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LINN calls time on the Pre-Amplifier

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Once essential hi-fi component falls prey to innovations in Linn’s DSM players.


World-leading hi-fi manufacturer and record label Linn is again forecasting the demise of a long-term hi-fi stalwart by announcing that the company is to end production of all stand-alone pre-amps – having previously, accurately predicted the demise of the CD player back in 2009.

Linn was also one of the first companies to recognise the potential impact of digital streaming when the company introduced its hugely successful DS product line and created its online music store to allow the first encryption-free downloads of 24-bit Studio Master quality recordings in 2007.

Now, just as Linn’s DS players replaced the CD player, Linn’s DSM players are set to supersede the stand-alone pre-amp.

Linn signalled the beginning of the end for the pre-amp in 2011 when they integrated the networked music capabilities of DS with pre-amp functionality in a single product, the Linn DSM. Customers have been attracted by the flexibility of Linn DSM to handle any music source, from digital streaming to a turntable – all at the highest quality – while also allowing them to simplify their music systems.

With the recent introduction of additional features such as Linn’s unique Space Optimisation technology and the integration of high-quality streaming services such as TIDAL & Qobuz, the trend has rapidly accelerated in favour of DSM products over the traditional pre-amp.

Linn will help existing and new customers to make the transition from old to new technology with a special promotion offering 10% off the cost of any Linn DSM for consumers trading in a pre-amp from Linn or any other manufacturer from now until 14th August.

Commenting on the decision, Linn Managing Director, Gilad Tiefenbrun, said, “People told us we were crazy when we stopped making CD players but it was simply a reflection of Linn’s development of a superior technology together with changes to how people were consuming music. But, just as the DS offered better performance and flexibility than the CD player, the DSM now outperforms any pre-amplifier while offering so much more functionality.”


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Linn design and make the best music systems in the world. Based in Scotland and established since 1973, Linn manufacture everything in-house, from the electronics in their industry-leading Linn DS technology to the loudspeakers found in homes around the world. The iconic Sondek LP12 turntable continues to set the standard for vinyl playback and the latest digital stream players out-perform any CD or network music player available.

Linn systems are sold through a worldwide network of specialist retailers who also share a passion for enriching people’s lives through music. Linn were awarded a Royal Warrant in 2002 as suppliers of entertainment systems to the Royal Household, and received the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in Innovation in 2012.


Linn Records

Scottish music label Linn Records was launched in 1982 with groundbreaking recordings by The Blue Nile and Carol Kidd. It is home to many exceptional artists ranging from the finest classical players to highly respected jazz vocalists and inspiring folk singer-songwriters. The result is a catalogue brimming with quality and diversity.

Linn Records was the first label to offer Studio Master downloads DRM-free. Thousands of customers have already downloaded Studio Masters from Linn Records, demonstrating the demand for high quality music at home. This appetite for producing music exactly the way the artist intended it to sound saw Linn Records named as Gramophone’s ‘Label of the Year’ in 2010. The award-winning record label was borne from the same enthusiasm for music and precision-engineering that are the founding values of Linn Products.


About Linn’s Space Optimisation Technology

Space Optimisation uses sophisticated acoustic modelling to build up a complete picture of how a customer’s speakers, their placement, and the unique characteristics of their room interact to affect the sound they hear. It then precisely identifies frequencies that are artificially distorted by the listening environment, and reduces their energy, to reveal the true sound of the music.

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