Hi Jan I used to own a pair of Kans, driven by a Linn LP12/Ittok/Karma, with chrome bumper 32.5/hicap/250. It was a classic mid 1980's Linn/Naim system and I loved it but eventually wanted deeper bass.
Made the mistake of buying a new pair of Linn Sara, because that's what we did in those days.
The only time I ever got the Sara to sing was when the 135 monoblocks came out. Even the 250 lacked the grunt/iron control needed to get Sara to play bass at the same time as the rest of the tune. The music just seemed to drag.
I eventually gave up, after hearing the EPOS ES14 (their first speaker) which was so much more musical. Sold the Sara straight away, bought the EPOS and was very happy indeed.
I now have a pair of Proac Signature standmounts, which are nearest that I have found to the EPOS ES14 sound and they are wonderful, so long as you place them on the best stands that you can find (which will cost circa £300 these days)
All this in a room which is a little longer and a little narrower than yours.
Originally posted by JanÅ: Hi. What new/used speaker to get if I like the speed, timing and directness in Kan - but even better? Budget up to 2k£.
To be used in a small room (4*4m) and I prefer a tight fast detailed bass over deep bass.
Tried searching but couldn't find much information...
Have been a Kan lover for years and not beeing able to find a true alternative with all the advantages plus "more of everything"
There are sideway moves which usually are more universal and don't often show up the disadvantages as a Kan can do. I suggest Royd (Various) IBL, n.Sat & SBL for above, not sure about later Linn types: TuKan, Katan, Majik 109 if its the original Kan sound you seek more of..
Really a love and/or hate speaker, my most succesfull Kan setup were fronted CDS/LP12 with 32.5/160/HC - I can't stress enough how important source is on Kan's
Not sure what source you have but upgrade there might be a solution ?
Never heard active Kan (I read somewhere on Linn forum a guy running active Kan, you might do a search)
You are looking at a short list. At the risk of repeating what others have said, here is a list of speakers to consider:
1. Linn Kaber (do make sure they have the ku-stone stands). 2. Linn Isobariks (Briks). 3. Naim IBL (very difficult to find!) 4. Naim SBL (the later version, with the upgraded bass driver--and check the crossovers!). 5. Naim DBL (I know, I know, but . . . they ARE what Kans wanted to be when they grew up!).
Input sockets( and I guess bass and treble sockets) can fracture the solder on the Xover printed circuit. This is a VERY easy fix, any dealer worth his salt should be able to re-solder them , with lead solder of course to early for lead free.
If memory serves there are only 1 or 2 capacitors in each cross over so if they are electrolytics, a visual should show if there are leaking.
You could check out a pair of Roksan Darius speakers which I believe may suit your requirements. These where the first Roksan speakers. I know there are a pair of second-hand ones for sale in Stockholm (not mine)that are within your budget.
Hi JanÅ, I have Kan mk1 since 1987. Set up is LP12/250/82/Scap. I too am looking for "some more of it". Had Briks at home, fantastic, then heard SBLs, not so much well set up, not impressed, Allaes, not impressed at all, SL"s yes they did, try to listen to them. But IMHO Briks are the best. Don't know about active SBLs or SL2s. Hope this helps, Kind Regards Andrea
I do hope the Kabers are good as I have just bought some!! they are a walnut pair, with the kustone stands, and cost the princely sum of £275. I have had both Kans and SBLs, so Kabers will make a change.
Originally posted by AB: I had Saras too, for a while, fancied downsizing. Did some A/B comparisons with my 'briks, but could never really like the Saras, so stayed with the isobariks.
What was it you didn't like then? And was it anything you consider Sara's being better at?
Hard to say, JAnA, but the isobariks were so easy and effortless to listen to, even at low volumes. The Saras alwasy needed lots of volume. I wouldn't worry too much about your room size (see my posts years ago about "Isobariks in a 9' square room"). @Briks are very good value, altho' quite expensive to ship, since they are so heavy. Replacement tweeters and mid range drivers are still readily available. I think the oval KEF bass drivers are harder to source, so need to be sure that the bass drivers are not cracked. The newer 'briks with the crossovers in the base stands are meant to be better, altho' mine are the older ones with internal xovers.
Originally posted by hungryhalibut: I do hope the Kabers are good as I have just bought some!! they are a walnut pair, with the kustone stands, and cost the princely sum of £275. I have had both Kans and SBLs, so Kabers will make a change.
Nigel, please report back. Great if you compare your impressions with Kan/SBL.
Have you tried some Kabers yet? As others have said, they are very Kan-like; very quick and with tight bass. My 180 is not really up to the job at high volumes, but as I usually listen quite quietly that is not too much of an issue. And with the big Linn that definitely won't be a problem. They go nice and close to the wall (mine are 12cm away) and unlike the Gurus they look good too. Why pay more?
Subscribed- in the same boat, having run Kans for the last decade or so. And it's proving rather difficult. Going to hear a pair of Epos M16i soon (totally new adventure). And will probably have to sell the mint pair of cherry '08 vintage Allae I just bought. Don't think they're going to work out as hoped.
The Kans are pretty special in some important ways. But have also grown tired of their limitations.
Maybe we'll try integrating a sub with the Kans, and maybe try limiting the Kan lower BW too. Seems likely to be a recipe for frustration though. But maybe worth a try(?)
Has anyone here successfully integrated a SW with the Kans? Think I'll try that meanwhile while continuing to search for suitable speakers.
Have a powered sub, but not much of a crossover (yet). I'm thinking of SW active crossover, such that the Kans are not asked to play low bass anymore. Seems that might greatly help with "compression" issues at loud volumes.
And while we're active, might as well go all the way with active on the Kan drivers too.
