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The Linn DS / DSM thread

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Neuphonix's picture
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RE: The Linn DS / DSM thread

Chewy wrote:

Neuphonix wrote:

Akurate is connected to the Primo with XLR cables / cat6 hard wired to switch / switch cat6 hardwired to router / PC & NAS cat6 hardwired to router.

I haven't made a real comparison or hard wired vs wireless. Just set it up hardwired when I bought it and have used it that way ever since.

Initially hooked the Akurate to the primo with RCA cables & did hear a difference when I swapped over to XLR.

Tune-in & Spotify both work well via Airplay.

I have never had a Sonos at home so can't offer any help there.

Have you contacted the seller yet to see if there is any input he can offer? Don't wait, get his help while there's still some goodwill from the sale!

 

Thanks Neuphonix, what difference did you notice switching to XLR, was it better or worse?

Good idea - I've contacted the seller (Richard at Krescendo Hifi), and I'll see what advice he can offer.

 

I don't want this thread to turn into another cable discussion, but......

much better definition of voices, separation of instruments, less background noise.

Albeit the quality of RCA leads I was using wasn't top of the line, but still of a reasonable quality. I certainly didn't go through the process that Roby & Alex are doing at the moment.

Do remember thinking when I made the switch that this could have been one of the biggest differences I heard between the Majik & the Akurate.

I had always been of the belief that a balanced connection was always superior to unbalanced. But it turns out that even this may be another cable myth! Smile

My pre/power allows for a balanced connection so it  seemed to make sense to try and have the source connected them same way.

Of course this could have just been my mind conforming to my expectations? puzzled

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RE: The Linn DS / DSM thread

I am in the market for a Linn Sneaky second hand...budget max 500GBP or 600 eur. Looking to make a secondary system for bedroom/home office. 

Speakers will probably be some SF or Vienna acoustic (monitors for both brands). I have heard the Sneaky with these and it was a sweet system...

So if you see anything around just let me know Wink

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RE: The Linn DS / DSM thread

Neuphonix wrote:

I had always been of the belief that a balanced connection was always superior to unbalanced. But it turns out that even this may be another cable myth! Smile

Maybe preferable would be a better word.

Here is an example in a Linn system (about 11 paragraphs down and starting "Fortunately"): http://www.rdhworld.myzen.co.uk/smfcu/index.php?topic=18334.0

In case the guy's other blogs might prove of interest (if you scroll down there may be a couple): http://audiophilemusings.blogspot.co.uk/

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RE: The Linn DS / DSM thread

Chewy wrote:

Good idea - I've contacted the seller (Richard at Krescendo Hifi), and I'll see what advice he can offer.

Gareth, here are typical discussions about the Renew DS, in case you haven't seen them (and in case it helps): http://forums.linn.co.uk/bb/showthread.php?tid=11876

and: http://forums.linn.co.uk/bb/showthread.php?tid=13976

and: http://forums.linn.co.uk/bb/showthread.php?tid=12177

and: http://forums.linn.co.uk/bb/showthread.php?tid=16720 (in this thread, it is advised that the internal volume is disabled, and also how it comes alive, when turned up a bit (vs an Electro CDP)

This is somebody discussing how his KDS/0 reacted to different cables: http://www.hifi-advice.com/Linn-Klimax-DS-review.html

There were times he felt the bass was on the light side. I'm sorry for all the links, but if it gives more insight, it might help get a feel of what might be going on.

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RE: The Linn DS / DSM thread

CnoEvil wrote:

Neuphonix wrote:

I had always been of the belief that a balanced connection was always superior to unbalanced. But it turns out that even this may be another cable myth! Smile

Maybe preferable would be a better word.

Here is an example in a Linn system (about 11 paragraphs down and starting "Fortunately"): http://www.rdhworld.myzen.co.uk/smfcu/index.php?topic=18334.0

In case the guy's other blogs might prove of interest (if you scroll down there may be a couple): http://audiophilemusings.blogspot.co.uk/

Thanks for those mate Smile

I did read the first article before buying my Akurate, but must confess the part about the IC swapover didn't register.

