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Linn Expands Networked Audio Selection

7/21/2008 02:00:00 AM Eastern

Linn has expanded its selection of networked audio devices to five with the recent shipment of the $2,000 Sneaky Music DS (Digital Stream) and $3,500 Majik DS, two audiophile-grade clients that stream music from networked PCs or network-attached storage (NAS) devices.

Late last year, Linn shipped the $18,500 Klimax DS and $6,580 Akurate DS clients as well as the $10,280 Akurate Music Server, which integrates with custom installed multiroom audio systems to stream music from networked PCs and NAS devices to eight zones in the house.

All clients connect to the network via wired Ethernet jack to decode music in the FLAC, WAV, MP3 and AIFF audio formats at sampling rates up to 192kHz and word depths up to 24 bits. Multiple networked clients can each stream separate songs from the PC or NAS device, and each client accesses the SHOUTcast Internet radio service via broadband modem without the need to turn on a networked PC. All clients feature universal plug-and-play (UPnP) A/V technology to connect automatically to UPnP-equipped PCs and NAS devices and enable control from UPnP-equipped PCs, wireless handheld remotes and touchscreens, and select cellphones.

The $2,000 Sneaky DS is the only client with on-board preamplifier and amplifier, so all it needs is a pair of speakers to operate as a self-contained music system. The amp is rated at 2x20 watts. The $3,500 Majik client features a preamp but no amp, so consumers must add powered speakers or outboard amp in conjunction with passive speakers. The $6,580 Akurate DS client and top-of-the-line $18,500 Klimax DS client, available since late last year, lack preamp and amp sections, so they must be connected to a legacy stereo system in the same way as a CD player.

The $10,280 Akurate Music Server also lacks preamp and amp sections but isn't designed as a stand-alone client. Instead, it integrates with custom installed multiroom audio systems to deliver eight zones of NAS- or PC-stored music via eight line-level analog outputs. It's controlled from a multiroom audio system's in-wall controllers.

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