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  1. #1
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    Question Linn Sara Speakers

    I just bought a pair of Linn Sara speakers in perfect condition but don't have an amp powerful enough for them. I have been looking on e-bay for possibilties but am very scared of dropping alot of money on something I can't hear or see working. I really like old Kenwood and Pioneer amps and don't think I can afford a NAIM. Any Advice?

  2. #2
    RGA
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    How much can you afford? And better yet what would you rather spend?

    SS is basically woirthless so you should be able to get used amps thatare about the same sounding as most new amps for dirt cheap prices. Linn amplifiers might be a good option for you. If your speakers were made by Linn himself not the group running the company now - then you may want to find Linn made amps that probably were designed for the speaker - and a Linn Turntable and cd player too.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by RGA
    How much can you afford? And better yet what would you rather spend?

    SS is basically woirthless so you should be able to get used amps thatare about the same sounding as most new amps for dirt cheap prices. Linn amplifiers might be a good option for you. If your speakers were made by Linn himself not the group running the company now - then you may want to find Linn made amps that probably were designed for the speaker - and a Linn Turntable and cd player too.

    I have a local guy who switched to Surround sound and is selling his components.He has Phase Linear 400 @$100, an Epicure 1 @ $100 and and a Mcintosh C26 Preamp @ $175.
    Good condition, 1 owner, no shipping. Sound fair? I am no audiophile I got the linns for $75 and want to put together some decent sound and volume for satellite radio and an occasional CD. Thanks for the reply RGA. Any other advise is appreciated.

  4. #4
    Forum Regular thepogue's Avatar
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    sounds more than fair...

    at those prices you can always get your cash back!!

    Peace Pogue

    Quote Originally Posted by mohawkstone
    I have a local guy who switched to Surround sound and is selling his components.He has Phase Linear 400 @$100, an Epicure 1 @ $100 and and a Mcintosh C26 Preamp @ $175.
    Good condition, 1 owner, no shipping. Sound fair? I am no audiophile I got the linns for $75 and want to put together some decent sound and volume for satellite radio and an occasional CD. Thanks for the reply RGA. Any other advise is appreciated.
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  5. #5
    RGA
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    I'm unfamiliar with those pieces and the Linn Sara for that matter - I would post your question regarding those pieces on the audioasylum amp forum as there seems to be more experience folks. McIntosh has a big following and so does Phase Linear - and for the money probably good deals if it's allin good shape - how it will work with your speakers though no one will be able to say unless they hear it. But the names are good.

  6. #6
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    The vintage McIntosh and PL 400 ...

    Quote Originally Posted by mohawkstone
    I have a local guy who switched to Surround sound and is selling his components.He has Phase Linear 400 @$100, an Epicure 1 @ $100 and and a Mcintosh C26 Preamp @ $175.
    Good condition, 1 owner, no shipping. Sound fair? I am no audiophile I got the linns for $75 and want to put together some decent sound and volume for satellite radio and an occasional CD. Thanks for the reply RGA. Any other advise is appreciated.
    ... will run rings around any old Kenwood or Pioneer receiver. You just can't go wrong at those asking prices, either. I still own a PL 400 I bought 25 years ago; it still works very well, although it's far from SOTA today.

    RGA has surpassed even himself with the nonsense about solid state all being worthless. It ain't so! And most, reasonable minded tube lovers will agree that there is some pretty decent SS gear out there. It's also quite untrue that all SS sounds the same. I recently owned a NAD C270 and now use a Bel Canto eV02i "digital" amp in my main system; both sounded quite different from the Phase Linear 400 -- and better, especially the Bel.

  7. #7
    Silence of the spam Site Moderator Geoffcin's Avatar
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    I AM familiar with these amps.

    Quote Originally Posted by mohawkstone
    I have a local guy who switched to Surround sound and is selling his components.He has Phase Linear 400 @$100, an Epicure 1 @ $100 and and a Mcintosh C26 Preamp @ $175.
    Good condition, 1 owner, no shipping. Sound fair? I am no audiophile I got the linns for $75 and want to put together some decent sound and volume for satellite radio and an occasional CD. Thanks for the reply RGA. Any other advise is appreciated.
    You do NOT have to post to another forum to get "experianced folks" to answer your questions, the're plenty of them here.

    Both amps are classics, with the Epicure being a rare collectors peice. If you are looking for classic stuff then it might be your cup of tea, but a modern solid state amp would be far more reliable, and more cost effective if any of these break. There's no saying that's going to happen, and the Phase Linear is still in use with many audiophiles with prefer classic gear.

  8. #8
    Silence of the spam Site Moderator Geoffcin's Avatar
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    Agreed

    Quote Originally Posted by Feanor

    RGA has surpassed even himself with the nonsense about solid state all being worthless. It ain't so!
    RGA's been rolling too many tubes lately it seems....

