Upgrade: Katalyst or LP12

General HiFi discussion, using the Tune Method to evaluate performance

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Upgrade: Katalyst or LP12

Post by Starman » 2016-10-27 23:54

Just pondering on the best course.
I have a Klimax DS/2 with KK1 , cost of upgrade to katalyst approx 3.8k
LP12, Radikal, ,Ittok .

I have no problems with the DS to my ears it is superb
My own gut feeling is to upgrade the LP12 with a Keel, and maybe upgrade my phono stage from (Kinki) to Slipsik
Comments appreciated

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Re: Upgrade: Katalyst or LP12

Post by KennyM » 2016-10-28 09:09

I can't comment on the LP12 upgrade you are considering or how much improvement this would give you, but like you I was very happy with my KDS/2. That was until I heard a KDS/3 - the Katalyst Klimax DS.

The Katalyst upgrade is not cheap but the difference between the KDS/2 and the Katalyst version is enormous! If you are seriously considering an upgrade to your KDS/2 then I would suggest that you contact your nearest dealer to get a demo of the KDS/3 before making a final decision on which way to go. I did, and I did not hesitate to order the upgrade.
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Re: Upgrade: Katalyst or LP12

Post by Charlie1 » 2016-10-28 09:56

Do Linn always offer a KDS upgrade - i.e. up until Katalyst was annouced, could you still upgrade your KDS0 or KDS1 to KDS2, and also have the option of a Renew box? I seem to recall the Dynamik upgrades to Klimax amps didn't stay on offer for all that long.

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Re: Upgrade: Katalyst or LP12

Post by ChrBea » 2016-10-28 10:21

Yes, you can always upgrade your KDS to the latest specifications, no matter how old it is and no matter when you plan to do so.
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Re: Upgrade: Katalyst or LP12

Post by u252agz » 2016-10-28 12:35

Starman wrote:Just pondering on the best course.
I have a Klimax DS/2 with KK1 , cost of upgrade to katalyst approx 3.8k
LP12, Radikal, ,Ittok .

I have no problems with the DS to my ears it is superb
I am in a similar situation and think I might be happy to wait for KDS/4 - there was a huge difference between KDS/0 and its updated version KDS/1 and as the Katalyst architecture is completely new, I would expect another major jump up when it is updated to /4 .

I could always add a Radikal to the Majik LP12 if I am desperate to do something or perhaps look at updating the Zoneripper Nas Drive to a Melco N1A.
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Re: Upgrade: Katalyst or LP12

Post by stefan » 2016-10-28 14:40

Starman wrote:Just pondering on the best course.
I have a Klimax DS/2 with KK1 , cost of upgrade to katalyst approx 3.8k
LP12, Radikal, ,Ittok .

I have no problems with the DS to my ears it is superb
My own gut feeling is to upgrade the LP12 with a Keel, and maybe upgrade my phono stage from (Kinki) to Slipsik
Comments appreciated
It's very costly to always be on the top DS level. I mean it's not that long ago you either upgraded to or bought a new DS/2. LP12 upgrades are more persistent, we don't get a new Keel every 2nd year.

So, votes for upgrading the LP12. Kore is a significant enough upgrade. I'm not saying Kore/Ekos2 beats Ittok/Keel but that is what I have (with Radikal) and it's a superb sounding LP12 definitely matching a Klimax DS/2.

2018 we likely have Klimax DS/4 and yet another 3-4K£ upgrade.

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Re: Upgrade: Katalyst or LP12

Post by sunbeamgls » 2016-11-01 19:37

Perhaps it is worth thinking about the costs to include an Renew DS/2.

Cost 2500gbp and they're selling for around 4000gbp so that takes 1500gbp off your upgrade cost.
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Re: Upgrade: Katalyst or LP12

Post by pidge22 » 2016-11-01 21:28

Believe you me get to listen to a DS/3 ,I am just listening to mine right now ,I have had it over a week now and it just gets better & better....My DS normally plays second fiddle to my Lp12/Keel/Radikal/Aro/Akiva & Tron Ultimate Phono stage but I have not played vinyl for a few days now...
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Re: Upgrade: Katalyst or LP12

Post by Spannko » 2016-11-01 21:37

pidge22 wrote:Believe you me get to listen to a DS/3 ,I am just listening to mine right now ,I have had it over a week now and it just gets better & better....My DS normally plays second fiddle to my Lp12/Keel/Radikal/Aro/Akiva & Tron Ultimate Phono stage but I have not played vinyl for a few days now...
Oh, stop it !!! I can't upgrade to Katalyst until it's available for the Dorik stands, and the suspense is killing me !!! lol :-)

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Re: Upgrade: Katalyst or LP12

Post by matthias » 2016-11-01 21:40

stefan wrote: 2018 we likely have Klimax DS/4 and yet another 3-4K£ upgrade.
I suppose at a certain moment Linn will come up with a new ADC in the Klimax DSM including the MC preamp and the RIAA done in the digital domain.

