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Kii Three - my impressions and pro reviews


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1 hour ago, Ralf11 said:

I wonder if the current software allows for room matching with the additional bass.

 

I does look like a Wilson killer...

I would assume adding the subs in would also demand a software update. Hard to imagine how the units would integrate with each other or the room otherwise.

Main listening (small home office):

Main setup: Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>QuietPC Low Noise Server>Roon (Audiolense DRC)>Stack Audio Link II>Kii Control>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.

Secondary Listening: Server with Audiolense RC>RPi4 or analog>Matrix Element i Streamer/DAC (XLR)>Kii Three .

Bedroom: SBTouch to Cambridge Soundworks Desktop Setup.
Living Room/Kitchen: RPi 3B+ running RoPieee to a pair of Morel Hogtalare. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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Does say it will run on different software settings that will be configurable from the controller.  Surprisingly, they say it is also beneficial in small rooms.

Main listening (small home office):

Main setup: Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>QuietPC Low Noise Server>Roon (Audiolense DRC)>Stack Audio Link II>Kii Control>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.

Secondary Listening: Server with Audiolense RC>RPi4 or analog>Matrix Element i Streamer/DAC (XLR)>Kii Three .

Bedroom: SBTouch to Cambridge Soundworks Desktop Setup.
Living Room/Kitchen: RPi 3B+ running RoPieee to a pair of Morel Hogtalare. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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1 hour ago, baconbrain said:

I am wondering if you can only utilize them as a pair, or if one could purchase just one and place it somewhere else in the room ... 

Definitely looks like you have to buy a pair. It isn’t really a sub. It’s a sort of a line array extension of the Kii Three, and to use it you have to change the software running the kii in the controller. So doesn’t look independent or that you can mix and match.

Main listening (small home office):

Main setup: Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>QuietPC Low Noise Server>Roon (Audiolense DRC)>Stack Audio Link II>Kii Control>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.

Secondary Listening: Server with Audiolense RC>RPi4 or analog>Matrix Element i Streamer/DAC (XLR)>Kii Three .

Bedroom: SBTouch to Cambridge Soundworks Desktop Setup.
Living Room/Kitchen: RPi 3B+ running RoPieee to a pair of Morel Hogtalare. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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On 5/5/2018 at 10:14 AM, PleasantSounds said:

There's official BXT page on the Kii Audio web site now.

Still not a lot of info...

 

 

Thanks for the heads up! 

 

It's very hard to tell from the 7 second video on the page, but I wonder if the connections (Power, Kii Link) can be made between the THREE and the BXT where the speakers "lock" together.  I think not, since my THREE's don't have any connectors on their bottom panel, but it would be nice--one of the compelling reasons I got the THREEs was to lower box-count and reduce the rat's nest of wires I'd collected... the BXTs (effectively) keep the box-count low, but I can see quite a bit of cable building up behind them, if they haven't developed some connector proprietary system I don't understand yet. 

Roon --> ultraRendu/Uptone LPS-1 --> Kii CONTROL --> Kii THREE active speakers (everything on Black Ravioli bases and footers)

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5 hours ago, input username here said:

 

Thanks for the heads up! 

 

It's very hard to tell from the 7 second video on the page, but I wonder if the connections (Power, Kii Link) can be made between the THREE and the BXT where the speakers "lock" together.  I think not, since my THREE's don't have any connectors on their bottom panel, but it would be nice--one of the compelling reasons I got the THREEs was to lower box-count and reduce the rat's nest of wires I'd collected... the BXTs (effectively) keep the box-count low, but I can see quite a bit of cable building up behind them, if they haven't developed some connector proprietary system I don't understand yet. 

Possible the only connections are the network cable connections on each box. 

Main listening (small home office):

Main setup: Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>QuietPC Low Noise Server>Roon (Audiolense DRC)>Stack Audio Link II>Kii Control>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.

Secondary Listening: Server with Audiolense RC>RPi4 or analog>Matrix Element i Streamer/DAC (XLR)>Kii Three .

