Should I replace Linn Intek Amp?

jodaki

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May 10, 2022
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Hi, I've had a Linn Intek amp for about 30 years and it's been great but am wondering whether it's time to retire it. I have a rega planar 3 turntable with an Exact cartridge and a marantz cd6007 cd player. I use the amp's preamp output to some Adam A5 powered speakers.

Ok I know I need to get some better speakers at some point but this question is about the amp.

Ive looked at other amps to replace the Intek but very few have both MM & MC phono pres. I'm not sure I want to tie myself to only a MM pre (but Id consider it) as I might decide to upgrade the turntable or cartridge in future.

Is the intek's MM preamp a good one compared to a separate phono pre like the Rega Fono MM MK3? How about compared to the MM pre on an integrated amp like a Marantz PM6007?

Is its MC preamp any good (Ive never tried it).

thanks for any advice.. John
 
Hi, I've had a Linn Intek amp for about 30 years and it's been great but am wondering whether it's time to retire it. I have a rega planar 3 turntable with an Exact cartridge and a marantz cd6007 cd player. I use the amp's preamp output to some Adam A5 powered speakers.

Ok I know I need to get some better speakers at some point but this question is about the amp.

Ive looked at other amps to replace the Intek but very few have both MM & MC phono pres. I'm not sure I want to tie myself to only a MM pre (but Id consider it) as I might decide to upgrade the turntable or cartridge in future.

Is the intek's MM preamp a good one compared to a separate phono pre like the Rega Fono MM MK3? How about compared to the MM pre on an integrated amp like a Marantz PM6007?

Is its MC preamp any good (Ive never tried it).

thanks for any advice.. John
I wouldn't worry yourself about MC cartridges unless you intend spending £400 and up.
Most amplifiers with MC phono stages will not handle low output MC cartridges by the way.
If you intend sticking with active speakers there is little point in looking at an integrated amplifier when a preamplifier is all you need.
 
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jodaki

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May 10, 2022
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If you intend sticking with active speakers there is little point in looking at an integrated amplifier when a preamplifier is all you need.

Thanks for the reply. The Adams are just spare from an old studio setup, I didnt choose them as hifi speakers. I might stick with powered but might get passives I havent decided yet. I want to focus on the merits of the phono preamps for now if possible (Il ask about speakers in another thread).
 
If you intend sticking with active speakers there is little point in looking at an integrated amplifier when a preamplifier is all you need.

Thanks for the reply. The Adams are just spare from an old studio setup, I didnt choose them as hifi speakers. I might stick with powered but might get passives I havent decided yet. I want to focus on the merits of the phono preamps for now if possible (Il ask about speakers in another thread).
apologies if it appear a bit confused but first you are talking about an integrated amplifier and then replacing it's phono stage with an external one and then the possibility of passive speakers so at some point you might need another integrated amplifier.
The phono stages built into integrated amps these days are adequate, but simply that.
I very much doubt they are better than the one you currently use.
External phono preamps can be better, and generally are better, than the inbuilt phono stages of modern integrated amps.
It really depends on your budget as to what to buy.
To my mind the Rega Fono MM is good but nothing special, and as I said I would forget about an MC phono stage unless you're looking at spending over £400 on a cartridge.
I feel sure your current turntable and cartridge will be adequately serviced by the inbuilt phono stages of a modern integrated amplifier though.
 

jodaki

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May 10, 2022
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apologies if it appear a bit confused but first you are talking about an integrated amplifier and then replacing it's phono stage with an external one and then the possibility of passive speakers so at some point you might need another integrated amplifier.
Sorry I didn't mean to get confusing. I was mainly asking about the quality of the phono preamps in the Linn compared to a modern integrated amp or a separate phono pre.

Im in the early stages of trying to design a hifi that primarily plays vinyl but also CDs and iphones/ipads/laptops. Are there any integrated amps that have really good phono stages, which also have at least one clean aux input and can take high quality wifi/bluetooth?
 
Sorry I didn't mean to get confusing. I was mainly asking about the quality of the phono preamps in the Linn compared to a modern integrated amp or a separate phono pre.

Im in the early stages of trying to design a hifi that primarily plays vinyl but also CDs and iphones/ipads/laptops. Are there any integrated amps that have really good phono stages, which also have at least one clean aux input and can take high quality wifi/bluetooth?
it's the wifi / Bluetooth bit that makes things awkward. Some amps are more geared up for digital input and others for analogue, it's difficult to find one that's great for both.
No idea of your budget but I'd be looking for a good amp with digital inputs and get a separate phono preamp to go with it.
Some idea as to your maximum budget might help.
 

jodaki

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May 10, 2022
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>> good amp with digital inputs and get a separate phono preamp to go with it.
I like that idea.
For the amplification I want to spend max £1500 - and am anticipating around £2000 on speakers.
 
