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Jim Tavegia
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Question for Kal on the Linn Unidisc SC

In your last report you discussed your experience with the Denon Home Theater pair. Have you had the opportunity to use the Linn Unidisc SC in your system? When I compare the dollars the Linn with many options of basic amps sound like a homerun to me. Thanks in advance.

RGibran
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Re: Question for Kal on the Linn Unidisc SC

Jim, could you elaborate on your comparison thinking here. Would seem to me the Linn route would or could add several thousand to the cost. I'm not sure if the Linn offers bass management in ALL formats, but it surely does not include the Audyssey MultEQxt processing, which Kal stated was the crucial feature of the Denon. In Kal's words, with this room equalization switched in, it made the comparison to the analog pre/pros he had recently used "unfair and nearly impossible". I have not yet recieved the latest Sphile to read the follow up. Perhaps you have. And perhaps DBM and room equalization are not a priority with you. Your comments would be appreciated as I am in a serious upgrade mode.

RG

Jim Tavegia
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Re: Question for Kal on the Linn Unidisc SC

The Denon pair of receiver and DVD player comes to $7K and thus opens one up to a whole range of possiblities. The Linn Unidisk SC is only $5K and was liked by both WP and AD. Since it is not only an all format player, but is also a HT processor you can see where I am going.

There are some very affordable tube amps that might mate pretty well with the Linn. By looking at the Linn I have a whole range of sonic possiblities. Jolida even has a 75 watt for each of 3-channels. It is hybird 12ax7tube/mosfet amp that sells for under $750 I believe. It is only one possibility. I could also get their monster JD 1000 100 watt/ch EL34 based amp for L and R and worry about a center channel amp. The Jolida's may not reveal all the Linn has, however.

I think the Denon pair is very, very good. My problem with HT is the sweet spot that only ones gets to fully enjoy. I did like the auto feature for EQ that seemed to work on Kal's 2nd try. I think for most non-audiophiles this is an excellent feature. For many audiophiles it may be very well appreicated.

My issue is that Kal already has some pretty nice amps at his place that probably need not be replaced with the Denon, although he could if he liked them as much.

The other option is that if someone had $5K to spend and not $7K, but had some basic amps at his disposale short term he would be starting off with a pretty nice system.

I am also becoming more of an opinion that maybe all I really need is 3.0 or 3.1, which eliminates the overall problem of a much more limited "sweet spot" for multiple listeners. I could see the Linn doing a great job of all the music formats I love, and still watch movies and just miss the explosions and foley effects from behind me. I have a Pioneer Elite and Yamaha 5.1 HT receivers that my wife and 11 year old son enjoy, but really leave me wanting for my listening preferences of CD, SACD, and the few music videos I own. Diane is quite happy listening to her Gaither DVD concert videos on the Pioneer Elite, as well as just watching movies.

I am leaning that a swell 3.0 or .1 system might be what I am really after. Plus the fact that I am near a choice of upgrading my SACD player from the old Sony 755 I bought just to get my feet wet with the format. With its 12 bit/108mhz video chip, the video is very good ... for the money.

These choices are never easy and are costly if you really want to go to high-end land. Don't you just hate buyer's remorse? I am trying to avoid that. I have truly enjoyed my Jolida JD100 tube Cd player. I just moved it back up to my main listening room from my home-office and realized how much I missed it. It will not go back.

Also as a sidebar, the Jolida playing the redbook layer sound better than the Sony playing the SACD layer. You cannot do SACD cheap and think you are hearing it all. It sounds good, but no cigar!

RGibran
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Re: Question for Kal on the Linn Unidisc SC

Jim, thanks for taking the time to elaborate. Not that I'm trying to convert you, let me offer some responses applicable to my situation.


Quote:
The Denon pair of receiver and DVD player comes to $7K and thus opens one up to a whole range of possiblities. The Linn Unidisk SC is only $5K and was liked by both WP and AD. Since it is not only an all format player, but is also a HT processor you can see where I am going.

