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Upgrade choice between Dymamik, LP12, Exakt Surround & Next-Generation


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Over the past year,  I have considered each of these four upgrade options for a KDSM/1, Katalyst Exaktbox, Solo and Komri system. 

The door may have closed on the Dynamik upgrade of the Solos.

I sold my LP12 two years ago, but still hanker after another one now we have Urika 2 and Karousel. 

I have auditioned Exakt Akudoriks and Exakted Ninkas with Akurate power amps as surround channels with good results.

Finally, the option is now there to replace the KDSM/1 with a Next-Gen Klimax System Hub and upgrade the Exaktboxes to Organik. These could be done at different times. I have tried a Next-Gen KDSM as a hub and it was fantasic even without Organik.

I appreciate my privilaged position. It would be no hardship to carry on making small changes to get the best out of the existing system. If I won the lottery, I'd do all four upgrades and be exstatic. In the real world, I can only hope to do one of them at best.

In my position, which option would you favour and why?

Thanks, John

Edited by Newton John
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I would favour the Klimax Hub, and believe that it will bring the best overall improvement to your system, as all your source components will benefit from streaming through the new Hub.

It will greatly improve your Komri listening experience, improve your system if you add surround speakers in the future and improve the sound quality of an LP12 if you choose to add that at a later date

Having auditioned the new Klimax DSM A/V in my system, and heard it with 350’s with the Organik DAC’s, the sound quality improvements with these new Linn components is a significant step forward. The Klimax Hub brought about a much bigger improvement in sound quality than the Organik DAC’s alone from my experience.

My vote goes to the new Klimax Hub

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Hi John what do your ears tell you?

I would try if it is not too late to dynamik the solos as this is the only time critical upgrade all the others you have time on your hands and as you say can be done over time. I’d then look to the LP12 if you still have a record collection I love spinning the vinyl and have a lot on vinyl that is not available on stream or CD. 
 

all are good choices though. 

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Posted (edited)

Many thanks, Paul. In racing parlance, Next-Generation emerges as an early favourite. 

It is probably the most cost effective option, focussing on the system's core competencies - a source first approach with the KSH.

I grouped KSH and Oganlk together because there's already a thread on which should come first. One reason for favouring KSH, is that I have three years warranty left on the Katalyst Exaktboxes.

As you say, it lays the ground work for other changes to build on. Of course, the same may be said of Organik or Dynamik. Also, I am assuming this will be the last big change to my system. Although, I do think that one day I may be downsizing from the Komris, but I want put that off for as long as possible.

Edited by Newton John
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Posted (edited)

Thank you, Coalboy.

My ears need to hear Organik and Dynamik. I will be borrowing new Exaktboxes soon and the dealer has also offered to demonstrate what Dynamik can bring in some form. I should take that up. I guess my ears would say eliminate the Exakt Surround option because no DSM or KSH can play 5.1 files which would be the holy grail of surround sound for me.

The LP12 reared it's head again because I heard David Crosby's new release and remembered how much I enjoyed his previous one on vinyl, which made me feel nostalgik for my Sondek. I was recalling the other day how I had preferred many new releases on vinyl. My previous dealer and friend warned me I'd regret parting with the LP12 because he'd been through the same cycle himself when vinyl went out of fashion.

I no longer have a big vinyl collection - only two Leonard Cohen albums I keep for sentimental reasons. One of them is my favourite, Various Positions. I'd love to hear it again on a current spec Klimax LP12 woth Urika 2 and Karousel. The lack of a collection doesn't bother me too much because I tend to explore new music rather listen to my old albums now. There's an argument for exploring through streaming and buying the ones that really appeal to savour on vinyl. My philosphy with guitar tunes was to try to play a few well rather than have a vast repertoire of half remembered botch ups.

I suspect that despite the expense an LP12 would be the easiest option to sell to my wife. She has already asked if the KSH is worth so much money, the price of an amazingly good holiday or two which she deserves for her efforts for the NHS during the pandemic just for an improvement in sound that she sees as nebulous. A turntable could be seen as a hobby to keep me occupied while she's out doing her bit for the nation's health.

The guy who bought my turntable was treating himself as a reward for getting through cancer treatment. Since then I've been through it myself, so it would kind of neat to do the same.

Also, my boys complain that they don't know what to get me for birthday presents now that vinyl records are no good for me. They resort to getting CDs to rip which isn't quite as exciting.

Edited by Newton John
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26 minutes ago, Newton John said:

eliminate the Exakt Surround option because no DSM or KSH can play 5.1 files

Are you sure…?

There’s a surround sound module up to 7.1 listed in the Price List under Upgrades. Have a word with Nigel when he brings the Organik Exaktboxes over.

My view on your question, for what it’s worth - I already have a Klimax LP12, have just had the 350 Organik upgrade fitted and am waiting for my new Hub. Listening to Organik now, if I’d had to forgo the LP12 to have Organik and Hub, I would have done. I think it’s that good.

’troll

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1 hour ago, Moomintroll said:

My view on your question, for what it’s worth - I already have a Klimax LP12, have just had the 350 Organik upgrade fitted and am waiting for my new Hub. Listening to Organik now, if I’d had to forgo the LP12 to have Organik and Hub, I would have done. I think it’s that good.

’troll

I have kat 350s how would you describe the improvement on the Organik ?

