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Do I want to go Exakt?


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I always tried to avoid to go down the Exakt road because I was thinking it would narrow down my options in the future.

With some money to spend I tried different gear in my setup but none of those did it for me and I always came back to the conclusion that I liked my current setup better.

Maybe the 30  years of listening to Linn conditioned me pretty good.

So I now I am finally ready to try Exakt.

My current setup is

Akurat DSM

3x AV 5125 ( two are dynamik)

AV 5140 (bass and mid chassis are already ESPEK and the Tweeters are Hiquphon OW-I)

The 5140 are active with tweeter and mid active cards in one AV 5125d and the bass active card in the other AV 5125d.

 


To listen to surround music or movies I do have an Oppo 205 which is doing the surround processing.
Front L+R go into the Akurat ADSM analog input (Unity Gain)
Center is a AV 5120 active (two mono cards one in each AV 5125d)
Surrounds are Kann II (bi-amping with the third non dynamic AV 5125)
As a sub I have a 5150 that is only used for surround

 


I will borrow a Exakbox 6 from my dealer next probably next week, but I do have some questions and concerns.


Is the Exakt Box a dead horse?
When Exakt was introduced, Linn had hoped for a lot more speaker manufacturers to jump on and offer Exakt models of their speakers. In my opinion it is still a lot less than what Linn had hoped for.

Looking at the current lineup of Linn Speakers it looks to me like Linn is not very confident in the Exaktbox themselves, making almost all of their speakers active Exakt built in, with no new passive options in sight.

 

Setup?
When I setup the Exaktbox, do I use one AV 5125 per speaker or mix it up like I do now with the active setup (tweerer and mids in one AV 5125 and bass in the other)

 

Can I still listen to surround music and movies?
given the 41ms delay that Exakt adds, how do I set this up in the OPPO, is it possible at all?
The OPP Speaker Setup is now

Distance to listening position

Front L+R 11.25 ft

Center: 11 ft

Surround : 8.5 ft

Sup: 11.5 ft

 

The Oppo offers a maximum setting of 60ft.

 

I know that these questions have been answered in the old forum or the WAM one way or another already, but it takes quite some work to look for it.

Maybe some of you are willing to comment or answer to some of the questions.

Edited by aurelio
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I’m not an expert on the av5125 but if you are just getting one exaktbox six you can only set up exakt on pass through if you want surround, so each output from the exakt only needs 1 channel to amplify to each speaker so you need 6 channels so only the 2 amps. You would need to remove any aktiv cards. 
 

I use exakt and love it and fully bought in, but the system is flexible and people do offer a service to model any speaker to exakt so take your pick, even moded Linn ones. 
 

I think regards delay the akurate can add delay as well, but if all is running via exakt box then should all be ok, though you need to set up SO. 
 

Hope that helps. 

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I just spent 45 days with an exaktbox10 on demo and wrote up a huge thread on my experiences. I tried multiple amps and multiple configurations.

I think the title is called “what exactly is Exakt….”

Some key things to note.

Linn does not have a filter for the tweeter you are using which means you will need @sunbeamgls to design you one which may turn out better than one hopes.

My experience was that I prefer Exakt with a non 3k array speakers as Exakt enhances the timing and the separation. On a 3k array the detail is so much that I found it distracting. If I had tried Exakt with just my kabers I would have probably kept the exaktbox as it brought out exactly what I was lacking with my kabers (huge improvement in the bass section)

The difference between Dynamik and non Dynamik becomes more audible in Exakt. I did realize that Exakt is leagues ahead of aktiv so I’ve already sold my kaber aktiv cards and listed my 242 aktiv cards for sale as well.

This should not deter you from trying but on a more detailed speaker like the 242’s I have decided to go passive. I still might get an exaktbox for the kabers one day!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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You may have a problem with your altered AV5140s. You might have to somehow identify it as an Espek, however the serial numbers you need to put in to configure them may not take, and this may be a problem. As I recall, the only identifiers available in an ExaKtbox configuration is a change to the soft domed tweeters. As Zee9 has pointed out. You may wish to consult Linn before you start spending 🤓

Edited by Eldarboy
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1 hour ago, Eldarboy said:

You may have a problem with your altered AV5140s. You might have to somehow identify it as an Espek, however the serial numbers you need to put in to configure them may not take, and this may be a problem. As I recall, the only identifiers available in an ExaKtbox configuration is a change to the soft domed tweeters. As Zee9 has pointed out. You may wish to consult Linn before you start spending 🤓

Konfig won't be interested in the serial numbers of AV5140 - it will accept whatever you put in there.  It's only currently only interested in speakers with 3K arrays that have been individually measured, then the serial number links the Exakt filters loaded to the Exaktbox with the exact characteristics of the measured drivers.

