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Kii Three - my impressions and pro reviews


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6 hours ago, mevdinc said:

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.

Indeed! I listened to the Kii Three on last years HiFi Deluxe in Munich and was not really impressed about the overall sound quality. Good for such a small speaker but not to compare with e.g. Avantgarde Acoustic Zero 1 XD in a similar price range.

 

With the new BTX module they push forward to a price range of established DSP controlled High End active speaker manufacturers like B&M. I'm looking forward to experience the Kii Three with the BXT extension. 

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I've listen to the Kii Three + BTX module at the Innuos booth at the High End show today. In my perception, the BTX module spend the Kii Three some more bass power, but the overall sound is still somehow anemic and artificial. Natural (analog) sound is different IMO and it's not the fault of the Innuos SE source in this combination.

IMG_0755.JPG

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43 minutes ago, #Yoda# said:

I've listen to the Kii Three + BTX module at the Innuos booth at the High End show today. In my perception, the BTX module spend the Kii Three some more bass power, but the overall sound is still somehow anemic and artificial. Natural (analog) sound is different IMO and it's not the fault of the Innuos SE source in this combination.

IMG_0755.JPG

I don't know quite why, but the Kiis look like Daleks in that picture, but in a good way.

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8 hours ago, Cazzesman said:

Someone seems to like them.:)

 

Regards Cazzesman

 

 

Yes,  be sure...:) The Kii Three's sounds very "analog"-ish with an overall superb presentation in my living room...and I have had som expensive speakers and amps in my room over the last 20 years. Now I looking forward to a serious demo of the BXT system and what this can add an already excellent sounding setup.

IMG_3082a.jpeg

Auralic Aries G2 - Kii Control -  Kii Three active speakers -  OPPO BDP 95 - Clearaudio Concept turtable / AT-33 PTG II pu /Clearaudio Maestro Wood pu - Rega Fono MC riaa / Musical Surrondings riaa

Head-fi:

Beyerdynamic DT 1770 Pro - Shure SE846w/Silver Dragon - Chord Mojo

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12 hours ago, #Yoda# said:

I've listen to the Kii Three + BTX module at the Innuos booth at the High End show today. In my perception, the BTX module spend the Kii Three some more bass power, but the overall sound is still somehow anemic and artificial. Natural (analog) sound is different IMO and it's not the fault of the Innuos SE source in this combination.

 

Agreed. I listened to the Kii Three + BXT system yesterday at both High End Munich and Hifi Deluxe and came to the same conclusion. This was the first time I heard the Kiis so I was excited, but it was a big let down.

 

Anemic, dry and artificial sounding is a good way to put it. I liked how they could play crystal clear at very high volume but I was not impressed by the sound itself. Definitely not worth the $30k price tag, in my opinion.

In comparison, 2 loudspeakers I really liked were KEF Blades and NEO by Genuin Audio.

 

IMG_20180511_123046.jpg

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On 5/9/2018 at 8:17 PM, 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.

 

This is not true. I asked about this specifically when looking for a UPS. I had made the same assumption as you. The response that I got from Kii is as follows:

 

The 800W UPS will not be sufficient to power the Kiis.

They draw 40-50 watt when powered on and in idle (no music), we have indeed measured power draw spikes (short term, depending on the volume and the dynamic of the input signal of course) of about 1500 watts max.
The 200W on the back is a standard rating for active speaker systems (which is defined as ca. 1/8th of max peak rating)

If you look for a UPS, I would recommend at least a rating of 3000W for a pair of Kii THREEs.

Hope this was helpful, if you have any more question please let me know.

Cheers Tom

Roon ->UltraRendu + CI Audio 7v LPS-> Kii Control -> Kii Three

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

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3 hours ago, ralfs said:

 

Agreed. I listened to the Kii Three + BXT system yesterday at both High End Munich and Hifi Deluxe and came to the same conclusion. This was the first time I heard the Kiis so I was excited, but it was a big let down.

