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Keltik vs M140


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After much consideration and reading on the various forum until my eyes bled, I bit the bullet and after some driving and hard labour the Keltiks are now wobbly in place where normally the M140 reside.

Eventhough I just slabbed them in position they sound pretty impressive. No treble harshness, quite a stable image and a full extended low end, really nice. This is all much to surprise since I red that they sound horrible even an inch off and bass is normaly untameable, probably something wrong with my hearing then 😋

The EABi seems to handle things just fine, im still impressed with this flexible box

To bad SO is down at the moment cause I’m under the impression that fine tuning these giants could turn things up a notch or two. Happy times.

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On 18/04/2021 at 09:46, Ahultin said:

Interesting. I have thought about doning the same - going from M140s to Keltik (with a Exaktbox-I).

please keep us updated.

After some days now and SOv2 running 🙌🏼 I have the following remarks/observations/scribbles. 
 

IMHO it’s definitely an upgrade, not just a side step or matter of taste. There is however a small loss in absolute detail, the old SPKR 15/5 just does not retrieve as much info as the 2K. If one needs some sort of figure I would say a 5 to 10% difference. Now that being said, what are the benefits? at least to my ears:

  • The most obvious would be bass extension, these giants go down an extra 35Hz and you will notice, there is a lot more going on the lower region. Also more controlled and tighter, ver much so.
  • Bigger and more clear soundstage and depth, they produce a solid wall of sound. Now this could have something to do with the fact that the Keltiks are almost 3 meter apart (in which they form a equilateral triangle with my listing spot as recommended in the manual) instead of the 2.3 meter in between the M140s. 
  • The complete package is better integrated and the individual components work better as a whole.
  • Less treble harshness, much to my surprise as the SPKR 15/1 in my Keilidhs did not work out for me. The sound is sweeter, more relaxed, less grainy; although this never was a dealbreaker for me with the M140s.
  • Even though there is a small (acceptable) loss in the upper detail, there is more information revealed in (all) the notes, more layers which also take longer to die out, this really stands out to me.
  • Vocals are better understandable.

All in all the package is a bigger sum of its parts and to me it makes that the Keltik is just in a different class. I like it. However me being me, and knowing the short hit a new component can give in any audiophoole chain, I will keep the M140s close to me and maybe doublecheck my ramblings above in a later time.

Fun fact; the EABi also runs less hot.
Also know I run the Keltiks in a 8x4 meter living room on the long wall.

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After some days now and SOv2 running  I have the following remarks/observations/scribbles.

IMHO it’s definitely an upgrade, not just a side step or matter of taste. There is however a small loss in absolute detail, the old SPKR 15/5 just does not retrieve as much info as the 2K. If one needs some sort of figure I would say a 5 to 10% difference. Now that being said, what are the benefits? at least to my ears:

  • The most obvious would be bass extension, these giants go down an extra 35Hz and you will notice, there is a lot more going on the lower region. Also more controlled and tighter, ver much so.
  • Bigger and more clear soundstage and depth, they produce a solid wall of sound. Now this could have something to do with the fact that the Keltiks are almost 3 meter apart (in which they form a equilateral triangle with my listing spot as recommended in the manual) instead of the 2.3 meter in between the M140s. 
  • The complete package is better integrated and the individual components work better as a whole.
  • Less treble harshness, much to my surprise as the SPKR 15/1 in my Keilidhs did not work out for me. The sound is sweeter, more relaxed, less grainy; although this never was a dealbreaker for me with the M140s.
  • Even though there is a small (acceptable) loss in the upper detail, there is more information revealed in (all) the notes, more layers which also take longer to die out, this really stands out to me.
  • Vocals are better understandable.
All in all the package is a bigger sum of its parts and to me it makes that the Keltik is just in a different class. I like it. However me being me, and knowing the short hit a new component can give in any audiophoole chain, I will keep the M140s close to me and maybe doublecheck my ramblings above in a later time.

Fun fact; the EABi also runs less hot.

Also know I run the Keltiks in a 8x4 meter living room on the long wall.

