asking for upgrade advice

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asking for upgrade advice

Post by MikeF » 2017-03-01 01:39

Hi out there

a few words on how I got where I am now before I will be happy to receive suggestion on where to move on.....

- my first real Hifi (after initial attempts with standard stuff that left no impression) was a second hand Cyrus II with PSX and Cyrus DAD 7 player, that was great fun and I do not mention the speakers because.....

- very soon afterwards I got a pair of Linn Ninkas, and now it was really good.

- again after some time ( I found the motivation to upgrade is the bigger the bigger the success of the last) I went active : Linn Kollektor/ LK tunebox and a pair of second hand LK 280 with Spark, I remember that as an improvement but not so striking as the previous two steps.

- with the time added the Ku stone stands, a third set of LK 280/spark, but no big impression, tried a second hand Classik Movie as player (that was supposed to be close to Ikemi level), no big impression.

- After some technical issues with the LK 280 (and the feeling that they heat the room too much) I went for the then new C6100. My dealer played it against some naim amps and recommend the 4200 instead, but I did not have the money. At that point (since the last steps all did not provide much improvement), I sat back and listened to music for many years on a system that sounds quite good, compared to many. Although never as good as in the shop, where each item had been played with reference partners. And time went by....

-until one day I tried the Classik Movie without the Kollektor directly into the C6100 and, yes, now there was again something happening. It seems the Kollektor had been holding the system back.

- and there I was again looking for improvement. Got the latest Majik DS (with Exakt links) and, whow, what a difference. That was not the first time I was impressed, but the first time it sounded really good at home.

- added an Affekt subwoofer, and quite like the result.......

In summary, I have now the Majik DS/C6100/Ninka 3way active/Affekt and it is good. But keep thinking it could be better. The next logical step would be to finally do the Dynamik upgrade of the C6100 (some of you may laugh), but some more money came around and I started dreaming .....

and here I would like to listen some suggestions, because we start to talk about serious money, and the first step will also depend on the final destination....

- probably the weakest part by now is the 6100. Good thing is the Ninkas can be driven active by only two amplifiers (the newer Linn speakers have an awful lot of drive units), so having still the LK Tunebox, even a pair of Tundra may be possible (or with some luck hunting down a pair of second hand klimax twins). That would be also compatible with an Akkurate Exakt crossover at a later point. But if I go that way, there is no logical speaker upgrade in the future. Newer Linn speakers will imply many more power amps, and the more or less only other speaker that go with Exakt, Kudos, seems to be great but not really made for a relaxed listening .....

- Other option is to start with the Akkurate Exakt tunebox now, keeping the dynamiked 6100 and later start upgrading the speakers to some second hand 242 (for example or Majik Isobarik) adding more of the cheaper x100 power amps (or x200 which are supposed to be better, but how much?) Anybody made experience on how big is the improvement by changing the analog active crossovers to the Exakt ones? And if I use the Exaktbox, I assume the DAC being in the crossover, the DS does not matter much anymore? In other words, having the Exaktbox, will there be a big difference between a Majik DS, Akkurate DS and Klimax DS when run through the Exaktlinks?

- other option would be to invest in clean 230V AC power, e.g. from PS Audio, Power plant, because the electric installation in my home is certainly far from good and I do not trust the spanish grid too much. Plus: is compatible with all other upgrades, but impact depends on the quality of the other electronics. If they are well made, the impact should be small.......

- last option, go for new active integrated speakers now (e.g. Dynaudio 400XD, Elac Air 409 or Audium Comp 9 Air, but Akubarik Exakt seems out of range) and get rid of the the whole present system. Plus: I suppose a big improvement now, but minus limited final result, because there is no logical next upgrade (also like the looks of the ninkas and I prefer people not to start talking about me spending these amounts and as the speakers are the most visible part....). The DAC will be what is built into the speakers and cannot be changed. How will the final result compare with the best I can get out of the ninkas with good electronics?

- go PASSIVE with new speakers and single power amp? I have the feeling this would loose out in value for money compared with the integrated active option above.

So what would you recommend, having approx 5000-10000 Euros to spent now and another sum to reach 15 in total in some time. The dealer infrastructure is not so good down here in spain, because with the good weather, people do not spend time inside their homes....

