Exakt

General HiFi discussion, using the Tune Method to evaluate performance

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rowlandhills
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Exakt

Post by rowlandhills » 2013-09-21 15:52

So, I figure we'll need a thread on here to talk about today's announcements from Linn HQ.

Music Lover - I'm sure you'll be pleased by the idea of new tuneboxes for the Komri, especially given this description:

http://www.crushco.net/news/index/?id=28
There were five rooms at Linn HQ devoted to various aspects of the presentation but two were especially important. We listened to two pieces of music. First through a fully Aktiv Komri System, then the new Linn Exakt Komri System and, to confirm the difference, we heard it through the “standard” Komri Aktiv system again. This process was very revealing; the Komri Aktiv System sounds beautiful of course, but after the same songs were played back on the Exakt system a Canadian dealer remarked that it was difficult to believe that these were the same recordings such was the difference. This development is a serious step change in audio reproduction quality. One long-time Linn dealer was moved to say that this was, “probably the best audio system I have ever heard…”.
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Post by Robert Lake » 2013-09-21 16:47

Well, a digital equalizer and a speaker filter in the same box, who would have guessed? I expect the costs will astronomical, far beyond my budget. It will be interesting hear, and see how far they can take the concept down money in terms of costs.

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Post by hcl » 2013-09-21 20:29

Interesting report!

Did they only compare Exakt to KDSM or did they compare Exakt to KDS+KK in any system? As KDS+KK is safely above KDSM in performance it raises the question how far is Exakt from KDS+KK?

Regardless, it is good to see that they have future support for even the old top of the line products. An important issue for some, as I understand it. Also the possibilities to use the outboard Exakt with speaker systems from other manufacturers is very interesting, for example in PA operation, theaters etc. Do anyone know if this possibility has been mentioned?

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Re: Exakt

Post by Music Lover » 2013-09-21 21:11

rowlandhills wrote: Music Lover - I'm sure you'll be pleased by the idea of new tuneboxes for the Komri, especially given this description:
Based on given information, unfortunately the new speakers and tune boxes only have digital "Exakt Link" inputs so you need to use a Exakt DS.
It's all about musical understanding!

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Re: Exakt

Post by hcl » 2013-09-22 08:38

Music Lover wrote:
rowlandhills wrote: Music Lover - I'm sure you'll be pleased by the idea of new tuneboxes for the Komri, especially given this description:
Based on given information, unfortunately the new speakers and tune boxes only have digital "Exakt Link" inputs so you need to use a Exakt DS.
That seem to be the concept. They could be adding analogue inputs on the Exakt Tune Box, but hat would be surprising as it wouls make it unessesary expensive for most customers (as it would host hardware, e.g. a ADC section, that most users would not need).

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Post by Charlie1 » 2013-09-22 09:17

I think you will be able to hook up an LP12.

As HCL commented, I wonder if it will be more musical than KDS/KK. Feedback from those at the event is very positive though, but I think that was with direct comparison to KDSM.

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Post by lejonklou » 2013-09-22 09:52

Exakt is an interesting concept and I wish Linn the best of luck with it!

From a theoretical and engineering perspective, it certainly makes sense to keep the signal in the digital domain for as long as possible. They could have incorporated digital power amplifiers as well into that concept - and I'm sure they tried - but as it now is, those last parts remain analogue like in any aktiv system.

From a practical perspective however, going digital is not a simple problem solver. It's trading some problems for others. Two products that illustrate how complex reality is are the LSNAS and the LP12. Both of those products make little to no sense theoretically. The LSNAS should be pointless and no better than any storage on the ethernet, but instead it significantly improves the performance of a DS. And upsets those who haven't heard it and have a hard time accepting it, I might add.
The LP12 is an old and flawed analogue medium that doesn't stand a chance against modern digital systems. I'm sure quite a few at Linn feel that way too. Still, it has managed to remain the most musical source in the world.

Very few engineers these days take an interest in analogue circuitry. I was told they don't teach much of it at the university either. It's messy and complicated, unlike the convenient True and False of digital theory. Personally, I think there are some really big improvements still to be made in the analogue domain of musical reproduction. And I intend to prove it.

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Post by Charlie1 » 2013-09-22 10:01

lejonklou wrote:Personally, I think there are some really big improvements still to be made in the analogue domain of musical reproduction. And I intend to prove it.
Sounds good to me!

