New Linn MajikDS or second hand Akurate DS

Neuphonix

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Apr 20, 2012
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Hi all,

I'm lookin for some advice regarding a purchase that I am considering.

Recently aquired a new MF AMS35i integrated amp & Focal Diablo speakers. Very happy with the sound but it has shone a light on the inadequacies of my source.

Having been advised by a regular on these forums (& a fellow AMS35i owner) Cno, I 've been looking into the Linn DS products. I hadn't reallly considered a streaming solution even though I do have a lot of my music stored in digital format. But so far everything that I have read seems to indicate that these are fantastic sounding products.

Sure there is some poor feedback regarding the ease of integration & set-up, but it appears as though much of this stems from a lack of comuter networking experience. I work in this field so I'm quite looking forward to this aspect & don't envisage too many problems (hope i don't regret saying that!).

In anticipation of a purchase I have set up a new QNAP NAS drive to store everything on. I will be running it with a Macbook Pro & iPad control.

Initially I was looking at a new Majik DS with the Dynamik power supply, this sits with-in my acceptable price range. However the reviews about the Akurate do indicate that it is a vastly superior sounding unit. I have found a second hand Akurate which is about 2-3 years old which has the upgraded Dynamik power supply for around the same price as a new Majik.

So question is: new Majik Ds or older Akurate DS?

I did have a few teething problems with my new amp/speaker combo which has reinforced to me the value in buying from a well known local dealer. But given the price differential I really feel the second hand Akurate is worth considering.

I could wait another three to six months & go for a new Akurate, but it might be stretching the marital balance somewhat. The CFO is already watching like a hawk since the new amp & speakers arrived. :shhh:

Thoughts? Advice? Sugestions?

Thanks

Michael
 

acalex

New member
Sep 13, 2011
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Neuphonix said:
Hi all,

I'm lookin for some advice regarding a purchase that I am considering.

Recently aquired a new MF AMS35i integrated amp & Focal Diablo speakers. Very happy with the sound but it has shone a light on the inadequacies of my source.

Having been advised by a regular on these forums (& a fellow AMS35i owner) Cno, I 've been looking into the Linn DS products. I hadn't reallly considered a streaming solution even though I do have a lot of my music stored in digital format. But so far everything that I have read seems to indicate that these are fantastic sounding products.

Sure there is some poor feedback regarding the ease of integration & set-up, but it appears as though much of this stems from a lack of comuter networking experience. I work in this field so I'm quite looking forward to this aspect & don't envisage too many problems (hope i don't regret saying that!).

In anticipation of a purchase I have set up a new QNAP NAS drive to store everything on. I will be running it with a Macbook Pro & iPad control.

Initially I was looking at a new Majik DS with the Dynamik power supply, this sits with-in my acceptable price range. However the reviews about the Akurate do indicate that it is a vastly superior sounding unit. I have found a second hand Akurate which is about 2-3 years old which has the upgraded Dynamik power supply for around the same price as a new Majik.

So question is: new Majik Ds or older Akurate DS?

I did have a few teething problems with my new amp/speaker combo which has reinforced to me the value in buying from a well known local dealer. But given the price differential I really feel the second hand Akurate is worth considering.

I could wait another three to six months & go for a new Akurate, but it might be stretching the marital balance somewhat. The CFO is already watching like a hawk since the new amp & speakers arrived. :shhh:

Thoughts? Advice? Sugestions?

Thanks

Michael
I would strongly advise you to get the Akurate DS, but from a trusted dealer in case anything goes wrong...you never know.

I would probably wait 3 to 6 months to get a new or even better ex demo Akurate DS from a proper dealer as I understand the one you found is sold by a private customer, correct?
 

kungula

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Nov 18, 2007
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Neuphonix said:
So question is: new Majik Ds or older Akurate DS
my choice would be the Majik Ds. After having auditioned the Akurate DSM and the Majik Ds with Akurate amp I couln´t really hear any major difference, but the price is very much higher for the Akurate though.
 

amcluesent

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Mar 8, 2009
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I work in this field so I'm quite looking forward to this aspect
TBH, it's often folks with '20 years experience in IT' who get in the biggest tangle with streamers by trying to be too clever
 

Neuphonix

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Apr 20, 2012
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Dont worry, there won't be any "trying to be too clever" over here! Simple is good :)

it's got to be wife friendly as well.
 