Many thanks

Michael

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Re: asking for upgrade advice

Post by tokenbrit » 2017-03-01 02:35

I'm not clear what you are looking for, musically, from the upgrade, but DS / Boazu / Ninkas (passive) would be worth an audition, and might guide you on the relative merits and costs of your options. Listen to the latest Lejonklou Sagatun & Tundra if you can too... I don't know how easy it would be to compare against your current set up, or continuing with aktiv and going Exakt though.
I know it has been said that the Lejonklou Boazu, with its quality analogue volume control, has been preferred by a few to the digital volume control of an Akurate (?) DS into an Akurate 2200...
At the end of the day it's what your ears, heart, and wallet decide though as it's your system and your preferences, but I'd definitely try to give Fredrik's products a listen if you can.
You did come to the Lejonklou forum to ask for guidance, so I rust that the above advice doesn't come as a surprise ;)

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Re: asking for upgrade advice

Post by donuk » 2017-03-01 10:34

Hi Mike,
Welcome. Further to tokenbrit's sound advice (pun intended), I would suggest another route to building a system.

Firstly, get an Akurate DS/2. It is, imho much better than a Majik.

Then get a Tundra amplifier. And use the internal volume control inside the Akurate.

I upgraded from a Linn 2200 to a Tundra and the improvement was immense.

Then you can add a Sagatun preamplifier at a later stage.

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Re: asking for upgrade advice

Post by Music Lover » 2017-03-01 10:42

I rather suggest Klimax Renew instead of Akurate DS. Then JBL3677/Ofil stands.

The rest you spend on a good pre/power-combo. A separate preamp is VERY important for max musicality imho as the DS digital volume control isn't musical enough.
Your budget is then determining the level of amplification.
It's all about musical understanding!

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Re: asking for upgrade advice

Post by donuk » 2017-03-01 16:34

You cannot upgrade a Renew. If you get an Akurate you will be able to upgrade to the new architecture of the ADS/3 when it comes along.

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Re: asking for upgrade advice

Post by Charlie1 » 2017-03-01 17:29

I'd want to plug the analogue pre-amp gap first. A new Sagatun Stereo would be great but leave less to fund a source upgrade. Alternatively, a second hand Sagatun Stereo, Kikkin (single input only) or Akurate Kontrol would leave more funds for a source upgrade.

I think I'd do the pre-amp first and wait to see what source product Lejonklou release.

I used to own 6100/Ninkas. I was very fond of the Ninkas in particular. They are nice looking speaker. I also upgraded the 6100 with Dynamik PSU. I can't recall the specific benefits but felt it was worth the investment. I would leave these alone for now and focus on the source and pre-amp. 6100 without Dynamik is fine for now driving aktiv, or even passive, Ninkas. Just don't expect it to drive a pair of 242s - that sounds pretty poor.

Speaking of 242s, I don't think they will be a good match for your source since they are quite revealing and unforgiving.

Not heard PS Audio products. Just be careful with mains related improvements. They are not always of musical benefit despite sounding more impressive. I had a dedicated fused spur installed and it's actually less musical than the standard ring main which has all our household appliances on it. One product to be very wary of are those Ethernet-over-mains units. They have a significant negative impact in our house. They make music sound unsettled, agitated and fatiguing. It's quite a marked difference now that I know what to listen for (thanks to forum members).

I've not heard Exakt in a long time. I'm into vinyl so it's never really appealed all that much and I had mixed experiences with it. Plus a few people I trust (not just on forums) hate it. If possible, you should probably make the effort to have a listen and judge for yourself.

It must be difficult not having many good dealers. It’s worth bearing in mind that Lejonklou will ship direct so you could try out a Sagatun Stereo at home and take your time to make a decision. The downside is that you’d have to pay return shipping if you decided not to keep it.

Let us know how you get on.

PS I wonder how well your system is setup if it sounded better in the store. There are some things worth doing to ensure the timing to as good as it should be, specifically the order in which the Aktiv cards are installed. I only found this out for myself when I tried it passive and preferred it in some, but not all, ways. Once optimised then aktiv was better all round.

EDIT: After further consideration, I'd seriously consider tokenbrit's suggestion of a new Lejonklou Boazu integrated amp and sell the 6100. If it's as great as it's hailed then that would be a good way forward and still leave plenty of scope for a solid source upgrade. Moving to a better passive amp would give you plenty of speaker model flexibility too.

