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akurate ds and klimax kontrol vs akurate dsm


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Hi Group

I have another question .would running an Akurate ds(katalyst spec) through a klimax kontrol to my klouts give the same quality sound as connecting an Akurate dsm same spec direct to my klouts,reason i ask is i have the opportunity to go either way but the ds and kontrol option will cost me about $1000 less.thanks

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I would expect them to sound essentially the same when playing built-in streamed sources with Space Optimisation (SO) turned off. I haven’t actually a/b heard the comparison you’re asking about … hopefully someone on the forum has and will share their opinion.

Do you play vinyl as well? If you’re someone who is looking for an all analog path, then DSM Katalyst won’t give you that option as all inputs are converted to digital (ADC) and then back via DAC. Discussions on the forum indicate this is nothing to worry about, and also allows SO which should result in a net overall sound improvement. BUT, if you’re someone who wants a traditional all analog possibility (for whatever reason), it would only be possible with the KK.

Also, the DSM has far more options for source inputs/outputs and has a good built-in phono stage vs the KK. I think of them as very different pieces of kit depending on what you’re seeking.

So, if you really only use built-in streaming as your source, then you get SO with DSM and also avoid passing through an extra set of cables which could affect sound (no positive/negative on the cable comment, but depending on your choices and beliefs, this could alter sound).

If you have other sources with HDMI, etc you might appreciate the flexibility and configure-ability of a DSM, but if you believe a turntable should stay only analog with no digital processing then you’ll want the KK.

Also, are your Klouts Aktiv? I use 3x Klouts for my mains, and I recently changed to Exakt (as digital cross-over) and removed Aktiv cards from my Klouts. They run cooler and sound better. If you want to go this path, then you’d actually want an Akurate System Hub and an Akurate Exakt box … so avoid the higher price DSM as no need to pay for DAC inside DSM because you’ll be using the DACs inside Exaktbox instead.

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Posted (edited)

The subject of digital volume control has been discussed here previously

I believe to remember, that Linn once had a whitepaper, or blog post on this subject, and explained why they see the digital volume control to best any analog volume control.

Speaking of turntables, and records: Many of us here own a LP12, and the Urika II fraction appears to be growing. Those, who prefer the (analog) Urika over the (hybrid) Urika II appear to be a minority.

In my world 'pure' analog, or 'pure' digital are meaningless terms. In the end we want to get as close to the musical performance as possible. Anything that takes us closer is most welcome. 

Happy listening!

PS: I'm using a DSM which replaced my beloved AV5103 preamp a few years ago. When I did the swap, LPs were by far my primary source. Meanwhile, I went Exakt, and the DSM is just used as a DSH. I still don't use on demand streaming services like Qobuz though, but defaulted to a local internet radio station. The DSM/H comes in handy to record LPs via Songcorder. Now I can use my favourite LPs in my car 😉

Edited by TooManyCatweazles
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Just so you have the opposing opinion, I have compared the DVC of the KDS with Katalyst to a Klimax Kontrol and I and the owner of the store both felt that through the KK was more musical.  The DVC has gotten better over the years and was improved by Katalyst, but the KK controlling volume was still more musical and engaging than the KDS DVC.  A Lejonklou Sagatun was better yet.  In addition the DS versions are more musical as a streamer than the DSM versions.  The simplest musical path usually prevails.  The fact that the KDS (preOrganik) is more musical than the KDSM and the ADS is more musical than the ADSM is why dealers pushed for Linn to reintroduce those models a while back.  So, IME, you would be getting a more musical streamer AND a more musical volume control going with the ADS and KK.

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Posted (edited)

Here we go with opposing opinions - which is good, as diversity is less boring than monotony, not only in music. 😁

As usual, the best thing is: try to find a friendly host - dealer, or forum member in your reach - and listen yourself. Or maybe someone can record clips? In the end it's your money, and your ears which have to find a compromise.

Edited by TooManyCatweazles
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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, ThomasOK said:

Just so you have the opposing opinion, I have compared the DVC of the KDS with Katalyst to a Klimax Kontrol and I and the owner of the store both felt that through the KK was more musical.  The DVC has gotten better over the years and was improved by Katalyst, but the KK controlling volume was still more musical and engaging than the KDS DVC.  A Lejonklou Sagatun was better yet.  In addition the DS versions are more musical as a streamer than the DSM versions.  The simplest musical path usually prevails.  The fact that the KDS (preOrganik) is more musical than the KDSM and the ADS is more musical than the ADSM is why dealers pushed for Linn to reintroduce those models a while back.  So, IME, you would be getting a more musical streamer AND a more musical volume control going with the ADS and KK.