>> good amp with digital inputs and get a separate phono preamp to go with it.
I like that idea.
For the amplification I want to spend max £1500 - and am anticipating around £2000 on speakers.
That's a good budget. The MOFI Studiophono phono preamp is an excellent but at around £250 leaving you around £1250 for the amplifier, which gives you plenty of choice.
Perhaps something like the Cambridge Audio CXA81 that has inbuilt Bluetooth receiver, it will also drive just about any speakers you might buy.
 
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jodaki

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May 10, 2022
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Really like the look of those. Thanks..
Would you go with passive speakers to use the CA's power stage or active powered?
 

jodaki

Active member
May 10, 2022
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There would seem little point in buying an integrated and then buying active speakers - you're paying for two sets of amplification.
I know it might seem like that but it's perhaps not so silly if you consider that I want the amp mainly for its clean inputs, routing and connectivity - unless you can suggest an alternative device with no power stage and with the sort of connectivity I mentioned above, which can switch and route my inputs to active speakers?

Failing that, I'm interested to know which would sound best: using the power stage of the CXA81 into passives, or using it's preamp output to active speakers? thanks
 

12th Monkey

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Failing that, I'm interested to know which would sound best: using the power stage of the CXA81 into passives, or using it's preamp output to active speakers? thanks
There's no answering a question as broad as that, I'm afraid. There are few absolutes in hifi, and you'll get people telling you that each approach is better. There's no substitute for going and listening.
 

12th Monkey

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Aug 31, 2015
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I know it might seem like that but it's perhaps not so silly if you consider that I want the amp mainly for its clean inputs, routing and connectivity - unless you can suggest an alternative device with no power stage and with the sort of connectivity I mentioned above, which can switch and route my inputs to active speakers?
This is Richer Sounds list of pre-amps - I'll let you have a look at what offers the features you require:

Amplifiers & Receivers - Hi-Fi Separates - Hi-Fi (richersounds.com)
 
I know it might seem like that but it's perhaps not so silly if you consider that I want the amp mainly for its clean inputs, routing and connectivity - unless you can suggest an alternative device with no power stage and with the sort of connectivity I mentioned above, which can switch and route my inputs to active speakers?

Failing that, I'm interested to know which would sound best: using the power stage of the CXA81 into passives, or using it's preamp output to active speakers? thanks
Save yourself a bundle and buy this to go with active speakers...
Sorted!
Decide you want to go with passive speakers then simply add a Rotel stereo power amp.....
 

plastic penguin

Well-known member
Can I clarify I've not heard any Linn. But the brand does have loyal following, chances are the OP may well be disappointed with a different brand.

I've heard some really good owner reviews on the Linn Sneaky. A streamer and a decent integrated amp built-in, so it should tick most of the OPs wish list, except for possibly a phono stage. I could stand corrected on that though.
 

jodaki

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May 10, 2022
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Save yourself a bundle and buy this to go with active speakers...
Sorted!
blimey the rear panel on that thing is unbelievable.... talk about connectivity. I could stick a pin in something off the whathifi 'best active speakers of 2022' article but dare I ask what you would go for?
 

jodaki

Active member
May 10, 2022
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I've heard some really good owner reviews on the Linn Sneaky. A streamer and a decent integrated amp built-in, so it should tick most of the OPs wish list, except for possibly a phono stage. I could stand corrected on that though.
Thanks for the tip, looks like an interesting unit..
 
blimey the rear panel on that thing is unbelievable.... talk about connectivity. I could stick a pin in something off the whathifi 'best active speakers of 2022' article but dare I ask what you would go for?
I would not as I know little about the active speakers market, don't have your ears, and have no idea of your room dimensions......
Having said that a friend of mine has Acoustic Energy AE1 actives and he swears by them, although a lot of people are going to say KEF LS50 Mk2but unless you already have speaker stands, these will be over budget.
Passive, in the other hand, I could name quite a few... :)
 

jodaki

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May 10, 2022
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The room is 7m x 9m, it's quite resonant. I think Id prefer stand-mounted but if there's a better floor-standing option Id consider it. I can audition at Richers Sounds in Bath. thanks
 
The room is 7m x 9m, it's quite resonant. I think Id prefer stand-mounted but if there's a better floor-standing option Id consider it. I can audition at Richers Sounds in Bath. thanks
That's quite a sizeable room, makes mine look tiny.
Perhaps floorstanders might fill it better. Do you already own speaker stands?
Perhaps better to wait and see if you're going down the active route or not?
Query the resonant bit, is it furnished / carpeted?
 

jodaki

Active member
May 10, 2022
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Ah it's big so is a bit lively, it's not a great room for critical listening but you can still enjoy music at a decent volume. I will probably move it into a better room when the rest of the house is finished. Ive got some stands.

>> Perhaps better to wait and see if you're going down the active route or not?

I own a small recording studio so I know a fair bit about studio gear but not much about hi-fi. I dont really know Rotel the brand but it's nice to see adats, spdifs and XLRs in the back of any piece of audio equipment. So Im tempted by the preamp/active speaker route - someone mentioned that active crossovers might help with focus in this room but I dont know about that.
 
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