Linn’s Exakt concept is arguably the most 21st Century take on the audio system in production, and the Akurate Akudorik Exakt is the most attainable of the current Exakt systems. This makes it one of the most important takes on high-resolution and ‘next generation’ audio available today, and any review of the system needs to reflect that.
As such, this is not one review, but three: a discussion of the mechanics of Exakt, how this system functions (both as an ambassador for the Exakt concept, and in a wider context as an audio system in its own right), and what Exakt implies in a wider audiophile concept.
Linn broke with the Exakt concept as part of its 40th year celebrations back in 2013. While all the public attention was focused on the Highland Park whisky hook‑up and the anniversary turntable that ensued, the real story was Exakt, and its claim of, ‘The Source is in the Speaker.” Linn has, in fairness, long been an advocate of both active loudspeakers and networked audio systems, so creating an extension of both is a logical next step for the company.
Exakt works by eliminating sub‑systems in the distribution and replay chain. The idea is that an uncompressed high-resolution recording is passed from studio to drive unit (well, almost) in the digital domain, avoiding any kind of deleterious effects from the traditional audio signal path along the way. In this case, the four 100W Linn Chakra monolithic amp modules (driven by a Dynamik switch-mode power supply) built into the stand of the four way, rear ported Acudorik standmount loudspeaker are the first point at which the signal is converted to analogue, and from there it’s straight to the drive units. Crossover, level, DSP, and any other form of signal wrangling takes place in the digital domain in the Akurate Exakt DSM. The Akurate Exakt DSM also acts as a UPnP media player, and includes a range of analogue inputs (including a very good phono stage), which it doesn’t dismiss as ‘legacy’.