Perhaps a realisation that AVI and others saw the way the market was going long before others in the hifi business did. [Mags included of course]
Kinda overlooks the fact that the likes of ATC, B&O, Linn, Meridian, Naim et al were making active speakers long before Bill and Ben scurried into the potting shed and 'dicovered' how to make their speakerettes, doesn't it? Flobadobadob!
'And so on February 22nd 1966, at Luton airport...'
Maybe rather conveniently, but Linn seem to have a slightly definition of a source, also if you go to the Exakt forum the system seems to be a bit more complex than what's been said here, and indeed, the DAC is in the speaker itself and absolutely the last in the chain before output (but there's a lot of complexity which has me scratching my head if you read the forum further with more responses from the engineers), so this response from a Linn engineer:
Hi Macrotech,"Source" is an overloaded term which may be what is causing the confusion.If "source" is used as in Linn's philosophy of "source first", then the strap line makes a great deal of sense. In a source first design, the source is the first component that causes loss to the signal.For an LP12, CD12, KDS, or KDSM, they were indeed the source as they were the first place loss was introduced.In an Exakt system, the Exakt DSM losslessly sends the digital signal to the Exakt Speakers over Exakt Link. The Exakt Speakers are now the first place in the playback process where loss occurs and, as such, they are the source.In a network sense, the KDS, KDSM, and Exakt DSM all remain "players", but the Exakt DSM is not a source in the source first sense.Keith
What's confusing is that even though there's a DAC in the speaker that's just before output, it's not clear if there's ADC conversion for the supposedly analogue amplification.
The (mandatory) Exakt DSM has analogue inputs, and thus an ADC, but no DAC and thus no analogue outputs. And it retains network streaming functionality too - like a normal DS.
The digital crossover is called the Exakt Tunebox - and has presets for the Linn Klimax Exakt 350 speakers which incorporates the DACs and amplification.
Current analogue Klimax 350 speakers can be upgraded to Exakt.
Most interesting: the Tunebox will have an open interface and will be ultimately compatible and configurable with 3rd party or non-Linn speakers.
Linn are making claims, as are some guests who've heard the system, that a LP12 sounds better through Exakt! So in essence Exakt seems to be a very high-end hybrid digitising and streaming system compatible with analogue sources.
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Half the problem with understanding Linn's product range is the stupid names they give everything. I can only assume the 'k' key is stuck down on the marketing department keyboard.
From the limited information available, it would seem that Linn have adopted the topology found in many pro installations, each speaker contains a DSP crossover (possibly including room correction), multiple D2A converters (one per driver) and multiple amps (one per driver).
Digital data and some form of timing to keep the speakers in step is fed from a control box which also handles input switching and streaming. I guess to keep the old LP12 crowd on side, the control box is available with a A2D converter so that analogue sources can be fed into the system via the control box if required.
I would be interested to know if Linn are using class D amps in the speakers, it would make good sense to do so.
I applaud Linn for the design - it makes very good sense and it is good to see 'pro' designs filtering through to domestic hifi . As I have posted before the electronics hardware to do this is dirt cheap, but given Linn's limited market I would expect that the price will be high to recoup development costs.
One trick they seem to have missed is servo feedback from the drivers. With the amps and DSP smarts in the speaker box already, I would have thought that servo feedback would have been (relatively) easy to implement. This is common in pro high power Subs and drivers, and if I recall correctly, was first used by Philips back in the 70s. 'Closing the loop' on the drivers is the final step (in my opinion) to having a proper engineering solution to loudspeaker design.
As far as I can tell analogue amplification is used. Which really confused me, because although Linn says a pure digital stream reaches the DAC there must be ADC at the amplification stage.
Manic, I am not sure what ADC is, but to clarify the system flow, the only amplification takes place in the speakers. Each driver (tweeter, woofer) has its own amp driven by its own D2A converter in turn driven by a DSP crossover. All of this is housed in the speaker enclosure itself.
The control box, ( whatever daft name it is) performs the function of a pre amp - source selection, volume control etc, but does this all digitally, so isn't a pre amp in the conventional sense. I believe the control box also acts as a streamer, and can have an A2D converter fitted to allow analogue sources to be digitised and played back through the system.
I believe ADC = A2DC
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why would you think there should be an ADC at amp stage?
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So ADC = A2DC = AC/DC.....just ask DDC.
ADC = Analogue-Digital Conversion. The Exakt DSM has analogue inputs but no DAC, as it's meant to pass through the digital stream. It has highly specified ADCs to allow analogue sources like turntables etc.
Cno, as a Linn owner I'm sure some info has been passed through to you?
As I'm reading more the Exakt system starts to make sense, but it's not clear if the amplification in the Exakt 350 speakers is analogue or digital, or indeed some Class D variant?
Cno, can you get info
Not that I've seen
Probably......I'll see what I can do, if my Goldfish memory allows.
Surely if the amplification is analogue there must be a DAC?
Source 1) "Inspired" Manticore Mantra turntable c/w Rega RB 301 arm, Goldring 1042 MM Cartridge, Graham Slee Reflex M phono stage, Graham Slee CuSat 50 interconnect
Source 2) Cyrus CD8 SE CD player
Source 3) iTunes (ALAC), iMac, Devolo Homeplugs, Apple TV3, Toslink, Arcam rDAC
Source 4) Technics SL-7 linear tracking turntable.
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Other rooms: more Airport Expresses and Homeplugs with Denon AV system and Denon Mini system.
If you have a vinyl source, such as an LP12 SE, my understanding is that the signal path is as follows:
Vinyl record, cartridge, phono amplification (eg Urika), ADC, digital signal processing including volume control, digital active corssover, separate DACs for each driver in the speaker, separate analogue power amps for each driver in the speaker, speaker drivers with port augmentation, room, ears, brain.
Exactly my understanding as well. Everything up to the digital crossover is in the control box. Everying from the crossover onward is in the speaker.
The great news about designs like this is no more nonsense about speaker cables.....
Does anyone else think that definition of source is b*llocks?
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