  9. #9
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    It's been a long time since I've seen a set of Linn Sara's...I bought a pair in the mid-80's and powered them with a Linn amp and pre-amp combo...I even had the Linn Sonik turnable...if memory serves me correct, the Sara's were far from the most efficient speaker in the audio world and also required a connection that was exclusive to Linn...I don't think that you can go wrong at the price that you paid...good luck!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by divot
    It's been a long time since I've seen a set of Linn Sara's...I bought a pair in the mid-80's and powered them with a Linn amp and pre-amp combo...I even had the Linn Sonik turnable...if memory serves me correct, the Sara's were far from the most efficient speaker in the audio world and also required a connection that was exclusive to Linn...I don't think that you can go wrong at the price that you paid...good luck!
    I like Old Boats, Old Cars and vintage stuff. I think I will go with it. Only thing is, I can tinker with the those other things. For the prices, I can swallow a crash if it happens. Hopefully the spirits will be on my side. Any Helpful hints out there to help me inspect the amps when I finish the deal and pick them up?

  11. #11
    RGA
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    Sorry I am not saying all SS sounds bad - after all I have and enjoy my SS amp and many otehr SS amps - typically however used SS can be bought for a song - while many tube amplifiers go for many times what they sold for 30 years ago. With regards to McIntosh the ones typiclaly sought after and the ones the company themselves hold as their best amplifiers are their tube based products. Indeed, UHF magazine goes as far to say that their SS units are pretty poor.(with some expcetion).

    The Sugden A21 and the A48 series are "classics" in Europe but only the A21a fetches anything on the used market. So I meant worthless in regards to price that many highly touted SS amps today for $2k in 7 years will fetch $400.00.

    Some like Bryston have inflated used prices due to their long warranties. And of course csome tubes may be more inflated simply because they have tubes themselves which are not made any more that other manufacturers want. I prefer the SET amps I've heard because at around $3k for an integrated it has IMO taken down every SS amp I've ever heard at any price - but it requires a good match to a small number of speakers - the Krell will drive everything on the planet - unfortunately it also always sounds like a Krell.

    I don;t care how good a given piece is reviewed or loved - the key is system synergy - the SET I'm thinking of would be an unmitigated disaster with certain speakers which the Krell would do much better on - the reverse is also the case. For my personal choices though the fact that the Krell performs better on speakers A through W is fine but if the only speakers I like in the list are X and Y and those two sound far better with the SET than with the Krell then that's the match I care about. And if Z is happy with both I'd take the SET cause the SET and SS I'm thinking of would save me about $30,000.00.

  12. #12
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    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by Feanor
    RGA has surpassed even himself with the nonsense about solid state all being worthless.
    And then tries to clarify his comment with another worthless generalisation like

    Quote Originally Posted by RGA
    the Krell will drive everything on the planet - unfortunately it also always sounds like a Krell.
    boy oh boy I assume he has heard all the Krells with an innumerable number of speakers at soundhounds.

  13. #13
    RGA
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    There is no SS amp that can match a SET amp for linearity - thus whether Bryston Krell or Levinson and every other SS amp I've come across have an etched presentation. Some counter the effect as much as they can like YBA and some good all class A designs from Krell and Sugden are quite smooth - but it's still an attempt and even an add campaign to sound valve-like. If you want to sound valve like then make valve amps. McIntosh has a new flagship line and they have went back to tubes.

    IMO dollar for dollar tubes usually sound better - and if the speaker NEEDs a SS amp to be driven ---well none of those speakers I like.

  14. #14
    Forum Regular Registered Member 46minaudio's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RGA
    How much can you afford? And better yet what would you rather spend?

    SS is basically woirthless
    So when peter asks you to drink the koolaid ,and you will.I will miss these dumbass comments..

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by RGA
    There is no SS amp that can match a SET amp for linearity
    You are trying say this "Without Negative feedback, no SS circuit can match a SET circuits for distortion linearity in Class A/AB amplifiers", However with NFB, the tables are reversed . I never read anywhere where YBA or Krell advertised that their amplifiers sound valve-like

  16. #16
    RGA
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    I have listened to YBA and Krell for many years now - I am not really interested in what other people think or hear when they listen to those amplifiers - which are generally good SS amplifiers. But I know which I and Lynn Olsen would prefer to own when actually listening and enjoying music - what you and 46minaudio would prefer to listen to I don;t know - nor do I care since it is obvious we hear the same speakers entirely differently - and that is why there is so much selection.

  17. #17
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    RGA,

    Whatever Lynn or yourself prefer to own is your business and his business , however when writing a statement of fact, be accurate , and in the case of distortion linearity you were not accurate.

