$39K for the Linn Klimax DAC/streamer?

It has to be set up using a special service and there is no manual? I guess this for the very wealthy few who do not care about "gear." I would rather buy a car with this money, or part of a Porsche, and set up my own DAC/streamer. But Stephen Scarf at Absolute Sound says.."unquestionably the best combination DAC/streamer I've ever heard, bar none." Great hyperbole, may hold true for a month or two, then some other over-priced bit of kit comes along..
128x128Ag insider logo xs@2xgerryah930
Whether it’s good sounding or not is moot. We are witnessing an ascendant class of wealthy individuals who either demand the best with no expense spared, or, who frequent the upper echelons and are used to paying large sums for everything. $40k to a billionaire is like $40 to the average worker. And some manufacturers are more than happy to cater to a few wealthy people for a healthy markup than interact with thousands of ordinary souls with a built-to-a-price product line.
Typical Absolute Sound nonsense.
Do you need a Doc of Philosophy or a trained monkey?
I do not agree that the so-called ascendent class "demand the best." If this was accurate, then why did the DeVos family, the Waltons, Bill Clinton, Rupert Murdoch and those other knuckleheads invest in the "vapor-ware" being pushed by Theranos? Talk about a lack of any due diligence! 
I do not agree that the so-called ascendent class "demand the best.
I used a logical "or" above which negates your complaint. ;-)
noromance- As a member of the "ascendant class", I have to say that your inclusion of an "or" as a Boolean operator is nonsense! 
I haven't heard Linn's new DAC. Is it worth $39k?  Not for me, I'm not willing to pay $39k for 1 piece of audio gear.

Linn has been on the leading edge of digital music - I think their brand reputation does provide them an opportunity to create and market a high-end DAC. The upper Linn systems have active speakers and use digital converters to minimize signal loss.  Higher-end Linn systems are visually minimalistic and easy to blend into decor.

There are individuals that are willing and able to pay $39k for a DAC.  And that's their prerogative. It's their money and their experience.  

Lastly, I would if someone is willing to spend $39k for a DAC that person appreciates music.

So, if you put it on Nobsound Springs, will a $39K streamer/dac sound better?    

I am not being facetious. I am an owner of Nobsound Springs. I am asking whether the "unquestionably best combination DAC/streamer I've ever heard, bar none." could benefit from a $40 tweak. 🤔

@tony1954 Shh!
"Sir, these finest anti-harmonic resonator devices crafted by precision craftspeople in far off lands will take your DAC to the next level, for a mere $6000. Is that check or card?"


Damn! I should have kept my mouth shut.   

Perhaps, nobody noticed.    


They cost 39K and 80K because someone pays that for them. If YOU won’t (like me) then they are not worth 39 or 80K. IF I had all the money I ever needed there are NO 39 or 80K pieces of stereo gear.. Plane and simple.. BUT that dosen’t mean others think the same way I do..

Speakers I’ve seen some very expensive woods used along with serious machine work and very expensive drivers, crossover parts and wiring.. Then the finish..

5 - 10K is not uncommon.. 50-100k hand made speakers.. Lot of labor..




You are right. I have pretty expensive Wilson speakers - so I am guilty of what I have been complaining about. 

For some reason, and it may be that because I have worked with computer networks much of my life, a ~$40k streamer struck me as too much money, but it is all relative!


I have heard the Linn DAC/ streamer and it’s amazing. If I could afford it, I would purchase it in a heartbeat.

Buy a Grace digital link for $179... and save $38,821

It streams, it works, it sounds nice......some people need serious help....

Combined with the musical fidelity V90 dac, and you got a budget streamer/dac that will sound better than anything near the price...and maybe 2 and three times....

Why? Just donate it to me. I'll take a lot better care of it..

The needy will always be needy.. It's just THEIR way of life.

Christ even said it.. I just added "It's just their way of life" I'm just not as forgiving as Christ..



Eventually we'll all benefit from the trickle down as today's SOTA improvements become available in more affordable equipment, e.g. elements of today's F1 racing technology will become standard safety features for family sedans and SUVs in 5-7 years



Nothing Linn is worth $39k.

Especially not a DAC/Streamer

Linn is mid-fi in today's marketplace, trying to project as high-end or even state of the art.  Trading on a naim only.

The top LP12 turntable costs $15k.  in the mid 1970s it was $600.  OK they say they've improved it but really all they've done is up-priced it to match the ludicrous prices being asked for turntables these days.

And they're still pigs to set up and keep set up.


And just wait an extra couple of weeks to order yours used for a mere $19,999!

