Upgrade: Katalyst or LP12

General HiFi discussion, using the Tune Method to evaluate performance

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Re: Upgrade: Katalyst or LP12

Post by lejonklou » 2016-11-03 11:53

Yes, we used Katalyst on our show in Windsor last weekend. Great player! I also made comparisons with another unit the week before. The LP12 used in Windsor was top spec and both sources were very enjoyable.

The reason I brought up something as early as Karik-Numerik was that I personally knew LP12 owners back then who sold all their vinyl because they felt digital had finally caught up. And the same story repeated with the CD12 and the KDS.

I agree with Charlie that it doesn't really matter (unless you decide to sell a precious collection of vinyl, then it does). Some older recordings on vinyl might never be challenged by a digital file and newer recordings are mastered differently for different mediums, which complicates comparisons.

I insist, however, that it takes a while for most of us to become aware of the flaws of a new source. I've had periods when I haven't touched my LP12 for weeks because I've been so delighted with the performance of a digital source. Usually I'm even more delighted when I later start playing vinyl again. And that's when I get a better grip of how that digital player really performed. Because as mentioned, making a fair direct A-B comparison is complicated.

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Re: Upgrade: Katalyst or LP12

Post by matss » 2016-11-03 13:12

lejonklou wrote:Please explain in what way I am "pushing prejudice".
I just reacted to
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?
as a comment to my earlier posting on experiences with the Katalyst KDSM. Maybe I overreacted, but I have lived with a LP12 for almost 30 years plus various digital sources from Linn and others for just as long, and trust my own judgement how to evaluate and on what I hear and not hear.
lejonklou wrote:I insist, however, that it takes a while for most of us to become aware of the flaws of a new source. I've had periods when I haven't touched my LP12 for weeks because I've been so delighted with the performance of a digital source. Usually I'm even more delighted when I later start playing vinyl again. And that's when I get a better grip of how that digital player really performed. Because as mentioned, making a fair direct A-B comparison is complicated.
Agree completely. One new experience with the Katalyst DS was I ended up wanting to listen to the digital versions of my music library. Usually it has been the other way around. So that was a first for me.

/mats
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Re: Upgrade: Katalyst or LP12

Post by lejonklou » 2016-11-03 14:18

So when I write "some enthusiasts have said", you assume I'm talking about you and accuse me of pushing prejudice?

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Re: Upgrade: Katalyst or LP12

Post by matss » 2016-11-03 14:47

Yes, as it was posted directly after my and Luigip comments on our experiences of living with the Katalyst DS. I somehow interpreted that as related to the postings in this thread on experiences from Katalyst and LP12 upgrades. Had your post started with - Two reflections (not specifically related to any posts in this thread): - I would not have made that connection.

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Re: Upgrade: Katalyst or LP12

Post by luigip » 2016-11-03 21:15

If I may comment further my previous post, and help clarifying my background, given that I am a newcomer in this forum, let me point out that I am indeed biased, but in favour of the LP12, and in general of analogic gear and processing (this including my preference for BW Leica negatives and prints vs Nikon digitals, but this is another story...)
I enjoyed the LP12, starting from the basic version, since 20 years, and always preferred it to my cd players. With my final upgrade to Klimax LP12 the story is the same when compared with the KDS2, though the gap shrinked, particularly with digital-borne recordings. Then the Katalist enters in the game... I have still to carry out a detailed KLP12 vs KDS3 comparison on the same record, but I thrust my ears and the very fact that I am wanting to continue and listen to the KDS3 is revelatory. Sure, as Frederik mentions, with time some pitfalls may emerge, yet from what I hear they would be minor perturbations to a great sound.
As for the related set up, both have been installed in my system by Paolo, Linn expert dealer here in Rome, so I believe they are both performing at (or close) to their best.
However, if I had to make a choice and pick only one of them, my preference would still go to the KLP12, but in this choice my personal prejudice would play a role, given my bias for the vynil.
Hope this helps
cheers
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Re: Upgrade: Katalyst or LP12

Post by lejonklou » 2016-11-04 01:01

Cool Luigi! That is high praise indeed.

Paolo is phenomenal at setting up LP12s and installing systems.

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Re: Upgrade: Katalyst or LP12

Post by Music Lover » 2016-11-04 08:49

matthias wrote:
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.

Matt
Good advice.
Had my Sagatun Tarandus 2 weeks and now they really start singing!
It's all about musical understanding!

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Re: Upgrade: Katalyst or LP12

Post by u252agz » 2016-11-04 19:55

lejonklou wrote:Yes, we used Katalyst on our show in Windsor last weekend. Great player! I also made comparisons with another unit the week before. The LP12 used in Windsor was top spec and both sources were very enjoyable.


