Tundra 2.2 vs Linn C4200/D and KCT/D

General HiFi discussion, using the Tune Method to evaluate performance

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Tundra 2.2 vs Linn C4200/D and KCT/D

Post by Charlie1 » 2017-10-03 19:26

I was recently in a position to upgrade my Chakra 4200/D and considering the Tundra 2.2, having read so many positive forum posts the past year or so, particularly the claimed ability to make music more engaging. I was also considering a second hand KCT/D.

Tony Lockwood (‘anthony’ on this forum) organised the dem. I’ve known Tony for some years. It’s always a pleasure to visit and spend time with him and I greatly value his opinion. He has remained consistent throughout this period and I’ve often realised the truth of his advice several years later.

The system comprised a Klimax Katalyst DSM and Akurate pair of 242 mark 2’s fitted with upgraded stands. We utilised the KDSMs digital volume control. Volume levels were pretty high (~60) and offset applied when switching between Tundra and Linn amps.

We began listening with my 4200. It sounded good. My first thought was, “Why am I bothering to upgrade? I should use the money to buy 242s right away.” We listened some more and I had a slight feeling that the 4200 was sometimes struggling, like a car towing a caravan that’s starting to disrupt the car’s handling. It was still pretty good overall though.

Tony switched over to the Tundra. I could immediately sense that the presentation had significantly changed. It was a lot more lifelike and less like a HiFi system. The main melody kicked in and I realised the music was more tuneful too. We switched back to the 4200 and the tunes were clearly harder to follow.

Next, we played a new track on the Tundra before switching to the KCT/D. Resolution levels were broadly similar to the Tundra, i.e. less rough and distorted than the 4200. But it had the same Linn house sound. In a way, the added resolution and clarity made it easier to distinguish the signature sound imprinted on the music. Whereas, I couldn’t guess how the Tundra was distorting the signal. The KCT sounded somewhat mechanical by comparison, like a powerful machine that synthesised the music into an appealing facsimile. The Tundra just sounded like real people playing real instruments. The KCT was a bit less tuneful too, so harder to follow the music. But I sensed the KCT was better able to man handle the demanding 242s, although the Tundra was close enough for me.

However, the Tundra’s real strength was its ability to make music more engaging. The Tundra quickly drew me into each unfamiliar track that Tony played. Whereas, the KCT couldn’t compete in this regard. By comparison, the KCT kind of sat back and created a pleasant reproduction that I could happily listen to or happily ignore. This ability might be preferable for background music, but was not what I was hoping and searching for. Ultimately, this is what made my decision relatively easy.

I took delivery of a new Tundra 2.2 yesterday. It immediately sounded fab straight out the box, even though it was cold and not run-in. I’m delighted with it already, especially as it is doing the same trick, namely, more easily and thoroughly drawing me into the music.

The improvement in tunefulness is even more pronounced at home. I emailed Fredrik and said it was ‘tuneful+’. I keep finding album tracks (and B-sides) that sound like I’ve heard them for the first time. A lot of plain Jane album filler has blossomed into music worth listening to. This is a very welcome development as my system hasn’t been as engaging as I felt it should be, despite improvements brought about from the clips we’ve all shared the past couple of years.

In terms of HiFi, the sound is much clearer and lifelike. Bass is tighter with much more punch. Vocals are much clearer and more meaningful. Top end is better too, with less distortion and sibilance and more lifelike cymbals. The Tundra can’t quite offer the same scale of shift from a quiet to a loud passage but the added bass weight and punch does offset much of that.

So, I’m really pleased and just want to mention one last thing. Fredrik’s attention to detail is another key factor in choosing the Tundra. His making sure each component matches his reference does take away the worry that maybe you ended up with one of the poorer ones. Great stuff Fredrik!
Last edited by Charlie1 on 2017-10-06 15:16, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Lejonklou Tundra 2.2 vs Linn C4200/D and KCT/D

Post by macrotech2 » 2017-10-03 19:46

Great to hear you're so happy with the Tundra. Your description of the differences exactly mirrors my impressions and puts it better than I could. Happy listening!
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Re: Lejonklou Tundra 2.2 vs Linn C4200/D and KCT/D

Post by HIDDENSYSTEMS » 2017-10-03 22:40

I knew you’d do it one day Charlie1. I remember your visit to me oh, 5 yrs ago ? Fredrik has moved on too and glad you got there.
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Re: Lejonklou Tundra 2.2 vs Linn C4200/D and KCT/D

Post by donuk » 2017-10-04 00:20

I had a very similar journey in the company of Hidden Systems when I moved from a Linn 2200 to a Tundra 2.0
Still enjoying the music.
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Re: Lejonklou Tundra 2.2 vs Linn C4200/D and KCT/D

Post by Charlie1 » 2017-10-04 09:06

Thanks for the comments folks. I only have one valid clip for comparison which I will post later. I only made one recording of the 4200 since moving a load of LP storage into a large cupboard, removing some books and furniture and shifting the bed further away from the HiFi, all of which has added a bit more life to the music.

