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242 to Akubarik/P - worthwhile upgrade?
2017-10-01, 09:25
Post: #1
242 to Akubarik/P - worthwhile upgrade?
My main system (as in my sig) is a KDS upgraded to latest Katalyst spec driving a KCT (with Dynamik) into a pair of 242 Mk 1s. My listening is mainly rock, covering the whole spectrum from acoustic to heavier stuff, with a bit of classical and opera thrown in. Overall I'm happy with the sound and in no immediate rush to change but as is common on here musing about what I could do next.

On paper the speakers are clearly the weakest link and therein lies the problem. Assuming I stay with Linn the options I can see are continue down the passive route, upgrade the 242s to Akubarik/P and possibly replace the KCT with a pair of solos. Either or both of these should be a useful improvement for a reasonable (for Linn) outlay BUT takes me more down the passive route where I feel I'm missing out on the whole Exact revolution.

The alternative is to hold off for now and scrape together the £25k that an upgrade to Akubarik Exakt would entail. As far as I can see there are really no other Exakt options as any combination of Exact boxes and amps will end up costing similar money and I'll also end up with a rats nest of cables which will not help domestic harmony.

I know the answer is to go and listen, and I'll do that before making a decision but I wonder if anyone else here has been in a similar position and what your thoughts were?

KDSM/3 Solos/D 242Mk1
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2017-10-01, 09:51 (This post was last modified: 2017-10-01 09:52 by DavidHB.)
Post: #2
RE: 242 to Akubarik/P - worthwhile upgrade?
(2017-10-01 09:25)PhilD Wrote:  I know the answer is to go and listen, and I'll do that before making a decision but I wonder if anyone else here has been in a similar position and what your thoughts were?

My position was parallel to yours, rather than similar (ADSM/1 > A2200 > Akubarik/P at the time). I think that your logic is impeccable. My move to Exakt came about because I already had the Akubariks and the 2200, and Linn were doing a summer offer on the 4200s. In your circumstances, I would arrive at the same conclusion as you have done. You didn't mention that, unless you put a lot of money for Klimax Exaktboxes, the separates option would lose you your current Katalyst capability, whereas the integrated Akubariks do have Katalyst.

A low cost interim arrangement you could consider is adding a sub to your current passive system, which would directly address its most obvious weak point. Otherwise, as you say, a demo is essential in your case. It is possible that, as you already have Katalyst, you will find that the benefit of moving up to Exakt Akubarik does not outweigh the considerable cost.

David

Main system: [Basik/Basik+/K5/Lejonklou Gaio >][Roksan Kandy Mk III >] KEDSM > Akurate Exaktbox 10 > Linn Silvers> A4200 x 2 and A2200 > K600 > Akubariks
Second system: Kiko
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2017-10-01, 10:42 (This post was last modified: 2017-10-01 10:44 by mickc.)
Post: #3
RE: 242 to Akubarik/P - worthwhile upgrade?
To offer another perspective, before the move to Exakt, an interim improvement could be a secondhand pair of Solos, which I note is something you’re considering.
I’ve heard pretty much your system (but with an earlier version of KDSM) using both KCT and Solos - all amps latest versions. The setup using Solos was so much better, and if you do buy secondhand, when the time comes to move to Exakt, you should find you can sell the Solos for pretty much what you paid for them.

Mick

LP12SE * KDS/3 * KK/1/D * Solos/1/D * Akubarik/P
MDSM/3 * Majik 109
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2017-10-01, 12:05
Post: #4
RE: 242 to Akubarik/P - worthwhile upgrade?
Akubariks first, if you're going to stay passive, then Solos.

But listen to Exaktubariks with Katalyst first, then you might find the above a little underwhelming Smile

Main: AK/0/D; AEDSM; MeiCord AExaktbox10; Silvers 2x A4200/1; K400 NSL Exakt dual-mono PMC Twenty.26; Twenty.C; Blacks AV5125 PMC Twenty.21
Playroom: SBT; V-DAC1; Cyrus6; M773e
Garage: SBT/Rega DAC; Arcam AVR100; 2x AV5125; Aktiv Ninkas, Trikan, AVSeKretan
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2017-10-01, 13:37
Post: #5
RE: 242 to Akubarik/P - worthwhile upgrade?
(2017-10-01 12:05)sunbeamgls Wrote:  Akubariks first, if you're going to stay passive, then Solos.

Does anyone know: how do 242s with a properly integrated sub compare with Akubariks? The 242s still get a mostly good press hereabouts, though (in the spec. at least) they do not go nearly as low as their successors. Which brings us back to the question as to whether 242 to Akubarik is a cost-effective upgrade. I haven't made the comparison, and so have no view as to what the answer might be.

