Linn says the speaker produces a performance with unprecedented clarity and realism, that’s entirely absent of sonic colouration. Incorporating innovative drive unit and amplifier technologies, 360 turns out Linn’s lowest ever levels of audible distortion. The honed curves of its cabinet are partnered with meticulously matched drive units to deliver the cleanest possible dispersion characteristics, says the maker. All that is experienced with 360 is sound-stage; with vocals suspended in space and true-to-life scale and depth listeners utterly devoid of the sense they are listening to a pair of stereo speakers.
The 360’s curvaceous cabinet, intricately machined trim and range of dynamic finishes combine to present an overall aesthetic that is familiar, yet with ultra-modern flair and contemporary class, says its creator.
Gilad Tiefenbrun, Linn’s CEO, says, “Decades ago, my father astonished a journalist when, upon being asked how – and if – music reproduction could get any better, he replied that he believed that we were only 1% along the road to making music at home as involving and impactful as live performance. As counter-intuitive as it sounds, we have found that the differences we have been able to achieve in our products are actually getting bigger. Much bigger. Because as we reveal more of the tiny details that lend realism to the music, the listener is able to connect with its emotional content in a way that they didn’t realise was possible.
“Our new 360 loudspeaker comprehensively demonstrates this step-change. It is without a doubt the finest loudspeaker we have ever made; streets ahead of our previous benchmark – and we are thrilled to share it with the world today.”
Critical to 360’s sonic character, is the wholesale elimination of audible distortion brought about by the cutting-edge material science which drove development of the drive units and their subsequent integration with Linn’s latest amplifier technologies in both the Bass System and new 360 Array. When these acoustic and electronic innovations are deployed alongside the company’s unique and established loudspeaker technologies – Exakt and Space Optimisation – 360 has been designed to become audibly invisible. The tweeter is the first 19mm Beryllium dome seen in the audio industry. Tooled by Linn, this drive unit now has all of its inherent distortion and resonance pushed far above the range of human hearing – beyond even the range detectable by Linn engineers’ measurement system. The tweeter produces a startlingly clean and open sound; providing an open window to the higher frequencies, says the maker.
The midrange dome is crafted from thin-ply, woven carbon fibre, a cutting-edge composite originally utilised by NASA for the Mars rover, proving the perfect mix of stiffness and lightness. Similar to the tweeter, any inherent resonance and distortion created by the midrange drive unit is pushed almost three octaves above audible range.
Both upper and lower bass drive units employ an aluminium-magnesium alloy, also selected for its more-than-ample stiffness, thus ensuring precise piston-like behaviour without deviation. The pair of lower bass drivers have greater range and more than double the excursion than Linn’s previous maximum. The bass drive units are steadfast and adept; they can be pushed loud and driven hard whilst remaining firmly under control.
Linn underlines360 produces exceptionally pure sound with astonishing clarity and transparency due to the hardness, great inherent strength and low-mass of the futuristic materials deployed throughout the suite of drive units. Their diaphragms don’t colour the sound they generate in any audible, or measurable, way – listeners only hear the music.
Bigger and better, at bass
The Bass System delivers lower frequency sound with more impact, efficiency and dramatically less distortion thanks to Linn’s new Power DAC technology. Built from the ground up, this new Linn technology combines DAC and amp into a single step – thus extending the digital path and reducing loss. Power DAC is highly efficient, ultra-low-noise, and provides the perfect platform for driving the lower bass system in 360. When coupled with the prodigious excursion capability of the matched lower bass drive units, 360 produces seismic, realistic and distortion-free bass.
Adaptive Bias Control
New Adaptive Bias Control amplifier technology is critical to the performance of tweeter, midrange and upper bass drive units – comprising the all-new 360 Array. Adaptive Bias Control eliminates distortion from the amplifiers using real-time, dynamic management and correction; ensuring that they behave at their absolute optimum in all scenarios – for all types of music, at all kinds of listening levels and at all times.
The360 also possesses strong dispersion characteristics. The curvaceous front of each speaker tapers from bottom to top, with shaped radii specifically matched to each individual drive unit. The speakers’ constituent drive units are placed perfectly flush within this undulating baffle, so that they emanate sound, out and away from the speaker, without obstruction. These elements result in a speaker which produces precisely the same tonality in every direction, reinforcing the sound-stage of the original recording.
Sumptuous form conscientiously follows function in a visibly remarkable aesthetic that Linn claims is lightyears ahead of traditional cabinet design. The shapely and extremely robust cabinet is built up from scrupulously folded and formed 3D laminates – pushing and exceeding the limitations of ply engineering to construct a fluid front baffle which reaches right around either side of the speaker. Machined into the 360 Array trim piece are a series of concentric arcs – themselves redolent of the grooves of a vinyl record in a conscientious nod to our origins and the Sondek LP12 turntable upon which Linn was founded. These grooves are set adjacent to a tweeter protector, which draws the eye in with its chrome-plated Linn icon feature. The engineered trim is machined in-house from 5754-grade aluminium and incorporates subtle waveguides to help facilitate optimum performance from the drive units which they surround.
Designed expressly for 360, The Glasgow Collection is a range of curated cabinet finishes, that demonstrate pride in our origins and celebrate our Scottish home. These three special finishes are dynamic and complex; colour and texture play off the curves of the 360 cabinet under different lighting conditions and when viewed from different angles. The Classic Collection offers a more subtle, monochrome palette: the timeless elegance of Piano Black and the minimalist chic of Alpine White. Pricing, Availability and Variants 360 is available in an Exakt Integrated variant (for use in conjunction with a Linn DSM Network Music Player), with all crossover, amplification and digital-to-analogue conversion circuitry located within in the speaker itself utilising Exakt technology throughout. 360 is also available in a Passive with Aktiv Bass (PWAB) variant, allowing use in conjunction with third-party amplification or an all-external Linn Exakt system using Exaktbox. Orders can now be placed for both 360 Exakt Integrated and 360 PWAB from now. End user prices are quoted as £55,000 for 360 PWAB version and £87,500 for the Exakt Integrated version (incl. tax).