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Katalyst digital volume
2017-11-03, 21:59
Post: #1
Katalyst digital volume
Any news on how DS Katalyst digital volume performs against same DS + KK ?

And also: is there any audible difference in performance between "Katalysed" DS and DSM ?

Cymbiosis LP12/CH Wenge/Keel/Khan/Ekos SE/sKale/Lyra Atlas/Radikal/Urika on FE Master Ref wallshelf + KDS/1 + Naim 552/500 on 3 x Fraim + Kharma Exquisite Midi + Kharma Exquisite Subwoofer, Super TA ICs, STA power cords, STA speakers cables.
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2017-11-03, 23:59
Post: #2
RE: Katalyst digital volume
I think that those are questions that have a subjective element, so please try for yourself as your mileage may differ.

Volume control: technically a lot better than the previous iterations and it should be faultless. But I can imagine that some KK owners will still prefer the KK, just because they love that sound.

As for the difference between DS and DSM, I think I read the difference is very, very small. My personal opinion is that a DSM will allow your LP12 to get SPACE optimalisation and that that is a gamechanger. So for me getting the DSM would be a no-brainer. But you might just prefer your LP12 without SO.

I think you should give the KDSM a testdrive for yourself, the KDS is a safe choice, the KDSM could go either way.

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2017-11-04, 18:13
Post: #3
RE: Katalyst digital volume
I bet the new KDSM/2 should be amazing in terms of quality of volume control.

Even the original KDSM/0 model is flawless in this aspect. It provides equal performance at any listenable volume level (in my case, from 30 to 80). KDSM/2 has significantly lower noise level, thus it will provide even cleaner and more transparent sound at any volume level.

P. S. Taking into account the fact that Linn has discontinued preamp manufacturing, I suppose KDS/3 should provide equal performance to KDSM/2 when feeding a signal straight to power amp.

KDSM (magical 4.19.797), K320A (Latest spec) + Original stands (DIY mod), K345
Accessories: Bertram Cuprio Flow cables; PS Audio P3; Isotek Aquarius Evo3; Symposium Rollerblock Series 2+, Jr. HDSE, Jr.+; Finite Elemente Cerapuc; SubDude; Vicoustic Wavewood.
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2017-11-06, 20:49
Post: #4
RE: Katalyst digital volume
For what it is worth, because at this level all judgements are subjective and personal:
I still preferred the KK volume control over the DVC in my Katalysed KDS.
I cannot comment on the DS v DSM question.
I cannot wait to be reunited with my music when we have finally completed our move to the Forest of Dean area!

'The grocer told me what you do with bread'
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2017-11-13, 03:54
Post: #5
RE: Katalyst digital volume
(2017-11-06 20:49)John Lewis Wrote:  For what it is worth, because at this level all judgements are subjective and personal:
I still preferred the KK volume control over the DVC in my Katalysed KDS.

I had not tried the digital volume control of the Katalyst as I am still optimising other parts of my audio system. When I tried KDS/1D DVC against KK previously, I think I decided to keep the KK without much hesitation.

My guess it goes beyond personal preferences. It also depends how the KK (and even how the rest of the system is being installed). If the KK is properly installed (good interconnects, good rack with proper vibration isolation/damping, good power cords, proper torque values on the board, and etc), then the transparency of KK will be higher and the lost in having an extra component in the audio chain is less. On the other hand, it also depends how the rest of the system (which include the Klimax DS, room and etc) is being installed as well. I noticed that the installation has a PROFOUND impact on the performance of the Klimax system. If the rest of the system is not properly installed, then it may easily masked the differences between the two options.

I had always enjoyed reading AMA's posting. I read and re-read his posts many times and try to learn as much as possible from him. I am seriously looking forward to read AMA's opinion on these two options.
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2017-11-13, 14:59 (This post was last modified: 2017-11-13 16:00 by Briain.)
Post: #6
RE: Katalyst digital volume
(2017-11-04 18:13)dubselect Wrote:  I bet the new KDSM/2 should be amazing in terms of quality of volume control.

Even the original KDSM/0 model is flawless in this aspect. It provides equal performance at any listenable volume level (in my case, from 30 to 80). KDSM/2 has significantly lower noise level, thus it will provide even cleaner and more transparent sound at any volume level.

P. S. Taking into account the fact that Linn has discontinued preamp manufacturing, I suppose KDS/3 should provide equal performance to KDSM/2 when feeding a signal straight to power amp.

