not in between the speakers) or might just have to Dynamik the two 3200’s.


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It’s nice that your individual taste is aktiv Linn speakers.

I don’t think that your subjective taste qualifies all Linn speakers as mediocre when passive.

Its a pretty broad, unfair generalization, in my opinion.

I love my new Akubariks passive with.my new A4200.

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It’s nice that your individual taste is aktiv Linn speakers.
I don’t think that your subjective taste qualifies all Linn speakers as mediocre when passive.
Its a pretty broad, unfair generalization, in my opinion.
I love my new Akubariks passive with.my new A4200.

Fester I should have mentioned “in my opinion”..... so apologies for that. In reference to your new speakers those are speakers I dream about and I’m sure they sound good passive too. Let’s hope you don’t have the same opinion as me once you have taken those bad boys aktiv.


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1 hour ago, Fester said:

I don’t think that your subjective taste qualifies all Linn speakers as mediocre when passive.

Its a pretty broad, unfair generalization, in my opinion.

I love my new Akubariks passive with.my new A4200.

As discussed in my previous posts, all opinions of Hi-Fi are inherently and unavoidably subjective. It's a fact we have to live with. But we can, as I also said, at least compare notes and see if we can work towards something that at least feels like a common understanding.

I have not heard every speaker that Linn has made (how many people have, I wonder?), but it is a fact that Linn started with active speaker technology and have remained committed to it ever since. Of the Linn speakers I have heard, the one that IMO benefits least from going Aktiv is the Majik 109, which is however already an excellent little standmount when it is run passively. All the other Linn speakers I have heard did seem to come to life even more when run Aktiv.

That said, I agree with you about the passive Akubariks. When Exakt was launched, I thought I might like to replace my 109s with a pair of Exakt Akudoriks, but, for reasons not germane to this story, I was pretty disappointed when I heard them. I reported this on the old Linn forum, and Chris of Hidden Systems PMed me and told me that he had a pair of ex-demo passive 'bariks on offer. He thought that they might be the answer to my problem. And so they were. I've had them for five years now, and they aren't leaving any time soon. But when the time came to upgrade to Exakt, that was a huge revelation of what the speakers can really do; they were, of course, originally designed as active units. So all you now need is another 4200, a 2200 and an AEBox 10/1, together with 10 pairs of Silvers and more speaker cable than you knew existed, and you'll be all set ... :) 

David

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Thanks to zee9 and David for the comments.

I’ll take blame as being too sensitive to hearing my speakers were a mediocre 2/10.

opinions as you say. I’m lucky I’m happy as I can’t afford anytime soon, all that kit that David mentioned .

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Thanks to zee9 and David for the comments.
I’ll take blame as being too sensitive to hearing my speakers were a mediocre 2/10.
opinions as you say. I’m lucky I’m happy as I can’t afford anytime soon, all that kit that David mentioned .

You missed the part where I gave my 242’s a 6/10 until I heard them aktiv.


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16 hours ago, Ben Webster said:

... I always preferred the passiv option over the active option with the cheaper amps.

+1

Plus the Solos are not just the bigger amp but do add a Solo specific special quality. If you like that quality it's hard to live without again.

The 242s are very demanding speakers that show every fault of source and amps painfully. If I were forced to go back from Klimax Source and Amp to Akurate level I would not hesitate to change from 242s back to 140s to get into tune again.

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It seems that Linn speakers preform much better with amplifiers one step up from their class. The AV5140s I had did not sound really good until I had the new Akurate amps on them. They were clearly wanting with LK140s. I know that they were also designed to pair with AV5105: a substantial beast that for some reason gets little respect and seems to have few fans. When listening to the 242s, you can tell that a more powerful amp would make them really sing.

My guess is that this is likely the case for every speaker made by every manufacturer.

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Phone glitch: sorry it posted four times😱

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