Exakt

General HiFi discussion, using the Tune Method to evaluate performance

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anthony
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Re: Exakt

Post by anthony » 2015-11-16 18:55

lejonklou wrote:
anthony wrote:Despite the majority heaping great praise on this latest upgrade, I believe a few have had misgivings.
What does this mean?

Does it mean that some think the latest firmware is worse than the previous, and then they can't go back? On their own system?
The vast majority consider it to be superior, but in one or two cases this was not the findings.

A second update followed quite quickly, which reportedly, has no content to affect the sound quality, despite several claiming it has, myself included....I wonder if the first download wasn't 100% successful and the subsequent update cured this problem.

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Re: Exakt

Post by ThomasOK » 2017-02-16 18:48

It seems to me that the whole Exakt controversy has leaked all over the place so I thought I’d try to bring it back here to the thread that was created for it. I have been watching the comments here and there about Exakt and what it is supposed to do. And also about the idea of applying it to the JBL 3677s that I and others here own. I have noticed a fair bit of misinformation and also what seems like a definite agenda on the parts of some people. This is characterized by people pushing the idea of Exact 3677s who don’t own those speakers, telling people they shouldn’t spend their money on JBLs without hearing them (always a good idea but one I didn’t personally follow because of my trust in the ears of the several members who recommended them to me, and the relatively modest investment if I didn’t like them) yet telling people they should chip in to fund JBL Exakt filters without hearing what the result would be, and claiming that Exakt will make their JBLs “perfect” or producing a “linear phase speaker”. Side question: Can you effectively crowd fund a project with a crowd of one?

Now I will admit that living in the US under the current (and hopefully short-lived) administration I have become extremely sensitive to lies and exaggerations. So you’ll have to forgive me if I’m a little harsh but there is no such thing as a perfect speaker nor will there ever be. Nor is there a true linear phase speaker and I don’t think such a thing is likely within the lifetime of most of us. Probably the closest things to a linear phase speaker was the Hill Plasmatronics but only down to about 700Hz where it crossed over to the midbass and bass drivers. The Vandersteen Model 7 is probably the modern speaker that comes closest but still is certainly not perfect (although it seemed pretty good the couple of times I heard it – unfortunately not with my choice of sources or electronics). Some full range electrostatics might also come close except that “full-range pure electrostatic” is pretty much a contradiction in terms.

There are many problems with trying to get a truly linear phase speaker but it mostly comes down to the drivers themselves - although the cabinet assuredly has an important influence too, along with the crossovers, of course. But I thought I would highlight a couple of important problems that keep current speakers from being truly linear phase transducers. Interestingly enough the first problem was brought to light on the Linn forum by an informative question from linnrd and an equally informative answer from Phil Budd (Philbo), who I applaud for his straightforward reply. Here it is (only edited to correct a couple of spelling errors):
Phil,
Since there are driver anomalies that are amplitude based I was wondering if Exakt systems are meant to compensate for these at a certain SPL, or within a range of SPL.

For example, where the voice coil heats up and changes properties there will be deviations. Can you provide any information at what transient peak SPL this might arise (e.g. 105dB, 100dB, 115dB, or...) and whether the Exakt model compensates for that. If not, below what point should one have the system in order to avoid this.

Also, below a certain level one should expect a greater recalcitrance for the bass drivers to move (higher mass) and a similar question as to what a minimum SPL ought to be for linearity.

In short, is there a minimum, maximum and/or ideal SPL to gain the full benefit of the Exakt compensation of signal level-based deviations of drive units from ideal behavior.

Linnrd,
interesting set of questions.

The simple answer is that we tend to design between volumes of 60 and 70 on the Linn volume scale (-10 to -20 dB through the pre-amp). After this we will check the speakers at more moderate and more aggressive playback levels.
We measure the individual drive units for our Exakt systems at a similar level as they go through production.

We are aware that the current Exakt model does not vary depending on playback level, or more importantly, voice coil temperature. This will without doubt add variance to the playback spectrum of an Exakt speaker. We are investigating a few different ways we may be able to account for this variation in our future Exakt products.

