Linn Owners

Organik DAC for Exakt Akubariks

Make it SO

Make it SO
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With what seems the imminent demise of the Akurate range in favour of Selekt, a number of Akubarik Exakt users with Akurate Exakt System Hubs, including me, are thinking about how we might benefit from Organik DAC in future. Linn have explained there isn't sufficient real estate in the Akubariks to fit Organik DAC.

The Selekt casing is the same width and depth as the Next Generation Klimax Hub and only 13mm lower in height. So I'm guessing, (I could well be wrong), that a Selekt Organic DAC System Hub may be an option in the future?

I'm wondering if it might be possible at that time to reconfigure Exakt Akubariks as active speakers only, i.e. sever the 5 DAC connections in each speaker and take a Selekt Organik DAC System Hub output to the power amps in the Akubariks? I've no idea if this might be possible and whether it would be a factory and/or dealer modification. There may be an obvious reason why this is a non-starter that I've overlooked or am unaware of through my lack of knowledge.

I'm wondering if other Akurate Exakt System Hub owners had thought about it the same way?
 
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HansBertil

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@Make it SO Excuse if I’m marking words here, but a “system hub” has no analog outputs and thus doesn’t contain a DAC. A DSM though provides analog outputs. Anyway, what you need on the speaker side is the first active Akubarik, the one containing analog filters. They are not marketed anymore but maybe possible to find used.
 

Make it SO

Make it SO
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Thanks. I do realise the DACs are in the Exakt Akubariks and there's no DAC in the System Hubs.

My thinking, which I probably didn't explain very well, is that I could at the moment, exchange my Akurate Hub for a Selekt Hub, a used Klimax Hub or a NG Klimax Hub. Any of these would still leave me with Katayst DACs in my speakers.

As Linn can't fit Organik DAC into the integrated Akubarik Exakt enclosures, the Organik Dac would have to live outside of them.

From there I thought about whether Linn would in future extend Organik DAC into the Selekt Range and offer a Selekt Organik DSM in addition to or as upgrade to the current Selekt Katylyst DSM.

If Linn then found a way to take the analogue conversion from a Selekt Organik DSM to the power amps built into the integrated Exakt Akubariks, it would allow integrated Akubarik Exakt users to take advantage of Organik DAC. The Katalyst DACs in each of the integrated Exakt Akubariks would be disconnected and the digital to analogue conversion would be carried out in the streamer rather than in the speakers.

So users would move from a System Hub to an Organik DAC DSM but still make use of the power amps built into their speakers.
 

HansBertil

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OK. I see. I think. But you would need five DACs per speaker to replace the ones you have in them already. So in essence on the speaker side the first active Akubarik but without analog filtering then and analog cabling from the DSM. Aren’t we talking about an Exaktbox (Organik) or two and bypass the digital filters and the in-built DACs in the speakers?
 

Make it SO

Make it SO
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Yes, thanks Hans. You've put succunctly what I haven't managed to.

I realise now this would have to be done via an Exaktbox rather than directly from a streamer. I'm just trying to think of a way that allows users to have Organik DAC and retain use of the internal power amps in integrated Akubariks.
 
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Ian H

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I had given some thought to this in an idle moment. By using easily available standard parts and maintaining some kind of long term supportable product for Linn.

1. Remove amp packs from speakers
2. Connect speaker leads onto a terminal block.
ie - convert the speakers back to aktiv (no crossovers)
3. Use 2 x Exaktbox-I with new Organik DACs (assuming that they would fit)

The problems with this strategy are that it would be prohibitably expensive and also run counter to the original integrated Akubarik rationale, ie to minimise the number of connections required, and to keep the signal paths as short as possible.

So at the moment, I'll just enjoy my system the way it is, and save the money for an Ekstatik cartridge upgrade when the time comes - source first!
 
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akamatsu

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Ever since Gilad said there would be a path forward to Organik for Akubarik owners, I've been having trouble visualizing the outboard solution he hinted at. The only thing I can come up with would be an Exaktbox, combined with converting the Akubarik modules by removing the Exakt crossovers, and DACs. I suppose the Exakt crossovers could be reused. The interface with the modules would also be a challenge. Could the modules be modified without too much rework? Could this be done in the field, or would they have to be sent back to HQ?

Personally, I would rather maintain Exakt integrated speakers, so a generous upgrade credit towards Klimax 350s would be more appealing. In the meantime, the Katalyst Akubariks are sounding just fine, and are responding very well to source improvements. Then there is Ekstatik in the not too distant future.

I would say extract as much performance out of your current Akubarik system before wanting for Organik. At this point, in my case, ignorance is bliss.
 

Make it SO

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Thanks Ian.

