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How to add surround to my existing 2.0 Exakt system.


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As per title, but without robbing a bank or selling a kidney.

I contemplate a pair of matching Kan or Tukan to use with my Keltiks in 4.0, but I have no idea how to connect everything together on the ASH.

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You either need a source that can decode muti-channels into a PCM stream for the ASH or you need HDMI input to the ASH and the onboard surround sound processor which is a dealer fit upgrade.

As you have an ASH, then you need an Exaktbox of some sort to drive the rears - most compact would be MEB-i or AEB-i. Otherwise an AEB6 or AEB6/1 and 4 power amp channels.

You'd also need someone to create Exakt filters for Kan as Linn don't provide them, and your Kans would need to have their passive crossovers removing and different terminals adding - apparently Kan can be damaged by taking the drivers out, so it could be a bit of a risk. I have Exakt filters for Tukan off the shelf, but they do need their crossovers removing and some terminals fitting to the cabinet, but there is no drilling involved. I can look after either Tukan or Kan if you want to go that route, but the Kan route would need to be at your risk due to the opportunity for potential damage to the cabinets. 

Katan would be much simpler.

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As Sunbeamgls mentions, the most simple method would be to connect a Majik Exaktbox I, or Akurate Exaktbox I to your ASH with an Ethernet cable. The Exaktbox I’s have the built in amplification, so you must run speaker cables from the Exaktboxes to the speaker terminals, as described in the connection guide that Linn has developed. The connection guide built into Konfig, shows you exactly which speaker cable attached to which terminals on the Exaktbox and the speakers, or you can access it through Linn Docs

Connections for each type of speaker model with Akurate Exaktboxes are shown here:   
 

https://docs.linn.co.uk/wiki/index.php/Akurate_Exaktbox_connections

The picture below shows the speaker wire connections from the Exaktbox to the Katans

For the source, you can have your ripped 5.1 files on your NAS and stream them through a BluRay player that converts the FLAC/ DSD/DSF or WAV files to PCM. I use an OPPO 203 for those duties., but you can also use the OPPO or similar to spin the 5.1 DVD-Audio or SACD discs or DVD/BluRay Music concerts or movies.

‘In my case the OPPO 203 converts the signal to PCM which is streamed to the Akurate Hub via an HDMI cable. The Akurate Hub will do the processing to send the appropriate music to the correct speaker driver

However, as Sunbeam mentions, there are other options

B8AF9DBA-7D7D-4F57-BDF9-2806D3D9C907.jpeg

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Thanks guys, the exakt route seems the best option, but it’s not exaktly cheap. 
 

But if can use a source that puts PCM in to the ASH I didn’t need the surround module upgrade, so that’s sort of good news.

How about a third party AV receiver with bult in amps as the control point for surround which also feeds the ASH?

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13 minutes ago, Pennypacker said:

Thanks guys, the exakt route seems the best option, but it’s not exaktly cheap. 
 

But if can use a source that puts PCM in to the ASH I didn’t need the surround module upgrade, so that’s sort of good news.

How about a third party AV receiver with bult in amps as the control point for surround which also feeds the ASH?

Yes, in my system, I let the OPPO do the conversion to PCM, so I don’t need a surround module installed.

If you use an Exaktbox 6 or 10, you will need external amp, but I am not sure if you could use a third party A/V receiver, unless it allows RCA analog in, in a multichannel configuration . You could certainly use a third party multichannel amp to connect to the Exaktbox using RCA interconnects to the amps or use a Linn multichannel amp. Then the amps would be connected to the speakers using speaker wire.

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@Pennypacker

if you are looking for an affordable „Surround Light“ solution I can recommend a Marantz NR 15xx Slime Line AVR (just sold mine, 2nd hand prices in Germany around 250-350 Euro).  

Just connect the Marantz front pre out with an analogue input of your ASH and set this input to unity gain:

Your Fronts will still work Exakt (ASH—>AEB-i—>Keilidh) and you can connect any analogue speakers (Centers, Rears, Sub) to the Marantz.

I have been using the Marantz for a 4.0 Setup, although non-exakt. The surround sources like BlueRay, Apple TV etc where connected via HDMI to the Marantz. 

