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Hi all,

What if any are the differences between these, is there a difference in sound. I don't have or plan to have an active system, just a very simple system of streamer (Klimax Renew/0) and amps (various including a Bow Wazoo that's on its way as I write). I don't need a DSM at this point. Has anyone actually done a DS/0  DS/1 comparison? Is the difference subtle or obvious?

Or should I wait and get an Akurate DS/3 Katalyst (or buy one used and get it upgraded) - would this be better or equal to the above?

Would I hear much difference in sound quality between Klimax DS/0 or DS/1 (in Klimax case) and Klimax Renew/0

Providing I keep the Wazoo I would like something that matches it better aesthetically so was looking for something silver and nice to look at but will also be a step up in sound (and not break the bank) 

thanks

Ray

p.s I know some of this has been asked before..... but there's no point having a forum if we're not going to use it ;-) 

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Huge difference! /0 to /1 was big, /1 to /2 less so but still noticeable, /2 to /3 huge. However, I’ve read (not heard myself) that the current ADSM is as good as, and possibly better than, KDS/0. I can only suggest you try to hear for yourself. Renew boxes give you a fantastic bargain but are a dead end as they can’t be upgraded. 

Mick

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6 hours ago, MickC said:

Huge difference! /0 to /1 was big, /1 to /2 less so but still noticeable, /2 to /3 huge. However, I’ve read (not heard myself) that the current ADSM is as good as, and possibly better than, KDS/0. I can only suggest you try to hear for yourself. Renew boxes give you a fantastic bargain but are a dead end as they can’t be upgraded. 

Mick

/0 to /1 also included the Dynamik powersupply upgrade, which was a large contributor. I remember that /0-renews, which got the upgrade as well, were actually sounding better than the original board if it hadn't. This is why the renew was very popular at first and somewhat less attractive later on. With the current range Akurate DSMs, and older ones on the interwebz that can be upgraded to that level, I wouldn't bother with renews anymore.

To my ears the KDS/1 is no match for the ADSM/3. It may still do some things better, but over all I wouldn't dream of replacing my ADSM/3 for an older KDS(M).

My 2 cents.

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Super Wammer

Just be aware that the volume control in the early DS products is not good - they need a pre-amp.

I know the DS/3 volume controls are good, but not sure if DS/1 or DS/2 have the better volume control - someone will be along soon to advise.

So a DSM/1 (Renew) or an Akurate DSM/2 might be a better bet if you want to avoid a separate pre-amp.

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Posted (edited)

I don't need digital volume as I already have 2 x preamps ( including the one in my new integrated amp ). So also don't need DSM ( plus Akurate Katalyst dsm will be way over budget) 

Guess I'm wondering if Klimax DS/1 in its fancy box will sound any better than my Renew DS/0 . My Renew already has dynamic, so was there a SQ improvement between the Klimax DSs apart from the power supply upgrade. If not I'd probably be better waiting until the Akurate Katalyst drops in price a bit (used of course). 

I understand that the aluminum case will make some improvement but the difference in cost between Renew and Klimax is quite substantial.... 

Or maybe buy a used Akurate and upgrade to Katalyst?  Wonder how long this will be possible? 

Thanks 

Ray 

Edited by Rayymondo

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1 hour ago, sunbeamgls said:

Just be aware that the volume control in the early DS products is not good - they need a pre-amp.

I know the DS/3 volume controls are good, but not sure if DS/1 or DS/2 have the better volume control - someone will be along soon to advise

I haven't done all the comparisons, but from what I remember of discussions on the Linn forum, the volume control issue affected all the DS models (Klimax and Akurate) to some degree prior to the introduction of Katalyst.

A major part of the issue was at low volume levels, where earlier digital volume controls - which, strictly speaking, are not separate entities, just the volume control function of the DSP software - suffered from "quantisation" effects, that is they tended to  run out of number space and could not represent the dynamic range of the musical signal accurately. Katalyst effectively solves this problem with its more powerful processor by doing the calculations at a much greater bit depth than the previous models.

