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Considering Klimax Exakt System


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I’ve been in the Naim cult for a decade but the simplicity of the Klimax Exakt system is a bit irresistible. Last month I upgraded my headphone system in my bedroom from a Chord Hugo to a dCS Bartok and it was eye opening. Initially I was going to replace my 2 channel source from Naim NDX+ Berkeley Alpha dac to a dCS Rossini but... my dealer pointed out the Rossini clock really needs $4k bnc cables 🤯. Made me stop and rethink this plan.

Always heard great things about Klimax streamers but never actually had one to listen to. With the new dac design I suspect Klimax should surpass the Rossini in sq. I spoke with a Linn dealer who has the new Klimax and he indicated it destroys the Vivaldi stack 🤔. Obviously he might have a bias. Unfortunately due to my health I’m unable to travel and no local dealer so I’m buying blind.

long story short... I’m struggling to pull the trigger on a full Klimax Exakt 350 vs just the new dsm with Organik. I’m sure the dac is wonderful but at the price I could get a mid tier MSB streamer. The Exakt 350 is elegant and a relative bargain considering the expense required to get the best out of a dCS or MSB streamer. Only issue is I’ve never heard Linn speakers or amps. The reason I’m seriously considering 350 Exakt is the sound optimization and complete lack of expensive cables. After years I’ve realized I’m a minimalist and my hifi room has acoustic issues.

My only source is Roon. 
 

Is the Klimax 350 Exakt system world class hifi for audiophiles or is it a set of compromises giving excellent music reproduction for people who aren’t necessarily critical listeners? 

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27 minutes ago, Katzky said:

I’ve been in the Naim cult for a decade but the simplicity of the Klimax Exakt system is a bit irresistible. Last month I upgraded my headphone system in my bedroom from a Chord Hugo to a dCS Bartok and it was eye opening. Initially I was going to replace my 2 channel source from Naim NDX+ Berkeley Alpha dac to a dCS Rossini but... my dealer pointed out the Rossini clock really needs $4k bnc cables 🤯. Made me stop and rethink this plan.

Always heard great things about Klimax streamers but never actually had one to listen to. With the new dac design I suspect Klimax should surpass the Rossini in sq. I spoke with a Linn dealer who has the new Klimax and he indicated it destroys the Vivaldi stack 🤔. Obviously he might have a bias. Unfortunately due to my health I’m unable to travel and no local dealer so I’m buying blind.

long story short... I’m struggling to pull the trigger on a full Klimax Exakt 350 vs just the new dsm with Organik. I’m sure the dac is wonderful but at the price I could get a mid tier MSB streamer. The Exakt 350 is elegant and a relative bargain considering the expense required to get the best out of a dCS or MSB streamer. Only issue is I’ve never heard Linn speakers or amps. The reason I’m seriously considering 350 Exakt is the sound optimization and complete lack of expensive cables. After years I’ve realized I’m a minimalist and my hifi room has acoustic issues.

My only source is Roon. 
 

Is the Klimax 350 Exakt system world class hifi for audiophiles or is it a set of compromises giving excellent music reproduction for people who aren’t necessarily critical listeners? 

World class I don’t think you would be disappointed but what takes it above and beyond to my mind is the space optimization a game changer but has to be done properly 

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Everybody over here will tell you how great Linn is and will try to get you away from the dark side.

If buying new, I would be asking for a home demo. It is maybe an option to cover the transport and travel expenses to and from your home to the potential dealer if you cancel the deal. In case you live really remotely. 

Space Optimisation can work wonders, depending on your room, in my case it makes al the difference in using full range speakers.


 

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37 minutes ago, Pennypacker said:

Everybody over here will tell you how great Linn is and will try to get you away from the dark side.

If buying new, I would be asking for a home demo. It is maybe an option to cover the transport and travel expenses to and from your home to the potential dealer if you cancel the deal. In case you live really remotely. 

Space Optimisation can work wonders, depending on your room, in my case it makes al the difference in using full range speakers.

Two walls are 98% glass...

