If you don't get adequate advice here you might try the Linn Forum. They are pretty responsive there. Knowledgeable too.
8 responses Add your response
I used to own a Linn Kairn pre-amp ,with phono, and a Klout power amp. The phono section in the Kairn is top notch, and sounds very nearly as good as Linn's stand alone phono pre. Also when I first owned my Kairn it had a standard non-switching power supply. I then had it upgraded to the Brilliant switching power supply and the improvement in sound quality was significant. So if looking for a used Linn, look for one with the Brilliant power supply which luckily will be most of them.
I also have a Kairn with the Slimline Brilliant Power supply, a Klout and a pair of Proac Response 3.8's. The Kairn/Klout combination sounds incredibly good, extremely refined with plenty of slam, natural detail and astounding soundstaging abilities with the big Proac's. I listen to a lot of shoegaze, psych and drone and I've NEVER heard any amp/speaker combo throw up a dense, yet transparent, wall of sound like the Kairn/klout/Proac comgination. I've had little desire to trade up my amplification during the last 9 years, even while making a considerable investment in upgrading my LP12 and CD player (eventually to a Linn Akurate). The latest version of the Kairn is also extremely reliable; the earlier power supplies were prone to failure, but the newer ones with the Brilliant supplies are virtually indestructable. The moving magnet phono stage is really excellent, but I have to disagree with the poster above who placed the MC stage in the same class as the Linto. Until the very recent introduction of the Urika, the Linto combined with even a mid line LP12 (with Ekos, Akiva and Lingo, but without Keel and Ekos SE) combined to make a virtually state of the art vinyl playback system; the Kairn's MC stage is very good, but not in the same class. This mid level LP12 is what I have, and I could very clearly hear all the benefits of every upgrade through the Kairn. Although Linn and Proac is not a combination that comes readily to mind for most Linn and Proac people, for me, its a match made in heaven, and even if I eventually trade up from my Kairn, I plan on staying with the Linn source and amplification and the 3.8's forever. They'll probably have to bury me in the Proac's.
Thanks Lhblhb for your info. I am presently using Klout with VTL 2.5 preamp but on the look-out for a used Kairn with Slimline Brilliant Power supply as recommended by everyone. I must say that I am impressed with the Klout, refined with lots of slam and natural detail and fairly good soundstage in my present setup. As far as the my Proac 2, they just sound good with everything. One of my future upgrade plan is definitely the Proac 3.8 ... I have heard nothing but fantastic comments/reviews on these. There was a nice pair of cherry finish 3.8 on the Gon recently and I had to force myself not to buy them, (the temptations were very strong) the problem is that my listening room is just not big enough for 3.8. What cabling are you using with your Linn equipment ?
I use Linn Silver IC's throughout and LkK400 birwire cable to connect the speakers. If you do get a Kairn, spring for the Silver IC's. The sound much warmer, bigger, with more presence and impact and yet more refined at the same time. A "must have" in my opinion with Linn Electronics. And of course Linn amps work best with Linn speaker cables, and the Proac's are set up for biwiring, so the LK400 is a no-brainer.
I will follow your recommendations and get Linn cables...they will show up on the Gon one of these days. I wanted to try my Cardas Cross speakers cables but was not able to because they have spade terminals and was not able to find suitable adapters. In the mean time, I have been using Nordost cables but they are definitely not the best with this set-up..way too bright.