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Kii Three - my impressions and pro reviews

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41 minutes ago, baconbrain said:

A humbling moment ...

 

occurred yesterday evening when I visited a good friend and listened to his newly updated system. (Speakers alone cost 40 k Euro ..) The experience was absolutely mind boggling and intense. Regardless of genre, his system tackled it all with a finesse and detail which sometimes left me speechless.

 

As much as I really like my Kii Three 2.1 setup, it is definitely in another class when comparing to such heavyweights. Unfortunately for me (and my budget) experience continues to show that truly top level electronics have their price .... Is there a end of the audiophile Rainbow?

No one sane ever said the Kiis can't be beat. Obviously if you are going to spend 40K Euro on speakers and big amounts on suitable electronics to go with it - you can do better. I still say in a smallish space you are going to encounter quite a challenge to beat the Kiis on price/performance, especially if you want something approx full range like the Kiis.

 

You have a fantastic system. Probably better than 99.9% of the setups in existence. Can't you just be happy with it?

I'd also like to know what your friend's system is.


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 2 SBT and an SB Boom. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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1 hour ago, baconbrain said:

A humbling moment ...

 

occurred yesterday evening when I visited a good friend and listened to his newly updated system. (Speakers alone cost 40 k Euro ..) The experience was absolutely mind boggling and intense. Regardless of genre, his system tackled it all with a finesse and detail which sometimes left me speechless.

 

As much as I really like my Kii Three 2.1 setup, it is definitely in another class when comparing to such heavyweights. Unfortunately for me (and my budget) experience continues to show that truly top level electronics have their price .... Is there a end of the audiophile Rainbow?

 

Such is the power of expectation bias.

when wine lovers were told one wine was pricey and the other cheap they liked the pricey one more. They were hooked up to a machine that showed the pleasure centers in their brains kit up more with the “[email protected] wine. However, it was the same wine!

think about the other differences in your experience. Other than your state of mind, the most profound difference between your system and his is likely the room itself. Factor in the recordings and the dB levels and it is extremely difficult to to make a reliable comparison . 

I’ve heard the Kii next to more expensive speakers/gear and prefer the Kii. 

 

One thing I would not do is use a sub. That might be hurting the performance of your Kii’s. TheIR BXT system would be the way to go for me.

 

 

 

 

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25 minutes ago, tomjtx said:

 

Such is the power of expectation bias.

when wine lovers were told one wine was pricey and the other cheap they liked the pricey one more. They were hooked up to a machine that showed the pleasure centers in their brains kit up more with the “[email protected] wine. However, it was the same wine!

think about the other differences in your experience. Other than your state of mind, the most profound difference between your system and his is likely the room itself. Factor in the recordings and the dB levels and it is extremely difficult to to make a reliable comparison . 

I’ve heard the Kii next to more expensive speakers/gear and prefer the Kii. 

 

One thing I would not do is use a sub. That might be hurting the performance of your Kii’s. TheIR BXT system would be the way to go for me.

 

 

 

 

I wouldn't be so quick to judge that this is because of expectation bias. I've had similar experiences with both more and less expensive gear in good and bad rooms. 

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5 minutes ago, The Computer Audiophile said:

I wouldn't be so quick to judge that this is because of expectation bias. I've had similar experiences with both more and less expensive gear in good and bad rooms. 

 

Here is an irrefutable statement or, IOW, a statement that is de facto true:

One can't rule out expectation bias absent a proper blind test.

 

That doesn't invalidate my, yours or anyone else's subjective experience. But I think it's important to remember this simple fact when we listen to different systems. Even on a purely subjective level it is rather pointless to make value judgements on SQ listening to systems in different rooms at different times. Put the Kiis next to another speaker , in the same room, level matched and using the same recordings. That could be a subjective comparison that I could be of some limited interest to me.

 

YMMV, of course. In the end my opinion is worthless to anyone other than myself. I have no problem with that. 🙂

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5 minutes ago, tomjtx said:

 

Here is an irrefutable statement or, IOW, a statement that is de facto true:

One can't rule out expectation bias absent a proper blind test.

 

That doesn't invalidate my, yours or anyone else's subjective experience. But I think it's important to remember this simple fact when we listen to different systems. Even on a purely subjective level it is rather pointless to make value judgements on SQ listening to systems in different rooms at different times. Put the Kiis next to another speaker , in the same room, level matched and using the same recordings. That could be a subjective comparison that I could be of some limited interest to me.

 

YMMV, of course. In the end my opinion is worthless to anyone other than myself. I have no problem with that. 🙂

I certainly hear you, but most people aren't out for a scientific adventure. They want to listen and respond to the sound. 