The Marantz solution was originally proposed by @timster in the old Linn Forum.

Jens

Edited by JensA
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Posted (edited)
18 minutes ago, JensA said:

@Pennypacker

if you are looking for an affordable „Surround Light“ solution I can recommend a Marantz NR 15xx Slime Line AVR (just sold mine, 2nd hand prices in Germany around 250-350 Euro).  

Just connect the Marantz front pre out with an analogue input of your ASH and set this input to unity gain:

Your Fronts will still work Exakt (ASH—>AEB-i—>Keilidh) and you can connect any analogue speakers (Centers, Rears, Sub) to the Marantz.

I have been using the Marantz for a 4.0 Setup, although non-exakt. The surround sources like BlueRay, Apple TV etc where connected via HDMI to the Marantz. 

The Marantz solution was originally proposed by @timster in the old Linn Forum.

Jens

Thanks Jens, this is kind of the solution I’m looking for.

Edited by Pennypacker
D*mn*d autocorrect.
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@Pennypacker The Marantz NR series has almost the same dimensions as your ASH :D

I had the 1508 model of 2018 (the latest one is the 1510) but you can even go for an older version like 1504 (2014) as they are all basically identical with 5.1/5.2...

If you wish to upgrade at a later stage: There is the 7.2 Marantz 16xx series.. xD

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6 hours ago, JensA said:

@Pennypacker

if you are looking for an affordable „Surround Light“ solution I can recommend a Marantz NR 15xx Slime Line AVR (just sold mine, 2nd hand prices in Germany around 250-350 Euro).  

Just connect the Marantz front pre out with an analogue input of your ASH and set this input to unity gain:

Your Fronts will still work Exakt (ASH—>AEB-i—>Keilidh) and you can connect any analogue speakers (Centers, Rears, Sub) to the Marantz.

I have been using the Marantz for a 4.0 Setup, although non-exakt. The surround sources like BlueRay, Apple TV etc where connected via HDMI to the Marantz. 

The Marantz solution was originally proposed by @timster in the old Linn Forum.

Jens

Best to mention the sync requirement?

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1 hour ago, sunbeamgls said:

Best to mention the sync requirement?

Yes, I recall that I had to play around with delay a bit to sync fronts (directly connected with the Majik DSM) and the rears (connected via teh Marantz).

This has also been discussed in the same thread:
 

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Just add two Series 3 302 speakers. Or look for a pair of used 520s.

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Something else just occurred to me, using an HDMI cable between the source disc player and the ASH could be limiting the signal. I don't know if this happens in all scenarios, but it does happen in some. After all, there is only so much bandwidth to go around (7.1).

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24 minutes ago, akamatsu said:

Something else just occurred to me, using an HDMI cable between the source disc player and the ASH could be limiting the signal. I don't know if this happens in all scenarios, but it does happen in some. After all, there is only so much bandwidth to go around (7.1).

No, this is definitely not the case.

‘The HDMI cable can easily carry a 4K/8K video signal as well as full frequency 24 bit music at the same time

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43 minutes ago, akamatsu said:

Just add two Series 3 302 speakers. Or look for a pair of used 520s.

Not sure if these Exakt speakers are on the agenda yet for a "Pennypacker" :D.

More seriously:
To get a feeling for whether "surround" is the right thing at all, I wouldn't spend a few thousand right away.
For me this - trying surround with a Marantz NR -  was a fascinating experience. However I learned that we are absolutely fine with watching even movies with 2.0 sound "only".

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2 minutes ago, JensA said:

Not sure if these Exakt speakers are on the agenda yet for a "Pennypacker" :D.

More seriously:
To get a feeling for whether "surround" is the right thing at all, I wouldn't spend a few thousand right away.
For me this - trying surround with a Marantz NR -  was a fascinating experience. However I learned that we are absolutely fine with watching even movies with 2.0 sound "only".

I have been watching a bit of Netflix movies in 2.0, lately, and it is fine, especially for non-action movies

I agree, setting up an Exakt surround system is an investment, and only worth it if you watch a lot of movies or 5.1 surround music

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