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Katalyst digital volume
2017-11-14, 00:06 (This post was last modified: 2017-11-14 00:10 by BB1.)
Post: #11
RE: Katalyst digital volume
(2017-11-13 22:28)Briain Wrote:  
(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

Wouldn’t it be a better approach to replace my AEDSM by a KEDSM in this regard? Or placing a cheap and huge weight on my AEDSM? Wink
Four Sonos are not an option as well, as even some people not really involved into high-end audio told me that their sound quality is rather poor after they have listened to a a decent streamer.

Strictly speaking, I can’t deny that the volume control of the KK sounds different from the DVC, but which one is better seems to be a matter of personal taste, at least at the Klimax level. Comparing the SQ of the Sneaky’s analogue output stage and its DVC to the KK is a bit misleading, as there is a huge difference in the price tag. To me it’s like comparing apples to oranges.

AEDSM > KEB/1 x 2 > Linn Silvers > A4200/1 x 2 > K200 > MISOs
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2017-11-14, 01:34 (This post was last modified: 2017-11-14 01:43 by Briain.)
Post: #12
RE: Katalyst digital volume
(2017-11-14 00:06)BB1 Wrote:  
(2017-11-13 22:28)Briain Wrote:  
(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

Wouldn’t it be a better approach to replace my AEDSM by a KEDSM in this regard? Or placing a cheap and huge weight on my AEDSM? Wink
Four Sonos are not an option as well, as even some people not really involved into high-end audio told me that their sound quality is rather poor after they have listened to a a decent streamer.

Strictly speaking, I can’t deny that the volume control of the KK sounds different from the DVC, but which one is better seems to be a matter of personal taste, at least at the Klimax level. Comparing the SQ of the Sneaky’s analogue output stage and its DVC to the KK is a bit misleading, as there is a huge difference in the price tag. To me it’s like comparing apples to oranges.

Mass is mass and mass is good*, be it the mass from Koncrete, Kontrols, or black holes (but Sonos doesn't rhyme, so maybe that's why they don't sound so good)? Wink

Actually, the mention of the Sneaky was in response to another post, but both my response and the original post were later radically edited, so it doesn't any longer flow quite as intended. That said, the comparison maybe isn't quite as inappropriate as you might at first think. True, I don't have diagrams for the various DS's, but from a 'block diagram' (AKA processes) perspective, I think that the DVC number crunching is all done in the FPGA and thus that prior to the release of the new Katalyst scheme, the DVC 'actions' within all variants of DS (other than the Magik DSI, which had an analogue attenuator) should perform identical functions (in terms of the number crunching 'impact' to the sound) and that in terms of the block diagram and the electronics (i.e. ignoring the other differences, like the internal layout and the case structures) it is what happens after that FPGA and DVC stage that defines the sonic differences between DS models. I could be wrong, but that is my own understanding (perhaps misunderstanding) of how it all 'bolts together' as a system.

Anyhow, for me the KK is still by far my favoured sonic solution, but I would be quite intrigued to hear what Katalyst brings to the DVC party (in terms of comparing it to a Katalyst DS and KK combination) as from what has been said about the 'numbers', I suspect that the Katalyst DVC implementation might change my mind on DVC's capabilities (at low volume; I already accept it as being okay at very high volume settings in the pre-Katalyst DS products).

Bri Smile

* Though my bathroom scales would likely disagree!

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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2017-11-29, 12:27
Post: #13
RE: Katalyst digital volume
(2017-11-13 14:59)Briain Wrote:  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
To be exact, my experience was related to KDSM/0. Can not comment on the quality of KDS/0 digital volume control, but KDS/1, in my opinion, was slightly inferior to KDSM/0 in this aspect.
Besides, KDSM/0 sounds different to me when KK is in chain between it and a power amp - fuller, but less atmospheric. So, after some thinking, I decided not to go the route which includes external preamp, as it does not really improve the sound (and I really like the way KDSM/0 sounds on it's own). And, moreover, with a separate preamp there is a need in additional things (a high-quality power cable, a rack shelf, a set of absorbers and a filtered power socket) which will make the system even more complicated.

For now, after many upgrades, concerning power quality, vibroisolation quality and room acoustics quality, I was able to largely decrease background noise, which resulted in a very transparent and clear sound even at low volume levels. Maybe this is the reason why external preamp does not improve the sound in my case. Anyway, I am very happy with the sound provided by my current system configuration.

Taking into account the fact that the new KDSM/2 provides even lower background noise level, I would not be surprised if KK worsened the soundquality of the system "driven" by KDSM/2. But this is only my assumption, based on the experience with KDSM/0.

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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2017-11-29, 12:51
Post: #14
RE: Katalyst digital volume
(2017-11-29 12:27)dubselect Wrote:  Taking into account the fact that the new KDSM/2 provides even lower background noise level, I would not be surprised if KK worsened the soundquality of the system "driven" by KDSM/2. But this is only my assumption, based on the experience with KDSM/0.

I very much agree with the thinking behind this. The audio experience is rarely if ever about one factor, feature or component on its own. All you can say is that, to a particular listener or group of listeners, the sound quality associated with item A is preferable to that associated with item B in the context of a particular system. This to my mind makes the general debates about digital vs analogue volume controls, or indeed digital vs. analogue more widely, close to meaningless, because the participants all too readily assume that experience in a particular context is more generally representative.

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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2017-11-29, 12:56
Post: #15
RE: Katalyst digital volume
I also preferred kdsm 0/1 dvc to the kds versions.

Both kds 0 and 1 were not good without a preamp.

Katalyst ds and dsm are both great and I prefer them without a preamp.
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2017-12-02, 15:27
Post: #16
RE: Katalyst digital volume
Yes , Katalyst is better without a preamp.
Perhaps is not only the use of preap, is the interconexion cable, the conectors... the cause a preamplifier degree and add distorsion to the music...
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2017-12-02, 21:33
Post: #17
RE: Katalyst digital volume
There are two answers here:
(disclaimer)I have not head the KK in my system and have no intention of ever doing so.

I suspect the answer is that it depends, for some systems the preamp will improve the soluton and for others it might not have a great impact.

"Perhaps is not only the use of preap, is the interconexion cable, the conectors... the cause a preamplifier degree and add distorsion to the music..."

Well if you consider that the preamp takes the "amplification load" off the source and electrically could drive a power amp "harder", absolute distorsion might not provide the biggest difference.
Impedance, resistance could have been differently matched.

Similar to a previous poster, I have K320+K345 hanging off my KDSM/2 and it sounds delicious.
If I had a bag of diffucult amps or special requirements, especially of not balanced, the grunt of a preamp can prevent noise from those ams and cables of reaching back to the source.

So rather than just a full DVC vs Analogue discussion it could also be an electrical matching.

KDSM/2+K320A+K345A, Linn Classik Music+Unik, [KDSM/R + LP12, Akito 2/B, Klyde+Lingo 2, Linto (not currently in use)]
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