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Re: asking for upgrade advice

Post by MikeF » 2017-03-01 23:59

Dear Tokenbrit, Donuk, Music Lover and Charlie,

many thanks for the fast reply. I note a tendency for an analog preamp (or integrated), something I did not consider very releant so far having only one source, I considered it wasted money. I had read the new digital volume control of the DS was much better than past versions,but I maybe wrong. How do I use the DS with the analogue volume control? At 100 percent? I mean I cannot switch it off...... so Kikkin?

Next I notice a lack of enthusiasm for active crossovers (analogue or digital), which from from my slightly technical background seems to make much sense, but I am not too old to learn....

Last but not least the tendency is (not surpisingly) source first, which is scary because I got the DS very recently and people will think I am crazy..............

On the other hand there seems to be no reason to get rid of the Ninkas yet, nice......

But please, I will listen to all opinions so if there are others, let me know.........

Anybody wants to speculate about a shootout 1) Kikkin (if I find one second hand) /6100active (with Dynamik) vs Boazu passive (the danger being if the Boazu is better, I will start thinking about going active...)

What am Iooking for? I like mostly Blues, Soul, Rock little Jazz and Classic. I like the music to be involving and natural, i.e. the sound of acoustic instruments and voice to appear real, but also with a good punch if needed. Well basically if you close your eyes, you think you are at the concert (many live recordings).

cheers

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Re: asking for upgrade advice

Post by Charlie1 » 2017-03-02 08:37

Glad to help. The preamp inside Boazu should be far better than the Kikkin, so that option should be the most tuneful/musically engaging, regardless of power amp section. The downside is less flexibility if you decide to upgrade in future.

Not sure what the DS should be set to with analogue preamp. I thought 80 but could well be wrong.

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Re: asking for upgrade advice

Post by donuk » 2017-03-02 09:24

Dear Mike
Yes, you have received a variety of views on this forum, just like you would in the pub.

If you want to use the Linn streamer with a preamp, yes you will have to fix the output level.
It is easy to do this - you need to download the Linn Konfig software form their site, free.
Put it on a computer on the same network as your streamer. Open the programme and under "Volume", switch on the internal volume control. You will need to reboot the streamer.
Linn say that doing this effectively just fixes the variable volume control to an output level of 80 as Charlie1 says.
It is interesting that Linn themselves no longer make preamplifiers and say that the internal volume controls are (nowadays?) perfectly good quality. I think most folk on this forum would disagree with this. Still you will be able to give it a try and make your own mind up.

Hope this helps
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Re: asking for upgrade advice

Post by Charlie1 » 2017-03-02 10:48

donuk wrote:Dear Mike
Yes, you have received a variety of views on this forum, just like you would in the pub.
True, although hopefully we're a bit more sober and there's no stinky old carpet.

And you can't tell when I've fallen asleep in the corner.

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Re: asking for upgrade advice

Post by MikeF » 2017-03-02 14:35

Dear all,

yes I was aware where I was entering, so please feel assured that I got what I asked for....

I am still owing replies to Charlie, who provided plenty of information:

- one on the mains power. I live in an house built in the late sixties in Spain, with partially original electric installation (main fuses are screwed in sockets like light bulbs) in an area with industry not too far away, that made me think about mains quality (apart that it always seemed to sound better in the night in our old flat a few blocks away).

Concerning the active configuration, I go into the treble first with black interconnects and then using the outs (again black interconnect) to pass to the two midrange/bass channels in. I can go to the subwoofer from either the second out of the DS or from the out of the last 6100 channels.

When I say it sounded better at the dealer, I refer to the fact, well it sounded better, but that is obvious because he was demonstrating in a good environment, with a good source and with better partners, up to Komri speakers or Klimax Solos in its days, when I bought single components. He was very nice and always honest in his opinion, but that was way back when I still lived in Germany. So I assume it is natural not too reach to the same level at home, but when I at last added the DS instead of an CD player, I finally started to have the same type of sound at home....

I alreday decided to give the anlog volume contro a try. Found (hope so) a Kikkin 2.2 in the forum and asked if it is still available. Easy to integrate into my system, not too pricey (you read about my sceptical views) and can be a place holder for a future Sagatun or whatever. If the digital volume control is bad, the Kikkin hopefully should show me already better ways. And it hardly cuts now into the budget for the rest as a start. (same is true for the Dynamik of the C6100, compared to big purchases)

About the music, I thought about a few more things that I really appreciate: the sax intro of "the river" on Bruce springsteen live at NYC 2001, the voice of Buddy Guy on the "Blues singer" album, the double bass on "Cotton fields" from Harry Belafonte live at Carnegie Hall. All these may fall into the "impressive" category concerning natural sound reproduction. The fun of the clash debut album like "Janie Jones" or "police and thieves". The fact that you start to like kinds of music (like classical) that you did not like before. But most of all that you want to listen for long times, that you do not want to stop.....