As far as linearity with playback level is concerned much of this is still down to the drive units themselves. The motor and suspension systems in a drive unit are probably never entirely linear and will become more non-linear the harder you push them. This will always be a problem with an open loop system. We can try to predict the gross changes and model them but there will still remain some non-linearity. Only by closing the loop around the drive unit (such as our bass servo feedback system) can you start to eliminate non-linearity. Again, this is something we are fully aware of and are investigating ways we may be able to close the loop around both amplifier and drive unit to ensure increased linearity.

Hope this helps.

Phil.
So as Phil clearly says “the motor and suspension of a drive unit are probably never entirely linear” and they can try to model “gross changes” “but there will still remain some non-linearity”. So clearly a truly linear phase speaker is not currently possible with Exakt and it gets more non-linear as you play it louder or softer. Apparently the more dynamic the music the less linear it will be. This is true of all speakers to one degree or another and it is not something Exakt fixes, or is likely to fix in the near future.

It is interesting to note that despite the importance of this discussion, at least to me, the third post was some of the usual oddball humor from a regular member, which was followed up by others and seems to have completely derailed the thread as it only lasted 9 posts.

The second problem is that the vast majority of speakers use bassmid, or midrange drivers that cover quite a range. Covering a wide range is good in that the fewer crossover points help lead to a more seamless driver blend as does keeping the crossover points out of the middle of the vocal range, where possible. However, it also means that the driver will be making large movements while reproducing frequencies at the low end of its range while also making small movements at the upper end of its range. These small movements will be modulated by the larger motions causing Doppler distortion – a form of phase distortion. This is made even worse when small drivers are equalized to go lower than they go naturally in an active crossover, Exakt or otherwise, as it makes the driver work even harder. So once again, no true linear phase. Not to mention that many, if not most, speakers today are ported and the frequencies coming out of the port will not be phase aligned with the woofer. Note also that the 5” to 7 or 8” drivers most popular for this purpose in modern speakers (in order to keep the cabinet slim) are particularly subject to this problem, as they need a quite large excursion to produce the lower bass frequencies.

These are only two examples of non-linearities in speakers that can’t be fixed by current Exakt designs, there are others such as resonances and edge reflections from cabinets, reflections from metal grilles and many grill fabrics, especially thick ones, and their frames, spacing of drivers which affects the phase of frequencies where they overlap, etc. And this doesn’t even deal with Space Optimization, which is a subject for a whole different discussion. With all this I feel pretty safe to say that a truly linear phase speaker will require technologies not yet created.

Now I want to say that I have no problem with Linn developing Exakt technology and it will be interesting to see where it goes. Indeed it has improved much since the first “lossless” implementations came out. On the other hand I am disappointed that they decided to really work only on that technology (with the exception of the LP12 and its associated parts) and to stop development and production of analog components. But what gets me the most is the oversimplification and claims about the technology that the marketing department has dreamed up and which tends to get parroted by the true believers. The linear phase thing was dealt with above but the “lossless” claims (I suppose Katalyst must be more lossless) and “the source is in the speaker” not to mention the early claims about Space Optimiztion allowing you to put the speakers anywhere in the room and get the same musical quality as in the optimum spots. It is notable that Linn has backed off of most of these claims and I notice in the current Exakt info on the website there is no mention of lossless or the source is in the speaker nor is there the cartoon video showing you how horribly distorted old analog sound is and how perfect Exakt is. So it is good to see a reduction in these types of claims.

As to the current implementations of Exakt I still don’t find them musically involving. I have listened to a number of different versions and so far they haven’t made me feel like I want them in the home. Why is this? Well for the most part I trust my ears and they just don’t create the stirring, emotional musical reproduction I have always looked for in my equipment. They have a balanced and detailed sound but not one that is engaging. In short I find them to be more Hi-Fi than musical, and if that is what you want, more power to you. But as a long time hobbyist I have always been interested in learning what I can about how things work, but only if my ears can verify it. If I can find an explanation that agrees with what I hear and gives repeatable results, such as using a precision torque driver to optimize components, I am happy to find that things work as they should. But if something works that has no logical explanation I don’t worry about it I just go with what sounds good. As far as why I am musically unmoved by Exakt my suspicion is that it is because of all the digital processing that is involved in the chain. In my experience the more stages in a music system are digital the less music gets through. So currently a well recorded, all analog recording played on my LP12 through my Sagatun Monos and Tundra Monos and into my JBLs gives me the most satisfying musical experience. A well recorded digital recording pressed on vinyl and played through the same system comes in second. A quality analog recording converted to digital and played through my RenewDS comes in third and a quality digital recording through the Renew DS comes in fourth. It is interesting to note that any signal that is not 24bit 192kHz when entering a DS, regardless of whether it comes in as analog or digital, has to go through four resamplings before it gets to the DAC and 24/192 data streams still go through three. As Jajo has mentioned elsewhere, each digital transformation is a source of lost information. Going through all those transformations is not doing the music any favors, not to mention all the transformations it goes through in recording, mixing and mastering, which can add several more resamplings. So this is one reason that Exakt might not thrill all of us.