Neuphonix

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Apr 20, 2012
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Hi Alex,

good to hear from you.

I sort of feel that you're right about the new Akurate, but my wallet disagrees!

Yes the second hand unit is from a private sale, no dealer involved.

And as you may have read over on Roby's amp thread, my recent experience does make me lean towards a new unit through a dealer.

How's your Jadis going? Any closer to your Sonus Fabers yet?
 

acalex

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Sep 13, 2011
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Neuphonix said:
Hi Alex,

good to hear from you.

I sort of feel that you're right about the new Akurate, but my wallet disagrees!

Yes the second hand unit is from a private sale, no dealer involved.

And as you may have read over on Roby's amp thread, my recent experience does make me lean towards a new unit through a dealer.

How's your Jadis going? Any closer to your Sonus Fabers yet?
I am glad to see you have sorted everything out with your amp/speakers! I have read indeed and that's the main reason why I would pick something through a proper dealer...even if I have to pay a little premium on the price.

I have just heard so far the Sneaky DS and the Majik DS and the difference was quite evident which would justify the price difference. I haven't heard yet the Akurate DS but that will be happening soon as I need to sort out my digital source as well.

What I wouldn't do here is rushing to buy anything. I am sure that you always can find some good deals out there if you have the patience to look around. I would take carefully the time to demo the Majik and Akurate DS and if the difference is evident, I would start looking for a great ex-demo or second hand deal on the Akurate (always through a proper dealer)

Jadis...yes I keep loving this amp except a few days ago when I had a mystic crisis and was looking around to swap my Jadis with a Pathos Inpol 2! Now it's gone...the crisis of course as I still have the Jadis and couldn't be happier...I need to find now the perfect speakers mathing this beauty

Regarding the speaker hunting...I am starting now to look around and the SF are always on top of my list. Hopefully by the end of the year I will decide and buy something in January/February 2013... :cheers:
 

BenLaw

Well-known member
Nov 21, 2010
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18,895
As long as the unit remains in the same country, Linn has a 5 year transferable warranty with proof of purchase date, so I don't see the problem buying used.
 

CnoEvil

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Aug 21, 2009
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Neuphonix, it's really good to hear back from you, as I often wondered how you were getting on with your predicament......I'm truly pleased that your situation has resolved itself satisfactorily, as I can only imagine what it's like to watch your pride and joy go up in smoke!

Now to the matter in hand. First of all, a bit of history.....the Dynamik (switch mode) power supply made quite an improvement and is certainly worth having. It brought the Majik DS up to the level of the pre-Dynamic Akurate.
The Akurate has recently been upgraded to the DS/1 (old version was DS/0), and means bargains can be had for this old version. This has brought about a significant improvement, bringing it closer (but not matching) the Klimax DS/0....but the Klimax DS/1 has, incredibly, raised the bar again, and (imo) is one of the best sources out there.

Right, enough waffle....imo, the answer to your question is I agree with Alex. If you can get the Akurate DS/0 at the price of the Majik, from a reliable source and with the remainder of the warranty...then you should do it. The only thing better vfm (though it is dearer) is a Renew DS, which is what was born when Klimax DS/0 owners upgraded to DS/1s. ie They are basically Klimax DS/0s in a plain box, for a quarter the price.

Unlike CDPs, there are no moving parts, so there is very little to go wrong with them, but the back up of a dealer is comforting.....though if you are handy with networks, that is well over half the battle.

People's perceptions of what is "better," and what value they put on that improvement, is very subjective. Can you get to listen to the DS family, to hear what improvement you get, as you go up the hierarchy? You might also want to listen to the competition, just to confirm I'm not leading you astray. Try to use your own system for any demo, as it is truly revealing and will sound completely different to an "all Linn" system.

Hear is a Streamer league table that I posted some time back, in case it helps:
http://www.whathifi.com/forum/hi-fi/streamer-league-table

From memory, the Akurate DS/0 scored about 135, and the Klimax DS/0 145.

Anything else I can help with, just shout.

Cno
 

Neuphonix

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Apr 20, 2012
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Hi Cno,

Thanks for your reply.