 

Anemic, dry and artificial sounding is a good way to put it. I liked how they could play crystal clear at very high volume but I was not impressed by the sound itself. Definitely not worth the $30k price tag, in my opinion.

In comparison, 2 loudspeakers I really liked were KEF Blades and NEO by Genuin Audio.

 

IMG_20180511_123046.jpg

 

 "Definitely not worth the $30k price tag, in my opinion."  you say and do a comparison with the 30 K$ KEF Blade..

Lets not forget the Blade is "just" a very good passive speaker . You then need a decent / expensive amp / preamp, a good DAC and at least some good cables , lets put on at least another 20-30 K$ . I have been there....

 

I don't recornize the description you make from listening to the full BXT system with my own experience listening to my Kii Three in my living room for a year now but I sure will do  my own listening to the full BXT setup (together with Aries G2) as soon as I can. 

 

The Kii Three and Auralic Aries G2 are a superb mach and have an almost "analog" wide and transparent presentation of the music, I think  more on the warm side.  I also use my turntable from time to time with my old records with excellent result.

 

Auralic Aries G2 - Kii Control -  Kii Three active speakers -  OPPO BDP 95 - Clearaudio Concept turtable / AT-33 PTG II pu /Clearaudio Maestro Wood pu - Rega Fono MC riaa / Musical Surrondings riaa

Head-fi:

Beyerdynamic DT 1770 Pro - Shure SE846w/Silver Dragon - Chord Mojo

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21 hours ago, atletico said:

 

 "Definitely not worth the $30k price tag, in my opinion."  you say and do a comparison with the 30 K$ KEF Blade..

Lets not forget the Blade is "just" a very good passive speaker . You then need a decent / expensive amp / preamp, a good DAC and at least some good cables , lets put on at least another 20-30 K$ . I have been there....

 

I don't recornize the description you make from listening to the full BXT system with my own experience listening to my Kii Three in my living room for a year now but I sure will do  my own listening to the full BXT setup (together with Aries G2) as soon as I can. 

 

The Kii Three and Auralic Aries G2 are a superb mach and have an almost "analog" wide and transparent presentation of the music, I think  more on the warm side.  I also use my turntable from time to time with my old records with excellent result.

 

 

This is from a new report on the Norwegian Hifi Sentralen forum:

"The best sound in my ears (at an affordable cost) I heard  at HiFi Deluxe / Marriott: The floor-standing Kii BXT. A complete active speaker. It costs from 27,500 to 35,000 euros, depending on the design. But then you only need a PC or streamer as well."

 

I also received very good and promising reports about the Kii BXT from other "dedicated hi-fi" people participating  in Munich this weekend. 

 

 

Auralic Aries G2 - Kii Control -  Kii Three active speakers -  OPPO BDP 95 - Clearaudio Concept turtable / AT-33 PTG II pu /Clearaudio Maestro Wood pu - Rega Fono MC riaa / Musical Surrondings riaa

Head-fi:

Beyerdynamic DT 1770 Pro - Shure SE846w/Silver Dragon - Chord Mojo

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On 5/12/2018 at 8:37 AM, atletico said:

I don't recornize the description you make from listening to the full BXT system with my own experience listening to my Kii Three in my living room for a year now...

 

+ 1.  I've head different sounding speakers... and, honestly, better speakers (at many, many times the price).  But how someone would find the Kii's "anemic and artificial" is beyond me (OTOH, I have not heard them in the show conditions @ High End, so who knows--maybe they sound exactly that bad in that room, but certainly not in mine).

 

Also, thanks for the posting the great pictures, Pure Vinyl Club(I see no problems with the picture-quality from here)!  I wish the THREEs and the BXT had a docking system so the cable management was truly clean, but what they've done with the rear connectors is about as good as I suppose could be managed in the absence of such a thing.  It does go some way to mitigate my fears about creating a "rat's nest" of wires behind the stack.... 