Bedroom: SBTouch to Cambridge Soundworks Desktop Setup.
Living Room/Kitchen: RPi 3B+ running RoPieee to a pair of Morel Hogtalare. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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3 hours ago, firedog said:

Possible the only connections are the network cable connections on each box. 

 

Well, the LAN cables would have to be daisy-chained (plus another cable to the CONTROL from at least one speaker), so there would be several of them.  Plus there would be 4x power cables.  Admittedly, not as cluttered as a multi-box system, but still not as simple or clean as it is now.  I'm not saying ti's a deal-killer, just (possibly) a small step in the wrong direction.

Roon --> ultraRendu/Uptone LPS-1 --> Kii CONTROL --> Kii THREE active speakers (everything on Black Ravioli bases and footers)

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I am curious what these will offer. The Threes already go down to subsonic frequency with little roll-off. I am guessing these would allow you to adequately compress larger rooms, go louder overall, and probably add some sort more tangible "jump" that seems to come from systems with forward firing woofers. The only other thing I wonder is if the additional bass drivers and their varied vertical heights gives the system more degrees of freedom with which to control the bass radiation. The Three by itself only directs the bass radiation in the horizontal plane, they had talked about a later system having more drivers to control radiation in the vertical plane to limit floor /ceiling reflections.

 

The power spec is a bit concerning, I wonder if you could start popping circuit breakers pretty easily at least in the US. I wrote Kii asking about power draw on the Three prior to getting an online UPS. They said a single Three speaker had been measured at drawing 1400W at a peak, so at least double that for a pair. You might theoretically need a special appliance line to run these things with the BXTs. Then again, you might blow roof of your house at 25% volume...

 

I am still waiting for them to activate Bluetooth. And they still haven't ever gotten my Control IR working. Grumble, grumble...

Roon ->allo Sparky-USBridge w/ SBooster 5V LPS-> Kii Control -> Kii Three

Roon->BMC UltraDAC->Mr Speakers Aeon Flow Open

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Can anyone compare with any of the Linkwitz speakers (LX521, etc.)

 

https://www.magiclx521.com/epages/17940394.sf/en_GB/?ViewObjectPath=%2FShops%2F17940394%2FCategories%2FZubehoer%2FKonstruktionspläne_und_Test_CDs

 

These have a much lower cost of entry.  I'll note that Linkwitz himself was much impressed with the Kii Threes:

 

Quote

February 2017 - Today I had the opportunity to listen to the Kii 3 using some of my usual test and demo tracks. The location was a professional mixing studio room with very dry acoustics. I would estimate RT60 to be around 200 ms. The speakers were set up on metal stands in the middle of the large room, essentially in free-field conditions.
   Listening from the equilateral triangle sweet spot the speakers immediately impressed me with their smoothness, clarity and neutrality of timbre. The phantom image was precisely detailed. It had depth and width but little height. It was somewhat like listening to an acoustic scene through a window in a wall at the speaker distance, where the speaker separation and the speaker box height defined the window size. The sweet spot was tight and lateral movement of the head quickly pulled the phantom scene to the nearer speaker. But this was in a very dry and acoustically dead room. Listening from a greater distance and also off axis, the speakers preserved their neutrality, smoothness and clarity but the phantom window boundaries disappeared, making the acoustic scene realistic in the studio. 
   The low end was tight and articulate, and extended quite deep. But the lowest notes could not quite keep up with the higher frequency range at very high volume levels. That is not surprising, given the physical limitations of the drivers and again the dry room.
   The whole experience made me aware again of the importance of the reverberant field in the listening room. For sure it has to be spectrally neutral, which the Kii 3 speakers guarantee to a high degree, because of their wide polar pattern. But the room also has to be sufficiently live so that the ear-brain-perceptual apparatus can draw confirming information from the reverberant field about the spatial data in the direct loudspeaker signals to support the phantom scene illusion. A dry room is apparently a useful work environment, but I normally do not experience sounds in such environment. I prefer a room with RT60 around 450 ms.
   The Kii 3 is an impressive speaker, technically and sound wise, in an extremely compact and versatile package. It probably gives the most accurate conversion of electrical input to a defined acoustic field output of any speaker I know of. For my taste, it needs a lively room and then I would cross it over at 80 Hz to a pair of large dipole subwoofers. Could that be the ultimate?

