Listening to Linn Exakt

sunbeamgls

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OK, here are my thoughts on the first UK dealer demo of the Linn Exakt system.

http://audiophilemusings.blogspot.co.uk/2013/11/first-uk-dealer-exakt-demo.html

Fire away with your pot shots, thoughts and other feedback. My opinion only. Just an number of non-blind, non-scientific, non-foo AB comparisons using the same music in the same room on the same day. I do suspect that the temperature and humidity in the room may have varied over the evening and this will clearly be cited by some as explaining all of the differences experienced.

:sofa:

 

meninblack

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I didn't understand a word of that - guess I don't speak Linn. :dunno: What was the product you listened to??

 

sunbeamgls

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Comparing 2 different systems:

1 - Klimax streamer/pre-amp/DAC (the KDSM) with analogue active 350a speaker

2 - Klimax Exakt digital streamer / ADC with Exakt 350 digital active speakers

The main difference is where the D to A conversion takes place. In system 1 this happens in the streamer and all the crossovers in the speakers are in the analogue domain. In system 2, the signal stays digital all the way to the speakers where the crossovers are in the digital domain and there is a DAC and power amp per drive unit.

System 2 allows for more accurate crossovers, time/phase alignment of the drivers (not possible with analogue crossovers), correction of any manufacturing variances in the drive units and some limited room mode optimisation.

 

pmac

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Far too many K's and X's for me, my eyes are sore looking at those sharp letters.

God knows what they must do to your ears..........

:cafe:

 

sunbeamgls

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Digital crossovers

DAC per driver

Time / phase alignment of the drivers

Correction for manufacturing tolerances in the drivers

Much better time alignment between speakers (its not SP/DIF) - 1.8ns

Lower jitter - around 7ps

Not defending, not saying its better (despite having Meridian kit in the past I've never heard their digital speakers), just passing along the info - particularly as Linn have been very poor at this so far.

 

meninblack

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This is exactly what the new Avantgarde Zero 1 does: 3 drivers with a DAC and power amp for each driver, fed directly from 5 digital inputs or an optional ADC board. It also has built-in room correction. Sounded sublime at Munich.

It has the advantage of having a fantastic-sounding horn loudspeaker on the front. It will cost around £10k - how much is the Linn system?

 

Rodney Gold

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Digital crossoversDAC per driver

Time / phase alignment of the drivers

Correction for manufacturing tolerances in the drivers

Much better time alignment between speakers (its not SP/DIF) - 1.8ns

Lower jitter - around 7ps

Not defending, not saying its better (despite having Meridian kit in the past I've never heard their digital speakers), just passing along the info - particularly as Linn have been very poor at this so far.
Exactly what Meridian do with their DSP speakers and have been doing for yonks....

Meridians also have virtual tilt controls (axis) , bass and treble controls , unique form of balance controls etc.

DSP speakers have been around a long time , the problem is that audiophiles don't seem to have a desire for them , despite their advantages , they prefer the multibox approach.

One would have thought there would have been a massive uptake of DSP active due to the simplicityand value for money etc..but it appears not.

Maybe linn can make the breakthru...

 
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Chumpy

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I am sure that it is possible to enjoy suitably-made-installed-maintained sys including Linn komponentz.

 

sunbeamgls

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Exactly what Meridian do with their DSP speakers and have been doing for yonks....Meridians also have virtual tilt controls (axis) , bass and treble controls , unique form of balance controls etc.

DSP speakers have been around a long time , the problem is that audiophiles don't seem to have a desire for them , despite their advantages , they prefer the multibox approach.

One would have thought there would have been a massive uptake of DSP active due to the simplicityand value for money etc..but it appears not.

Maybe linn can make the breakthru...
So they have. Here's a couple of extracts from one of their papers:

Now we come to what is – for now –

the final step on the path, with the

addition of digital signal processing

(DSP) to the digital loudspeaker. In

Meridian DSP speaker designs, digital

signal processing is used to implement

the crossover.

