While we are on the subject of things Linn are doing that are not immediately connected to the Selekt DSM, the company is to quietly drop the DS versions of the Majik, Akurate, and Klimax models (meaning there will only be DSM-based source+preamp models and no more source-only variants). Apparently, almost no-one chooses the source-only models these days. At the same time, there is a significant change to the company’s Space Optimisation room correction system to allow for greater variation of room shape and position of objects like doors and windows. This is not for Exakt users, however... for the moment.
There are also a few nice design touches to the case, like the etched logo into the top plate, the 90° vents laid out like a riffle shuffle, and the fact the third of the three feet sits directly under the control/volume knob, giving the Selekt DSM the look of having a solid tube of tech running from the top to the equipment support. It is a bit ‘none more black,’ however. In short, it’s a break from Linn’s more conventional look, and a welcome one at that.
The Selekt DSM’s look is a bold departure for Linn. While it is an all-black design not dissimilar in size and weight to the Majik DSM integrated amplifier, the acrylic front panel, the multi-way top-mounted control dial, and the large OLED screen with an array of fully configurable hard buttons represents a big change for a company that doesn’t change its product design with the wind.
The aspect of the design that will draw the most attention is that dial on the top. In fairness, manufacturers have been putting knobs and dials on top of products since the first electrical goods created the need for a dial. But that’s probably not how it will be taken in some circles. The dial is more than just a rotary commander for the digital volume control, as moving it left and right or up and down allows access to set-up menus or a review through available sources. It also highlights when problems arise in the network or the pausing of a track, depending on the speed and intensity of the glowing Linn logo at the dial’s centre. It’s all very intuitive, and works well with the monochrome front screen.
Linn decided to go with a monochromatic text display, rather than a multicolour display that can support album art, even though the display itself is a full colour model. There are good reasons for staying with monochrome: there’s nothing worse than staring at a dirty great big visual question mark when you can’t find the album art; and, from a psychological perspective, large white lettering on black screen are both easy to read and stop people thinking the screen is a touchscreen. The album details are clear and can be read across the room.
Between the display and the dial, there are six small fully user configurable buttons, and in saying ‘user configurable,’ Linn is not mincing its words. You can assign anything from a single track held anywhere in your musical sphere, through a mounted source component, an internet radio stream, right through to a specific playlist or even a track you love. So, the leftmost button could be a turntable (the Selekt has its own MM and MC phono stages), the next could be Robbie Williams singing ‘Angels’ (hey, it’s your call), the next could be the internet radio stream of Dance Attack FM, the next a playlist of Stockhausen from your Network Attached Storage, then a playlist of West Coast jazz from Tidal, and so on. These are all driven from Linn’s free Kazoo app, which is a silly name for a surprisingly powerful app, available on all platforms except Linux.