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New(old aged) member Returning to Hi-Fi-Aktiv Keltik ?


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Hi,i've just joined the forum & i'd like some help/advice with a couple of questions.

I've not had a worthwhile system for a long time & have decided to start up with an old school system,so have just purchased a pair of active Keltiks(I really liked the Keltiks when I was active with HiFi so jumped in & bought a pair),these are complete with a set of active cards(4 way),so because at this stage I won't be using Linn amps,I will need a box to plug them in to feed my Amps i seem to remember that Linn made at least one such Box that the cards could be plugged into(I hope i'm right about this),so could any members help me with what this box is called,so that I can start searching for one,or even better where I may be able to buy one,i'm UK based.

My 1st post on the Forum so if this a bit fumbly I apologise :).

Thanks,Graham.

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13 minutes ago, Graham G said:

Hi,i've just joined the forum & i'd like some help/advice with a couple of questions.

I've not had a worthwhile system for a long time & have decided to start up with an old school system,so have just purchased a pair of active Keltiks(I really liked the Keltiks when I was active with HiFi so jumped in & bought a pair),these are complete with a set of active cards(4 way),so because at this stage I won't be using Linn amps,I will need a box to plug them in to feed my Amps i seem to remember that Linn made at least one such Box that the cards could be plugged into(I hope i'm right about this),so could any members help me with what this box is called,so that I can start searching for one,or even better where I may be able to buy one,i'm UK based.

My 1st post on the Forum so if this a bit fumbly I apologise :).

Thanks,Graham.

Welcome to the forum Graham!  
I’m not into active setups but I can do some guesswork anyhow. As far as I’m aware there is no “empty” box to fit active cards into. The cards are designed to be put in Linn amps. There is/was a Linn Tunebox for the Keltiks but it has already the electronics on board. Nowadays the active has gone digital in the Exakt technology. The Keltiks can be driven with those Exaktboxes, but then your active cards are redundant. What gear are you planning to use beside the Keltiks in your system? Is it a fresh start?

Here is an old thread on Tuneboxes, don’t know if it helps though.

https://www.hifiwigwam.com/forum/topic/137530-tunebox/

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Linn did make an lk size box to house the original mono aktiv cards.

You can also use the later chakra aktiv cards with adaptors but the crossover box would need the later slimline power supply as opposed to the earlier transformer type.

Linn also made klimax crossovers with specific non removable electronic, these were far superior and transformed Keltik systems, these sell for 1500 to 2000 gdp

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Yes there was definitely an LK box for fitting active cards - thought it was called a Tunebox but I might be wrong. I moved on from Keltiks about 12 months ago and I was using Klimax Xovers and they transformed the Keltiks - they are rare but if a pair appears on the bay they are worth grabbing.

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23 hours ago, HansBertil said:

Welcome to the forum Graham!  
I’m not into active setups but I can do some guesswork anyhow. As far as I’m aware there is no “empty” box to fit active cards into. The cards are designed to be put in Linn amps. There is/was a Linn Tunebox for the Keltiks but it has already the electronics on board. Nowadays the active has gone digital in the Exakt technology. The Keltiks can be driven with those Exaktboxes, but then your active cards are redundant. What gear are you planning to use beside the Keltiks in your system? Is it a fresh start?

Here is an old thread on Tuneboxes, don’t know if it helps though.

https://www.hifiwigwam.com/forum/topic/137530-tunebox/

Hi HansBertil,thanks for the reply,i've done a few searches for "TuneBox",but the only result coming up is for a "Klimax Tunebox",which is out of my price league. The box i seem to remember(from the '90's)had a power supply & a "mother" pcb & plug in facility for the boards,i also think it could take different speaker model boards e.g. Keltik & Kaber.The rest of my equipment is from my old system(from the late 90's) all amps,I have quite a few(hence the Active set up)including Pre-Amp & CD player,where made by a company in the UK Morgan Audio, 

22 hours ago, Suffolkboy said:

Linn did make an lk size box to house the original mono aktiv cards.

You can also use the later chakra aktiv cards with adaptors but the crossover box would need the later slimline power supply as opposed to the earlier transformer type.

Linn also made klimax crossovers with specific non removable electronic, these were far superior and transformed Keltik systems, these sell for 1500 to 2000 gdp

The LK size box is the one i'm looking for,but nothing coming up in searches.

