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Going aktiv ?

Discussion in 'Hi-Fi Stereo Systems & Separates' started by andyh41, May 26, 2003.

  1. andyh41

    andyh41
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    Hi there, This one's for any Linn fans out there. I'm currently using 2 cyrus power amps with psxrs to drive my keilidhs and original centrik. Although fairly happy with the sound I'm wondering whether I should sell the cyrus amps and use the money to go aktiv on the three speakers. I understand that the step up from passive to aktiv makes a big difference in sound quality - at the moment i'd say that the biggest failing with stereo is in image placement - is that likely to improve? Unfortunately I cannot spend much more than what I get for the cyrus amps (£800+?), meaning a second hand buy and no way of getting a proper demonstration. I guess i'll need three stereo amps (LK100 or LK85?) plus the amp and speaker cards. Am I foollish to try and do this on the cheap or are the rewards worth it? The rest of the important equipment is a cyrus av5 processor and marantz cd63ki.
    Thanks,
    Andy.
     
  2. faiz

    faiz
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    Andy,

    A mate of mine recently went active with his Keilidhs and LK100's. The difference between active and passive is clearly worth it. In particular there's a lot more bass - it almost sounded as if he'd added a sub to his system. The imaging improves as well. If you shop around you should be able to get a Kolektor and two LK85's for around £300 each second hand ( you'll only need a pre and two powers to go active ). The cards are £125 each.
     
  3. alexs2

    alexs2
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    The alternative is to use one of Linn's power supplies for active crossover cards....its called a Tunebox and is available from Linn dealers to order.
    I used one of these for active Keilidh's and then Keltiks.....basically it allows you to use amps other than Linns own with their crossovers.
    As for sound quality...much tighter and faster bass,and the imaging does improve quite obviously.Midrange detail also improves,although in relation to the amps you're using.
    Any other questions,just ask.
     
  4. andyh41

    andyh41
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    Hi guys, thanks for your comments. How much do you think that system synergy play a part with Linn equipment? It seems clear that going aktiv with a Tunebox and my cyrus amps, or with all Linn amps will show some improvement, but will the linn amp/speakers combination work better by design? In order to go the cyrus route I will need to get another power amp - say a smartpower or power+psxr which would probably end up more expensive than swapping to all Linn. On the other hand I know the sound with the cyrus amps and switching to all Linn could be a bit of a gamble.

    Faiz, you say that the aktiv cards cost £125 each. Is that the price per stereo amp upgrade, and does that include whatever needs changing on the speakers? I have heard that there are mono and stereo aktiv cards and that it depends on the amp as to what you need to use.

    Andy.
     
  5. faiz

    faiz
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    The active upgrade is normally done by a Linn dealer ( i think they charge £50 for foing it ). The terminal plates on the back of the speakers are set to read bi-amp active, and you have a treble card fitted to one power amp and a bass card fitted to the other power amp. So in all you're looking at £300 ( although i have heard that some dealers will do the fitting for free if you buy the cards from them ).
     
  6. alexs2

    alexs2
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    The cards in mine were all mono....to be honest I haven't heard of a stereo card(but may well exist!).
    As to the amps,there is no doubt Linn equipment does have significant levels of synergy when combined,and if the price levels are such that it's actually cheaper to buy used Linn amps,then I'd certainly go with that.
    There are always Linn amps on ebay,often at good prices.

    One word of warning.....if you upgrade significantly beyond the Keilidhs(thinking of what I eventually did in going to Keltiks)the lower powered Linn amps like the LK85 do run out of steam quite early....if you're staying with the Keilidhs you should be fine.
     
  7. nal

    nal
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    A point to note as well, the x/over cards for the LK100/Klout are different and not interchangeable with the newer amps LK85/140, discovered this when I was thinking about upgrading my LK100's.

    I wish my neighbours would let my keltiks run out of steam :D

    nal
     
  8. ReTrO

    ReTrO
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    I think a lot of the older Linn power amps use mono cards, and the majority of them, including the newer ones, use stereo cards.
     

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