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Dear All,

newly joined as switched my system through out the past year from NAIM to LINN. Primarily as I was looking to reduce box count and get a system I don’t need to upgrade (too much!) and my front end was already a LP12, though also with a squeezebox ( which I thought was a fantastic but of kit). 
 

I love the simplicity of the KDSM to exakt 350s but one area to address is whether to scratch the 5.1 itch as I have a fair few SACDs in this format. The Linn offer seems the time to do this. 
 

so options

1) go all exakt so surround module, exakt sub, would be looking at 302s for the side speakers on stands and would then need an exaktbox I ( much difference between akurate and Majik?) to say akurate 225?

2) skip the exakt sub and exaktbox and used the analogue outs for sub and get active centre such as 340?  I could get 2nd hand 340 and 345 for same as a 225 and akurate exaktbox  

with you experience what are the pros and cons of each option , are the 302s good enough for rears with 350s? How important is the centre speaker could I even use a 302 there as well?  Finally how does all this work within the SO+ that I am currently using..

is this something even worth doing or just stick with the stereo🙂

Regards

nige

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If I were to redo my surround system today, and I had plenty of money to spend, I would look at an all Exakt system. What speakers specifically, I don't know, but would most likely use Series 5 and Series 3. This would certainly reduce the box count.

If you are just listening to music, then my opinion would be to stick with stereo. There is so much more content, and I haven't heard a surround system that is more musical than my main system (Klimax LP12, Akurbarik system). Perhaps this has something to do with the fact that the LP12 is stereo only.

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Hi, although not directly answering any of your questions. Something that is well worth some thought and discussion with your retailer is Linn's winter promotion. Potentially a saving of up to 20% if you follow the multi-channel route. It is a chunky discount available until 19th Jan '21.

https://www.linn.co.uk/offers/winter-promo

I'll come back on the specific questions tomorrow if thats ok. 

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I also like my surround SACDs  and haven't given up on them yet! I  don't have Exakt in the main room and so my Surround is active analogue  via  a Kisto. I've not heard a full Exakt/sound module set up yet but from what I have  read it  would appear to be worthy of serious consideration. It would be a huge step for me to take.

I note your question on speakers and would say choose very carefully as (in an analogue system) the matching of the set is critical. Mine is very 'old  skool' - Espeks main, Ekwal  centre, Katan rears and Sizmik subs - but they were designed to work together and they were relatively easy to get balanced.

I use a Majik Exaktbox-i  in  my second system and am very pleased with how it performs. I know that  PaulSS moved from the Majik EB-i to the Akurate one and considered the difference as very audible. If you are used to Klimax level power amps then you may find the exaktbox a little lacking - I can't say  -  I've never done the comparison.

With regards to the centre speaker my advice would be to get the drivers to be as close a match as possible the front L-R pair - this could be a challenge with the 350s.

In my research so far I was only looking at a surround module for an  ADSM  - are  you thinking of adding the surround module to the KDSM?

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2 hours ago, Coalboy68 said:

Dear All,

newly joined as switched my system through out the past year from NAIM to LINN. Primarily as I was looking to reduce box count and get a system I don’t need to upgrade (too much!) and my front end was already a LP12, though also with a squeezebox ( which I thought was a fantastic but of kit). 
 

I love the simplicity of the KDSM to exakt 350s but one area to address is whether to scratch the 5.1 itch as I have a fair few SACDs in this format. The Linn offer seems the time to do this. 
 

so options

1) go all exakt so surround module, exakt sub, would be looking at 302s for the side speakers on stands and would then need an exaktbox I ( much difference between akurate and Majik?) to say akurate 225?

2) skip the exakt sub and exaktbox and used the analogue outs for sub and get active centre such as 340?  I could get 2nd hand 340 and 345 for same as a 225 and akurate exaktbox  

with you experience what are the pros and cons of each option , are the 302s good enough for rears with 350s? How important is the centre speaker could I even use a 302 there as well?  Finally how does all this work within the SO+ that I am currently using..

is this something even worth doing or just stick with the stereo🙂

Regards

nige

I think the 5.1 Exakt is well worth going down and with linn promotion now on you could get some healthy discount 

I have 5.1 with 350s the centre channel is Akutate 225 as a centre speaker and akudoriks as rear and melodik sub

i have to say the sub makes a big difference and improves stereo sound as well improving mid and high range as well as discussed in other thread

in normal times would be happy for you to pop around for a listen

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Thanks so far for replies. Akamatsu what are you mostly using surround for is it films?
 

