Aktiv Keltiks or Aktiv Espeks - Which are Better?

My application is strictly 2-Channel

I currently have a set of Aktiv Linn Kabers, an early model driven by (3)LK100's. I have never heard the Kabers driven by the better linn amps, but as this system is Kurrently Konfigured, including updated tweeters sounds very good to me, when a good source is used. I use a Kairn with Brilliant Power supply for Pre Amp, Lingo'd LP12 and older Rotel RCD965BX CD Player for my source. (As a side note, I am amazed by the performance of this Rotel player, given its' age and price. CD player upgrades can wait.) There is also a HSU TN1220HO Sub in this system, which blends in nicely with the Kabers at 51hz crossover point and handles information to below 20hz.

I would like to build a larger 'ultimate' primary system and move the Kabers to a smaller room, rather than updating the LK100's to better LK Series Amps. I have always appreciated the so-called 'Linn Sound' and the classic look of the smaller Linn boxes from the days of Kabers. Honestly, I am not all too impressed by the appearance of any of the newer Linn equipment, but could tolerate a pair of Espeks if they measured up to the Keltiks. It's 'all about the sound', even if the Espeks feature the 'new' Linn Sound, I wonder how they would compare to Aktiv Keltiks, which I have heard are sort of unique in their own way.

If anyone has had a chance to compare any of these Aktiv systems, Kabers, Keltiks or Espeks, I would appreciate your observations. What are the most striking strengths or weaknesses of these different designs?

I realize that there are different levels of amplification available for each of these LINN systems, so I'm basically wondering about Aktiv Keltiks or Espeks driven by AV5125's perhaps? Are Keltiks also compatible with AV5125's?

Another option may be to combine Espeks Aktiv with LK Series
amps? Would this give me a bit of the 'old' and 'new' Linn Sound? The same may perhaps work with Keltiks matched to newer Linn AV Amps? Or is it always best to match Linn speakers to the amps of their generation?

Any recommendations or Komments will be appreciated.

Thanks in advance
i used to own activ kabers with 3 lk100s..i just loved them. just recently went nuts with upgrades, but i can say the espek is closer sounding to the kabers than keltics. When speaking to my dealer, he indicated that upgrading to espeks from kabers wasnt a big enough upgrade, thaat i may not be satisfied. feel free to see what system i ended up with. Keltics cannot be activ with 5125 as far as i know...must be LK series..best match there is 4 klouts...almost 90%+ of keltic owners use klouts from what ive seen and read. Keltic is by far a superior speaker than espek... however the espek is no slouch...keltic can ONLY be driven activ, something else to consider. another note...if you go with espeks, definately upgrade to the polymer bases...well worth it. Espeks can be had a great prices now, since discontinued this past summer. let me know how you make out
Many thanks for the insights here. I know what you mean about the Kabers. I have never heard a nicer sounding setup for their size, and the value per investment on the used market is very good for an Aktiv system of this caliber. You confirm my feeling that Espek Aktiv wouldn't be much of a step up from Kabers. And I really like the non-ported Kaber design.

It seems to me that the Keltik was perhaps the last of a breed of the 'hefty' Linn 2-channel golden age 'flagship' speakers. I am also partial to their monolithic industrial look. But looks aside, I have never really heard any terrible things about the Espeks either, just haven't found a local shop that has an Aktive pair to hear and compare. Both the Espeks and Keltiks seems to be a very good value on the used market, but I have a hunch that the Keltiks will become more sought after with age, as a bit of Linn history.

I will have to verify, but I believe that ANY of the Aktiv cards that would fit LK85 or LK140 amps, would also fit into the AV5125's... So given the reasonable price for AV5125's, it might be worth considering them over Klouts or even LK140's... finding 4 Klouts for a decent price isn't the easiest thing to do, and from what I have heard the AV5125 series sounds 'better' than the LK series did, but the Klout seems to be the exception. The cooler running AV5125's have an attraction, as I have had issues with LK100's overheating. (Solved with a computer ventilation fan)

Either way, it looks like pre-owned Kabers, Keltiks or Espeks all are bargains. The smaller Linn Kaber Klone offerings seem to be losing their value more quickly... A more likely problem with older Linn Speakers would be finding replacement drivers if needed. I recently had to replace a bad Kaber woofer and the dealer advised me that the supply from LINN was running out and that when they were gone, there would be no more.
i failed to mention, if you audition Keltics, speaker placement is VERY critical....these are difficult speakers to set up...even an ince either way will impact the sound, and ultimatley the tune. Ive read from a veteran "linnie" that he preferred kabers to keltics, mainly for this reason. have u had a chance to listen to skurate range?
I have received similar feedback from another Linn dealer, who had a chance to hear Keltiks for several years. He prefered the Kabers or Ninka's Aktiv and felt that the move from Kaber to Espek might not be worth it. He recommended the Akurate speakers Aktive with Chakra amps as a real upgrade.

I guess I'll hang on to the Kabers in any case. Or perhaps find another pair.
activ akurates with chakra is the way i went (originally tried activ chakra with kaber...but no such card exists). definitely sound Amazing!!!!, but start saving!...dont forget to consider the "source first" as that really does make an impact...ekos arm, linto, akiva etc..but we all spend way too much money on this stuff..but i see it as a safe hobby that keeps me home and i can enjoy with the family as well, so its worth it
"Aktiv Keltiks or Aktiv Espeks - Which are Better?"

Keltiks are better - no question.
I owned a an active set of 5140s (upgraded with Espek drivers; only real difference at that point was absence of Espek cabinet modifications)run with three LK100s (and before that active Keilidhs with same amps). Also have listended extensively to active Kabers (again with LK100s) and active Keltics (with Klouts)at local audio store that was a major US Linn dealer before it went out of business. The 5140/Espeks had better base than the Kabers, not only because it was a 3-way design, but also because it was ported rather than sealed; however, the bass lacked good integration and overall the speaker lacked the exceptional coherence of the Kabers. The Kabers are one of my favorite Linn speaker of all time, precisely because of the seemless driver integration and coherence (part of which comes from a sealed speaker design), although it was admittedly anemic in the bass. The 5140/Espeks sacrificed some of the specialness of the Kabers to meet the demands of the home theater market. The Keltic/Klout combination was also great, but a different level of expense. The real problem with that generation of Linn speakers, in my opinion, was the common ceramic tweeter shared by all of the models; it had a closed in sound. My current non-Linn speakers (gave the Linn system to my dad) use Scanspeak Revelators and the difference is night and day in terms of openess (another example is the Dynaudio Esotar, which is arguably even better). My current view is that, on a limited budget, you can generally get much better sound devoting the cost of the extra amps necessary for an active configuration to higher quality speakers and a higher quality single amp; the system will admittedly miss some of the addictive dynamics of an active Linn set-up, but that is off-set by the far better refinement of the sound. My current amp/speaker combination (Pass XA30.5 amp with North Creek Catamounts) beets the pants off my old active Linn system (not even close), but did not cost that much more (although I will admit it does lack the punchiness of my old system).

For what it is worth, the Klout is, in my opinion, a far better amplifier than the LK100 in terms of transparency and punch; my old dealer said he liked it more than the entry-level Levinson amps, e.g. 331.

Best of luck.