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Re: Upgrade: Katalyst or LP12

Post by matthias » 2016-11-01 21:47

pidge22 wrote:Believe you me get to listen to a DS/3 ,I am just listening to mine right now ,I have had it over a week now and it just gets better & better....My DS normally plays second fiddle to my Lp12/Keel/Radikal/Aro/Akiva & Tron Ultimate Phono stage but I have not played vinyl for a few days now...
My dealer told me that a Klimax LP12 easily outperforms Klimax Katalyst.

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Re: Upgrade: Katalyst or LP12

Post by Starman » 2016-11-02 11:00

[My dealer told me that a Klimax LP12 easily outperforms Klimax Katalyst.

Matt]
I went to House of Linn yesterday and listened to the KDSM Katalyst against a standard KDSM .
It certainly sounds very good. there was another person there who has a Klimax LP12 and they compared the vinyl against the digital. The result was very close.
However, whilst I enjoy listening to vinyl, my record collection is less than 100 LP's, whilst digital I have over 400 albums, so common sense would suggest better to upgrade the DS.

Next question is do I keep my pre amp, or bite the bullet and go with the KDSM

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Re: Upgrade: Katalyst or LP12

Post by Music Lover » 2016-11-02 11:20

How did they compare?
LP12 connected to KDSM is killing the vinyl performance.
The only relevant test is using a good preamp, with
A/ only LP12 connected
B/ only KDSM connected (using same shelf, IC and pre input av LP12 previously used)
It's all about musical understanding!

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Re: Upgrade: Katalyst or LP12

Post by mrco99 » 2016-11-02 11:41

Starman wrote: Next question is do I keep my pre amp, or bite the bullet and go with the KDSM
Hi Starman,

I´d advise you to have a listen to the new Sagatun Mono preamps with Tarandus upgrade before you make that decision.
Your ears will tell you.

Cheers,

Marco
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Re: Upgrade: Katalyst or LP12

Post by matthias » 2016-11-02 11:43

Starman wrote: Next question is do I keep my pre amp, or bite the bullet and go with the KDSM
I would compare KDS plus Sagatun Mono vs KDSM.
If KDS plus SM is better I would buy a KDS and replace the existing preamp with SM later.
If KDSM is better I would buy KDSM and sell the existing preamp.

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Re: Upgrade: Katalyst or LP12

Post by Music Lover » 2016-11-02 13:29

A bit info from Linn R/D regarding Katalyst: it's same preamp in KDS and KDSM.
Regarding old generations, I have seen conflicting information.
murrays Wrote:
KDS/3 (Katalyst) and KDSM/2 (Katalyst) have identical volume control implementations.
It's all about musical understanding!

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Re: Upgrade: Katalyst or LP12

Post by Starman » 2016-11-02 17:25

Music Lover wrote:A bit info from Linn R/D regarding Katalyst: it's same preamp in KDS and KDSM.
Regarding old generations, I have seen conflicting information.
murrays Wrote:
KDS/3 (Katalyst) and KDSM/2 (Katalyst) have identical volume control implementations.
The only possible reasons for moving to KDSM are namely reduction in boxes, and putting other sources through the system with HDMI : Television, sky. But its an expensive choice.

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Re: Upgrade: Katalyst or LP12

Post by matthias » 2016-11-02 17:39

Starman wrote: The only possible reasons for moving to KDSM are namely reduction in boxes, and putting other sources through the system with HDMI : Television, sky. But its an expensive choice.
There is no straight analog pathway with the KDSM, all analog inputs go through both an ADC and a DAC.

