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Katalyst - tech question to Linn
2016-09-25, 16:54
Post: #11
RE: Katalyst - tech question to Linn
Thanks for the technical insight!!

Quote:Data optimisation is a marketing-friendly term for upsampling and digital volume control. In the Katalyst DAC we upsample to 768kHz/32-bits before sending the data to the conversion process. Upsampling to 768kHz allows us to take control of the audio spectrum all the way up to 384kHz, eliminating the conversion artefacts that may otherwise be generated by more resource-limited upsampling processes. Delivering the data at 32-bit resolution means that the digital volume control is now essentially lossless for volume settings above 38.

This leads me to a question related to the a future Katalyst Exakt System:

My current understanding is that "today" the volume control is in the DSM and the DAC is in the ExaktBox.
What is required to get the full improvement of the Katalyst Upgrade within an Exakt System:

-- A Katalyst DSM and a Katalyst Exaktbox?
-- Is it possible to upgrade only the ExaktBox and will it deliver the full improvement?

Main Room: Klimax DMS Exakt, Klimax Exaktbox, 6100 amp, Ninka activ Tri-Amp via Exakt, Cable Tuner, Blue Ray Player --- Snooker Room: Klimax DSM Renew, LK140, Linn Nexus --- Synology 713, Synology Media Server
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2016-09-25, 17:48
Post: #12
RE: Katalyst - tech question to Linn
(2016-09-25 16:54)Charly Wrote:  Thanks for the technical insight!!

Quote:Data optimisation is a marketing-friendly term for upsampling and digital volume control. In the Katalyst DAC we upsample to 768kHz/32-bits before sending the data to the conversion process. Upsampling to 768kHz allows us to take control of the audio spectrum all the way up to 384kHz, eliminating the conversion artefacts that may otherwise be generated by more resource-limited upsampling processes. Delivering the data at 32-bit resolution means that the digital volume control is now essentially lossless for volume settings above 38.

This leads me to a question related to the a future Katalyst Exakt System:

My current understanding is that "today" the volume control is in the DSM and the DAC is in the ExaktBox.
What is required to get the full improvement of the Katalyst Upgrade within an Exakt System:

-- A Katalyst DSM and a Katalyst Exaktbox?
-- Is it possible to upgrade only the ExaktBox and will it deliver the full improvement?

Can't see why you'd need a Katalyst DSM in and Exakt system as it doesn't do any D to A conversion. That would be down to the Exaktbox or Espeaker.

'troll
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2016-09-25, 19:43
Post: #13
RE: Katalyst - tech question to Linn
(2016-09-25 16:03)Briain Wrote:  
(2016-09-25 15:39)Macallan Wrote:  Thanks a lot for these details, Murrays!

Given all these improvements, should I sell my Akurate Exakt system and buy a Klimax DSM (converting my Akubariks back to passive)? Or should I wait until there is a Katalyst upgrade available for my AExaktbox10?

Phil answered a similar question in another thread, and from memory, I think that the gist of it was that the Akurate Exakt's removal of drive unit and crossover phase anomalies provides such a fundamental improvement that it would still make for a far better sounding system than any passive alternatives, even if that passive system's source was a KDS/3. So basically, that would mean keep your Akurate Exakt system as it is, then see what the future brings to the party, I guess?

Synchronousere apologies to Phil if that's not precisely what he said (hence my use of the word 'gist') but at the moment, I don't have time to dredge the forum to find, re-read and link to that post (though it was very recent and I'm sure a search will swiftly find it).

Bri Smile


Thanks Briain, are you referring to this post of Philbo? I assume that was a Klimax Katalyst passive against Klimax Exakt comparison, so on the same level of hierarchy. But would the benefit of exakt in the Akurate range still beat the Katalyst improvement in a passive Klimax setup?

And with my question I was also trying to get a hint from Linn if Katalyst will indeed eventually be available as an upgrade for Akurate Exaktbox 10 ;-)

AEDSM, Akurate Exaktbox, 2*A4200/D, C2200/D, Akubariks
Majik DS-I, Katans
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2016-09-25, 19:52
Post: #14
RE: Katalyst - tech question to Linn
(2016-09-25 19:43)Macallan Wrote:  
(2016-09-25 16:03)Briain Wrote:  
(2016-09-25 15:39)Macallan Wrote:  Thanks a lot for these details, Murrays!

Given all these improvements, should I sell my Akurate Exakt system and buy a Klimax DSM (converting my Akubariks back to passive)? Or should I wait until there is a Katalyst upgrade available for my AExaktbox10?

