A Radikal Adventure

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Mr Onion
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A Radikal Adventure

Post by Mr Onion » Tue Oct 18, 2016 5:11 pm

UPDATE Mr Onion @ A Radikal Adventure


Preamble

As you know LINN make two versions of the Radikal. The Akurate and the Klimax (at some £2k more) and it has been demonstrated that the Klimax sounds better. How can this be when the electronics are the same in each (confirmed by David W @ LINN) So what differences are there? Well, in the Akurate the boards are conventionally mounted on the bottom of the case. In the Klimax the boards are inverted and mounted on the 'top' of the case. The Akurate has the 'conventional' pressed and folded Aluminium sheet. The Klimax case is CNC's from a billet of Aluminium, and weighs in some 6kg heavier. Also the 'web' between the Power supply and the control board is much thicker.

So, what can we do to get a Klimax Radikal on the cheap? Inverting the boards is not going to be easy, and inverting the whole case would look awful. But adding mass. Thats easy to do.

Experimenting

I tried a heavy book on top of the case as a test. Due to the way the Radikal is placed on my rack I was limited in what I could use. The best I could try weighed in at just over 500gm. Did it make a difference? Well I thought so. In fact I thought so enough to take me onto the next step.

Adding Mass

The next thing to address is how and where to add mass in such a way that:-

It does not involve drilling the case or disturbing the electronics

It is easily reversible

It doesn't look a mess

The Plan

A 6mm slab of Aluminium sheet can cover the top, adding about 2kg

A 6mm slab of Aluminium sheet can cover the bottom held on by the feet, adding about 1.7kg

A 6mm slab of Aluminium sheet can sit inside the case next to the power supply grounded to the case adding about 0.3kg

Total mass added will be about 4kg. Not bad.

DISCLAIMER:-

Removing the top from the case will invalidate any warranty that is remaining on your Radikal. Also be mindful that the you need to observe electrical safety precautions at all times. There are lots of nasty volts running around inside the case and you proceed at your own risk. Neither I or the HiFi Kabin can be held responsible for any injury or damage sustained.


With that in mind, read on.

BoM

Aluminium sheet

370 x 350 x 6mm
350 x 290 x 6mm
300 x 65 x 6mm

40% wool Felt

Vinyl Wrap

Four off M4 x 25mm CSK Bolts

One off M3 x 15mm nut and bolt

Grounding cable

Crimp Eyelets

Double sided tape

Long Cable Ties (I needed 3)

Tools

H 2.5 driver to remove the feet

T 10 driver to remove the case

Drill bits and power drill

Junior Hacksaw

File, emery paper and sanding block

Method

Before starting, file and sand edges of the Aluminium sheet to remove all burrs, sharp edges and cutting marks. Then make sure that it is TOTALLY clean, The last thing you need is bits of stray Aluminium inside the Radikal case. I used my Record Cleaning fluid and some Paper towel.

Top

Cover the top and edges with Vinyl wrap (avoiding bubbles and creases) and using the double sided tape cover the bottom with felt. Adding the felt allows a rattle free operation, and helps prevent scratching the case top. It will also add a constraining damping layer to the case (which can not be a bad thing) Photo 1

Divider

Remove the case using T 10 driver to undo the four bolts and slide the top backwards. You will need to make a cut-out to allow the cable to pass between the Power Supply and control board. The best approach is to make a cardboard template and transfer that to the Aluminium sheet before drilling and cutting as needed. File and sand any cuts smooth. Drill 3mm and 8.5mm holes as indicated on photo 2 for the grounding cable and cable ties. See Photo 3 to see how the ties hold the plate in place. I added some draught excluder at the places arrowed as there was a slight rattle against the captive Nuts.

EDIT The grounding cable is made from a short length of Insulated 'hookup' wire connecting the divider to the Radikals Earth post

Refit the case by sliding it in place and replacing the T 10 bolts.

