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About DavidHB

  • Rank
    Veteran Wammer

Personal Info

  • Location
    Isle of Wight, UK
  • Real Name

Wigwam Info

  • Turn Table
    Linn LP12
  • Tone Arm & Cartridge
    Ekos SE/1, Krystal
  • SUT / Phono Stage
    Urika II
  • Digital Source 1
    Klimax Exakt DSM
  • Digital Source 2
  • DAC
    Akurate Exaktbox 10
  • Pre-Amp
    Akurate Exaktbox 10
  • Power Amp/s
    Akurate 4200s/2200
  • My Speakers
    Akubariks (active)
  • Headphones
    Grado PS500
  • Trade Status
    I am not in the Hi-Fi trade

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  1. My advice is to definitely go for (a), possibly go for (b) (I haven't heard the difference, and don't know how tweeter replacement interacts with SO), seriously consider a subwoofer (preferably one you can hear before you buy, and probably not a Linn product as their subs are all now pretty long in the tooth), and ditch the AVM without replacement. I think that Paul's ideas on amplifier replacement make sense (as indeed do all his suggestions); however, you might want to consider an ExaktBox-I, which gives you Exakt, the Katalyst upgrade and newer amplification in one go, and can be used with your present ADS. IMO, and in the opinion of others too, yes. If a friendly dealer can let you hear an ADS/3 or alternately an Akurate Exaktbox-I, your ears can decide. David
  2. This IMO is a reflection of the fact that the passive Akubariks have been on the long term wish list of a lot of people for a long time, and more so than their expensive integrated Exakt counterparts. On the old Linn forum, it was surprising how often people expressed a preference for the Akubariks even over the 350s (which, I suspect, perform best in the larger listening rooms that many of us do not have). And the view was repeatedly expressed that, in Exakt mode, passive 'bariks with separate Exaktboxes and amplification performed better than the integrated versions, which was also my experience. Will Linn, I wonder, find themselves needing to do another U-turn, as they did when they re-introduced the KDS and ADS? David
  3. According to the December 2019 Linn Price List, upgrades to the Aktiv Akubariks, to bring them to Exakt and Katalyst standard, are still available. If you choose the "refurb" option, using the existing modules and (unmeasured) 3K arrays, it will cost you £8,500. If you want the full upgrade - new electronics, modules and measured 3K arrays - you will need to shell out £17,050. This compares with £27,500 for a new pair of integrated Exakt Akubariks. I spent quite a bit less than half that buying my Exakt Akubarik system, so all I can say is that I'm glad that I bought it when I did. David
  4. It does seem odd. But SME have a number of irons in the fire, and are not that big a company in themselves, so perhaps they feel the need to focus their HiFi business more narrowly. Perhaps the acquisition of the Garrard brand has given them access to IPR that is relevant to future plans. That said, it isn't looking as though the record cleaner business is seen as much of a priority. I'd guess that is what Jon Monks is hoping ... David
  5. Is Tiger Paw even functioning at present? Roger seems to have disappeared from the scene. If that is the case, it is a great pity, as the products are excellent. David
  6. It is now six days since Chris of Hidden Systems came to install what I hope is, for the moment at least, the final upgrade to my LP12, bringing it to a "getting on for Klimax" specification, and as such a good match for the rest of my system (KEDSM, Katalyst Exaktbox 10, Akubariks). This thread follows on from the discussion in the Kore vs Keel topic, but as this report will range rather wider than that comparison, it seemed only fair to start a new thread. The background can be summarised as follows. Because I kept my faithful old Basik for over 20 years, I was late to the LP12 party, and also at first uncertain as to how much use I would make of the deck. However, I quickly discovered that I was enjoying the LP source so much that an upgrade would represent a sensible investment. Immediately prior to the present upgrade, the specification of the deck was Cirkus > Radikal (machined) > Trampolin > Kore > Ekos SE/1 > Adikt, with a Lejonklou Slipsik 7 as the phono stage. This was giving me a lot of enjoyment, but I knew that I could do better. My friend Chris recently purchased from a mutual friend an early model Roksan Xerxes with a Rega P300 arm and an early Ortofon MC20 cartridge. This deck goes back to the late 1980s, but it is still a respectable piece of kit, and produces a pleasant and well-balanced sound picture, although it lacks the more forward and dynamic sound presentation of any LP12 I have heard. Listening to it, I was reminded of what I think is the Achilles heel of MM cartridges, which is their tendency to brightness, which can easily become shrill or harsh with a "toppy" recording. This tendency is, of course, well-controlled in the Adikt, but it has not been eliminated entirely. Chris's old MC cartridge, for all that it was lacking in other respects, seemed to present the music in a smoother more balanced way. So I started to wonder whether it was time to take the plunge and buy an MC cartridge. I dithered about this, both because of the cost, logistic complications and risk factors that beset the MC owner and because I would have to change a phono stage with which I was very happy. Alongside that dilemma, the need, as it were, to bring the mechanics of the LP12 up to full spec. by replacing the Kore with a Keel was a given. All of that has been discussed in the topic I liked to above, so I don't need to go over that ground again. The more open question was what cartridges and phono stages to listen to; the problem with choice is that it can drive you nuts. I needed to reduce the set of options to a manageable size, essentially by working from the known to the unknown. The only MC cartridges I had heard at all recently (apart from the old MC20) were the Krystal and the Kandid. As regards phono stages, two immediately suggested themselves. Given that I had been so happy with the Slipsik 7, its newly released MC stable mate, the Entity, was clearly worth a listen. And, in an Exakt system, the Urika II, has to be regarded as the default phono stage to use, and I had already heard it (with a Kandid) in my system, and thought it was wonderful. My original, "correct", intention was to visit Hidden Systems in Windsor, and compare the options there. Then I had a rethink. I asked myself whether I would really trust a cack-handed me with the care and use of a cartridge at the Kandid's price point, and came to the conclusion that I couldn't. The Krystal was enough of a risk. So that was one decision made. It also brought the Urika II, which I knew I liked, firmly within budget, as well as making it hard to get away from the synergy between the Urika and my existing kit (including the Radikal needed to power it). The Urika would also take advantage of whatever relevant software upgrades Linn might produce in future. All in all, therefore, the Urika was very likely to offer the best long term value in my system. I decided to buy the Urika without comparing it with the Entity. This has now become a long enough first post. The next post will describe the upgrade process itself, and how I came to make comparisons between various components after the event, so to speak. Further posts will make those comparisons in more detail. For now, I'm getting back to running in the Krystal (20+ hours so far), but comments and accounts of your own experience, to contrast with or complement mine, are welcome as always. David
