I have an all Linn Aktiv system. I did experiment with other interconnects but the Linn black ones were better than all others except for the Linn silver which I couldn't jusitfy. I'm not much help here but will say that my Wakonda has two ouputs. It doesn't matter whether I take a single output and daisy chain the amps or go directly to the amps separately. It also doesn't matter if I go first to the bass amp or the treble. All possible configurations sound the same.
My experience is that the Aktiv configuration processes difficult and busy passages much better. The sound stage is wider and deeper and everything is placed solidly. I don't know about burn in of the cards since I bought mine used but I wouldn't doubt that time will have an affect like it does with nearly every other component. It seems to me (and I have no experience in this regard) that the interconnects should be the same from the preamp through the amplifiers unless you are trying to change tonal characteristics.
One additional thought I'll pass on. This is based on my experience with Linn speakers in general and may not apply in your case. I have found that they like very little toe in. So little, in fact, that I wondered if it was worth it. It was. A slight toe in leaves the frequency extremes intact and gives a slightly bigger sweet spot. Too much toe in and the extremes suffer as well as a decrease in imaging. For reference, when comparing the Kustone base front to rear, there is a 1 1/2" difference. I hope this helps.
I don't want to start any kind of debate on this and offer it only as another observation through the years. I've found that placing the speakers along the long wall is far superior to the other arrangements. Also, while the Ninkas are floor standers, they don't want to be away from the wall as much as others. Again, for reference, mine are 13 1/2" from the rear wall using the base as a point to measure from.
Isn't the bass improvement stunning? My experience is that more of my software is very enjoyable for some reason and that everything seems so effortless. Have fun.
I am running Aktiv Ninkas, but in an all Linn system. Instead of daisy chaining the amps, I am running both amps (LK140) out of the preamp (Kolektor). I am using the Linn supplied PCs and ICs (black). The PCs are plugged into a PS Audio Juice Bar and then in their wall outlet.
When I went Aktiv, the first thing I noticed was more music at lower volumes (more information), better bass response and the tune was easier to follow. I had to reposition the speakers by pulling them further out from the wall and re-toeing them in. Prior to moving them away from the wall, the bass was too boomy and too much. I believe I moved them out an additional 5 inches or so. I can post the distances before and after, but it depends upon your room size and listening distance, obviously.
To your questions: 1. I did not notice the "too much information" as you describe. Again, I found there was more music at lower volumes, but when a band starts playing I dont find it drowns out the vocals.
2. I purchased my cards second hand, so I cannot comment on burn in. I am sure these cards have burn in like all other equipment is supposed to have, but I can not comment what might change as they burn in. I did find I needed to get used to the Aktiv sound. It was a change for the better IMO. It is a lot more detailed and showed a lot more faults in the recording of CDs. Some people have commented Aktiv can be fatiguing, but I dont find it so.
3. I have not really messed around with different ICs other than Linn black versus silver. I would recommend trying to split the signal at the preamp to see if that helps the problem. I remember reading in a different forum a discussion regarding which sounded better and the general consensus was using the additional outputs from the pre sounded better. I can switch mine over and report back if you would like.
I concur with Tim about moving the speakers farther into the room when going Aktiv. Sorry, I forgot to mention that. I also agree that music at lower volumes had more detail than prior to Aktiv. The only area I disagree with Tim on is finding more faults with recordings. I have a Genki but only have about 40 CD's so I can't really judge the digital domain accurately. I'm vinyl based and find I enjoy way more of my collection. Still, the stellar recordings stand out above the rest.
Thanks. Tim, I am interested in the before and after measurements on distance from the rear wall. Also thoughts on distance from the side wall? My room is about 12'l x 9'w x 7.5'h. Tiny I know as it has the speakers only about 4.5 to 5 feet apart, about 15" from the rear wall with a toe-in, according to patrick's method, of only about 0.75". Don't get me wrong here, the sound is incredible especially in the added bass and the clarity. The "too much" is that everything seems so clear that the singer seems to have a big head and is only 3.5 feet tall but gets back to normal size and palce when the whole band plays. I guess I can't convey the sense of what I mean but as I write this I have become more convinced that the problem is that the room is constricting everything. Thanks again.
Do not mess up with non Linn cables: I experienced several interconnects (from Wireworld to Stealth) and I can assure you they do not work. You might get a first impression of more details, a more bases, but at the end you get less musicality and an unbalanced presentation. Switch to Linn IC and you will be turning the volume up rather than down. The Linn silver is of course more detailed and smoother than the black, but the black comes free with your amplifiers, so use them!
Thanks for the thought Samir. I have been swithching things around including putting the Linn IC's back in but I have to disagree. The yamamura's are so much more transparent and detailed than the Linn. The Blue Heaven vs. the Linn is a different story.(each has benefits) So far the best set-up with what I have is the Yam's btw the cdp and pre then same to the treble with the nordost daisy chained to the bass. I think I'll try the Linn back in there and see. (My second LK-85 was bought used and came w/o the second Linn IC's so unless I buy them I don't have that option) About the PC's, the S.R. master coupler is much better on the amps than the stock cable.
My room is 17.2L x 11.2W x 8H. My listening chair is around the 13-14 foot mark.
Measuring from the top of the speaker to the back wall: Passively, the Ninkas were installed by my local dealer who set them up 3 3/16 from the wall on the inside of speakers and 3 3/4 from the wall on the outside of the speakers. The toe in being almost ½ inch. When going Aktiv, I moved them to 8 from the wall on the inside and 8 1/4 from the wall on the outside. My toe in is just the 1/4 inch. I have tried greater toe in, but didnt think the speakers disappeared as well.
Measuring from the Kustone bases: Aktiv, the distance between the two speakers is 57 1/2. I am measuring from the front, inner corner of the two speaker bases. The left speaker is 28 1/2 from the left wall and the right speaker is 29 3/4 from the right wall. I am measuring from the wall to the outer corner of the base on each speaker.
I hope these measurements make sense and arent too confusing.
I think I can understand what you are hearing and you aren't necessarily complaining. I have noticed listening to some CDs Aktiv, instruments are more pronounced than previously. This can some times be distracting. I found this with the Barenaked Ladies CD, Maroon. The cymbals in one of the songs are really pronounced. . I think this is why some people feel Aktiv systems are fatiguing. There is a lot of sharp, crisp, detail without much forgiveness. I dunno. I love it. My ears have "burned in" ;) to loving the Aktiv reproduction of music. I think the tune is easier to follow.
Also, don't forget you can control the treble volume on the treble card. This may help, or may not.
Finally figured out Patrick's toe-in measurement. I was at about 2.5" not .75" It does help to straighten them out. And thanks Tim for the measurements. I have been muddling around the 15-20" from the rear wall but I think I'll try the zone 1/2 that.
I came across this old posting in another forum and thought you might want another opinion:
Passive with standard bases needed to be close to the rear wall (about 7inches) to get "even" sound
Activ (2xLK140) with standard bases needed to be pulled into the room(about 11 inches)to remove bass boom
Activ (2xLK140) with (Santa's)polymer bases I needed to move them back towards the rear wall again to bring the bass back in (about 9 inches)
Just passing it along.
Have been moving the speakers around with great success. They are balancing out. Thanks. And a note for Samir, I have taken out the Blue Heavens and put the Linn IC's back in. I see your point about balance but I have grown fond of the sound from the Yamamuras.
Just a final note. I recently took off the spikes and put them on Aurios MIB's. I had to move the speakers out to about 17"-18" with a toe in of about 1/4" from the rear wall and they sound great!! The aurios really add definition to everything.