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Linn - Ninkas v Katans

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Speakers' started by Sounds Simple, Aug 28, 2005.

  1. Sounds Simple

    Sounds Simple
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    I am considering a Linn setup (yeah, yeah, I know....not high value) with either Ninkas or Katans as the front L/R. The system would be 5-channel and possibly active. The system would be used for both HT and music in roughly equal amounts or favoring music a bit.

    I listened to both the Ninkas and Katans and can deal with the lack of bass. What I am hoping to find out is if either of these speakers is particularly fussy with regard to placement. Another concern would difficulty integrating the Katans with a sub. I would love to hear any and all impressions of these two speakers along with recommendations for the center and surrounds.

    Finally, if anyone can comment on performance running these speakers active v. passive configuration.

    Thanks for any help.

    Bob
     
  2. gofer

    gofer
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    I have found that the newer Linn speakers are less fussy on placement than the older ones. My 242's seem to me not to react at all to shifting to and from the back and side walls unless shoved right up against them. I think that unless you have a really odd room, placement should not be an issue.

    Active Vs passive is a massive leap in quality. Be prepared to spend the money before comparing :D
     
  3. alexs2

    alexs2
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    I think you've been reading too many posts from a now banned member re the quality of Linn gear!

    It's been a little while since I've listened to either of those speakers,but I have owned 2 fully active Linn systems(Keilidh and Keltiks).
    Bass from most Linn speakers tends to be on the "dry " side,i.e. it is there,but not overblown and loose,which can often sound as if it's lacking.

    My own findings for positioning were that all worked best within a few feet of a rear wall,but preferably not too close to the side walls,with the exception of the Keltiks,which dont need any kind of room reinforcement for bass at all.

    The difference between passive and active configurations is very marked....they're far better active...more control,better bass extension and power...just a much better speaker overall,whichever one you consider....but it is more expensive,although there is nothing to stop you buying them in passive form and converting later.

    You should also note that whilst Linn amps are designed for active use,you CAN use other amps with a Linn active system by adding their offboard active crossover box,which is made to order..it's called a "Tunebox"(continuing Linn's whimsical names) in case you should need one,as most dealers tend not to mention them.
     
  4. Sounds Simple

    Sounds Simple
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    Thanks very much for your responses.

    I like the sound of the Linn bass. It is tight and clean if not prodigious, and I would be using the system with a sub at any rate. When I listened to the Ninkas, there seemed to be a slight exaggeration in the upper bass. It wasn't terrible but did not seem "right" to my ear. It could well have been the room.

    The reason I wondered about placement is that it proved a bit difficult to get a solid image in the dealer's room. Granted we just dragged the speakers onto the floor and set them up hastily, but the Ninkas seemed to not fill the space between the speakers even though there was some depth to the soundstage. We did finally get some improvement moving the speakers closer together and playing with the toe-in. Again, I do not hold this against the speaker because the demo was set up quickly and also because, even if this is all true, you don't set your speakers up daily. I was just looking for additional input.

    I do have some concerns about integrating the Katans with a sub. I prefer to have some distance between the 80 Hz x-over and the speaker's lower extension. The Katans (when active) go to 60 so that gives me a half octave to get things right.

    Thanks very much for the information about the Tunebox. This sounds like it could reduce the total price quite a bit. I do like the clean appearance of the Linn amps but they certainly carry a premium relative to their output. How many watts would you recommend for driving either the Ninkas or Katans?

    Thanks again for the input.

    Bob
     
  5. alexs2

    alexs2
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    Hi Bob...my own feeling was that the Ninka was a better speaker overall,and I hadn't found a mid bass emphasis,so it may well have been down to the room in your case,or at the least,positioning,which I have found mine and other Linns to be sensitive to.

    With mine,in various rooms,I found they needed to be toed in towards the listener quite a bit,and away from side walls to get the best out of them,and if possible,with the stone bases that Linn supply as an extra usually.

    The Linn amps do tend to carry a bit of a premium,and I didn't like either of the lower powered offerings(the LK85 and LK140)in that they run out of power very easily,although the Klout,which is now defunct was a much better amp in every respect,and can be found for reasonable prices secondhand.

    My own amps were(and are) old Krells,so power output was never a problem,and into the Keltiks I was getting around 500W/channel....I'm not suggesting you will need anywhere near this,but do go for the best combination of power and delivery into 4 ohms as you can afford...I briefly tried a set of Naim 250s with the Keilidhs and found them totally lacking,but they tend not to manage 4 ohm loads well....hope that helps.
     
  6. Knightshade

    Knightshade
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    Might be worthwhile taking a look at the new 'Chakra' range. I've only heard them once but was impressed. They also seem to be fairly adaptable.
     
  7. Sounds Simple

    Sounds Simple
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    Would you use the 100 or 200 watt Chakras for Katans and Ninkas? How do the active crossovers work? Is there a separate card per channel or is there a single module matched to each combination of amp and speaker?

    Again, thanks for all the help.

    Bob
     
  8. rowlandhills

    rowlandhills
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    Bob,

    Linn have produced various cards, and they are related to both amplifier and speakers. Early cards (for LK100, Klout etc.) were all mono, but later cards (LK85, LK140, AV5105 etc.) were stereo. To add to the confusion, Linn have also recently started making two channel cards, which have treble and bass on the same card, rather than bass for both sides (to allow one amp per side, rather than one for treble, one for bass). Individual cards could often be used on multiple speakers (eg. the same treble card is used for 5120/Tukan/Sekrit/Kelidh/Ninka/Katan).

    To add to the confusion, I think that the new Chakra amps need a new style of card, and I'm not sure if it's mono or stereo.

    In summary, you probably need to talk to your dealer! Sorry...
     
  9. Sounds Simple

    Sounds Simple
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    rowlandhills-

    Thanks for the information. It does seem a bit confusing but this little card needs to tie the amps and speakers all together.

    I have found a Linn forum that has quite a bit of information available. I am working my way forward from the first posts so that I have a better sense of Linn's design philosophy (and how they have serviced their customers).

    I do appreciate all the help here and I am pretty much convinced that going active is the best approach even with the lowly Katans.

    Bob
     
  10. alexs2

    alexs2
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    Linn's service and helpdesk I've always found to be excellent,if that's of any help in that area.

    I think you'll be very pleasantly surprised when you hear your speakers againafter an active upgrade....faster,cleaner and far better controlled,and those benefits work pretty much throughout the speaker ranges,although I'd be wary of investing that sort of money in the smallest speakers(not yours,which I am sure will benefit).
     

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