Bottom

Drill four 4.5mm holes as indicated (see Photo 4) Debur the holes and cover the edges of the Aluminium with vinyl wrap. Remove the Radikal feet by carefully prizing the inserts out of the metal foot (they are held in place with double sided tape) and remove the foot with the H 2.5 driver and prizing them off of the double sided tape that hold then to the case. Place the Aluminium in place lining up the holes and replace the feet using the longer bolts. Replace the feet inserts using double sided tape. (I did not add any felt to the bottom as it will reduce the rigid contact between feet and case) Photo 5

Place the Radikal back in its rack, connect the cables and place the Top Plate in place.

How does it sound?

Well, firstly how it sounds bit by bit.

Internal Divider:- Slight (and I mean slight) increase in the quality of music.

Top Plate:- More musical and solid.

Internal divider and Top Plate:- Not a great difference to the top plate alone.

Internal Divider and Bottom Plate:- About the same as the last configuration

Full set:- More of the above. Musically better and firmer bass. More enjoyable to my ears.

Conclusions & Recommendations:-

Knowing what I now know, I would forget about the Internal Divider. Its a lot of work for a very minimal outcome. Adding the top and bottom are no brainers. Is it as good at a Klimax? I doubt it, but that is not the point. It is better than an Akurate and that was the object of the exercise. Would more mass give a better outcome? Probably. It would be interesting to add a 20mm slab (~ 7kg) to the top instead of the 'set of three'. Could be a bit unsightly though unless the edges are curved to minimise its '2001ness'. That means it would need painting as trying to cover tight curves with Vinyl Wrap is a right bugger to get right.

Cost:-

The total (Aluminium, felt, bolts, vinyl) came to about £60 + the other bits that I already had in my 'odds and sods' box.

Suppliers:-

The Aluminium Sheet I sourced from a local Aluminium Supplier (Search on line for Aluminium Fabrication with your location)
Bolts from KayFast
Felt from Craft Scource
Vinyl Wrap from Classic Trading

UPDATE

The internal and bottom Aluminium slabs are grounded to the case. The top one isn't, so ...

I have drilled a 2mm hole in the rear edge of the top plate and made a 2mm plug to fork connector cable running between the top plate and the Radikal's earth post.

10 min work, £0-00 outlay and more music. Yes really. The musicians have taken lessons over night, tuned the instruments and the conductor is really on the ball.

So you do not need just mass, you need shielding as well. If you do nothing else, I recommend this mod to the Radikal. Its cheap (maybe £35 all in for the top plate and grounding wire) and does not involve removing the case.

... and I am still wondering about a 20mm thick slab.

... or several thinner slabs, all with felt constraining damping and grounded to the casework.
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James
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Jazz Club

Re: A Radikal Adventure

Post by Jazz Club » Tue Oct 18, 2016 6:03 pm

James,
It will be interesting when you get the chance to listen to your modified Radikal and a Klymax box?

red kite

Re: A Radikal Adventure

Post by red kite » Tue Oct 18, 2016 10:03 pm

Wow James, that's brilliant!

Is that real vinyl wrap or sticky backed plastic?

You definitely deserve an award of merit :g-thumb:

Image

Shouldn't it be called, The Blue Peter Light Badge? :g-scratch:

shellspeed
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Re: A Radikal Adventure

Post by shellspeed » Wed Oct 19, 2016 9:03 am

Interesting experiment Mr. O. Although the Klimax case is heavier it also is 'dead' when you tap it with your knuckle compared to the Akurate which is not quite like a drum but certainly sounds hollow.

When we discussed the why's and wherefores at the social it was thought that the internal segregation of the power supply was a lot to do with it. Roger even commented about removing the supplies to separate boxes like Naim do. Interesting that the case seems to have more of an effect in your trials.

For giggles it might be worth turning it upside down on some rubber feet or wooden cones to see if suspending the electronics makes a difference as the klimax cases do.

As the lid of the box slides on you could not damp it with something like Dynamat easily but the base could be done inside (and out) and possibly the inside of the one side and back panel. It's very effective on cars at damping noise and vibration transfer and stopping panels from 'ringing'.