Certainly food for thought. I might have a play around this weekend, try some side by side balanced/unbalanced listening. The primo should be quite good for this, leave both connected & flick the switch on the back from one to the other.

Unfortunately I just moved on all my Audioquest RCA leads on eBay last week so it will have to be the cheaper Neotech cables.

Had a quick look at his other blog posts & there was a brief one talking about his impressions of the ADS on an isolation plinth. Much the same as you with your pasta, he found the improvement to be significant.

Still cant quite get my head around how a device with no moving components can benifit from this type of tweak, but will have to give it a go. puzzled

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RE: The Linn DS / DSM thread

Neuphonix wrote:

Thanks for those mate Smile

I did read the first article before buying my Akurate, but must confess the part about the IC swapover didn't register.

Certainly food for thought. I might have a play around this weekend, try some side by side balanced/unbalanced listening. The primo should be quite good for this, leave both connected & flick the switch on the back from one to the other.

Unfortunately I just moved on all my Audioquest RCA leads on eBay last week so it will have to be the cheaper Neotech cables.

Had a quick look at his other blog posts & there was a brief one talking about his impressions of the ADS on an isolation plinth. Much the same as you with your pasta, he found the improvement to be significant.

Still cant quite get my head around how a device with no moving components can benifit from this type of tweak, but will have to give it a go. puzzled

I think on balance ( embarassed), balanced connections usually sound better, especially if the source / amp are of a truly balanced design. Electro stuff sounds better when wired this way. I just wanted to make the point that you can't always make assumptions.

One of the reasons that the Klimax DS (and the expensive Naim I think) uses such a fancy case, is to isolate the sensitive electronics inside. A good isolation system (imo) not only isolates from the outside, but drains unwanted resonance / vibrations from the inside. BR recommend some of the pads are put on the casework under the power supply.

Any differences between RDS and KDS/0 will be down to the better case.

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RE: The Linn DS / DSM thread

Just out of interest, do you  think a Tortellini would work as well as a Raviolli? Wink

I'm torn between the spinach/ricotta or the veal?

How about a good Chinese dumpling? puzzled

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RE: The Linn DS / DSM thread

Neuphonix wrote:

Just out of interest, do you  think a Tortellini would work as well as a Raviolli? Wink

I'm torn between the spinach/ricotta or the veal?

How about a good Chinese dumpling? puzzled

Tongue Tongue

(A layer of Irish Blarney Stone is hard to beat)  shifty

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RE: The Linn DS / DSM thread

CnoEvil wrote:

Neuphonix wrote:

Just out of interest, do you  think a Tortellini would work as well as a Raviolli? Wink

I'm torn between the spinach/ricotta or the veal?

How about a good Chinese dumpling? puzzled

Tongue Tongue

(A layer of Irish Blarney Stone is hard to beat)  shifty

If I could find that little fella at the end of the rainbow and pich his pot of gold I'd be able to upgrade to a Klimax. Smile

Speaking of udgrades, and apologies for going off topic for a moment, my Bryston crossover for the subs arrived yesterday. So off to the tech this morning for the voltage change over. Not sure how long this is going to take, will keep you posted.

A sturdy piece of equipment I must say, really heavy for its size. I opened it up to have a look at the transformer, see if it was easily switchable between 110/240, no such luck.

Cant wait to have a play with it Smile

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RE: The Linn DS / DSM thread

Neuphonix wrote:

Speaking of udgrades, and apologies for going off topic for a moment, my Bryston crossover for the subs arrived yesterday. So off to the tech this morning for the voltage change over. Not sure how long this is going to take, will keep you posted.

A sturdy piece of equipment I must say, really heavy for its size. I opened it up to have a look at the transformer, see if it was easily switchable between 110/240, no such luck.

Cant wait to have a play with it Smile

No apology necessary......it's my thread, and you can talk about whatever you like.  Wink

I suspect when all is set up correctly, you will be absoutely thrilled!

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RE: The Linn DS / DSM thread

CnoEvil wrote:

Neuphonix wrote:

Just out of interest, do you  think a Tortellini would work as well as a Raviolli? Wink

I'm torn between the spinach/ricotta or the veal?