20 hours ago, entdgc said:

Yes there was definitely an LK box for fitting active cards - thought it was called a Tunebox but I might be wrong. I moved on from Keltiks about 12 months ago and I was using Klimax Xovers and they transformed the Keltiks - they are rare but if a pair appears on the bay they are worth grabbing.

sounds great,but to expensive for me.

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The more I look into getting the Keltiks working,the more I'm starting to consider changing to Linn amps from the same generation as the Keltiks,maybe LK100 or 140's,then I can plug the Keltik cards into these,doing away with the need for the standalone box.

I'm going to start a new thread in the Separates section,for advice on this & a suitable pre-amp.

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Hi Graham

A possible option also worth considering is to check out whether the  cards can be fitted into an AV 5125. If they will go into an LK 140 then suspect that they can go into a 5125 also. I had my  Keilidhs active with 3 x LK140 but when I moved  them onto 2x  AV  5125 there was  so much more control - and my 5125s aren't even dynamiked. Well set up 4 way Keltiks can sound stunning. My Keilidhs now sit on the  end of a Majik Exaktbox-i (which is also an option if you want to go digital x-over as the MEB-i is  8  channel) but my main system is still 5125s powering active Espeks via onboard cards and I have no plans to change it!

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1 hour ago, Dasher said:

Hi Graham

A possible option also worth considering is to check out whether the  cards can be fitted into an AV 5125. If they will go into an LK 140 then suspect that they can go into a 5125 also. I had my  Keilidhs active with 3 x LK140 but when I moved  them onto 2x  AV  5125 there was  so much more control - and my 5125s aren't even dynamiked. Well set up 4 way Keltiks can sound stunning. My Keilidhs now sit on the  end of a Majik Exaktbox-i (which is also an option if you want to go digital x-over as the MEB-i is  8  channel) but my main system is still 5125s powering active Espeks via onboard cards and I have no plans to change it!

Thanks Dasher,i'l look into the AV5125,i'm assuming it's a Linn amp ? & are they Analogue or Digital ?.i'm really not up to date with anything after the 90's & to be honest after reading a lot of the threads in the separates Forum,i'm lost with most of the Linn Equipment being discussed & If I can get the Keltiks running as well as I have heard them in the past,they will be more than good enough for me & SWMBO 9_9

The part of the System i'm unsure about is the Pre-Amp,my last reference with Linn Pre-Amps was the Kairn & I have no idea how that compares with later Linn Pre's,also the one "modern" product which sounds interesting(& again I know nothing about) is the Majik DSM,which I think i'm correct in thinking can be a Pre Amp & allows streamed Music to be played,once again i'm really surprised that streaming can be of comparable quality to CD or maybe even LP's,but i'm assuming it must be or it wouldn't be an option,i just thought that streamed music was for phones & stuff,but not really of Hi Fi quality,once again showing my age,i suppose.

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If the  aktiv cards are mono cards (first gen) they will fit Klout, LK100 etc. The next gen cards are stereo and fit LK140, LK85, AV5125(D) and AV2250(D). last gen (chakt) cards will fit the latest Mx100 and Mx200 amps.

If you have 8 first gen cards me thinks that 3 x LK100 or 4 x LK100 are the most viable option economically and to source,  you should also know that you need to do some soldering in the amps to fit the cards.

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I agree with Pennypacker, it is important whether the cards are mono or stereo. However, eBay can be your friend here, as both mono and stereo cards appear  quite frequently - and the cost to change isn't crazy.

The AV 5125 is a Linn amp. It has 5 channels and will take  two stereo cards in each (leaving a mono  - but I'm not sure that the remaining mono slot will take a Keltik card).The (D) Dynamik is better but the 5125 is still to my ears preferable to the LK140. I use several 5125, non-dynamic, but quite lightly loaded (I don't use all 5 channels in any one amp). In choosing a pre-amp it really depends what you want it to do - how many other sources? Do you still want a tape loop? Do you want to stream?  In one system I have an Akurate Exakt DSM. This acts as a very high quality streamer (significantly higher than red book CD) and also allows me to use two more sources - in my case an LP and a Nakamichi (playback only). This AEDSM sends a digital signal to a Linn Majik Exactbox-i - which as 8 channels of amplification and also 8 digital crossovers (Exakt). These would then drive your 4 way Keltiks. It's a nice, simple system that is immensely powerful as, included in the product, is Linn's sound processing software which allows you to optimise the sound for the room. It's not the cheapest way but once you have factored in 4  x stereo amplification and a good quality pre-amp out starts to look attractive. Four Klouts and a Kairn is getting pretty close to the cost of a used AEDSM and Exakrbox--i.