Simon -  I was spurred on by the offer to look into this and also the 5.1 SACDs that I still have not heard yet in their full glory.  :-(   await your more detailed reply 

Dasher - yes looking to add the board to the KDSM running 5.1 would be via either the discs or also have an SSD with the multichannel rips through my oppo. How do the 5.1s sound I have a few by Yes, Genesis etc 

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Using for both music and films a good 5.1 recording is very special I am into classical and there are quite a few 5.1 recordings out there channel classics the four seasons with Rachel Podger is amazing 

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thanks @Coalboy68 if I might recommend someone here who may be able to offer a great deal of unbiased advice it would be @Nrwatson.

I've been around this stuff for quite a while and in my experience. It is quite rare to speak with someone who has not only invested in his passion but also has such a deep understanding of the technology, other products available and the wider industry

If I wasn't selling hi-fi and @Nrwatson wasn't doing what he does....I'd probably be buying my hi-fi from him.

Be back to you soon and hope the above might help.

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1 hour ago, Coalboy68 said:

Thanks so far for replies. Akamatsu what are you mostly using surround for is it films?
 

Simon -  I was spurred on by the offer to look into this and also the 5.1 SACDs that I still have not heard yet in their full glory.  :-(   await your more detailed reply 

Dasher - yes looking to add the board to the KDSM running 5.1 would be via either the discs or also have an SSD with the multichannel rips through my oppo. How do the 5.1s sound I have a few by Yes, Genesis etc 

Yes. Mostly films. I do occasionally watch a concert Blu-ray disc. And I agree on the subwoofer. It made a huge improvement to every aspect of the sound quality. Just for reference, my system is; Oppo 103D, Apple TV, Linn Akurate Kontrol AV, Aktiv Tukans, Aktiv Trikan, passive Nexus as surrounds, and a Sizmik 10.25.

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7 hours ago, Coalboy68 said:

Dear All,

newly joined as switched my system through out the past year from NAIM to LINN. Primarily as I was looking to reduce box count and get a system I don’t need to upgrade (too much!) and my front end was already a LP12, though also with a squeezebox ( which I thought was a fantastic but of kit). 
 

I love the simplicity of the KDSM to exakt 350s but one area to address is whether to scratch the 5.1 itch as I have a fair few SACDs in this format. The Linn offer seems the time to do this. 
 

so options

1) go all exakt so surround module, exakt sub, would be looking at 302s for the side speakers on stands and would then need an exaktbox I ( much difference between akurate and Majik?) to say akurate 225?

2) skip the exakt sub and exaktbox and used the analogue outs for sub and get active centre such as 340?  I could get 2nd hand 340 and 345 for same as a 225 and akurate exaktbox  

with you experience what are the pros and cons of each option , are the 302s good enough for rears with 350s? How important is the centre speaker could I even use a 302 there as well?  Finally how does all this work within the SO+ that I am currently using..

is this something even worth doing or just stick with the stereo🙂

Regards

nige

Hi Nige,

I have a Linn Katalyst Surround system consisting of Katalyst Akubariks, Akurate 225 centre channel with a Katalyst Akurate Exaktbox 6 and an Akurate 4200 amp, as well as passive Akudoriks driven by an Akurate Katalyst Exaktbox I. I recently upgraded my Majik Exaktbox I for a new Katalyst Akurate Exaktbox I and the improvement was extremely impressive. I thought the Majik Exaktbox I was a brilliant piece of kit, but the Akurate is significantly better. I don’t have a sub for my system, therefore don’t have an Exakt Subbox.

Sound quality is staggeringly good and well worth the investment for my 5.1 SACD, and 5.1 DVD-Audio discs spinning in my OPPO 203. I also have a good selection of BluRay movies and 5.1 music concerts, as well DVD concerts. I also stream ripped 5.1 music from SACD’s and DVD’s from my NAS through the OPPO 203 , which converts the music to PCM so my Akurate Hub can  process it to 5 discrete channels of speakers.  

