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Linn Kan mk1, an alternative with more bass extension

Discussion in 'audio' started by guy, Feb 25, 2017.

  1. guy

    guy pfm Member

    Hi, I'm Guido from Italy, in 2008 I bought a couple of Kans MK 1 in UK with serial number 17xxx (1981?).
    I love these loudspeaker, particularly the medium high range, the Scanspeak tweeter is exceptional.

    I'm looking for a loudpeaker with the same sound of the Kan but with more bass extension. Does it exist?

    I' ve also a couple of Naim SBL, the punch is fantastic, the hi-range is good but is not at the level of the Kans IMHO.


    Many thanks.

  2. wylton

    wylton Naim and Mana member

    I think that the Kans are quite room sensitive, because although I've heard a lot of people say that they lack bass extension, I have never suffered that at home (within the limitation of the size of the enclosure and the drivers of course).

    I have active MKII's downstairs and passive MK1's in my little office upstairs and they sound great!

    I have also owned NAIM SBL's and I think that they are the nearest you'll get to what you are after.

    I assume that you have placed the Kans close to a good, solid wall, on MKII stands (or Sound Organisation wall brackets)?

    I use Linn K20 speaker cable with the MK1's and Atlas Hyper Bi-Wire on the active MK1II's.

    They are also very sensitive to the equipment used too.
  3. Julf

    Julf Facts are our friends

  4. wylton

    wylton Naim and Mana member

    Ha! Yes, I had assumed that the OP was looking for something of the same size!

    But yes, Isobariks, but as later pair as possible, because the earlier ones do have a bit of a lazy top end; my pair were not as good as my MK1 Kan's in that department.
  5. Rodrat

    Rodrat pfm Member

  6. wylton

    wylton Naim and Mana member

    I always thought that the Sara was the odd one out in that range. I had active and passive pairs many years ago and found them to be quite difficult to get right; they are pretty room sensitive, and if you get it wrong, the bass can sound bloated.
  7. Rodrat

    Rodrat pfm Member

    I would try Kabers as owning or having owned Kans, Saras, Isobariks and Kabers for my money they are the best. They need a powerful amp though.
  8. guy

    guy pfm Member

    The Kans are in my pc room driven with a Quad 303, a Nad 3020 is used as a preamp. I've the Mk2 stands close to the wall.

    The SBL are in the living room driven with a NAIM combo 32.5, HiCap, 250.

    I think that is the setup to make the difference.

    Thank you for your answer.


  9. Gaius

    Gaius pfm Member

    Does it exist? No, not really, well sort of.

    I have and love Kans. In a similar vein I have had both active and passive SBLs, Sarahs and Epos ES 14s, along with several other speakers. The Kan is quite unique and in my view brilliant.

    I take it you have them hard up against a solid back wall on Kan stands? If not then you are getting the best from them particularly in the bass.

    I have settled on Yamaha NS1000s, they give all the good stuff of a Kan but on a much larger scale.
  10. Gaius

    Gaius pfm Member

    Following on, something the Kan loves is a Naim NAP 250, especially the Chrome Bumper model, it adds some heft .
  11. wylton

    wylton Naim and Mana member

    Yes, I quite agree that there is a definite symbiosis between the Kan and Naim amplification.

    Guy, you'll not be getting the best from your Kans with the Nad 3020/Quad 303. The good news is though, that you'll get excellent results from amps further down the Naim CB range; I'm using a home brewed amp using NAP 250 boards and I've tried an old NAP120 too with excellent results.
  12. torstoi

    torstoi pfm Member

    Same here,,I did not get along with Saras at all.

    The Kans always surpised me in how deep they got down
    within their limited volume,,keeping their size in mind, this was really
    mindblowing at times.

    But what I liked about them, they did not even try to be something they cannot be, so their bass...or whatever they did in the lower section, stayed clean.

    The Saras appeared to walk around with blown cheeks to my ears permanently & seemed to aiming to pretend they were Isobariks.
    W/o much success, of course.

    The Isobariks in best case sound like Kans with bass.
    Lots of effort to get them there though, as they are power hungry, as are the Kan.
    Did you try something like the 250 on a Kan once ?
    According to some that can be quite a shock...might be worth an experiment if you can steal or loan one anywhere.

    And finally there's an Ergo attempt on the Kan, a speaker that looks pretty much a Kan from the front, but with more volume due more depth
    and also more modern chassis making use of todays technology advances.
    Haven't heard them myself, but some around here have them built or ordered and are quite happy with them.
    So I have little doubt they are very good.

    orangeart from PFM can provide the woodwork for these if my mind serves me right..

    p.s.: ...Mark is keeping up with his nasty tradition of posting my wisdom 3 minutes before me,,,
    I gotta buy something from him at some point , if only to bribe him into stopping doing that.. :)
  13. flatpopely

    flatpopely Prog Rock/Moderator

    I rather like SARAs! But they are not like big KANs.
  14. Julf

    Julf Facts are our friends

    Lots of effort, sure, but I can report that 1200W/channel keeps them pretty happy... :)
  15. wylton

    wylton Naim and Mana member

    Yes, I quite agree about the ERGO IX; I heard a pair at a PFM member's house, mounted on Naim N-Sat brackets. They look great and sound fantastic, but unless you can find a pair ready-built, you need good DIY skills!
  16. torstoi

    torstoi pfm Member

    I came very much to the same conclusion,,,had the Kans on a 180 and 140 olive, that's fine, they do everything.

    But with a CB 32.5 and a CB110, they sound like a racing driver performs on his home racetrack, it's simply the whole thing seems to become more in total than all the single parts in separate seem to suggest.

    On a CB 250 or 160 this must be mindblowing if the trend I heard with the 110 continues that way.
    Heard them on a new 250,,,this is stunning already, but w/o the honey-on-top home-race-track attitude imo..
  17. torstoi

    torstoi pfm Member offence, mate.
    It may have been the room & was a momentary impression merely.
    Not like big Kans defo correct, though.. :)
  18. divedeepdog

    divedeepdog pfm Member

    I've currently got a pair of Rel Strata 5's with Kans sounding pretty good to me. The remote is a nice bonus to fine tune between different sources .
  19. torstoi

    torstoi pfm Member

    Linn ? :)

    I heard those are special then & have to admit I ran out of fuel on half the distance.
    Am quite happy with a more sensitive speaker though, so I don't feel a big loss.
  20. guy

    guy pfm Member

    Before to buy SBL in 2011 I used Kans with 32.5, Hicap, 250 :D

    Ok, I think that it's time to buy a 42/110 (another I bought a lot of Naim pre/power amps for my friend in the past).

    I'll try to look for.

    Thank you guys!



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