John Atkinson had an editorial in Stereophile during the financial meltdown.  It discussed income inequality, and opined that the key to survival for most of us would be figuring out how to serve the one percenters.  It only gets more relevant with the passage of time

Strange post and even more stranger responses, I should say. I thought we are here to discuss audio and not spending habits. The fact that one is not ready or not able to pay certain price doesn't mean the price is necessarily crazy. Anyway most if not all of the audiophiles seem strange (not to use stronger words) to the rest, so do obviously some of us, ready to pay big dollars in the quest for the perfect sound and the grande listening pleasure.

The person being quoted said it is the best server he ever heard.  How do we know that this is a lie or hyperbole?  It might be that, and whether or not it is worth $39k is a different matter.

I have not heard this latest Linn server.  But, many years ago I did hear their top of the line CD player and it was a truly fantastic player.  I also heard their early servers.  They were in this game sooner than most companies, so they have had plenty of time to up their game.  

As to the "value" of such a server, I won't get into the big picture philosophy which is pointless to argue here.  As an audio component, it is worth that price if it performs up to the competition in sound quality, build, convenience, utility, etc.  I did not see any of those here criticizing it mention what they heard and experienced with the product vs. their experience with other competitive products.  

@mahler123 I’d be most interested in reading that article if it is available. I did a search with no success. Would you be so kind as to pont me in the right direction?

I think that the quite sustained increase in inequality (in both relative and absolute terms, generally since about 2008, but most certainly and dramatically in the last year or so) may also explain certain aspects that have been explored recently in a recent/current thread about bricks and mortar stores and sales practices.

Well... At 40k I know I'll never own one, but I sure would like to hear one. Just to see what I'm missing other then 31k.

It is fascinating though.

Linn makes great sounding gear on the leading edge of tech that is plug and play and looks fantastic in a home. 

Add to that, made in Scotland, small and runs cool.

I can't afford $40k for a streamer, but I also can't afford a McLaren either and lots people buy those too.   For some people $40k isn't a lot of money.  Stop acting so jealous people - if you want to piece together a rig for less money, go for it, Linn's not necessarily  chasing after your part of the market. 

Would it be too much to ask for some transparency on the cost?

Have the seller list parts, labor, patent, shipping etc, with corresponding cost. If it can't be produced, then stay away.

Problem solved.

I am betting the OP has not heard of most of the extreme gear out there that makes the Linn server look like a budget model.  A local dealer installed the top end CD transport/DAC combination from Audio Note in a customer's system.  I got to see and hear it while it was being tested and broken in for a few days.  I declined to purchase one myself (yeah, like I have the $302k for that setup).   I saw the Wadax at a show, and I will get a chance some day to hear it in a friend's system.  It is a wild looking piece of gear.

I have heard the $39,000 Linn Streamer/DAC, and it is unquestionably excellent, and it is not something I will ever likely buy. Manufacturers sometimes have such products in their portfolio as halo products, which could also lead to trickle down technology for more affordable products. 

If you are in the Kansas City area, please schedule a time to visit us and listen to the new Linn Klimax DSM. We appreciate your interest and consideration. www.LinnKasa.com



If you've got the $$$ and you want it, nothing wrong with that! I don't think it's intended to win a 'value-for-money' competition. 

"Nothing Linn is worth $39k."

And Donald Trump's natural hair colour is orange.

why not ? y'all realize there is a forum discussion somewhere talking about how crazy and financially irresponsible a $1 k cartridge is.... a " consumable " at that...which is how you should view...wait for it.....your turbocharger...

Hilarious how all the magic stone " you must hear it to criticize it " crowd are quick to pile on Linn.....


Linn have been following the same marketing strategy since the early 1970s.


It's just now they're targeting the so-called 'ascendant class' that the socialist (Ha!) Joe Biden seems to be assisting.


Clever strategical move on Linn's part, not so clever on crazy Joe's.

Pretty soon he won't have any supporters left, not even fictional ones.


Let's go Brandon!

$39k for a server/DAC IS an OUTRAGEOUS amount (because it exceeds the $30k I paid for mine).  People are always spending either too little and buying junk (i.e., less than I spent) or are spending way too much and bringing ruin to the world (i.e., spending more than I did).  What's wrong with y'all.

Good grief, can't an audiophile board about DACs be a safe haven from our dysfunctional political name-calling (on both sides.)

clearthinker wrote:

"Linn is mid-fi in today's marketplace"


This is simply not true of the Linn Klimax preamp or I suspect (haven't heard it yet) this DAC/Streamer.   

The NAIM ND555/555PS (the 555PS is an external power supply) is considered a superb streamer, in fact, Hi-Fi+ awarded it 'the best streamer on the market currently.' It's $15K cheaper than the Linn ($24K). Still not cheap by any means..

I have also read a very glorifying review about the Linn.

Both are out of reach for me..

One great alternative for a great streamer is the moon SimAudio 360D ($9K).

I also thought the Naim ND555 sounded better, to me, than did the top Linn. Each  are superb, and have different strengths.