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Behold: the mighty Linn Majik DSM!!!


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Hi All,

I have noticed several recent threads and posts here referencing the Majik DSM which spurred  me to think about it last night.

To my eye the MDSM represents different things. I raise my glass to this thing!

It is THE perfect “gateway drug” for the Linn ecosystem. Wives and significant others should be wary of this box as a continued rabbit hole of spending might follow. But even if the MDSM becomes a buy it and stick with it purchase it will reward the owner faithfully for many years.

The MDSM is a chameleon: it can change its “color” and adapt to many environments, companion gear and speakers.

It is so darn versatile: it is a Linn grade streamer, a DAC, a pre amp and a very solid power amplifier, all in one decent sized attractive box that does not draw a lot of power or produce a lot of excess heat. You can turn on or turn off these functions as needed which is super useful in so many systems. As a Swiss Army Knife the MDSM has more tools than most of the more expensive Linn boxes.

While the MDSM might not have the same hardware upgrade path as its more expensive siblings the MDSM will receive software upgrades and keep up with major Linn developments like SO, etc. 

The biggest attraction with the MDSM is VALUE. Linn is known for its quality, reliability and performance. It is also known (rightly so) to be expensive. The MDSM is the “bang for the buck” device.

Even if you upgrade to much more expensive Akurate/Klimax/Katalyst/Exakt systems (or equal level kit from other manufacturers) the workhorse that is the Linn Majik DSM will serve well in a second or third system and become a vital substitute if your main box is out for service... 

Edited by PhotoMax
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I agree. The Majik DSM has been Linn’s best selling streamer, and I am glad that it has had a complete makeover.

Functionality and sound quality have been improved on every level, and it is much more attractive to look at and easier to use.

I like that this single box can power competently Linn’s passive speakers, and many non-Linn speakers on the market, while providing very good streaming sound quality and an ability to play many types of sources, such as turntables, TV’s, BluRay players, CD players and the like.

This is a reasonable cost component, to attract new buyers to the Linn world and hopefully does well for Linn.

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I agree, it’s a great product and great value for money. (I started my journey there myself with the MDSM/1. Then the fall into the rabbit hole began.) But I’d say that it’s predecessor MDSM/3 was even more versatile given its back panel connection possibilities. Loads of inputs/outputs including Exakt link. The latter was likely introduced before product management decided where to place the divide in the product range. Now Majik Exaktbox-I is history and the new  MDSM has no link. One other thing, the new amps can the hold any active cards? Likely not. But maybe this analog active technique is to be phased out. Exakt offers more flexibility and likely lower production costs to Linn.

I haven’t seen or listened to the new MDSM but is the build quality as in Selekt and the sound as good as the older MDSMs think it will be a success.

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Every home should have a MSDM.

Shame the new one has no digital out and that you can’t send Space Optimised streams from MDSM/3 to an external DAC, but that would be icing on the cake. 

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5 hours ago, Nestor Turton said:

Shame the new one has no digital out

The SPDIF connection on the MDSM/4 can be configured as an output. And IMO it is right that digital outputs on DSMs are not Space optimised, because any optimisation can only validly relate to the main speakers in the primary listening room, and they are already served by the primary output,

5 hours ago, Nestor Turton said:

Every home should have a MSDM.

My home used to have an ADSM, and now has a KEDSM and a Kiko. All in preference to the earlier MDSMs. That said, I am considering replacing the Kiko with an MDSM/4

David

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Bit confused - why not have the option to Space Optimise digital out? It would not be compulsory to use it. I have a MSDM doing AV duties in the bedroom. I have thought about running a coaxial cable from it to another room where it could feed my Chord DAC. I would have thought an optimised stream could be beneficial (it may not, but I can't give it go). I admit I may be the only one who would ever want to try this so it would simply be a nice option to have. Oh well I don’t suppose I’ll ever have that option, but I like to mention it now and agin in case Linn read it and think “now there is a feature we could add”. In the meantime, I’ll continue using my trusty Mac mini with JRiver DSP Studio for my Chord system. That said it’d no benefit when playing CDs anyway. 

Edited by Nestor Turton
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Since you started this thread. I had a question pertaining to the older mdsm. I know you use an mdsm/3 in you second system Max,

What i’d love to know is how much better is an mdsm/3 to a 2 or a 1? And what differences have people noticed in sound quality. The intention is to get an Adsm so I ask this so as to either keep my mdsm/1 for a second system or sell it for a later model.