Yes indeed it is a feeling of relief to have everything back in place & working well.

As I said to Roby, it has almost been worth not having it for a while to appreciate how good it is.

I'm going for a listen to the DS'sssssss this weekend, so hopefully things will be a little clearer after that.

Could be accused of being impatient, but the second hand Akurate at this price is certainly tempting. It is the DS/O but does have the upgraded Dynamik PS. It won't have any warranty however as it is being sold in a different country.

I put this same thread up on the Linn site & the general consensus seemed to be that an older Akurate is probably better than the new Majik. Again, all very subjective.

I spoke on the phone to the dealer that I am seeing on the weekend & talked about the price of the Akurate. He mentioned that he might have a demo unit that we could work a deal on. If the Akurate does sound vastly superior (& it would have to be pretty vast for an extra 3k) then even if I can't act immediately at least I will know which way to go. Can let him know that if any demos/trade ins come in I'm interested, & ring around all the dealers here in Oz to put the feelers out.

Will post my impressions after the listen this weekend.

thanks again,

Michael
 

acalex

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Sep 13, 2011
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Neuphonix said:
Hi Cno,

Thanks for your reply.

Yes indeed it is a feeling of relief to have everything back in place & working well.

As I said to Roby, it has almost been worth not having it for a while to appreciate how good it is.

I'm going for a listen to the DS'sssssss this weekend, so hopefully things will be a little clearer after that.

Could be accused of being impatient, but the second hand Akurate at this price is certainly tempting. It is the DS/O but does have the upgraded Dynamik PS. It won't have any warranty however as it is being sold in a different country.

I put this same thread up on the Linn site & the general consensus seemed to be that an older Akurate is probably better than the new Majik. Again, all very subjective.

I spoke on the phone to the dealer that I am seeing on the weekend & talked about the price of the Akurate. He mentioned that he might have a demo unit that we could work a deal on. If the Akurate does sound vastly superior (& it would have to be pretty vast for an extra 3k) then even if I can't act immediately at least I will know which way to go. Can let him know that if any demos/trade ins come in I'm interested, & ring around all the dealers here in Oz to put the feelers out.

Will post my impressions after the listen this weekend.

thanks again,

Michael
I will be following the thread with a lot of interest as I was also thinking about getting a second hand Akurate DS...but never really managed to check if it is worth the price difference compared to the Majik DS. Don't forget to let us know ;)
 

CnoEvil

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Aug 21, 2009
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Michael, having read through your thread on the Linn forum, it mostly coincides with what I said (phew!).

The general concensus seems to be the ADS/0 is a worthwhile step up from the MDS, and the ADS/1 is a good step up again.

This I agree with, but wouldn't say it's huge, but very worthwhile in a subtle sort of way. Its the sort of improvement that you really start to appreciate after living with it for a while....ie. timing, detail, soundstage, accuracy and overall musicality. Sometimes the biggest change comes when you swap back to the cheaper model, and you realize what's now missing.

There are always people who find the difference incredibly subtle.....and they are not wrong, as for them, in their system, it is not worth the price difference. The Majik DS sets a very high standard, and heard in isolation, would be enough for most.....and it is (imo) further improved by Black Ravioli (buts that's a discussion for another day - he says as he makes a quick exit, before the ridicule starts).
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
I have an Akurate DS 2010 so current version before DSM, with XLR direct into Genelec 8040A active speakers, streaming from a Zone Ripper Mini with Kinsky on the Mac.

It is an amazing bit of kit - just do it, you will not regret it!!!
 

CnoEvil

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Aug 21, 2009
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13elvis247 said:
I have an Akurate DS 2010 so current version before DSM, with XLR direct into Genelec 8040A active speakers, streaming from a Zone Ripper Mini with Kinsky on the Mac.

It is an amazing bit of kit - just do it, you will not regret it!!!
Good man!

Another DS owner on here (the only Akurate one AFAIK) is most welcome......especially as I've been trying to get across how good these streamers really are.
 

Neuphonix

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Apr 20, 2012
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13elvis247 said:
I have an Akurate DS 2010 so current version before DSM, with XLR direct into Genelec 8040A active speakers, streaming from a Zone Ripper Mini with Kinsky on the Mac.