Potentially, I guess removing the passive speaker xover from the chain could make up for the insertion of a (high quality) active circuit. And the benefit of active control of the speaker drivers and such.
In fact, been scheming up trying an all digital chain from source through the xover. Then perhaps a passive pre for example to attenuate the 4-6 output channels from the xover analog outs to the (Naim) amps. Am curious enough that I might just try it now.
One nice thing about being in the digital domain is of course some cool tweaking flexibility- we can tweak crossovers, many channels of parametric EQ, time delay and such to our heart's content
Of course that likely wouldn't do much for the analog turntable path
Soo, anyone here been there, done that already and have comments or advice?
And PS, am going to get to hear a full blown pair of up to date Linkwitz Labs "Orion" dipoles soon. THAT has me veerrry curious We'll soon see! Listened to a pair of Epos M16i last night.
So Andrew, you were pleased with Katan? I'm lining up a Katan audition soon in fact.
I’ve listened to a lot of gear lately, whew. Over 10 sets of loudspeakers included. There’s 5 sets still parked in the living room right now in fact (lol). A mint pair of cherry Allae sitting there, Kans, Tukans, an old pair of Nexus and a pair of Index (lol), have auditioned Harbeth, Kudo, Rega, Epos, Tokaro, etc. The search continues. I'm sure some here can relate.
Replacing Kan Mk3 is tough actually. Also was able to borrow a set of Tukans from my sis so am fairly well versed on the sound of classic Linn bookshelf speakers.
Also battling a serious room bloom problem. 60-70Hz. We’ll get that sorted out eventually. But the smaller speakers work better in that regard, as they don’t excite that bloom as badly as larger floor standers do.
Love the “bigger” overall sound of the Tukans vs the Kan, but there’s also a slightly excessive forward/bright quality to them that is kind of hard to endure and is a deal breaker.
After all that auditioning lately we're back now to the Kans sitting on the stands. The Kan Mk3 remains the most natural, pleasing, real sounding speaker that I know of from the mid-bass and up. It connects and sings to you. Pianos, trumpets etc play for you.
The Kan bass is rather uneven IME, but the main problem they have is that they just start compressing too early on rock music for example. I like “comfortably loud” generally (sometimes a lot more of course) and on rock mainly the Kan just can’t really hang, starting by about “comfortably loud”. It starts compressing noticeably. Music starts to get lost.
OTOH the Tukan hangs in there quite well at the same comfortably loud volume level. It keeps playing music. I’ve noticed the cabinet is more sturdy than the Kan. If it had the other same good qualities as the Kan Mk3 it would be a clear winner. But to me they don’t sound as real and natural as the Kan.
There is a Tukan version that uses the same lovely tweeter as the Kan Mk3, but my sis’ version does not have that. Wondering if maybe that latest Tukan version with the same tweeter as the Kan might “do it”(?).
Here’s a shot of a Tukan with the 3 bar grill Kan tweeter I’m referring to:
The Kan Mk3 I have has a woven carbon fiber looking woofer, different than the Tukan woofer:
Anyone here have experience with this version of Tukan?
Update. Have the Katan in the listening room now. Tried a pair of Dali but they had some weird bass issues and gave up. Next up, some Joseph Audio RM7XL. These are very promising.
I've been using (enjoying) Kans for over 10 years now, but my experience is only with the Mk3 as previously mentioned. So YMMV.
I have to agree that the Katan actually "out-Kans" the Kan, and this is a compliment. That's also not that easy to achieve IMO and IME. I can endorse them for anyone looking to replace a pair of Kans. Tonally they are very, very close. The Katan may be slightly more polite in the midrange if you will, but this might just be because it is also rather "cleaner" than the Kan, from midrange through the treble.
Katan vs Kan Mk3:
The Katan also produces far more bass, but this is actually more of a problem in my case (and I suspect for some others too) because of a room boom problem I've been suffering.
Speaking of, have been trying some solutions to the room problem and actually the system is rocking far better than it ever has before. Even though some "heresy" is involved here. Please bear with me...
Yes, as an experiment I pulled an old low end parametric EQ out of the closet and tried a simple bass cut at the room boom resonant frequency (~ 65 Hz in my case). The EQ also has a volume slider, so in fact this has been serving as the preamp now too, driving the amp directly.
I'm also using a powered sub, set to 40Hz and barely running to back fill the low bass ever so slightly.
The result is actually fabulous. Yes the EQ in the chain has some negative sonic impact. On the order of having a mid range preamp in there.
However, getting rid of the very troublesome room boom has transformed the listening experience into a very, very good one. Hurray!
AND, as suspected, there's an extra bonus from freeing the Kans from producing low bass (the EQ is serving as somewhat of a high pass crossover basically). This has supercharged them as well at higher volumes- now they can rock the house pretty good. Who said Kans aren't good for heavy metal? <wink> You should here 'em do Vicarious by Tool for example now Wow, what impact, speed and snap those big drum whacks have, sheesh! Seriously.
Since the active EQ experiment went so well, I've ordered some pro audio digital EQ/RTA/XOVER/SRC stuff (and a mic) and we'll see if we can get all this correction stuff done satisfactorily in the digital domain.
Also have several DACs coming in for audition.
Anyway, if you are a lover of Kans (or music) I can also give the Katan 2 hearty thumbs up! The Tukan IME, no.
Wanted to follow up and correct about the Katans. After more listening, including some vinyl standards I'm afraid the Katans are leaving me rather bored. They're just not doing it. What they give is generally very nice, but they're just not giving enough of some important things. So have to retract the previous thumbs up- sorry 'bout that.
Think I also stated somewhere on the forum that I had an LP12 with Arkiv cartridge, but recall now that it's actually an Akiva (oops- senior moment).
Due in soon are a pair of AV 5140. Think we'll also get the Allae back out and do some listening.