LINN Kairn Preamplifiers

4.54/5 (13 Reviews) MSRP : $2995.00


Product Description

7 inputs. Software upgradable; auto volume adjust


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Reviews 1 - 5 (13 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Christian Schroff a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: October 13, 2003

Bottom Line:   
Before I upgraded to Linn Kairn, I used a Linn Wakonda as Preamplifier for 10 Months (with phono and slimline power supply). The Wakonda was satisfiing to me, but it had a bit a solid-state sound. Therefore I looked for a tube Preamp, but as I saw a used Kairn for EUR 650,00 (also with phono and slimline power supply), I just had to buy it. This price is a steel.

As I switched on the Kairn the first time, I thought I would be drunk. I couldn't believe, that I was listening to my own system. It was just magic. The speakers "disappeared" completely.

I use to listen to classic music. But what I like most with the Kairn now, is Jazz with a lot of percussion.

I would have paied for this preamp the full price, if I had to pay it for new. It's worth every penny (or - in this case - cent).

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Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   1996

Price Paid:    $650.00

Purchased At:   used (highendmarkt.d



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Atheil Lashley a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: September 21, 2003

Bottom Line:   
Skepticism abounds in the audio world, even for avid music lovers like myself. That emotion restrained me from purchasing a Linn Kairn for several months. Could it be an improvement, how much difference will a preamp really make, is it really a legimate upgrade? Well, I took the plunge and purchased a demo Linn Kairn. I plugged it in upon arrival and waited with bated breath. Sacre Bleu, what a difference this unit imparted to my system. First and foremost the revealing nature of this preamp shown through. Everything upstream of the preamp was exposed as either competent or deficient. I have an EAD 7000 III w/hdcd d/a converter and it has never been shown to greater effect (with a T-1000 transporter). The first element I recognized was that the soundstage was wider and individual voices and instruments were better pinpointed. Initially the soundstage seemed slightly veiled and to have receded, but I soon resolved that by replacing the preamp to power amp cabling (from monster cable to kimber kable). The veil immediately lifted. The level of detail and the disappearance of any semblance of component presence was a boon to the music. I could accurately pinpoint the voices and hear the complex acapella harmonies of The Fairfield Four's exquisite disc "I couldn't hear nobody pray". The ability of the Kairn to resolve this sort of detailed vocal extravaganza is indicative of this units superb pacing and rhythmic abilities. The preamp simply calls no attention to itself with its quiet unobtrusive operation and truthful recreation of the music presented to it. The next pleasant surprise was the quiet detailed performance of the phono section being fed by an Linn LP 12. The gain is excellent, the resolution (Linn Troika) is superb and the output is sheer musicality. The only downside of this setup is the revealing nature of these sorts of combinations. Faulty recordings (digital or analog) are brutally revealed. So much so that you may believe that there exists a fault elsewhere in your system. When coupled with quality components the culprit is usually not the system but the recording. High praise for this unit. I've long been a fan of Linn and this unit merely butresses my belief in the viability of their approach. The Linn Kairn further extends the "toe tapping" delight afforded by so many of their products. A fabulous bargain in the used /demo market. My system:
EAD DSP 7000 III w/hdcd D/A converter
EAD T-1000 Transport
Linn LP12 w/Ittok and Troika
Linn Kairn preamp
McCormack DNA-1 w/revision A
B&W 801 matrix series 2
various cables:(Kimber,Apature,Tara,Audioquest)
Room tunes and Echo tunes

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Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   1995

Price Paid:    $900.00

Purchased At:   Hi End Palace



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Machead a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: May 19, 2003

Bottom Line:   
I have been amazed by the difference the Kairn has made to my system.
I have a Karik with Aktiv triamped Keiledhs and , due to financial constraints, I had been using the preamp section of the Majik before buying a dedicated pre-amp. I trialled the Kairn against the other Linn options (Wakonda, Kollector) and found it superior in a listening test. I ended up buying a second hand one with an upgraded Brilliant PSU.
It has kept the "Linn sound" that I enjoy but it has brought new life to the system, with increased levels of clarity, spaciousness and a more natural sound. At first listening I thought it was lacking in bass, but I have realised that my previous interpretation of bass was boom and distortion at the lower end. The new bass sound is clean, extended and can send shivers down your spine. It is also a completely unfatiguing sound and I have not wanted to stop listening for a minute since buying the Kairn.
It is particularly good for listening to vocals, accoustic and jazz. I also play a lot of hip hop (hence my prev love of "boom")and it handles this well. Complicated pieces with lots of horns and percussion are well separated now and the more complex, the more joyous a sound comes out.
As a second hand buy, it is a steal. It would be a must for anyone going down the Linn route. As it is contained in a stylish black minimalist box, it is also extremely wife-friendly (it matters, believe me).

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Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   1997

Price Paid:    $900.00

Purchased At:   Souncraft, Kent, UK



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by J Gracchi a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: July 2, 2002

Bottom Line:   
Better hurry if you like Kairn-Pro - LINN decided to discontinue the Kairn Pro (line level only) in order to simplify their product range. The functionality and performance of the Kairn remains with Kairn (phono version). The Kairn Pro will be available until existing stocks run out.

If you buy used be sure to pick-up a serial # greater than 6000 to get the "Slimline Brilliant power supply"

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Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2000



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by wayne hudson a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: September 10, 2001

Bottom Line:   
I already had a Linn Ikemi and two LK85s running active Tukans with a Sizmik. Adding the Kairn mad a big difference, the pre amp
I was using before was actually more expensive but there is definately a synergy between Linn equipment has brought all the
elements together.

Expand full review >>

Used product for:   3 months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   1995




Reviews 1 - 5 (13 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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