A surprise outcome....

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A surprise outcome....

Post by David Neel » 2018-02-14 14:04

After finally hearing the Tundra last year http://lejonklou.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=3807 I came to the conclusion that although I liked it a lot, in the context of my system (LP12, ADS/1, AK/1, 6100, 109s) Akurate Exakt was probably the way to go, retaining the 6100.

In December I was at the Linn factory and heard the Akubarik timeline (integrated aktiv, integrated exakt, external exakt, integrated katalyst). This gave me a good sense of what Katalyst brings to the party. So I was envisaging that as soon as Akurate Exaktbox Katalyst was announced, I'd upgrade. To make this as painless as possible, I wanted a second-hand AEDSM, and to sell my ADS/1 and AK/1. So I'd been in touch with Kantata Audio, well-known specialists in second-hand Linn, and then at the Linn factory visit in December I met John Stirling who is Kantata Audio. I explained to him then where I was going, and commented that I liked the Tundra, but it seemed better to focus on Exakt. This was before Kantata became a Lejonklou dealer......

So when the Lejonklou dealership was announced, I had an invitation to visit Kantata and listen. I explained to John that I was almost certainly going exakt, and that my purpose in visiting would be to confirm that decision. John agreed to set up two systems based on 109s, one with Akurate Exakt (including x200 amps, better than my 6100), and one passive, ADSM into x100. These were in separate rooms so we could switch very quickly from one to the other.

The flight from Glasgow to Belfast is very short indeed, and John was good enough to meet me at the airport at the extremely uncivilised time of 7.40am. Back to Lisburn and toast and coffee (thank you Sharon!) then we started with the passive system, ADSM and x100 amps. After some acclimatisation to the room and the DVC, the x100 was removed, and a tundra connected. Here we got the expected improvement.

The OMG! moment was putting the Sagatun in to replace the ADSM's DVC. Now we had a very significant improvement. Then the Boazu instead of the Sagatun/Tundra. This was preferable to the Tundra alone, but predictably not close to the S/T combination. But for the money, it's ridiculously good. Anyway, back to the S/T.

Finally we moved to the exakt system. This had greater dynamics and an obvious "rightness" about the sound, but going back to the S/T passive system there was more "flow" and emotional engagement. So not really clear-cut, although I was leaning towards the passive system. To clarify the differences, I asked John to move the passive system into the other room, to eliminate the room as a variable. Bingo! Best of both worlds now with the passive system.

Thank you John for a very well-planned demo. I didn't place an order there and then because I was not expecting that outcome, and had reservations in advance of hearing Akurate Katalyst. When I thought about it overnight, I realised that whilst Katalyst Akurate Exakt will be better than the system I heard at Kantata, it will be more of the same, based on the Akubarik demos at Linn. Cleaner, more resolution. But the Sagatun and Tundra have the emotion, the flow, the sheer foot-tapping musicality, and I think that the Sagatun is the key to this.

So I'm now awaiting delivery of Sagatun Monos and a Tundra......
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Re: A surprise outcome....

Post by Matteo » 2018-02-14 14:08

Thanks for your report David, very interesting for me, owning AK/1-A2200/1-M109.

Was your demo with Sagatun Mono or Stereo?

Regards

M.
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Re: A surprise outcome....

Post by David Neel » 2018-02-14 14:29

The demo was with a stereo Sagatun.

Also, I should have added that the comparisons were done from the regular inputs. Adding the single input capability was the icing on the cake!
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Re: A surprise outcome....

Post by Matteo » 2018-02-14 14:54

So you demoed the stereo version of Sagatun and Tundra and preferred them to the AK/1-M6100 combo.
After that, you ordered a Sagatun mono. Why?

I'm interesting in your findings, because the monos are way out of my budget for now.

Thanks

M.
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Re: A surprise outcome....

Post by David Neel » 2018-02-14 15:16

It was a leap of faith. I felt that what the Sagatun stereo brought was hugely important. Others on here have reported about the difference that Monos make. Add those together, and as the finances would stretch (yes, I'm fortunate), I just went for it.
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Re: A surprise outcome....

Post by Matteo » 2018-02-14 15:25

Thanks again David.

You confirmed that the Sagatun stereo was already a huge leap from AK/1, in particular with direct input.

