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  1. #1
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    Linn Majik DS - giant killer?

    I read Chris' review of the Linn Majik DS-I with great interest. I may have missed it, but I didn't see any direct comparison of the Majik with the likes of the Weiss DAC202 or the Berkeley Alpha DAC. Neither did I find any comparisons anywhere on the web.
    Does anyone have a view on how the Majik compares with these two? Does it play in the same league or are the Weiss and the Berkeley on a different planet?
    Thanks for your thoughts.
    Regards
    rudi
    Let the music touch your soul

  2. #2

    Majik DS

    Cannot comment on Weiss or Berkely, however, I replaced a Wyred 4 sound dac2 with the Majik and am very very happy !

  3. #3
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    Heard DS and really liked it compared to my Weiss DAC 2

    Had the local Linn dealer drop in today with a older Majik DS and more recent Akurate DS. Both had the Dynamic power supply installed. We listened to some of my favourite tracks (some Radiohead, Goldfrapp, Lee Hazlewood, Air, Dwight Yoakam, Charlotte Gainsbourg) and the Majik was clearly better sounding that my somewhat optimized set up - a Mac Mini & Weiss DAC 2 with the following:

    - SSD for OS only in the Mac Mini (1.83Ghz Core 2 Duo, 4GB Ram)
    - Computer is only used for audio playback
    - iTunes / demo version of new Amarra Mini for playback
    - disabled spotlight, time machine, sleep, screen savers, & dashboard widgets (wi-fi remains on)
    - Weiss DAC 2 connects to computer via Firewire
    - using a 6-pin Male to 4-pin Female Firewire adapter and a 4-Pin to 6-Pin FireWire cable (to cut the power from the cable and improve sonic qualities)
    - iTunes music library lives a portable external 2.5" drive connected via USB
    - using 2nd USB port from the right side of Mini to connect the USB drive

    We did some A/B comparisons listening and every time the Majik sounded more detailed, larger soundstage and felt like the I was closer to the performance. My Mac/Weiss sounded more boxed in. Perhaps I cannot clearly explain what I was hearing but it seemed slightly veiled compared to the Majik.

    The Akurate was an obvious improvement over the Majik bringing the performers even closer and creating a wider and deeper soundstage. The vocals seemed clearer, there was more detail and subtle tones were revealed. A very involving playback where all the instruments just had more space between them.

    I asked myself how much better could the DAC 202 sound compared to the DAC 2 and how it would compare to a Akurate but I do not have the opportunity to do so.

    I am now seriously considering selling the DAC 2 and buying a gently used Majik or Akurate.





  4. #4

    it also plays flac

    and AIFF, AAC, ALAC, WAV, WMA, OGG, MP3 up to 24/192.

    PS. Spring for the Akurate.
    David

  5. #5
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    would love to get the Akurate

    So much so that I'm selling my Weiss Dac 2 and look for a used Akurate, if not too cost prohibitive.

    When I first looked into a DS a few years ago, it did not play nice with ALAC or other proprietary Apple formats. During the demo, i just loaded my ALAC tracks onto a USB stick and played from the dealer's PC.



  6. #6
    Senior Member wappinghigh's Avatar
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    I have a Linn Majik DSI for

    I have a Linn Majik DS-I for my main listening area. I also use Sonos around the house. I wouldn't say Linn's software control is really up to scratch compared to Sonos actually right now. That's why I bought the DS-I. The crucial bit is the "I". Because it is the only DS in the range that has a digital input. That way I can run in a Sonos source (or indeed a computer as a source)...if Linn software control doesn't prove robust. It gives you way more options....in an ever changing world...And indeed with the Lion upgrade things haven't been all smiles. Lion thru a spanner in the works, and Sonos have handled the situation better than Linn. So other than sound, it's just something to consider using steamers vs computers as a source. Though having said this, software upgrades can play havoc with computers as sources as well.. I guess that's why computer "audiophilia" remains such a hobby
    New simplified setup: STEREO- Primary listening Area: Cullen Circuits Mod ZP90> Benchmark DAC1>RotelRKB250 Power amp>KEF Q Series. Secondary listening areas: 1/ QNAP 119P II(running MinimServer)>UPnP>Linn Majik DSI>Linn Majik 140's. 2/ (Source awaiting)>Invicta DAC>RotelRKB2100 Power amp>Rega's. Tertiary multiroom areas: Same QNAP>SMB>Sonos>Various. MULTICHANNEL- MacbookAir2011>A+(Standalone mode)>Exasound e28 >5.1 analog out>Rotel RB976MkII (bridged)/RotelRKB2100>Linn Katan front and sides. Linn Trikan Centre. Velodyne SPL1000 Ultra

  7. #7

    DS-I only one?

    There is news that an announcement from Linn is emminent as far as digital inputs on other DS units. In fact it may be a DS streamer / preamplifier with HDMI, Spidif and.....Airplay. Said to start first with the big boy Klimax and next the Akurate then Majik.

    It makes sense to include some digital inputs in a streamer unit and would really be something if Airplay was included.