I said I’d pay expenses and “opportunity costs” associated with a home demo but dealer said I should just buy it and return it in a few months if not satisfied. Seems weird since he’s less than 3 hours from me. Needed 100% payment one week after placing order. A bit odd for a $100k item in a market filled with massive competition. Is this the Linn way? Very different than previous experiences. I could definitely make a decision in a day; definitely don’t need two months.

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Home Demo is definitely the way forward. Most understanding AD's should offer it. I took advantage of this during lockdown and my main dealer allowed me to audition several Naim Unity unit's (returned for being too unstable) before I settled on my Linn DSM set up. (which has proved to be more stable and I preferred the Linn SQ)

As for world class, that's probably a subjective term which depends on the ear of the listener and to a point, what genre of music is their preference. So the only way to get round that is to effectively trial and listen to the equipment.

Edited by d88
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Well, I’m not on klimax level (yet). But to give you some perspective, I got a free home demo of my Exaktbox. Now you could argue that transporting one Exaktbox is not the same as two 50+kg speakers, but it involved changing my speakers from passive to active and back, changing my network settings and back, making space optimisation work in exakt and changing it back. So, this is Linn way IMHO, part of the Linn new price is the included dealer service and support.

I payed upfront, but that involved 6% of what you are talking about. If one would splash out that kind of sum, a more detailed payment-agreement is in order to protect both party’s.

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I moved from the 552/500 combo with quad 989 speakers to 350s and klimax dsm, I did demo but moved pretty much for similar reasons that the cabling is so unfussy, the speakers and unit look fantastic and of course the sound is excellent plus removing a large number of boxes. What surprised me was the top end rather than bass vs the quads which was something of a revelation. 

The extra bonus for me with Linn is that they support upgrades to their equipment unlike many manufacturers so the 350s can be upgraded to the new Organik ( and hopefully the DSM) not many companies follow this path with digital equipment. 
 


 

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1 hour ago, d88 said:

Home Demo is definitely the way forward. Most understanding AD's should offer it. I took advantage of this during lockdown and my main dealer allowed me to audition several Naim Unity unit's (returned for being too unstable) before I settled on my on Linn DSM set up. (which have proved to be more stable and I preferred the Linn SQ)

As for world class, that's probably a subjective term which depends on the ear of the listener and to a point, what genre of music is their preference. So the only way to get round that is to effectively trial and listen to the equipment.

The Linn website makes Klimax look like it’s designed for people who can’t be bothered owning a proper hifi rack. Like squeezing that last 5% improvement isn’t important.

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5 hours ago, Katzky said:

Two walls are 98% glass...

I said I’d pay expenses and “opportunity costs” associated with a home demo but dealer said I should just buy it and return it in a few months if not satisfied. Seems weird since he’s less than 3 hours from me. Needed 100% payment one week after placing order. A bit odd for a $100k item in a market filled with massive competition. Is this the Linn way? Very different than previous experiences. I could definitely make a dectision in a day; definitely don’t need two months.

It's definitelynot the way, how my Linn dealer is doing business here in Northern Germany - but this may vary with locale? A proper home demo should be ok, given the circumstances, and the price of the equipment you're intending to buy. It also gives the dealer a better control, that the system has been set-up correctly, before you audition it. Sending electronics around is an option, of course. But speakers need a proper placement, and/or opimisation in SOv2. If I was the dealer, I would like to make sure that the system is performing at its best. 

Incidentally, I had a chat over the phone with my dealer last week. He told me that he had just set-up a system in a place, which is a 3,5 hrs drive away from his shop. I'm living a good hours drive away myself, and my dealer collected my LP12 for last summer's update, and also returned it as a free service.

Edited by TooManyCatweazles
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I think I'd wait for Organik to arrive in the 350s - it won't be that far away in terms of the length of time you'll be living with them.

As an aside, quite a few people don't like what Roon does to the sound - have you compared it to a standard NAS or Melco or Innuos running a lightweight server such as MinimServer?