It is an amazing bit of kit - just do it, you will not regret it!!!
& that is another of the appealing features of the Akurate over the Majik, the ability to use balanced connection to my AMS.

So without wanting to prejudice the outcome of the upcoming session, the second hand Akurate seems like a pretty good option.

Patience grasshopper, patience :doh:

I'm still trying to work out how pasta can absord the vibrations from a source with no moving parts!? Do you soak it overnight before installation? :rofl:
 

stevepg1975

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Nov 11, 2011
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I am thinking of joining the DS club, have a demo of the Sneaky tomorrow am. Heard the Majik DSM with the 109 speakers briefly in the showroom the other day and a bespoke customer Activ demo which blew me away. I have been looking for direction to take and I am sold on Linn, incedible kit. Just need to find the best entry point for me, as these two I heard were over my budget unfortunately. Doesnt answer your question Neuphonix, but I felt the need to share.
 

Neuphonix

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Apr 20, 2012
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Hi Steve,

all input is welcome.

Are you planning on running an NAS for the Sneaky or directly from the MAC?
 

CnoEvil

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Neuphonix said:
I'm still trying to work out how pasta can absord the vibrations from a source with no moving parts!? Do you soak it overnight before installation? :rofl:
Don't you start! I've had quite enough slagging already. :twisted: ;)
 

stevepg1975

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Not sure yet, thats what I am going to discuss later at the Demo. I think NAS will be the way to go, but this is all new to me as currently just run my Mac via optical to my 8050. I will let you know.
 

stevepg1975

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Nov 11, 2011
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Had the demo and will be going the Sneaky route in the next month or so, starting with the internal amp, that was pretty impressive (compared to what I have now), will add a power or integrated amp as stage 2, then 109's as stage 3.

What might be of more interest to you though, is that as part of my demo we did discuss NAS etc and I did learn Linn have recently released 'Songbox' software specifically for iTunes users. This enables you to use iTunes as your music server and means you don't have to get a NAS from day one. I will be doing this to start, then adding a NAS if I feel the need. In case anyone is interested my demo was at StoneAudio in Poole, he (Alex) has everything Linn and with good knowledge and demo facilities.
 

CnoEvil

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stevepg1975 said:
Had the demo and will be going the Sneaky route in the next month or so, starting with the internal amp, that was pretty impressive (compared to what I have now), will add a power or integrated amp as stage 2, then 109's as stage 3.
I 'm delighted you enjoyed the Sneaky.....and it's built-in amp is surprisingly good.

Cno
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Neuphonix said:
So question is: new Majik Ds or older Akurate DS?

I did have a few teething problems with my new amp/speaker combo which has reinforced to me the value in buying from a well known local dealer. But given the price differential I really feel the second hand Akurate is worth considering.

I could wait another three to six months & go for a new Akurate, but it might be stretching the marital balance somewhat. The CFO is already watching like a hawk since the new amp & speakers arrived. :shhh:

Thoughts? Advice? Sugestions?

Thanks

Michael
I'd go for a second hand Akurate DSM (or a new one if you can afford it), even if that means a few extra weeks of waiting. The new DSM has a high quality built-in analog preamplifier unit. So you only need a good poweramp for a real high-end sound.

The Majik DS or the newer Majik DSM has no built-in analog preamplifier.

Also the newer DSM has HDMI inputs and it can decode high-resolution home theater formats via HDMI input. (The new Majik DSM also has hdmi inputs). So you can build a nice 2 channel movie system, or integrate it easily into an already existing system (if you have any).

Peter

(sorry for my english im not from the UK)
 

Neuphonix

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Apr 20, 2012
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kpeter said:
Neuphonix said:
So question is: new Majik Ds or older Akurate DS?

I did have a few teething problems with my new amp/speaker combo which has reinforced to me the value in buying from a well known local dealer. But given the price differential I really feel the second hand Akurate is worth considering.

I could wait another three to six months & go for a new Akurate, but it might be stretching the marital balance somewhat. The CFO is already watching like a hawk since the new amp & speakers arrived. :shhh:

Thoughts? Advice? Sugestions?

Thanks

Michael
I'd go for a second hand Akurate DSM (or a new one if you can afford it), even if that means a few extra weeks of waiting. The new DSM has a high quality built-in analog preamplifier unit. So you only need a good poweramp for a real high-end sound.

