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Linn and Lejonklou

Posted: 2019-10-04 17:18
by lawton111
Hi there,
As to a newbie question. I have been a big fan of Linn for many years. CD12,KK,solos. My question is now that Linn have stopped the KK could I use a Lejonklou pre into the Solos? What SQ could i expect? Speakers are either Focal Utopia or Sopras.
Many thanks for your time!

Re: Linn and Lejonklou

Posted: 2019-10-04 19:12
by ThomasOK
Hi lawton111 and welcome to the forum. My experience is that the Linn and Lejonklou gear can work really well together. I am a long time Linnie, having owned an LP12 for 41 years (technically several different LP12s but I've always owned one) and Isobariks since 1980. I had all Linn systems from when the LK1/LK2 came out in 1985 (if I remember correctly) until I switched speakers in 2004. I also owned a Klimax Kontrol (then /1 and /2) from the time when it came out until the Sagatun Monos were released. I also have a full Klimax LP12 with Lejonklou SINGularity MC phono stage and a CD12 at home as sources (and had a KRDS/1 until recently).

In the interest of full disclosure I am the North American importer of Lejonklou gear and work full time at a Linn/Lejonklou/Moon/Rega/Dynaudio/NAD/etc. dealer. I replaced my KK with Sagatun Monos and even with the 1.0 versions found it to be quite an improvement. I have had several customers switch from KKs to Sagatun Monos and a couple choose them over the KKs after a comparison - they all still own them. The Lejonklou equipment has a lot in common musically with Linn gear as they were both designed using the tune method to chose components, designs, etc. The difference is that Fredrik is even more precise in choice of components, directions of internal components, torques of fasteners, etc. all determined using the Tune Method. In every part of his design he takes things to another level and it is no exaggeration to say that every component in any Lejonklou design was chosen by listening to multiple (sometimes many, many multiple) options, even down to screws, washers and feet. In my experience this leads to equipment that has an evenness and balance similar to Linn but gives even more insight into the quality and playing of the musicians and better flow. Some Linn equipment has tended to a more detailed and drier presentation over the years, the reason some still prefer Klouts to Chakra amps. Note also that Solos are not Chakra amps but class A/B bipolar amps and seem to me to have less of this tendency. But Lejonklou gear does not have that quality, it is quite fluid without being artificially warm and soft. Indeed my feeling is that it doesn't editorialize at all on the music, just lets as much information through as possible so the music speaks for itself.

While I find that additional musicality there in the current Tundra Monos as well, I would say the Solos probably come the closest to Lejonklou of any of the Linn gear. That, and the fact that they have more power, makes Solos combined with Sagatun Monos a very good combination if you have really inefficient and difficult to drive speakers, especially if you tend to play loud in a large room. However, Tundra Monos with moderately efficient speakers can play quite loud even in a large room (as one of my customers with 90dB efficient speakers in a really large living/dining room can attest). Also because of the hierarchy, even if you were going to eventually change both preamps and power amps, the preamps would be the ones to change first.

So I think you would find the Sagatun Monos would work quite well in your system and would certainly be a worthwhile musical upgrade. There are a number of people on here who have switched over from the KK to Sagatun Monos (as well as amps and phono stages) so I expect you will get more comments about this.

Re: Linn and Lejonklou

Posted: 2019-10-04 23:18
by sunbeamgls
Mixing Linn Exakt with Lejonklou power amps very happily here :)

Re: Linn and Lejonklou

Posted: 2019-10-05 21:44
by lawton111
Many thanks for the replies especially Thomas. What about volume controls into the Solos? And also how might they sound with the Focals?
Thanks in advance,

Re: Linn and Lejonklou

Posted: 2019-10-05 22:38
by ThomasOK
No problem with the volume control. The volume control on Sagatuns runs from 0 to 100 in 1dB increments, with 80 being unity gain, the same as most Linn preamps, including the KK/1 and KK/2. The KK/0 had unity gain at 70. Normally the Sagatuns are limited to 78, which will be quite loud with Solos, but they can be set to go to 100 when you turn them on. You can even use your Linn remote control with Sagatuns if you want, and you can see what volume you are at from across the room.

I don't have a lot of experience with Focals but I'm pretty sure it is safe to say that if you found the KK to to be a good match with them you will find the Sagatuns to be a good match as well. Frequency balance is similar on both preamps. Sagatun Monos give you great insight into the music you are listening to with no stridency or forwardness (which is sometimes sold as more detail). It is hard for me to characterize their sound as they just seem to get out of the way of the music. So I could say they are very relaxing as they are with Kind of Blue, but I could also say they are angry since they are with Pretty Hate Machine, etc.