Which cables for my Linn set-up?

Hi, I recently bought new Linn units and my new setup will be:

2 x C4200 with Active cards driving my Linn Espek speakers and my Ekwal center speaker (all active). For my rear, I have 2 Keilidhs speakers bi-wired with 2 LK85's.

Here are my questions: how to optimal wire this setup? Can I run one cable from the C4200 to each front speaker (with 3 channels)? How to cable my rear speakers? Do I really need to put 4 cables? (2 from each amp)? Which speaker cable to use? (I use Linn K20 at this point).

I have a tight budget for this, although I know how important the cables are and I dont want to sacrifice quality too much. The problem is that my rear speakers need about 20-25 feet (4 times?).

Anyway, I hope you guys can help me out here.

Yes, you need to double your cables.

In a non-biamped system, the same cable carries highs and lows. With the active crossovers, you have a separation of the highs and lows, with each being amplified separately. You need a separate cable for the highs and the lows.

K20 is for single wiring. You need to double it.

I would suggest one of two alternatives in terms of appropriate quality and cost effectiveness.

The first is to buy another set of K20s to go with what you have. So you would have two K20 cables going to each of the five speakers. (You said that you already have your rear Keilidhs biwired. So you may not need to buy another set for these.)

The second alternative is to sell the K20 and use K400 cable. it's basically two K20 cables put together in a single jacket. A little less clutter. With this, you would have one K400 cable going to each of the five speakers. K400 is pretty good cable at a reasonable price and is made to match with Linn.

I would be very happy to have your set-up.

Running aktiv, your Espeks need three channels of amplification and three pairs of speaker cables running to each one because they are three way speakers. Your Ekwal is a two way speaker, and therefore requires two channels of amplification and two pairs of speaker cables to it. You can run the Keilidhs passively biwired, but as you already know, this requires two pairs of cables to each speaker also.

You should understand that the aktiv cards do not make a Linn system aktiv by themselves. You must have a channel of amplification and a pair of wires running to each driver in each speaker. For the Espeks, consider Linn K600, a six wire cable, and for the Ekwal, use the Linn K400, a four wire speaker cable. I have used them in the past, and they are extremely good-sounding, but not visually beautiful, cables. Consider the K400 for passively biwiring your rear speakers with the LK85s. I had a very similar system in the past. There are no other cables that I can think of that will will compete with them for the price.

As your rear speakers are so far from the rest of the system, consider placing the LK85s in the rear of the room and use longer interconnects.

Good luck with your system. The sound of an aktiv Linn system is truly world-class.
Yikes!!! Thsalmon is right! The Espeks do need to be tri-amped and tri-wired in active configuration. You can bi-amp them but only passively, not actively. I had a nagging feeling when I wrote my post that there was something different about the Espeks. Now I remember, you can't actively bi-amp!

Okay, now here are the options with respect to wiring the Espeks:

1. single wire (K20) with one amp;
2. biwire (two K20s or one K400) with one amp;
3. biamp passive (two K20s or one K400) with two amps;
4. triwire passive (three K20s or one K600) with one amp;
5. triamp passive (three K20s or one K600) with three amps;
6. triamp active (three K20s or one K600) with three amps containing the electronic crossovers for bass, mid and treble.

So for active use, the Espeks will need one K600 cable or three K20 cables per speaker.

As Thsalmon said, if you can situate the LK 85s closser to the rear speakers, it will be sonically better, and cheaper, to run a long interconnect with shorter speaker cables than vice versa. It will require a custom length interconnect but that's no big deal to obtain from a high-end store.
Thank you very much guys, that is very helpful. keep you posted, looking forward to try out the whole setup! thanks again. Frans
Just to be clear, I am going to tri-amp the Espeks (3 channels of each Chakra for each front speaker and the 1 channel per Chakra for the Center Speaker). Based on your advice I woudl go for:

* The K600 for the front speakers
* 2 K20's from the Chakra's to the Center Speakers (1 channel per Chakra)
* A longer Interconnect to place the LK85's closer to the rear speakers (didnt think about that) with 4 K20 cables

For the last option, I use one LK85 to drive the treble on both speakers and the other one for the base. Or is it better to use one LK85 per speaker? (is that possible?). In that case I could use k400 cables per rear speaker.

Sounds good.

One K600 for each front speaker.

A K20 from each Chakra to the Ekwals. Or, if the Chakras are very close to each other, you can use a single K400. You would have to split the K400 for a foot or two at the amp end so that each pair of wires in the cable would reach each of the amps. This is neater; however, it is psychologically uncomfortable to buy a four wire cable and then start tearing it into two separate cables.

A longer interconnect, rather than longer cables to the rears, if possible. It's cheaper and tidier provided that you can place the amps closer to the speaker.

Two K20 cables to each rear, or, as above, a single K400 with the cable separated at one end to reach both amps before going off to the speaker.

You can use one LK85 for each speaker, or use one for the treble and one for the bass of both speakers. The former is called vertical biamping; the latter is called horizontal biamping. Most of what I read says that vertical biamping is better. However, Linn recommend that you use horizontal biamping. You can always try both and see if it makes a difference to you. It's not an issue to you at the moment; however, if you horizontally biamp, and the amps are different (although they need to have the same gain if they are different amps), then Linn recommend that the "better" amp be used for the treble.

One last point. I am not familiar with the older C series Chakra amps. I am assuming that you can in fact put three Espek and one Ekwal active cards in the amp. I have a couple of AV5125 amps and there are some limitations as to how many cards of what type that can go into them. Hopefully you don't have that issue.
Thank for the detailed explanation Markphd, that was exactly the info I was looking for! Frans