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Re: Lejonklou Tundra 2.2 vs Linn C4200/D and KCT/D

Post by Ozzzy189 » 2017-10-04 09:46

Congratulations Charlie1. In my original tundra review 4½ years ago when Chris at HiddenSystems sent me the boxes to compare, back then I thought there was actually something wrong with the 4200. There wasn't of course, it's was just completely bettered by an unassuming little black box that a guy in Sweden had knocked up in his shed.
Well that's what I originally thought anyway. What's changed? Well I obviously know a lot more about the genius that is Fredrik and I was semi joking when I was saying he knocked it up in his shed but it kinda did have that crazy home brew flavour, and that's what I loved about it. The fact that he's only improved the tundra further and launched similarly impressive other projects is just astounding.
Look at the history of the company that makes the kct. Look at the work that goes into it. Look at the factory and the amount of staff. Look at the cost.
Now look at Lejonklou....
I really want to swear, I'm that amazed. Seriously folks, just pause to take stock for one minute. I know I'm preaching to the converted but what Freddie has done is simply staggering.
Now Charlie1, it's your turn to spread the word!
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Lejonklou demos available in the N of England.

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Re: Lejonklou Tundra 2.2 vs Linn C4200/D and KCT/D

Post by Charlie1 » 2017-10-04 10:48

Thanks Ozzzy, you are bubbling with enthusiasm as ever :) I will share the love, don't worry, although not sure I will do it much on the Linn forum, perhaps the occasional post. Besides, there has been a notable decline in people asking upgrade advise on the Linn site the past year or two. Many will be in the Exakt section, but I think it's more than that. I noticed the same here as well.

You're right - it is amazing what Fredrik has already achieved. He deserves all the credit he gets.

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Re: Lejonklou Tundra 2.2 vs Linn C4200/D and KCT/D

Post by Spannko » 2017-10-04 11:32

Great write up charlie1. I can relate to all the bits the 4200 doesn’t get quite right, so it sounds like you’ve got yourself a great amp there; and with enough change for a bag of chips and a tram ride home at the end of the night!

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Re: Lejonklou Tundra 2.2 vs Linn C4200/D and KCT/D

Post by macrotech2 » 2017-10-04 11:52

... and potentially saving even more money considering a Tundra Stereo outperforms a KCT/D!
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Re: Lejonklou Tundra 2.2 vs Linn C4200/D and KCT/D

Post by Charlie1 » 2017-10-04 13:24

2200/D: https://www.dropbox.com/s/5ltmr3cmgu8tf ... 8.MOV?dl=0
Tundra 2.2: https://www.dropbox.com/s/gfzbm3pe017xt ... 7.MOV?dl=0

Bear in mind the Tundra is not run in yet and I've not re-tuned the speaker positions.

And I just think this one shows off what it can do compared to before:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/n62bj13dttkbc ... 8.MOV?dl=0
Last edited by Charlie1 on 2017-11-29 13:49, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Lejonklou Tundra 2.2 vs Linn C4200/D and KCT/D

Post by u252agz » 2017-10-04 16:48

I thought the 4200 sounded quite good- until I listened to the Tundra 2.2 clip.

Going back and forth highlights the marked difference and confirms you have made a rather good decision.

Interesting you found the difference greater at home compared to the demo. Are you using a good analogue preamp vs Digital vol control on the KDS3?

Maybe just the superior front end at home making the difference?
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Re: Lejonklou Tundra 2.2 vs Linn C4200/D and KCT/D

Post by Charlie1 » 2017-10-04 16:49

Spannko wrote:Great write up charlie1. I can relate to all the bits the 4200 doesn’t get quite right, so it sounds like you’ve got yourself a great amp there; and with enough change for a bag of chips and a tram ride home at the end of the night!
Thanks Spannko. haha. No change left though. I had dip into the chip fund quite a bit too.

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Re: Lejonklou Tundra 2.2 vs Linn C4200/D and KCT/D

Post by Charlie1 » 2017-10-04 16:52

Thanks u252agz.
u252agz wrote:Interesting you found the difference greater at home compared to the demo. Are you using a good analogue preamp vs Digital vol control on the KDS3?

Maybe just the superior front end at home making the difference?
I've always found this, no matter what the systems are. I just think I'm much more attuned to my own system and pick up differences straight away, even small ones.

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Re: Lejonklou Tundra 2.2 vs Linn C4200/D and KCT/D

Post by Ozzzy189 » 2017-10-04 18:59

The first clip sounds dull, boring and emotionless.
The second is completely the opposite.
Its amazing how easy it is to hear the differences via clips like this, compressed and listened to via a smartphone.
Less than ten seconds was easily enough.
Thanks for sharing.
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Re: Lejonklou Tundra 2.2 vs Linn C4200/D and KCT/D

Post by Charlie1 » 2017-10-05 11:05

Yep, I agree Ozzzy, the 4200 seems quite boring by comparison.

