I have not heard them personally but word has that they aren't the best thing Linn has done. Supposedly very Bright sounding even with all Linn system
5 responses Add your response
A Reviewer friend of mind was over last night. He is writing an artical a servious pubication and hasn't been impressed with the Klimax in his system.He has seen the many positive reviews which don't add up to what he is hearing. He brought the Klimax with him for a listen in my system. We sent several hours listening to my system on a variety of music. Then sustubited the Klimax's for my Audio Note Ankuros. We could listen to these for no more than 45 minutes until we screamed turn them off. They fried our brains too bright, too thin, and non musical. There are fast, but who cares.
Eldragon raises good points. The pair of Klimax's listened to my house was under a serious handicap because of an instant comparison situation vs a long-term evaluation period. This pair had in use for at least 2 months by the reviewer in his system. My system has dedicated 20 amps ac line to the amps and no line conditioner was used. The only conclusion I reached was that they didn't sound as good as what we had been listening to for 5 hours, but that doesnt mean much. So many factors come into play that one must be careful and do your own evaluations in your systems. It was just an interesting opportunity and we took advantage of it.
I have owned a pair for 8 months and have sold a pair and now own the Jeff Rowland Model 12's. One thing for sure these amps take long time to fully break in. Approximately 2 months of on and off listening under normal conditions. The Klimaxes sounded extremely solid and tight with awesome speed and control on my system. But system matching is important with these amps. For instance, transparent speaker cables just do not work with these amps (I'm talking about the Ref XL's). You must use a non network cable that is absolutely transparent and thick gauge (Try Tara One's works extremely well). Then you want to mix with fast speakers (efficiency does not matter as much as drivers used). The Reval Salons, and Wilson Watt Puppy 6 works very well. A note: these amps will kick these speakers into the next room so don't under estimate the power of these little amps. Also these are some what bright and forward and more in your face type of sound. But I can tell you that these are very musical and intimate sounding amps. As for the Rowlands, they are starting to break in, and I am liking what I am hearing. Not as fast as the Klimax but faster than any other Rowland amps or any other SS amps for that matter. More layering and dimensionality with better sound staging. The bass was deeper but more loose then the Klimax yet the highs were more extended but the mid range on the Klimax was better resolved. The Jeff Rowland amps does many things better then the Klimax but the Klimax does as many things better then the Rowlands as well. It is a trade off. If you like Rock/Jazz/Soft Rock the the KLimax is for you. If you like Classical/jazz mostly, then you might like the rowlands better. Both are extremely good. But again, the amps are the last of the food chain, if you have front end gear and cables that do not measure up (i.e. most everything except pieces like top end seperate Wadia 270/27ix, Sondek, ML 30.5/31.5 using Rowland Coherance preamp or the ML 32) then you might be wasting your time with this amp. Get a better front end before you spend so much on backend like amps. Tubes do not mix well with these amps or Rowland for that matter, don't waste you time trying with tube front end with these amps. They sound horrid.