Did you try it with the lid off?
Well Keeled :smt020

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Mr Onion
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Re: A Radikal Adventure

Post by Mr Onion » Wed Oct 19, 2016 9:48 am

red kite wrote:<snip>Is that real vinyl wrap or sticky backed plastic?<snip>
Vinyl wrap as sold to the car modding fraternity.
shellspeed wrote:Interesting experiment Mr. O. Although the Klimax case is heavier it also is 'dead' when you tap it with your knuckle compared to the Akurate which is not quite like a drum but certainly sounds hollow.

The Akurate case it certainly a lot 'deader' now.
shellspeed wrote:When we discussed the why's and wherefores at the social it was thought that the internal segregation of the power supply was a lot to do with it. Roger even commented about removing the supplies to separate boxes like Naim do. Interesting that the case seems to have more of an effect in your trials.

I was surprised that adding the shield between PS and control board made such a small difference. if I can find the correct plug and socket I'll try moving the PS 'off case'. It appears to be a single unit that should come out after undoing a few bolts.
shellspeed wrote: As the lid of the box slides on you could not damp it with something like Dynamat easily but the base could be done inside (and out) and possibly the inside of the one side and back panel. It's very effective on cars at damping noise and vibration transfer and stopping panels from 'ringing'.?


I did wonder about damping the case, but I wanted to it be as reversible as possible.
shellspeed wrote:Did you try it with the lid off
Now theres a thought. :smt017

Theres certainly loads more room to experiment here.
James
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Coyote Jim
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Re: A Radikal Adventure

Post by Coyote Jim » Wed Oct 19, 2016 9:57 am

I think in all fairness the most advantageous application for the weight is on top.
Most RF receptive items of electronics are usually above Radikal phono stage,preamp etc in most cases.
But it seems the favoured option is to have the Radikal on the very top with no electrical noise in any vicinity " ideal wall shelf turntable scenario " but most of us are fixed to the floor and likewise the Radikal resides on the bottom thus emphasising the superiority of the Klimax case with its screening from the vicinity syndrome.
Suggested inversion of the Akurate case doesn't address board orientation differences ideally as in the Akurate the Dynamic PS is mounted on its side. " obviously no space inside for proper mounting " :smt036
The weight on top would address two criteria screening barrier and case resonance limitation.
Father Jack has a less technical approach he looks happy too. 8) :smt023
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"Cymbiosis"
Analogue Klimax LP12 & more Linn & Kudos 8) :smt023
Coyote Jim :wink:

Jazz Club

Re: A Radikal Adventure

Post by Jazz Club » Wed Oct 19, 2016 10:05 am

Tesco granite chopping board on top?

shellspeed
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Re: A Radikal Adventure

Post by shellspeed » Wed Oct 19, 2016 11:04 am

Jazz Club wrote:Tesco granite chopping board on top?
I have 2 from Argos, will they be as good?

Every little helps :lol:
Well Keeled :smt020

Derosa
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Re: A Radikal Adventure

Post by Derosa » Thu Oct 20, 2016 3:11 pm

Thank you mr onion !
I currently have mine on a 4 tier mana rack with an empty shelf above so I have a spare glass shelf :D
Easy enough to place the glass on top of the radikal and as it has the 2 damping strips so no harm done and
It weighs in at about 5 kilos and looks fine
Listening to john martyn solid air =a lovely free upgrade !!
I think you are on to something here :smt023
Regards tony

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Mr Onion
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Re: A Radikal Adventure

Post by Mr Onion » Thu Oct 20, 2016 5:16 pm

Derosa wrote:Thank you mr onion !
I currently have mine on a 4 tier mana rack with an empty shelf above so I have a spare glass shelf :D
Easy enough to place the glass on top of the radikal and as it has the 2 damping strips so no harm done and
It weighs in at about 5 kilos and looks fine
Listening to john martyn solid air =a lovely free upgrade !!
I think you are on to something here :smt023
Regards tony
PHEW! Glad I am not going mad. I have just added a wooden chopping block to the top of mine, and its even better than it was. I suspect its both the mass and screening effect that the aluminium gives.

Theres certainly more here that we ever suspected.
James
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Fluted Afro LP12, Khan, KEEL, Cirkus, Tranquillity, Urika, Radikal (with Allium Skin Mods), EKOS SE/1, sKale, DVXX-2mkII

NACish 72, NAPish 250, Kudos Super 20's

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