LINN Owner needs upgrade advice/opinions

Discussion in 'AV Pre-Amp/Processors & Power Amps' started by nbetts, Aug 23, 2006.

  1. nbetts

    nbetts
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    Hello - I am a newbie so please be gentle with me.:hiya:

    I have the following setup, which has given me hours of pleasure for about 5 years or so.

    LINN Ikemi CD Player
    LINN Kairn Pre-Amp
    LINN LK140 x 3 with Aktiv Modules
    LINN Pekin Tuner
    LINN Espek Floorstanding Speakers

    I have the above components configured in a tri-wired Active setup and I have found it be excellent.

    BUT - On Sunday I managed to Toast one of my LK 140 Power AMPS (my fault, being stupid with a move of equipment) so I returned it to the Vendor and they will send it back to LINN where it will be repaired. So all good stuff... Whilst I was in the Hi-Fi Shop I made the mistake about asking about what I could do to my system with regards to upgrades.

    Whilst I really Like LINN - and I really would like to keep the use of the Active setup that I have I wondered what else I could use instead of the LK 140's

    The Helpful chap in the shop suggested that I opt for the LINN Chakra Power Amps as a like for like replacement of the LK 140's. This means I could retain my Active setup... and I could introduce them one at a time, in order to ease impact on the pocket...

    I have checked the LINN website and I reckon I would need 3 x Chakra 2200 plus the Active modules (assuming the ones out of the LK140's don't fit)...

    Does anyone have any suggestions as to what (if anything) you would use to replace the LK140's?

    Or would you just carry - on using the 'good as new' LK140 when it returns from LINN.

    Thanks In advance.

    Nigel
     
  2. alexs2

    alexs2
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    The easiest option is to continue with the repaired module when it comes back from Linn,but there are a few other options.

    My last system was a Linn Keltik/Krell active system....you can use Linn's Tunebox(basically a power supply for the active cards) to permit use of amps other than Linn's own,although the wait time for a new one can be quite long,and they don't surface often as used items.
    This option gives you the benefits of active speakers and allows you to use other amps,which I certainly found very useful with the Keltiks and their power requirements.

    Another option is to use other power amps from Linn's collection,and the Klout would be a significant upgrade from your current LK140s...much better power delivery,and a better sound overall,by far.
    These can be found sometimes at quite reasonable prices used,and are built like tanks.

    The Chakra's are very good power amps,but arent cheap,and whilst offering the advantage of being ready made for active use,it may be worth looking at some other options as well....it would also be worth your dealer giving you a demo of them to see if they suit what you're after.
     
  3. nbetts

    nbetts
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    Thanks Alexs2 - I did not know about the Linn Tunebox - I will have a look into that... I will ask the dealer to demo the Chakras' as I know nothing about them.

    It would cost me about £6k to but the required 3 x 2200 required for a Tri-Active system.

    Although I might be wrong here, when I look at the LINN website it shows that for my setup I should be using the CHAKRA 6100... or have I misunderstood it???

    http://www.linn.co.uk/chakra/featuresbenefitstable.asp
     
  4. alexs2

    alexs2
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    The 6100 or 3x2200 amps would obviously fit the requirements either way,but the costs will be different.

    As I said previously,another option is to source a set of Klouts,which really are pretty decent power amps,with plenty of power,excellent build quality,and good sounding too.

    Linn tend not to make many Tuneboxes,so they never did advertise them much if at all,and I couldnt say for sure if they still make them,but it may be a useful option if you decided to go for other amps....there are of course other offboard electronic crossovers if that was a consideration.
     
  5. Knightshade

    Knightshade
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    A real upgrade would have to be something along the lines of the Klimax Twins. Available for about £2k a piece second hand. My opinions on the new Chakra range are pretty mixed. They're OK but not outstanding. They don't seem to have the bass control (I know Linn doesn't have the best bass control anyway) that the older higher end models had.
    Or look to something totally different. Perhaps a pair of Macintosh's?:)
    Or, alternatively, save your money and enjoy what you have. 6K buys a lot of CD's/DVD's.
     
  6. nbetts

    nbetts
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    Thanks Guys for the replies -

    I guess I was looking for a ...

