Have your say & ask the experts!

The Linn DS / DSM thread

402 replies [Last post]
CnoEvil's picture
Offline
Joined: 21 Aug 2009
Posts: 11427
RE: The Linn DS / DSM thread

acalex wrote:

Interesting...why you didn't stick with the Silver? Found that the Cardas was making substantial difference over the Silver?

It made a noticeable but subtle difference, and if I hadn't got the GC cables at good value, would probabaly not have been worth it. The Cardas Clear Light may be a different kettle of fish, which is why they are worth trying.  IME. The Linn Silver makes a great benchmark against which to judge the value of more expensive cables.

__________________

"Everything has been said before, but since nobody listens we have to keep going back and beginning all over again."  André Gide

Neuphonix's picture
Offline
Joined: 20 Apr 2012
Posts: 424
RE: The Linn DS / DSM thread

Hi Alex,

I'm just using the standard power cable that came with my Akurate & Atlas Mavros balanced IC.

Question, do you have any way of ripping your vinyl? I would be interested to see if you had any way of being able to hear if this had any difference to a ripped CD. Is it possible to capture some of that vinyly sound?

CnoEvil's picture
Offline
Joined: 21 Aug 2009
Posts: 11427
RE: The Linn DS / DSM thread

Neuphonix wrote:

Hi Alex,

I'm just using the standard power cable that came with my Akurate & Atlas Mavros balanced IC.

Question, do you have any way of ripping your vinyl? I would be interested to see if you had any way of being able to hear if this had any difference to a ripped CD. Is it possible to capture some of that vinyly sound?

Did you happen to compare the Atlas Mavros (great cable btw) against anything else?

__________________

"Everything has been said before, but since nobody listens we have to keep going back and beginning all over again."  André Gide

Neuphonix's picture
Offline
Joined: 20 Apr 2012
Posts: 424
RE: The Linn DS / DSM thread

No I didn't. I was able to buy them through a wholesaler that I deal with through work, the price was about one third or RRP. Only catch was there was no demo, once the box was opened that was it. So a bit of a risk, but I've been pretty happy.

I stright away noticed a significant difference when I swapped out from a cheaper set of RCA leads I was using. Blacker background? Voices much crisper, less silibance. Instruments seemed to be much more defined.

But unfortunately I was unable to do any side by side testing or make any VFM assesments. it would seem that the Silver is a pretty good benchmark.

Are you able to rip your vinyl? Or do you have you made any comparisons of CD vs vinyl rips?

CnoEvil's picture
Offline
Joined: 21 Aug 2009
Posts: 11427
RE: The Linn DS / DSM thread

Neuphonix wrote:

No I didn't. I was able to buy them through a wholesaler that I deal with through work, the price was about one third or RRP. Only catch was there was no demo, once the box was opened that was it. So a bit of a risk, but I've been pretty happy.

I stright away noticed a significant difference when I swapped out from a cheaper set of RCA leads I was using. Blacker background? Voices much crisper, less silibance. Instruments seemed to be much more defined.

But unfortunately I was unable to do any side by side testing or make any VFM assesments. it would seem that the Silver is a pretty good benchmark.

Are you able to rip your vinyl? Or do you have you made any comparisons of CD vs vinyl rips?

The Mavros is a remarkable cable at full price, so you did great.

Remind me what S/C you have, as Mavros is brilliant...their Eos mains cables aren't too shabby either......and their Balanced mains transformers and 4 way power block, are as good as is out there (imo).

I got rid of all my Vinyl years ago.  Sad

__________________

"Everything has been said before, but since nobody listens we have to keep going back and beginning all over again."  André Gide

Neuphonix's picture
Offline
Joined: 20 Apr 2012
Posts: 424
RE: The Linn DS / DSM thread

I'm just using a cheap generic heavy duty standed oxygen free copper cable with banana plugs at the moment.

Eventually I will look at the Mavros cable. Same reasons, price & should partner well with the IC.

Because I'm using the Beresford box to ebable the use of common speakers between two systems it makes the speaker cabling a little more complicated.

& to add to that I've now got to get extra ICs to get the Bryston crossover set-up.

I'm considering one of the Thor PS-10 power conditioners, more for protection & clean 240v than any SQ improvements. There is a new model coming out this year so will try to pick up the older version ex-demo or clearance price. I'm still not entirely convinced with power cables & conditioners. Can certainly see the value in protecting your equipment, but improve SQ not so sure?

I know that you are an advocate for power cables, do you use a conditioner yourself?

 

CnoEvil's picture
Offline
Joined: 21 Aug 2009
Posts: 11427
RE: The Linn DS / DSM thread

Neuphonix wrote:

I know that you are an advocate for power cables, do you use a conditioner yourself?

I tried an Isol8 regenerator, and didn't like the effect.

I seriously considered the Atlas Balanced Mains Transformer, but the value of copper shot the price up on launch, to a price that was prohibitive at the time. It's certainly the best improvement I've heard (and is silent).

ATM I'm considering the Atlas 4 way mains block, but it too is expensive (but very good).

