Linn Launches Next-Generation Klimax DSM Flagship Streamer
Linn has launched its new top-of-the-range Klimax DSM streaming music hub.
Linn's next-generation Klimax DSM has officially been unveiled, with the Glasgow-based company proudly proclaiming it as the ultimate streaming product and the closest you can get to streaming audio perfection.
That statement could well come across as mere bluster. However, Linn has almost five decades of audio technology experience behind it and was the first to bring networked audio streaming into our homes with its Kivor music server in 2001. That, in turn, paved the way for the Klimax DS networked music player of 2007, boasting playback of up to 24/192kHz resolution.
The new Klimax DSM comes in two flavours - Klimax DSM (Audio) for those wishing only to connect music sources, while Klimax DSM (AV) adds HDMIs for enhanced movie and gaming audio, as well as surround sound support.
Firstly, the 2021 Klimax DSM is undoubtedly eye-catching. While the diamond-cut circles on the upper surface are said to echo the grooves of a record, paying homage to Linn's iconic Sondek LP12, the sheer mass of the 16.4 kg case, coupled with internal damping, isolates it from vibrations, says Linn. The Klimax DSM casement is machined from solid, special grade aluminium and crowned by a dial featuring a turned brass bearing celebrating its provenance, precision-cut glass, and photo-etched stainless steel encasing a hundred status lights.
Other neat touches include the 1600 x 480 TFT display on the front and the stainless steel shortcut buttons that run along the top of the unit. You will have also noticed that the classic Linn 'smile' has gone from the fascia, replaced by a less-fussy mirror-finished frontage.
Arguably the biggest news from Linn today was the reveal of its in-house designed and manufactured Organik DAC.
Developed from first principles and combining FPGA processing with a discrete conversion stage, Organik enables Linn to precisely control and optimise every step of the digital to analogue conversion.
The FPGA processing stage uses custom-designed algorithms to provide increased upsampling, more precise volume control, and distortion-free modulation, says the Scottish brand. This is paired with a discrete conversion stage that we're told renders the analogue signal with extremely low levels of distortion, thanks to a new ultra-low jitter oscillator and carefully designed clock distribution network. Keeping the signal paths to an absolute minimum, these components are combined within a unique double-sided design.
The result is that Organik promises to produce significantly lower noise and distortion and measures better than anything Linn has achieved before.
A USB Type-B input enables direct connection to a computer along with a TOSLINK, a pair of SPDIF and Optical Ethernet rounding off the wired digital connections unless you opt for the AV version that adds four HDMI inputs and one output which handles eARC. On the wireless side, there's WiFi and Bluetooth 4.2.
However, it's not just your digital audio that will benefit from the new Linn Klimax DSM as your analogue sources will also enjoy the brand new higher performance, lower distortion ADC (analogue to digital) design. The ADC sits on its own circuit board with a dedicated power supply and features Exakt Link ports enabling the direct connection of an LP12 with Urika II. Alternatively, there's a brace of RCA and a set of XLR inputs. There is RCA and XLR output, too.
KLIMAX SYSTEM HUB
Finally, the Klimax System Hub, which we're advised, is perfect for those seeking the highest performance from a complete Linn system.
Sharing the new enclosure as next-generation Klimax DSM and the new, improved ADC, the Klimax System Hub also boasts the same inputs as the Klimax DSM (AV) variant, including the option to upgrade with surround capability. However, the Klimax System Hub has been designed specifically for use in an Exakt system.
Linn says that the pairing of Klimax System Hub plus Klimax 350 speakers or Klimax Exaktbox, both with the new Organik DAC on-board, delivers a result that's out of this world. Furthermore, Klimax 350 speakers and Klimax Exaktbox will ship with Organik DAC as standard from April. If you already own a Klimax Exactbox or Klimax 350 speakers, you can have them upgraded with the new Organik DAC.
Klimax DSM is available to order now in black or silver, and you are invited to book a demonstration (local restrictions permitting).
The Linn Klimax DSM (Audio) and Klimax DSM (AV) are priced at £30,000 and the Klimax System Hub costs £15,000. There are trade-in offers for existing Linn owners.
An Organik DAC upgrade is also available for existing Klimax Exaktbox and Klimax 350 owners.
WHAT WE THINK
The new Linn Klimax DSM has all the hallmarks of a flagship product from this renowned company, right down to each one being hand-built by one engineer who then signs their name on a special plaque under the front foot.
However, at this price point, the next-generation Klimax DSM has to really perform and this is where it will be all eyes, rather ears, on Linn's first in-house DAC, Organik. We are looking forward to putting it to the test, so stay tuned.
StereoNET UK’s Editor, bass player, and resident rock star! Jay’s passion for gadgets and Hi-Fi is second only to being a touring musician.
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