Secondly, it has been my experience that everything a digital signal passes through has an effect on the musicality of the end result. Which Ethernet cable you go through, what direction it is connected in and what its length is all have an audible effect as does the switch you use, the power supply to the switch and even the polarity the power supply is plugged in with. The power cables plugged into the streamer and the server, etc, etc. As can be seen in the thread on the LS-NAS developed by Linnofil, every part of the server including HDs, RAM, motherboard, power supply, internal cables and even the fan also change the music you hear. While this importance of the equipment and cables feeding a DS is something Linn originally didn’t agree with, and may still not for the most part, they do seem to have backed away from this somewhat. At least they are saying that the power supply for the DAC and the quality of the signal going to the DAC is where some of the big improvements from Katalyst derive.

Something that relates to this, and which for me is a total non-starter, is the Digital Volume Control or DVC. I have yet to hear a DVC that does not lose musicality, tunefulness and involvement compared to a good analog volume control, much less to a really excellent one as in the Sagatuns and KK. It appears that Exakt technology is inextricably linked to DVCs. Although Linn was asked about providing Exakt crossover technology with the ability to handle an analog preamp input for volume control and input switching they responded that it was not something they intended to do. My guess is that it would be extremely difficult to get the Exakt system to function acceptably at all with the range of levels that an analog volume control at the input would encompass. Digital systems don’t seem to work well at low levels so dealing with the extreme dynamic of musical signals that could be presented with a 50 or 60dB volume window, on top of the dynamics in the music itself, would likely be overly taxing. Indeed they might need to immediately boost the signal to full level and then use a DVC to mimic the original volume level just to get it to work right. On the other hand I could be completely wrong on this as I am not an engineer. Meridian, for one, seems to have implemented an analog level control in their systems with digital crossover speakers. Indeed they mention specifically that they have done so due to the superiority of analog volume controls! (Interestingly they refer to themselves as the “Masters of Digital Signal Processing” and make similar claims about the phase alignment, etc., of their DSP active speaker systems as Linn does.) Regardless of this, until a truly musical and transparent DVC can be developed, in my mind there can be no Exakt implementation that does not break the hierarchy no matter how good the DACs and crossover implementation that follow the volume control.