    Corrr Yeah... given the opportunity you have got to buy those Chakras... kind of reply.

    Alexs2 - I am enquiring about a couple of Klouts that I have found on the Web and I will look at buying another one when I can locate one... this option looks quite intersting.


    Knightshade - Thanks for the tip on the Klimax twins... I will look further into this.

    Of course, as both of you have mentioned I could just pop the LK140 back in there and continue enjoying the system as it is - as I do really enjoy it. Due to my error the situation has presented itself for an upgrade - and it would be rude not to explore it a bit further.

    Thanks again guys for your thoughts.:thumbsup:
     
  7. fanofcs

    fanofcs
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    Hi there, my very first attempt to participate to any forum!

    Dear Knightshade,

    I recently upgraded my system by replacing 4 (first hand) klouts by 3 (second hand) Klimax Twin Chakra + Klimax Tunebox set.

    I tried (at home) Klimax Twin and Klimax Twin Chakra for a month to come to the conclusion that Twin Chakra are outstanding on my system when Twin are just OK.

    Challenge was to drive keltiks, which can sound really good (yes, they can) when fed properly. To my opinion, Klouts do not have enough energy to drive keltik's bass units when adjusted to 20Hz. Moneywise, Klimax Twin were less expensive but I found that driving two (isobarik!) bass units would make them heat up very quickly (with LP12 at source).

    Problem with Klimax Twin driving bass units is that cooling fan would start quickly and often and be very noisy. Then heat would propagate to other Klimax Twin and not only other fans would add to the noise, but they would also generate some sort of buz in the midrange unit (quite unbelievable for a Linn product). On top of this, sound is to me a bit on the hifi side when I am looking for as neutral as possible sound.

    No such problems with Klimax Twin Chakra : no heat, no noise, no hifi sound, but instead so much speed and energy that it makes Keltiks sound as fast as electrostatic speakers. So I am a bit surprised by your comments, or perhaps are you talking about the multiamp chakra range?

    Nbetts,
    With Klimax Twin, you need Tunebox which makes the upgrade quite expensive, and chakra adds to the expense (I must keep my car for another 25 years, what about you?).
    You said you are enjoying your system as it is, may I suggest you just keep your LK140 and save money for a Unidisk SC/HDMI (it could perhaps replace Ikemi for for the best) with some sort of HD TV a Sim2 kind of video projector?
    Then you would also enjoy concerts and operas on DVD. Films also sound great in stereo on active loudspeakers (Oups, what if I am on a pure audiophile forum?).

    Good night.
     
  8. nbetts

    nbetts
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    FANOFCS - Thanks for your thoughts... The reason to upgrade the LK140's was twofold..

    1. I 'Blew one up' - fool that I am... it has since been repaired and is as good as new, Thanks LINN.
    2. Seeing as they were the cheapest part of my setup, I rightly or wrongly considered them to be the weakest part...

    The idea to change from a LINN Ikemi to a LINN UNIDISK 1.1 has crossed my mind - although I doubt I will gain anything from a CD point of view... and just how good a DVD player (bearing in mind HD-DVD is round the corner) is the Unidisk 1.1??? I am not sure... I already have a HD screen and I am pretty happy with my setup... but I thought I would call upon the collective knowledge out there to see what upgrade path there was for me and my present Hi-Fi setup.

    Thanks.:thumbsup:
     
  9. fanofcs

    fanofcs
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    OK, Nbetts, I understand where you stand.

    Actually, my favorite source is LP for music.
    I tried Unidisk 1.1, 1.2 and SC at home for CD, SACD and DVD and finally acquired... SC because
    - it was the cheapest of the Linn range by far,
    - was an improvement over my Micromega premium
    - and was perhaps less "this and that" than 1.1 but would provide more music (to my vinyl-oriented hears, any CD/SACD players I heard so far sound somewhat "electronic" anyway)
    - and just as good video with HDMI connection with a good cable (I tried several and was amazed by changes it can make, the most expensive was not the best).

    I am not able to tell if SC is better than Ikemi although I was told it is, reason why I suggested it.

    Glad you are very happy again with your system, fully enjoy!:clap:
     

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