Review of "Linn LK 85"

published 04/01/2004 | goldenears
Member since : 01/01/2004
Reviews : 7
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About me :
Pro Linn name
Cons Better amplifiers for less money, LK140 is the better option
Sound Quality
Ease of Use
Look & Design
Range of Features

"LK 85/140"

I had an LK 85 on loan from a local HI-FI shop, as my power amp had developed a fault.
Their is not much to tell when it comes to power amplifiers, as all you have is a mains switch a set of input connectors and speaker outlet posts.
The LK 85 is not much to look at, but then most other power amps, with the exception of valve power amplifiers are basically a plain box.

The LK 85 comes in a solid good quality box with just an on off switch on the front facia and a small led to let you know that the amp is switched on. You can have any colour you want as long as it is black (as far as I know). The rear facia has a double set of gold plated phono sockets for Bi-Amping and Linns Quirky speaker connections that double up so your speakers can be Bi-Wired. The usual 4 millimeter banana plugs will not connect to this amplifier, you need Linns own brand which they supply ( 4 in all ) with the amplifier including a set of phono interconnects with the Linn logo imprinted.
The amplifier is rated at 85 watts per channel into 8 ohms.

The Amplifier has optional electronic crossover modules that can be fitted if you are partnering the amp with Linn speakers, and a stand by mode that limits power consumption when the amplifier is not receiving a signal, this can be set to 10 minutes, 20 minutes or disabled, but this can only be done internally by a dealer.

The LK 85 and LK 140 use custom made output devices that look more like intregated chips instead of the usual complimentary transistors or mosfets found in most amplifiers.

As for sound quality the LK 85 is polite and detailed but not exceptionaly so, it can get confused and starts to lack detail when the music gets complicated. This Amplifier is best suited to light classical works rather than heavy rock. It also lacks oomph and might integrate better when partnered with other Linn products. The LK 85s big brother the LK 140 is very simmilar to the LK 85 but produces 140 watts per channel into 8 ohms and has the oomph that the LK 85 lacks. Sound quality is very similar on both models, and might be nirvana for Linn fans. Give them an audition, you might like the LKs.

In conclusion the LK 85 or LK 140 are a resonable amplifier, but I have heard better at this price £600 for the LK 85 and £800 for the LK 140, But it is made in the U.K. and it's Linn afterall.

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Comments on this review

  • Lancashire_Angel published 06/01/2004
    This may be shorter than the usual vh review, but it seems to me to have all the necessary info and is well-written and clear. Sharron xxx
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Product Information : Linn LK 85

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Listed on Ciao since: 24/01/2003