 

If system A sounds good and system B sounds better, that's just what they experienced and one's experience is likely what will make one the happiest at home. Getting the flattest speaker available (likely the Revel Salon 2) may make some happy but not others. 

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6 minutes ago, The Computer Audiophile said:

I certainly hear you, but most people aren't out for a scientific adventure. They want to listen and respond to the sound. 

 

If system A sounds good and system B sounds better, that's just what they experienced and one's experience is likely what will make one the happiest at home. Getting the flattest speaker available (likely the Revel Salon 2) may make some happy but not others. 

 

I'm not out for a scientific adventure either. I'm a musician, so, obviously I listen to both the sound and the music. And I agree with much of what you are saying.

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2 hours ago, The Computer Audiophile said:

I certainly hear you, but most people aren't out for a scientific adventure.

Agreed.  Moreover, the scientific adventure is simply not practical.  Given the number of candidates within a particular price/size class of loudspeakers, it is virtually impossible to blind test/compare a significant number side-by-side.  It  is even difficult to get to hear+see,  the particular ones of personal interest, side-by-side at local dealers.   

3 hours ago, The Computer Audiophile said:

They want to listen and respond to the sound. .......................If system A sounds good and system B sounds better, that's just what they experienced and one's experience is likely what will make one the happiest at home.

Again, agreed but only if it is a fair test under suitable conditions.  


Kal Rubinson

Music in the Round

Senior Contributing Editor, Stereophile

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Guys,

 

Have you ever driven a Ferrari? You know before you even start the engine that it just doesn‘t compare to the upper mid class sports sedan that you currently own. It is in a different league, and mostly likely in a price class you will never be able to afford, but if you are a car buff, the experience will more than likely be unforgettable.

 

Does expectation bias play a role? Most definately, but the experience is undeniable when you press the throttle to the floor. Are you humbled when you drive off in your sports sedan at the end of day? Probably, but reality tells you that it still is the best sports sedan that you can afford. 

 

I really enjoy my Kii‘s, but I still find it incredibly fascinating what is possible when listening to the Ferrari‘s of the audio industry.


Kii Three Speakers | JL Audio Fathom Subwoofer  | Gordian Lab 12 Power Conditioner

 Innuos Zenith SE Mk II | Melco N1ZH60 | Trinnov Amethyst | Mutec MC-3+ USB
Mutec Ref-10 | Oppo UDP-205 | T+A G 2000 R | Gold Note PH-10 

Bavaria Germany

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16 minutes ago, Kal Rubinson said:

Agreed.  Moreover, the scientific adventure is simply not practical.  Given the number of candidates within a particular price/size class of loudspeakers, it is virtually impossible to blind test/compare a significant number side-by-side.  It  is even difficult to get to hear+see,  the particular ones of personal interest, side-by-side at local dealers.   

Again, agreed but only if it is a fair test under suitable conditions.  

However I was in no way recommending a scientific adventure. Nor was I recommending a blind test as a requisite to decide on a purchase. However if one has an opportunity to listen to speakers side by side one should make sure they are at the same volume. Numerous research shows that even a one dB increase is perceived as a qualitative difference. Would anyone want to make the purchase decision w/o taking that out of the equation?

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6 minutes ago, baconbrain said:

Guys,

 

Have you ever driven a Ferrari? You know before you even start the engine that it just doesn‘t compare to the upper mid class sports sedan that you currently own. It is in a different league, and mostly likely in a price class you will never be able to afford, but if you are a car buff, the experience will more than likely be unforgettable.

 

Does expectation bias play a role? Most definately, but the experience is undeniable when you press the throttle to the floor. Are you humbled when you drive off in your sports sedan at the end of day? Probably, but reality tells you that it still is the best sports sedan that you can afford. 

 

I really enjoy my Kii‘s, but I still find it incredibly fascinating what is possible when listening to the Ferrari‘s of the audio industry.

Test drive a dual motor Tesla. No car can match it’s zero to 60 time. 

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31 minutes ago, baconbrain said:

Guys,

 

Have you ever driven a Ferrari? You know before you even start the engine that it just doesn‘t compare to the upper mid class sports sedan that you currently own. It is in a different league, and mostly likely in a price class you will never be able to afford, but if you are a car buff, the experience will more than likely be unforgettable.

 

Does expectation bias play a role? Most definately, but the experience is undeniable when you press the throttle to the floor. Are you humbled when you drive off in your sports sedan at the end of day? Probably, but reality tells you that it still is the best sports sedan that you can afford. 

 

I really enjoy my Kii‘s, but I still find it incredibly fascinating what is possible when listening to the Ferrari‘s of the audio industry.

Well said. 

 

By the way, are you going to the Munich High End show?

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2 hours ago, The Computer Audiophile said:

Well said. 

 

By the way, are you going to the Munich High End show?

Thx, if family and work permits, definitely.