Thanks for your thoughts. If you ever hear 242’s against Keltiks or love to hear your thoughts.

Adsm/1 >> Akurate 4200/3200/3200 >> Aktiv Akurate 242 (mark 1) Silvers/K400

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On 21/04/2021 at 13:33, Pennypacker said:

Less treble harshness, much to my surprise as the SPKR 15/1 in my Keilidhs did not work out for me. The sound is sweeter, more relaxed, less grainy; although this never was a dealbreaker for me with the M140s.

Very interested to read this thread. I'm a long time Keltik owner and just recently swapped out a 4200 (Treble & Mid) and 2 x Klout (Bass) for an AEB-I (Katalyst). The AEB-I was actually going to have gone in a secondary system but I just thought I would try it with the Keltiks for a bit of fun. I really did not think it was going to have the necessary oomph to drive them but boy was I wrong and it is definitely staying put. Improvements were all across the board but what really surprised me was how clean and pure the treble was and how there was no trace of any grain or "hash". I would not say that the 4200 was harsh, but there was a bit of an edge to the sound at times. Note: My Keltiks have 038/2 tweeters. Having said that though I do feel I am maybe lacking a little bit of upper end detail, which is more noticeable on vinyl. I use an ADSM/3 so was already familiar with the Katalyst signature so I think the improvements I am hearing with the AEB-I are predominantly due to the Exakt filters (plus the mix of "new" and "old" amps/aktiv cards were probably not a good match!). I currently do not use SO as I have never been able to get satisfactory results with it (always fails tune dem) but will try yet again with my new set-up.

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Very interested to read this thread. I'm a long time Keltik owner and just recently swapped out a 4200 (Treble & Mid) and 2 x Klout (Bass) for an AEB-I (Katalyst). The AEB-I was actually going to have gone in a secondary system but I just thought I would try it with the Keltiks for a bit of fun. I really did not think it was going to have the necessary oomph to drive them but boy was I wrong and it is definitely staying put. Improvements were all across the board but what really surprised me was how clean and pure the treble was and how there was no trace of any grain or "hash". I would not say that the 4200 was harsh, but there was a bit of an edge to the sound at times. Note: My Keltiks have 038/2 tweeters. Having said that though I do feel I am maybe lacking a little bit of upper end detail, which is more noticeable on vinyl. I use an ADSM/3 so was already familiar with the Katalyst signature so I think the improvements I am hearing with the AEB-I are predominantly due to the Exakt filters (plus the mix of "new" and "old" amps/aktiv cards were probably not a good match!). I currently do not use SO as I have never been able to get satisfactory results with it (always fails tune dem) but will try yet again with my new set-up.

Hi. Great write up. I’m wondering when you say you’re missing some of the upper detail with the keltik/AEB-I do you mean that compared to the analog aktiv setup or to a different speaker?

This is starting to sound like a perfect setup since it’s just a 2 box setup with the Keltiks. Maybe I should give up my 242’s for a pair of mint keltiks.


Adsm/1 >> Akurate 4200/3200/3200 >> Aktiv Akurate 242 (mark 1) Silvers/K400
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1 hour ago, teuchter85 said:

Very interested to read this thread. I'm a long time Keltik owner and just recently swapped out a 4200 (Treble & Mid) and 2 x Klout (Bass) for an AEB-I (Katalyst). The AEB-I was actually going to have gone in a secondary system but I just thought I would try it with the Keltiks for a bit of fun. I really did not think it was going to have the necessary oomph to drive them but boy was I wrong and it is definitely staying put. Improvements were all across the board but what really surprised me was how clean and pure the treble was and how there was no trace of any grain or "hash". I would not say that the 4200 was harsh, but there was a bit of an edge to the sound at times. Note: My Keltiks have 038/2 tweeters. Having said that though I do feel I am maybe lacking a little bit of upper end detail, which is more noticeable on vinyl. I use an ADSM/3 so was already familiar with the Katalyst signature so I think the improvements I am hearing with the AEB-I are predominantly due to the Exakt filters (plus the mix of "new" and "old" amps/aktiv cards were probably not a good match!). I currently do not use SO as I have never been able to get satisfactory results with it (always fails tune dem) but will try yet again with my new set-up.

