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Article: Linn Akurate Exakt DSM Player and Exakt Akubarik Loudspeaker Review


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Hi Guys - I received some information from Linn about phase distortion. This is a complex subject that isn't easily explained by someone such as myself. Here is the information from Linn directly.

 

 

· To accurately reproduce a recording, a system needs to preserve the phase response of every frequency. Phase distortion results in each frequency having a different time delay, and when you combine frequencies that have been subjected to different delays, you change the sound of the original recording.

 

 

 

· Phase distortion occurs in every single analogue speaker ever made and it is propagated by three factors:

 

o Analogue crossovers – through which high frequencies will pass more quickly than low frequencies

 

o Drive units – every drive unit has its own characteristics that affect its phase response at different frequencies

 

o Distance between drive units and the listener – as drive units are physically placed at different points on the loudspeaker, sound arrives at the listener at different times

 

 

 

· Exakt is unique in that it addresses all three of these issues, at every frequency, in real time. Nobody else can claim to have eliminated phase distortion. Here’s how we do it:

 

o Exakt’s digital crossover – engineered to produce zero phase response, eliminating the delays associated with analogue crossovers

 

o Drive unit response – every drive unit is measured and its unique response stored in the cloud. The digital crossover corrects the phase response of every drive unit digitally.

 

o Distance to the listener – Exakt uses the measured listener’s position, the placement of the speakers in the room, and the relative positions of all the drive units to calculate the delays necessary to ensure the frequencies from each drive unit arrive at the listener at the same time

Founder of Audiophile Style

UPDATED: My Audio Systems -> https://audiophile.style/system

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This is exaktly what I have been looking for. Unfortunately it is about ten-fold more costly than I could realistically afford. One can only hope the prices will come down somewhat. I can't afford to spend that much on a new car.

 

Testing the phase coherence of this Exakt system I played Roger Waters' Amused to Death album. The track Perfect Sense, Part I revealed the most enveloping soundstage I've ever heard. The opening voices and breathing emanating from the left side and the piano coming from the right sounded like a 190 degree sound field. I felt enveloped by the Q Sound experience and its requirement of a phase coherent system.

 

My AudioEngine A2s and even my Macbook air speakers are phase-coherent by this criterion. I do agree that this is a good test, and it is interesting to see what can collapse the image.

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Thanks for the review. First time I have lusted after equipment in a while. In my ideal world there would be speakers, an external HD, and a tablet/phone to control. Nothing else. Well, the speaker could also store the music or maybe pull from the cloud. This gets a little closer. Although, along with wgscott, my pricepoint is 1/8 of this system....How much is the Majik Exakt system?

 

chris

QNAP TS453Pro w/QLMS->Netgear Switch->Netgear R7800 Router->Ethernet (50 ft)->Netgear switch->SBTouch ->iFi xDSD->Linn Majik-IL (preamp)->Linn 2250->Linn Keilidh; Control Points: iPeng (iPad Air & iPhone); Also: Rega P3-24 w/ DV 10x5; OPPO 103; PC Playback: Foobar2000 & JRiver; Portable: iPhone 12 ProMax & Radio Paradise or NAS streaming; Sony NWZ ZX2 w/ PHA-3; SMSL IQ, Fiio Q5, iFi Nano iDSD BL; Garage: Edifier S1000DB Active Speakers  

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As yet Linn have only produced Klimax and Akurate Exakt systems I am sure the Majik system is on the way

The other amazing aspect of the system is once you have found the optimum spot for the speakers you can then move them to a different position which is socially acceptable and they still sound the same.

Having purchased the Klimax system I am very happy and loving my music and hearing so many more nuances in the music

One of the stunning tracks is summertime with Ella and Louis just sublime

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I use electrostatics, which have no crossovers so suffer few of these problems!

 

Linn's system is a way to tie you in to them. It allows no playing of DSD, which analogue or not to the speakers for me provides a more musical experience.

 

And whatever your view of DSD, there is a lot of music that has been created in DSD or converted from analogue to DSD and I believe is best played back in that format rather than being converted again to PCM.

 

And then there's the price!

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Just a slight correction / addendum to Chris' review but you can now go to a Linn Exakt system in stages (either Akurate or Klimax level). If you buy the Linn Akurate or Klimax DSM they now have the Exakt link in place AS WELL AS analogue outputs so you could use your current amplification and speakers and later upgrade to Exakt speakers.

 

Secondary Chris said in his very first paragraph "I couldn't even use an Aurender music server if I wanted to with the Exakt system." Well this not completely correct as you could connect the Aurender to one of the digital inputs of the DSM - it may not be a very logical way to use it (direct UPnP control would make more sense) but you can do it.

 

At a lower price I'm sure Pete will be along shortly to point out that you could buy a pair of Genelecs...