Kii Three Speakers | JL Audio Fathom Subwoofer  | Gordian Lab 12 Power Conditioner

 Innuos Zenith SE Mk II | Melco N1ZH60 | Trinnov Amethyst | Mutec MC-3+ USB
Mutec Ref-10 | Oppo UDP-205 | T+A G 2000 R | Gold Note PH-10 

Bavaria Germany

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8 hours ago, firedog said:

No one sane ever said the Kiis can't be beat. Obviously if you are going to spend 40K Euro on speakers and big amounts on suitable electronics to go with it - you can do better. I still say in a smallish space you are going to encounter quite a challenge to beat the Kiis on price/performance, especially if you want something approx full range like the Kiis.

 

You have a fantastic system. Probably better than 99.9% of the setups in existence. Can't you just be happy with it?

I'd also like to know what your friend's system is.

It is a top of the line Naim System (but not the Statement) with the supporting infrastructure and Verity Audio Sarastro II speakers.


Kii Three Speakers | JL Audio Fathom Subwoofer  | Gordian Lab 12 Power Conditioner

 Innuos Zenith SE Mk II | Melco N1ZH60 | Trinnov Amethyst | Mutec MC-3+ USB
Mutec Ref-10 | Oppo UDP-205 | T+A G 2000 R | Gold Note PH-10 

Bavaria Germany

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2 hours ago, tomjtx said:

Test drive a dual motor Tesla. No car can match it’s zero to 60 time. 

I have. Fantastic vehicle but it definately doesn‘t sound like a Ferrari  😉


Kii Three Speakers | JL Audio Fathom Subwoofer  | Gordian Lab 12 Power Conditioner

 Innuos Zenith SE Mk II | Melco N1ZH60 | Trinnov Amethyst | Mutec MC-3+ USB
Mutec Ref-10 | Oppo UDP-205 | T+A G 2000 R | Gold Note PH-10 

Bavaria Germany

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4 minutes ago, baconbrain said:

It is a top of the line Naim System (but not the Statement) with the supporting infrastructure and Verity Audio Sarastro II speakers.

The tweeter in the Sarastro is stellar. 

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31 minutes ago, baconbrain said:

Verity Audio Sarastro II speakers.

 

That's the third time someone mentioned these particular speakers in farly short time and was very impressed. It's time to see whether these will be shocased in Munich (they were some two or three years ago with Reimyo in one of atrium rooms, weren't they?) and have a listen.

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2 minutes ago, AMR/iFi audio said:

 

That's the third time someone mentioned these particular speakers in farly short time and was very impressed. It's time to see whether these will be shocased in Munich (they were some two or three years ago with Reimyo in one of atrium rooms, weren't they?) and have a listen.

Verity is a brand that has come and gone and come back in a cycle. Perhaps they'll be in Munich.

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9 minutes ago, The Computer Audiophile said:

Verity is a brand that has come and gone and come back in a cycle. Perhaps they'll be in Munich.

 

Thanks. They have very cool Arthurian naming patterns. 

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I don‘t know wether it was the the new flagship streamer, the basic room treatment measures, or a combination of both, he put into place during the last upgrade, but the sound imo is now heavenly. 


Kii Three Speakers | JL Audio Fathom Subwoofer  | Gordian Lab 12 Power Conditioner

 Innuos Zenith SE Mk II | Melco N1ZH60 | Trinnov Amethyst | Mutec MC-3+ USB
Mutec Ref-10 | Oppo UDP-205 | T+A G 2000 R | Gold Note PH-10 

Bavaria Germany

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On 3/8/2019 at 3:03 PM, firedog said:

I have added a couple more to the playlist which you can access here:

 

https://tidal.com/playlist/768432eb-b8ba-4a1d-b90a-a4c9a9ba8d85

 

Just let me know if someone would like to add ...


Kii Three Speakers | JL Audio Fathom Subwoofer  | Gordian Lab 12 Power Conditioner

 Innuos Zenith SE Mk II | Melco N1ZH60 | Trinnov Amethyst | Mutec MC-3+ USB
Mutec Ref-10 | Oppo UDP-205 | T+A G 2000 R | Gold Note PH-10 

Bavaria Germany

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On 3/16/2019 at 1:00 PM, Hydrology said:

Bubbles by Yosi Horikawa

https://tidal.com/track/73020591

Excellent!

 

It‘s in.


Kii Three Speakers | JL Audio Fathom Subwoofer  | Gordian Lab 12 Power Conditioner

 Innuos Zenith SE Mk II | Melco N1ZH60 | Trinnov Amethyst | Mutec MC-3+ USB
Mutec Ref-10 | Oppo UDP-205 | T+A G 2000 R | Gold Note PH-10 

Bavaria Germany

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