__________________

"Everything has been said before, but since nobody listens we have to keep going back and beginning all over again."  André Gide

Neuphonix's picture
Offline
Joined: 20 Apr 2012
Posts: 424
RE: The Linn DS / DSM thread

I'm not sure if the distibutor for Atlas over here carries their power products, I'll have to look into it.

That particular part of the puzzle is still a way off however.

What 'difference" did it make for you?

I'm certainly feeling better about having the system on it own circuits with some voltage protection. but thats more about peace of mind than SQ.

CnoEvil's picture
Offline
Joined: 21 Aug 2009
Posts: 11427
RE: The Linn DS / DSM thread

Neuphonix wrote:

What 'difference" did it make for you?

I'm certainly feeling better about having the system on it own circuits with some voltage protection. but thats more about peace of mind than SQ.

The Balanced Mains Transformer didn't change the sound, but optimized it.......Silent background / less hash or glare, more air around the the notes, sweeter treble, punchier bass etc etc.

The Isol8 seemed to polish the sound and make it sharper and more analytical, which didn't suit my ear.....it's very funny and unpredictable, this mains business.

__________________

"Everything has been said before, but since nobody listens we have to keep going back and beginning all over again."  André Gide

Chewy's picture
Offline
Joined: 10 Feb 2010
Posts: 361
RE: The Linn DS / DSM thread

Well given that Cno, Acalex and a couple of others on this forum helped me choose my latest streamer, I thought I'd honour Cno's request and share my experiences on this thread.

Yesterday I took delivery of a used Linn Klimax Renew, and was very excited to get it home and try it out.

Initial 'unboxing' impressions were that I have quite possibly never paid quite so much for such a small lightweight and unassuming box (aside from SWMBO's engagement ring - but that was a long time ago!).

My system is as per my sig below, but to clarify I have a Primare SP32 (this is temporary, on loan until my new audio processor arrives) connected to some bespoke 1000 watt monoblcs, powering a pair of PMC MB2i's. Now I appreciate this is leaning slightly more towards home cinema than pure hifi, but I like to think it is of a high enough resolution to be able to subjectively review the audible impact of any upstream components.

My reference point for streaming is a Sonos ZP90 connected via digital coax to the SP32, and hard wired to the router (if that makes any difference).

So . . . I hooked the Renew up last night, via the balanced outputs, for a quick play about with it and I have to say . . . I'm a little dissappointed. Now before I get shot full of holes, dissappointed is perhaps the wrong word to use, probably a better way of putting it is I became incredibly impressed by just how good the Sonos option is.

Now make no mistake, the Renew sounded superb. Given a bit of juice (which frankly the MB's need to sound their best), the quality of the stereo sound field produced was superb. It was of course better than the Sonos - there was a slight increase in the separation between instruments and backing vocals, a slightly larger and more three dimensional soundstage, a touch more 'air' and detail retrieval and a noticable improvement in PRaT (I found my foot tapping much more with the Renew than with the Sonos).

However I use the words 'slight' and 'touch' purposefully because the Renew added (if I had to quantify it) possible 10% over the ZP90. Whilst this is a necessary step on the path towards audio nirvana, the increase wasn't at the 'chin on the floor' sort of level that I was anticipating for a streamer costing more than 10 times the price (and that being in its second hand reboxed form).

Now, one caveat - and this may well make all the difference, which other more experienced DS users way well be able to confirm. My media server doesn't currently have uPnP support, I need to add this when I get a little more time, so I was streaming to the Renew by using the mapped server network drive from my (wirelessly connected) laptop, and using the Kinksy desktop software (which I have to say was a little dire after being used to the slickness of the Sonos interface). So, if my understanding of the data flow is correct, the network path was:

Server > Router > (Wireless) > Laptop > (Wireless) > Router > Klimax Renew

Whether or not this connection setup is doing a disservice to the Renew I will only be able to test once I get uPnP server software working on my media server (UnRaid), which I will attempt tonight and which will provide a direct hardwired connection between Renew and server without bringing a PC into play. If anyone else has any experience of this, please feel free to shed some light.

Perhaps there is something else that I am missing - perhaps the DAC in the SP32 is better than I am giving it credit for (I haven't been too impressed with the SP32 generally) which is narrowing the gap (remember I'm not using the DAC in the ZP90).

Needless to say the Renew will be staying in the rack as it does sound better, and more testing is required on my part, but these are my initial observations in any case.

 

__________________

JVC X70 | Beamax 105" M-Tensioned Screen | Aerial Acoustics LR5's, CC5 and 4 x SR3's (7.2) | 2 x Paradigm Signature Sub 1's | Datasat RS20i | 3 x AB Systems 11000SE Monobloc amps + 6500SE 6-Channel amp | Oppo BDP-95 | NAD M50 | 24TB Synology 2413+| Netgear NeoTV 550 | PS3 | Darbee DVP5000 | Sonos Multi-room system

Neuphonix's picture
Offline
Joined: 20 Apr 2012
Posts: 424
RE: The Linn DS / DSM thread

Hi Chewy,

sorry to hear that your purchase didn't knock your socks off  Crying

I think that a wired connection will make a difference, Linn recommend this as the correct way to set things up. You probably don't need one from your laptop, but if your music is stored on the NAS & this is where Kinksky is getting the files from then wired is def the way to go.