I’m curious if the 4200 at the end of the EABi would be of any benefit because that the first thing the audioworm in my head suggested as future upgrade. 

I’m also curious about swapping the SPKR15/5 for 038/2 or hiquphon OW1-92, still a little reluctant though as:

  • like the set up with the cloths and the 038/2 profile wil stick out.
  • I’m not sure of the OW1-92 are usable with any of the existing SOv2 profiles. 
  • I quite like how (IMHO) the drivers work so seamless together and don’t want to mess up things.
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1 hour ago, zee9 said:


Hi. Great write up. I’m wondering when you say you’re missing some of the upper detail with the keltik/AEB-I do you mean that compared to the analog aktiv setup or to a different speaker?

This is starting to sound like a perfect setup since it’s just a 2 box setup with the Keltiks. Maybe I should give up my 242’s for a pair of mint keltiks.


Adsm/1 >> Akurate 4200/3200/3200 >> Aktiv Akurate 242 (mark 1) Silvers/K400

Thanks Zee...I meant compared to the analog aktiv set-up. It may just be a psychological effect though where the grain/hash/edge of the old set-up was simply drawing additional attention to the treble. With the AEB-I everything seems much more balanced and coherent throughout the frequency spectrum with no emphasis in any particular area. I do need to do some more vinyl listening with my reference albums to be sure. I really like that it is a two box set-up with a single connecting cable and the integration between ADSM/3 and AEB-I is excellent (e.g. putting the ADSM/3 to sleep automatically turns off the AEB-I) and configuration via Linn account was very straightforward.

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1 hour ago, zee9 said:


Hi. Great write up. I’m wondering when you say you’re missing some of the upper detail with the keltik/AEB-I do you mean that compared to the analog aktiv setup or to a different speaker?

This is starting to sound like a perfect setup since it’s just a 2 box setup with the Keltiks. Maybe I should give up my 242’s for a pair of mint keltiks.


Adsm/1 >> Akurate 4200/3200/3200 >> Aktiv Akurate 242 (mark 1) Silvers/K400

That means also swapping the lot for an AEBi or similar?

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34 minutes ago, Pennypacker said:

I’m curious if the 4200 at the end of the EABi would be of any benefit because that the first thing the audioworm in my head suggested as future upgrade. 

I’m also curious about swapping the SPKR15/5 for 038/2 or hiquphon OW1-92, still a little reluctant though as:

  • like the set up with the cloths and the 038/2 profile wil stick out.
  • I’m not sure of the OW1-92 are usable with any of the existing SOv2 profiles. 
  • I quite like how (IMHO) the drivers work so seamless together and don’t want to mess up things.
  • I would try my 4200 on the back of the AEB-I but it is the balanced input version and the AEB-I only has single ended outputs. Also, I'm really trying to downsize in terms of box and cable count and the two box solution fits well with my future plans.
  • Yes, the 038/2 sticks out of the cloth a little bit which can be visually distracting .
  • Exakt filters and SO are two separate things although they both manipulate the signal in the digital domain. Linn themselves have not developed OW1 Keltik Exakt filters, but they are available from speakerfilters.blogspot.com (forum member sunbeamgls) for a fee - there is a two week trial period I believe. 
  • I total agree regarding how well the drivers work together and I don't want to mess things up either, but I may just invest in a pair of OW1s just to have on hand in case one of my 038s die. 
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2 hours ago, teuchter85 said:
  • Exakt filters and SO are two separate things although they both manipulate the signal in the digital domain. Linn themselves have not developed OW1 Keltik Exakt filters, but they are available from speakerfilters.blogspot.com (forum member sunbeamgls) for a fee - there is a two week trial period I believe. 

I’m aware about the difference between SO and Exakt, however IIRC, there is at least a difference in between SOv1-Exakt vs SOv2-Exakt. I don’t know the details and technicalities though.
 