I'm quite a fan of 'recycling' and if I were faced with your project my heart  would probably say firstly get stereo cards and then find an Akurate Control/0 preamp and two AV 5125s. If I was lucky enough to find Chakra cards then the amp choice would probably be  the 4 channel Akurate ones. My head however would have an  on the future and would probably say AEDSM and Exaktbox-i- which would actually give me excellent quality streaming for comparatively little additional outlay. With the second option and a subscription to a steaming library there would be little reason to ever play a CD again!

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1 hour ago, Pennypacker said:

If the  aktiv cards are mono cards (first gen) they will fit Klout, LK100 etc. The next gen cards are stereo and fit LK140, LK85, AV5125(D) and AV2250(D). last gen (chakt) cards will fit the latest Mx100 and Mx200 amps.

If you have 8 first gen cards me thinks that 3 x LK100 or 4 x LK100 are the most viable option economically and to source,  you should also know that you need to do some soldering in the amps to fit the cards.

Thanks Pennypacker,this is great info for me,i was thinking in terms of 2 x LK100(for mid & treble) & maybe 2 x LK140(Isobarik Bass),but I do have 8 x Mono cards that came with Keltiks,so 3 x LK100's are where I will start & an extra LK100 as a little upgrade after I get used to the System,Klouts would obviously be better,but at probably 4 or 5 times the price,so i'll stick to LK100 to get me up & running thanks again.I have no problem with soldering or working on Amps,as long as I have instructions to follow,i think i'll give a bit more info about my Hi-Fi life at the end of my replies(just for background info).

Could you give me some advice on a Pre -Amp to go with the above, my out of date knowledge points me to a Kairn,but is it possible a later gen pre may give me better results than a Kairn(I've read about a Wakonda ?) & i'm just learning about the Majik DSM,but I have no idea how that would compare to a Kairn as a Pre-Amp.I would only need CD & Phono(M/C)inputs & an aux for Tele sound(possibly)

50 minutes ago, Dasher said:

I agree with Pennypacker, it is important whether the cards are mono or stereo. However, eBay can be your friend here, as both mono and stereo cards appear  quite frequently - and the cost to change isn't crazy.

The AV 5125 is a Linn amp. It has 5 channels and will take  two stereo cards in each (leaving a mono  - but I'm not sure that the remaining mono slot will take a Keltik card).The (D) Dynamik is better but the 5125 is still to my ears preferable to the LK140. I use several 5125, non-dynamic, but quite lightly loaded (I don't use all 5 channels in any one amp). In choosing a pre-amp it really depends what you want it to do - how many other sources? Do you still want a tape loop? Do you want to stream?  In one system I have an Akurate Exakt DSM. This acts as a very high quality streamer (significantly higher than red book CD) and also allows me to use two more sources - in my case an LP and a Nakamichi (playback only). This AEDSM sends a digital signal to a Linn Majik Exactbox-i - which as 8 channels of amplification and also 8 digital crossovers (Exakt). These would then drive your 4 way Keltiks. It's a nice, simple system that is immensely powerful as, included in the product, is Linn's sound processing software which allows you to optimise the sound for the room. It's not the cheapest way but once you have factored in 4  x stereo amplification and a good quality pre-amp out starts to look attractive. Four Klouts and a Kairn is getting pretty close to the cost of a used AEDSM and Exakrbox--i.

I'm quite a fan of 'recycling' and if I were faced with your project my heart  would probably say firstly get stereo cards and then find an Akurate Control/0 preamp and two AV 5125s. If I was lucky enough to find Chakra cards then the amp choice would probably be  the 4 channel Akurate ones. My head however would have an  on the future and would probably say AEDSM and Exaktbox-i- which would actually give me excellent quality streaming for comparatively little additional outlay. With the second option and a subscription to a steaming library there would be little reason to ever play a CD again!

Dasher once again great info if I decide to go further than the LK route which would obviously be recycled(nicer word than used or old)this info will help me,but for now i'm funding this system with money from selling(recycling :)) all my spare playing gear.

