Linn Akubarik Test: on New Woofers

Powered speakers are more successful than at home in the Studio – looking at then sometimes it them. Linn has with the Akubarik now an active stand box built specifically for the living room: beautiful, fairly compact – and with Isobarik bass concept.

Linn products from Glasgow are not only analogue but also active pioneers. So, the company from Glasgow introduced a fully active three-way system in 1978 with the Isobarik PMS (Linn was later a full range supplier) prefers was operated due to lack of its own amplifier electronics with power amplifiers by Naim. Since there was also an active version of almost any Linn speaker model, and the Scots were not tired its technical advantages, and generally to praise that the active technique.

What the biology of the Linn of other active specialists, is consistent duality: similar to how are the speakers of the colleagues from Naim Linn boxes always have been designed so that a passive version without much effort to the active speaker can mutate. With just a few hand movements, the passive crossover is incapacitated, and since Linn builds including amplifiers, these customized small active points Steckboards in the nu Ampsdank are precisely adapted specialists for bass, MIDs or treble of a very specific Boxenmodells. Dieses open concept has not only advantages of course. It is stereo or Mono power amplifiers for example quite expensive, but on full Linn – because it is based not just on anonymous performance and course modules from China. The activation of an affordable three-way stand box like the Majik 140 costs several times the passive price quickly. It is also psychologically tricky to explain to less technically savvy customers why they must – buy yet separate amplifiers for an active speaker and it even still more than before! The mistaken belief that “Active” had something to do with built-in amplifiers, with space and possibly even money saving, ineradicable deep.

“Don’t mind”, means to listen rejoice Linn boxes developer Philip Budd. Apparently the Scots in their product planning killed now one that switches, starting a new era. Because even if a passive variant is planned for later, the new Akubarik comes first as a fully active box. She needs just as modern customers wish, nothing to around except exactly a player, as a network player preamp from Linn’s DSM series.

Full active, fully integrated

That the Linn for a box of their magnitude is not that cheap, is quickly understandable upon closer inspection. Because the Scots have gone though the step to install of the electronics inside the box, have embarked on no even such a small compromise on quality but. So, only in-house “chakra” amplifiers – a very efficient, purely with analog amplifier circuit that reaches through the entire Linn programme up to the climax series amplifier used sit in the Akubarik. Where “own” is means, that each one really each Board of the active crossover to down to the power supply, developed not only in Glasgow, but also fitted, tested and assembled into finished devices.

As a five-way active speaker employs the Akubarik per couple alone ten chakra trains: each box a 200-Watt model for the bass and four 100-watt units for the remaining drivers. So slowly the 18,500 euros per couple start to put into perspective a little. To sink this noble electronics, simply unkind to a Panel in the rear panel of the boxes was excluded from spatial and thermal reasons – we have it here with five fully grown Mono power amplifiers and corresponding cooling air needs to do.

The Scottish developers have devised instead a beautiful and technically superior solution in the form of a customized aluminium extrusion profile, elegantly closing the gently curved shape of the actual boxes housing to the rear. So, the active unit receives not only a good shielding against electrical interference fields, but also their own, highly efficient cooling chimney. By the way another problem of built-in amps falls away: the massive vibrations, which do usually to create them at their place of work. The aluminum backbone of Akubarik, however, is although formally a part of the housing, as far as possible of decoupled mechanically but thanks to floating suspension.

The wood cabinet itself is bigger thanks to rounded sides than it first looks. Rinsers bass principle, the box owes part of its name, which ensures an even more effective acoustic magnification however: two identical 20-woofers are mounted in the base of the box, so that their baskets each other look. Because they are affiliated with the opposition, their membranes move parallel and the volume of air trapped between them remains constant.

The whole thing has two acoustic effects: firstly the resulting combination driver works cleaner, because non-linearities of the chassis partially delete whose deflecting the exact mirror image. And second, the actual volume of boxes behind the inner driver appears twice as big as it actually is. So you can of given volume much get deeper bass, but at the expense of the amplifier, which threatens the double load – no wonder that, not only at Linn, rinsers bass were used, preferably, has always been in active systems.

Anyway, a five-way system is a filter-technical challenge you active most likely meets. And it is so fabulous, completely homogeneous unity, striking at the Akubarik despite the many drivers first and foremost. Who reads “closed” and sees the light falling frequency response wrote, is a rather dark sound, but this is a mistake – the richness of the Akubarik is balanced with very direct Mitteltonund voice area immensely, the tonal impression. To directly it is sound only if at excessive volumes onset a distortion exposed the midrange can be – the Linn is optimized not to rock concert level apparently on accuracy with maximum bandwidth.

At home, you should already have trouble ever to reach only the “middle” volume cited in tests. And so is no longer between the listening position and a wide world of harmonious and dynamic precision: guitars and pianos had voted, their tones seemed as fresh to mate begieriger as else together to rub to chords and to produce new harmonies.

The complex Percussion carpet of “Babel” (massive attack – “Small German archipelago”) disbanded, however, surprising 3D in his individual events, of which each with exact coordinates of space track left. The whole thing was based on a bass that is active typical, but not in each active speaker so to find: Ultra-precise in the single and swinging out, more striking, full pressure and almost arrogant way konturierter than that of the most passive counterparts – and this all the more so when a counter-steering required acoustic characteristics and the Akubarik could use their low frequency fine adjustment to their advantage.

On the one hand never artificially inflated, never restrictive in the way that the Linn was also huge walls of sound extremely close to the specifications of the played recordings – which made all the more adventurous the journey through our music server. The author anyway, couldn’t get enough of this directness.