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Whilst I'd be extremely happy to assist you with Exakt filters for your specific speaker configuration, it would be a one-off design exercise and would not be as cost effective as just buying a pair of Espeks and selling on the AV5140s. Or considering a pair of Ninkas (filters available off the shelf if you wanted to move your OW-1 over to the Ninkas) and a sub.

Does your ADSM have Exakt outputs, or are you considering trading that in for an AEDSM (System Hub) as that might help with funds, if you have a newish ADSM, the hub may be cheaper.

You can have a look at non-Linn speaker options at www.speakerfilters.com

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Very similar questions that i asked myself about 2 years ago before going the Exakt route. Most is already said, couple of pointers from my end:

* I would only go Exakt if the end goal is to have it all full Exakt. With one Exakt box you would only be able to drive it as 'passthrough' and although that should give you already a significant improvement, you're not using the full capability of what Exakt does in driving each driver and removing a lot of the distortion between them. But going full Exakt in surround is quite a stretch, you would need an Exakt box for your fronts, one for your center, one for your rear speakers and one for your sub. I went this route but i regret it as i think you can beter put your money in your source and good stereo first, with the surround as nice 'add-on' afterwards. And Exakt gives you this flexibility, to modularly build out your setup.

* I would do in this order: Source first (go for the best within your budget) -> Exakt passthrough with good quality speakers and amps within your budget -> Full Exakt. And when you do go Exakt, i would recommend going Katalyst from the start.

* Exakt made sense to me for its principal and it has not disappointed me. Some say it's too detailed/clinical and I just cant related to this....at all. But recently heard some Exakt passthrough passive systems with Linn Solos and passive speakers which sounded amazing. And listened to the Kudos 707 in passive mode, just 2 way speakers that were very impressive. Also heard about the Cube Audio single driver speakers that apparently are amazing (in which case your Exakt box is 'degraded' to 'just' a DAC), my point being is that you can go full exakt without needing 6+ amps and Exaktbox 10, and with a passive setup as first step. 

Good luck, in any case very exciting! 

To your specific questions:

* I am also 'worried' about the fact that Linn's route seems to steer away from passive. But in my eyes this has nothing to do with Exakt but more with the fact that the market requires more 'integrated' solutions and less boxes. The technology of the integrated speakers stays the same.

* I also have the OPPO205 but not using it for surround yet. I have the surround module in my system hub but i might go to the OPPO when i upgrade to the New Klimax in the future. I've not experienced this delay as noticeable to be honest and i believe there are ways to compensate for this. 

Edited by frans5508
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9 minutes ago, frans5508 said:

* I would only go Exakt if the end goal is to have it all full Exakt. With one Exakt box you would only be able to drive it as 'passthrough' and although that should give you already a significant improvement, you're not using the full capability of what Exakt does in driving each driver and removing a lot of the distortion between them. But going full Exakt in surround is quite a stretch, you would need an Exakt box for your fronts, one for your center, one for your rear speakers and one for your sub. I went this route but i regret it as i think you can beter put your money in your source and good stereo first, with the surround as nice 'add-on' afterwards. And Exakt gives you this flexibility, to modularly build out your setup.

There is another way. Before going "full Exakt" with surround I ran my front left and right speakers full Exakt and then the centre, sub and rears off a single Exaktbox in pass through mode (which, if it had been an Exaktbox-i, would have been a single box for these 4 extra elements).  Ran like that for a couple of years as I saved up - it works really well.

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Hi Aurelio,

I have gone full Katalyst Exakt Surround and it was well worth the effort, but it was very expensive. 