A bit of background so you guys can see where i'm coming from with my penny pinching attitude 9_9.I had been a Hi Fi enthusiast since the mid 60's,but in the mid 80's I made the mistake of working in the industry as a Company Rep & eventually as a partner in a small Amp manufacturing company & by the late 90's I had basically just burned myself out & left it all behind, but happily i have regained interest(helped by covid lockdown) :) & have enough enthusiasm to put my proposed system together,so thanks for your help.

I'll just say that the idea of a future upgrade to a level I have not experienced before is appealing,but we'll see.

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@Graham G as far as a preamp is concerned, I'd say the Kairn would be the best of the LK bunch. If you look for one, try to find one with the Slimline PSU. Also make sure it's not the 'Pro' version if you want an integrated phono stage for a turntable.

There will likely be a need to replace the battery too, if that's not already been done.

Mick

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@Graham G - I dont think you have mentioned what source(s) you will be using. If you intend to stream only you might get away without needing a pre-amp as (all??) Linn DS can use a digital volume control. There has been discussion about the relative aural merits of this - some prefer it, some dont. As MickC says if you decide you need a preamp then your best bet is the Kairn (or Kairn Pro if you dont want an integrated phono input).

I think you are homing in on the best solution - just got to be patient and wait for some LK100's on the bay....

This one is an auction but currently low priced https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/LINN-LK100-STEREO-POWER-AMPLIFIER-PRE-OWNED/383873818833?epid=93883477&hash=item5960a9a0d1:g:zRIAAOSw8QRf5G1r

This one is a more realistic price but from a HIGHLY respected seller who is on this forum - I bought/traded much of my stuff from Richard https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Linn-LK100-power-amplifier-good-condition-from-Krescendo-HiFi/114477375427?hash=item1aa7621fc3:g:5FsAAOSw3sdfkZP-

And many more to choose from. 

For the future if you find the the active cards are a little noisy (especially the bass) consider replacing the large capacitors as they are known to deteriorate. Easy job if you are handy with a soldering iron.

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43 minutes ago, MickC said:

@Graham G as far as a preamp is concerned, I'd say the Kairn would be the best of the LK bunch. If you look for one, try to find one with the Slimline PSU. Also make sure it's not the 'Pro' version if you want an integrated phono stage for a turntable.

There will likely be a need to replace the battery too, if that's not already been done.

Mick

Thanks Mick,i think I will settle on a Kairn(price permitting),have to wait & see what comes up.

20 minutes ago, entdgc said:

@Graham G - I dont think you have mentioned what source(s) you will be using. If you intend to stream only you might get away without needing a pre-amp as (all??) Linn DS can use a digital volume control. There has been discussion about the relative aural merits of this - some prefer it, some dont. As MickC says if you decide you need a preamp then your best bet is the Kairn (or Kairn Pro if you dont want an integrated phono input).

I think you are homing in on the best solution - just got to be patient and wait for some LK100's on the bay....

This one is an auction but currently low priced https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/LINN-LK100-STEREO-POWER-AMPLIFIER-PRE-OWNED/383873818833?epid=93883477&hash=item5960a9a0d1:g:zRIAAOSw8QRf5G1r

This one is a more realistic price but from a HIGHLY respected seller who is on this forum - I bought/traded much of my stuff from Richard https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Linn-LK100-power-amplifier-good-condition-from-Krescendo-HiFi/114477375427?hash=item1aa7621fc3:g:5FsAAOSw3sdfkZP-

And many more to choose from. 

For the future if you find the the active cards are a little noisy (especially the bass) consider replacing the large capacitors as they are known to deteriorate. Easy job if you are handy with a soldering iron.

Thanks entdgc,i really have no experience with streaming, my sources are CD Player, T/T Roksan Xerxes,not used for more than 20 years,so will need a rebuild(which I can do if I can remember how) & another new PS,also possibly my Television so 3 maximum.is a Linn DS something different from the Majik DSM ?

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I'd also hang out for a Kairn. I've been through all of the LK amps and the Kairn is the better of them by a long way. You certainly want to hold out for a later one with the last PS fitted - which was the slimline as mentioned above. The very early PS  is also OK but avoid the 'brilliant' as it is anything but - and difficult (very) to repair. Kairns hold their price well and you could probably find  a Linn Exotik for a similar price (which is essentially an Akurate Control/0). There's one on eBay at the moment (not mine!) for around £500 - difficult to say whether it has the Phono Stage or  not but there's also an Exotik  Phono Stage Board on eBay as well! The Exotic Phono Stage board is good - as is the Kairn.

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