The Tundra sounds crackin' this morning, and I am trying to work! It's so much more tuneful and involving, and the improved HiFi attributes don't hurt either :) ...come on, there's a little audiophile in all of us, just admit it!

I've had to up the volume limit on my KK from 70 to 75 as a result. This is partly because the gain is different to the 4200, but also because the Tundra sounds equally good all the way up the volume range. I can't pick out any downside at very high volumes, whereas the 4200 would get unpleasant too far above 60. There was never anything specific I could describe but it just started to lose it somehow. It would probably be fine Aktiv, but passive was a strain above a certain point. I very much doubt this would apply to the KCT. Anyway, just a quick update.

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Re: Lejonklou Tundra 2.2 vs Linn C4200/D and KCT/D

Post by u252agz » 2017-10-05 13:10

Ozzzy189 wrote:The first clip sounds dull, boring and emotionless.
.
Maybe that is a being a tad harsh on the poor 4200.

I think, as Charlie says it is only in comparision with a far better, and more musical amplifier that the 4200 seems boring.

As a stand alone clip - and maybe in real life, I suspect it is still good enough to let much of the sources musicality to come through. Just not as much as the Tundra2.2.
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Re: Lejonklou Tundra 2.2 vs Linn C4200/D and KCT/D

Post by matthias » 2017-10-05 14:10

Charlie1 wrote:.......but also because the Tundra sounds equally good all the way up the volume range. I can't pick out any downside at very high volumes,.......
This characteristic possess all well designed amplifiers (like Fredriks) and loudspeakers (like 3677s).
It is my impression that some of the newer Linn amps and speakers are tailored to play well in the middle of the volume range, but fall short in the high volume range.
Maybe some sort of dynamic compression.

BTW, the third clip is the best one.

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Re: Lejonklou Tundra 2.2 vs Linn C4200/D and KCT/D

Post by anthony » 2017-10-05 16:13

You need a black radikal!

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Re: Lejonklou Tundra 2.2 vs Linn C4200/D and KCT/D

Post by Charlie1 » 2017-10-05 16:29

anthony wrote:You need a black radikal!
LOL!
I was gonna call you yesterday about a new case, but forgot. Besides, I wasn't sure you could handle the excitement of all that commission :)

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Re: Lejonklou Tundra 2.2 vs Linn C4200/D and KCT/D

Post by macrotech2 » 2017-10-05 16:32

You could order some Sagatun Monos at the same time. That would make him and you very happy!
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Re: Lejonklou Tundra 2.2 vs Linn C4200/D and KCT/D

Post by Charlie1 » 2017-10-05 16:37

macrotech2 wrote:You could order some Sagatun Monos at the same time. That would make him and you very happy!
Yeah, I could do that couldn't I. OR, I could avoid a divorce. Decisions, decisions.

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Re: Lejonklou Tundra 2.2 vs Linn C4200/D and KCT/D

Post by macrotech2 » 2017-10-05 17:13

Let us know which one you decide :)
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Re: Lejonklou Tundra 2.2 vs Linn C4200/D and KCT/D

Post by Music Lover » 2017-10-05 21:36

matthias wrote: It is my impression that some of the newer Linn amps and speakers are tailored to play well in the middle of the volume range, but fall short in the high volume range.
I don't think it's tailored.
It's simply difficult to design amplifiers/speakers that are good on both low, medium and high volume.
It's all about musical understanding!

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Re: Lejonklou Tundra 2.2 vs Linn C4200/D and KCT/D

Post by HIDDENSYSTEMS » 2017-10-07 12:31

Charlie1 wrote:
anthony wrote:You need a black radikal!
LOL!
I was gonna call you yesterday about a new case, but forgot. Besides, I wasn't sure you could handle the excitement of all that commission :)
He (anthony) has a lovely life and I think spent all the commission drinking coffee talking to me that you DID it :-) It even fired up don't mix the words - Ozzzy
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Re: Tundra 2.2 vs Linn C4200/D and KCT/D

Post by Rudi64 » 2017-10-10 09:53

Last Friday I have been to a demo of lejonklou equipment at my local Linn dealer
given by Marco of Hexagon, Lejonklou distributor.
We listened to the entire range except the Sagatuns mono's, with Linn Akubariks and Majik Lp12.
We did not do a-b comparison, but everyone agreed at the end the Tundra monos where
at least equal to the Linn Akurate amps and maybe more..what is a nice reference.
Marco gave us a lovely afternoon and a nice insight of what Lejonklou is capable of and noticeable he had a passion and soul for the brand.
Thanks Marco!
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