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Re: Upgrade: Katalyst or LP12

Post by matss » 2016-11-02 21:04

Starman wrote:Just pondering on the best course.
I have a Klimax DS/2 with KK1 , cost of upgrade to katalyst approx 3.8k
LP12, Radikal, ,Ittok .

I have no problems with the DS to my ears it is superb
My own gut feeling is to upgrade the LP12 with a Keel, and maybe upgrade my phono stage from (Kinki) to Slipsik
Comments appreciated
I just had the privilege to live with a Katalyst KDSM for a week and compare it to my Klimax LP12 and KK/1. Like several other comments here, the Katalyst upgrade is seriously good to my ears. To me Katalyst DS is now comparable to Klimax LP12 on comparable source material. And that has not been the case before for me, even if I really like the sound of previous versions as well now that I'm back together with my KDS/1 again. But the Katalyst is just that much more alive, to bring it up to Klimax LP12 levels. I would hesitate to say a Klimax LP12 will always be superiour to Katalys DS. It depends a lot on the source material.

When it comes to preamps, I like the character and convenience of my KK/1 and hence prefered keeping it in my system, rather than completely replacing it with the KDSM. This is of course also due to already owning a KK. I did not evaluate LP12 through the KDSM, but I could not detect any difference on digital material, adjusting the volume digitally in the KDSM or using the analog control in KK. To me the digital volume control in Katalyst KDSM is completely transparent.

It's been too long for me to remember in detail the improvements Keel, Ekos/Ekos SE, Linto/Urika, Arkiv B/Kandid brought to my LP12. But for sure they all also brought about a difference in sound quality and more musical enjoyment just like Katalyst. Try to find a dealer letting you evaluate your different options. Maybe you will settle on a Kore and Slipsik for your limited record collection, and step up to Katalyst for the growing digital library. Only you will know what's best for you.

I'm more hesitant to go for the KDSM, if you ever consider upgrading to Exakt. I say, stay with KDS/KK until you take that leap, to limit the neccesary re-investment. If you never ever will go for Exakt, then KDSM might be an option to limit the amount of boxes.

Best Regards, Mats

PS. I believe the KDS/0 needs some mechanical surgery to enable curent larger output transformers and the Dynamik upgrade. Not sure if that still is on general offer from Linn. Old Klimax power amplifiers does not have that option available any longer as far as I understand.
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Re: Upgrade: Katalyst or LP12

Post by luigip » 2016-11-02 23:47

I would suggest the DS/3 Katalyst upgrade path. Finally (!) this latest incarnation of the linn digital streamer is as enjoyable as the Klimax LP12. I have hard times to say which is the best, it depends on the recording. With the DS/2 I had the tendency to stand up and put the vynil on my KLP12. On the contrary I am spending these days (just received the DS/3) listening to it with no desire to switch my LP12 on (or even to look into further improvements or upgrades, so enjoyable is the musical experience). Either of them are thus a definite solution, so just follow the cheapest upgrade path, I believe that DS2 -> DS3 is more convenient than stepping up from your present LP12 set up to Klimax LP12. In other terms, i.m.h.o, investing the same budget on the LP12 upgrade path won't achieve same performances of a DS/3

hope this helps
Luigi

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Re: Upgrade: Katalyst or LP12

Post by lejonklou » 2016-11-03 00:52

Two reflections:

1. With nearly every new digital source, some enthusiasts have said that it's finally as good as the LP12. I heard it already with Karik-Numerik, then with CD12 (many said they could not hear any differences whatsoever, as they were so close), then with KDS and then with each expensive upgrade of the KDS. Let's see what people say next spring when they've gotten used to KDS/3! Because it does take a while to spot and recognise the weak points of any given musical reproduction system and in particular the sources.

2. It saddens me to hear of the sloppy and misleading comparative demonstrations people are getting. I've received a number of emails this year on the subject. One "favourite" is when adding an analogue preamp to a system with a digital source (with digital volume control) and a power amplifier. The analogue preamp is given a bad support, powered from a different distribution block or after the power amps, using a bad power cord, using questionable interconnects into a random input instead of the best sounding one. Intentional or just ignorance?

Another "classic" is demonstrating passive versus active loudspeakers and not changing the speaker positions for each setup. The chosen position is of course optimal for the much more expensive active system. This procedure appears to be standard and is reportedly even done at the Stockholm store where I once heard my first Linn/Naim system. Back in the 80's or 90's such lack of attention to detail would never have been tolerated, as everyone knew that proper positioning can make or break a system.