I was thinking of a future Selekt Exaktbox version of the current Exaktbox 10 with the option of Organik DAC. It would be a matter of converting the Akubariks to active and leaving the 5 power amps in each speaker in situ. Its just a question of how the Exakt filtration/DACs in the integrated Akubariks are disabled and how, physically, the analogue outputs from the Exaktbox connect to the internal amps.

Wise words Michael and point taken...but..you know how it is when your mind starts working on something.
 

maddog_007

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Ever since Gilad said there would be a path forward to Organik for Akubarik owners, I've been having trouble visualizing the outboard solution he hinted at. The only thing I can come up with would be an Exaktbox, combined with converting the Akubarik modules by removing the Exakt crossovers, and DACs. I suppose the Exakt crossovers could be reused. The interface with the modules would also be a challenge. Could the modules be modified without too much rework? Could this be done in the field, or would they have to be sent back to HQ?

Personally, I would rather maintain Exakt integrated speakers, so a generous upgrade credit towards Klimax 350s would be more appealing. In the meantime, the Katalyst Akubariks are sounding just fine, and are responding very well to source improvements. Then there is Ekstatik in the not too distant future.

I would say extract as much performance out of your current Akubarik system before wanting for Organik. At this point, in my case, ignorance is bliss.
A wee birdie told me that Klimax 350's are being replaced soon.....

I don't have Exakt in use here,but the new Organik dac in my KDS is really 'singing' thru my Totems! 😀
 

akamatsu

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A wee birdie told me that Klimax 350's are being replaced soon.....

I don't have Exakt in use here,but the new Organik dac in my KDS is really 'singing' thru my Totems! 😀
Thanks for the heads up. I guess with the upcoming 50th anniversary, it would be prudent to take a "wait and see" approach.
 

pirov

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Ever since Gilad said there would be a path forward to Organik for Akubarik owners, I've been having trouble visualizing the outboard solution he hinted at. The only thing I can come up with would be an Exaktbox, combined with converting the Akubarik modules by removing the Exakt crossovers, and DACs. I suppose the Exakt crossovers could be reused. The interface with the modules would also be a challenge. Could the modules be modified without too much rework? Could this be done in the field, or would they have to be sent back to HQ?

Personally, I would rather maintain Exakt integrated speakers, so a generous upgrade credit towards Klimax 350s would be more appealing.
The outboard solution is surely too complicated. Some of us don't like 350s for aesthetic and other reasons. A completely new integrated Organik Exakt 'speaker, with generous trade-in for Akubariks, might be a viable option.
 

stuarts

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The outboard solution is surely too complicated. Some of us don't like 350s for aesthetic and other reasons. A completely new integrated Organik Exakt 'speaker, with generous trade-in for Akubariks, might be a viable option.
I have the outboard solution for my 242s, in the form of an Exkatbox 10 and a pile of amplifiers. Even so, the only way for me to upgrade to Organik (and remain Exakted) would be to purchase 2 Exaktbox Klimaxes, which I would give me 12 channels of Organik Exakt output (while I need ”only” 10 channels).

I recently saw a video of an interview with Gilad Tiefenbrun, during which he mentioned his disappointment that Exakt hasn’t been taken up more broadly. Linn really doesn’t make it easy to commit to Exakt, though. The number of non-Linn speaker brands compatible with Exakt (with factory solutions) remains low — where I live (Japan), KEF seems to be the only alternative (as an aside, I’d be interested in hearing the Kudos speakers if they were sold here). Even for Linn speakers, support is not ideal (e.g., the absence of an Organik upgrade for the Exaktbox 10, or for integrated Exakt Akubariks). If you are willing to forfeit Exakt, you’re back to needing only 2 channels of DACs (for a stereo system) and it is once again easy to upgrade to Organik or future technologies by upgrading the DSM. In my personal case, I’m just waiting, but I have pondered whether moving to an Organik DSM and analog Aktiv (as opposed to Exakt) would be a sound quality upgrade. How do the benefits of the fancy digital crossover (Exakt) compare to the benefits of the superior DAC (Organik)?

I guess this is just a long-winded plea for Linn to rationalize their lineup. I’d love to see what they could do in terms of, say, a state-of-the-Linn-art 3-way speaker, which would enable Exakt (for a stereo pair) with one six-channel Klimax Exaktbok and require a more palatable number of channels of amplification. (As an aside, I don’t love the fact that Linn no longer sells a 5-channel Akurate-level amplifier for their 5-channel speakers, or for that matter passive Akurabariks at all.) Or if they will stick with 5-way speakers, a 5-channel Klimax Exaktbox would presumably be at least slightly more reasonable, from a cost-perspective, than the current 6-channel one. Yes, 350s are an alternative option but I didn’t buy them for a reason — they are just too big for my room (or at least bigger than I want).

Apologies if these concerns are too specific to my idiosyncratic case to be of wider interest.
 
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