$39K for the Linn Klimax DAC/streamer?

It has to be set up using a special service and there is no manual? I guess this for the very wealthy few who do not care about "gear." I would rather buy a car with this money, or part of a Porsche, and set up my own DAC/streamer. But Stephen Scarf at Absolute Sound says.."unquestionably the best combination DAC/streamer I've ever heard, bar none." Great hyperbole, may hold true for a month or two, then some other over-priced bit of kit comes along..
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I have a ND 555--I recall that it is more than $24k, with the 555 PS added in (not an option) and the UnitiCore ripper and hard drive).  I would consider it to be in a comparable price class as the Linn.  I like it, but, I cannot say how the two compare .  I would expect the Linn to sound good, given their track record with digital gear.  

It needs to be remembered what this is, is the CD12 technology completely upgraded to the nth degree.  There were 2 major revisions of it over a no. of years, the mk2 giving it substantially more dynamics & more & mk3 bringing it to an entirely different & altogether better level overall.  This would be at least the equivilent of a mrk4, 5 or perhaps a higher level. A pretty SOA streamer any way you look at it. Scarf doesn't mention what other streamers he's heard at all, so that conspicuous absence if anything, points to the fact that there are likely others competitive he's pointedly not referring to.  The audio magazine business is always a touch precarious, not least of all now. So the fact that Linn is such a heavy advertiser (2 full page color ad in the issue where this is reviewed & the only photo on the cover in addition to on an ongoing basis) has zero relevence, a touch more or somewhat more then that?

You tell me.

No matter what rediculas price is put on any streamer, it can only capture, reproduce and sound as good as what comes from the source and stream. Right now about any $500. streamer on the market will faithfully and acuratly do that. Above that, audiophiles with deep pockets and golden ears are hearing something that isn't there.....Jim


Which specific streamers have you actually auditioned to reach your conclusion?  Are you able to hear differences between DACs?  Have you perceived differences between amplifiers?  To what might you attribute those different sonic characteristics?  Why would that not also apply to a source? 

It turns out they do.  Though you may believe differently, with any reasonably decent system (golden ears and/or golden wallet are not needed) those differences are readily apparent.  Yes, a cheap streamer will play music with fidelity.  Better units will do so with more spatial information and resolution which are pretty easy to hear.  Perhaps you should try one - you might be pleasantly surprised.

This is an audiophile forum - a place where people who are interested in bettering their sound (within their budget) come to discuss and explore.  It's interesting how many come here with preconceived ideas of what "must" be (i.e. bits are bits so digital sources sound the same, all class D amplifiers are lifeless, etc.). 

I'm not suggesting that more expensive is always better sounding. That clearly isn't the case.  But, a good system will be well rewarded with moving upstream on the source.  BTW - I didn't believe it either before I tried it.  Nevertheless, I gained more sonic benefits moving to a better streamer than I did by significantly upgrading my DAC (and I spent 2x on the DAC relative to the streamer).  I think I may have gotten that backwards in hindsight.



I have been in audio for some 45 years, so am by no means a newbee. I never did claim that all amps, CDPs, DACS  ect. etc. sound the same, just that you can not extract more from any streaming source than is there - regardless of how much money or magic you throw at it. SO Basically, with this $39K Linn Klimax, you would be buying $500.00 worth of streamer with a $38,500 DAC....Jim