How about a good Chinese dumpling? puzzled

Tongue sticking out tongue

(A layer of Irish Blarney Stone is hard to beat)  shifty

Whatever you do don't try Irish stew! mind you I think 4 slices of soda bread would be perfect!

Mac

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RE: The Linn DS / DSM thread

Macspur wrote:

Whatever you do don't try Irish stew! mind you I think 4 slices of soda bread would be perfect!

Mac

4 Soda Farls on bed of Turf comes in a close second (and you don't have to kiss it).

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RE: The Linn DS / DSM thread

Gareth, how are you getting on with your Renew DS.....are you getting to the bottom of what is going on?

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RE: The Linn DS / DSM thread

CnoEvil wrote:

Gareth, how are you getting on with your Renew DS.....are you getting to the bottom of what is going on?

 

 

Hi Cno,

 

Yes, the plot thickens a little . . . 

 

I got the hard wired connection working as I think I outlined in a previous post. I also tried various cable changes including some £350 XLR cables and some RCA's to see if the different connection made any difference. I noticed a slightly different sonic signature with the different XLR's, but too small to tell whether it was real or perceived, and it was just different, not better. RCA's were very very close also, maybe just the slightest rounding off of the finest details, so essentially very slightly worse than via XLR. (Incidentally I also grabbed the Lumin iPad control interface - significantly better and easier to use than Kinksy!)

 

Switching back and forth between the Sonos (remember, via digital coax into the Primare SP32, not using the Sonos DAC) and the Klimax Renew (analogue out from the Renew into the SP32), by teeing up the same track on both systems (which makes for very good and quick A-B testing) over a number of tracks and probably 5-6 hours of listening, there was still only perhaps 10-15% improvement with the Renew over the Sonos/SP32.

 

As I said before, the Renew provides better rythm and timing and makes music more engaging and 'foot-tapping', there is a slight increase in detail and seperation of instruments and vocals, and a thinner more neutral but defined sound (possibly a little too thin) through the lower mids and bass, where as the Sonos/SP32 is more full bodied in the lower mids and bass (but probably too much so, making tracks a little bloated and muddied in that region). I also download a few hi-res albums from the Linn store, and tried those - they sounded incredible through the Renew, probably the best I have ever heard an acoustic guitar through my system. Whether that is the better mastering or the 24bit file type is for another discussion, but it certainly sounded very very good!

 

So, by way on conclusion, all I could deduce was that the DAC in the SP32 (which is not a cheap bit of kit at £4k) was bringing the performance of the Sonos up close to that of the Renew - which kind of makes sense given that all the Sonos is doing is pulling the digital file from the server, decoding it, and spitting it out (still in the digital domain) to the Primare. The dealer I bought it off agreed that this was more than likely the case also. It seems that most people who have compared the Sonos to the Renew/Akurate/Klimax, have (understandably) done so using the Sonos's internal DAC, where obviously you would expect a huge difference given that it is a £279 device.

 

Clearly, to me, where the performance differences appear to be the greatest are where different DAC's come into play. Which got me thinking . . . what sort of DAC could I get with the money I had spent on the Renew, and would using this with the Sonos give equal (or better) performance than the Renew? My plan was therefore to home demo a Chord QBD76 HDSD DAC to see whether it could close the gap on the Renew, at a cheaper price.

 

However, yesterday I took delivery of a NAD M51 DAC demo unit, (though I still plan to get a demo of the Chord QBD76 HDSD DAC also) following a very strong recommendation to try it.  To be honest though, at £1500 before discounts I wasn't holding out too much hope.

 

After hooking up the M51 I spent a couple of hours doing A-B testing with the same tracks, between that (Sonos/M51) and the Renew, both via XLR into the Primare . . . . All I can say is 'Wow!', I was more than a little surprised and impressed - the M51 is quite something - in my system it gave a decent step up over the Renew, perhaps to a similar extent than the Renew did over the Sonos/SP32. The M51 revealed detail in the tracks that the Renew simply didn't recover - it gave a clearer sense of the acoustic space the artists were performing in; there is a natural audible decay and reverberation to the instruments and vocals that is clearly there in the recordings that the Renew simply didn't resolve. It also added even greater separation, detail and texture to vocals and instruments than the Renew achieved, and added significantly more three dimensional depth to the sound stage, whilst really striking the ideal tonal middle ground in that lower mid/bass region - fuller and more balanced than the Renew, and tighter and more defined than the Sonos/SP32.