Why didn't you ordered also the Tundra mono? Did you believe that with the M109 the Tundra stereo was enough?

Regards

M.
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Re: A surprise outcome....

Post by David Neel » 2018-02-14 15:34

Okay, I was fortunate to stretch to Sagatun Monos, but there is a limit! Maybe when my speakers are upgraded....
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Re: A surprise outcome....

Post by Matteo » 2018-02-14 15:59

ok ok

The aspect that leaves me doubtful is that in your demo you didn't compare AK/1 with Sagatun, but only the digital volume control of the ADSM/1 ...

As already written on the Linn forum, I'm not a huge fan of brief demo, beacuse for me it's not easy to make fair comparisons even in my room, with my sistem and within a limited period.

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M.
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Re: A surprise outcome....

Post by Music Lover » 2018-02-14 16:46

For me it's the opposite, you either hear right away if it's better or not.
So for me a short demo is perfect.
It's all about musical understanding!

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Re: A surprise outcome....

Post by David Neel » 2018-02-14 17:02

Matteo wrote: The aspect that leaves me doubtful is that in your demo you didn't compare AK/1 with Sagatun, but only the digital volume control of the ADSM/1 ...
M.
Okay, for the sake of brevity I glossed over that, but I am familiar with the Akurate DVC and its differences to the AK/1. Also, from hearing Boazu previously, I am happy that Boazu preamp section is usefully superior to AK/1. So when ADSM to Boazu is superior to ADSM direct to Tundra, and Sagatun plus Tundra are better again, I am happy to conclude that Sagatun is significantly better than AK/1. If I could have taken the AK/1 on the plane as cabin baggage I would have done, but it wasn't possible.

And I don't agree about brief demos, although this wasn't brief. After starting the demo before 9am, John took me back to the airport at 3.30pm.... okay we had some lunch and also heard some Kudos speakers, but the back and forth comparisons were thorough at each level. The differences were plain to hear and my responses consistent.
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Re: A surprise outcome....

Post by tokenbrit » 2018-02-14 20:34

Thank you for the write-up - impressively thorough comparison, & description, of the systems... A surprise outcome, maybe, given the starting point that you were "almost certainly going exakt", but the conclusion that a good few of us have come to ourselves, so not entirely surprising after all ;) I would not be surprised to find out that you are delighted by your Sagatun Monos, and Tundra... Congratulations!

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Re: A surprise outcome....

Post by Husky99 » 2018-02-14 22:02

It is possible to have exakt and Tundra to have the best of both worlds as I have with 3 of Tundra

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Re: A surprise outcome....

Post by Charlie1 » 2018-02-14 22:26

Thanks for the in-depth report back David.

Looking forward to hearing how you get on with it installed at home.

Can't comment on the Sagatuns, but I think you'll very much enjoy the benefit of the Tundra alone.

Will you go for a big bang or one step at a time? I think I can guess the answer tbh ;O)

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Re: A surprise outcome....

Post by cjs » 2018-02-15 11:29

Hi Husky99,

Yes, it is.

Following Anthony's visit, I'm now testing AEDSM into AEbox 6 and 2 Tundra 2.2's with Kudos Super 20A's.

It works very nicely indeed.

However, I keep wanting to put the Sagatun back in........ :)

John.
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Re: A surprise outcome....

Post by u252agz » 2018-02-16 09:48

David Neel wrote:
So I'm now awaiting delivery of Sagatun Monos and a Tundra......

Great move - you are going to start appreciating just how good your music really is.

If it was me - I would resist the overpowering urge to hook up all three amps at the same time, and just connect the Tundra - and be astonished at what a Klimax ( plus) level amp can do in a passive single wire system.

Once you have recovered and the Tundra is nicely burned in - then give in to the overpowering urge to connect the Sagatan Monos: and prepare yourself to be completely and utterly blown away .

They are that good, even when compared to AK/1, which is a very good analogue preamp, and initself a million miles better than any DVC preamp.

Enjoy the world class preamp/amp combo and lose yourself in your music.
Last edited by u252agz on 2018-02-16 12:31, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: A surprise outcome....

Post by anthony » 2018-02-16 09:59

u252agz wrote:
David Neel wrote:
So I'm now awaiting delivery of Sagatun Monos and a Tundra......