A question that relates to this was from beck who wondered why it was so hard to get a digital source (system) to be truly musical yet not so difficult for an analog source (system). I had a theory at the time but didn’t have a chance to put it down, but I think it fits here. It must be remembered that a digital data stream is not music, it is merely a series of bits, 1s and 0s, that are timed and sequenced so as to represent music and to mimic the original analog musical signal once converted back to analog by a DAC. The digital signal is the music cut into little pieces, the higher the resolution of the ADC the more pieces there is for the DAC to convert back and the less granular it is. An analogy might be interesting here. You can take a potato, slice it thinly and deep fry it (or, heaven forbid, bake it) and you will have a potato chip. Or you can take a potato and chop it into tiny little bits, glue it all together and reform it and you have a Pringle! A Pringle looks kind of like a potato chip, except that they all have a certain sameness to them, and it sorta, kinda tastes like a potato chip, but not really much. Digital reproduction is sorta, kinda like analog reproduction but it too has a certain sameness to it. Admittedly it does keep getting better, and the best digital sources can actually provide an enjoyable musical experience to most of us, to a level they certainly couldn’t do even ten years ago, but in my experience it still doesn’t give the musical quality of good analog. So back to why digital is harder to make sound good than analog. My theory is that because digital has chopped the music up into pieces and represented it with digits, it loses some of the musical information and therefore has less actual musical information to start with than an analog recording. This makes it a more fragile thing. And then it goes through a lot of transformations and transportations on its way to your ears as discussed above, each one removing a little of that musical information. So it isn’t difficult to significantly damage a signal that has less information and is more fragile to begin with and there are a fair number of places where it can be damaged. Now analog has a number of places where it can be damaged as well but here is where another factor comes in. Analog signals are subject to analog distortion but those are distortions that our ears and brain are used to so they can overlook or listen around them more easily. In addition we have had over a century of experience refining analog reproduction to reduce the level and significance of analog distortions. On the other hand digital has brought different types and levels of distortion than what we have seen before. Some of these, like pre-ringing, are things that do not occur in nature and immediately trigger a WTF message in our brains. Others are just things like the fact that digital signals have the lowest distortion at high levels and their highest levels of distortion at low levels, whereas analog tends to have the lowest level of distortion at low levels and its highest level of distortion at the highest levels. Since the ear is most sensitive to distortion at low levels and less sensitive to it at high levels it dovetails nicely with the way analog works and not so well with the way digital works. So the combination of a digital signal with less information and more fragility, going through typically more transformations and with less benign distortion products is why I feel it is harder to get it to be as enjoyable as an equivalent, or even lesser specification, analog system.

So there you have it. Exakt is an interesting technology that has already done much evolving and will continue to evolve. Some people obviously like what it does and a number of others, like myself, still find it falls short in the areas of tonality, musical naturalness and emotional involvement. So I’m not particularly holding my breath to see what it would do with a pair of JBL 3677s but I will certainly watch with interest any research Music Lover might put into it.
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Re: Exakt

Post by beck » 2017-02-16 21:09

Thank you for your well explained thoughts about exact ThomasOK. It was very interesting and reflects a lot of my thoughts as well though I do not know that much about exact.

I really only have one important wish for my hifi system to fulfill: It shall be able to move my soul. My soul has been moved since the day I bought my first Linn system (Linn Basik, Intek, HelixII).

The couple of times I have listened to exact it has failed totally. No contest at all.

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Re: Exakt

Post by ThomasOK » 2017-02-17 17:52

Due to a comment I received offline I thought I should clarify something. Having spent a number of years in the computer industry I am aware that digital doesn't really chop the music into pieces - that was written more as an amusing way to look at it. What digital does is to sample the musical signal and represent it with 1s and 0s and then convert them back. The point is that it is obvious, from the musical differences between different formats such as MP3, CD and 24/192, that not all the information that was in the original analog signal is coming out the other end. I believe even 24/192 does not capture all the original musical information which is why LPs are still more musical. Lets face it, if digital actually delivered more of the music than analog we would all be embracing it. So this reduced amount of musical information in the sampled digital representation is one of the things that in my mind makes the digital signal more fragile. When you lose music from a format that has already lost some in the process of transforming it to digital you start compounding problems.

There is much more going on that I don't believe we fully understand yet because even in uncompressed or lossless systems, where you can verify that the bits that come out are the ones that go in, there are musical differences from all the parts of the system that transports the signal. As our understanding improves so will the musical quality we can achieve, although very much of what works still appears to be up to trial and error. But substantial strides have been made and will continue to be made. It will be interesting to see if digital music reproduction will equal or surpass analog in my lifetime.
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Re: Exakt

Post by sunbeamgls » 2017-02-17 19:55

A very interesting post ThomasOK, thanks.

Unfortunately some of the earlier posts you mentioned were moderated out of existence on a whim (or at least I should say were deleted on the basis of some rules that weren't relevant to the vast majority of the posts) so can't be referenced. I am aware you are referring to my posts and would just like to point out that I never used the term "perfect" because that would be clearly wrong. Also worth noting that many of the elements of mis-information were picked up on earlier posts in the deleted thread content but the corrections were largely ignored by those who wrote the mis-information.

I think its a fair point to question "linear phase" and take that on board entirely - "closer to linear phase" is probably a better way to look at it. The difference it makes to the timing of the music and therefore the ability to follow the tune is significant, even if it could be even better still given the other errors you have pointed out here.

