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Kii Three - my impressions and pro reviews

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Has anyone heard both Kii Three and Dutch and Dutch 8c and why you chose to go one over another? I have read both of Mitch's excellent reviews, just looking for more opinions.

 

 

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19 hours ago, atletico said:

Feeding my Kii Threes with some high class vinyl...sounds great in my living room. Video and sound from my iPhone 8.

I will soon be audition the BXT system but I'm not sure how this could take my already great sounding system to a higher level, but I'm really curious what the BXT could do...

 

Good looking setup.

 

Is that Curious George in the cabinet?

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55 minutes ago, baconbrain said:

 

 

Is that Curious George in the cabinet?

This is the famous Scandinavian monkey from the danish designer Kay Bojesen  https://www.kaybojesen-denmark.com


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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16 hours ago, firedog said:

Just from reading online posts, there are several people who've reacted much like Mitchco: Dutch and Dutch has slightly more powerful bass and a bit warmer sound, and they preferred it. 
There are a couple of others who said they preferred the mid and high end of the Kiis as better revealing detail. 
I haven't heard the D&D, I'm sure they are great. My guess is it comes down to personal taste and the room they are setup in/listening position. Even with all the room defeating tech, the room will still have some influence in what you hear. 
I doubt you can go wrong with either. Do you have any possibility of hearing either at a dealer? 
Even if you can only hear one of them, I' d bet you'd get a pretty good idea if it's something you'd like. 

 

I plan to travel to hear them when I get closer to purchasing. I am already utterly convinced of the magic of DSP when used with crossovers; I used to be a heavy vinyl listener, heard Linkwitz LX521 with DSP for crossovers instead of active electronics and my mind was blown open. Since then I heard several others and felt the same thing every time. Sold off nearly all of my vinyl collection in the ensuing years and never looked back.

 

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Hi guys,

 

Just had a Kii three demo today. Good sound, almost on par with genelec 8351, but much more low bass.

What I found to be annoying is it constantly overload(flash red, but no sound interruption) on a 85 volume setup(on controller), with basically any music with some real bass content. While turn down to 80 volume the overload is not that frequent but only on really bass heavy stuff.

 

My question is do you also experience this same problem? or do you think this is not a problem?

With exactly the same setup and listening distance and sound pressure level, 8351 NEVER overload(on GLM software the level is actually only -28dB, compare to Kii controller 85 volume setup with a up limit of 100, Kii three is literally playing with a -15dB volume, which seems that Kii has a somewhat lower power compare to 8351, no?).  

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4 hours ago, dustblue said:

Hi guys,

 

Just had a Kii three demo today. Good sound, almost on par with genelec 8351, but much more low bass.

What I found to be annoying is it constantly overload(flash red, but no sound interruption) on a 85 volume setup(on controller), with basically any music with some real bass content. While turn down to 80 volume the overload is not that frequent but only on really bass heavy stuff.

 

My question is do you also experience this same problem? or do you think this is not a problem?

With exactly the same setup and listening distance and sound pressure level, 8351 NEVER overload(on GLM software the level is actually only -28dB, compare to Kii controller 85 volume setup with a up limit of 100, Kii three is literally playing with a -15dB volume, which seems that Kii has a somewhat lower power compare to 8351, no?).  


Mine pretty much never flash red, even 85 setting and above.  In fact, while sitting here I am playing the newest King Crimson release with some very heavy bass and drums. I turned the volume up to ear splitting levels. I got the red flash only at the 99 and 100 volume level. Even 98 didn't cause the limiter to kick in.

So something else is going on: either a defect in the pair your heard (doubtful); or some very extreme DSP is being done internally or in the feed to the speakers and they are being asked to react in a way that is making them hit their limits. Or the pair you heard was setup so that 85 is actually equivalent to 100 in the factory settings or something like that. It can't be just be the volume simply being turned up to the 85 mark. 


Main listening (small home office):

Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>CAPS IV Pipeline Server + Sonore 12V PS >SOtM Lan Isolator>Bricasti M5 Network Player >Kii Control>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.
 