So once I have Kikin/C6100(Dynamik) active, I plan to start a "real" upgrade, i.e. either an Akurate or KRenew source or to play it against a Boazu or Kikkin/Tundra. It is true that passive is way more flexible concerning future speakers, so I am curious to hear if a stereo tundra passive is better than the C6100 active ....

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Re: asking for upgrade advice

Post by Charlie1 » 2017-03-02 15:33

Ref 6100 aktiv cards, to quote Fredrik a few years ago:

http://www.lejonklou.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=669
Fredrik wrote:I recommend the following:

For right speaker: 1.treble 2.upper bass 3.lower bass
For left speaker: 4.lower bass 5. upper bass 6.treble

Then connect your preamp to inputs 1 and 6. This way the audio signal will first go to the treble channels, which internally are now closest to the power supply.

Please note that if you have already optimised the direction of your internal connecting cables between the channels (the black/red ones that should have 7.5 turns of twist, direction must be done by ear), you need to reverse the ones between 4-5 and 5-6. Because the audio signal is now going the other way.
I know what you mean about the dealer experience and taking years to get what you want. It was quite a while before I felt that I had the sound I once heard at a good dealer, albeit with different kit.

I think one step at a time is a good idea. Then you understand what each individual upgrade is doing. And buying second hand means that you minimise the cost of any short-term ownership.

Kikkin is reverse phase like Kairn, so be sure to get that right otherwise it will sound a little muffled.
MikeF wrote:The fun of the clash debut album like "Janie Jones" or "police and thieves". The fact that you start to like kinds of music (like classical) that you did not like before. But most of all that you want to listen for long times, that you do not want to stop.....
Yes, this is why I invest in HiFi too. I think it perfectly sums up why we do all this.

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Re: asking for upgrade advice

Post by tokenbrit » 2017-03-02 16:30

It's your money; your choice but I'd hold off the Dynamik upgrade of the 6100 until after listening to the Tundra Stereo. The Tundra competes with Linn's Klimax level for musicality - it beats Akurate level, and should spoil the Majik show. If you prefer aktiv and decide to stay with the 6-channel Majik amp then you can upgrade it to Dynamik later, but you won't get your money back on the Dynamik when you sell the 6100. Yep, my money is on the Tundra ;)

For the Majik DS digital volume control, if it's anything like other Linn DSs, then you don't have to use Konfig to manage the config - you can access the DS with a browser, by putting the DS' IP in the address bar, as long as you are on the same network ;) That should bring up a page with a tab for device settings, including one that allows you to set digital volume control to no.

Have fun with the upgrades, and keep us updated.

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Re: asking for upgrade advice

Post by ThomasOK » 2017-03-02 20:31

MikeF wrote:Dear Tokenbrit, Donuk, Music Lover and Charlie,

many thanks for the fast reply. I note a tendency for an analog preamp (or integrated), something I did not consider very releant so far having only one source, I considered it wasted money. I had read the new digital volume control of the DS was much better than past versions,but I maybe wrong. How do I use the DS with the analogue volume control? At 100 percent? I mean I cannot switch it off...... so Kikkin?

Next I notice a lack of enthusiasm for active crossovers (analogue or digital), which from from my slightly technical background seems to make much sense, but I am not too old to learn....

Last but not least the tendency is (not surpisingly) source first, which is scary because I got the DS very recently and people will think I am crazy..............

On the other hand there seems to be no reason to get rid of the Ninkas yet, nice......

But please, I will listen to all opinions so if there are others, let me know.........

Anybody wants to speculate about a shootout 1) Kikkin (if I find one second hand) /6100active (with Dynamik) vs Boazu passive (the danger being if the Boazu is better, I will start thinking about going active...)