There was, indeed, an agenda and it was not hidden - it was to find out if there was any interest in filters being developed or not, and if there was the possibility of some kind of commercial model being delivered for those that would be interested. It was a useful test case. It was pretty clear that there is no "critical mass" on this forum to make that happen, which means the questions delivered against their intention. No problem there, except for the one or two who expressed an interest in at least listening to the result. I'd still like to hear 3677s with Exakt and Lejonklou amps though, as an interesting exercise, but it seems unlikely to happen. These were questions raised, at no point was their any "telling" done, so its not good to twist the story like that.

All your points about the problems that Exakt doesn't currently correct for are a good read and very fair. It would be interesting to read Linn's response but I expect that won't happen unless you post up this stuff on their forum. You're right about the earlier marketing efforts - they were crass indeed, and not at all believable as has been pointed out many times on Linn's own forum. The marketing manager of the time is no longer working at Linn, although I don't know if there is a direct connection between these things.

As for not liking Exakt from a musical perspective - that's all fair - we're all different. Some like it, some don't and its good to read you've given it a listen (although you don't say how recently, that would be interesting as its very relevant to its development timeline - ie the first 2 years were distinctly underwhelming from a musical perspective) whereas some are often quick to dismiss something they've never even tried.

As for your points about digital vs analogue - that one has been raging for years and no doubt will continue. Where I seen clear parallels is your point about ensuring everything in the chain is optimised wherever possible - there is clearly no difference between analogue and digital in that sense. The main difference is that the types of distortions introduced by one compared to the other tend to be of a different nature and caused in different ways. Some find one more offensive than the other when trying to enjoy their music and vice versa, it would seem. If, in your opinion, digital does eventually surpass analogue, I hope you are indeed around to enjoy it :)

Fewer drivers easier to integrate at the crossover point? Not necessarily - sometimes the large step in driver characteristics / materials / diameter and dispertion characteristics can make the crossover point really difficult to master, so I don't think its something that can be expressed as a generalisation.
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Re: Exakt

Post by ThomasOK » 2017-02-17 22:56

Just a couple of quick clarifications. I know that you did not use the term "perfect" and you notice I did not attribute any comments to anyone in particular. There was, however, another poster who appeared to be a fan of Exakt and claimed we could get a "perfect" speaker with "perfect" crossovers. That post was also deleted.

Also I did not say "Fewer drivers easier to integrate at the crossover point? ", I said "fewer crossover points help lead to a more seamless driver blend". The ease or difficulty of integrating drivers depends on the characteristics of the drivers chosen, the crossover topology and how they interact and it is obviously an important art in good loudspeaker design. However, both theoretically and experientially, it is clear that the more crossover points there are in a speaker system the more difficult it is to get the drivers to blend. Many of us have had the experience of hearing 5 or 6 way speakers where the different drivers made themselves known. That the JBLs do such a good job at blending, despite their vastly different two drivers is a testament to the knowledge of whoever designed it and the quality of the crossover design. But having only two drivers also made their work simpler.

As to my listening experience, my day job is as a salesperson and turntable technician at a Hi-Fi dealer that has sold Linn since it opened in 1989 and I started selling and setting up Linn products in 1978. I have heard Exakt versions of Klimax 350As, Akubariks, Akudoriks, and Series 5 530s which we have on display. I also had the opportunity to compare Akurate 242s, last version, in a system fed by a fully loaded LP12 and an Akurate DSM with Exakt link and an Akurate Exaktbox 10. This drove one of two stacks, on the same rack, of 10 channels of latest version Akurate power amps each. One set was driven from the Exaktbox 10 and the other from the analog outputs of the ADSM. The analog set had Aktiv crossover boards built in. Since the ADSM outputs through both the ExaktLink and analog outputs at the same time the two setups could be compared by just changing the speaker cables. The setup was here for a couple of weeks and the comparisons were quite illuminating. We had this system here a little after the Akudorik came out and also had Exakt Akudoriks in a different room, so it wasn't a really early incarnation. As I mentioned, Exakt has certainly gotten better since it first came out and the Akudoriks and later EK350As I heard were certainly much better than the early EK350As. But as of yet I remain unconvinced.

