Linn Komri loudspeaker Page 2
After plugging the Komris in and turning them on, then lighting up the Klimax amps on their cut-to-size and amazingly effective Silent Running stands, Morris tweaked the speakers' positions with music. They wound up about a foot farther back than where we usually place the Utopias.
Morris used a big, flat-bladed screwdriver to level the speakers by turning their hefty leveling shafts and using that special tool to lock them in place. We were ready. The Mark Levinson No.32 Reference preamp was ready, and the dCS Purcell D/D converter, dCS Elgar Plus D/A converter and the Accuphase DP-100/DC-101 CD transport/DAC were just waitin' for it.
Meister der Musik
Hey, that's what it says here on the album cover of Virtuoses Cello, works on LP from Boccherini and J.C. Bach by Anner Bylsma auf Originalinstrumenten. It's an old Telefunken release (Royal Sound SMT1210). I adore old Telefunkens—with many, you get a certain kind of midrange and lower treble that are just killer. And the Komri was no disappointment, showing incredible detail yet a wide, expansive sound. I think the human mind is programmed to move toward that sound, just as hearing a saber-toothed tiger or bear growling in the forest moves SUV-Man's wa-wa up to his many chins as he runs to his vee-hi-kewl, instinctively groping for the keys.
What sprang up in my listening room was the room in which Virtuoses Cello was recorded. I nearly fell off my chair. The air, the detail, the way the players set up in the acoustic environment, the advanced tonality of real instruments in a real acoustic—all seemed there. To expect all this is asking a lot from even the most advanced machines. Yet that's what you're paying your 40 grand for, no?
I listened to Dead Can Dance's Into the Labyrinth (4AD DAD 30130) and Spiritchaser (4AD 6008), and "Autobahn" from Kraftwerk's album of the same name (Vertigo VEL-2003) on the Forsell turntable. All three of these records have astounding sound. Deep, powerful, impactful bass that the Komri woofers drove without breaking a sweat. Especially on Spiritchaser, which goes down deep and with great power, the Komris held their own and belted it out. Deeper, tighter, and more defined than the JMLab Utopias was capable of doing. And the detail, even down in the Stygian depths, was beyond belief.
Here was a totally enveloping space, a certain kind of natural surround no digital algorithm can ever create. I kept spinning my head around on that album looking for the rear speakers which must be there, but no, all there was were the two Komris in front of me.
At the same time as offering this vast soundstage and deep, pounding bass, the midrange acquitted itself quite well, although not as smoothly as the $30,000 list Utopias. There was, in the midrange, enormous detail, some kind of almost...beyond reality reproduction that gave the mids and above a slight disadvantage to the Utopias on poorly recorded material. What can I say? The French can be more forgiving. Look, one of them married me!
The highs...yes the highs. Wow, did those Komris light up like a rocket and orbit Mars. And with the same extraordinary detail as the midrange. The Utopias were more forgiving up there, more smooth and insouciant about them that personally, I find more attractive. But if your taste runs to really entertaining extension and detail that'll scare the horses, the Komris will fit right in.
That analog listening session could have gone on all night, and almost did. I discovered and heard things I never knew existed on those old bastions of the LP art. Clear, deep, extremely layered, with tonalities all very true to life.
But whether Bach or Kraftwerk, the wonderfully neutral Mark Levinson preamp and Klimax amps allowed the Linns to let through a clean, unmolested, unvarnished, truthful musical signal. The Komris were fast—don't forget, this is vinyl I've been talking about up till now—but open, fast, clear, delineated, defined, set in space, reverberating my heart.