 

Finally with regard to DSD support ... while it would make sense in an analogue context to support DSD, in context of a DSP based system DSD support is a bit of a non-starter.

 

Eloise

Eloise

---

...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

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I use electrostatics, which have no crossovers so suffer few of these problems!

 

Linn's system is a way to tie you in to them. It allows no playing of DSD, which analogue or not to the speakers for me provides a more musical experience.

 

And whatever your view of DSD, there is a lot of music that has been created in DSD or converted from analogue to DSD and I believe is best played back in that format rather than being converted again to PCM.

 

And then there's the price!

 

Same here electro, I use electrostatics coupled with an all-digital dac/amp, which is also a nice simple solution...besides, Lyngdorf RoomPerfect (room correction software) seems more advanced or, at least on par with Linn's...

 

But Linn solution is admirable and I am sure someday they will give in to dsd, not because they believe in it but because their customers are demanding it at the moment...should be workable at the source...

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Linn and Naim stand on the beach like King Canute while the analogue sounding DSD waves are washing at their feet!

 

I decided to correct the room as much as I could and use digital correction for the subwoofer only, that way I can play DSD uncorrupted to the speakers.

 

Many of the room correction systems don't work in hi-res - despite what their makers say, the AV amps downsample to 16/44 internally.

 

I'm sure the Linn system mentioned here doesn't do that however.

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"The Linn Exakt system is only subtractive. It isn't possible to add a frequency bump anywhere between 10 Hz and 100 kHz. Darrin and I spent the most time adjusting for a single room mode. Surprisingly my room only had a single mode that needed to be adjusted. The optimization software suggested we should place a single large frequency dip of -18 dB at 33.78 Hz. Making adjustments was as simple as entering a value and listening. Darrin sat next to me and made changes to the gain of the dip on his MacBook Air while I had the iPad in hand ready to tap play as soon as a change was saved. We tried a few settings and settled with a -12.00 dB gain at 33.78 Hz"

 

You can achieve this with an Anti-Node that costs under £200 and drive the subwoofer only as I do, leaving the other channels uncorrupted.

 

My TagMcLaren AV32 that I no longer use in my main system has Parametric equalisation accurate to 1Hz and has both additive and subtractive capability and dates back to 2003!

 

The other thing I don't like about this approach is inability to upgrade the DACs. I've changed DAC's every other years on average!

 

Seems like a lot of compromise and cost to eliminate speaker cables.

 

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You can achieve this with an Anti-Node that costs under £200 and drive the subwoofer only as I do, leaving the other channels uncorrupted.

 

My TagMcLaren AV32 that I no longer use in my main system has Parametric equalisation accurate to 1Hz and has both additive and subtractive capability and dates back to 2003!

 

So you think the Linn engineers are not capable of developing such an equalisation? I'd rather think, they didn't want to do this.

 

Regards

Beat

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Chris,

I guess there are a number here who would like to understand relative strengths of the Linn vs your TAD etc set up? The TADs are hugely resolving but unforgiving speakers that absolutely demand perfection in my experience. A textile dome vs beryllium is sort of night and day I guess (I've gone to SS-AR1 textile dome from CR1s). But how about the benefits or otherwise of phase coherence vs not? Bass extension? Slam? On a similar subject, any thoughts to trial the AG Zero 1's - a very similar concept completely differently implemented - the 12" woofer might add something there. Looking forward to hearing about Devialet/SAM on the CR1s too! Great days to be in audio!

Great site!

Murray

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Chris,

I guess there are a number here who would like to understand relative strengths of the Linn vs your TAD etc set up? The TADs are hugely resolving but unforgiving speakers that absolutely demand perfection in my experience. A textile dome vs beryllium is sort of night and day I guess (I've gone to SS-AR1 textile dome from CR1s). But how about the benefits or otherwise of phase coherence vs not? Bass extension? Slam? On a similar subject, any thoughts to trial the AG Zero 1's - a very similar concept completely differently implemented - the 12" woofer might add something there. Looking forward to hearing about Devialet/SAM on the CR1s too! Great days to be in audio!

Great site!

Murray

 

Indeed, Besides the Zero's another project that really intrigues me is the one from Grimm Audio,

LS1 | GrimmAudio

 

Audio magazine made a rave review if it...

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I worked for a Linn dealer years back when they were first developing the audio over ethernet system concept. Linn was at the leading edge then and is now as well. That kind of R&D and engineering does not come cheaply. Linn has never made any pretense about being mainstream. They are and always have been an extreme high end company. Even the Majik line which is their lowest price line is built extremely well and carries the same engineering pedigree as the top end of the line. Linn has a dedicated world-wide customer base and they service them well which also costs money. When producing and selling very high quality unique components; low item count, high margins and high prices are unavoidable. So yes it is expensive but there are good reasons why and for those who want these products the price is usually not an issue.

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