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My C6100/D has served me well over all the years, driving a pair of exakted AV5140 speakers with Espek tweeters. But sometimes I ask myself, what if I upgraded my amps to Akurate level? I never had the opportunity to listen side by side, but my experience with Linn in the past decades was quite consistent: if it's more expensive, then it sounds better. So, my expectation would be an improvement in SQ.

From a budget perspective 2xAV3200, or 1xAV4200 + 1xAV2200 are more or less the same. Soundwise, there appears to be a hierarchy: less amps = better sound. So the first option might sound different to the second one. Any thoughts?

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I demo-ed both a 6100 and a 4200 against my 5125 - passive at the time and just driving Katans as they were the only passive speakers that I had. I felt that my 5125 sat between the two. I liked the perception of speed of the 6100 over the 5125 but preferred the depth of the 5125 over that of 6100 - opting to keep the 5125s. The 4200 had a depth and presence over that of the 5125 but the number of channels that I required pushed the cost way out of reach. So yes, expect something quite different from a 4200 over a 6100. "Better" though is a matter of opinion - I suspect that you may well prefer the 4200 and given their price on the used market they are quite attractive. I also had to factor in the cost of full new sets of cards (Espies, Ekwal and Katan) - and that alone was a significant cost which you don't have.

How many channels has your Exaktbox? If I was evaluating the change (as you obviously are) then I would consider going for 2 x 4200 as this gives you amplification options should you, in future, consider something like Majik Isobariks or Akudoriks.

Putting the above into context, I am more than happy with the performance of my Exaktbox-i - which has Majik level amps in there. It currently drives Keilidhs but, when I first got it, I did run the Espeks on it just to see what it sounded like - I found that it had plenty of power and presence. It would not worry me at all to change my 5125s /Espeks over to an Exaktbox-i - and it certainly wouldn't worry me that the Exaktbox-i wasn't 'Akurate level'. However, if you have the budget, then try the 4200s over 6100s as they are certainly different and it is definitely worth having a listen. 

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My Exaktbox has 6 channels @Dasher, thus upgrading to speakers with more channels is unlikely, unless I rob a bank. But then banks are online these days, and our old stereotypes won't work 😁

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Actually the cost to swap Exaktboxes, from a 6 to a 10 by putting on and taking off eBay isn't that great. In fact, at the moment there is a '10' for less than a '6' (Granted the 6 is advertised as ex demo as it has a new Katalyst upgrade - it is a 2015 box). My thinking was shaped by my Exaktbox-i - I have two channels doing nothing, and am in no hurry to change (if at all) but one day I just might - and its nice to know that the only cost would be in the speakers themselves. My Exaktbox-i is in a Majik case and one day I will change it as the rest of the rack consists of Akurate cases (and the EB-i is silver whereas the rest are black). At that point though I shall go Katalyst. I'm in no hurry!

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5 hours ago, TooManyCatweazles said:

My C6100/D has served me well over all the years, driving a pair of exakted AV5140 speakers with Espek tweeters. But sometimes I ask myself, what if I upgraded my amps to Akurate level? I never had the opportunity to listen side by side, but my experience with Linn in the past decades was quite consistent: if it's more expensive, then it sounds better. So, my expectation would be an improvement in SQ.

From a budget perspective 2xAV3200, or 1xAV4200 + 1xAV2200 are more or less the same. Soundwise, there appears to be a hierarchy: less amps = better sound. So the first option might sound different to the second one. Any thoughts?

The Akurate amps are a big step up from the Majik C6100.

I owned 2 5100’s and 2 6100’s, as well as 2 Akurate 4200’s. I still own one 4200 for my centre channel.

I would always opt for the Akurate 4200’s over a 3200

‘The sound quality will be similar to the 3200, but a 4200 is much easier to sell at a later date

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Dasher said:

At that point though I shall go Katalyst. I'm in no hurry!

My AEXBOX6 did get the Katalyst upgrade, when it became available. It's a big step forward. I understand your way of thinking, but it looks like I missed the train on passive 'doriks, anyway.

Did anyone here compare A4200 with A3200, and A2200? 

Edited by TooManyCatweazles
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Posted (edited)
6 minutes ago, Paulssurround said:

The sound quality will be similar to the 3200, but a 4200 is much easier to sell at a later date

Thx Paul, protecting the investment is another interesting aspect, of course!

On the other hand this would imply, that used A3200s should be relatively cheap.

Edited by TooManyCatweazles
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1 minute ago, TooManyCatweazles said:

My AEXBOX6 did get the Katalyst upgrade, when it became available. It's a big step forward. I understand your way of thinking, but it looks like I missed the train on passive 'doriks, anyway.  I think, 

Did anyone here compare A4200 with A3200, and A2200? 

Yes, the sound quality difference will be similar.

‘If you do source some passive Akudoriks, you will be happy to have bought the 4200’s

I power my passive  Akudoriks with an Akurate Exaktbox I, which is another great option, and will give you a wonderful listening experience.

What would you get if you sold off your Akurate Exaktbox 6 and C6100? Then you would be set for your 5140’s and a possible set of passive Akudoriks in the future.  

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Posted (edited)
On 10/04/2021 at 17:08, Paulssurround said:

Yes, the sound quality difference will be similar.

‘If you do source some passive Akudoriks, you will be happy to have bought the 4200’s

I power my passive  Akudoriks with an Akurate Exaktbox I, which is another great option, and will give you a wonderful listening experience.

What would you get if you sold off your Akurate Exaktbox 6 and C6100? Then you would be set for your 5140’s and a possible set of passive Akudoriks in the future.  

While I basically don't disagree, Replacing a 2200 by a 4200 would also be an option, in the unlikely case, that I find passive Akudoriks. I don't see them that often here, anyway. Probably, Doriks haven't been that popular in this locale?