I insist, however, that it takes a while for most of us to become aware of the flaws of a new source. I've had periods when I haven't touched my LP12 for weeks because I've been so delighted with the performance of a digital source. Usually I'm even more delighted when I later start playing vinyl again. And that's when I get a better grip of how that digital player really performed. Because as mentioned, making a fair direct A-B comparison is complicated.

I agree KDS was very enjoyable at Windsor, when partnered with the old Ripnas. The Lp12 was also great and is probably the first time I have heard a top spec LP12 playing my type of music.

As a result i was quite overwhelmed with what I was hearing through the turntable ,Fredriks Boazu and the Totem sky's, and have since ordered both albums that were playing.

I cant really compare as different music and recordings were used with both sources but anyone with digital and vinyl collections ( myself included ) needs to aspire to both.

If one can't decide which source to upgrade then flip a coin and continue to enjoy the music- knowing that down the line another great upgrade awaits.
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Re: Upgrade: Katalyst or LP12

Post by Teemu » 2016-11-08 09:55

Music Lover wrote: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)
These are harsh allegations, do you think Linn flagship system Klimax Exakt or Exakt system first place also killing vinyl performance when connected (Urika) straight to Kdsm?

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Re: Upgrade: Katalyst or LP12

Post by Music Lover » 2016-11-08 14:45

Teemu wrote:
Music Lover wrote: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)
These are harsh allegations, do you think Linn flagship system Klimax Exakt or Exakt system first place also killing vinyl performance when connected (Urika) straight to Kdsm?
I'm sorry you consider it allegations.
It's simply just my experience, nothing more than that.
Have you tried yourself. If not, please do and report back

And yes, regardless of the KDSM using "Exakt out" or "analogue out" - it removes all magic from vinyl, compared to a great preamp. IMHO
It's all about musical understanding!

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Re: Upgrade: Katalyst or LP12

Post by donuk » 2016-11-08 16:34

If you have a large house and lots of money - yes buy a Klimax streamer and a Klimax LP12.
But if not....
Three years ago I had an LP12, a Uphorik and a house full of vinyl.
Then I started the streamer route. I have never looked back.
I have got back my cupboards and a spare bedroom - not a vinyl record in the house now.
CDs are in the loft.
I have access to a world of music through Qobuz.
I no longer have to think - shall I listen to vinyl or digital this evening?
I just sit back to enjoy music. Any music I like.
My next upgrade path is simple. I can put all my money into just the one format.
All my listening comes from just three boxes, including the NAS.

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Re: Upgrade: Katalyst or LP12

Post by tokenbrit » 2016-11-08 17:11

donuk wrote:If you have a large house and lots of money - yes buy a Klimax streamer and a Klimax LP12.
But if not....
Three years ago I had an LP12, a Uphorik and a house full of vinyl.
Then I started the streamer route. I have never looked back.
I have got back my cupboards and a spare bedroom - not a vinyl record in the house now.
CDs are in the loft.
I have access to a world of music through Qobuz.
I no longer have to think - shall I listen to vinyl or digital this evening?
I just sit back to enjoy music. Any music I like.
My next upgrade path is simple. I can put all my money into just the one format.
All my listening comes from just three boxes, including the NAS.

Donuk damp downtown York
Five including the speakers?
Agreed that maintaining two Klimax level sources, and multiple music libraries is a space, time, & money consuming hobby - that's why it tends to be a passion if not an obsession, and not sure there are many who are equally invested in both analogue & digital.
Until now (?) the LP12 has outperformed Linn's best streamer so it's up to the individual whether to compromise 'somewhat' on convenience or musicality, or continue to pony up for both formats. If you've decided on your path, and which media-horse to which to hitch your system-wagon then good for you. Whatever provides you with music that you enjoy.
Hopefully Fredrik's next product will reduce the amount of money needed for a Klimax plus level streamer... Even if it outperforms my modest LP12, as expected, I am keeping the old fruit box for the enjoyment & engagement of playing records.

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Re: Upgrade: Katalyst or LP12

Post by Music Lover » 2016-11-08 17:30

donuk wrote: Then I started the streamer route.
Same here. Only source is my KDS
It's all about musical understanding!

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Re: Upgrade: Katalyst or LP12

Post by matthias » 2016-11-08 18:11

Music Lover wrote:Only source is my KDS
ML,
but you are in front of your Lejonklou/JBL system. Where is Linn?

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Re: Upgrade: Katalyst or LP12

Post by Music Lover » 2016-11-08 18:23

I also left out Ofil stands, Oppo105 and other stuff.
Focus is on products related to this site.
Just added Ofil, thanks for asking!
It's all about musical understanding!

