Going active continued, Linn Exakt

Following on from my previous thread titled (Active system demo in Yorkshire) where I asked if there were any forum members with an active system that I could have a listen to and the results and outcome of that after two forum members came forward and offered to let me listen to there active systems earlier in the year.

During further research I have recently seen a thread on another website that describes using a Linn Exakt instead of a Naim Snaxo.

Do any forum members have any personal knowledge or experience of using a Linn Exakt instead of a Naim Snaxo?

An interesting topic that I don’t think has been previously discussed.

Link to thread/topic

Note to Richard (mod). Please delete link to other website if the link is against forum rules.


Many thoughts, but at office and need to optimize a query … look forward to read from others while getting coffee!

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It depends what speakers you plan to use, If you are using Linn Exakt speakers then all the Exakt technology is inside the speaker cabinets. If you are using Exakt compatible non-Linn speakers (Linn has a list) then you need an Exakt box. This has the digital crossovers and DACs.

You connect your Exakt Hub (for instance Linn KDSM or ADSM) over Exakt Link (Cat 5e/6 cable) to the Exakt box you then connect each of the analogue outs to an amplifier (for example if you have a 3-way speaker you need 6 channels of amplification) then you connect speaker wires from the amplifiers to speakers. So an Exact box and six Linn solos would work (I’m unsure if Naim amps would work as they do not have balanced inputs).

You can buy an Akurate Exakt box with all the amplification built in.

I would go to a good Linn dealer who could show you the options. Cymbiosis is the dealer I use for all things Linn and Naim. They would talk you through all the options and could demonstrate the effects.

IMO, the Linn Exakt system is the best looking system I’ve seen and it is superb in terms of sound quality, but it is not Naim and doesn’t sound like a Naim system. I wouldn’t try to answer which sounds better as I think both are fantastic. And then there is Chord Electronics.

I like my Spendors so active is not an option for me - which is great because I can’t afford what I’ve just described.

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Not a current comparison:

A few years ago, going Linn Exakt was very tempting to me compared to Naim active and had side benefits of requiring less boxes, shelves, interconnects as well as working out cheaper compared to Naim active.

I contemplated selling all my Naim boxes as the Linn set up and sound was very alluring.

But… in the end there was something about my Naim sound that kept me hooked.


P. S. I have had a Naim active system with SBLs, NAP250s and SNAXO many years ago before going passive with a NAP500 which I preferred to active NAP300s at the time.

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I also considered this option, having heard Exakt sounding fabulous at Cymbiosis on a few occasions. I’m not a fan of Linn speakers (post-Briks) but heard Exakt with both Kudos S20s and Titan 808s, the latter being quite sensational and I recall Peter saying that it would be possible to use Naim amps.

Ultimately I went with a passive 552DR/500DR system, as the extra real estate required would have been a problem in my listening room, although KDSM, which I have, into Exakt and 4 x Solos and T606s would be interesting to visit at some stage.

As it stands, there’s just something so special with the 552/500…

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In the following thread I have reported a little bit about my move from SNAXO to Exakt for my SL2s. I’m not using a fully Exakt setup (ie with phase correctness), I’m only using the digital crossover, which is already a great improvement over SNAXO/HICAP.

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Thanks for your input and the article you have linked. I’m not sure if you had a look at the article I linked above as it mentions somebody who can provide pre designed and tested filter configurations ti suit particular speakers using this Linn Exakt crossover which for somebody like me who aren’t tech genius’s I think it would be very helpful if I decided to go down this route.

Just to be clear the topic of this post is about the possibility, practicality, implementation and the pro’s and con’s of using a Linn Exakt crossover in a Naim system with Naim Amps and Naim Speakers instead of using a Naim Snaxo Crossover.

Do you already own a Linn DS or DSM with Exakt link outputs? Because that would be a requirement for the use of an Exaktbox.

While fully Exakt is considerable more work, and apparently needs an impedance scan of the individual drivers, creating your own crossover configuration is not extremely difficult.

So perhaps you and your dealer could experiment together and try out the digital crossover before you buy the config from that web site? Experimenting is what my dealer and me did. The geometry of the SBLs is already available in Linn Konfig. 2700Hz, 3rd order Butterworth should be same as for the SL2s. Only the relative levels of high and low pass filters would need to be adjusted.

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I don’t currently own a Linn Exakt or a Naim Snaxo or a Supercap to power it so it wouldn’t really matter which way I decided to go at this stage. I think they mention in the article that after testing they ended up using different settings to the standard Linn pre sets.

Are you planning to use a Naim source or pre amp? If so this would be a convoluted system. The best I have heard from Exakt was 100% Linn. You need a Linn DS or, if you want to uses any other sources, Linn DSM also called a Linn system hub, you cannot use any other preamp as it must have Exakt outputs.

So if you want to use your NAC72 then this would need to go into a Linn KDSM or similar. I think your NAC72 would be superfluous and you’d simply use the KDS or KDSM as a streamer with your Zenith as a server. You could add Urika II to your LP12 and go Exakt in to the KDSM, your LP12 would need a Radikal for this to work. Alternatively you could use your NAC72 as a phono stage and let the KDSM do the analogue to digital conversion.

I’m quite cautious at this level of expenditure and as far as I’m aware Linn does not support Naim speakers for Exakt. So you have an Exakt box with with a third party configuration. You would lose the benefit of Space Optimisation V2. I found V2 a huge upgrade in my setup, but I have never heard the third party configuration, which I assume are V1 custom filters.

It will be interesting to know how you get on. I wonder if you have considered a DEQX HDP-5, which is little less proprietary, but does include a digital crossover.

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If I read your profile correctly, you are using a NAC72 as pre? You wouldn’t be able to use this anymore if you went Exakt with a Linn DSM as pre.

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I currently have:
dac V1
Naim Hi Cap
Naim Nac 72 pre amp
Naim Nap 2x 135 mono amps
Naim SBL’s

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Could you not go analogue from NAC72 to the KDSM. Otherwise, you are going to need a new phono stage for LP12? I use Urika II with LP12 Radikal, but this is getting very expensive.

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I think yesterday someone from Linn announced a beta test for Exakt+SOv2 on the HiFi wigwam forum, so there is hope.

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Yes, you could of course treat the NAC72 like an analogue source, ie. as a dedicated phono pre.


The article that I posted at the start of the post basically covers what I am suggesting but I was wondering if any forum members had any experience or input.

Mmh, mine is obviously a third party filter too and I do very much hope that Linn will support SOv2 for those too, at least eventually.


More food, this time the Devialet route:

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