Phil answered a similar question in another thread, and from memory, I think that the gist of it was that the Akurate Exakt's removal of drive unit and crossover phase anomalies provides such a fundamental improvement that it would still make for a far better sounding system than any passive alternatives, even if that passive system's source was a KDS/3. So basically, that would mean keep your Akurate Exakt system as it is, then see what the future brings to the party, I guess?

Synchronousere apologies to Phil if that's not precisely what he said (hence my use of the word 'gist') but at the moment, I don't have time to dredge the forum to find, re-read and link to that post (though it was very recent and I'm sure a search will swiftly find it).

Bri Smile


Thanks Briain, are you referring to this post of Philbo? I assume that was a Klimax Katalyst passive against Klimax Exakt comparison, so on the same level of hierarchy. But would the benefit of exakt in the Akurate range still beat the Katalyst improvement in a passive Klimax setup?

And with my question I was also trying to get a hint from Linn if Katalyst will indeed eventually be available as an upgrade for Akurate Exaktbox 10 ;-)
If the effect of Kathalyst is so huge, it might take a while before they bring it to Akurate level.
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2016-09-25, 20:08 (This post was last modified: 2016-09-25 20:28 by Briain.)
Post: #15
RE: Katalyst - tech question to Linn
(2016-09-25 19:43)Macallan Wrote:  Thanks Briain, are you referring to this post of Philbo? I assume that was a Klimax Katalyst passive against Klimax Exakt comparison, so on the same level of hierarchy. But would the benefit of exakt in the Akurate range still beat the Katalyst improvement in a passive Klimax setup?

And with my question I was also trying to get a hint from Linn if Katalyst will indeed eventually be available as an upgrade for Akurate Exaktbox 10 ;-)

Yes, that was the one! Sorry I didn't have time to seek it out (and indeed, I was not as accurate as I chould have been) but I guess that I got the general gist of it. My guess is that the new DAC might well percolate down to the Akurate product range (who knows if it will reach into Majik products, though) but there's a lot of other stuff surrounding that DAC and thus that's likely going to be the decider on the sound improvements to all these non-Klimax units. As stated in a previous post, it'll be absolutely fascinating to hear what 32 bit word length does to the sound of the digital volume control feature when played at lower levels (and at least that aspect will surely be applicable to any devices containing this new DAC; be that at Klimax, Akurate or Majik level) as despite the claims, I prefer my KDS/1+KK/1 to the KDS/1 'directly' driving my 350A, so with the word length now being increased to 23 bitties, I am rather looking forward to being sonically persuaded otherwise (and I suspect that to be an entirely plausible happening, but an open mind, I will retain). Smile

Of course, when it comes to actually playing tunes, a cooking foil wrapped and cement 'jacketed' Sonos will likely tank the lot of them (aye; right)! Tongue Tongue Tongue Big Grin

Bri Smile

KDS/1 (music) + ADSM (AV) -> KK/1 -> 350A + miniDSP time & phase aligned 345 rear sub
KDS Renew -> Homebrew fixed attenuator -> 2250/D -> 212 and Sizmik front sub (bedroom)
MDSI -> 104C (awaiting installation in my kitchen)
MDSI -> Shahinian Arc (installed at my mum's house)
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2016-09-25, 22:08 (This post was last modified: 2016-09-25 22:12 by murrays.)
Post: #16
RE: Katalyst - tech question to Linn
(2016-09-25 12:14)Mihaylov Wrote:  
(2016-09-25 11:47)murrays Wrote:  Delivering the data at 32-bit resolution means that the digital volume control is now essentially lossless for volume settings above 38.
Is it true for previous generation of Linn DS?

No. The DAC interface in previous generations was limited to 24-bits, but the dithering algorithm meant that (in theory, at least) there would still be no loss of information.

Quote:And why you chose DAC AK4497 for Katalyst? You consider it the best?

Choosing a new DAC to base your entire product range on is not a decision to be taken lightly. Our previous generation of DAC has served us well since the original Klimax DS, and we expect to be using Katalyst for a similar length of time.

At the beginning of the Katalyst project, we decided to do a bake-off between our current DAC and three of the best available alternatives. We had access to some early silicon samples from some of the leading silicon vendors, and we set about designing what we thought would be the best implementation for each one. Circuit boards were constructed and thoroughly tested to ensure that each was given a fair chance. At this point we could simply have picked the one with the best measured results, but we chose instead to take them into the listening room and do some blind listening.