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Re: Upgrade: Katalyst or LP12

Post by beck » 2016-11-08 20:47

As I cannot maintain anything at klimax level I am working the other way leaving things out. No preamp. Next up is my left or right speaker. Mono is it! :-)

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Re: Upgrade: Katalyst or LP12

Post by matss » 2016-11-08 22:16

donuk wrote:If you have a large house and lots of money - yes buy a Klimax streamer and a Klimax LP12.
But if not....
Three years ago I had an LP12, a Uphorik and a house full of vinyl.
Then I started the streamer route. I have never looked back.
I have got back my cupboards and a spare bedroom - not a vinyl record in the house now.
CDs are in the loft.
I have access to a world of music through Qobuz.
I no longer have to think - shall I listen to vinyl or digital this evening?
I just sit back to enjoy music. Any music I like.
My next upgrade path is simple. I can put all my money into just the one format.
All my listening comes from just three boxes, including the NAS.

Donuk damp downtown York
I have some 3 000 LPs, many of which are unavailable through any streaming service. Besides most digital versions of new music is horrifyingly compressed for maximum loudness, making the vinyl versions much better sounding (sadly enough, as vinyl is such a limited format compared to any fully utilised uncompressed digital standard). With just as many records on my NAS I'm afraid I feel I'm not in a position to choose just one format.

When I last compared four years ago the Klimax Kontrol was clearly superior to Klimax DSM on vinyl. I still prefer keeping the KK in the loop when I now evaluated the Katalyst DSM with digital files. I like the sound of that system and I already have a KK. Had that not been the case, I seriously doubt I would invest in one (if vinyl just sounds as good as digital files did through Katalyst). The KDSM alone sounds fine to me, different but not neccessarily any worse than with a high quality preamplifier in the loop. And the Katalyst digital volume control is completely transparent on digital files IMHO.

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Re: Upgrade: Katalyst or LP12

Post by lejonklou » 2016-11-08 23:10

There is no such thing as a completely transparent volume control.

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Re: Upgrade: Katalyst or LP12

Post by matss » 2016-11-09 13:30

lejonklou wrote:There is no such thing as a completely transparent volume control.
That is correct. I rephrase, what I meant was I could not detect any difference between controling the volume with the digital control in KDSM or with the analog control in my KK, listening to digital files. Just as fun either way with Katalyst. I did not do the comparison on vinyl due to lack of time and convenience. But that would have involved an A/D conversion as well, which would have made isolating the actual control circuit in the listening even more impossible.

From a technical standpoint I suspect the analog control circuit sets the limit in my use case.

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Re: Upgrade: Katalyst or LP12

Post by fredrik » 2016-11-16 16:40

matthias wrote:
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.

Matt
There is no straight analog pathway with the Katalyst KDSM, all analog inputs go through both an ADC and a DAC.
The original KDSM, which murder? the LP12 signal, has an option for straight analog pathway.

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Re: Upgrade: Katalyst or LP12

Post by matthias » 2016-11-16 17:00

fredrik wrote: The original KDSM, which murder? the LP12 signal, has an option for straight analog pathway.
IMO, for best performance you would want to have a Katalyst DS plus Sagatun Monos.

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Re: Upgrade: Katalyst or LP12

Post by Music Lover » 2016-11-16 17:13

Agree
It's all about musical understanding!

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Re: Upgrade: Katalyst or LP12

Post by Starman » 2017-07-23 22:30

Decision made; I traded in my Ittok for an ex dem Ekos SE/1 plus Kore. Very please with the resuilts. Next upgrade will either be the Keel, or a shift to MC and Urika.
One point regarding the Ekos which never seemed to happen with my Ittok. On some records a track will stick. The track weight on the Adikt is 1.75, I have the large dial(is this the Bias) ser at 1.75, Anti Skate was at 1.75, but now adjusted to 1.6. The sticking has virtually gone. Any advice appreciated.

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Re: Upgrade: Katalyst or LP12

Post by beck » 2017-07-24 13:23

Starman wrote:Decision made; I traded in my Ittok for an ex dem Ekos SE/1 plus Kore. Very please with the resuilts. Next upgrade will either be the Keel, or a shift to MC and Urika.
One point regarding the Ekos which never seemed to happen with my Ittok. On some records a track will stick. The track weight on the Adikt is 1.75, I have the large dial(is this the Bias) ser at 1.75, Anti Skate was at 1.75, but now adjusted to 1.6. The sticking has virtually gone. Any advice appreciated.
There should be no problems when playing records unless the record is faulty. I suggest you get your sondek checked out at a qualified dealer (Peter at Cymbiosis).

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Re: Upgrade: Katalyst or LP12

Post by Charlie1 » 2017-07-24 17:43

I'm not saying you don't have a fault or setup issue, but thought I would mention this anyway. The Ekos SE anti-skate dial was incorrect pre-serial 11064. Mine is an early Ekos SE and I was advised by Linn to use something closer to 2g with my Akiva. This was also backed up with recordings posted on this forum. Hope you find out what the issue is.

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