I love the detail, musicality and engagement with the music, as it is a fully immersive experience 

‘I started out with a Linn surround system with a Unidisk SC and 5100’s and 6100’s. When went Exakt, there were delay issues between my front speakers and the centre/surround speakers, which I was able to partially compensate by setting the distance of the centre and surround speakers to 57 feet from the listening position. However, it wasn’t perfect. It finally was settled when I went fully Exakt Surround using an Exaktbox 6 for my centre channel and an Akurate Exaktbox I for my surrounds

Generally, watching movies is less critical for the delay between Exakt and non-Exakt speakers than listening to dedicated DVD-Audio, SACD or BluRay music, where timing is more critical 

‘Perhaps another option is the Selekt DSM with the built in amps, and using the OPPO 205 as the source

I agree with Sunbeam, that the serial numbers entered are only a factor if you have measured 3K arrays

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Thanks for al the input. Amazing.

@zee9 I am following your post. Very interesting Exakt journey indeed.

@sunbeamglsthx for the offer, but as far as I understood at least one speaker needs to be with you to measure it for Exakt and that would be indeed costly.

My understanding also was that no serial numbers for the AV5140s/Espek is needed since they where end of live long before Exakt was introduced and therefore where never individually measured by Linn.
I will try with of the shelf Espek filters and see how it sounds. I still have the original tweeters, they are in my sons Katans at the moment, so I could swap back if I like.

It is an ADSM /3 so yes, it has all the necessary in/outputs for Exakt. Going for a AEDSM might be an option.

@frans5508at the moment my plans are to go Exakt with the front L+R first, since stereo is always my main source and that is where my main focus is on.

Going full Exakt would be nice, but as you mentioned, source first! An LP12 is still on my wish list and since the LP12 and I become 50 next year that would be my next goal.

I will try to figure out if surround is still OK by playing with the delay/distance setting of the  Oppo.

@Paulssurround I hope that I still have a long journey with Linn ahead of me, still I doubt that I will reach your level of Linn heaven.

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1 hour ago, sunbeamgls said:

There is another way. Before going "full Exakt" with surround I ran my front left and right speakers full Exakt and then the centre, sub and rears off a single Exaktbox in pass through mode (which, if it had been an Exaktbox-i, would have been a single box for these 4 extra elements).  Ran like that for a couple of years as I saved up - it works really well.

Yes good point.

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I've been scratching my head all morning on this one. I assume you've seen this:

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

I'm thinking you are currently using the volume control on the Oppo when using surround sound.

I went through the Oppo 205 manual, and like my Oppo 103, the only way to introduce delay is to adjust the distances from listener to speakers.

One could calculate how much distance is needed to provide 41ms of delay.

I don't think it's completely out of the question that you could make all this work using one Exaktbox. However, two Exaktboxes may be needed; one for the newly Exakted front speakers, and one to do pass through for the centre, subwoofer, and surround channels.

You could keep the front speakers as analogue, and use the one Exaktbox for pass through on surrounds, sub, and centre. But I don't think this is what you are going for.

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41 ms comes out to 14.1 m or 46.26 feet. So it would be within range for the Oppo to compensate adequately.

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I had analogue 5.1 surround system with Aktiv Kabers, AV5120 and Sekrit rears before I adopted the "new fangled" streaming and Exakt things in 2015. My surround was handled by a Pioneer AV receiver at the time. I did not know about Exakt delay when I bought the AEDSM and Exaktbox6 for the Kabers (impulse buy while having my LP12 upgraded at Cymbiosis). Theoretically the Pioneer could compensate but I found there was a "hidden" limitation in the allowed difference between speaker channel  distances you could set of 9m only. I was never able to get the channels properly synchronised. I had a choice of buying a very expensive surround processor such as a Trinnov with truly independent speaker distance settings or go the Exakt surround route. I stuck with Linn in the end. I use my Oppo via HDMI PCM output so have never investigated how flexible the analogue surround outputs are but it should be a consideration. Sounds spread across Front and Centre speakers are unlistenable if you do not have perfect sync.

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3 hours ago, akamatsu said:

41 ms comes out to 14.1 m or 46.26 feet. So it would be within range for the Oppo to compensate adequately.

It’s not quite that straight forward.

‘Exakt latency can vary from 5-45 ms, therefore setting the distance to 46.26 feet in the OPPO will not compensate for the delays in signal processing, according to Linn Docs.

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

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