My suggestion would be for you to go with the surround module, Exakt Subbox and 302’s from your 2 choices, but check with your Linn dealer. That said, to have all of your speakers have a similar voice signature, with each speaker having a 3K array will bring much more to the table. This is especially important for 5.1 music, as the  sound stage and sound quality benefits tremendously from having 5 matched speakers. It is less important for movies, but Exakt surround brings detail and immersion into a movie like nothing else I have heard in the theatres.

I found out in my system when Exakt first came out, it is not a good idea to mix Exakt components with Aktiv , as there are timing issues with the Exakt versus Aktiv, with Exakt taking approximately 45 ms longer to process than Aktiv. This results in an echo effect in voices, or double drums coming from the different speakers.

‘I believe the surround module allows you to mix Exakt and Passive speakers without timing issues? 

‘If this were not Covid times, I would take up Nrwatson’s offer to hear a truly first class Linn Katalyst Surround System, with 350, Akurate 225 and Akudoriks. He lives in the London England area. I live in the Vancouver, BC area, as does Akumatsu.

Which OPPO model to you have, as the OPPO 103/105 don’t sound as good streamed in 5.1 as the OPPO 203/205?

Edited by Paulssurround
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I don't know if you've seen this:

https://docs.linn.co.uk/wiki/index.php/Surround_Sound

With Exakt, it appears that just about anything is possible, that is mixing and matching of Exakt and analog speakers. It also appears that the Surround Module isn't needed to do this. This is something that is handled in Exakt.

Edited by akamatsu
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Thanks @Paulssurround I have an oppo 103 which I got mainly to be able to play the SACD 5.1s as the KDSM can’t play direct from the NAS
 

@Nrwatson how do you drive the sub and 225 is it via exakt boxes?  How have you found the 302s as see you recently bought some ?  
@akamatsu I guess the sound module comes “free” with the extra exakt speakers

has anyone done a listening test 520s vs series 3 as exakt akudoriks are probably out ( new anyway). 
nige

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12 hours ago, Coalboy68 said:

Dasher - yes looking to add the board to the KDSM running 5.1 would be via either the discs or also have an SSD with the multichannel rips through my oppo. How do the 5.1s sound I have a few by Yes, Genesis etc

I use the 5.1for Cinema, roughly once per week and for SACD surround on a regular basis. My SACD  collection is composed mainly jazz and classical  - some of which is 2 channel SACD, some is 4channel and some 5.1. The 4 channel ones are largely Chesky records and they miss out the centre - it is to do with the way they mic the performance in particular NYC venue. How does it sound? As  NRWatson says above  - good recording can be simply stunning - the Cheskys being particular examples. Some recordings run from 5.1specific activity in each channel- EST's "Tuesday  Wonderland" being one, and others, although using full 5.1, appear to use the rear channels to create the impassion of space - with the rear speakers almost solely reflecting the presence of an audience in an auditorium. With regards to play back - mine is still full analogue -all channels separately fed from my Unidisk direct to analogue 'in' on my Kisto.

To echo others  regarding subs, my system runs two Sizmik 10.25 subs - and  so technically is 5.2. I need the pair as I found that one affected imaging (badly). Also, my Espeks, although not light in the bass, were designed with a full 5.x system in mind. I use mine as bass reinforcement  - my normal two channel setting is "stereo + sub" - it took quite a bit of 'getting right' - but I haven't seen the need to meddle with it since the initial work.

If I take the leap it will probably by via exaktbox-i as I'll keep my speaker installation and my amps (5125) are no better than the ones in the (Akurate) exaktbox-i. I'll probably make the change when the Kisto packs up - that won't be for a while though as I have recently acquired a spare one for that very day! I find the Kisto to be very close in performance to a Klimax Kontrol - but with more options - hence my reluctance to lose it.

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Yes driving the sub with Exakt sub have missed the sub last couple of weeks as it is being refurbished with Simon great service by the way 

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Just heard back from my Linn dealer 302s are not part of the winter promotion. 😕

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