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8 minutes ago, sunbeamgls said:

I think I'd wait for Organik to arrive in the 350s - it won't be that far away in terms of the length of time you'll be living with them.

As an aside, quite a few people don't like what Roon does to the sound - have you compared it to a standard NAS or Melco or Innuos running a lightweight server such as MinimServer?

I want to add that Organik is already on the price-list and while this sounds as crazy as can be: not so much extra relative to Katalyst for the Klimax range.

I’m patiently hoping that Organik reaches my Akurate exaktbox, which is kind of yesteryear in regard of being more ore less out if the current line up.

Still enjoying my current anthracite box though. 

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7 hours ago, Katzky said:

Two walls are 98% glass...

I said I’d pay expenses and “opportunity costs” associated with a home demo but dealer said I should just buy it and return it in a few months if not satisfied. Seems weird since he’s less than 3 hours from me. Needed 100% payment one week after placing order. A bit odd for a $100k item in a market filled with massive competition. Is this the Linn way? Very different than previous experiences. I could definitely make a decision in a day; definitely don’t need two months.

Where are you based not my experience with 

Linn dealer is happy for me to try at home before splashing out 

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10 hours ago, Katzky said:

I’ve been in the Naim cult for a decade but the simplicity of the Klimax Exakt system is a bit irresistible. Last month I upgraded my headphone system in my bedroom from a Chord Hugo to a dCS Bartok and it was eye opening. Initially I was going to replace my 2 channel source from Naim NDX+ Berkeley Alpha dac to a dCS Rossini but... my dealer pointed out the Rossini clock really needs $4k bnc cables 🤯. Made me stop and rethink this plan.

Always heard great things about Klimax streamers but never actually had one to listen to. With the new dac design I suspect Klimax should surpass the Rossini in sq. I spoke with a Linn dealer who has the new Klimax and he indicated it destroys the Vivaldi stack 🤔. Obviously he might have a bias. Unfortunately due to my health I’m unable to travel and no local dealer so I’m buying blind.

long story short... I’m struggling to pull the trigger on a full Klimax Exakt 350 vs just the new dsm with Organik. I’m sure the dac is wonderful but at the price I could get a mid tier MSB streamer. The Exakt 350 is elegant and a relative bargain considering the expense required to get the best out of a dCS or MSB streamer. Only issue is I’ve never heard Linn speakers or amps. The reason I’m seriously considering 350 Exakt is the sound optimization and complete lack of expensive cables. After years I’ve realized I’m a minimalist and my hifi room has acoustic issues.

My only source is Roon. 
 

Is the Klimax 350 Exakt system world class hifi for audiophiles or is it a set of compromises giving excellent music reproduction for people who aren’t necessarily critical listeners? 

My Linn dealer has ordered the Organik upgrade for the 350’s, which was already just upgraded to Katalyst. In addition, he has ordered the new Klimax DSM with Organik.

I should have a chance to hear both when they arrive in the next weeks. 

The 350’s are truly excellent, and are designed for audiophiles. I had a chance to hear the dealers 350’s that were just upgraded to Katalyst a few weeks ago, and was very impressed. 

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2 hours ago, Paulssurround said:

My Linn dealer has ordered the Organik upgrade for the 350’ds ... In addition, he has ordered the new Klimax DSM with Organik.

Same here. Well, not exactly here, but at my trusted dealer in Kiel, Germany. 😁

Edited by TooManyCatweazles
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This situation sounds crazy to me. A home demo of Klimax DSM and 350 is in reality a very simple thing to do. With sound optimisation and only 6 cables the whole system can be up and running as well as having the room acoustics sorted within a couple of hours. Sure there is more to do to ensure things perform to their best. That's our job as a retailer and that's how we make a living. 

In the olden days retailers had to spend a day soldering resistors and positioning every system. That was done because that's how we got the best out of them. Things are a little different now with SO.

It's a shame you are having a poor experience to something that should be incredible.

My best advice would be to call Linn on +44 141 307 7777 they will be able to point you to a retailer that has the products available for demo and more importantly be happy and willing to help. 

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