The issue with the Solos is a bit different. If you know that you are staying passive, Solos might well be a good investment. But the relativities of the various amplifier models seem to change a bit when you go from passive to Aktiv or Exakt. If the intended end point is an Exakt system, I'm not sure that a pair of Solos would justify their cost. Finding a demo pair to listen to might also be a bit difficult.

(2017-10-01 12:05)sunbeamgls Wrote:  But listen to Exaktubariks with Katalyst first, then you might find the above a little underwhelming Smile

I wonder whether this would be the case, given that PhilD already has a Katalyst system. But the demo that we all agree is essential should sort that out, one way or the other.

David

Main system: [Basik/Basik+/K5/Lejonklou Gaio >][Roksan Kandy Mk III >] KEDSM > Akurate Exaktbox 10 > Linn Silvers> A4200 x 2 and A2200 > K600 > Akubariks
Second system: Kiko
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2017-10-01, 15:33
Post: #6
RE: 242 to Akubarik/P - worthwhile upgrade?
I upgraded from 242's to passive Akubariks and thought the differerence was surprisingly big. It's certainly nothing I've regretted. Currntly I'm quin-amping them with 2 x 6100. With the Akubariks (the bass is active in mine), I certainly don't feel the need for a subwoofer. Pretty sure Solos + Akubariks would be a killer combination.

My system: LP12/Keel/Radikal/Ekos 2/Akiva/Akurate DSM1/Cisco WS-C2960-8TC-L/ QNAP 219P II / Kudos /2 x C6100-D/Akubarik (externally active).
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2017-10-01, 16:05
Post: #7
RE: 242 to Akubarik/P - worthwhile upgrade?
Solos with 242 passive are sweet but I would say that see my sig.

In fairness however, the Akubariks are generally renowned by a fair few on here to be a better speaker and I wouldn't argue against that having heard them many times.



You could be at a crossroads here to stay passive or go exakt which is the point of your post.

IMHO putting a Twin on Akubariks maybe will not give an improvement as the amp is the limiting factor. I went from A2200 to Solos on 242 and the improvement was massive. The Solos are a very special amp and have a great ease about them. Then again Exakt is a game changer.

You have a first world problem!

I

Klimax LP12 (Cirkus, Tranquility, Radikal D, Keel, Urika, Khan top plate, Ekos SE, Kandid). Klimax Renew DS. KK D, Solos D. 242 mk 2 with upgraded stands. Project RCM
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2017-10-01, 18:38 (This post was last modified: 2017-10-01 18:39 by mickc.)
Post: #8
RE: 242 to Akubarik/P - worthwhile upgrade?
My suggestion of Solos was to purchase secondhand, so that they’d retain their value. And personally, I’d say amps before ‘speakers, if you’re staying passive for the time being. It’s an extension of source first, and your existing source is rather fine, as are your 242s.
Exakt would be very different - you may be better off leaving it all as it is until you’re comfortable with the £25k spend.

Mick

LP12SE * KDS/3 * KK/1/D * Solos/1/D * Akubarik/P
MDSM/3 * Majik 109
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2017-10-01, 19:09
Post: #9
RE: 242 to Akubarik/P - worthwhile upgrade?
I wouldn't say your speakers are the weakest link per sé.
Being the last of your system chain, they are good and revealing enough to show the improvements you can still make upstream. Indeed to go Exakt or not (yet) is a key decision - and if you do then the very next one is whether to go for separates and an Exaktbox, or for integrated speakers.

Your source is already top notch, but certainly not wasted should you stay passive. To go from KCT to Solos (even undynamiked ones) is a noticeable step up, and I would also recommend to compare your current digital volume control to an exemplary preamp (see my sig Big Grin ).

If possible try to audition different options at home.

LP12 - KDS1 - Oppo UDP-205 - Lejonklou Slipsik 6.0 - Satagun Mono 1.3 Preamps - Tundra Mono 2.2 Poweramps - Akurate 242 mk2

Lejonklou • NOKTable Turntable stand • Quadraspire supplier

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2017-10-01, 20:31
Post: #10
RE: 242 to Akubarik/P - worthwhile upgrade?
Thanks for the replies, it is indeed a first world problem! I don't feel that I'm missing out on bass extension from the 242s so can't see myself going down the sub route and don't think I would look at Akubarik/P just for that reason. Lots of feedback about solos which is interesting and something I have thought about, although 18k for a new pair might be stretching it a bit in what would still be a passive system. Solos with Dynamik are rare on the secondhand market and I had been concerned about swapping my KCT/D for a pair of undynamiked solos, but maybe time to give some a try in my current setup with or without the D upgrade?

KDSM/3 Solos/D 242Mk1
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