The earlier Akurate DSMs egot round the problem to some extent by having a switchable (in Konfig) attenuator in the analogue output of the DSM. This in effect means that the DSM operated at higher gain levels in the digital domain and so was not as prone to the quantisation problem. It also meant that the user thad to set a higher gain level for any given perceived loudness level. The attenuator was not fitted to the corresponding DS models; @Briain made one of his own.

6 minutes ago, Rayymondo said:

Or maybe buy a used Akurate and upgrade to Katalyst?  Wonder how long this will be possible? 

That would be my choice for a cost-effective long term solution. But don't hang about. I think that you are right to be concerned about how long the upgrade will stay in the catalogue.

David

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Posted (edited)

Hi

Sorry, I don't drop into this forum very often, but I happened to look today, I spot this thread and I can perhaps add to a few of the things raised in several of previous posts (which I have only glanced at, so apologies if I repeat something somebody has already said), including some of the technical and sonic differences between the KDS and KDS/1.

I bought my KDS new (in 2007) and back in the early 2012, Murray (from Linn) very kindly walked my friend (at the time, a Linn dealer) and I through all the technical changes from KDS/0 to KDS/1 (in fact, we had one in bits and he was pointing to the relevant parts of the innards as he was discussing them) but it's so long ago that I'm struggling to now remember exactly what some of them were. The big one that I do recall was the change from using Lundhal LL1527 audio output transformers to a different (and physically larger) model from Lundhal. This was down to the LL1527 occasionally being driven into saturation and thus adding distortion (I recently bought a LL1527 for my TV audio project; see here). The three things that could cause that - to the extent that it was very obviously audible as a distortion in the bass zones - were where exceedingly low (sub-audio) frequencies were present at high levels, or a DC offset was present (so a problem at the recording studio) and something with extreme levels of very low bass that was within the audible part of the spectrum (like a test album). Out of 10s of thousands of albums that I own, only a couple of them had content which triggered this issue (see footnote). At that time, Linn did not want to add a LF filter as it would have impacted upon the sound quality, but several years later (when Sound Optimisation first appeared) I suggested - to one of the Linn folks - that they add it digitally to the DS/0 firmware builds (essentially, it's just a very, very low bass cut shelf) and they thought it was a cool idea. I don't know if it ever happened, but I very strongly suspect that it did (just because it would be so simple to implement it that it would be pointless not to do so).

The larger Lundhal transformers would need a lot more signal to drive them towards saturation, but they also had a slight impact to the sound, so Linn used a [hidden] compensation achieved via the Sound Optimisation subsystem (this is built into the firmware - it is always present - and it is not visible in Konfig; in other words, the 'flat line' in Konfig represents the output side of the transformers, SO is tweaked such that it isn't flat at the input side of the transformers, this being to make it flat at the output side).

Another thing Linn did was to source lower noise Voltage references (at the time, these were the lowest noise sources made). Whilst low Voltages required for the DS board (from memory, +13 V, -13 V and +6 V) are derived by the main switched mode power supply (SMPS) - whether that be a Slimline, or the Dynamik that replaced it - that feeds into screeds of smaller regulation stages scattered throughout the circuit, so lowering the noise of these devices does make for an improvement to the sound.

I recall another two (at least) improvements, and if I later recall them, I'll post back with what they were, though I am pretty sure that one of them was to lower the clock jitter.

Murray then very kindly let us hear the differences - using normal music, not something selected to specifically over-drive the audio output transformers - using a KK preamp, two Solo amps and a pair of 350P speakers (this being in that engineering demo room between the reception desk and the paint area) and the KDS/1 was audibly 'cleaner' and more musical than the KDS/0 (though both were pretty darned good, I must add)!

Long and amusing story (but I'll not type it here) but I submitted my DS for conversion to KDS/1 and due to a communications failure it came back without a Dynamik. I used it like that for a while (and yes, it did sound good) then later, I got a Dynamik, though to be honest, I wasn't convinced that it made that much of a difference (refer to the previous paragraph about the KDS having super low-noise nice Voltage references for critical stages; I suspect that's perhaps why it was not as critical as it is in some of the other products). All that said, it had to go back to Linn for machining (to enable a Dynamik to be fitted) so that took a week or so; I'd heard the comparison without the delay, perhaps I would then have noticed it.