  7. Unless he has sold it since Thursday, Chris of Hidden Systems has my old Slipsik 7. If you are sticking with MM, it is a really good phono stage. Yes, the dealer you trust and can relate to is always the best one to go to. If tony has an Entity for you to listen to, that's the way top go. David
  8. I'm not ready to do the full comparison yet, but my advice would be that, if you have and intend to keep a system with Exakt links, you should listen for yourself very carefully before making a change of that kind. There aren't that many Lejonklou dealers who are in a position to offer this comparison. Where are you located? David
  9. Well, you won't be contradicted by me. In the days when I had a subwoofer, I used to find that, when you got the settings right (often something of a challenge before SO), the whole frequency spectrum, and not just the bass seemed to click into place. Much of the way our hearing works seems to be about pattern recognition. Restoring bass we perceive as "missing" somehow ticks that "recognition" box. I'm sure that a good SO profile works in much the same way, but by removing bass resonances rather than increasing the power of the lower frequencies. David
  10. A spur, as Smokestack was describing it, is a function of a ring main system. A separate, dedicated sur wired to its own breaker in the consumer unit is preferable, as it is then as independent qs it can be of any other noise-generating circuits and appliances. However, at least in UK house construction, running a dedicated mains feed of that kind is usually no simple matter. As an example of the weirdness that can happen in ring mains, consider the following. My HifF is fed from 2 x simple, unswitched 4 way adaptors. One of these serves my Exaktbox and power amplifiers, and is plugged into a double wall socket on the ring main; the second outlet on this socket is unused. If you remove the plug from its outlet and plug it into the other outlet, there is a small but clearly identifiable change in sound quality. I don't know how this change comes about. The only thing I can think of is that there are different noise levels at different points in the ring main, and the two outlets are differently fed from either side of the ring. David
  11. With every respect, I don't see the point of this comment. The immediately preceding posts have mostly been about shielding, which in this context is essentially about noise reduction. As noise (including noise produced by digital subsystems and components) is essentially an issue in the analogue domain, any connection with opinions about CD players seems to be very tenuous, or more likely non-existent. David
  12. @Dasher Thanks for your further observations. I take your points (and defer to your greater knowledge) on the chemistry of the respective cleaning fluids.. My concern has only been to describe the workings of the Keith Monks products factually, rather than to promote them (that's Jon Monks' job). I don't know enough to claim that one fluid, or indeed one cleaning method, is inherently better than another. What I do know is, that while my cleaner does not necessarily remove every last speck of contamination, and there is a small minority of records that seem to have irredeemable playing surfaces, the great majority of the discs I have cleaned are significantly easier and more pleasant to listen to afterwards. As regards the noise, I have seen three or four RCMs of different makes (not all of which I remember) working. My RCM is the quietest of those I have seen. You can easily hold a conversation at normal volume when you are next to the machine. @Fazioli I don't know whether Jon Monks even claims that his cleaning fluid is suitable for use with other makers' machines. His operation is very small, so I don't think that he has the resources to test such a claim properly. So, as regards the corrosion issue, I cannot really comment. I've checked inside my machine, and, so far as I can see, there are no metal components other than the pump with which the fluid or the exhaust air comes into contact. I too find that the fluid applicator brush has some residue of the fluid left on it after a number of uses. The instructions for the machine are clear that the brush should be cleaned after each session. In fact of more concern than the fluid residue is that fact that dirt extracted from the record grooves can adhere to the ends of the bristles; the brush should be examined after each cleaning; it is easy to clean it while it is still attached to the positioning arm. Any fluid residue is by definition dried on, and, as point suction machines remove virtually all the fluid from the playing surface, the risk of significant residue remaining is quite small. I suspect that SME's real interest in Loricraft was its ownership of the Garrard brand. Whether SME will have the resources and the interest to develop the Loricraft RCM is an open question. In their position, I would license the Keith Monks threadless technology, and put the production and support on a more fully resourced footing. David
  13. This is just to report that my upgrade (Kore > Keel, Adikt > Krystal, Slipsik 7 > Urika II) did indeed happen a couple of days ago. My dealer (Chris of Hidden Systems) tells me that it can take anything up to 50 hours for the Krystal to bed in properly, and I'm certainly noticing that there is a 'settling down' process going on. So I'm going to leave it a few more days before I report fully on the upgrade. For now, the interesting point is that Chris staged the upgrade, so we were able to do direct, Tune Dem type comparisons between individual products (Entity vs Urika II and Kore vs Keel). I'll probably start a new topic for the report, as it will be about more than the Kore to Keel comparison. In that event, I'll add a PS to this post with a link to the new topic. David PS as promised: the new topic is here.
  14. Then Gilad isn't making a very good job of using the information . David