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Happy 530 owner here, it’s the best system I’ve owned. Have a P10 & Innuos Zen mk3 running through it. 

For reference, my old 530s sold for $9k. They were about 2.5 years old. I think a used pair of 530s would be a killer way to get into integrated Exakt for little (relatively speaking) money. One of th

I rate 520 and 530 highly, and know of two people who have replaced 350 with them, and are not unhappy.

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I had an Majik surround system with active 5140s, an active 5120 centre, and sub.  Then I went to the 2015 demo at the Violin Factory and heard the 530s.  My takeaway was that the SQ of the 530 system was better than mine and particularly in terms of the soundstage.  It had more breath and depth despite the absence of a centre speaker and sub.  I went home and swapped 5 boxes, 6 speakers, and a lot of cables, for an Akuarate Exakt DSM, 530s and added an LP12, and I have not regretted it.  I've upgraded the LP12, I've thought of exchanging the AEDSM for a Selekt and adding surround speakers, but even if I do I'm keeping the 530s.  However, as others have said you really do need to hear them yourself , perhaps in comparison with the Majik speakers and the Akubariks, before you finally decide.

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On 19/03/2021 at 03:56, dikki said:

This is interesting. I am a happy owner of a pair of 530s, and I am currently climbing the LP12 ladder. I am curious to which acoustic revelations it will take me, judging from your post. 

I think the 530s are more a lifestyle product, but that suits me. I don't have a mancave, so they are in the living room. I never liked the dominance of speakers in a room, and the 530s can really blend in. 

I did comparisons to the 140s, including with exact, but to me they're missing a bit of control that the 530s have. Also, I love the base in the 530s. 

If I would do an upgrade, it would be akubariks, but it is not on my list for now. 

When I got the 530 system, my LP12 consisted of Cirkus, ARadikal, Kore, Ittok LVIII/2, Krystal, Urika II (purchased with 530 system). First upgrade was Keel/Ekos SE. More music was heard, more detail, more everything. Next was a new Cirkus and Woodsong Plinth, and setup by one of the best in North America. Another very nice addition of more music coming through the 530s. Finally, It was Karousel and Kandid. Now I have a Klimax LP12 and a 530 system. Very musical, this upgrade transformed the 530 system into a super music making machine. At this point, I could've gotten the Klimax cased Radikal, or a Klimax SH, but I opted for Akubariks instead, as I really wanted Katalyst (now I really want Organik).

So I would recommend sticking with the 530s whilst upgrading the LP12. Perhaps you could upgrade your DSM too. But start with Karousel, then Radikal, etc. Each LP12 upgrade had the effect of transforming the 530s to a more musical, engaging, and enjoyable level. It is an excellent platform to bring an LP12 up to Klimax, or to near Klimax.

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1 hour ago, akamatsu said:

When I got the 530 system, my LP12 consisted of Cirkus, ARadikal, Kore, Ittok LVIII/2, Krystal, Urika II (purchased with 530 system). First upgrade was Keel/Ekos SE. More music was heard, more detail, more everything. Next was a new Cirkus and Woodsong Plinth, and setup by one of the best in North America. Another very nice addition of more music coming through the 530s. Finally, It was Karousel and Kandid. Now I have a Klimax LP12 and a 530 system. Very musical, this upgrade transformed the 530 system into a super music making machine. At this point, I could've gotten the Klimax cased Radikal, or a Klimax SH, but I opted for Akubariks instead, as I really wanted Katalyst (now I really want Organik).

So I would recommend sticking with the 530s whilst upgrading the LP12. Perhaps you could upgrade your DSM too. But start with Karousel, then Radikal, etc. Each LP12 upgrade had the effect of transforming the 530s to a more musical, engaging, and enjoyable level. It is an excellent platform to bring an LP12 up to Klimax, or to near Klimax.

Please make the comparison to your Akubariks versus the 530's 

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21 minutes ago, Jail4CEOs2 said:

Please make the comparison to your Akubariks versus the 530's 

The Akubariks are better in every way, except price. Mind you, this is with a Klimax LP12 up front.

Actually, the Akubariks are also better at DS with Tidal/Qobuz using the same AEDSM. It's just that the difference is more manifest with the LP12 providing the signal.

Also, I prefer the 530 system/KLP12 to Akubariks and DS.

When I first set up the Akubariks, the 530s were still more musical. It took quite a bit of setup time to get the Akubariks to far outpace the 530s.

Edited by akamatsu
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Very interesting thread :)

Sofar I have never considered 530s ("too expensive for the sound delivered"", "too 'lifestylish'")

but they are very much in line with my requirement profile:

+ keep the boxcount low
+ keep the number of cables low (exakt)
+ not too big (30 liters is almost perfect)
+ not too ugly (we have no dedicated listening room)
+ I could (at least initially) keep my Majik DSM/2 or even swap it for a Akurate System Hub

on the downside:
- no upgrade path to Katalyst

My update idea for 2021 (cash permitting) sofar is to buy a new Majik LP12 and  sell my Thorens 126.

Howver I could get hold of a pair of 530s + Akurate DSM/2 (yes no hub but a DSM) combo with expired 5 yr Linn warranty.
Selling my then redundant B&W CM7 and the Majik DSM/2 would further reduce the net cost of this upgrade...