    David

  8. #8
    Senior Member wappinghigh's Avatar
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    Thanks

    I'd be interested on any links on this...
    New simplified setup: STEREO- Primary listening Area: Cullen Circuits Mod ZP90> Benchmark DAC1>RotelRKB250 Power amp>KEF Q Series. Secondary listening areas: 1/ QNAP 119P II(running MinimServer)>UPnP>Linn Majik DSI>Linn Majik 140's. 2/ (Source awaiting)>Invicta DAC>RotelRKB2100 Power amp>Rega's. Tertiary multiroom areas: Same QNAP>SMB>Sonos>Various. MULTICHANNEL- MacbookAir2011>A+(Standalone mode)>Exasound e28 >5.1 analog out>Rotel RB976MkII (bridged)/RotelRKB2100>Linn Katan front and sides. Linn Trikan Centre. Velodyne SPL1000 Ultra

  9. #9

    this news is true

    no links sorry! I know it because I wast talking this week to a Linn dealer, and he told me that.

    There will be new models with more inputs. However, if run just from ethernet probably the new models are not the good option, because the PSU will have to care about more stuff.

  10. #10
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    if I move to a digital streamer

    might as well also take the time to demo the Naim NDX which is does have a couple of digital inputs and comparable in price to a new Majik DS or a used Akurate DS. I've also been informed that I should look for a Renew DS, which is a Klimax DS mark 1 reboxed and can sometimes be found for less than the price of a Akurate DS.

    Will have to speak with my Linn guy about the upcoming new models, might be a good time for some demo deals.

  11. #11

    pricing

    Naim NDX.........$5145
    Linn Majik DS....$3500
    Linn Akurate.....$6990
    Linn Majik DS-I..$4200

    Linn Majik DSM...$?

    The renew is a good deal and if you don't mind the cosmetics it is a very good player.
    David

  12. #12
    Trouble maker... Audio_ELF's Avatar
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    Linn DSM?

    @David; are the Linn DSM the DS players with built in pre-amp? Both analogue and digital inputs?

    Also, you forgot the Naim ND5 XS off your list - should be comparable to Majik DS but with digital inputs (like the Naim NDX).

    And yes, to quote Auntie: "Other UPnP renderers are available".

    Eloise
    ...in my opinion / experience...
    While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.
    And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

  13. #13
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    Just over a year ago

    It was some time ago that I was evaluating a streaming solution at home. I only evaluate with a home demo as I know my system intimately.
    The systems I compared were my MacBook Pro with SSD and 4gb ram into the following DACs:
    Weiss DAC2
    Metric Halo ULN 8
    Resolution Audio Cantata
    Also the Linn Klimax DS fed by a RipNAS.
    The Klimax sounded great but In my system the Cantata was notably better.
    I also found the Klimax system software a bit clunky to use and needed re-booting several times during the 2 weeks I had it.
    FWIW
    Frank[br]Mac mini, Amarra, Pure vinyl, Resolution Cantata, Metric Halo LIO-8, dCs P8i,DeVialet 800, Goldmund Mim 20/36+/22/29.4, Epilog 1&2[br]Reference Turntable Ortofon Jubilee pickup

  14. #14
    Masters Level Member ted_b's Avatar
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    Frank, how did the MBP stream to those DACS?

    Did you use some kind of streaming (i.e TCP-IP) middleware or DLNA thing?
    "We're all bozos on this bus"....F.T.

  15. #15

    resolution audio cantata mc

    hi frank

    i also own the cantata mc and i'm very happy with it. it's a great sounding and also nice to look at :-)

    do you happen to know, when the promised uPnP feature will be implemented? it's announced for this year...
    this feature is said to be free and can be had simply via a firmware update. your machine doesn't even have to leave the home.
    with this update the cantata mc will be a real streamer and a real musiccenter (what the mc in the name stands for).

    have you also heard about the upgrade for the usb input from 24/96 to 24/192? do you know how much the upgrade will cost?


    cheers, christoph

  16. #16
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    the Naim is more expensive that I thought.

    I guess I was looking at NDX prices in ? and the Resolution Audio Cantata is out of my price range. Will continue to research in the coming weeks.

    Same here. always prefer to audition gear in my home with my current set up.

  17. #17
    Sophomore Member MetalNuts's Avatar
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    Majik DS

    I once owned a Majik DS and it is good and convenient. It works without the need of switching on the computer and can be controlled directly with your iPhone.

    It is a digital player with a nice DAC that can be streamed directly from your NAS. The DAC is good and the sound is very smooth and relaxing and very suitable for chamber music or as background music however it lacks passion and excitement when you need it.

    I had auditioned Weiss 202 but I didn't own one. I found Weiss sounds better than Majik DS but it costs much more than the Majik DS.

    I have not tried Berkeley so can't comment on that.


