Don: you may get more info on this at the Linn board.
Linn made the DMS(Domestic Monitor System) at about the same era the Sara was produced. It is a 3-way with Isobarik loading of the woofers. They used Isobarik-loaded modified KEF B139 woofers, modified KEF B110 midrange, and modified ScanSpeak 3/4" dome tweeter. Frequency response in the bass went as low as approximately 16Hz. Theses speakers were not all that big, considering the performance, and are easily placed in a normal room without dominating the decor. Used ones probably could be found under $2k. If you like the Sara, you'll love the DMS.
They also made the PMS(Professional Monitor System) which is the same speaker in active tri-amp configuration with no internal passive crossover. There is no conversion for these speakers, so you have to pick either passive or tri-amp version exclusively.
They both use XLR connectors for cable connections. Also there is a factory stand set that is required for proper use.
I owned a pair of Sara's for better than 15 years. I loved them in spite of reading all the negative reviews. They deserved the negative reviews when paired with the wrong amplifiers. Difficult load. Anyway, I now own an Aktiv pair of Keilidh's bought used and am more than satisfied. They better the Sara's in every way and when purchased used with all the associated stuff are an incredible bargain. There's magic in active crossovers that go beyond what you hear on a casual listen. You can eamil me directly if you want to discuss these issues.
Twl, After reading your description of the DMS again, it's starting to sound familiar. Was this model also known simply as "The Isobarik" or some such? I'm thinking of a speaker that had multiple tweeters, firing in various directions and maybe multiple midranges as well. Is this the same animal or something different?
Patrick, Let me ask just a couple basic questions here. Are the Keilidh's three-way? Are they isobarik? Can you bi-wire passively with the Keilidh's? I'm probably not interested in going active, but I'll just ask anyway; How much for the Keilidh's with all the associated stuff (used cost)? Have you ever heard the Keilidh's driven passively or bi-amped passively? How do they stack up to the Sara's in that configuration?
Hessong, yep, that is the same critter. It had(in each cabinet) 2 B139 modified woofers in Isobarik configuration, and 2 B110 modified midrange drivers, with 1 in front and 1 on top, and 2 Scanspeak dome tweets, with 1 in front and one on top. These top-firing drivers provided an ambience filling role, but from what was explained to me, they also worked in a vibration reducing manner, where the driver frames were directly coupled by rods, and provided equal "shove" against each other, thereby reducing doppler induced effects from the drivers microscopically moving against the cabinet. I feel that there was some crossover related reasons as well. These speakers sounded quite good, and were well above the Sara in performance. They, like all Linn speakers from that era, were designed to be placed against the wall and on their factory stands.
Twl, OK any idea how much the DMS weigh? I seem to remember their being quite big. And in the passive configuration how much power does it need? From the description, it sounds like a hog. My Plinius 8200 is rated at 175 W.
Does anyone know if there is such a thing as a non-active Keltik? And if so, can it be bi-amped passively?
Thanks for all the help.
I'm guessing at the weight, but I'd say maybe about 125 pounds each. They are only about 3 feet tall, and about 18 inches square footprint, so they are not really that big. The efficiency level was about 89db, so I think a 175 watt unit would be fine. We used to run them plenty loud at the store with a Naim NAP250, which was rated at 125wpc. If you want Isobarik, there are very few speakers made other than the Linns. And I can't even think of any others at this moment.
Sorry for the late reply. I've been out all day. The Keilidh's are two way but have two mid/base drivers. I've only listened to mine in the Aktiv configuration but have heard others run passive. The can be bi-amped, bi-wired passive or just about any configuration I can imagine. You can use either two or three stereo amps when going Aktiv. I'll say this much: the base is just stunning and fast. The midrange is great. There have been some reviews by owners about the highs not being quite satisfactory. In the Aktiv configuration you have 8 DIP switches in the treble cards to boost output for room conditions. They are flat to about 45 cycles Aktiv and 70 cycles passive. You must remove one of the drivers to access the crossovers for converting to Aktiv. The instructions are inside the cabinet. Two LK100's with Aktiv cards, K400 wires and the Keilidh's in black finish with the Kustone bases ran about $1500 used. As a short description of the surprising benefit of Aktiv configuration is that much more of ANY music library is listenable. With my Sara's I loved 10% of my collection of music. Now it's 90%. And, yes I can tell the difference between recordings. It's just that the lesser quality ones are so much more listenable. I hope you get a chance to audition such a system. It just simply blows away the Sara's I had being driven by a pair of LK240's which are superior amps to the LK100's. I couldn't be happier with this setup considering the money invested. Good luck.