By the way, since Linn appears to be coming out with a software kit to allow you to create Exakt crossover programming for any speaker, and since Music Lover is quite interested in it, I would suspect you might be able to hear the JBLs driven Exakt by Lejonklou electronics. Or at least he will. We shall see.
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Re: Exakt

Post by Music Lover » 2017-02-17 23:48

Yes, testing is fun!
I have registred but no info yet regarding the Exakt filter.
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Re: Exakt

Post by sunbeamgls » 2017-02-18 00:29

Thanks for the extra info and clarifications ThomasOK and for clearing up my paranoia!

The comparison of the 2 approaches with the 242 would've been interesting to hear.

I can't agree that fewer crossover points leading to easier blending between drivers. Blending between drivers of closer characteristics (in a multi-way design) can be easier than 2 drivers in a 2-way speaker where the drivers have necessarily very different characteristics. Of course, that doesn't mean all multi-way speakers automatically have well blended drivers, nor does it mean that all 2 way speakers will have poorly blended drivers. All I was saying that its an over generalisation. Of course, if the crossovers are analogue (and particularly passive) then more crossovers between multi-way drivers probably means more room for errors and phase problems.

Look forward to ML's experiments, if he takes the plunge :)
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Re: Exakt

Post by Linnofil » 2017-02-18 00:36

I actually think that Linn was way ahead of its time when they launched the Exakt technology. They where, in fact, the pioneers in the now so popular field of alternate facts, in the new post truth world. That they finally solved the most damaging problem in music reproduction was totaly fake news by the way.

How Linn, of all brands, could come up with the idea that the biggest problem in the chain of system components was in the speakers, that is beyond me.

Linns customers knew that the source was the most important, as demonstrated for more than 30 years. Now Linn said that the speakers where the most important component. How to solve that? Well, let's say that the source is in the speakers, problem solved! Talk about alternate facts!

Stop this Exakt nonsens, it has already been exposed by their own Katalyst upgrade. A source upgrade will always be better than tweaking with speaker parameters. Especially when it is done by manipulating the source information.

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Re: Exakt

Post by sunbeamgls » 2017-02-18 00:45

Linnofil wrote:I actually think that Linn was way ahead of its time when they launched the Exakt technology. They where, in fact, the pioneers in the now so popular field of alternate facts, in the new post truth world. That they finally solved the most damaging problem in music reproduction was totaly fake news by the way.

...

Stop this Exakt nonsens, it has already been exposed by their own Katalyst upgrade. A source upgrade will always be better than tweaking with speaker parameters. Especially when it is done by manipulating the source information.
Agree with the marketing points Linnofil (even though you've exaggerated them a bit for extra effect), as mentioned up the thread, other than they weren't pioneers at all of course. The Daily Mail has to have the lead on that one :)

But your last point is an opinion (agreed with by some) but is contradicted by the opinions of 10 seasoned listeners, just before Christmas. Fine to express an opinion of course, but should be written as such, not as though its fact. Its not like a source upgrade and Exakt are mutually exclusive either - never quite understood that argument.
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Re: Exakt

Post by Linnofil » 2017-02-18 01:05

Yes, it is an opinion. I have never heard an Exakt system that I liked. Linn will not stop with Exakt either and it will get better. But in my opinion, they would have got a lot better results (better music) if they spent the same effort on devloping their sources. Can you imagine how good the music would have been with all that effort spent on the DS and LP sources (and analogue volume control)?

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Re: Exakt

Post by ThomasOK » 2017-02-18 06:05

Currently Exakt and a source upgrade ARE mutually exclusive as the Katalyst DAC is not used on the ExaktLink outputs. This will change soon when Exakt makes its way into EK350s and Klimax Exaktboxes but only for people at that stratified level. Since Katalyst will not be coming into the Akurate range for some time, if at all, the rather significant sum spent on Akurate Exaktboxes and amps could more effectively be put towards a simpler amp/crossover/speaker system and a Katalyst front end - especially if used with a top quality analog preamp.
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Re: Exakt

Post by Music Lover » 2017-02-18 08:21

Linnofil wrote:But in my opinion, they would have got a lot better results (better music) if they spent the same effort on devloping their sources.
Agree
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Re: Exakt

Post by Music Lover » 2017-02-18 08:26

ThomasOK wrote:Currently Exakt and a source upgrade ARE mutually exclusive as the Katalyst DAC is not used on the ExaktLink outputs.
Actually not quite.
In an Exakt system, a Katalyst KDS provide better music than a non-Katalyst KDS.

