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I'll take it a big step farther.  Klimax LP12 into a Rega io integrated amp into your choice of $400 a pair speakers (I'd pick PSB Alpha P5 but I don't know about worldwide availability and pricing) w

I’d go for Klimax LP12 into Akurate Hub/DSM Come to think of it that is what I did. I did economise with Akurate Radikal & Krystal and not Karousel’d yet, but I really like what I have. Impor

First off I didn't say you could use garbage speakers, there is a difference between a well chosen, musical $400 pair of speakers and a lot of the junk out there.  As to the rest of it, I also know wh

I’d go for Klimax LP12 into Akurate Hub/DSM

Come to think of it that is what I did. I did economise with Akurate Radikal & Krystal and not Karousel’d yet, but I really like what I have. Important thing was expertise of great dealer to make it work so well (not something I could achieve myself). 

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Klimax LP12 and Akurate Hub. Source first. I recently listened to KLP12/Majik DSM/3, brilliant! Mind you, a KLP12 has a Urika II so ADC in the DSM is bypassed.

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8 hours ago, Katzky said:

Which sounds better: Klimax LP12 into Akurate hub or Akurate LP12 into Klimax hub?

I'll take it a big step farther.  Klimax LP12 into a Rega io integrated amp into your choice of $400 a pair speakers (I'd pick PSB Alpha P5 but I don't know about worldwide availability and pricing) will outperform Akurate LP12 into Klimax hub into the speaker of your choice.  There is no circumventing the crucial nature of the source.

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6 hours ago, ThomasOK said:

I'll take it a big step farther.  Klimax LP12 into a Rega io integrated amp into your choice of $400 a pair speakers (I'd pick PSB Alpha P5 but I don't know about worldwide availability and pricing) will outperform Akurate LP12 into Klimax hub into the speaker of your choice.  There is no circumventing the crucial nature of the source.

I get your point in theory but that's rather an extreme case.  No one in their right mind would spend so much disproportionately on the source. Maybe spending 15k on the source 5 k on amp and 5 k on speakers will provide much more musical enjoyment.  That sounds more logical.  Why spend so much on a superior source that cannot be resolved by the limitations of the amp and the speakers?   

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1 hour ago, mskaye said:

I get your point in theory but that's rather an extreme case.  No one in their right mind would spend so much disproportionately on the source. Maybe spending 15k on the source 5 k on amp and 5 k on speakers will provide much more musical enjoyment.  That sounds more logical.  Why spend so much on a superior source that cannot be resolved by the limitations of the amp and the speakers?   

@ThomasOKI know you were making a point.   Better yet -  6-7.5k on TT, 3k on amp, 1.5k on phono preamp, 1.5-2k speakers, 1k on power and cabling and the rest on LPs ! 

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While source is undoubtedly extremely important..I think Thomas Ok's point about $400- speakers as the choice for speaker makes little sense...for example..

We are using a Klimax LP12 into a Rega io into a pair of Bose speakers ( or any other $400- speaker you care to name) will outperform a Akurate LP12 into Klimax hub into a pair of Wilson Wamm's driven by Ypsilon preamp and mono blocks...Uhmm, I know which I would rather listen to...LOL!

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Thomas isn't actually far off the mark for quite a few people. There are a number of folks (on here) that run a high spec LP12 via non Klimax hubs/Amps into Ninkas - which are a sub £400 speaker from eBay. I myself run close to what Akamatsu refers to as a "Japanese Akurate" (Karousel, Kore, Ekos 2, Radikal(A), Tramp 2, rebuilt Asaka, Uphorik) into Keilidhs via an ASH and exaktbox-i. However, would I set out and spend the current list price of that LP12, all at once, to place in an ASH/Majik/Keilidhs system? Unlikely. When I first bought the current LP12 it was in a system of (new) Keilidhs/LK pre-power and the purchase price (£1500) was relatively in balance with the purchase price of the other elements (The LP12 at the time was new and reasonable spec (Cirkus, Akito 2,Lingo 1)- the Lingo 1 being Linn's state of the art PS at the time.

The level of LP12 one chooses to use is a matter of personal choice - the incremental differences are, although noticeable, small. I'm fortunate enough to have two LP12s, and often have a third one here. One is very much Majik + level - a 1978 beast with only the top plate and outer platter remaining - it has recently recapped Lingo 1, recently AO serviced Ittok, New Majik subchassis, Cirkus and an Ortofon 2M black - it is fantastic to listen to and due  to the room where it resides it probably gets more hours than the main TT. Will I upgrade it further- probably not - because I like it as it is. This one, by the way, runs into a Kisto and 5125s  into active Espeks - so on paper not a low spec replay system at all.