What am Iooking for? I like mostly Blues, Soul, Rock little Jazz and Classic. I like the music to be involving and natural, i.e. the sound of acoustic instruments and voice to appear real, but also with a good punch if needed. Well basically if you close your eyes, you think you are at the concert (many live recordings).

cheers
Hello Mike and welcome to the forum. I did not immediately answer as I am the North American distributor for Lejonklou products so some may think I am self-serving when I recommend you buy their products, despite the fact I would make nothing on items sold in the EU. Anyway, you raise some interesting questions that I and others here have dealt with in the past so I thought I'd give you my perspective. First I will answer your question:

"Anybody wants to speculate about a shootout 1) Kikkin (if I find one second hand) /6100active (with Dynamik) vs Boazu passive (the danger being if the Boazu is better, I will start thinking about going active...) "

I will say that my belief is yes, the Boazu will be musically superior. Why is that? Well, for starters you have your own experience that a component can bottleneck the performance and make the music less fun. This also applies in the above situation. The preamp section in the Boazu is almost assuredly a bit better than the Kikkin 2.2 and the power amp stage is definitely more musical than the 6100. Because of this the Boazu will be more musical.

Now I sympathize with the confusion this may cause so let me explain a bit about active systems. As you have noticed the members of this forum aren't as big on active systems as you might find elsewhere. Interestingly many of us have owned active systems in the past, myself included. I was a big fan of active speakers and had fully active systems from 1998 through last year. At one point I swore I would never own passive speakers again - I was wrong. Active speakers have a great sense of control and power when done right and give a very clear presentation. My first active system was with Linn original Isobarik DMS speakers with FOUR LK280/SPARKS. These were replaced about 11 years ago with ATC SCM100ASL, a large active speaker with the crossovers and amps built in the speaker, much like a number of Linn speakers but all analog. They can be very good and even Fredrik was impressed with my system with the active ATC speakers a few years ago (although not bowled over enough so as to want to buy a pair). What changed this, however, was my concern about the quality of the internal ATC amps. While great claims were made for them ATC does not have a strong reputation for amps, only for the speakers. After wondering about this for some time I purchased a used pair of perfect condition passive crossovers for my ATCs and tried them with a pair of Tundra Mono 2 amps. It was immediately obvious that the passive ATCs with the TM2 amps were easily musically superior to the active setup with the ATC amps. This finding duplicates the findings of others here that a single amp of higher musical quality passive will always musically outperform multiple lesser amps active. Choose any amps and this works. So a single A2200 passive will outperform Mx100s active and a pair of Linn KSolos passive will outperform KTwins active. So since even the Tundra 1.2 stereo is in the league of Klimax amps and the Boazu amp is better than the 1.2 (and the Tundra 2.2 stereo is better yet) any of those passive will be more musical than the 6100 active. It all comes down to the hierarchy. The hierarchy is not just source first, as it is often referred to, it really means that any piece of equipment is more important than the one that comes after it and less important than the one that comes before it. So the DS or turntable (and there is a whole hierarchy within the turntable itself) is more important than the preamp, which is more important than the power amp, which is more important than the speakers. So as crazy as this might sound a Klimax level DS into a Boazu into your Ninkas, which are a quite reasonable speaker, would be the most musical use of the amount of money that would cost. Want it even better? Get a Sagatun 1.3 preamp and a Tundra 2.2 power amp. Want to improve on that? Get a pair of Sagatun Mono 1.3 preamps. Better yet? Get a pair of Tundra Mono 2.2 amps. Because as good as Tundra Mono 2.2 amps are they will not be as musical as the Tundra 2.2 stereo unless they are driven by the Sagatun Mono 1.3 preamps. All of this is using your Ninkas. Want to improve the Ninkas? If you have room in your house the JBL 3677s, as unlikely as they seem, would give you a big musical perfromance upgrade from the Ninkas and indeed compete with some of the very best out there for a very minimal amount of money compared to other options.

But we still left out active. Well the problem I see now with active is three-fold. First if active is going to work well it is crucial that the amps are of the same quality and musical perfromance. You would think that this just means you could get three A2200s and you'd be all set but you would be wrong. The problem is that electronics vary from one unit to the next - there is nothing perfect in this world. Sometimes the differences are very small and sometimes they are more than you would expect. I will tell you a little story about this. I have a customer who some years ago brought me an A4200 to optimize. There are a number of ways to optimize one of these amps (or a 6100) including getting the precise correct torques on all the fasteners (which you can read about in various places on the forum) and making sure all the internal cables go in the proper direction, which they don't from the factory. So I popped the amp open and with the customer watching me and listening I found the optimum torques for all the fasteners and then found the correct directions for the cables which required rebuilding some of the cables and even twisted one cable several times based on a recommendation from Fredrik Lejonklou. These changes improved the musical sound of the amp quite noticeably. However, both the customer and I also noticed that, even after the tuning, all four channels sounded different! One channel was obviously better than the other three, one channel was noticeably worse than the other three and the other two were in the middle with a small, but still audible difference between them. You can probably see where this is going - with the channels sounding different using this amp in an active system would mean that the blending of the drivers would be messed up by the differences in the amp channels. This is one reason that most of us here are now using passive systems - unless you use extremely well matched amps and implement the whole active setup exceptionally well the passive system will sound more homogenous and musical. Here is a simple way you can demonstrate this to yourself. Change one of your Ninkas back to passive and listen to it in mono with a mono piece of music. Take the crossover cards out of the 6100 and listen to one channel at a time. I feel it is highly likely you will notice a musical difference between each channel if you do this.