Secondary Listening: CAPS Pipeline>IFi iOne DAC>Schiit Freya>Kii Three . Also an SBT and a RB Pi 3B+ running piCorePlayer as an SBT emulator. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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@dustblue ... i have **NEVER** had the red light/cut out .... typically play at 80-85 mark on the Kii Controller [I haven't measured the average dBA level] ... not that bass heavy music just the typical rock/blues/big orchestra stuff

 

What did the dealer make of it? Doesn't sound right to me from my experience with the Kii


Aurender W20 Music Server, Kii Three Active Speakers, Kii Digital Controller

Audioquest Diamond USB, Audioquest Niagara 7000 conditioner, Audioquest NRG-1000 HC mains leads

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3 minutes ago, firedog said:


Mine pretty much never flash red, even 85 setting and above.  In fact, while sitting here I am playing the newest King Crimson release with some very heavy bass and drums. I turned the volume up to ear splitting levels. I got the red flash only at the 99 and 100 volume level. Even 98 didn't cause the limiter to kick in.

So something else is going on: either a defect in the pair your heard (doubtful); or some very extreme DSP is being done internally or in the feed to the speakers and they are being asked to react in a way that is making them hit their limits. Or the pair you heard was setup so that 85 is actually equivalent to 100 in the factory settings or something like that. It can't be just be the volume simply being turned up to the 85 mark. 

98 and the limiter didn't kick in?

Then surely something was wrong in my demo.

I was using tidal with my microsoft surface book, usb output to Kii control. 

I would check with the dealer if the volume is wrong.(I don't think so)

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I've never seen the blinking red light in my living room, even when I tried to force it. It gets too loud to endure in a normal living room. My guess is that you played extremely demanding music or that someone has cranked the bass up via the Control. You can turn up the bass output up to + 6 dB I think, which quickly will lead to those limiters at low frequencies.

Because you need so much more cone travel to reproduce 20 hz than 40 hz, you can't really compare Kii to those Genelec's based on overload-limiters alone and decide one is more powerful than the other.

From a pure power perspective, there's no comparison - Kii all the way.

 

If you disregard those low frequencies that Kii produces that 8351 doesn't, Kii is rated to a maximum of 115 dB to 8351's 111 dB.

Both should be plenty sufficient unless you have a very big room (or unless you're completely insane). Both will need subwoofer(s) if you aim to reproduce low frequencies with any kind of realistic authority. 

 

In general I think you need to dial down the higher frequencies a bit with Kii because the cardiode dispersion will make midbass and upper bass less "warm" - actually just more correct - which tend to move our focus more towards the upper frequencies, where most of us prefer a slowly downwards tilted response anyway;

 

 

 

"A -4 dB shelf at 3 kHz was all it took to achieve my preferred in-room measured frequency response of 20 Hz to -10 dB at 20 kHz.  


The boundary eq is so good, I did not need to make any additional low frequency adjustments.


Folks can adjust to their own preferences without the measurement gear. The Toole/Olive research shows there is a direct correlation between an in-room measurement and the preferred frequency response that subjectively sounds neutral to groups of people, myself included." 

 

 

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8 minutes ago, Mazza said:

@dustblue ... i have **NEVER** had the red light/cut out .... typically play at 80-85 mark on the Kii Controller [I haven't measured the average dBA level] ... not that bass heavy music just the typical rock/blues/big orchestra stuff

 

What did the dealer make of it? Doesn't sound right to me from my experience with the Kii

Are you sure you allowed the limiter to flash red when it works? There is an option to turn the indicator off I think.

If you could do me a favor, please search on Tidal for <drum solo> by Gojira, and play it through Kii, see what volume it would overload. Thanks!

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8 minutes ago, TheStupidOne said:

I've never seen the blinking red light in my living room, even when I tried to force it. It gets too loud to endure in a normal living room. My guess is that you played extremely demanding music or that someone has cranked the bass up via the Control. You can turn up the bass output up to + 6 dB I think, which quickly will lead to those limiters at low frequencies.

