I have exactly the same speaker/amp aktiv configuration you have and wonder this same question myself. I'll be following this thread closely. I do believe that we aren't experiencing the full benefit of the Linn Aktiv system since one LK100 is driving two mid/bass drivers on each channel. I doubt that the bass extension would go lower but the effortless feel will be further enhanced. I hope someone gives us the definitive answer.
Hello, I have a similar system : Ninka aktiv with 4 channels of a 5125 (close to a LK140, a bit more dynamic).
I am currently evaluating the evolution to Espek or to another system (Audio Research + BW).
As far as the Espek is a 3-ways speaker, I have to add an amp. So, in order to find an economical path to this investment, I tested an intermediate configuration with the Ninka driven by the 4 chanels of the 5125 on the medium/bass speakers and the new 2250 on the trebble.
The result is clear : more and much better controlled bass, even on difficult disks (Madonna - Music, which is so bad in a bi-aktiv configuration was well controlled here).
The dynamic was also much better, but this comes from the 2250 which is a better amp than the 5125.
But if the dynamic and the control are very good, the clear limit becomes the tone. There the espek bring a lot.
If I stay with Linn, I have to evaluate 2 scenarios for the road map : change ninka to espek first while adding a simple amp, or add a good amp (2250) and change espek afterwards.
To come back to your question, I think that adding an amp to your system could really enhance it. If you can add a better amp, put it on the trebble.
The real deal with making your Linn system "Aktiv" is that you'll need to get the appropriate active cards that Linn designed to conveniently slip into your amplifiers. These cards are simply, active crossover networks. Bass, Mids and trebble. (Your current set up, as you've described it, is passive bi-amplification). Next, depending on the model of the speaker, the dealer clips out some jumpers on the speaker's passive crossovers and re-solders some wires to different spots on the crossover boards, essentially making it so that each speaker cable run is being connected diectly to each driver. The advantage to this, is that you now no longer have all these passive components in the way that would otherwise rob a good percentage of the amplifier's effort to get each driver to move. Imagine going for a jog in knee deep water. You have to spend more energy to move along at a good pace. Now, imagine moving up, onto the sidewalk to run. Less resistance... you move along at the same rate of speed with a lot less effort. You, (and the speaker) have become more effecient. More dynamic, simply by getting all that "water" out of the way. This is not unique to Linn speakers and electronics, Meridian has been using multiple amplifiers INSIDE each speaker for years. Having a seperate channel to drive each element in a speaker, is just a brilliant idea. For those Linn speaker owners that don't have Linn amplifiers, the crossover cards -or Aktiv modules - as Linn puts it, can be placed into a "Tune Box". This, you order from your local dealer as well and by doing so, you can run just about any two or three stereo amps for an aktiv bi-amp or tri-amp system.
One last note: some of the newer model speakers from Linn no longer require you to go into the box to get at the crossover. Bypassing the passive components inside is accomplished by how you move the flat jumpers on the back of the speakers.
The Keilidh is a two way speaker. It does however have two mid/bass drivers in each cabinet. What is described above is indeed an Aktiv system and NOT passive bi-amplified. The Keilidh speakers can be configured for Aktiv use via the jumper plates on the back of the speakers.
My point, and the question above is, what are the benefits of having another LK100 with another Aktiv mid/bass card(s) installed versus a lone LK100 Aktiv?
Myles, I have a pair of Linn Keltiks powered by four Aktive
Klouts. The Keltiks have two woofers, the system can be powered using three amps, low, mid & high. I upgraded from a
pair of Aktive AV-5140, so I just changed the Aktive cards
and ran the Keltiks until I got another Klout. In responce to your question, adding another LK100 with a similar bass/mid card will only give you a subtle improvement, not the kind you got when you changed your system to an aktive setup. If you are looking for a "big" improvement I suggest
that you either go with a pair of Ninkas which can be run Aktive with the two amps and cards that you already have or go with a pair of better amps, like used Klouts or LK-240.
Patrick has correctly described the set-up of a bi-amped active Keilidh, and the issue is what happens if you add a third LK 100, with the result that each side of each amp is only driving one driver. In a bi-amped set-up, each side of the treble amp only drives one driver, but each side of the mid-bass amp is driving two drivers.
Marc, the improvement that you are hearing could well be the result of adding a better amp into the mix, rather than as a result of tri-amping. Certainly, in discussions with the dealer, he felt that I would be better off buying two new LK-85s and new active cards, but this was far more expensive and in any event he hadn't heard an LK 100 tri-amp set-up.
To recap, my Keilidhs are bi-amped, tri-wired and active, and the question arose when I saw that there may still be a set of active Keilidh cards for sale on this site, as well as several LK 100s. Many thanks.
Ah! My appologies, I re-read your post. So right about the active bi-amping. The speakers were orignially sold passive, active bi-amp or active tri-amp though. Of course, in typical Linn fashion, the passives could be converted to either bi- or tri-amp active sepeakers .. sorry for the mis-read on the original post.
Looking at an old Linn brochure, they list the frequency response as active: 45Hz-20kHz +/- 3dB and Passive at 65Hz-20kHz +/- 3dB.. this is pretty big. I'm in agreement with the other posts, bass should go lower(of course) but should be tight and controlled as well.
While reading this forum, I am listening a violin LP with my 10 years-old 2-3 k$ system, 10 minutes after a violin CD on my 15 k$ active Linn system.
Oh, the sound is much less proper !
Oh !!! The violin is so much less impressive !
BUT so nice to hear, with so much emotion !
My question is then : what should I improve on my Linn system :
- improve dynamic and bass while adding a new amp ?
- improve tone balance while changing speakers ?
- improve emotion : how can I do ? I heard an EAR valve amp and BW805S that were clearly better than Linn, but only on this criterion. I can't aford for klimax. Used high end Audio research + BW ?
I read some interesting comments about 2 directions of improvement that are perhaps not compatible unless you invest a fortune : choose between Pace/Rythm and Harmonics. The first would be the philosophy of Linn, the second, of valve technology.
It is clear that every time I listen to a better (and more expensive) configuration by my Linn dealer, I find the sound better. But is that what I want ? Will I be satisfied by this new configuration, and how long ? Or can I find another configuration that can bring me a better compromise between proper sound and emotion for the same price, and that could satisfy me totally ?
If you have a brilliant idea, please tell me before I spend 10 k$ more ...
I'll share with you what my plans are since I'll shortly be listing my Linn Aktiv system for sale here. This has been a very difficult decision since I do love what I have. I'm even going to the extent of seriously downgrading until I can bring it all together.
I will go the Lowther route with low powered tube gear. The idea is to rid the system entirely of crossovers and the problems associated with them. The amplification will be tranformer-less which does not roll off the highs and the lows. Simple as that.
It's a bold step from a guy that has thoroughly enjoyed British solid state gear for the last 20+ years. I'm confident that this is where it's at and for far less money.
I have the same Linn configuration as you mention and have also wondered whether a 3rd active lk100 would make a positive change to the system. I have not pusued this for one reason - any used lk100 I purchase now WILL NOT sound exactly the same as the one I have now driving the Keilidh mid/bass drivers. The two mid/bass drivers mounted in a Keilidh cabinet are configured in parrallel with each other and need to 'see' the exact same signal as each other or things will get messy. Right now our Keilidh mid/bass drivers in each cabinet are receiving virtually identical signals from the single channel in the lk 100 - I've decided not to mess that up.
ps. If you want a relatively cheap improvement for your Keilidh's(to my ears anyway) rewire them internally with some Cardas hook-up wire, bypassing the passive crossover all together. Keep the lengths of wire to each bass driver exactly the same if you do this.