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Re: Exakt

Post by matthias » 2017-02-18 09:12

sunbeamgls wrote:But your last point is an opinion (agreed with by some) but is contradicted by the opinions of 10 seasoned listeners, just before Christmas.
Can you provide a link, please.
Thanks.

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Re: Exakt

Post by matthias » 2017-02-18 09:27

Music Lover wrote:
Linnofil wrote:But in my opinion, they would have got a lot better results (better music) if they spent the same effort on devloping their sources.
Agree
+2

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Re: Exakt

Post by sunbeamgls » 2017-02-18 09:54

There is some pedantry here. A Katalyst DAC can't be used on an Exaktlink output, that's not how it works. Katalyst and Exakt are not mutually exclusive at all. They're just not in the same set of products yet - it might be an idea to consider beyond the end of today, just like you look forward to product upgrades from other companies. Just because Linn has not yet combined them does not mean they can't, nor does it mean they won't.

Klimax will be available soon then they will announce their plans for the rest of the range themselves, in due course.

Source first is correct. Its just that the Exaktbox is part of the source just like the DAC is part of a DS but I know some of you can't get past the simplicity of a single box. By investing in Katalyst, LP12 and Exakt, they are investing in all their sources.
Last edited by sunbeamgls on 2017-02-18 10:11, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Exakt

Post by sunbeamgls » 2017-02-18 10:03

matthias wrote:
sunbeamgls wrote:But your last point is an opinion (agreed with by some) but is contradicted by the opinions of 10 seasoned listeners, just before Christmas.
Can you provide a link, please.
Thanks.

Matt
https://forums.linn.co.uk/bb/showthread.php?tid=35302
AEDSM; AEBox/1; 3x Tundra Stereo 2.5; PMC 20.26. Blogger. Exakt Design. SO measuring.

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Re: Exakt

Post by sunbeamgls » 2017-02-18 10:10

ThomasOK wrote: This will change soon when Exakt makes its way into EK350s and Klimax Exaktboxes but only for people at that stratified level.
This is kind of irrelevant don't you think? It has ever been thus, regardless of the technology, which trickles down eventually, to more affordable products. At the moment, for some, the mid range products produce more enjoyable music than the top of the range products. We perhaps should be celebrating the choice we're offered and that Linn caters for both and the LP12 too.

Hopefully the combination of Kat and Exakt will be something very special.
AEDSM; AEBox/1; 3x Tundra Stereo 2.5; PMC 20.26. Blogger. Exakt Design. SO measuring.

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Re: Exakt

Post by matthias » 2017-02-18 10:18

sunbeamgls wrote:Its just that the Exaktbox is part of the source just like the DAC is part of a DS...
This is your opinion, IMO the Exaktbox is part of the speaker. Exakt is modifying the source according to the requirements of the speaker and room. So with Exakt the speaker rules and not the source.

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Re: Exakt

Post by sunbeamgls » 2017-02-18 10:48

matthias wrote:
sunbeamgls wrote:Its just that the Exaktbox is part of the source just like the DAC is part of a DS...
This is your opinion, IMO the Exaktbox is part of the speaker. Exakt is modifying the source according to the requirements of the speaker and room. So with Exakt the speaker rules and not the source.

Matt
Its not an opinion. An Exakt DSM can't produce an analogue signal without an Exaktbox. Combined, they are the source. The speaker does not rule at all, the source rules over the speaker by understanding it and controlling it better. I don't expect everyone to enjoy the result, and that's fine, but grasping the technology and hierarchy is fairly straight forward if you think beyond the traditional.

I think Linn made a huge marketing mistake when they launched Exakt. They tried to make it catchy and just confused people.
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Re: Exakt

Post by matthias » 2017-02-18 11:21

sunbeamgls wrote:Its not an opinion. An Exakt DSM can't produce an analogue signal without an Exaktbox. Combined, they are the source.
The DAC per se inside a set-up may not have anything to do with the source. In fact it is possible to build a digital power amp with digital input and analogue output right before the speaker. So the DAC is at the end of the poweramp circuit and far from the source.
Exakt is not source first, a source does per definitionem not need an understanding of components that rank lower in the hierarchy.