 

The Kii Threes are also at the same price point as the Vandersteen Quatro Wood CTs, which would be the sort of "natural" upgrade path from where I am now.

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5 hours ago, Kelly said:

I am curious what these will offer. The Threes already go down to subsonic frequency with little roll-off. I am guessing these would allow you to adequately compress larger rooms, go louder overall, and probably add some sort more tangible "jump" that seems to come from systems with forward firing woofers. The only other thing I wonder is if the additional bass drivers and their varied vertical heights gives the system more degrees of freedom with which to control the bass radiation. The Three by itself only directs the bass radiation in the horizontal plane, they had talked about a later system having more drivers to control radiation in the vertical plane to limit floor /ceiling reflections.

 

The power spec is a bit concerning, I wonder if you could start popping circuit breakers pretty easily at least in the US. I wrote Kii asking about power draw on the Three prior to getting an online UPS. They said a single Three speaker had been measured at drawing 1400W at a peak, so at least double that for a pair. You might theoretically need a special appliance line to run these things with the BXTs. Then again, you might blow roof of your house at 25% volume...

 

I am still waiting for them to activate Bluetooth. And they still haven't ever gotten my Control IR working. Grumble, grumble...

I think your speculaltions sound right. Pressurize a larger room with less distortion, give some "phyiscality" to the sound so they compete with larger speakers, and I'm assuming part of the idea is to reduce reflections in the vertical plane also. I assume Kal R. or someone else at Munich will find out and inform us.  

Main listening (small home office):

Main setup: Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>QuietPC Low Noise Server>Roon (Audiolense DRC)>Stack Audio Link II>Kii Control>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.

Secondary Listening: Server with Audiolense RC>RPi4 or analog>Matrix Element i Streamer/DAC (XLR)>Kii Three .

Bedroom: SBTouch to Cambridge Soundworks Desktop Setup.
Living Room/Kitchen: RPi 3B+ running RoPieee to a pair of Morel Hogtalare. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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18 hours ago, Kelly said:

I am curious what these will offer. The Threes already go down to subsonic frequency with little roll-off. I am guessing these would allow you to adequately compress larger rooms, go louder overall, and probably add some sort more tangible "jump" that seems to come from systems with forward firing woofers. The only other thing I wonder is if the additional bass drivers and their varied vertical heights gives the system more degrees of freedom with which to control the bass radiation. The Three by itself only directs the bass radiation in the horizontal plane, they had talked about a later system having more drivers to control radiation in the vertical plane to limit floor /ceiling reflections.

 

The power spec is a bit concerning, I wonder if you could start popping circuit breakers pretty easily at least in the US. I wrote Kii asking about power draw on the Three prior to getting an online UPS. They said a single Three speaker had been measured at drawing 1400W at a peak, so at least double that for a pair. You might theoretically need a special appliance line to run these things with the BXTs. Then again, you might blow roof of your house at 25% volume...

 

I am still waiting for them to activate Bluetooth. And they still haven't ever gotten my Control IR working. Grumble, grumble...

Ditto the concerns regarding power requirements. I am already borderline with my 2O Amp fuse for the equipment I have in place ....

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I wouldn't worry too much about blacking out the prowe grid when you turn the BXT on. 

 

If the Kii3 itself is any indication, then all those kilowatts of power refer to the total power rating of the on-board amps, but the power supply draw is much lower: Kii3 has 6x250W amps but the power supply is rated 200W. You may get a burst exceeding that several times for a few milliseconds granted by onboard capacitors - that's probably how they measured 1.4kW.

 

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53 minutes ago, PleasantSounds said:

I wouldn't worry too much about blacking out the prowe grid when you turn the BXT on. 