Second problem is the hierarchy itself. Since, as stated above, my experience is that a better amp passive will outperform a lesser amp active it is easy to take this to its ultimate conclusion: that it makes no sense to go active with any speaker unless you have the best amps made, which IMO are the Tundra Mono 2.2s. Because as good as the Tundra 2.2 stereo is, a stack of them active would not be as musical as a single pair of the TM2.2s passive. The hierarchy works and has never been overcome or circumvented in my experience. So this means that to go three way active with your Ninkas would require $30,000US in power amps along with the $10,000US for the preamps and a big chunk for the source (all round figures). Not a paltry sum and it puts the idea of an active system in a quite different light.

And it also brings us to the third problem, the active crossover. For the active system to work properly the active crossover would have to musically be superior to the Tundra Mono 2.2 amps. Do such things exist? Iffy. It looks like Linn may still make the Klimax Tuneboks for the Komri, K350 and A242 and they might be good enough. But they only work with those speakers and the crossovers may not be around for long. If you have any other speaker it is unlikely you could get an electronic crossover good enough to make this work. At least until Fredrik decides to make one and I'm afraid that is pretty far down the list of things he wants to do.

And that, in short (OK, not really short at all) is why you don't see a lot of active devotees up here. It is a great way to sell multiple amps and active ready speakers but it really doesn't produce more musical results unless done very, very well.

Now you will notice I have left out Exakt. You will also notice that Exakt doesn't get a lot of mention, and even less praise here. This is simply because most of the people on this forum, or at least most of the people who have ever talked about it, have found Exakt to be musically unimpressive (but there are exceptions). I have heard a number of different implementations under controlled circumstances and I have never heard anything I wanted in my house. It is an interesting technology and it has gotten better over time so I don't rule out the possibility that it may some day be more compelling. But it does have a lot of digital processing involved, which tends to make things difficult, and it does require a digital volume control which many of us have found lacking. As with all things you should try and listen for yourself. You can also find out more information on this in the Exakt thread on this forum.

I just realized I left out the source for the most part. To follow the hierarchy you would buy the KDS/3 as it is the most musical digital source, if digital is your main thing. However, that is a quite expensive piece and might be more than you want to budget. If that's the case what I would recommend buying is one of the Renew Klimax DS units. Why? If you buy a Renew KDS now you will still have very a musical digital piece, leaps and bounds better than the Majik regardless of which version of Klimax Renew version you get, and you will lose little money if you go to sell it later on for something better. Good music and a good investment.

I realize this is a lengthy post (you will come to find that I am known for them) but I wanted to try and cover your questions as they are quite valid and I'm not sure you'll find the answers anywhere else. Good luck in your musical journey. IMO you have come to the right place if your goal is the greatest enjoyment of music and how well the musicians play it.
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Re: asking for upgrade advice

Post by MikeF » 2017-03-03 00:08

DearThomas, all,

also thanks to you for an indeed lenghty post that. I promise I went through it all.

A few comments, as far as I understand, the ninkas can be perfectly driven by two amps active (eliminating the passive crossover), then it is just if you want more power so you can power the identical mid/bass units by one or two amps. Keeping your statements in mind, I might even improve by using only four channels of the C6100 instead of all six, eliminating variations between the active cards and/or selecting the four best channels?

Indeed I had expected to get back most of the dynamik upgrade if I eventually sell it, but that may not be true, anyway it sounds the C6100 still has plenty of things to try anyway. Plenty of time that I do not really have....and never really optimised much myself, I just got up to the subwoofer level and phase by ear....not sure I am up to it...

The JBLs, I looked them up, but sorry no way I can get those past my wife through either front or back door.....even if I wanted..... but surely there will be reasons why they make you happy, especially with low power amps.....