The listening tests were a revelation. There was clearly one DAC that shone above all the rest: The AKM4497. It was relaxed without being laid-back, confident without sounding brash. It sounded real. (OMG, I should totally be a hifi journalist).

This wasn't a totally unexpected result. The AKM part is a multi-bit switched-capacitor DAC like the Wolfson part that preceded it, so we knew it would have all the qualities we like to see in a DAC: low sensitivity to clock jitter, low out-of-band noise, etc. But the AKM part takes switched capacitor DAC performance to a new level - it has extremely low levels of distortion, very low out-of-band noise, and most importantly it gives us access to all the internal reference voltages and supply pins that make the Katalyst architecture possible.

(2016-09-25 15:39)Macallan Wrote:  Thanks a lot for these details, Murrays!

Given all these improvements, should I sell my Akurate Exakt system and buy a Klimax DSM (converting my Akubariks back to passive)? Or should I wait until there is a Katalyst upgrade available for my AExaktbox10?

Keep your Exakt system. We will be Katalysing it in the fullness of time (please don't ask when)
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2016-09-25, 22:13
Post: #17
RE: Katalyst - tech question to Linn
(2016-09-25 22:08)murrays Wrote:  Choosing a new DAC to base your entire product range on is not a decision to be taken lightly.

Keep your Exakt system. We will be Katalysing it in the fullness of time (please don't ask when)

Very interesting and helpful information 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
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2016-09-25, 22:15
Post: #18
RE: Katalyst - tech question to Linn
(2016-09-25 16:04)Baba Yaga Wrote:  
(2016-09-25 11:47)murrays Wrote:  
Quote:Master Clock
A single high precision clock with its own independent power supply ensures greater timing accuracy throughout.

As described earlier, the reference level defines the amplitude accuracy of each converted sample, but it is the Master Clock that defines the timing accuracy. Any variation in the timing of each clock edge will translate directly into timing errors in the analog output signal. The Katalyst DAC uses the same ultra-low jitter clock as our previous generation DAC, and as before, it has its own dedicated power supply to isolate it from external influences.

Hi Murrays,

I haven't understood what the improvement in regards to the Master Clock is. It seems you are using the same as before and the power supply is isolates as well as before?
Thanks
BY

The master clock remains largely unchanged. Maybe some small power supply tweaks, but the general clock architecture remains the same.
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2016-09-25, 22:24
Post: #19
RE: Katalyst - tech question to Linn
(2016-09-25 16:54)Charly Wrote:  Thanks for the technical insight!!

Quote:Data optimisation is a marketing-friendly term for upsampling and digital volume control. In the Katalyst DAC we upsample to 768kHz/32-bits before sending the data to the conversion process. Upsampling to 768kHz allows us to take control of the audio spectrum all the way up to 384kHz, eliminating the conversion artefacts that may otherwise be generated by more resource-limited upsampling processes. Delivering the data at 32-bit resolution means that the digital volume control is now essentially lossless for volume settings above 38.

This leads me to a question related to the a future Katalyst Exakt System:

My current understanding is that "today" the volume control is in the DSM and the DAC is in the ExaktBox.
What is required to get the full improvement of the Katalyst Upgrade within an Exakt System:

-- A Katalyst DSM and a Katalyst Exaktbox?
-- Is it possible to upgrade only the ExaktBox and will it deliver the full improvement?

In an Exakt system the volume control is in the ExaktBox, so to upgrade to Katalyst you will only need to upgrade your ExaktBox (once we get round to updating it)
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2016-09-25, 22:31 (This post was last modified: 2016-09-26 00:53 by Briain.)
Post: #20
RE: Katalyst - tech question to Linn
(2016-09-25 22:08)murrays Wrote:  ...(OMG, I should totally be a hifi journalist)...

Based upon my recollection of some of the HiFi magazines from back in the golden olden days - and to be honest, I've not seen one for several decades - I suspect that you'd likely be too honest for that line of work (in some cases, I remember suspecting that perceived sound quality was directly proportional to the advertising acreage that the manufacturer of said product typically purchased in the magazine; well either that, or perhaps some of the reviewers' ears were of the painted-on variety)! Big Grin

KDS/1 (music) + ADSM (AV) -> KK/1 -> 350A + miniDSP time & phase aligned 345 rear sub
KDS Renew -> Homebrew fixed attenuator -> 2250/D -> 212 and Sizmik front sub (bedroom)
MDSI -> 104C (awaiting installation in my kitchen)
MDSI -> Shahinian Arc (installed at my mum's house)
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