On the last comment, likely that is most likely so; Murry stated - on the thread where he described the various Katalyst enhancements - that the DVC was essentially lossless above a volume setting of 38, so given that, it should sound excellent.

Curiously, your findings with the KDS/0 DVC are somewhat radically different to what I perceived when trying it (and I had no pre-expectation bias; I expected it to sound moderately acceptable). For a long time, I ran a MDSI feeding a 2250/D and 212s (I still do; it's now my bedroom system) and when I eventually replaced the MDSI with a KDS/0 based Renew - and set it to use DVC - I immediately thought that it sounded surprisingly poor when the DVC was set at anything below the upper 60's; after a few tens of seconds playing time, I actually started to wonder if the unit was faulty. As you'd expect, there was lots more detail, but - very surprisingly - I found it to be less fun to listen to than the MDSI. I swiftly built and fitted a pair of home-brew fixed attenuators (about 18 dB) and DVC sounds acceptable. To be honest, in some ways I still prefer it using fixed volume (and no fixed attenuators) and using a Kikkin preamp to control volume levels, but with the attenuators fitted, the DVC feature now sounds acceptable in the 50s volume range (given it's a bedroom system, I might even slightly increase these fixed attenuators) and it means one less box is required, so less power wasted, too; better compatibility with my Scottish values! . Wink

A while ago, I did briefly try the KDS/1 (with DVC enabled) directly feeding my 350A speakers, but it only lasted about 30 seconds and then the KK was put back into use (and the feet were again tapping) so I don't think there's much difference between pre-Katalyst DS's when it comes to DVC's detrimental impact to the tunes at lower listening levels. Of course, if the system is in a huge room (and perhaps with less sensitive speakers) perhaps the DVC (on pre-Katalyst DS units) will typically be set high enough to be in its 'lossless zone' and thus sound fine?

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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2017-11-13, 16:00 (This post was last modified: 2017-11-13 17:32 by charlie1.)
Post: #7
RE: Katalyst digital volume
A friend in Germany also tested the previous version of DVC against his KK. I occasionally ask if he's retested with Katalyst but I don't think there is much motivation based on the previous comparison.
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2017-11-13, 16:17 (This post was last modified: 2017-11-13 17:34 by Briain.)
Post: #8
RE: Katalyst digital volume
Hi

A while back, my KK/KDS had to go back to Linn (to be re-machined to make space for the Dynamik upgrade) and as a stop-gap, I tried a Sneaky (with some hastily knocked-up adaptors) to drive my 350A (using its own DVC feature) and it sounded pretty dreadful (I actually got complaints from my guests). I later hauled my MDSI into the lounge and instead used that (and it sounded quite a lot better and silenced all the complaints).

Initially, I assumed the problem was the unbalanced output feeding the long (9 metre) balanced cables to the 330A, but the MDSI managed it very well, so I always suspected the bulk of the problem was down to me not liking the DVC (whereas the MDSI has an analogue volume control).

Much later, I needed to again send the KDS back (can't recall why) and again, I dug out the Sneaky, but this time I used it (fixed volume) into the KK and this time, it sounded really quite splendid, so the combination of the KK's balanced output (and capability to better drive the long cables to the 350A) and the use of an analogue volume control made a very significant difference, though I never tried enabling DVC (in the Sneaky) and feeding that into the KK (with KK set to about 80) so I never did get the chance to find out which aspect was making the bulk of the difference; I suspect both were having some sort of an impact.

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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2017-11-13, 21:09
Post: #9
RE: Katalyst digital volume
Should I consider four KKs as a possible upgrade path for my system? Wink

AEDSM > KEB/1 x 2 > Linn Silvers > A4200/1 x 2 > K200 > MISOs
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2017-11-13, 22:28 (This post was last modified: 2017-11-13 22:29 by Briain.)
Post: #10
RE: Katalyst digital volume
(2017-11-13 21:09)BB1 Wrote:  Should I consider four KKs as a possible upgrade path for my system? Wink

Absolutely so, and for entirely sound technical reasons, too; you could place two of the KKs under your AEDSM and pile the other two KKs atop, and by mitigating the impacts from all the airborne bass vibes (and also by looking pretty cool), it could - just maybe - also improve the sound. Of course, you could try the same trick with four Sonos boxes, but they just don't have the mass (unless you remove all the 'guts' and pour concrete into them; that little tweaking trick also does wonders for the sound of a working Sonos, by the way) Wink 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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