    MetalNuts

  18. #18
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    Hi Ted

    For the DACs other than the Klimax I used iTunes with various flavours of the contemporary versions of Amarra, Pure Vinyl, Audirvana and Decibel (IIRC). They were connected by FireWire or USB, as appropriate.
    Frank
    Frank[br]Mac mini, Amarra, Pure vinyl, Resolution Cantata, Metric Halo LIO-8, dCs P8i,DeVialet 800, Goldmund Mim 20/36+/22/29.4, Epilog 1&2[br]Reference Turntable Ortofon Jubilee pickup

  19. #19
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    The uPnP has been delayed several times.

    I had my Cantata drive upgraded a while ago and the importer said they would do the uPnP update at the same time but in the end it had been delayed. I haven't heard when it will arrive. I know neither the timing or cost of the 24/192 USB mod, sorry.
    Frank
    Frank[br]Mac mini, Amarra, Pure vinyl, Resolution Cantata, Metric Halo LIO-8, dCs P8i,DeVialet 800, Goldmund Mim 20/36+/22/29.4, Epilog 1&2[br]Reference Turntable Ortofon Jubilee pickup

  20. #20
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    The Metric Halo kit is a real bargain IMO

    The Metric Halo kit is massively more powerful than you probably need, and being pro kit it is not in an expensive, nice to look at, case, but the sound quality is unbeatable at the price IMO.
    The Klimax experience put me off network streaming to be honest. I did not own a NAS (though I do now) with music on, but had had a growing iTunes library for years. I was not impressed by the software available back then either, or the stability. It would have been nice to have a system which did not need a computer running, but a dedicated Mac Mini, which I ended up with, is quiet and cost effective. I am very happy with the Cantata and the Metric Halo LIO8 in the 2 systems they run in.
    None of the streaming solutions I have seen so far are what I would call domestically acceptable, in as much as making it the sort of thing my wife would as happily use as the CD player or turntable.
    Hopefully the software will eventually fix that.
    The nearest, so far for me, is iTunes with BitPerfect.
    Frank
    Frank[br]Mac mini, Amarra, Pure vinyl, Resolution Cantata, Metric Halo LIO-8, dCs P8i,DeVialet 800, Goldmund Mim 20/36+/22/29.4, Epilog 1&2[br]Reference Turntable Ortofon Jubilee pickup

  21. #21

    Eloise

    1) @David; are the Linn DSM the DS players with built in pre-amp? Both analogue and digital inputs?

    Yes

    2) Also, you forgot the Naim ND5 XS off your list - should be comparable to Majik DS but with digital inputs (like the Naim NDX).

    Yep, forgot that one. ND5 XS does as you have stated and it's price is $3495 making it the same cost as a Linn Majik DS. It will be interesting to see cost of Majik DSM.

    3) And yes, to quote Auntie: "Other UPnP renderers are available".


    Yep, there are others available but the post was specific concerning Linn and Naim so I noted those for pricing. I'm being good Auntie.
    David

  22. #22

    wappinghigh....

    Little real info yet. Here is new product so far.
    http://www.linn.co.uk/buying/akurate
    Looks like it will play your Pandora, etc. over your computer with something called Songcaster also. Not Airplay though.
    David

  23. #23

    hi frankthanks for your

    hi frank

    thanks for your reply.

    i just saw 10 minutes ago, that the 192/24 upgrade for the usb port on the cantata mc is available and that new cantatas already ship with 192/24...

    see here: http://resolutionaudio.com/news.html


    cheers, christoph

  24. #24
    Senior Member wappinghigh's Avatar
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    I'm with Frank

    Frank, look I would have to concur with your comments. I've owned Sonos for 5 years and a Linn Majik DSI for 12 months. Linn has definitely not licked this streaming software thing like Sonos has. I guess that is because they are much more focused on the audio side. When it all comes together it will be great, but I agree I would be pretty pissed with a 10K purchase like a Klimax DS that didn't work straight out of the box. A Majik DS-I..well at about 4K..that is tolerable, and as I said you can use the other digital inputs and plug in a Sonos if things on the Linn software side aren't working so well...

    Cheers

    Wap.
    New simplified setup: STEREO- Primary listening Area: Cullen Circuits Mod ZP90> Benchmark DAC1>RotelRKB250 Power amp>KEF Q Series. Secondary listening areas: 1/ QNAP 119P II(running MinimServer)>UPnP>Linn Majik DSI>Linn Majik 140's. 2/ (Source awaiting)>Invicta DAC>RotelRKB2100 Power amp>Rega's. Tertiary multiroom areas: Same QNAP>SMB>Sonos>Various. MULTICHANNEL- MacbookAir2011>A+(Standalone mode)>Exasound e28 >5.1 analog out>Rotel RB976MkII (bridged)/RotelRKB2100>Linn Katan front and sides. Linn Trikan Centre. Velodyne SPL1000 Ultra

  25. #25

    12 months

    12 months is a long time in digital terms. If you have not looked at what some companies are doing today as compared to 12-18 months ago then you are not current. Linn has announced
    a software upgrade that will enable their devices to play anything from your computer including services like Pandora, etc. streamed to their devices. It's just getting interesting.

    Sonos is a closed system.
    David

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