 

If the Kii3 itself is any indication, then all those kilowatts of power refer to the total power rating of the on-board amps, but the power supply draw is much lower: Kii3 has 6x250W amps but the power supply is rated 200W. You may get a burst exceeding that several times for a few milliseconds granted by onboard capacitors - that's probably how they measured 1.4kW.

 

 

When I ordered my Kii Threes I inquired about power requirements and Tom replied that no special conditions needed to be taken, that direct connection to the mains was sufficient. I recall that he stated that 10 amps was the maximum current draw.

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Prices and availability

The BXT extension will be available individually as well as in a set with Kii THREE loudspeakers from fall 2018 onwards. The prices including VAT are for a pair of BXT in one of the two standard colors high gloss white or graphite silk matt metallic 14.995,00 Euro , for a pair in other colors 16.995,00 Euro . The prices for Kii THREE including the remote control Kii CONTROL amount to 12,480.00 euros in standard colors and 13,480.00 euros for your own color preferences. The prices for the complete system are 27,475.00 Euro in standard colorsand 30,475.00 Euro with custom paint.

 

prices include VAT. for those outside of Europe you may be able to remove it. 

Main listening (small home office):

Main setup: Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>QuietPC Low Noise Server>Roon (Audiolense DRC)>Stack Audio Link II>Kii Control>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.

Secondary Listening: Server with Audiolense RC>RPi4 or analog>Matrix Element i Streamer/DAC (XLR)>Kii Three .

Bedroom: SBTouch to Cambridge Soundworks Desktop Setup.
Living Room/Kitchen: RPi 3B+ running RoPieee to a pair of Morel Hogtalare. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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5 hours ago, firedog said:

Prices and availability

The BXT extension will be available individually as well as in a set with Kii THREE loudspeakers from fall 2018 onwards. The prices including VAT are for a pair of BXT in one of the two standard colors high gloss white or graphite silk matt metallic 14.995,00 Euro , for a pair in other colors 16.995,00 Euro . The prices for Kii THREE including the remote control Kii CONTROL amount to 12,480.00 euros in standard colors and 13,480.00 euros for your own color preferences. The prices for the complete system are 27,475.00 Euro in standard colorsand 30,475.00 Euro with custom paint.

 

prices include VAT. for those outside of Europe you may be able to remove it. 

thanks a lot!

looking forward to reading some reviews from people in munich! :)

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$43,500 Australian, plus whatever else gets tacked on TAX/GST wise.   A bucket load of cash but when you work out what you get for the money, it certainly smashes a lot of other overpriced stand-alone speakers on the Oz market.   

 

I think the Kii 3 is a giant killer.   But with this complete BXT kit, having heard just the Kii 3, I doubt much will compete with it.   Plus you will need to buy all the supporting gear to drive all the passives over $40,000, so in that respect, it is more than competitive.

 

Regards Cazzesman

 

 

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As good as the Kiis are, I think at around €30K they will be facing tough competition from the likes of new active speaker brands such as Dutch & Dutch and this new kid on the block.
http://eikonaudio.com
Eikon is around $25K I think.

And, of course, well established active speakers from ATC and others.

Looks like with the addition of BXT kit and that price point they seem do aim at the hi-end market, and I think it's a good move.

Audirvana+3.0 / TIDAL HiFi / Mac Mini (256GB SSD - 16GB RAM)

Lindemann Musicbook: 20 DSD, ATC EL 150ASL

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49 minutes ago, Ralf11 said:

active is one thing, but what the DSP can do is the real issue

True but there are alternative and inexpensive DSP solutions too.
I have been using active speakers ever since 1998 when I first purchased my small ATC actives and never looked back.
DSP does help in small and difficult rooms for sure but in a well treated dedicated room well designed traditional active speakers can perform wonderfully.

Audirvana+3.0 / TIDAL HiFi / Mac Mini (256GB SSD - 16GB RAM)

Lindemann Musicbook: 20 DSD, ATC EL 150ASL

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