Because you need so much more cone travel to reproduce 20 hz than 40 hz, you can't really compare Kii to those Genelec's based on overload-limiters alone and decide one is more powerful than the other.

From a pure power perspective, there's no comparison - Kii all the way.

 

If you disregard those low frequencies that Kii produces that 8351 doesn't, Kii is rated to a maximum of 115 dB to 8351's 111 dB.

Both should be plenty sufficient unless you have a very big room (or unless you're completely insane). Both will need subwoofer(s) if you aim to reproduce low frequencies with any kind of realistic authority. 

 

In general I think you need to dial down the higher frequencies a bit with Kii because the cardiode dispersion will make midbass and upper bass less "warm" - actually just more correct - which tend to move our focus more towards the upper frequencies, where most of us prefer a slowly downwards tilted response anyway;

 

 

 

"A -4 dB shelf at 3 kHz was all it took to achieve my preferred in-room measured frequency response of 20 Hz to -10 dB at 20 kHz.  


The boundary eq is so good, I did not need to make any additional low frequency adjustments.


Folks can adjust to their own preferences without the measurement gear. The Toole/Olive research shows there is a direct correlation between an in-room measurement and the preferred frequency response that subjectively sounds neutral to groups of people, myself included." 

 

 

Yeal I guess +6dB bass could be the reason. I did feel Kii is very bass heavey compare to 8351(But I am not sure if it is because LF extension or EQ). I will check with the dealer tomorrow.

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What you should do with speakers this expensive is to try them home. You need time to re-calibrate and time to settle down so that the act of critical listening for flaws and strengths doesn't influence how you perceive the sound.

If you can't try the speakers at home for at least a full weekend - preferably a week or two - find another dealer.

 

For what it's worth, I still love my Kiis after almost two years of fairly constant use. If I would have to buy something again, I would perhaps buy Dutch & Dutch 8c instead of Kii only if I were to use separate dsp with volume control like I use now. If not, the convenience of an Apple Remote to control Kii will always prevail over fiddling with a phone and app to adjust volume.

I lived with Devialet Phantom Silver for a few months and due to that experience I absolutely despise the concept of app-only.

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2 hours ago, dustblue said:

Are you sure you allowed the limiter to flash red when it works? There is an option to turn the indicator off I think.

If you could do me a favor, please search on Tidal for <drum solo> by Gojira, and play it through Kii, see what volume it would overload. Thanks!

 

Ok tried that ... overload light enabled.

 

Ran the track on a continuous loop for 4-5 mins at 85 on the controller to warm up. Then gradually increased volume in steps of 2 until I saw the red light flicker, which it did intermittently at 98 on the dial. At this level in my room it is unbearable volume. I have the bass contour set at -4 dB. I increased to +6 dB ( as suggested by @firedog) to see what happens and then the light flickers at 96 on the controller instead of 98. After 5-10 mins of this, the speakers are very hot. 

 

Hope me this helps. 


Aurender W20 Music Server, Kii Three Active Speakers, Kii Digital Controller

Audioquest Diamond USB, Audioquest Niagara 7000 conditioner, Audioquest NRG-1000 HC mains leads

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@Kal Rubinson nope, limiter didn’t cut in but the flickering was very intermittent. Ears bleed first


Aurender W20 Music Server, Kii Three Active Speakers, Kii Digital Controller

Audioquest Diamond USB, Audioquest Niagara 7000 conditioner, Audioquest NRG-1000 HC mains leads

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I’ve had my Kii Three’s for about 6 weeks now and as most have said here, they sound fantastic. I’m using an Aurender N100 with a 1TB SSD installed with my stored CD rips, USB into the Kii Control.

 

My question to forum members here is about using a Turntable with the Kii Three. I have a VPI Prime turntable with Ortofon 2M Black cart and want to go direct to the Kii Three XLR input. I have AudioQuest Yukon XLR cables. I would be really interested to know about how the Kii Three sound with a TT and phono stage and which brand and model phono stage forum members here are using.