Thomas when you say the klimax ds is better than dsm, were you using the latest kdsm2 with pcas 1000 as it's main board.  I had a kds3 and was surprised when I tried a kdsm with this circuit board, it was definitely better.  HDMI was turned off

Incidentally I will be interested in your thoughts on the organik dvc,. When demonstrated to group of hardened analogue lovers, it was their choice to leave a kk in the circuit.  Both vinyl and kdsm3 sounded ok, but having been personally using the kdsm3 for several weeks with no kk, it was decided to remove the kk,  this took some persuasion, as the bad dvc stigma remained.  It was unanimous the system improved beyond recognition.  

Edited by Suffolkboy
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I don't know which board was in the KDSM and we do not have that unit on the floor.  I do know that Linn themselves were demonstrating the superiority of the KDS Katalyst vs. the KDSM Katalyst at the factory something like six months before they discontinued the KDS for a while.  If Linn upgraded the KDSM with a better board and didn't apply the same upgrades to the KDS (and I have no idea whether they did or not) that is another story altogether.  I do find it hard to believe that adding all those extra interfaces and circuits doesn't have a musical penalty.  Even though quality design can minimize such things I'd be surprised if it could eliminate them.

It will be interesting to see how far Linn has been able to push the DVC in the new KDSM Organik models.  From their block diagram sent to dealers (which I believe somebody posted up here) it is obvious that they are upsampling the signal much more than they did in Katalyst.  I would expect at least part of the reason is to have much more headroom to improve the DVC.  Time will tell, although I don't know how long it will be before we get our new KDSM.

However, since I find a Lejonklou Sagatun 1.4 stereo musically outperforms the last version Klimax Kontrol and a pair of Sagatun Mono 1.4 units is a lot better than the stereo version. the Klimax Kontrol isn't really the unit to beat anymore (not completely surprising as it hasn't received any development work in many years).

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11 minutes ago, ThomasOK said:

I don't know which board was in the KDSM and we do not have that unit on the floor.  I do know that Linn themselves were demonstrating the superiority of the KDS Katalyst vs. the KDSM Katalyst at the factory something like six months before they discontinued the KDS for a while.  If Linn upgraded the KDSM with a better board and didn't apply the same upgrades to the KDS (and I have no idea whether they did or not) that is another story altogether.  I do find it hard to believe that adding all those extra interfaces and circuits doesn't have a musical penalty.  Even though quality design can minimize such things I'd be surprised if it could eliminate them.

It will be interesting to see how far Linn has been able to push the DVC in the new KDSM Organik models.  From their block diagram sent to dealers (which I believe somebody posted up here) it is obvious that they are upsampling the signal much more than they did in Katalyst.  I would expect at least part of the reason is to have much more headroom to improve the DVC.  Time will tell, although I don't know how long it will be before we get our new KDSM.

However, since I find a Lejonklou Sagatun 1.4 stereo musically outperforms the last version Klimax Kontrol and a pair of Sagatun Mono 1.4 units is a lot better than the stereo version. the Klimax Kontrol isn't really the unit to beat anymore (not completely surprising as it hasn't received any development work in many years).

You would have had the older version of the kdsm, as the change seemed to coincide with the demise of the kds3.  Two of my friends who also own lejonklou, both considered the change quite significant. 

Sounds like the sagatun has improved since I last heard it, as the original stereo wasn't a kk beater.

There again all Fredriks products have undergone substantial improvements.  I look forwards to your impressions of the new kdsm, I think you will be surprised.

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I agree that the original Sagatun stereo was not a KK beater, although in our listening here pretty much everybody in a large group felt it was neck and neck.  But with the Sagatun 1.4 that is no longer the case, as one of my customers who just replaced his KK with a Sagatun 1.4 stereo would gladly confirm.

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since my original post i have found out i can get a great deal on a new sagatun 1-3 pre and i already own a ads/1 so my options are buy the sagatun and upgrade my ads/1 to katalyst or trade my ads/1 and kairn in for a near new adsm.since i dont need all the inputs and outputs as i only want to stream ,access my nass and play vinyl im thinking of going the sagtun and upgrade my ads as it will cost me about $1000 less and i get to keep my kairn for another system and from what im reading may sound slightly better than a adsm,

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