Digital volume control was mentioned in one of the above posts (and that the OP has a preamp, so doesn't intend using that feature) but it's worth mentioning that I did try DVC with a KDS/0 and I found the results to be pretty poor at moderate volumes (and utterly awful at lower volume levels) but a home-brew attenuator made a big difference. I designed that to keep the KDS in the displayed volume range of about 68 - 75 (with a bit of headroom in case I wanted to go nuts) and that made a significant improvement. Interestingly, with me enabling DVC and playing it at a max of 75 (instead of a fixed volume of 80 and using a preamp) would also have kept it well clear of where the audio transformer starts to saturate.

Regarding another comment about comparing pre-Katalyst KDS versions to Katalyst ADS, I used to have a KDS/1 and KK/1 upstairs and a KDS/0 (and attenuators) for the bedroom system, but I have now replaced all these items with a pair of Katalyst ADSM units (both using DVC) and both systems sound just excellent.

Sorry, a long post, but as I was familiar with all these products (and some of the technical and sonic differences between them) I thought I'd chip in with some information.

Bri

Edited by Briain
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Thanks Brian, 

That's really interesting, hearing about the changes between the different Klimaxes .

We have spoken before about attenuation and pre amps and things previously on the old forum. 

It will also depend on cost and what becomes available at the right price

It's always good to know what your options are and what might give the biggest improvements 

Thanks to everyone who's contributed 😀

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Posted (edited)

Hi

To expand on that post, I think the key reason for Linn making the KDS/2 was to add the Exakt Links, though I think that I recall Linn stating that they'd also improved the clock architecture and tweaked the design of the audio output stage (perhaps also other things that I have since forgotten about). One of my friends upgraded his KDS/1 to a KDS/2 and his comment was that yes, it was definitely a sonic upgrade, but had he first heard the differences (he lives in a remote location, so that was not practical to do) he'd perhaps not have bothered spending the money on it (and of course, as mentioned in previous posts, the Katalyst upgrade that followed it - so the KDS/2 to KDS/3 change - resulted in a very, very large sonic improvement).

As to my own situation, I had an ADSM (set to fixed output) and a KDS/1 (also set to fixed output) feeding into a KK/1 in the lounge (KDS was obviously for streaming music and the ADSM was for HDMI connected AV products, which is what the system is almost exclusively used for, these days). As AV is its main use, the first thing I did was to upgrade the ADSM to Katalyst and when it came back, I fired up the Sky box and TV and I immediately noticed the huge difference. After a few weeks, I decided to compare the KDS to the ADSM when streaming music and in almost all ways, I preferred the ADSM. I then decided to try the ADSM (with DVC enabled) directly feeding the 350As (and the miniDSP fed sub) and that made the best sound I'd yet heard (this being for streaming music).

I left it all set up like that for several weeks (again, used nightly for TV sound) then I pondered upgrading the KDS to Katalyst, so I re-connected the preamp to see if I could notice any degradation to the TV sound and it lasted like that for about a minute before I removed the KK and reset the ADSM to DVC (adding the KK into the audio path had very noticeably degraded the TV sound quality). I then pondered upgrading the KDS to a KDSM (which would have meant me having to build a buffer stage to drive my miniDSP sub, but I'll not go into all of that here; all that needs be said is that it would have involved additional work at my end, so the KDSM was not an ideal product for me, 'right out of the box') and selling the ADSM, but Linn informed me that the KDS to KDSM update route had ended, so that helped to steer my path in the correct direction (I just flogged the KDS and KK).