The Majik DS or the newer Majik DSM has no built-in analog preamplifier.

Also the newer DSM has HDMI inputs and it can decode high-resolution home theater formats via HDMI input. (The new Majik DSM also has hdmi inputs). So you can build a nice 2 channel movie system, or integrate it easily into an already existing system (if you have any).

Peter

(sorry for my english im not from the UK)

Hi Peter,

Your English looks pretty good to me mate, but then I'm from the Antipodes so mine is probably pretty flawed as well ;)

At least we don't put spaghetti under our electrical devices down here!!! Could be that we are just a bit behind the curve so it could become the fashion in the next year or so. :rofl:

As I mentioned in my original post I've just bought a new amplifier (MF AMS35i) so I really don't need the "M" version of the streamer. The thought of having HDMI inputs is appealing but this is going to be a dedicated music machine, so RCA or XLR is all that I will be needing.

If I had given the matter more thought before having purchased the new amp I might have been tempted by the all in one solution. But to be honest I love the AMS sound, so warm & full.

Thanks for the input though. Do you have any sort of streaming set-up yourself?
 

Neuphonix

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Apr 20, 2012
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OK.

So I went for a listen this morning. Took a variety of music with me in different file formats WAV, ALAC, AIFF.

We did side by side listening to both the Majik DS & the Akurate DSM, unfortunately they couldn't find their DS.

The amp was Sherbourne (not sure exactly what model) with ELAC FS68.2 speakers.

I explained to the saleman some of the background of my recent purchases & research that I had been doing about the Linn DS'ssssss. Also where my budget was at etc etc. He was reluctant to give his personal opinion of the Majik vs Akurate as he didn't want to bias my listening experience.

First up was the new Dead Can Dance album "Anastasis". I have been listening to this quite a bit recently, my favourite track is called "Return of the she king", seriously amazing, atmospheric, haunting. Lisa Gerrard at her absolute best, guaranteed goose bump material.

Instant impression of the Majik was that it sounded flat. Don't get me wrong, it didn't sound bad, but I was expecting more. It was warm, but lacked detail.

Then swapped over to the Akurate, and oh dear me :cheer:

I don't want to pull out too many cliches but: "a veil was lifted", "it's in a different league entirely", "chalk & cheese", "there really is no comparison", "all the hype is true" & so on & so forth.

Words I would use are detailed, crisp & spacious. Everything sounded perfectly placed, drums just cracked, voices were so clear.

Apologies for my lack of expertise with the hi-fi descriptive terminology, not something I've had much experience with. What I can say with complete confidence however is that one sounded much better than the other.

I had told the saleman that I was really hoping (for budgetary reasons) not to be able to hear too much difference. That way I could have the instant gratification of the Majik. But after the hearing the Akurate I just turned to him & we exchanged that knowing smile, there wasn't much to say really.

Spent a bit more time throwing different tracks at each model & the longer it went the easier it got.

So...... like many of my recent hi-fi purchases it looks like budget be dammed! Akurate DS-1 here I come! :cheers:

I might talk to them about borrowing a unit or a home demo, but to be honest my mind is pretty much made up.

They are getting a 4month old trade in unit back next week which they can do for about 20% off retail with full warranty. Apparently one of their customers recently bought two Akurates & is bringing them back to trade up to two Klimaxes!!! 8)

The only compromise is that it is silver not black. Oh well, I'll just have to close my eyes & listen to the music.

I've got to say that I feel much more comfortable buying new from these guys than a second hand unit. Particulary one from overseas that I can't see/listen to beforehand.

One thing I will do before commiting 100% is to contact all/most of the Linn dealers in Australia to see if they have any ex-demo/trade in units that they can do for a better price. Might be able to leverage a little more off the asking.

I know I started the thread asking about a second hand Akurate, but in some ways the outcome was entirely predictable! Now for the conversation with the wife tonight!

Any thoughts, advice, ideas, suggestions?! Or should I start a new thread for that? :pray:

Will keep you appraised of any developments.

Alex, you were on the money mate, put the Akurate right at the top of your list.

Cno, thanks for your feedback. BTW do you think that a good fresh Gnocchi would work as well as Ravioli? ;)
 

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