Linn Advice Please

Presently, my Linn stereo music system consists of the following configuration:

Linn Majik Kontrol
Linn Akurate CD
Linn Akurate 4200
Linn Katan
Linn Katan stands
Linn Sizmik 10.25

Originally, I was using one Linn 2250 power amplifier with my Linn Katan loudspeakers in a passive configuration. Then, about 2 years ago I upgraded to a fully Aktiv configuration using two Linn 2250 power amplifiers. Last year my local authorized Linn dealer suggested that I consider upgrading to the Linn Akurate 4200 power amplifier (still in a fully Aktiv configuration) for even better sound. Due to my budget, I was considering the Majik 4100 power amplifier instead. However, the dealer went to great length to explain that the Akurate power amplifiers not only provided more power but there was a big technology difference between the two and that the Akurate would provide better sound. So I saved-up my hard earned cash and went with the Akurate 4200 power amplifier.

Now, I’m considering upgrading my Linn Katan loudspeakers to the new Linn Majik 109 loudspeakers (along with upgrading the Linn Katan stands to the new Linn Majik 109 stands). I will however be keeping the Sizmik 10.25 powered subwoofer. Because I would like to stay with a fully Aktiv configuration, I would need to move up to 6 channels. Since my budget does not call for an Akurate 2200 to add to my existing Akurate 4200, my dealer is now trying to convince me to go with the Majik 6100 power amplifier and trade-in my Akurate 4200.

My dealer is insisting that the Majik 6100 + Majik 109 combo will sound a whole lot better than my existing Akurate 4200 + Katan combo. I’m sure that the Majik 109 loudspeakers are great speakers but now I’m confused about the whole Majik power amplifier versus the Akurate power amplifier speech I got a year ago. My dealer is now telling me that the only difference between the Majik power amplifier and the Akurate power amplifier is the power rating and nothing else.

What exactly is the difference between the Majik power amplifier and the Akurate power amplifier?

Do you believe that the Majik 6100 + Majik 109 combo sounds a whole lot better than my existing Akurate 4200 + Katan combo?

I would like to know how accurate my dealer’s information is or am I being taken for a fool?
I believe that your dealer means well and that the Majik 6100/Majik 109 combo will be better than the Akurate 4200/Katan what cost? And is the increase in performance worth the extra cost to you?

First the amp.

The Chakra technology upon which the Akurate and Majik amps are based is different from the older 2250 amp. That is an upgrade.

As the Akurate and the Majik have the same Chakra topology and switching power supply, they are essentially the same amp. You get more power with the Akurate. However, you don't need the extra power of the Akurate because with an Aktiv crossover you are not losing power in a passive crossover. The other difference between the two amps is that the Akurate has a choice of RCA or XLR balanced inputs. The Majik only has the RCA inputs. (By the way, the older C-series Chakra amps upon which the current Akurate and Majik series are based also had a choice of RCA or balanced inputs.) So the Majik has less power and no balanced inputs, but you get more channels and a lower price.

I look at it this way. A new Akurate 4200 retails over $6000. The Majik 6100 retails over $4000. Your Akurate is one year old. You take one year of depreciation off your Akurate. You're a loyal customer who spends a lot of money. You should walk into that store with your Akurate and walk out with the Majik and there should not be one penny that leaves your wallet. If your dealer wants your Akurate plus money for the Majik, I'd walk out and explore other avenues like Audiogon.

Now to the speakers.

I have Aktiv Katans plus a Sizmik 10.25. I have not heard the new 109's. I am sure it would be an upgrade since you would now be using three way Aktiv speakers rather than two way Aktiv speakers. Is the increase in performance worth the cost? I don't know. Linn sell by demonstration though. Tell your dealer you want to hear the Aktiv 109's. Bring in your Katans for comparison. Then you can see whether it is worth it.

By the way, I also have a pair of Aktiv Ninkas (two way rather than three way Aktiv). FWIW, I prefer the Ninkas over the Katan/Sizmik combination. The Ninkas have better bass integration. The footprint is the same as Katans on stands and there is no need for space for the Sizmik. This is why I say you should audition the new 109's in Aktiv mode. Linn is expensive, and upgrading in small steps is expensive. I would want to be sure that the upgrade is worth it. I'm concerned that you might be upgrading only a little bit at a great cost.
If you choose to upgrade to 109s, another possibility for expanding to 6 channels would be keeping the 4200 and adding a used 2100. All Linn amps have the same gain so you can mix and match.

Linn suggest running the best amps into the tweeter/mid range driver and using the lesser amps on the base drivers.

One other cost consideration is the the aktive cards would also need to be replaced. You could always passively bi-amp the 109s with the 4200 until you gather up another 2 channel amp and new aktive cards.