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Re: Exakt

Post by sunbeamgls » 2017-02-18 11:51

matthias wrote:
sunbeamgls wrote:Its not an opinion. An Exakt DSM can't produce an analogue signal without an Exaktbox. Combined, they are the source.
The DAC per se inside a set-up may not have anything to do with the source. In fact it is possible to build a digital power amp with digital input and analogue output right before the speaker. So the DAC is at the end of the poweramp circuit and far from the source.
Exakt is not source first, a source does per definitionem not need an understanding of components that rank lower in the hierarchy.

Matt
Surely a source is something that transcribes from the recording medium into something usable (ie an analogue signal)? If transcription into analogue is not completed, then whatever you seem to be considering a source is merely a step within a set of steps in the function of a source.

All sources have to understand what comes after them in the hierarchy - they have to output a signal that is meaningful to the next part of the hierarchy otherwise they are useless. Some sources have a better understanding of what they need to output, others produce something generic but electrically compatible.

To extrapolate your point, no one should be referring to the KDS as a source either. Which would be odd, don't you think?

For moderator purposes: this is not questioning the hierarchy of source first, thatis a given. Its about the definition of what is a source.
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Re: Exakt

Post by matthias » 2017-02-18 12:23

sunbeamgls wrote: Surely a source is something that transcribes from the recording medium into something usable (ie an analogue signal)? If transcription into analogue is not completed, then whatever you seem to be considering a source is merely a step within a set of steps in the function of a source.
All sources have to understand what comes after them in the hierarchy - they have to output a signal that is meaningful to the next part of the hierarchy otherwise they are useless. Some sources have a better understanding of what they need to output, others produce something generic but electrically compatible.
Sorry, but in my view you have a complete wrong understanding of the source. My understanding of source is as here:
http://www.lejonklou.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=13
In an Exakt system you have the input signal which is the source. In the following steps the signal gets converted in multiple ways, is send into a DVC and IN THE END it is converted to analogue right before the poweramp. These multiple steps have nothing to do with the source:
https://small.linncdn.com/white-papers/ ... re-amp.pdf
Please have a look at page 7 and there are additional DSPs for Exakt.
It is clear from an engineering POV that all components have to be designed to work together but this has nothing to do with the source first principle.

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Re: Exakt

Post by Music Lover » 2017-02-18 13:18

Regardless of the architecture and system layout (Exakt or non-Exakt), source first is rather simple.

Musicians is the REAL source.
Then you you have the mic, recording equipment etc all the way to the physical record (or file)
Up to this stage, we consumers can't influence the result (or musicality).
It is what it is.

But... all equipment that afterwards are in touch with the record/file - we can influence, and in one way or another it affect the musicality.
- For a vinyl record, that is LP12
- For a CD record, that is ripping, NAS, switches, Ethernet cables etc - all equipment involved until the file is replayed in the DS (or Exakt DSM)
- For streaming on-line, that is the Cloud environment hosting the file, internet and then your local equipment (switches, Ethernet cables etc - all equipment involved until the file is replayed in the DS (or Exakt DSM)

So source first is therefore BEFORE the information enter the Linn equipment, regardless if it's an Exakt or non-Exakt system.
And inside the system, the first equipment is either DS (analogue out) or Exakt DSM - both going to have impact of the musicality.
That is very easy to demonstrate.

Linn Marketing made a SERIOUS mistake and now it's many that wrongly believe that "the source = the DAC".
Again, that is false and easy to demonstrate.


Got a question in a PM...
To be clear, I have registered for the DYI version of Exact filters on Linn home page. Now waiting on their feedback. I hope I can use Konfig in my PC to build the 3677/4645 filter. And this without measuring the speaker elements first, as I like to start designing the X-over points first.
I prefer taking a step by step approach.

Also I consider the X-over points being the important part and if possible avoid messing around with the phase/amplitude etc all over the frequency range. Due to experience, this can impact the musicality.
It's all about musical understanding!

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