Too many decisions to be made...xD


 

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30 minutes ago, JensA said:

Very interesting thread :)

Sofar I have never considered 530s ("too expensive for the sound delivered"", "too 'lifestylish'")

but they are very much in line with my requirement profile:

+ keep the boxcount low
+ keep the number of cables low (exakt)
+ not too big (30 liters is almost perfect)
+ not too ugly (we have no dedicated listening room)
+ I could (at least initially) keep my Majik DSM/2 or even swap it for a Akurate System Hub

on the downside:
- no upgrade path to Katalyst

My update idea for 2021 (cash permitting) sofar is to buy a new Majik LP12 and  sell my Thorens 126.

Howver I could get hold of a pair of 530s + Akurate DSM/2 (yes no hub but a DSM) combo with expired 5 yr Linn warranty.
Selling my then redundant B&W CM7 and the Majik DSM/2 would further reduce the net cost of this upgrade...

Too many decisions to be made...xD


 

For reference, my old 530s sold for $9k. They were about 2.5 years old. I think a used pair of 530s would be a killer way to get into integrated Exakt for little (relatively speaking) money. One of the best things about integrated Exakt speakers is you can avoid most of the forum discussion on cables. :D

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13 hours ago, JensA said:

on the downside:
- no upgrade path to Katalyst


 

I wouldn’t worry too much about Katalyst, fine as it is.  Linn themselves seem to have moved on from Katalyst with their latest DAC revelations.  To me, these things seem to be so transitory that I’m starting to question their validity, particularly given the ludicrous prices asked for them.  
 

I heard 530s at Linn’s factory shortly after their introduction, and they sounded excellent.  They still will.  If they suit your needs from all other perspectives (as they seem to from your own analysis) then why hesitate?  By Linn’s standards they’re bargains, and my experience of Linn’s digital products tells me that they’ve never compromised on DACs going right back to the CD12 which, incidentally, still sounds magnificent to me, even up against my Katalysted KDS.

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13 hours ago, JensA said:

on the downside:
- no upgrade path to Katalyst

520s and 530s are the only speakers that Linn sell that were developed purely for Exakt.  Maybe the Organik DAC will be offered as an upgrade in the future but I am not holding my breath.  All I know is that both my 520s and 530s sound brilliant without Katalyst.

Another advantage that as they have fabric covers, it is impossible to mark them.

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54 minutes ago, Flatcoat said:

520s and 530s are the only speakers that Linn sell that were developed purely for Exakt.

Apart from Series 3...

’troll

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22 hours ago, akamatsu said:

When I got the 530 system, my LP12 consisted of Cirkus, ARadikal, Kore, Ittok LVIII/2, Krystal, Urika II (purchased with 530 system). First upgrade was Keel/Ekos SE. More music was heard, more detail, more everything. Next was a new Cirkus and Woodsong Plinth, and setup by one of the best in North America. Another very nice addition of more music coming through the 530s. Finally, It was Karousel and Kandid. Now I have a Klimax LP12 and a 530 system. Very musical, this upgrade transformed the 530 system into a super music making machine. At this point, I could've gotten the Klimax cased Radikal, or a Klimax SH, but I opted for Akubariks instead, as I really wanted Katalyst (now I really want Organik).

So I would recommend sticking with the 530s whilst upgrading the LP12. Perhaps you could upgrade your DSM too. But start with Karousel, then Radikal, etc. Each LP12 upgrade had the effect of transforming the 530s to a more musical, engaging, and enjoyable level. It is an excellent platform to bring an LP12 up to Klimax, or to near Klimax.

That is quite an upgrade path you've had. I probably won't go that far in my lifetime :(, but I am glad about the prospect of my next upgrades. Tomorrow I will get my renewed LP12, with a new Kore, Lingo 4 and Karousel. Super anxious to hear the difference! 

@JensA If lifestylish is bad for the sound I get it, but since I'm looking at them in my living room, what is the problem with a thing of beauty? 

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47 minutes ago, dikki said:

 If lifestylish is bad for the sound I get it, but since I'm looking at them in my living room, what is the problem with a thing of beauty? 

Nothing at all except for my own bias that lifestyle devices can't sound good too :D

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1 hour ago, dikki said:

Tomorrow I will get my renewed LP12, with a new Kore, Lingo 4 and Karousel. Super anxious to hear the difference! 

And I am anxious to hear your reaction! :)

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7 hours ago, Flatcoat said:

520s and 530s are the only speakers that Linn sell that were developed purely for Exakt.  Maybe the Organik DAC will be offered as an upgrade in the future but I am not holding my breath.  All I know is that both my 520s and 530s sound brilliant without Katalyst.

Another advantage that as they have fabric covers, it is impossible to mark them.

Unless you have cats...

I discussed 530’s with my dealer when taking my M140’s Exakt. But, figured fabric covers vs 2 Bengals was an unequal battle...

A rather expensive lifestyle choice of scratching post for them...

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10 minutes ago, Rich9600 said:

Unless you have cats...

I discussed 530’s with my dealer when taking my M140’s Exakt. But, figured fabric covers vs 2 Bengals was an unequal battle...

A rather expensive lifestyle choice of scratching post for them...

My cat never bothered my 530s, thankfully! One could spray a repellent like bitter apple (I think that's what it's called) on the 530s, and provide a real scratching post laced with catnip. Cats communicate in the language of smell, as I'm sure you know having two Bengals.

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