I’m aware of the physical upgrades linn did (eg. exakt links hdmi 2.0 etc. )

Mdsm/1 , Unidisk SC, Akurate Amps, Aktiv 242’s (Mk.1). Silvers and k400’s

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I found and still find the Sneaky DSM to be the best device in terms of price and performance. With 4 amplifiers (Class-D) for bi-amping. With the Majik 109 an ingenious system.
About the same price as the Kiko, which is already a great system, but with better sound.
Unfortunately the Sneaky as well as the Kiko is no longer sold by Linn. No idea who makes such stupid decisions.

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4 hours ago, Nestor Turton said:

I have a MSDM doing AV duties in the bedroom. I have thought about running a coaxial cable from it to another room where it could feed my Chord DAC. I would have thought an optimised stream could be beneficial (it may not, but I can't give it go).

Any Space Optimisation profile is particular to the speaker/room interface with which it is used. As your intended use case is in a different room with different speakers, the profile used in the primary listening room would not be valid (read: would very likely sound terrible). Also, I believe that the digital outputs are upstream of the processor that applies the SO profile (that is certainly the case in Exakt systems), so applying SO to those outputs is very likely not even feasible.

David

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Since you started this thread. I had a question pertaining to the older mdsm. I know you use an mdsm/3 in you second system Max,
What i’d love to know is how much better is an mdsm/3 to a 2 or a 1? And what differences have people noticed in sound quality. The intention is to get an Adsm so I ask this so as to either keep my mdsm/1 for a second system or sell it for a later model.
I’m aware of the physical upgrades linn did (eg. exakt links hdmi 2.0 etc. )
Mdsm/1 , Unidisk SC, Akurate Amps, Aktiv 242’s (Mk.1). Silvers and k400’s

Anybody noticed any differences in the mdsm 1 vs 2 vs 3


Mdsm/1 , Unidisk SC, Akurate Amps, Aktiv 242’s (Mk.1). Silvers and k400’s
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It has been scuttlebutt that the /2,3 sounds better than the predecessors. 

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On 27/09/2020 at 18:59, DavidHB said:

Any Space Optimisation profile is particular to the speaker/room interface with which it is used. As your intended use case is in a different room with different speakers, the profile used in the primary listening room would not be valid (read: would very likely sound terrible). Also, I believe that the digital outputs are upstream of the processor that applies the SO profile (that is certainly the case in Exakt systems), so applying SO to those outputs is very likely not even feasible.

David

Thanks makes perfect sense now -  yes I was being a bit thick and wasn’t thinking it through. I now see what I was suggesting couldn’t possibly work without reconfiguring my MSDM depending what room I was in (assuming Linn provided the function I requested). This would make it impracticable. I have tried the MSDM as a simple streamer into my Chord system and there is no real benefit over the Mac mini. No surprise really as I’m not using the MSDM’s capability, which is probably why Linn doesn’t provide digital out on the new MSDM. So I’ll keep it for AV duties where it really shines. 

Edited by Nestor Turton
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19 hours ago, Jail4CEOs2 said:

It has been scuttlebutt that the /2,3 sounds better than the predecessors. 

From the /2 on, in parallel with the ADSM/1, the MDSM was provided with a much better clocking capability, with consequent reduction in jitter, so it should sound better than the models in the sequence from MDSi to MDSM/1. At the time, the marketing emphasis was on the provision of Exakt ports (which, we have all subsequently come to realise, is of limited applicability on a 'full fat' DSM, which is why the MDSM/4 doesn't have them), and the clocking improvements went mostly unnoticed. They were very real, however, when I had my ADSM upgraded to /1 standard, so I think that they were significant on the MDSM as well.

2 hours ago, Nestor Turton said:

Linn doesn’t provide digital out on the new MSDM.

I did point out in an earlier post that the coaxial SPDIF connection on the MDSM/4 can be configured as an output.

See https://docs.linn.co.uk/wiki/index.php/Majik_DSM_/4_(2020_Variant)#Product_info

I wish that my KEDSM had the same capability!

David

Edited by DavidHB
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21 hours ago, DavidHB said:

At the time, the marketing emphasis was on the provision of Exakt ports (which, we have all subsequently come to realise, is of limited applicability on a 'full fat' DSM, which is why the MDSM/4 doesn't have them),

Why is that the case David? Would you not want to use Exakt outputs to connect to an Exaktbox-I in the future to upgrade your Majik DSM?

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