So if I drive the ninka passive with stereo tundra or boazu I will loose power, but consensus is that this is more than compensated. Still all of you suggest not to focus yet on the poweramps anyway (the variation things sounds sound, but of course the same goes for any stereo circuit or double mono architecture unless carefully matched)

So I will start trying the Kikkin first if I get it. And I try my best to evaluate it at home...

Then the second step would be a Klimax Renew DS, as a better source (also appreciate the simple looks, which btw fits nicely with the Lejonklou products, coincidence?). Something that is quite easy to convince me of......

Third step, but hey now I am jumping quite ahead: audition with that system (KRDS-(Kikkin)-C6100-Ninkas) if a Sagatun or Tundras improves it more, I guess what you guess , but then it will up to my ears to confirm or not.....
and the second winner might come along as well, still within the overall budget

last words on the ninka speakers, I was so fond of them, that for a short moment I owned a second pair before selling the "less impressive" older pair (with a few scratches) to a friend, but kept what maybe turns out (had not much time to really check, too much boxes in one home, and I was just getting used to the DS sound) to be the less engaging one , ...sigh.....
The two pairs defintively did not sound the same, I thought maybe I had used mine too much, also at realistic levels,....

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Re: asking for upgrade advice

Post by lejonklou » 2017-03-03 00:28

Hi Mike and very welcome to the forum!

As I am rather partial, I won't recommend any specific parts or path. But if you send me an email with your address, I can lend you a Boazu integrated amplifier. I would be delighted to hear what you think of it driving your Ninkas compared to aktiv with C6100 and Afekt.

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Re: asking for upgrade advice

Post by Charlie1 » 2017-03-03 10:38

MikeF wrote:So if I drive the ninka passive with stereo tundra or boazu I will loose power, but consensus is that this is more than compensated.
I don't think you can rely on power figures Mike. For example, a Tundra Stereo is a good match for 242s and yet they are a demanding speaker that needs at least an Akurate 2200/D. And yet the 2200 is twice the power of the Tundra. This was explained on the forum at some point in the past. Something about the ability to cope with short peaks of power demand being more important but my memory is very fuzzy on this.

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Re: asking for upgrade advice

Post by Music Lover » 2017-03-03 12:03

Power is nothing without control!!

Great Pirelli slogan.
- short
- catchy
- TRUE (unusual for being a marketing message)
It's all about musical understanding!

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Re: asking for upgrade advice

Post by tokenbrit » 2017-03-03 17:37

ThomasOK wrote: I have a customer who some years ago brought me an A4200 to optimize... These changes improved the musical sound of the amp quite noticeably. However, both the customer and I also noticed that, even after the tuning, all four channels sounded different! One channel was obviously better than the other three, one channel was noticeably worse than the other three and the other two were in the middle with a small, but still audible difference between them.
I trust my royalties check is in the mail ;) I/we also noted later that the original Tundra Stereo was musically superior to the tuned, Dynamik'd 4200. I can only imagine how wide the gap between power amps would be now with the latest Tarandus upgrades to Tundra :)

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Re: asking for upgrade advice

Post by Music Lover » 2017-03-03 18:19

I found Tundra Stereo 1.2 was musically superiour to Twin/Dynamik
It's all about musical understanding!

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Re: asking for upgrade advice

Post by Spannko » 2017-03-03 21:48

I wonder if active systems also suffer from there being so many interconnects and speaker cables that it's almost impossible to maintain absolute coherence between all the channels? Is it possible that each cable is influenced by its own micro environment differently to the others, producing an incoherence which affects the musicality and makes it difficult to maintain consistency between systems? Like most people here, I've heard very few active systems I'd want to own - I've even had an active system I didn't want to own! However, I've heard a few good active systems, and the common denominator appears to have been that either the source and amps have been the best available at the time (which overcomes the loss of coherence with all the cables?), or the speakers and amps are integrated (which perhaps reduces the systems sensitivity to variable external factors?).