Yep, I see where your going. However....some savy shopping will buy you the Denon pair for the cost of the Linn alone! Doesn't necessarily mean the Denon disc player is the equal of the Linn. Still anxiously awaiting Kal's follow up. Maybe if I'm lucky he will pass it off to AD or WP, or both for their impressions. Considering he was letting the AVR do the D/A conversion not sure this would be fair comparison.


Quote:
There are some very affordable tube amps that might mate pretty well with the Linn. By looking at the Linn I have a whole range of sonic possiblities. Jolida even has a 75 watt for each of 3-channels. It is hybird 12ax7tube/mosfet amp that sells for under $750 I believe. It is only one possibility. I could also get their monster JD 1000 100 watt/ch EL34 based amp for L and R and worry about a center channel amp. The Jolida's may not reveal all the Linn has, however.

In my case I would need a 5 channel amp. Although the Jolida, Adcom, Rotels and NAD's of the world may be the equal of the Denon, I wouldn't think them a substantial upgrade, or something I would ultimatly want to pair with the Linn. Even considering the retail value of the Denon's vs the Linn, that would leave only $2,000.00 for a 5 channel amp to pair with the Linn. Have any in mind, at that price point? I'm not aware of any. One can always upgrade (in steps if need be) to seperate amps with the Denon.


Quote:
I think the Denon pair is very, very good. My problem with HT is the sweet spot that only ones gets to fully enjoy. I did like the auto feature for EQ that seemed to work on Kal's 2nd try. I think for most non-audiophiles this is an excellent feature. For many audiophiles it may be very well appreicated.

Precisly what the Audyssey MultiEQxt is for, to widen the sweet spot. Although this never replaces actually being IN the sweet spot. But as Kal points out very few of us have the purist sweet spot, our speakers placed properly, or room correction treatments, which in many cases would be futile because of the rooms layout, not to mention the WAF! I realize for many purists this digital equalization is heavily frowned upon, but for real world, undedicated rooms, it's a blessing. I would have to agree with Kal that it makes comparison of other products without it unfair and nearly impossible.


Quote:
The other option is that if someone had $5K to spend and not $7K, but had some basic amps at his disposale short term he would be starting off with a pretty nice system.

Agreed. But the same could be said for the Denon combo. Use your seperate amps where you like, use the Denons' for surrounds. In my case I have no spare amps around the house.


Quote:
I am also becoming more of an opinion that maybe all I really need is 3.0 or 3.1, which eliminates the overall problem of a much more limited "sweet spot" for multiple listners. I could see the Linn doing a great job of all the music formats I love, and still watch movies and just miss the explosions and foley effects from behind me. I am leaning that a swell 3.0 or .1 system might be what I am really after. Plus the fact that I am near a choice of upgrading my SACD player from the old Sony 755 I bought just to get my feet wet with the format. With its 12 bit/108mhz video chip, the video is very good ... for the money.

I had a feeling that perhaps you were thinking in terms of 3.0 or .1. The sheer enjoyment you get from this medium has been evident in your posts. But I must say I am a little SHOCKED! Are you telling me your considering adding a SUBWOOFER AND VIDEO DISPLAY to a system you have the LINN in.....LOL (he's comin' round folks) Jim, 3.1 sounds just as good on a 5.1 system....but you know that.


Quote:
These choices are never easy and are costly if you really want to go to high-end land. Don't you just hate buyer's remorse? I am trying to avoid that.

Yep, you've got me pegged! LOL As I write this I see this discussion comes down, at least in my view, to digital bass management for ALL formats without having to redigitize the signal (which your going to need Jim if you add that dang subwoofer) room equalization, and the sonic quality of the Denon AVR's amp section and the Denon players sonics, which I hope Kal has devoted several pages to. Then again, if he bursts my bubble, I'm probably going to cancel my subscription! LOL If I'm overlooking something here, please... anybody....chime in.

