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Paulssurround

Linn’s Future New Speakers?

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Doing a little bit of detective work,  Linn is currently advertising 13 new jobs at the Linn factory.

https://www.linn.co.uk/careers

These are mostly high tech positions, many of them involved with development of Linn products, firmware, user interface and so on.

One of the positions is for a Senior Audio Engineer, and the posting mentioned that the candidate would be part of a team to help develop the next generation of new speakers from Linn.

Philbo would continue to lead that team. 

We also know from Linn’s latest financials, that their speaker sales are up 17% over the previous year.

I think it is fair to suggest that the new speakers may have built in Katalyst, Exakt and who knows, maybe even Class D amplification.

I could speculate a replacement for the 109’s with built in amps and an Exakt design, perhaps with a Katalyst option.

The 140’s have been around for a long time, and would be a possible candidate for replacement?

The wild card could be development of a moderately high end, and/or a very high end Sound bar for watching TV, with Exakt and built in amps, and built in streamer?

There was also rumours a while back that Linn was working on a replacement for the 350’s, but put that project on hold.

So there you have a bunch of unsubstantiated ideas, rumours and innuendos.   

.

Speculate away

Edited by Paulssurround

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I'm not so sure about a soundbar. They are always a compromise.

But, with the surround modules for Selekt and now Akurate and Klimax, up to 7.1 - one can reasonably assume some smaller akurate-level speakers for surrounds? and a new centre is a must surely.

And a subwoofer or two.

And...

:)

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2 hours ago, Paulssurround said:

I could speculate a replacement for the 109’s with built in amps and an Exakt design, perhaps with a Katalyst option.

Isn't that what akudoriks are, albeit 17.5x more expensive!

I think the only way to get a moderately priced majik exakt inbuilt amp speaker is to go back to 2-way designs. A bookshelf 520 type of speaker, minus the fabric, but then again maybe not... 510s anyone!

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Super Wammer

Centre and (standmount) rear versions of the Series 5 would make some sense, if they've actually sold any Series 5 at all.

Edited by sunbeamgls

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Super Wammer

What would make a whole lot more sense is for Linn to start buying up speakers from other manufacturers, then creating conversion kits and Exakt filters for them.  One of the new jobs could be dedicated to such activity.

Get the Exakt electronics to a wider audience.  The number of people who continue to think Exakt is a Linn only thing is testimony to how much more work needs to be done to get the word out.

Edited by sunbeamgls
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31 minutes ago, sunbeamgls said:

Centre and (standmount) rear versions of the Series 5 would make some sense, if they've actually sold any Series 5 at all.

My local dealer has sold some 530s, but zilch 520s. A standmout 510 may make some sense though. Integrated centre would be good.

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32 minutes ago, sunbeamgls said:

... creating conversion kits and Exakt filters for them. 

Get the Exakt electronics to a wider audience. 

I agree ... but ... I am awaiting delivery of an Akurate Exaktbox-I to drive Kudos speakers. I am paying for six internal amps that I can't use plus the room layout means that I will have five metre speaker cables.  My vote goes for Exaktbox-I units (with a range of internal  amp quantities) sold in pairs that can stand vertically with one behind each speaker and speaker cables that are ten centimetres long.

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9 hours ago, timster said:

I'm not so sure about a soundbar. They are always a compromise.

But, with the surround modules for Selekt and now Akurate and Klimax, up to 7.1 - one can reasonably assume some smaller akurate-level speakers for surrounds? and a new centre is a must surely.

And a subwoofer or two.

And...

:)

I mention a sound bar, as that is where a lot of sales spent on audio are these days.

If the soundbar is designed correctly, could also be used as a high end centre channel with built in Katalyst Exakt for audiophiles as well.

Worldwide sales of audio is up, year after year, for many years, but those sales are not necessarily in the high end audio components.

There is a lot of money around, and if Linn created higher end sound bars, it would get their name on the map with non-audiophiles.

.

Linn could also create the ultimate replacement for the 350’s, the Linn Konductor series.

These top of the line Konductor speakers would feature all aluminum speaker cabinets, precision crafted from solid aluminum billets, just like the Klimax cases.

The Konductors would powered by built in Katalyst  Exakt Solos, for each speaker driver, and a 4K array like the Komri’s.

Dream on.  😊  🎼🎵🎶

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The new speakers will be designed to work with the Linn Selekt. This is the direction that Linn are headed. The speakers will have slots to accept modules, like the Selekt. They will even be called Selekt speakers. One could start out passive, and add modules to go all the way to Exakt Katalyst.

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Careful Linn, trying to be too much to too many my leave you appealing to no one. 

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I think that the Majik 109 are the best ever speakers Linn made, with a high VfM.