The mentioned Exakt filters via speakerfilter.blogspot.com are designed for SOv1 if I’m correct. If that’s the case I’m not interested yet, I really want to keep using SOv2.

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Thanks Zee...I meant compared to the analog aktiv set-up. It may just be a psychological effect though where the grain/hash/edge of the old set-up was simply drawing additional attention to the treble. With the AEB-I everything seems much more balanced and coherent throughout the frequency spectrum with no emphasis in any particular area. I do need to do some more vinyl listening with my reference albums to be sure. I really like that it is a two box set-up with a single connecting cable and the integration between ADSM/3 and AEB-I is excellent (e.g. putting the ADSM/3 to sleep automatically turns off the AEB-I) and configuration via Linn account was very straightforward.

Probably makes sense to move the Adsm/3 to the main system unless you’re already using Klimax gear and get a used/new akurate system hub.


Adsm/1 >> Akurate 4200/3200/3200 >> Aktiv Akurate 242 (mark 1) Silvers/K400
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40 minutes ago, Pennypacker said:

I’m aware about the difference between SO and Exakt, however IIRC, there is at least a difference in between SOv1-Exakt vs SOv2-Exakt. I don’t know the details and technicalities though.
 

The mentioned Exakt filters via speakerfilter.blogspot.com are designed for SOv1 if I’m correct. If that’s the case I’m not interested yet, I really want to keep using SOv2.

Interesting. I was unaware that Exakt filters were designed for a particular version of SO and would like to understand if that was indeed the case. There is nothing that mandates the use of SO with Exakt (it is completely optional) and I can't recall seeing any mention of any SO linkages/dependencies in all the Exakt filter release notes, but I do tend to be a skim reader. I can though understand SO needing to know if you are using Exakt or not. I may have this wrong but I thought that all the SO signal processing was done inside the DS/DSM, and all the Exakt signal processing was done inside the Exakt engine in the EB or Speaker. Both SO and Exakt are digital filters so it would make sense to me for SO to need to know if it was outputting directly to a DAC or if it was outputting to an Exakt engine to do additional signal processing. SO may do things a little differently depending on what comes after it in the signal chain. It is of course possible that in an Exakt system the SO can be offloaded from the DS/DSM to the Exakt engine which can then combine both SO and Exakt processing to be more efficient. Not sure if Linn have ever shared any detailed architecture information.

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26 minutes ago, zee9 said:


Probably makes sense to move the Adsm/3 to the main system unless you’re already using Klimax gear and get a used/new akurate system hub.


Adsm/1 >> Akurate 4200/3200/3200 >> Aktiv Akurate 242 (mark 1) Silvers/K400

Hi Zee, Not going to bore you with the details but I have a long term plan with the ADSM/3 and really like the flexibility it gives me should those plans happen to change. Was recently offered a great deal on a used Klimax Hub but the ADSM/3 is staying.

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Hope this helps - here is a summary of the possibilities and options for various filter types used with speakers, DS and Exaktbox products, as I understand it at the present time:

•    SO1 profiles can only be configured and applied via Konfig. 
•    SO2 profiles can only be configured and applied via the web based linn app. 
•    SO1 profiles created in Konfig can be imported into the web based linn app and applied from here but cannot be adjusted thereafter in the web based app. They maintain the original SO1 signature.
•    Exakt filters and SO filters are considered and configured independently of each other, the common link between them being the referenced loudspeaker model.
•    Loudspeaker models are assigned in Konfig but are also recognised in the web based linn app.
•    Exakt filters supplied by linn can be applied via Konfig or via the web based linn app.
•    Exakt filters supplied by linn can be used in conjunction with SO1 or SO2.
•    Exakt Design filters (third party) are configured in a completely separate application, combining a miscellany of physical and electromechanical parameters in which user-defined “crossovers” are matched with user-defined “loudspeakers”.
•    Exakt Design filters supplied by third parties can only be applied via Konfig and can only be used with SO1. The web based linn app will not recognise SO2 if an Exakt Design filter is in use (at present).

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