RG

Jim Tavegia
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Re: Question for Kal on the Linn Unidisc SC

I doubt that I would do the sub, but I could. As Kal found out his system measurement put the sub crossover at 90hz which should in theory allow hium to localize ( know its location) it. I have found that unless you have steep roll off at 70hz or below you can find it. Even my monitors go well down to 50 hz, but need help after that if I want to hear it all.

I might do a flat panel LCD at 20", but the problem that JA found is that with video there was noise added to the system, something I would hope Linn would fix. They offered no comment after AD's review, yet. It is one of the reasons why I do like SACD and require no monitor to do audio. This may be the only failing of the DVD format. Kal's wife is just like mine...she hands me the remote(S) and says, "Make it work"!

With the Linn I would not have to manipulate the digital stream much. I am not much of a tweeker as some might think. I would not be adverse to finding some good, used amps on audiogon or the "Phile" commerce section.

This goes back to another point that we end up with redundant chips sets if both our DVD players and the receivers if that is how we choose to go.

I still think that another interesting choice at the low end of the pricing spectrum would be a pair of Jolida hybrid amps the 1502RC and the 1704RC and a very good DVD/SACD player, using the processing in the DVD player. I know you do not have room EQ, but we are also not talking about anywhere near $7K either. Any wife could work this system as all you have is the DVD remote and 1 remote that adjusts the volume controls for the Jolida 5 channel and the sub pass through. Kal might like it...there are 5 big, honkin knobs. Pretty simple.

I come back and finish my thoughts as we move this discussion along. My wife's vacuum doesn't suck so I am off to fix it. Oh, wait, it really does and that is why I HAVE to fix it.

I guess I should buy a B stock Dyson. They seem to be all over the place. What's up with that?

Regards,

Kal Rubinson
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Re: Question for Kal on the Linn Unidisc SC

Sorry. No experience with the SC and, unfortunately, not enough time.

Kal

RGibran
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Re: Question for Kal on the Linn Unidisc SC


Quote:
This goes back to another point that we end up with redundant chips sets if both our DVD players and the receivers if that is how we choose to go.

Yep, I hate that as well. Why do I need a $3,500.00 Uni player to only send the digital stream to the AVR. Fairly darn expensive transport and DVD player! Might have to drop down a model on that one.


Quote:
I guess I should buy a B stock Dyson. They seem to be all over the place. What's up with that?

He just thinks things should work...properly?

RG

Jim Tavegia
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Re: Question for Kal on the Linn Unidisc SC

As for The Dyson, sometimes marketing exceeds the performance. Even in our hobby as well.

I went back and read Kal's older review of the Linn 1.1 which he liked.

The good thing about the Denon's is that www.underwoodhifi.com and others do mods to all their players so all is not lost. You can still take what ever player you buy to the next level later on. You might ask Walt Liederman at underwood what his take is on a modded 3910 vs a stock 5910.

It still all goes back to when you try and stick everything on one chassis problems arise that keep it from truly being the best of the best...if I could even hear it at my age of 58.

I can see why JA and others have jumped on the Ayre C5-XE and just worried about the best 2 channel you can get. I keep wondering if even fretting about SACD is really worth it long term. Buying the great Ayre C7-XE CD player could make all my discs even mo better and still have better sounding redbook that many relatively expensive ($1K and up) SACD players playing SACD's.

The Denon pairing is intriguing and with the simple cabling and auto EQ might be just the ticket for someone who is totally into multichannel, with or without video. With the auto-EQ it might just make the overall Denon experience better that a higher end unit left un-room corrected.

My mother-in-law who is not "techi" just bought a Sony 50" LCD HDTV. She owns a very pedestrian Yamaha stereo system, but she tells everyone she really LOVES music. Really. It is obvious what she really loves. Now she has to call direct TV back out at her new house to install the HD dish. It is the little things like that, that get overlooked. Nothing is simple anymore.

Jim Tavegia
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Re: Question for Kal on the Linn Unidisc SC

I got my copy of the new Audio Asvisor today, 1/17. Had a nice Marantz HT receiver for $1500 that also had a calibration mic and program for setting up you HT speaker set up. Might be worth checking out.

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