Also the 212 and the Akudorik passive are astonishing but at cost.

Floorstanders are too much expensive, ugly and big for my tastes and also a little bit boomy.

M.

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1 hour ago, Matteo said:

I think that the Majik 109 are the best ever speakers Linn made, with a high VfM.

Also the 212 and the Akudorik passive are astonishing but at cost.

Floorstanders are too much expensive, ugly and big for my tastes and also a little bit boomy.

Given that these views are diametrically opposed to my own, they are something of an object lesson in how opinions can differ. But this is not a thread about which speakers we do or don't like; it's a thread about what kind of speakers Linn is likely to develop next.

Linn's current speaker range is essentially divided into three product types - the relatively inexpensive models (M109 and M140) that are sold passive only (but can be converted for use in an Exakt system), the models (Akudorik, Akubarik and 350) which are available either in passive/convertible or full Exakt form, and those (the 5 series) that are only available as Exakt speakers. Looked at in this way, the range already seems quite coherent; I used to think it was odd that Linn never replaced the Majik Isobarik with a floor stander priced between the M140 at £1,800 and the Akubarik Passive at £9,500, but Linn seem to have done reasonably well in staying out of that highly competitive segment of the market.

On the evidence available, I'd pretty much agree with Paul in his opening post about where Linn appears to be headed with its speaker range. But Linn is a company that likes to spring surprises. Those of us who were members of the old Linn forum, if we are honest, will admit that we did not see Selekt coming. That said, I don't see Linn producing new speaker models that are quite as wacky (or quite as horrid sounding) as the current offerings in the Devialet range. But I'd guess that Linn does want to compete in the segment of the market where Devialet seems to be making inroads.

David

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It’s hard to gauge which direction Linn should take.  I’m tempted to say they should stick to sources like the streamers and turntables, along with new ranges like Selekt.  I agree with sunbeamgls that Exacting other speakers make more sense to me.  They are already close to Kudos, for example.  Speakers are best left to speaker makers!  Despite some successes I don’t see Linn as one at heart. 

As for soundbars, Naim seems to do well with their Muso, though I’ve heard it’s not very reliable, which if true, isn’t great for getting new buyers to the brand.  I know it’s not sold as a sound bar, but it’s not a million miles away. 

I agree with David about the ghastly Devialet speakers. Such a shame they had to move on from their interesting amplifiers, which did seem like the next generation.  Companies who move so fast make me fear for their longevity. 

Edited by Nopiano

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39 minutes ago, Nopiano said:

It’s hard to gauge which direction Linn should take.  I’m tempted to say they should stick to sources like the streamers and turntables, along with new ranges like Selekt.  I agree with sunbeamgls that Exacting other speakers make more sense to me.  They are already close to Kudos, for example.  Speakers are best left to speaker makers!  Despite some successes I don’t see Linn as one at heart. 

I think that Phil Budd, who does post here, might have something to say on that point! And don't forget that Linn's second ever product was a speaker, and that they were into (innovative) speaker design long before they got involved in electronics.

More importantly, the new technologies, especially Exakt, disrupt the way we need to think about audio system design. The whole point about an Exakt speaker is that it is a package - the traditional 'loudspeaker' components integrated with (or, in the case of the crossover, replaced by) signal processing (software and hardware), DACs and multi-channel amplification. And Linn are by no means the only company to be packaging high end systems (which at one time were thought to be virtually synonymous with separates) in this way.

Part of it is that, culturally, we hate wires and plugging things in (why else would we put up with wi-fi), so technology that reduces or eliminates wired connections has a market advantage. Another factor (clearly one of importance to Linn) is that the higher the proportion of any given system you can sell to the customer (particularly the customer who wants a package to reduce the hassle factor), the more you steal a march on your competitors. My instinct is that, over time, the market for separates will become an even narrower niche than it is at present. That is why I believe that any new speakers from Linn will be of the integrated kind. The more open question is whether they will be offered in passive/convertible form as well.

David

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10 hours ago, arm said:

Careful Linn, trying to be too much to too many my leave you appealing to no one. 

Totally agree. Linn has left the attention to detail train and are now focused on life-style products where other factors than optimum musicality is what primatily leads their development (reducing box count, cabling, integrated active speakers etc) .

But following competitors, adding digital signal processing which are already available at much lower prices elsewhere and focusing on convenient life-style at a premium price may lead to a marginal, shrinking market where those more  interested in convenient life-style products simply choose other products which are much cheaper. 

Linn is basing its premium price on its succesful history while targeting a largely new segment with limited experience and appreciation of the Linn history.

The future will tell. But it would be very surprising if Linn would be able to keep its high prices with the new products and if not there will be cost cutting, further compromises, further reduced service commitments etc. 

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