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By Gilad Tiefenbrun
Have you ever wondered what makes music magic? I have. I’ve wondered why great songs can have such different effects, so a version played by one artist sends shivers up my spine while the same song performed identically by somebody else leaves me unmoved.
It turns out—and Miles Davis can confirm this—that what makes music magic isn’t the notes. It’s what happens between the notes.
It’s about harmonics. More precisely, it’s all about the timing of those harmonics.
When you play a musical instrument you don’t just create a single frequency: an ‘A’ may equate to precisely 440Hz, but guitar strings, piano strings and vocal cords all vibrate in multiple frequencies simultaneously. The A’s 440Hz frequency will be the most dominant, but there will be other frequencies too that give a distinctive character to the note. They’re the harmonics.
Harmonics vary from instrument to instrument, from vocalist to vocalist, and from room to room. You can buy the same kit as your favourite musician, but you won’t hit the strings, press the keys or smack the drums in exactly the same way they do, or experience the same acoustics as they did when the song was recorded. You can play exactly the same notes on exactly the same instrument with exactly the same settings and there will always be something missing.
You can lose the magic in recorded music too. For example, an MP3 lacks the clarity of CD, which in turn lacks the space and intimacy and warmth of vinyl. And if your system is losing further musical information between the source and your ears, it’s losing magic too. The bad news is, your system is doing just that.
Loudspeaker design is largely unchanged since the 1930s. They have woofers for low notes and tweeters for the high ones. It’s the crossover’s job to split the sound signal accordingly—but by doing so it’s responsible for losing a lot of the magic. That’s partly because the crossover’s component tolerances introduce distortion, and it’s partly because different frequencies travel at different speeds: the highest notes reach your ears before the lowest ones do. That’s a problem, because it means those vital harmonics get messed up by the different arrival times.
It’s not something that jumps out at you until you hear the same music without any delays, with every frequency reaching your ears at the perfect moment. Timing.
That’s when you hear the magic.
We want you to hear it every single time.
We’re not ones for hyperbole, so let’s just say that our solution is up there with the invention of the wheel, the discovery of fire or the discography of The Beatles. It’s that good.
We’ve engineered a way to deliver the magic that traditional loudspeakers can’t.
Rather than try to paper over crossovers’ imperfections, we asked ourselves a simple question: if you wanted to design the perfect way to deliver every frequency without distortion or delay, what would you make?
You wouldn’t make a physical crossover, because the physical world is messy and never perfect. You’d use to software to predict how the loudspeaker will behave and line up the frequencies in advance, ensuring that every frequency reached the listener’s ears at the same time—just as they do with real instruments in real life.
And then you’d give it a punchy name, such as Exakt technology.
Exakt technology is built into Linn’s latest range of speakers. It can be retrofitted to work in a system that has any of Linn’s historic loudspeakers.
And Exakt isn’t just for Linn speakers: it can be programmed and targeted at any loudspeaker.
Do you believe in magic? We do. Of course we do. Except we call it engineering. A miracle you can hear.
But don’t just take my word for it, book a demonstration and have a listen for yourself.