 

As I say, I was more than a little surprised, and took the demo really only on a recommendation. I certainly didn't expect it to best the Renew, but hoped merely that it might close the gap a little.

 

Given its £1500 price tag, the fairly extensive feature set (HDMI inputs, re-clocking etc) compared to most DAC's, and of course the incredible sound quality I experienced last night, it's an absolute steal.

 

Needless to say, the I have decided to send the Renew back for a refund, and will be getting an M51. With the £2,500 change, I will probably get the matching M50 streamer that is due out shortly, which will give me 24bit streaming and possibly another step up in sound quality over the Sonos - plus I'll still have change!

 

Don't get me wrong, this has been a pleasurable experience, and a real eye-opener to me, on the huge importance of the DAC in a digital streaming set-up. The Renew is a fabulous sounding piece of kit in its own right, and for someone adding this to a system with lesser DAC's, the improvement will be substantial. But given the existence of the M51(and possible other DAC's out there up to the value of the Renew/Akurate), one has to question the value for money of the Linn offering - and that is even without considering the full price Klimax DS.

 

Many thanks for all your help Cno (and others), as always, the journey continues...

 

- Gareth

 

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RE: The Linn DS / DSM thread

Chewy wrote:

.After hooking up the M51 I spent a couple of hours doing A-B testing with the same tracks, between that (Sonos/M51) and the Renew, both via XLR into the Primare . . . . All I can say is 'Wow!', I was more than a little surprised and impressed - the M51 is quite something - in my system it gave a decent step up over the Renew, perhaps to a similar extent than the Renew did over the Sonos/SP32. The M51 revealed detail in the tracks that the Renew simply didn't recover - it gave a clearer sense of the acoustic space the artists were performing in; there is a natural audible decay and reverberation to the instruments and vocals that is clearly there in the recordings that the Renew simply didn't resolve. It also added even greater separation, detail and texture to vocals and instruments than the Renew achieved, and added significantly more three dimensional depth to the sound stage, whilst really striking the ideal tonal middle ground in that lower mid/bass region - fuller and more balanced than the Renew, and tighter and more defined than the Sonos/SP32.

 As I say, I was more than a little surprised, and took the demo really only on a recommendation. I certainly didn't expect it to best the Renew, but hoped merely that it might close the gap a little.

 Given its £1500 price tag, the fairly extensive feature set (HDMI inputs, re-clocking etc) compared to most DAC's, and of course the incredible sound quality I experienced last night, it's an absolute steal.

 

Needless to say, the I have decided to send the Renew back for a refund, and will be getting an M51. With the £2,500 change, I will probably get the matching M50 streamer that is due out shortly, which will give me 24bit streaming and possibly another step up in sound quality over the Sonos - plus I'll still have change!

Don't get me wrong, this has been a pleasurable experience, and a real eye-opener to me, on the huge importance of the DAC in a digital streaming set-up. The Renew is a fabulous sounding piece of kit in its own right, and for someone adding this to a system with lesser DAC's, the improvement will be substantial. But given the existence of the M51(and possible other DAC's out there up to the value of the Renew/Akurate), one has to question the value for money of the Linn offering - and that is even without considering the full price Klimax DS.

Many thanks for all your help Cno (and others), as always, the journey continues...

 - Gareth

Thank you for the comprehensive reply.

I am delighted that you are getting the sound that suits you, and that you are able to return the RDS for a refund.

I am not entirely sure what happened, as the RDS should have been superior.....I have personally never heard one (only the KDS/0), which is why I posted so many links. I can only assume that either the housing makes more difference than has been reported; the RDS was below power in some way; or you didn't get on with the DS sound within your system. It should have sounded very analogue, natural and involving, while still being remarkably detailed.

Anyway, don't be a stranger and let us know how things go.

Cno

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