While we are on old favourites, has anyone compared the Kans with a current equivalent ls3/5a sized speaker?
I’d like to find something that sound much the same but with less top end.
If the Kans are turned up loud I find them fatiguing, but at moderate and low volumes I like their clarity, I can even understand Van Morrisons mumblings.
Kan MKIIs …
What’s upstream of the Kan?
Mk 1 Kans, nap cb 250, hc and 82. The fatigue and toppyness is gone when I put a 250 dr in.
Does the CB250 need servicing?
For me any variant of Kan 1 or 2 needs a pre-Cirkus LP12 to sound well balanced, so I suppose the other option is to keep the Kans and use a digital source that has a similar balance. Not sure such as a thing exists but might do. Or even better, get an 80s spec LP12 built by a reputable dealer.
Otherwise, I have no idea but the Kan II suggestion is a good shout if all you need is more top end refinement.
If your Kan grills are already off then foam strips will help top end performance. The grille frame forms an edge that causes refraction edges. This is why the LS35/a had felt strips glued around the treble unit. This felt effectively removes that edge. The felt should be as flush as possible with the inside face of the grille material.
I have just taken delivery of pair of Falcon LS3/5As (to go with a Nait50, which is on order), and my son has my old pair of Kans. But there’s little chance of getting them into the same room for comparison, as we live 60 miles apart.
That is a shame. It is exactly the comparison I am looking for.
Later today I’ll audition a pair of Linn Kan 1s and Spendor LS3/5As, but not in the same place…§
If such a comparison can be of any help, I’ll gladly post about it.
I myself am choosing between the two.
I have had both Kan 1s and 2s some 35-odd years ago. If memory helps me, I found the 1s forward and a little ‘cheeky’, but preferable to the 2s, uselessly tamed in the treble IMO. But I had unlikely amps back then…
If I found a nice pair in cherry, I’d take SBLs now over a number of widely different speakers I’ve had…
I’ve bought and sold about 15 pairs of Kan 1s in recent years and they can sound very different to one another, especially with the different mid/bass units. I have a pair of each and they couldn’t be more different. Obviously some pairs out there are buggered which doesn’t help
The later ones with same SP1057 understandably sound quite similar to the Kan 2 as they share the same drive units.
I suspect most folks would prefer a good pair of later Kan 1s as they’re more open sounding, but the early ones (with SP1003 units) have more bass and are a bit more musical to my ears, but they are all getting very old now and I’m yet to be convinced by servicing, although may one day try again with different caps. I had to give up in the end but will never sell my best pairs.
Change to new tweeters on the Linn Kan,Ls3/5a don’t play music as Kan.
Mine have been with me since 1988 and are the late Kan 1’s. Therefore should have the kef b105 unit and Hyquphone tweeters. They were refreshed around 10 years ago though and I don’t know which tweeters and crossover parts were installed. Hopefully like for like. I certainly only noticed positive changes at the time.
Just to be clear I have loved these speakers, always used in a small to medium sized room as I travelled around Europe for work. Never had a problem with small room listening levels and always regarded them as less than perfect for loud volumes due to the toppiness. Its just my recent use of the 250DR that has allowed them to go loud without fatigue and that got me wondering.
I always thought of SBLs as big Kans Max. More scale and bass but with the get up and go that Kans had. They are getting old but mine still deliver stunning music.
The Hiquphon tweeters are like sandpaper in the ears when they go old.
The earlier Kan 1 with Scanspeak tweeters are much better and last longer, I have found.
But the biggest upgrade for Linn Kan is going active it just transforms the Kan into something absolutely fantastic.
Absolutely true. They are both great with music but in different ways and personally I prefer the LS3/5a (I have a friend that still run Kan:s) and if you have a decent amp (I started with a 250 in the 80’s, switched to 135 late 80s) they are fast and lets you in close to the music. Use the best source you can afford.
I have had other speakers I liked over the years (SBL, Sara, LRS) but somehow I always return to the LS3/5a. They, like Kans, just do their job. And my current Falcons with the latest “gold” crossovers are the best I’ve heard for late-night low-level listening.
I’ve a mid-80s pair of Hiquphons that measure almost identically to a new pair and sound very good indeed, so I just think these things vary so much now due to age.
I tried active Kans (original Linn ones) and very much liked the cleaner sound but musically they didn’t do it for me - all that gear in the signal path took its toll on the music. I was warned not to bother but still glad I tried it as sometimes you just need to hear these things yourself, and I could have been like you and loved it. I wish I’d kept that pair for passive use though (I bought Kan crossovers separately) as they were really good (serial 10,xxx).
It seems that they age very differently.
What electronic crossover did you use ?
It was 32.5 / CB HC / Olive 4-2 / Olive HC into a pair of NAP 110s, so not the best but gave me an understanding of what was on offer.