As someone unfamiliar with the Linn, it was a pleasure for me to go to the launch event of a new DAC architecture for Linn products. The launch was for a DAC upgrade called Linn Kataylst and it is available for many of the Linn products. Having not really heard Linn systems before, I was looking forward to my first ‘listen’ after all my years of wondering.
The Event was held at Ripcaster in Checkendon near Henley-on-Thames. A very nice venue, basically in the middle of nowhere (in the nicest possible way) which meant for me at least it was easy to get to and park.
The demonstration was set-up with a pair of Linn Akurate DSMs with and without the Linn Katalyst upgrade connected to a 200W per channel Linn Klimax power amplifier into the amazing floor standing passive Akubarik speakers.
The audience, Linn customers mainly and myself, listened to various tracks both before Linn Katalyst and after. Tracks included Mavis Staples’ ‘Little Bit’ that for me produced the clearest difference from the upgrade, delivering a more open sound that was clearer, mellower and deeper, for me at least.
We also heard Linn Katalyst upgrade comparisons with Dunedin Consort, Linn label’s own Claire Martin and Johnny Cash.
The whole presentation was infused with Linn’s latest technology that seeks to lengthen the digital integrity of the system, creating a stable floor and minimising distortion as well as ensuring perfect phase delivery of high, mid and low frequencies to the speakers. In active speakers this digital process is lengthened using CAT5 cables to the speaker from the Akurate pre-amp where the digital signal is decoded, amplified and delivered at the listener, perfectly.
The Linn Katalyst upgrades are available for the following LINN products.
Akurate DS and DSM
Akurate ExaktBox 6 & 10
Klimax DS and DSM
Klimax Exakt 350 Speakers
Akubarik Exakt Speakers
Akudorik Exakt Speakers
All upgrades are handled through local Linn dealers, some are performed at the dealer whist others may require the units to be upgraded at the Linn factory in Scotland. There is more information from Linn here.
Please do go to Ripcaster or your local Linn dealer to get the full and accurate details, and prices.
My highlight of the evening was listening to Nils Frahm’s track, ‘Ode’, what an incredible piece of music, as is the whole album in fact, and what a great way to listen to it. My first Linn experience was unforgettable.
Thank you to Jon Nelson at Ripcaster for inviting me to this Linn event.