 

There appears to be a limited range of phono stage pre amps with XLR output. Looking for advice here on the best phono stage to use.

 

Thanks

Craig


Kii Three, Kii Stands, Kii Control. Aurender N100, 1TB SSD. VPI Prime TT, Benz Micro Glider SL Cartridge, RCM Sensor 2 Phono Stage. PS Audio AC5 Power Regenerator. Audioquest Cat5 Ethernet, Diamond USB & Yukon XLR.

Blue Mountains, NSW, Australia.

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7 hours ago, Craig1512 said:

My question to forum members here is about using a Turntable with the Kii Three. I have a VPI Prime turntable with Ortofon 2M Black cart and want to go direct to the Kii Three XLR input. I have AudioQuest Yukon XLR cables. I would be really interested to know about how the Kii Three sound with a TT and phono stage and which brand and model phono stage forum members here are using.

 

There appears to be a limited range of phono stage pre amps with XLR output. Looking for advice here on the best phono stage to use.

 

Thanks

Craig

 

I use a Audio-Technica AT33PTG/II Moving Coil Cartridge together with the simple but very nice sounding REGA Phono MC preamp.  http://www.the-ear.net/review-hardware/rega-ania-fono-mc-mc-cartridge-and-phono-stage

I use the REGA with a special made 2 X 2,5 metre phono to XLR cable direct into the back of each Kii Three speaker. All controlled from the Kii Control. Works very nice.

The output signal from this turntable system into Kii Three are about -10dB compared to my digital sources but this is no problem in my living room with a max volum on the Kii Control set at 85 - 87 for playing vinyl is more than loud enough ..

 

 


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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Guys I bought the Kii Threes today. I tested the overload problem with another pro audio dealer(I also bought mine from them) and it is real, no matter what signal path I use when exceed certain dynamic range it would overload, I would talk about this later.

 

First I want to express my feelings:

 

THOSE THREES ARE SO F*CKING UNBELIEVABLE.

 

Kii Three vs Genelec 8351:

 

Now I am using Genelec 8351 for more than a month, I love the 8351s,  those are so transparent and dynamic, well until I put Kii Threes by their side.

(Yesterday I felt Threes are only on par with 8351s, because I cant compare them in the same environment, now I can and it shocked me.) 

 

1. Threes have much more LF extension and much more accurate bass(actually better sounded bass because I am not sure about what the bass part of a song "should be"), I've known this yesterday but side by side the difference is much more apparent and significant, the music actually feels much more full bodied with the threes.

 

2.The sound image is much clearer and accurate, in <Ballad of the runaway horse> by Jennifer Warnes, Jennifer's voice is more concentrated, sounded like really from her mouth in front of you with the threes, but sound kind of dull from the 8351s(compare to threes, or else it would be also very good)

 

3. For electric music like Yello, Infected Mushroom, the threes just sound much better than 8351s in each and every way, the difference is huge. LF extension and sound image are working together in favor of the threes.

 

Now don't get me wrong the 8351s are very good speakers, I have listened to many hifi speakers and very few of them could sound better the 8351s. For example:
B&W 800D3 & Nautilus, Focal Scala utopia, JBL Everest 66000, PMC MB5 & MB3, ATC150, Wilson Sasha & Alexx...

 

Among all the above mentioned speakers only the Wilson Alexx is obviously better than 8351, the others sound different but I don't think are really better sounded.(keep in mind those speakers paired with amps are all in the 40k - 100k range Edit: except ATC150 & PMC MB3)

So if Kii threes much better than 8351 in every way, then it's safe to assume under 50k range there would be very few ( or none at all) could compete with the threes. 

 

Remember the above are all my SUBJECTIVE feelings , not scientific and I could very well change my mind if compared in the same environment side by side.

 

Before I bought Threes I did read lots of articles about Bruno, he is a genius. I think he would start a revolution in hifi business, that's part of the reason I bought those today even I am sure the Threes are very power limited.