This means that the digital to analogue

converter (DAC) can be placed even

later in the chain. In fact a separate

DAC is used for each band of the loud-

speaker system, maximising the system’s

dynamic range – a current system can

deliver up to 120 dB – giving better

intermodulation performance, and

offering a level of background noise

below 10 dB SPL.

This, however, is only the beginning.

W

ith digital signal processing on board,

you can do a great deal more. For

example, you can design “impossible”

crossovers, with linear phase, steep

slopes and time delay compensation.

And finally, allowance can be calculated

for different locations of the loudspeak-

er in a room, such as boundary com-

pensation when it is placed near a wall.

That would cover off most of what Linn is claiming is different. Would seem to only leave their claims on the accuracy of the timing of the 2 speakers together and the measuring of manufacturing variances in the drivers. Maybe some other companies do that too?

 

meninblack

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LOL, £50k! :shock:

And it's Linn, so while I am sure it will sound better than other Linn, it might still sound terrible... :dunno:

 

Kev

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LOL, £50k! :shock: And it's Linn, so while I am sure it will sound better than other Linn, it might still sound terrible... :dunno:
Well it might sound terrible, but it doesn't to these ears. I could happily live with it in my room...............actually I haven't a spare 50K in my back pocket :doh: The real question is VFM and in that context it sucks, man does it suck.

Kev

 

sunbeamgls

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LOL, £50k! :shock: And it's Linn, so while I am sure it will sound better than other Linn, it might still sound terrible... :dunno:
As per the notes of the demo, I don't think its the best sounding Linn system, but that's because its based on the 350 speaker at the moment, not because there's anything wrong with Exakt as such.

 

sunbeamgls

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Well it might sound terrible, but it doesn't to these ears. I could happily live with it in my room...............actually I haven't a spare 50K in my back pocket :doh: The real question is VFM and in that context it sucks, man does it suck.Kev
Whilst I would, in no way, defend £50k for this system, it needs to be taken in context of what you get:

A top end streamer with very high quality ADC (or so Linn says, I have nothing to compare it with) - Naim charge up to £18k for theirs, dCS scarily more

A pre-amp (take your pick in the £2k to £10k range)

10 channels of DACs (so that's 5 x stereo DACs, and its easy to find several stereo DACs in the £2k to £10k range)

12 monobloc power amps (again, take your pick from £1k to £20k) although you could argue that they're not true monoblocs as there are only 2 power supplies per 6 amps.

A pair of speakers with 6 drivers per cab and a very nicely finished, complex curve cabinet (Choose in the £5k to £15k range?)

If you take a mid-point (and a lower end monobloc to be generous) of all of the above you get to £75k quite easily.

So its all relative really. And you can, of course, debate about whether all these components are a good idea, or if a £50k passive system would perform as well or better...

 
M

Mike P

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I'm sure something an awful lot better can be had for far less money. Devialet plus a pair of speakers to taste? £20K tops.

 

sunbeamgls

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I'm sure something an awful lot better can be had for far less money. Devialet plus a pair of speakers to taste? £20K tops.
How can you be sure? Have you heard either, never mind both?

It seems OK to speculate in this way, but I would be surprised if anyone can be sure, unless you choose hifi based on information, specs and magazine reviews, which isn't really recommended.

 

Clubsport911

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Thanks for taking the effort to post / review and also, to stand by for pot shots.

"Incoming !"

So sorry but the review was hard to read. Linn might well be a technological tour de farce but I struggled with what was being reviewed. The Dac ? The speakers ? The tuning software ? The ability of sensible people to justify spending £50k.

On balance, Linn falls neatly into the "Lifestyle +++" category. A thinking mans Hifi...except it isn't. It's perhaps overpriced and perhaps appealing to folks who have money burn. I'm not sure I can hear 100ps let alone 7....

was it an LP 12 front end ?

 

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