To be honest, I am extremely happy with how it has all worked out as the Katalyst DVC works well (I hated pre-Katalyst DVD) the system sounds very good (far better than it has ever sounded in the past) the ADSM does absolutely everything that I need (stacks of inputs and outputs, including 4 HDMI inputs as opposed to the KDSM's 3 inputs) and if/when another upgrade does eventually come out, likely it will be somewhere in the £1800 range (whereas Klimax products tend to be in the £3800 range) so I am actually really quite glad to be out of the '£3800 upgrade every few years' situation that so tempts Klimax DS(M) owners.

Bri

Edited by Briain
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Thanks Bri

That's really useful information. I think I will aim to get  a Klimax/1 next as at least that will be a bit a move in the right direction from Renew and be a better aesthetic match for the Wazoo. Will also be a bit cheaper than the ADSM. 

Then I will work towards a ADS or ADSM Katalyst at a later date and when funds permit and when they appear used for an affordable price

I have included a picture of a Bow Technologies Wazoo XL in case anyone reading this doesn't know what I'm talking about. Think a Klimax would be a great visual match and hopefully a sonic one  too ;-)

a.jpg

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Posted (edited)

A tunefully plausible plan and yes, it would look just fabulous with that Wazoo!

The KDS/1 and preamp was a mighty fine sound (and I could happily have stuck with that) and there was something very appealing about the sheer musicality and the 'weight' of the sound that it made. My memory of demonstrating it is that the ADSM (K) via the KK sounded more detailed, but sounded very slightly less powerful (in terms of the weight of the sound) then using it direct (without my KK) restored the missing weight. The weight and musicality of the KDS/1+KK/1 combination on less 'complex' music was very appealing, but the ADSM/K could better disambiguate the individual 'sub-tunes' in more complex music, so that made these tunes more musical (in terms of being able to follow all the individual instruments) than the KDS/1 + KK/1 combination. As I have said in the past, I would be more than delighted with either, but as the system is now mostly used for AV sound (and when using it to de-embed HDMI sound from my Sky+ box, the ADSM sounded better without a preamp 'in the way'; adding a preamp smeared voices across the sound stage) then it made best sense for me to sell the KDS and KK. Had the system mainly been used for music, I suspect the Katalyst KDS + KK/1 might have been the way to go. As streaming wasn't my priority for the lounge system, I never compared a Katalyst KDS + KK/1 to a Katalyst ADSM on its own (I could have done as I did get the KDS upgraded before selling it, but I didn't bother to unpack it and listen to it when I got it back; I had already sold it as a KDS/3).

It is entirely plausible that the KDS/3 is so much musically better than an ADSM that it more than overcomes the losses incurred by pumping the signal through a KK/1 (so if I was using that system mostly for music, I'd definitely have tried that out) but for my usage case, retaining the KK/1 in my system made no sense at all and thus it just didn't make any sense for me even to bother trying that experiment (perhaps better not to know and to thus remain delighted with what one has) and overall, I do prefer the sound - when streaming from my NAS - of the ADSM to the KDS/1 + KK/1, so I do regard my last change as an upgrade (but I would not be at all disappointed if I had to return to using a KDS/1 and KK/1 for a music streaming system).

I do miss my silver boxes, though! I had made a sub-chassis for an Ikea thing and they looked far cooler than a single ADSM now looks (sorry about the poor picture quality, though):

Ikea_Klimax_Rack.JPG.e9fb9c553c9bfebfa23718846b58f510.JPG

Bri :)

Edited by Briain
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18 hours ago, Rayymondo said:

I have included a picture of a Bow Technologies Wazoo XL in case anyone reading this doesn't know what I'm talking about. Think a Klimax would be a great visual match and hopefully a sonic one  too ;-)

a.jpg

They should have named it the Grand Wazoo, instead of Wazoo XL :P

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Posted (edited)

Add a DS and in a sense, you'll be using Kazoo with your Wazoo, too! :P

(Note that I don't mean to imply Kazoo can directly control the Wazoo - it won't - I was just having a play with the words.)

Edited by Briain
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I actually think the KDS/1 would be more than adequate for me right now. Better start saving ( enjoying the Wazoo so far but not going to sell my 2250/D just yet) ;-)

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