 

 

 

 

 

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About overload problem:

First my definition of overload: The blue&green light on the speakers flash/keep red.

I know this means limiter kicks in to prevent actual overload of the amp/driver, anyway I would just use overload to describe this situation for convenience.

 

Guys if you want to see it overload you can do this yourself by following these steps:

(first turn the overload indicator on in your kii control or else you wont see it flash red even the speaker burns)

 

1.Run tidal with a computer, use usb output to Kii controller, USE FULL VOLUME ON TIDAL AND DON'T LET YOUR COMPUTER MESS WITH VOLUME,MEANING TURN YOUR COMPUTER OUTPUT TO FULL VOLUME. only using the Kii controller to adjust volume.

2.Calibrate the speaker. Using the soundtrack <pink noise white noise ceiling fan,pt.1> on tidal, in the middle of the track(it's fade in) your SPL meter in your listening position should read 80dB. Now your controller should read 80-90 depend on your distance to speakers and room size. 

3.Play soundtrack<drum solo> by Gojira on Tidal, see how frequently it overloads the Threes.

 

We actually tried 3 signal paths to make sure there was no problem. 

A. Microsoft surface book usb out->Kii control

B. Microsoft surface book usb out->Brooklyn Dac XLR out->Kii speakers

C. Apple imac usb out->Kii control

All the above setup the output level is 80dB.

 

No matter what the setup is, the Kii threes always overload like sh*t when playing <drum solo> by Gojira. Actually not just this sound track, try <to the pirates' cave!> by Klaus Badelt on Tidal and you would see the red light keeps on, not flashing. And just any other dynamic sound track would overload more or less when the Kii control volume is above 77(didn't try lower but I am sure 70 won't overload at all)

 

Remember this is another pair of speakers we tried, not the ones I tested yesterday. So faulty speakers are ruled out.

 

The Kii threes are just very easy to overload.

 

I know if it doesn't flash red I would not hear/know the limiter kicked in, but it's annoying anyway. I can't turn the volume up more than 85 actually, because with some soundtracks the red light is constantly on, making me feel the speakers are about to explode anytime.

 

 

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mistake

 


Main listening (small home office):

Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>CAPS IV Pipeline Server + Sonore 12V PS >SOtM Lan Isolator>Bricasti M5 Network Player >Kii Control>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.
 

Secondary Listening: CAPS Pipeline>IFi iOne DAC>Schiit Freya>Kii Three . Also an SBT and a RB Pi 3B+ running piCorePlayer as an SBT emulator. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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47 minutes ago, dustblue said:

The Kii threes are just very easy to overload.

 

Okay, I did your test. My setup overloaded at 93, not at 85. And that was much louder than I would ever play the speakers for more than a few seconds. It's clearly ear damaging loud.
 

And honestly, I think your above statement is sort of silly. Your experiment is the ONLY time I've gotten the light to flash in a year and a half of listening to the Kiis. Even when I had the volume turned up in the mid 90's (I do that sometimes for orchestral music). I normally listen not at ear crunching levels, but at volumes that most people consider loud. Generally around 80db at my position. 
 

If you are listening at Kii overload levels on a regular basis - well, good luck to you when you have severe hearing loss  and/or tinnitus. 

And BTW, you only know the Kiis are overloading b/c of the red light. And it doesn't actually mean they are overloading, it means the limiter is kicking in and preventing damage to the drivers. Most systems don't tell you that you are playing too loud for them, so you don't know. You need to get over your psychological thing about the speakers exploding, b/c the opposite is true. The light means they are being prevented from being damaged.
You might want to write Kii and ask them what it means (if anything) if you are playing them back with the limiter on all or most of the time. 


Main listening (small home office):

Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>CAPS IV Pipeline Server + Sonore 12V PS >SOtM Lan Isolator>Bricasti M5 Network Player >Kii Control>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.
 

Secondary Listening: CAPS Pipeline>IFi iOne DAC>Schiit Freya>Kii Three . Also an SBT and a RB Pi 3B+ running piCorePlayer as an SBT emulator. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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