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Re: asking for upgrade advice

Post by tokenbrit » 2017-03-04 00:02

Spannko wrote:I wonder if active systems also suffer from there being so many interconnects and speaker cables that it's almost impossible to maintain absolute coherence between all the channels? Is it possible that each cable is influenced by its own micro environment differently to the others, producing an incoherence which affects the musicality and makes it difficult to maintain consistency between systems? Like most people here, I've heard very few active systems I'd want to own - I've even had an active system I didn't want to own! However, I've heard a few good active systems, and the common denominator appears to have been that either the source and amps have been the best available at the time (which overcomes the loss of coherence with all the cables?), or the speakers and amps are integrated (which perhaps reduces the systems sensitivity to variable external factors?).
I don't know that it's the interconnects and speaker cables themselves, but the inherent complexity that makes it difficult to achieve and maintain the coherence and the musicality. As Thomas indicated, it's difficult to get all channels within an amp to match. You can add the cables to that! Having recently had my Silver interconnects ordered from best to 'less good' to know how to pair them up & where best to use them, and adding that to my experience of the musical variation between channels in multi-channel amps, my personal view is that it's best to keep it as simple as possible... The 2-way 'simplicity' of the JBLs may make them inherently more coherent as long as the engineering is competent - in the case of the 3677s it appears to be more than competent. And this is where my distrust of aktiv (& Exakt) kicks in: that the complexity requires exceptional engineering to implement without compromising the music, and (still) requires meticulous attention to detail to set up at home, to present something truly musically engaging as opposed to something that sounds impressive but fails on connecting with the performance. There's something inherently right about stereo passive when it comes together - into focus, if you like. With aktiv, there's so much more to have to get right that focus becomes more difficult, and the budget is spread across more: crossover cards, channels of amplification, cables, etc. With passive, the budget isn't spread so thin, and can be concentrated in key components from source though amps to speakers, with the coherence maintained & essential musical qualities maintained.

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Re: asking for upgrade advice

Post by matthias » 2017-03-04 00:08

tokenbrit wrote:I don't know that it's the interconnects and speaker cables themselves, but the inherent complexity that makes it difficult to achieve and maintain the coherence and the musicality. As Thomas indicated, it's difficult to get all channels within an amp to match. You can add the cables to that! Having recently had my Silver interconnects ordered from best to 'less good' to know how to pair them up & where best to use them, and adding that to my experience of the musical variation between channels in multi-channel amps, my personal view is that it's best to keep it as simple as possible... The 2-way 'simplicity' of the JBLs may make them inherently more coherent as long as the engineering is competent - in the case of the 3677s it appears to be more than competent. And this is where my distrust of aktiv (& Exakt) kicks in: that the complexity requires exceptional engineering to implement without compromising the music, and (still) requires meticulous attention to detail to set up at home, to present something truly musically engaging as opposed to something that sounds impressive but fails on connecting with the performance. There's something inherently right about stereo passive when it comes together - into focus, if you like. With aktiv, there's so much more to have to get right that focus becomes more difficult, and the budget is spread across more: crossover cards, channels of amplification, cables, etc. With passive, the budget isn't spread so thin, and can be concentrated in key components from source though amps to speakers, with the coherence maintained & essential musical qualities maintained.
+1
With a passive system you have much more money to spend where it really matters:
At the source.

Matt
Last edited by matthias on 2017-03-04 00:21, edited 2 times in total.
LP12 / Exposure / JBL3677

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Re: asking for upgrade advice

Post by beck » 2017-03-04 00:13

matthias wrote:
tokenbrit wrote:I don't know that it's the interconnects and speaker cables themselves, but the inherent complexity that makes it difficult to achieve and maintain the coherence and the musicality. As Thomas indicated, it's difficult to get all channels within an amp to match. You can add the cables to that! Having recently had my Silver interconnects ordered from best to 'less good' to know how to pair them up & where best to use them, and adding that to my experience of the musical variation between channels in multi-channel amps, my personal view is that it's best to keep it as simple as possible... The 2-way 'simplicity' of the JBLs may make them inherently more coherent as long as the engineering is competent - in the case of the 3677s it appears to be more than competent. And this is where my distrust of aktiv (& Exakt) kicks in: that the complexity requires exceptional engineering to implement without compromising the music, and (still) requires meticulous attention to detail to set up at home, to present something truly musically engaging as opposed to something that sounds impressive but fails on connecting with the performance. There's something inherently right about stereo passive when it comes together - into focus, if you like. With aktiv, there's so much more to have to get right that focus becomes more difficult, and the budget is spread across more: crossover cards, channels of amplification, cables, etc. With passive, the budget isn't spread so thin, and can be concentrated in key components from source though amps to speakers, with the coherence maintained & essential musical qualities maintained.
+1

Matt
+2
Humans need passion in their life and music....

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Re: asking for upgrade advice

Post by lejonklou » 2017-03-04 01:10

+3

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