I am not a Linn owner, but was at the dealer in the past few weeks and heard a demonstration of the Ninkas both active and non-active. I don't know the amp configuration (Linn amps obviously), but asked the cost of the active versus non-active configuration in terms of amplification. In the active mode, using two smaller (in terms of watts per channel) amps versus one larger Linn amp, the extra cost (just for the two amps versus one, and excluding extra cable costs) was about $400 Cnd. more. The active mode with smaller amps crushed the single larger amp. And it was not just bass extension. Smoothness, refinement, musicality, more information, etc. all took a fairly substantial leap forward. I could not see how anyone would not go active with the two smaller amps after hearing it. Hope this helps.
As a LINN Aktiv owner, I agree with HTM. You will also add the option of being able to tune your treble as well. The AKTIV cards have switch. Be sure to stick with the K400 wire. This LINN cable works the best with LINN Aktiv. I've tried others, but I always end up back at the K400. Ask Santa. Happy Holidays!
Going active was one of the best moves I've ever made. The playback has an effortless sense to it. You can take all the audiophile terms and apply them here. The best part, and I believe a well kept secret, is that nearly all your source material will become very listenable. A great recording will still be a "stand out" but marginal performances and engineering will sound pretty damn good. You get the benefits of vastly improved sound without the critical system nightmare of making most of your recordings unlistenable. I can't understand why this isn't a standard offering from all manufacturers, it's that good.
I would absolutely go Aktiv. It makes an incredible difference.
I currently have my ninka's set up passive but bi-wired with one LK 85 amplifier. I've often thought about the same question you have. Each time I think about it I go down to my listening room and put in a favorite CD, sit back, and just enjoy the music. It sounds very good as it is. I don't think there is any doubt that going active will make significant improvements. Linn is a tremendous company! Just like anything else, when you have the money and are comfortable spending it go for it. Until then, don't forget that the passive mode is still excellent! Other less expensive improvements include upgrading to the polymer bases and bi-wiring the speakers. I personally feel like source reproduction is the most important factor in any system and depending on your current source that may be a better improvement in the short and long term. Having said that I also plan to go ACTIVE at some point in time but will probably wait until my other components are up to par. Enjoy!!
Exactly the same boat, Chetiar. Have upgraded the stands and spikes, bi-wired and lots of other tweaks.
I have owned a few Linn speakers (AV-5140, Keltiks, Nexus & Keilidh) going aktive, except for the Keltiks that are aktive only, will be a great improvement. The bass output will extend another octave, details in the music will sharpen and the system will gain available power to drive the speakers. The crossover use about 30% of the power to drive them. But you must listen it yourself. Go to your Linn
dealer and ask for a demo, one channel aktive and the other
passive, easily done with the Ninkas plates. You will be surprised. As far as I know only Linn and Meridian offer such systems. Hector
Thanks for all the replies. I guess I'll start looking around for the amp and cards.
I have a couple LK-140's in AKTIV mode. All I can say is "GO AVTIV". The sound is detailed, clean, and smooth. I went from one to two amps...and then on to getting AKTIV. I too, was on the fence some about it until last spring. I got to meet a LINN engineer who worked on the KLOUT. I asked him if I should get a KLOUT or just go aktiv. He said go akitv and you will really be impressed. I did, and I am....Hope this helps you some. I would stick with their cables and interconnects also...I made the "rounds" and went back to them.
From reading Flightmight's reply I'm wondering if anyone knows how to bi-amp bfore the aktiv stage. Is it daisy chained or do you need two separate IC outputs from the pre-amp? If the former then the speaker wires out of the second amp, I guess. A bit of a newbie here with only A'gon input as I don't know anyone around into the "hobby". The second amp is on the way so I'll be back to tell my experience. Thanks all for helping with the decision.
I currently own a Linn system with ikemi, 5103, 5125 and active Ninka.
It is clear that Ninka are much better in active.
I found almost the same improvement whan changing my Kairn to 5103.
I have today 2 options for further upgrade :
- stay Linn : Espek with 2250 on treble and 5125 on medium/bass. Works very well. I tested the intermediate position with Ninka, 2250 on treble and 5125 on medium/bass. The improve is also huge (bass quality, dynamique, air).
- open : I look at Audio Research amps with other speakers. I could not confirm yet that it is a better idea that the previous (for a comparable budget)
Marc. I heard from the local Linn dealer that the Espek is only activ in a tri-amp situation.
You are right, but the 5125 is a 5 x 125 amp for home cinema, quite similar (a bit better) that LK 140's. So 4 are used for the medium and the bass speakers of the espek, while 2250 is used for the treble. There is one left for something else (central speaker for example).
Fair enough. I didn't know. Well if you do go with the espek I'd be interested to know what you think.
One more comment about the test with "tri-activ" Ninka (2250 + 4 channels of a 5125) : if dynamic, bass control are much better, the tone is not good enough (box sound).
I think that it would be better to use espek with smaller amps (2 more ways of a 5125 or a LK140 instead of a 2250).
Aktiv and Loving it. A big thank you!!