They are that good, even when compared to AK/1, which is a very good analogue preamp, and initself a million miles better than any DVC preamp.

.
Can you confirm you have actual heard the katalyst DVC against an AK1.

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Re: A surprise outcome....

Post by David Neel » 2018-02-16 10:03

u252agz, thank you!

However, my AK/1 and 6100 have already been shipped....

So, big bang it will be.
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Re: A surprise outcome....

Post by Matteo » 2018-02-16 10:25

Owning the AK/1 (better than DVC) and A2200/1 (better than M6100) combo, my concern regards the risk that a Sagatun/Tundra stereo could be for me a side-moving or a small leap forward, considering also the financial outlay and loss (having bought the Linn combo new for more than 9,000 € in late 2014 and having seen on HifiShark that this combo s/h has an average value in the range of 1,700-1,900 € for a single unit).

M.
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Re: A surprise outcome....

Post by u252agz » 2018-02-16 10:50

Matteo wrote:Owning the AK/1 (better than DVC) and A2200/1 (better than M6100) combo, my concern regards the risk that a Sagatun/Tundra stereo could be for me a side-moving or a small leap forward,

M.

Think of it as a move to Linn Klimax level ( KK / Klimax solos ) and you will realise it would be a huge leap into the stratosphere and a positive bargain.

I suspect you may even prefer the Boazu to AK/1 A2200, good as they are.
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Re: A surprise outcome....

Post by Charlie1 » 2018-02-16 11:47

Matteo wrote:my concern regards the risk that a Sagatun/Tundra stereo could be for me a side-moving or a small leap forward
Whilst it's logical to assume the 109s were aktiv, David was running them passive, so I think he'll find the Tundra a sizeable step forward.

My guess is the Tundra is a solid upgrade from aktiv 6100 too, if that had been the case, but I've not done a similar comparison.

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Re: A surprise outcome....

Post by u252agz » 2018-02-16 14:24

anthony wrote:
Can you confirm you have actual heard the katalyst DVC against an AK1.
Only compared AK/1 with DVC on KDS/1 ( which was truly awful) and my KDS/2 ( much better but only at vol 50-60, beyond this the musicality falling off a cliff)

I had forgotten about the KDS/3 I am afraid, and would love to compare the DVC on this to my Sagatun Monos , or an AK/1 if anyone can lend me one.

This may have to wait a while; as currently at the moment I am concentrating on my LP12, where the upgrades seem to provide more quantum leaps than with digital, at least for the moment.
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Re: A surprise outcome....

Post by anthony » 2018-02-16 14:50

The DVC on a KDS3 is way better to KDS1 and totally agree many preamps would improve on a KDS1.

However the 3 is a different beast altogether and for me easily beats an AK1.
I consider it takes sagatun mono to improve upon it, but for me being a single source user, and with the new urika revelations i am happy enough without a preamp.

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Re: A surprise outcome....

Post by macrotech2 » 2018-02-16 18:01

I recently tried living with the DVC of a newly acquired KDSM/2 Katalyst.
Such a relief to put the Sagatun Monos back in and being able to relax back into the music without feeling I was straining to make sense of what was going on.
KDS/3 Katalyst / Oppo 205 / Sky Q / Sagatun Mono Tarandus / Tundra Mono 2 Tarandus / Akubariks

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Re: A surprise outcome....

Post by u252agz » 2018-02-16 20:27

It would be interesting to know how Sagatun stereo compares with Katalyst DVC, or even Boazu.

Boazu certainly does not get tiring and was very enjoyable with my KDS/2, when filling in for the recent Sagatun Mono Tarandus upgrades.
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Re: A surprise outcome....

Post by mrco99 » 2018-02-16 21:58

Matteo wrote:Owning the AK/1 (better than DVC) and A2200/1 (better than M6100) combo, my concern regards the risk that a Sagatun/Tundra stereo could be for me a side-moving or a small leap forward, considering also the financial outlay and loss (....)
Biggest risk imho is that you don't wish to revert back once you listened to Sagatun and Tundra....and as for losses - you're losing out on something if you don't listen to what this combo may bring you. Now that you have tried Slipsik, I can very well understand you'll find yourself on a slippery slope.

I agree however it is a firm depreciation when having bought AK/1 and 2200/D new. You can only decide for yourself if and when it is a good time to take the plunge...
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