Apparently purple Cat700000millionE with platinum/kryptonite braided shield & gold connectors will give superior performance than your bog standard grey cat6! rolling on the floor laughing

They also recommend that the streamer be hooked up via a separate router, but I think this is more to do with configuration than SQ. If Kinsky is seeing the Klimax on the network then maybe this is not necessary in your case.

I don't think that any uPNP set-up should make a difference to the SQ, this is more a matter of interface. Some people prefer Twonky, but there seems to be a growing number of people on the Linn site who are using Minimserv.

In a post I put up a few days ago there was a link to a thread on the Linn site that went into why using Kinsky was preferable to iTunes via Songcast. One way pushes the files to the Klimax (not as good), the other pulls the files (better).

I don't think that there was ever much arguement about Sonos having a superior interface to Linn. Kinsky is functional but pretty clunky. You can try Chorus (there's a link on the Linn site) some people prefer this. They offer a free demo on your PC, but if you want to try it on a tablet it costs quite a lot. I didn't feel that it offered to justify the outlay, but it is worth a try.

There was a new interface called Lumin that came up recently for use with Minimserv which looked interesting, much more emphasis on the visual aspect. I downloaded it & gave it a try but found it to be a bit buggy. It's very new & I had only just installed Minimserv, so will wait a while before ruling it out. It is free so worth a look:  https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/lumin/id524332800

What type of files are you using? Dare I say it but you could try a few 24bit files just as an experiment  shhh

Register on the Linn forum, they are a pretty active bunch over there, any queries should be answered quite quickly.

Get in contact with the guy you bought the unit from and have a chat. I would say that he's the type of person who would be concerned if you weren't 100% with a unit like the renew & go out of his way to get it working the way you want it to.

Good luck. let us know how it works out.

 

 

 

acalex's picture
Offline
Joined: 13 Sep 2011
Posts: 1591
RE: The Linn DS / DSM thread

Hi there, sorry if you feel a little disappointed but I am sure there must be an explanation as the Akurate sound MUCH better than the Sonos so there is no way the Klimax sounds only 10% better. Are you using the silver cable provided? Everything should be hard wired...better to run a media server software on NAS which is hardwired to the router. Klimax should be also hard-wired to the router. 

You can use Twonky or simply the Logitech Squeezerver as it works great with the DS streamers.

Please report back 

Neuphonix's picture
Offline
Joined: 20 Apr 2012
Posts: 424
RE: The Linn DS / DSM thread

Hey Alex,

you never answered my question about vinyl ripping. Do you or Roby have a way to be able to do this?

If so have you been able to hear any difference to a digital file?

Chewy's picture
Offline
Joined: 10 Feb 2010
Posts: 361
RE: The Linn DS / DSM thread

Hi Acalex,

No, don't get me wrong, as I say, disappointed is probably the wrong word, my system sounds better than it has ever done, and zi am sitting here as zi tyPe listening to familiar track that sound better than I have ever heard them - partially down to the MB2i's which are just friggin' amazing, but also down to the improvement the Renew adds! The Renew definitely improves on the ZP90, but as I say I am surprised at how little the ZP90 give away to the Renew - I kind of expected a VHS to Blu-ray kind of improvement.

When you compared the Akurate to the Sonos were you using the DAC in the Sonos or something off board?

- Gareth

__________________

JVC X70 | Beamax 105" M-Tensioned Screen | Aerial Acoustics LR5's, CC5 and 4 x SR3's (7.2) | 2 x Paradigm Signature Sub 1's | Datasat RS20i | 3 x AB Systems 11000SE Monobloc amps + 6500SE 6-Channel amp | Oppo BDP-95 | NAD M50 | 24TB Synology 2413+| Netgear NeoTV 550 | PS3 | Darbee DVP5000 | Sonos Multi-room system

acalex's picture
Offline
Joined: 13 Sep 2011
Posts: 1591
RE: The Linn DS / DSM thread

Chewy wrote:

Hi Acalex,

No, don't get me wrong, as I say, disappointed is probably the wrong word, my system sounds better than it has ever done, and zi am sitting here as zi tyPe listening to familiar track that sound better than I have ever heard them - partially down to the MB2i's which are just friggin' amazing, but also down to the improvement the Renew adds! The Renew definitely improves on the ZP90, but as I say I am surprised at how little the ZP90 give away to the Renew - I kind of expected a VHS to Blu-ray kind of improvement.

When you compared the Akurate to the Sonos were you using the DAC in the Sonos or something off board?

- Gareth

I always heard the Sonos through an M2Tech DAC (1100 euro) and I can assure you the Akurate is quite a step up...so I am a bit puzzled  Shock

Just try to set-up everything as it should and let the Klimax play a little bit...