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How it works

What it can do

Exakt technology has enabled Linn to completely revolutionise the design and manufacture of music systems.

By extending the lossless digital signal path further than ever before, Exakt eliminates sources of noise and distortion that exist in the traditional analogue hi-fi chain.

Exakt turns the loudspeaker into an intelligent, connected, software-upgradeable product. This enables a wide range of performance and personalisation enhancing capabilities, guaranteeing a performance that eliminates distortion, corrects for variation and is personalised for your home.

The Exakt Revolution

Exakt technology delivers a breakthrough in audio performance; the most direct connection ever made between you and the artist. It extends the lossless digital signal path further than ever before — eliminating sources of noise and distortion.


What’s wrong with the traditional analogue signal path?

Even the best analogue hi-fi systems suffer from loss at each stage of the signal’s journey. Analogue components introduce loss in two forms: noise and distortion.

traditional-path-diagram

Loss is inevitable at each analogue stage of the traditional hi-fi system


The Exakt signal path

Exakt keeps the signal digital for longer and removes several lossy analogue stages. The sources of distortion and noise that were previously present in the player, pre-amp, crossover and analogue cables have now all been eliminated.

exakt-path-diagram

Exakt keeps the signal digital right up until the last possible stage

Exakt preserves the lossless digital signal perfectly all the way from the player, right through the crossover and volume controls. The signal is only converted to analogue at the final amplification stage, where separate amplifiers are given the maximum amount of musical information to feed each drive unit.

This can be achieved using an integrated Exakt speaker (illustrated above) or using a separate Exaktbox and external amplification.


Exakt Link

In order to deliver the digital signal losslessly to the speaker, Linn developed a new protocol — Exakt Link — achieving what no existing standard could.

Accuracy of data

Accuracy of data transmission is fundamental to any data link as errors lead to inaccuracies in playback. Exakt Link has the ability to losslessly transmit 8 channels of 24-bit 192 kHz Studio Master.

Exceptionally low jitter

Jitter has long been the enemy of pitch-accurate digital music reproduction because it impacts on musical timing. Exakt eclipses even Linn’s own market-leading DS performance by delivering a level of jitter almost half that of the Klimax DS. This ensures the timing of the music as it reaches your ears is better than ever.

Extreme precision synchronisation between speakers

Linn has led the field in high precision multi-room synchronisation through the development of our Songcast protocol. Synchronising speakers in the same room requires even greater precision. Exakt Link delivers digital synchronisation so precise that the variation in timing between speakers has been measured at just 25.4 pico-seconds, the time it takes for sound to travel less than 9 millionths of a millimeter. This extreme precision ensures you hear perfect timing from your speakers.

Exakt In Design

Exakt eliminates the magnitude and phase distortion inherent in traditional crossover and drive unit design. By splitting the signal digitally, and incorporating the characteristics of each drive unit, Exakt has made truly phase-linear speakers a reality. So what you hear is a far more faithful reproduction of the music as it was recorded.

Distortion in analogue crossovers

Loudspeakers use a crossover to split the analogue signal into the parts each drive unit can reproduce. However, in the analogue world, it is impossible to implement this crossover design with absolute precision. This is due to the introduction of two types of distortion: magnitude and phase.


Magnitude distortion

Due to manufacturing tolerances, every analogue component is slightly different. This means that every analogue crossover in every speaker performs differently. This leads to variance in the crossover point, resulting in certain frequencies being louder or quieter than intended. This difference from design to reality is magnitude distortion and it occurs in all analogue crossovers.

 


Magnitude distortion in analogue crossovers

Passive crossovers suffer from the most significant variation in the crossover point. Small variations in each component add together, leading to a wide variation in performance.

Active crossovers improve the accuracy of the crossover as they operate at lower voltage and current levels, reducing the tolerances of the analogue components. This reduces the amount of magnitude error, but magnitude distortion still occurs.

passive-crossover-diagram


exakt-crossover-diagram

 Exakt eliminates magnitude distortion

Exakt’s crossover splits the signal in the digital domain. This guarantees accuracy as there are no analogue components in the signal path, and therefore no variation between parts to distort the signal. In an Exakt system there is precisely 0 dB of magnitude distortion, guaranteeing that the crossover always performs just as the designer intended.

 

 


Phase distortion

If you play a ‘Concert A’ on a piano and also on an oboe, both will play the same fundamental frequency of 440 Hz. What distinguishes these sounds is the different harmonics – the mixture of other frequencies above the fundamental. The more accurately a system reproduces the delicate mixture of fundamental and harmonics, the more realistic each instrument will sound.

Analogue crossovers distort the true signal by delaying the relative timings of the fundamental and harmonics of all the notes you hear. This leads to frequencies recombining slightly out of phase at your ear, blurring the true sound of each musical instrument.

In all analogue crossovers the high frequencies always lead the low frequencies — delivered to the drive unit and in turn to the listener’s ears at different times.


Exakt eliminates phase distortion

Exakt delays the higher frequencies so they line up with the lower frequencies. When the music is recombined at your ear, the fundamental of each note and its harmonics arrive perfectly in time, preserving the true character of each instrument.

phase-1

phase-2

Exakt In Production

Physical variation between parts exists in even the most accurate manufacturing processes. Exakt corrects for the tiniest variation between drive units meaning that every speaker is tailored to perform exactly as intended.

Exakt corrects every drive unit

Physical variation between parts exists in even the most accurate manufacturing processes. Exakt corrects for the tiniest variation between drive units meaning that every speaker is tailored to perform exactly as intended.


A degree of tolerance in the manufacturing process is a factor acoustic engineers normally have to accept when designing loudspeakers.Even when two drive units are manufactured to the same specification, using the same process, there are always variations between them. Until now, there has been no way of correcting for these differences.

Now, Linn measures the electrical characteristics and response of every single drive unit before it is installed in the speaker. Exakt corrects these inevitable variations within its digital crossover to ensure that your speaker performs exactly as our acoustic engineers intended.

Every speaker’s unique drive unit measurements are stored in the cloud so that future improvements can be delivered directly to your speaker in your home.

output-graph

Space Optimisation +

All Linn systems feature Space Optimisation technology, which optimises performance based on your particular speakers, their placement and the characteristics of your room.

Exakt enables an enhanced version: Space Optimisation+. By modelling the unique characteristics of each individual drive unit in your speakers, performance can be optimised with even greater precision.

Cymbiosis and Exakt

Here at Cymbiosis, we have Exakt on demonstration to be able to show you the differences this incredible technology can make. In addition to this, both Kudos and Spendor have been working with Linn to make their speakers available for Exakt. This means we have a range of speakers on which to demonstrate how Exakt can transform your system.

For more information on Exakt, please contact Phil or Peter.

Book a demonstration