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

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I have listened to the Kii Three + BXT combination at the Hifi Deluxe 2018. Heard even a track I am very familiar with. I fully agree with #Yoda# and ralfs. I was not really impressed. Had expected much more also due to the fact that the source was appearantly the Innuous Zenith Statement. Probably my biggest disappointment when visiting Hifi Deluxe/High End this year. I had expected the Kiis to be timing stars. However, this was not what I had heard. Sorry to all the Kii Three fans out there. 

 

PS For example, the litte passive TAD speakers ME1 presented at the high end where much more convincing despite the fact that they are so small.  

 

PPS Knowing of the huge difference excellent power chords can bring to a system, I tried to explain by Kii disappointment to myself by blaming the cheap power cords used on that system when I left that room. 

Apple Powerbook G4 15\", iTunes, Metric Halo LIO-8, active speakers

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Looking at the Kii Three + BXT concept beforehand, I had thought that the idea of promoting the Kii Threes to a floorstander in this way was a very clever one. Indeed, the optical impression I got was a positive one overall despite the fact that the black areas on the sides did not really match.

Apple Powerbook G4 15\", iTunes, Metric Halo LIO-8, active speakers

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BTW At the High End 2018, the most analog sound with digital souces I had experienced in the Chord/Raidho and the Constellation/Wilson Alexia rooms. Of course, I know that those systems are in a completely different league pricewise. Still I came away highly impressed and understand now the excitement about the Chord Dave a bit better. As well as the excitement about the Wilson Alexia. Just to describe my understanding of analog sound. Better get back on topic. Sorry for the non-Kii specific comments.

Apple Powerbook G4 15\", iTunes, Metric Halo LIO-8, active speakers

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"Not really impressive" might actually be a good thing in my experience. It's very common to be initially impressed with products only to find the impressive part gradually become annoying.

 

It took a few days of listening to Kii before I really recalibrated properly and started to gel with that clear and clean sound. I'll admit it took me some time to get used to the non-existent artificial warmth that comes from excessive energy at and around the port frequency of a normal ported speaker. Now I call that "warmth" rumbling.

 

That being said, the Kiis aren't immune to acoustics and will appear bright and anemic if the room allows them to. I have measurements that directly compare my Kiis to Phantom Silvers placed at exactly the same spot in my room, and while you clearly can see how the cardioide dispersion throws more direct sound and less reflected energy at you, the frequency response shows that they are prone to sounding bright due to less smearing and bass exaggeration- if the room allows it.

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When I said "not really impressive" I meant that I missed some coherence, accurate timing, pinpoint imaging and ultimate clarity. Indeed, I prefer to hear extended frequencies also in the upper registers as opposed to "warmth" ... and of course direct sound is preferable to reflected energy reaching the ears.

Apple Powerbook G4 15\", iTunes, Metric Halo LIO-8, active speakers

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3 hours ago, fds said:

BTW At the High End 2018, the most analog sound with digital souces I had experienced in the Chord/Raidho and the Constellation/Wilson Alexia rooms. Of course, I know that those systems are in a completely different league pricewise. Still I came away highly impressed and understand now the excitement about the Chord Dave a bit better. As well as the excitement about the Wilson Alexia. Just to describe my understanding of analog sound. Better get back on topic. Sorry for the non-Kii specific comments.

 

Chord/Raidho room at AXPONA Chicago in April was pretty amazing too. Of course the price tag of the system could send you into cardiac arrest. :D

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2 minutes ago, austinpop said:

Of course the price tag of the system could send you into cardiac arrest.

Never say cardiac arrest to an old person.  Remember those old Johnny Carson jokes?

NUC7PJYH/AL --> Berkeley Alpha USB --> Jeff Rowland Aeris --> Jeff Rowland 625 S2 --> Focal Utopia 3 Diablos with 2 x Focal Electra SW 1000 BE subs

 

i7-6700K/Windows 10 Version 2004/HDPLEX 300W/HDPLEX 400W DC-ATX --> EVGA Nu Audio Card --> Focal CMS50's 

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Something must have definitely been off in the room, or else they haven't gotten the DSP right to integrate the BXT with the Three (highly doubtful.) I appreciate the natural ease and precision that comes from time/phase coherent speakers, all of my recent speakers have prioritized this (Vandersteen, Gallo Ref3.5, Kii.) The Kii is definitely the most precise speaker I have ever owned.