To me it comes down to what you want the LP12 to do. I see very little point in having a Klimax spec LP12 and 10 records  -others may choose to just play their 10 favourite records over and over again on the highest spec possible table.

The 'hierarchy' is fine-but a Karousel will only show up how knackered a 30 year old Basik Lvx  really is!

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13 hours ago, Daveyf said:

While source is undoubtedly extremely important..I think Thomas Ok's point about $400- speakers as the choice for speaker makes little sense...for example..

We are using a Klimax LP12 into a Rega io into a pair of Bose speakers ( or any other $400- speaker you care to name) will outperform a Akurate LP12 into Klimax hub into a pair of Wilson Wamm's driven by Ypsilon preamp and mono blocks...Uhmm, I know which I would rather listen to...LOL!

First off I didn't say you could use garbage speakers, there is a difference between a well chosen, musical $400 pair of speakers and a lot of the junk out there.  As to the rest of it, I also know which system I'd want to listen to and it wouldn't be the one with the Wamms!  Nor can I figure out what the point of the Klimax hub would be into Ypsilon electronics and Wilson speakers.

Also a note to mskaye.  I wasn't just trying to make a point I was giving advice on the most musical path.  Listen to both for yourself.  There is also no way you can use monetary figures to apportion how you should buy a system and there never has been.  This is because the amount something costs has absolutely nothing to do with how musical it is, whether a component or system.  This is obvious form the absolutely atrocious, really expensive systems you can hear at any Hi-Fi show contrasted by something like the little Rega system that is quite musical.  Even when talking within a particular line there are extremely few audio companies where spending more money always gets you improved musical perfromance.  So the "you should spend this much on this part of the system and that much on this other part" just never work, you can only go on what gives the most musical satisfaction and the ratios can be all over the place.

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Interesting discussion. Incidentally, I just went back to recording LPs via Songcorder - after overcoming my Powernet issues by recording with a notebook attached to a different leg of my network. When I edited the metadata with vinyl studio, I listened to the music via my desktop PC, which is equipped with 20+ yr old cheap (as in < 50 € a pair) active speakers*. I was completely blown away, how nicely this totally "unbalanced" system rendered the vintage LPs. And I could still hear the benefits of my last LP12 upgrades. Source first certainly has its merits.

(Now measuring the time until someone throws in expectation bias.)

Back to the OTs original question: I'm sure that the Klimax LP12 into Akurate will best the other combo. To quote my dealer (wrt poor sources with excellent speakers): "Do you really want to hear precisely, how bad your source is?"

*no, not made by the company which warns: Buy Other Sound Equipment 🙊

Edited by TooManyCatweazles
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Fingertrouble 🙈

Edited by TooManyCatweazles
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2 hours ago, TooManyCatweazles said:

Interesting discussion. Incidentally, I just went back to recording LPs via Songcorder - after overcoming my Powernet issues by recording with a notebook attached to a different leg of my network. When I edited the metadata with vinyl studio, I listened to the music via my desktop PC, which is equipped with 20+ yr old cheap (as in < 50 € a pair) active speakers*. I was completely blown away, how nicely this totally "unbalanced" system rendered the vintage LPs. And I could still hear the benefits of my last LP12 upgrades. Source first certainly has its merits.

(Now measuring the time until someone throws in expectation bias.)

Back to the OTs original question: I'm sure that the Klimax LP12 into Akurate will best the other combo. To quote my dealer (wrt poor sources with excellent speakers): "Do you really want to hear precisely, how bad your source is?"

*no, not made by the company which warns: Buy Other Sound Equipment 🙊

According to Linn, the source is in my (Exakt) speaker.  That ad campaign remains problematic.

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I may have posted this somewhere else on this forum (then again it might have been on the old Linn forum).  So I apologize up front to any it seems familiar to.  I do not come to my belief in the importance of source first by reading or theorizing but by continued experimentation over decades.  I have never found the hierarchy of a Hi-Fi to fail.  An example from around 2001 was when a coworker said he thought the Linto "broke the hierarchy" in that it was so good that a Valhalla with Linto was likely better than a Lingo with Kairn MC phono stage.  He had not tested this theory.  I did and found there was no question Lingo/Kairn was vastly more musical than Valhalla/Linto.  But that is fairly far into the process.  Something in the more distant past is an even better indicator.