My thinking rather goes to replace the C6100 by 2x3200, or 1×2200 + 1x4200, and stay closer to the option to replace my AExbox6 for a KExbox. This appears the more attractive plan (as compared to replacing speakers), especially considering Organik possibilities arising.

Which brings us to the next complication: The KExbox has only balanced outputs. Thus, it looks like a good plan to look for amps with balanced inputs? When I replace the C6100 step by step, grabbing bargain ex-demo or used amps, when they appear, I would need to run some channels with C6100 (unbalanced) and some with the new amp (balanced). Any experiences to do this, are the levels the same?

Are Linns amps internally balanced (double mono) at all, or does the balanced input end at an op-amp, and the rest of the circuit is single-ended, anyway?

Any sound differences between the balanced and unbalanced variants?

It started with a simple question, but it looks like I opened a can of worms ... 🤔

Edited by TooManyCatweazles
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8 hours ago, TooManyCatweazles said:

While I basically don't disagree, Replacing a 2200 by a 4200 would also be an option, in the unlikely case, that I find passive Akudoriks. I don't see them that often here, anyway. Probably, Doriks haven't been that popular in this locale?

My thinking rather goes to replace the C6100 by 2x3200, or 1×2200 + 1x4200, and stay closer to the option to replace my AExbox6 for a KExbox. This appears the more attractive plan (as compared to replacing speakers), especially considering Organik possibilities arising.

Which brings us to the next complication: The KExbox has only balanced outputs. Thus, it looks like a good plan to look for amps with balanced inputs? When I replace the C6100 step by step, grabbing bargain ex-demo or used amps, when they appear, I would need to run some channels with C6100 (unbalanced) and some with the new amp (balanced). Any experiences to do this, are the levels the same?

Are Linns amps internally balanced (double mono) at all, or does the balanced input end at an op-amp, and the rest of the circuit is single-ended, anyway?

Any sound differences between the balanced and unbalanced variants?

It started with a simple question, but it looks like I opened a can of worms ... 🤔

I recall from the Linn Forum days, a lot of discussion about mixing balanced and unbalanced amps. I think the consensus was that it was not a good idea.

On the back of the 2100/3100/4100/5100/6100 amps are gain settings and those can be adjusted, but I recall it is not a smooth transition from bass to highs.

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8 hours ago, TooManyCatweazles said:

While I basically don't disagree, Replacing a 2200 by a 4200 would also be an option, in the unlikely case, that I find passive Akudoriks. I don't see them that often here, anyway. Probably, Doriks haven't been that popular in this locale?

My thinking rather goes to replace the C6100 by 2x3200, or 1×2200 + 1x4200, and stay closer to the option to replace my AExbox6 for a KExbox. This appears the more attractive plan (as compared to replacing speakers), especially considering Organik possibilities arising.

Which brings us to the next complication: The KExbox has only balanced outputs. Thus, it looks like a good plan to look for amps with balanced inputs? When I replace the C6100 step by step, grabbing bargain ex-demo or used amps, when they appear, I would need to run some channels with C6100 (unbalanced) and some with the new amp (balanced). Any experiences to do this, are the levels the same?

Are Linns amps internally balanced (double mono) at all, or does the balanced input end at an op-amp, and the rest of the circuit is single-ended, anyway?

Any sound differences between the balanced and unbalanced variants?

It started with a simple question, but it looks like I opened a can of worms ... 🤔

I recall from the Linn Forum days, a lot of discussion about mixing balanced and unbalanced amps. I think the consensus was that it was not a good idea.

On the back of the 2100/3100/4100/5100/6100 amps are gain settings and those can be adjusted, but I recall it is not a smooth transition from bass to highs.

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1 hour ago, Paulssurround said:

I recall from the Linn Forum days, a lot of discussion about mixing balanced and unbalanced amps. I think the consensus was that it was not a good idea.

On the back of the 2100/3100/4100/5100/6100 amps are gain settings and those can be adjusted, but I recall it is not a smooth transition from bass to highs.

I visited my dealer in Kiel today, and left the LP12 with him to replace the Krystal by the re-tipped Akiva. He told me that there is a 6 dB difference between the balanced/unbalanced versions, and moreover the unbalanced version sounded better to his ears.

He recommended to go for the unbalanced amp versions, and just replace the connector at the Exaktbox end of the cable. He also destroyed my fears, that the 4200s might be limited by its 300W rated PSU. He has a pair of 4200s himself - and plays them REALLY LOUD sometimes. Well, I know his musical likings 😁

Wrt to the Klimax vs Akurate Exaktbox comparison he advised to save the money for a Klimax Exaktbox first. Hearing the Klimax in comparison would make me very sad, elsewise. I'm not betting on any football team, but set aside some part of my salary for upgrades each month 🤔

As a consequence, I'll opt out of the unbalanced 2200 which is on offer in Germany right now, and wait for better opportunities to arise.

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3 hours ago, TooManyCatweazles said:

I'm not betting on any football team

perhaps you should😀
Tipico.de is still offering 60/1 for a St Pauli promotion....😎

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1 hour ago, JensA said:

perhaps you should😀
Tipico.de is still offering 60/1 for a St Pauli promotion....😎

I keep my fingers crossed. But four 1:0 games would have helped your case more, than one 4:0 game, wouldn't it? No, this is not from the non-linear algebra textbook 😉

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7 minutes ago, TooManyCatweazles said:

I keep my fingers crossed. But four 1:0 games would have helped your case more, than one 4:0 game, wouldn't it? No, this is not from the non-linear algebra textbook 😉

Holding your opponents scoreless for 360 minutes rather than 90 minutes should count for something. :D Buy that keeper a cold beer!

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