  18. #18
    RGA
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    Really Please post that SS is superior in linearity that SET. SS amps are measured at their maximum level where they perform best. SET performs best from the switch point from dead silence to the low level of sound. As level drops for SS the sound is worse - it's no small wonder why even basic observable listening indicates so many people saying that they need to turn it UP to get it to sound good...they blame speakers like B&W which is of course completely unfair because B&W even the 801 sounds terrific with 11 watts - why the amp. SET of course sounds WORSE at its highest level and distortion goes WAY up - guess where ALL amps are measured though - where SS can look best.

    There is no notch distortion with pure class A Single ended topologies and why SET and SS close to variants from Krell to budget amps like the A21a easily reign supreme over the Class B and A/B variants. If the A/B runs high in class A and you have very sensitive speakers you may avoid the switching distortion.

    Now, Lynn is quite a gifted engineer and he knows like many that SET measures badly in the tests geared for SS testing - dropping a Ferrari in the ocean and saying it's not fast against a speed boat is TRUE but there is a swaying here of the test...but some are too blinded by the numbers the trees to see the forrest.

  19. #19
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Guess that's why my "digital" sounds great

    Quote Originally Posted by RGA
    ...There is no notch distortion with pure class A Single ended topologies and why SET and SS close to variants from Krell to budget amps like the A21a easily reign supreme over the Class B and A/B variants. If the A/B runs high in class A and you have very sensitive speakers you may avoid the switching distortion.
    .
    There's no notch distortion from switching amps because the transistors put out full power all the time. You have the best of both worlds: zero notch distortion and low power consumption. A few years ago Bel Canto Design made SET that were well-regard; they gave it up because they realized that quality of tubes plus the advantages of SS could be achieve with "digital" designs.

    But anyway: the biasing in A/B designs essentially eliminates notch distortion. It's grossly simplistic to blame notch distortion in general for the suppose inferiority of SS sound.

  20. #20
    RGA
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    There is much technical discourse on the pros of very technology - I go by the sound as it should be - then if I am moved by the sound I tend to support those technological reasons - ie; the ends justify the means.

    I don;t believe Bel Canto is represented in British Columbia - if you know where please let me know - or another respected Digital amp maker. I don;t want to judge the Digital amps off of the cheap ones because that's unfair to the technology. If I based SET off of what I have heard from Cary my view may be different than it was with AN.

    I am prepared to spend in the $4500.00 vicinity but it must have a phono stage. I may be able to AB one against the OTO SE which is the amp I'm currently looking at acquiring.

  21. #21
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Not in B.C., I don't think

    Quote Originally Posted by RGA
    ...I don;t believe Bel Canto is represented in British Columbia - if you know where please let me know - or another respected Digital amp maker. ...
    For Bel Canto, the only listed Canadian dealer is Everest Audio. It so happens I bought mine from them before I left Regina ....
    http://www.everestaudio.com/index.htm

    Everest also sells tube amps -- Cary and Sophia. (They used to carry Krell too, but apparently not any more.) I really don't know whether they would recommend, say, a Cary SLI-80 over a Bel Canto eVo2i which are both around US$3000. You could email Dave or Neil and ask their opinion.

  22. #22
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Opps!

    Quote Originally Posted by Feanor
    There's no notch distortion from switching amps because the transistors put out full power all the time. You have the best of both worlds: zero notch distortion and low power consumption. A few years ago Bel Canto Design made SET that were well-regard; they gave it up because they realized that quality of tubes plus the advantages of SS could be achieve with "digital" designs.

    But anyway: the biasing in A/B designs essentially eliminates notch distortion. It's grossly simplistic to blame notch distortion in general for the suppose inferiority of SS sound.
    Looks like Everest Audio is still offering Krell too! (Only in Saskatchewan maybe.)

  23. #23
    Forum Regular risabet's Avatar
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    The Linn Sara is an isobarik loaded speaker, there is another identical woofer inside the cabinet that is driven along with the visiblre woofer show the main driver a more constant volume, thereby extending the bass response of the speaker. The draw back is that they are hellishly difficult to drive correctly, and most SS amps are whoafully inadequate in making them sing. Try to find a small naim integrated amp or a Linn and have a good time.

    PS: The Sara is designed for freefield boundary placement, on stands, against the rear wall. Don't place them in a bookshelf.

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  24. #24
    RGA
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    I don't want people's recommendations as to what they think is better than something else. I can determine that for myself. I was just hoping there would be something in BC other than Panasonic level digital amplifiers.

    I

  25. #25
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    So I settled on the Phase linear 400. I have a Kenwood preamp that I am going to use for now. My next question is, I don't think I am going to having any luck hooking up with original sara stands. Any recomendations on stands?

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