I started in the business of selling quality Hi-Fi and setting up turntables in the beginning of 1978, the year I bought my first LP12, although it had been my hobby for a good 7 or 8 years previous to that.  The Hi-Fi stores I have worked at have always sold Linn and Rega, among others, as I sell what I believe in.  Some of you may remember a magazine called The Flat Response headed by Chris Frankland who now reviews for HiFiCritic.  He had worked for other magazines and then started his own which was very flat earth oriented.  I subscribed to it and one issue came with their upgrade guide.  I don't have it in front of my so I might get a slight detail or two wrong but I think it should be pretty accurate.  The guide covered how to upgrade in musically worthwhile steps from a basic system to the top of the line in around 1980/81.  The starter system was a Dual, I believe a 505, an NAD 3020 (what else) and a pair of Goodmans Maxim 2.  To upgrade that you were told to replace the Dual with a Rega Planar 2, next upgrade a Rega Planar 3, then a Linn Sondek LP12 with Basik LV-X tonearm.  I believe they all used the Linn Basik cartridge, a $50 model made by Audio Technica for Linn.  Once you had an LP12 you'd think you might be able to upgrade the speakers or amp, but not quite yet.  Time to put an Ittok on the LP12 fronting the 3020 and Maxim 2s.  Now that the LP12 is pretty well spec'd you could then substitute a Naim NAIT for the 3020.  That done you could upgrade the Maxim 2s to Kans.  But then it was time to look at the cartridge so an ASAK was in order.  But since you needed a MC phono stage the amp was upgraded to a Naim NAC110/NAP110.  There might have been another step or two in between but you ended up with a LP12/Ittok/ASAK, Naim NAC32/HICAP/NAP250 and Kans before you were OK to go to SARAs and then Isobariks.  

In the text that went along with the chart they stated that the LP12/BasikLV-X/3020/Maxim2s would musically outperform a Rega Planar3/32/HICAP/250/Isobariks!  I knew of the hierarchy but wondered myself if this wasn't stretching it a bit much, not having experimented to that degree.  But it just so happened that I owned the 32/HICAP/250/Isobarik system fronted by an LP12 with Mission 774 arm (we all make mistakes- soon rectified) and Supex SDX-1000.  Also we sold Rega, Dual and NAD so it was only the Maxim2s that were missing (I'm not sure they were even available in the US).  But we had a very nice pair of two way 8" woofer speakers called Spectrum 108s that ran $218 a pair and I felt they were a worthy substitute.  So I took home a Rega Planar 3 (I don't remember the cartridge but might have been a Basik or similar), an NAD 3020 and the Spectrums along with a head amp.  I connected the LP12 through the headamp into the 3020 and the Spectrum 108s and connected the Rega Planar 3 into my Naim/Isobarik system.  There was absolutely no question that the LP12/NAD/108 system musically trounced the Rega/Naim/Isobarik setup.  It wasn't even close.  What I found was that the LP12 through the entry level amp and speakers was wonderfully musical.  The Rega through the Naim/Isobariks was not at all.  I could hear everything that the Rega Planar 3 was doing wrong.  It was as Catweazles quoted above "Do you really want to hear precisely, how bad your source is?".  In an effort to make absolutely sure I was being as fair as possible I swapped cartridges putting the Supex on the Rega and the MM on the LP12.  It was no help at all, the LP12 system still whomped the much more expensive Rega fronted system to the same degree.  That is what completely convinced me. and made me aware that Chris Frankland was not crazy.

I am quite sure that the Rega io would substantially musically outperform the NAD 3020 and the PSB Image P5s would also show a clean pair of heels to the Spectrum 108s.  So I have no fear that a repeat of the the same type of comparison with modern components would have the same result.  Not to mention that I have made basically made uncountable hierarchy comparisons for customers and friends and it just always works.  To make an analog analogy, it doesn't matter if you have a fantastic enlarger, paper, chemicals, film and even camera body if you have a less than good lens.  Out of focus can't truly be helped in all the following stages.

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Nice memories Tom. I’m sure that CF, and probably Paul Benson, also promoted this approach in HiFi Answers, which would have predated Hifi Critic. 
 

‘troll

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I think Frankland was editor of 'Popular Hi-Fi' in the early eighties and they had the same upgrading page every month - Dual CS505 + NAD 3020 + some bookshelf speaker I can't remember. But there was no step from Dual to Rega you had to go straight to an LP12 (if you could not enter the ladder at that rung) or not at all. Back then the Basik arm + MM was 46 GPB (I remember, 'cos I had one) and then to Ittok, Asak and then various Naim & Linn speaker combos culminating tri-amped Isobariks.

'Hi-Fi Answers' (I think the same publisher, but different editor) followed that line too, though not as didactically. Jimmy M Hughes, the star reviewer, had the tri-amped Isobarik system so that is what everything was compared to. Until the Krell KSA-50 came along, and JMH jumped ship to use those to drive his speakers. And then the Absolute Sounds dealership (no relation to the magazine) opened in London and starting importing all sorts of exotica into the UK that probably took a lot of the highest-end business.

Ah, nostalgia.

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