 

I still wonder about the power draw of the Kii Three with the BXT. Under normal volumes I guess it wouldn't really tax a normal power outlet, but if really cranking then the power draw of the BXT could become quite significant. If the power was inadequate then anemic would probably be the result, perhaps the show was taxing the power at the facility, leaving some rooms with subpar power? (Just a wild guess...)

Roon ->UltraRendu + CI Audio 7v LPS-> Kii Control -> Kii Three

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

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22 hours ago, fds said:

I have listened to the Kii Three + BXT combination at the Hifi Deluxe 2018. Heard even a track I am very familiar with. I fully agree with #Yoda# and ralfs. I was not really impressed. Had expected much more also due to the fact that the source was appearantly the Innuos Zenith Statement. Probably my biggest disappointment when visiting Hifi Deluxe/High End this year. I had expected the Kiis to be timing stars. However, this was not what I had heard.

You are right in your evaluation of sound - Innuos+Kii Three BXT (which you heard on the High End Show in Munich). I was not present at the show, but my friend (who has a very serious listening experience - analog and digital (Wilson Alexx+ D’Agostino+Berkeley  Reference II), at my request thoroughly listened to both systems and communicated with Bruno and representatives of Innuos.

He told me that the sound from both systems was like "plastic", "glass" - and all the other epithets by which you described your experience. He was also disappointed with the general impression and said that it was much worse than he had heard from me (in my system Kii Three).

He also asked many questions about the best ways of connecting, placing and even the specifics of backfilling of stands (what materials and how much).
After analyzing their answers, we came to the conclusion that they do not worry at all about these things and consider that the cables that are included (power and LAN) are sufficient to achieve good results. They also think that a simple laptop is enough.
The summary of my message is that if you listened to Kii Three only on these shows, then you do not even have experience about how well, in fact, this amazing system can sound if it is connected to a better source and well tuned.

Pure Vinyl Club

 

Listen to short demos of the LP Records

and share your experience and observations.

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Like every other show, the opinions vary extremely for all rooms. Why? Most likely it's a combination of acoustics, seating placement, taste, bad music and possibly levels of ear strain at any given time. 

 

Other people's experiences may or may not be relevant for us, who knows? I think the biggest concern for any audio show is the lack of good acoustics for all listeners. Imagine sitting in a bass null while the wall treatments are only effective at high treble frequencies, how shit will that be? Any system will then sound like a laptop speaker.

 

While I certainly appreciate that honest speakers like Kii will always split opinion, I encourage everyone to give all systems a fair shot in a known environment before concluding.

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Hi all,

I attended Munich hiend and hifideluxe in Munich Marriott. In both cases the front end was Innuos Zenith Absolute playng recorded material at the fairshow and Tidal streaming at the Marriott. Both the systems used the bxt which of course I didn't know. I'm used to listen to Kii3s streaming Qobuz rather then stored files and my front end is very simple: Futro mini pc ( linear power supply) running Daphile.

My questions and conclusions after the brief holiday in Munich were:.  

- is Innuos Zenith Absolute ( > 10000 euro) so bad? 

- the loss of magical I attended in Munich was related to a poor set up or to a disvantageous contribute of the bxt extension?

- I appreciated the precision and coherence of bass notes and the ability to clarify what's happening in the whole spectrum in the same moment - these being in my opinion the best kii's actributes.

-At home  Kiis are honest: where magical is they show and where there  is not they don't create. But at Munich magical was not at home

I understand well the disappointment of people who attended the show with great expectations. Kii appeared to be no more that a rather good system and my guess is that Kii people are convinced to have created a so performing system ( and this is ) that any  other accident occurring in the hifi chain con be neglected ( and in my opinion this is not). Not, i think, because they are presumptuos but because they are close to the "pro" world.

Marco

 

 

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