I could go on with a bunch of other examples, but: There are still some competent dealers out there! Please make sure their efforts are rewarded.

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Re: Upgrade: Katalyst or LP12

Post by matss » 2016-11-03 08:16

lejonklou wrote:Two reflections:

1. With nearly every new digital source, some enthusiasts have said that it's finally as good as the LP12. I heard it already with Karik-Numerik, then with CD12 (many said they could not hear any differences whatsoever, as they were so close), then with KDS and then with each expensive upgrade of the KDS. Let's see what people say next spring when they've gotten used to KDS/3! Because it does take a while to spot and recognise the weak points of any given musical reproduction system and in particular the sources.

2. It saddens me to hear of the sloppy and misleading comparative demonstrations people are getting. I've received a number of emails this year on the subject. One "favourite" is when adding an analogue preamp to a system with a digital source (with digital volume control) and a power amplifier. The analogue preamp is given a bad support, powered from a different distribution block or after the power amps, using a bad power cord, using questionable interconnects into a random input instead of the best sounding one. Intentional or just ignorance?

Another "classic" is demonstrating passive versus active loudspeakers and not changing the speaker positions for each setup. The chosen position is of course optimal for the much more expensive active system. This procedure appears to be standard and is reportedly even done at the Stockholm store where I once heard my first Linn/Naim system. Back in the 80's or 90's such lack of attention to detail would never have been tolerated, as everyone knew that proper positioning can make or break a system.

I could go on with a bunch of other examples, but: There are still some competent dealers out there! Please make sure their efforts are rewarded.
I encourage you to step out, listen yourself and form your own opinion, instead of pushing predjudice on other peoples experiences. I have listened to and lived with Karik/Numerik, CD12 and previous incarnations of KDS in my own system since mid nineties and I trust what I hear and not hear. I have never before reflected that any of these products could be equal to or even better musically satisfying than good records on my top flight LP12.

Best Regards, mats
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Re: Upgrade: Katalyst or LP12

Post by lejonklou » 2016-11-03 11:00

matss wrote:I encourage you to step out, listen yourself and form your own opinion, instead of pushing predjudice on other peoples experiences. I have listened to and lived with Karik/Numerik, CD12 and previous incarnations of KDS in my own system since mid nineties and I trust what I hear and not hear. I have never before reflected that any of these products could be equal to or even better musically satisfying than good records on my top flight LP12.
I have since day one encouraged people to listen for themselves and to make accurate comparisons. Not only is it enlightening, it's also a lot of fun.

Please explain in what way I am "pushing prejudice".

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Re: Upgrade: Katalyst or LP12

Post by Charlie1 » 2016-11-03 11:17

I think Fredrik heard the KDS3 at the weekend, at the show in Windsor. Not sure what spec the LP12 was.

A friend of mine just upgraded from KDS2 to KDS3. He is really pleased with it and thinks it's a much bigger upgrade than v1 to v2 and excellent value. He also owns a Klimax LP12 (K Radikal/Kandid etc) which he still thinks is slightly better, especially older music.

We laughed about the same thing Fredrik mentioned, although we didn't reference back as far as the Numerik. I clearly recall being told the CD12 was as good as the LP12 by my dealer (and KDS0). Perhaps the KDS3 is now on par or better than the mid-90s spec deck that was compared to the CD12, but of course Linn has kept on developing the LP12 since then so the two have constantly shifted in comparison to one another.

Does it really matter though? Most people don't commit to one medium so don't care so much which is the out and out best, and as has already been said, it depends on the type and era of music you listen to. It's just amusing to note the repeated pattern of claims that digital is now as good or better than an LP12.

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Re: Upgrade: Katalyst or LP12

Post by Music Lover » 2016-11-03 11:45

I agree that the Katalyst is a bigger upgrade than previous KDS upgrades, but still...it's nothing like the massive upgrade a Keel, Radikal, Ekos SE or a good phono stage offer.

Sadly most LP12's are poorly adjusted and simply not performing as they should.
Anyone that compare a well tuned LP12 with digital realise it's miles of a difference.
And this is coming from a guy that only own a KDS/2!

Digital replay needs a serious breakthrough in engineering until it can compete with analogue imho.
Anyone that heard a good reel-to-reel tape player recently?
It's all about musical understanding!

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