Since Exakt signals a move away from analogue components like the KK, perhaps Linn will sqeeeeeze the KK volume control into the Urika. I don't think a display would be suitable, but a Kikkin-style LED would do me very nicely thank you :)

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Post by Azazello » 2013-09-22 10:46

Charlie1 wrote: Since Exakt signals a move away from analogue components like the KK, perhaps Linn will sqeeeeeze the KK volume control into the Urika. I don't think a display would be suitable, but a Kikkin-style LED would do me very nicely thank you :)
That sounds like a super weird move? Isn't the Urika going to feed the "EKDSM" that will control the volume..? A digital RIAA in the EKDSM would make more sense to me :)

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Post by Azazello » 2013-09-22 11:07

But can anyone confirm that Linn is going to keep both KDS and KDSM? If that is the case Linn customers will have a good few top systems to choose between before they invest a small fortune in their hifi :) challenging for the dealers I would guess..?

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Post by Charlie1 » 2013-09-22 11:08

Azazello wrote:That sounds like a super weird move? Isn't the Urika going to feed the "EKDSM" that will control the volume..? A digital RIAA in the EKDSM would make more sense to me :)
Sorry, I meant for it to feed into standard analogue power amp/s and speakers, not the Exakt.

A digital RIAA? I just don't like the idea of converting my LPs to digital.

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Post by hcl » 2013-09-22 11:15

Azazello wrote:
Charlie1 wrote: Since Exakt signals a move away from analogue components like the KK, perhaps Linn will sqeeeeeze the KK volume control into the Urika. I don't think a display would be suitable, but a Kikkin-style LED would do me very nicely thank you :)
That sounds like a super weird move? Isn't the Urika going to feed the "EKDSM" that will control the volume..? A digital RIAA in the EKDSM would make more sense to me :)
Indeed!

A digital RIAA is not as straight forward as one might think. The signal needs to be amplified to a great extent before being feed to the ADC and (especially) the high frequency components of that signal would be rather problematic at that stage (requirering an extensive headroom). As we all know saturation in a digital transmission is everything but good.

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Post by Azazello » 2013-09-22 11:21

Charlie1 wrote:
Azazello wrote:That sounds like a super weird move? Isn't the Urika going to feed the "EKDSM" that will control the volume..? A digital RIAA in the EKDSM would make more sense to me :)
Sorry, I meant for it to feed into standard analogue power amp/s and speakers, not the Exakt.

A digital RIAA? I just don't like the idea of converting my LPs to digital.
Still a bit strange idea? All receiving units still have volume in them?

Well, then EDS is not for you :)

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Post by Charlie1 » 2013-09-22 11:33

Sorry, I am hijacking the thread with my own selfish wants. I only have one source, my LP12, so fitting the KK volume control into Urika would work for me. Then just output from LP12 into my power amp and job done. But this is all distracting from Exact thread.

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Post by Charlie1 » 2013-09-22 12:02

I have heard great things about twin-server digital architectures, similar to recording studios. A friend said it's the first time he's heard a digital source compete with an LP12SE, particularly in terms of timing. I wonder why Linn hasn't gone down this route instead. Surely, that would be more source-first orientated?

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Post by Rufus McDufus » 2013-09-22 12:16

It strikes me there's a stonking hole in the market there for a streamer which outputs to Exakt Link for a fraction of the price of the EKDSM, providing Exakt Link could be cracked of course. Though the Tuneboxes sound like they'll be prohibitively expensive on their own for most people.

The problem is at these prices there's just no entry point for all but the richest. And for streaming only, it begs the question how the EKDSM would sound significantly better to any lower-priced offerings they may bring out in future. I also get the impression tune dem has taken second stage to technology here.

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Post by SaltyDog » 2013-09-22 13:45

Is there any reason not to convert the LP12 signal to digital while it is still a low level signal? Like the urika with an Ethernet output. Where to plug that Ethernet cord still needs to be answered.

I am looking at this from a selfish perspective. I am still wanting to have just the LP12 and speakers in my listening room. A thin long flexible connection has an appeal.

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Post by hcl » 2013-09-22 14:38

Charlie1 wrote:I have heard great things about twin-server digital architectures, similar to recording studios. A friend said it's the first time he's heard a digital source compete with an LP12SE, particularly in terms of timing. I wonder why Linn hasn't gone down this route instead. Surely, that would be more source-first orientated?
What is that? Maybe You could elaborate in another thread?

