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Linn K400 Question

Discussion in 'audio' started by music_man_66, Jul 21, 2021.

  1. music_man_66

    music_man_66 Active Member

    Cambridge Audio CXN v2 (2 months ago)
    Musical Fidelity A3 CDP (25 years ago)
    Linn Kairn Pre (one month ago)
    Linn Klout Power (one week ago)
    Linn Keilidh Speakers (20 years ago - Passive just now, upgraded tweeter version)
    IXOS something or other speaker cable - biwire (25 years ago)

    Just moved on from my Caspian mk1 integrated to Kairn and LK140 (for one night only) - beautiful, followed by Klout (as of 2 days ago), amazing.

    Ok, got my Klout links soldered to run into passive Keilidhs and spent the whole of last night in heaven. My old speaker cable I worked out was IXOS something - 25 years old. Loved the open, articulate, timbre, tone and staging etc when listening last night and today. My used-K400, 2 x 4.8m pair, arrived today - don't know how long they have been lying around unplayed or anything like that. All terminated correctly.
    Played the same music, mixture of studio master streaming and CDs, but find a very shut-in and lacklustre sound, the typical 'in a shoe box' sound almost.

    Can someone explain to me what I am hearing please? Should I let the K400 burn in as if new? Last night I could hear the dropped D string vibrating back onto the slide during chord changes but not now - as an obvious example.

    Advice from others experienced with this cable/set up would be much appreciated.
  2. MorganW

    MorganW Active Member

    I had the same issue years ago when I had an Arcam Alpha 9 amp with my Tukans so changed to Kimber 4pr and that sounded way better so the K400 went in the garage for 20 years?
    During the 1st lockdown I got it out the garage and cut back the ends due to serious oxidation and reterminated it as I now had Kabers and LK140 amp so thought I'd give it a try with the Linn amp.
    It sounded really good, confirming the reviews of the time (mid 90's) that it suits all Linn systems but not so much others.
    I'm surprised you've had the opposite results to mine. Maybe stick with the Ixos? I had some braided Ixos for a time on the Arcam/Tukan system and liked it.
  3. Charlie_1

    Charlie_1 pfm Member

    Have you connected it the right way around? The Linn logo should point in the direction of the speakers. On K20, the logo points in the opposite direction to the wording, just to make life confusing, but not sure about K400.

    Also, the Kairn is reverse phase and will sound very shut in if phase is not corrected by your interconnects. It will also be less tuneful and engaging.

    Otherwise, dunno. Perhaps a Linn cd player from that era would have balanced things out.

    At the end of the day, if you're happier with the other cable then it doesn't matter if its Linn or not.
  4. music_man_66

    music_man_66 Active Member

    After a couple of hours music, I'm now getting the separation - it appears the muddle is gradually decoding itself. Yes, cables are running correct way, bought them from respected Linn second hand supplier but checked the direction myself with the speaker terminals to the left of the lettering.
    Unfortunately, no funds to go Linn CDP from that era! But, I just need a stereo bass aktiv card before going bi-aktiv in the next few days. The MF A3 is channelled through the CA DAC and has been sounding really nice so.......

    Thanks for suggestions but think it's just a case of cable re-birth going on. Cheers.
  5. Charlie_1

    Charlie_1 pfm Member

    Good to hear.

    I added a comment about reverse phase so don't know of you saw that
  6. music_man_66

    music_man_66 Active Member

    By interconnects do you mean speaker cables? Yes, I've always had the speaker connections reversed to take account of Kairn being inverter. Hope you mean speaker cables!...........
  7. Charlie_1

    Charlie_1 pfm Member

    Sorry, yes, speaker cables - got my wires crossed! :rolleyes:
    music_man_66 likes this.
  8. Bob Edwards

    Bob Edwards pfm Member

    Trust your ears. Listen to both and see which sounds better to you.
    music_man_66 likes this.
  9. music_man_66

    music_man_66 Active Member

    Absolutely, just wondering if they needed wakened up again or not. But yes I’ve got a few days of listening before making decision because the one I stick with will be going down through the flooring and run under the house. But if my 25 year old IXOS is going 3 feet under then the K400 will go back no hesitation. Thanks.
  10. stevec67

    stevec67 pfm Member

    There could be a minor difference in electrical characteristics that adding causing the amp to behave slightly different ly. If you experience a difference in presentation after a while, this is most probably burn-in of your ears and brain. People may prefer the familiar. Cables don't change over time, if they are kept in good condition, no tarnished connection s, etc. Brains and ears do. Brains change from one day to another and with your mood. They are great fun, I would be without mine, but reliable measuring instruments they are not.
  11. music_man_66

    music_man_66 Active Member

    Possibly yes - I've had the same cable for so long, but in this new setup I have the chance to try something different - and the first time I've actually been able to compare speaker cables. I intend to go bi-aktiv in the next few days, do distinguishing contrasts between cables remain the same between passive and active use?
  12. chris geary

    chris geary pfm Member

    I don't know why you would use K400 as it is intended for a passive or active bi-amp set up. Bi-wiring has never worked for me. Perhaps you should try a two conductor cable like linn K20?
  13. Charlie_1

    Charlie_1 pfm Member

    Friend of mine with AV5140 speakers tried passive and bi-wired K20 / K400. He ended up preferring bi-wired K400 (it was close) but I think it depends on the speaker model. Likely best whichever way the way the speaker was developed by Linn.
    music_man_66 likes this.
  14. music_man_66

    music_man_66 Active Member

    Aye, it was just to try it out last night. I will try it passive bi-amped with the LK140 and Klout later, but was bought with active bi-amping in mind as that's where I'm headed. Interesting to hear your comments though.
  15. chris geary

    chris geary pfm Member

    My briks are passive bi-amped at the moment and it was a nice step up from just a single Klout. Everything sounds nicer and it plays louder (duh, of course). I already have a NAXO and HiCap waiting patiently, and a third Klout is on the way, so active tri-amping is the next waypoint. K20 all over the place. I will report back any observations.
    music_man_66 likes this.
  16. music_man_66

    music_man_66 Active Member

    Just for the record, whoever may stumble upon such threads, had a closer look at the BFA connectors and they had been wired in from the side so when you try and put them into the amp terminals everything pops off. So cut all ends and re-terminated properly as they should be, and removed around 10 inches of the central insulation to allow the K400 some room to reach both the LK140 (bass/mid) and the Klout (treble).

    Clearly I'm on holiday and looking for something to do in between shedding and decorating. First go at passive bi-amping while I wait for my remaining aktiv card.
    The K400 is now singing like a sophisticated wee birdie. A huge difference I have to say. Amazing freshness and airiness to the overall sound and a nice increase in separation. Lovely.

    The big problem will be next week when I get my 2 other Klouts from my sister's house...........

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