hi all, my previous setup was a modified quad 306 and kef 103/2 i loved the midrange warmth of these however am looking for something a bit more exciting and toe tapping ( long story involving hearing come cyrus gear and realising what was missing from my system). i have to this end brough some linn kabers (bargain on ebay at under 350) however am now looking for amplification to match. i will eventually want to go active but am willing to do this with an active crossover box rather than the in-amplifier cards as it will give me more amplifier choice. i am probably looking two buy initially two amplifiers at first and am looking for in the region of £250 each (second hand) . i have so far considered a linn lk85 and a nap140 . i really do want the sense of pace and timing but would alos like to retain some warmth if possible. anyway what would people recommend? cheers, mark
Linn's LK85 is not really in the right ballpark. You want to be looking at the LK140 otherwise you just won't get the drive out of the speakers.
If you're interested in 2nd hand Naim,the minimum would be a NAP140 but again, if you can get something better, you should do so. One amplifier which is a lot older but still sought after is the NAP160. Another option is the newer NAP180 which is a very nice amp indeed.
The fact is that you're aiming too low in the hierarchies because of your budget. Forget biamping and going active until you have a really worthy power amp - I'm thinking a Linn Klout or a NAP250. The Linn Klout used to easily beat active LK140s into Kabers regularly - piece of cake and a 5-minute demo.
Nothing lives in a vacuum of course so you'll also need a preamp and sources to match. If you went for a Linn amp, then the best match would be something like a Kairn or even the Kolector, both fine preamps. Stay away from the Wakonda which always seemed half asleep to me. If you're looking at Naim, the preamp will have to be something like a NAC72, NAC102 or NAC82. If you managed to find yourself a NAP250, note that you would need an external Naim power supply for the preamp.
If you go either of these routes, don't forget to match the speaker cables. Linn for Linn and Naim for Naim. In the Linn case you can get away with something else until you can cable up. In the Naim case, the speaker cable is part of the output circuit of the amp so you need a minimum of 3.5m a side of Naim NACA5 cable. It's not immensely expensive and using anything else could damage your amplifier.
hmm the nap 160 has interested me in my various searches does it have the typical naim rhythm? would you suggest it over the 140? it appears the 160 can be had at a reasonable price but i am aware it is also getting quite old. currently have a passive amplifier that was custom built for the quad based upon alps pot. will look towards matching preamp for poweramp. thanks for the help so far
Yes, the 160 has the old Naim bias towards rhythm. Also, yes, it's really quite old now so there has to be a question on whether it will need servicing which can be costly. Luckily Naim will service and 're-cap' or 're-tran' the whole thing which means the capacitors and output transistors can be replaced giving you in effect a new output stage. That said there is more than just a set of caps and trnasistors in an amp, and the service can cost £250 or so to do on its own.
Incidentally, if you're in the UK, have a word with James at Tom Tom Audio. He's a 2nd hand Naim specialist of some repute, and all his kit is sold with one year warranty as well as a once-over at the factory. You pay a touch more for the service but it buys you peace of mind.
hi cheers for all the help, still having a head scratch, budget is limited pretty sure i am going for a linn or naim (thoug als considering a meridian) have also thought about the older linn lk280, certainly available at a reasonable price , people seem to differ on opinion as to whether it is better than the lk140 r not, but certainly available cheeper. if i get the klout i think im never going to get as far as being active. hmm
Active is not as important when you consider the complete system. Kabers always sounded better with a single Klout than driven actively by three LK100s or 140s. I don't really remember the LK280 which was an earlier amp - gutsy if I remember correctly.
hi cheers for the advice, i am going to keep an eye open for most of the models mentioned, i think personal prefrence would be for lk280 active system, but if a klout came up chee i would snatch one up. i think i have discounted naim, im not convinced htey are "value for money" i know it shouldnt be a consideration but i do like the look of the linn gear, which also helps thanks frank, mark
Frank might have a better answer but the amplifier itself should have such "protection" or be designed so as not to pass DC to the speaker outputs. Have you found an amplifier that doesn't limit the amount of DC allowed to the speaker to no more than neglible levels?