@Newton John I think as long as you have pcm out on your multichannel player you don’t even need the card to play surround via the hdmi if you are exakted. 

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2 minutes ago, Coalboy68 said:

I have kat 350s how would you describe the improvement on the Organik ?

Seriously, no competition. More human, if that makes sense. Katalyst to Organik is a much bigger step than pre-Kat to Kat. I’m genuinely finding it hard to drag myself away from it and am really looking forward to the hub arriving. Yes, it’s an expensive upgrade, but it’s a damn good one and I don’t think Linn are overselling it.

’troll

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Have the Solos Dynamiked while you still can, if you still can. Beyond that, get the LP12 or the KSH. It sounds like you really miss vinyl and want it back in your life. I understand about exploring new music. The vast majority of the LPs I listen to are recent purchases, and not the old stuff I've heard a thousand times already. There is so much music out there to be discovered and enjoyed. Also, if you get an LP12, you will be buying LPs, thus supporting the artists.

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Posted (edited)
On 24/07/2021 at 11:33, Moomintroll said:

Are you sure…?

There’s a surround sound module up to 7.1 listed in the Price List under Upgrades. Have a word with Nigel when he brings the Organik Exaktboxes over.

’troll

Yes, I believe so. The sound sound module is an upgrade to HDMI in that it decodes Dolby Digital, etc. 

On 24/07/2021 at 13:03, Coalboy68 said:

@Newton John I think as long as you have pcm out on your multichannel player you don’t even need the card to play surround via the hdmi if you are exakted. 

Yes, i have tried that. I could get full surround from the Blu-ray by PCM as you say. Also, from my Roon NUC via HDMI.

However, I coudn't get it from TV and Sky Q box which don't do PCM. For that the surround module is required.

Edited by Newton John
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Posted (edited)
21 hours ago, Moomintroll said:

Seriously, no competition. More human, if that makes sense. Katalyst to Organik is a much bigger step than pre-Kat to Kat. I’m genuinely finding it hard to drag myself away from it and am really looking forward to the hub arriving. Yes, it’s an expensive upgrade, but it’s a damn good one and I don’t think Linn are overselling it.

’troll

Thanks. I'll hear that for myself next week. I was speaking to a guy who's got Organik Exaktboxes last week and he totally backed up what you say.

In a sense, that's bad news for me as I still have three years warranty left on my Katalyst Exaktboxes. Even, if it's sub-optimal sound quality wise, it may be more cost effective for me to persevere with Katalyst. Unless that is I am totally blown away by Organik. 

Edited by Newton John
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Posted (edited)
16 hours ago, akamatsu said:

Have the Solos Dynamiked while you still can, if you still can. Beyond that, get the LP12 or the KSH. It sounds like you really miss vinyl and want it back in your life. I understand about exploring new music. The vast majority of the LPs I listen to are recent purchases, and not the old stuff I've heard a thousand times already. There is so much music out there to be discovered and enjoyed. Also, if you get an LP12, you will be buying LPs, thus supporting the artists.

Thanks, Akamatsu.

I should have got the Solos Dynamiked years ago. At the time the upgrade first appeared, there was no option to Dynamik Tuneboxes which I felt should come first. Then Exakt came along and took priority, so the Solos never got done. Now, it again seems like the least sexy option, but might be the basis my system for years to come.

Yes, I do hanker for another LP12. Perhaps a big part of this is nostalga. My wife is of the opinion that I made that decision for better or worse and should stick to it now. Her view is that I reflect on the past too much and should be looking forward. She certainly doesn't want more kit and another accumulation of LP records in the lounge. 

I think that the LP12 and Exakt Surround options would increase the scope of my system, but not give the overall and arguably fundamental improvement I'd get from Dynamik or Next-Generation.

Many thanks, everyone for all the advice. I'll let you know how I feel after auditioning Organik and Dynamik for Solos. In the meantime, I'm still chasing Paul's rabbit. Yesterday, I wrung a little more out of my system by fitting Isoacoustic Gaias to the loudspeakers 

Edited by Newton John
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Is the Dynamik upgrade for Solos still (again?) available? I can't see mention on the latest pricelist I can find. I know, however, that Linn have performed a volte-face in the past, so hopefully they've done so in this instance too.

Mick

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, MickC said:

Is the Dynamik upgrade for Solos still (again?) available? I can't see mention on the latest pricelist I can find. I know, however, that Linn have performed a volte-face in the past, so hopefully they've done so in this instance too.

Mick

They were prepared to do it late last year when I asked. I got the impression it was a numbers thing - a question of how many Solos the dealer had in the batch. I suspect it wouldn’t be worth their while for just a pair. There may have been other customers wanting the upgrade at that time. Things may have changed since then if they are busy meeting demand for the Next-Generation KDSM and Organik upgrades. 
 

I had presumed the upgraded Solos got a five year guarantee. Apparently, that is not the case with the Dynamik upgrade for C2200s and C4200s where it‘s only the power supply that is guaranteed. I am not sure if this also applies to Solos. 

Edited by Newton John
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4 hours ago, Newton John said:

I had presumed the upgraded Solos got a five year guarantee. Apparently, that is not the case with the Dynamik upgrade for C2200s and C4200s where it‘s only the power supply that is guaranteed. I am not sure if this also applies to Solos. 

I don't know, to be honest - mine are recent enough to have had Dynamik fitted from the off. Maybe @ThomasOKcould say?

Mick

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