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Post by Charlie1 » 2013-09-22 22:48

How important is this element of Exakt: -
Lossless, guaranteed delivery and ultra accurate clock sync.
CD12 jitter 41ps
KDSM jitter 11ps
Exakt jitter 6.3ps
Do we know what the jitter is for KDS/1, or is this not that relevant?

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Post by Per A » 2013-09-24 19:07

I found out that Meridian has been making speakers with active digital filters for many years. One model is DSP5200 and they are a lot cheaper. Did anybdy hear them?

https://www.meridian-audio.com/en/colle ... peaker/24/

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Post by hcl » 2013-09-24 19:40

Per A wrote:I found out that Meridian has been making speakers with active digital filters for many years. One model is DSP5200 and they are a lot cheaper. Did anybdy hear them?

https://www.meridian-audio.com/en/colle ... peaker/24/
I have actually installed a system with a Sneaky and a couple of the 5200th When we startd, the installation sounded just weird, but it was pretty ok in the end. At that time we had Keilidh and a Sneaky in the garage and I actually preferred that system over the much more expensive Meridian system. In fact all Meridian systems I've heard have sounded dissapointing. The only thing I consider reasonably good was the system with the Sneaky. There is now a MDSM in that system and acc. To the owner it is clearly better than it where with the Sneaky.
Last edited by hcl on 2013-09-25 06:26, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by lejonklou » 2013-09-24 20:48

hcl wrote:Javisst. Jag har faktiskt installerat ett system med en Sneaky och ett par 5200. När vi började installationen lät det sjukt konstigt, men det blev ganska ok till slut. Jag hade då ett par Keilidh och en Sneaky i garaget och föredrog ändå garagesystemet. Alla Meridian-system jag hört har låtit rätt kasst. Det enda jag tyckt var någorlunda var det med Sneakyn. Det sitter nu en MDSM där och enl. uppgift skall det vara tydligt bättre än det var med Sneakyn.
Can you please translate your post to English, hcl?

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Post by tokenbrit » 2013-09-25 02:31

:)
hcl [via Google Translate] wrote:Sure. I have actually installed a system with a Sneaky and a couple of the 5200th When we began the installation sounded crazy weird, but it was pretty ok in the end. I then had a couple Keilidh and a Sneaky in the garage and nevertheless preferred garage system. All Meridian systems I've heard have sounded right shitty. The only thing I thought was reasonably was with Sneakyn. There is now a MDSM there and acc. task shall be clearly better than it was with Sneakyn

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Post by hcl » 2013-09-25 06:27

tokenbrit wrote::)
hcl [via Google Translate] wrote:Sure. I have actually installed a system with a Sneaky and a couple of the 5200th When we began the installation sounded crazy weird, but it was pretty ok in the end. I then had a couple Keilidh and a Sneaky in the garage and nevertheless preferred garage system. All Meridian systems I've heard have sounded right shitty. The only thing I thought was reasonably was with Sneakyn. There is now a MDSM there and acc. task shall be clearly better than it was with Sneakyn
I'm sorry and thanks for the interim translation!

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Post by Efraim roots » 2013-09-25 14:29

I think Meridian is quite good. Generally regarding digital technology they are very good and innovative! Sometimes setting new standards to the industry. They have had this DSP speaker system for years (Exakt style). I use their harddiskplayer Media Core 200 myself and I love it for several reasons. Very musical (same level as Naim ND5XS), nice 'analog sound', their software/interface is beautiful and pure joy to use (the best I've ever tried) and the unit is very easy to place on a discreet location. It's also very cheap to add another good zone source unit if you already have a Media Core unit.

Personally I wouldn't want their complete stereo systems tho. It's something not quite right musically in comparison with the very best like Linn and Naim. But compared to using McIntosh or something, Meridian is miles better! Regarding Home theater they are really great actually, haven't experienced anything better. And this is because of their processors. The DSP speakers isn’t really the best part about Meridian IMO. BUT it's clearly more of a 'lifestyle' brand and in this context they work very well. And that's how I feel about Exakt, another step towards the B&O category. Nothing for me. Maybe it’s necessary for a succesfull future, who knows.
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