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Kii Three - my impressions and pro reviews

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On 5/14/2019 at 5:13 PM, The Computer Audiophile said:

These are very competent speakers that I still need to demo properly. 

 

Yup, show conditions are far from perfect, though in Munich many atrium rooms were decent to say the least.  

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Does anyone have the sampling rate of the Kii's ADC when using the XLR inputs with analog sources? Its not stated in the manual and I can't find that spec anywhere.

 

Also, for those using phono stages straight into the Kii's XLR analog input, do you find the gain sufficient to reach a satisfying volume? Others are routing them through a separate line stage (per manual). I guess my questions is do the Kii's ADC have sufficient 'digital' gain (volume control range) to make up the lack of a line stage?

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27 minutes ago, Saburo said:

Does anyone have the sampling rate of the Kii's ADC when using the XLR inputs with analog sources? Its not stated in the manual and I can't find that spec anywhere.

 

Also, for those using phono stages straight into the Kii's XLR analog input, do you find the gain sufficient to reach a satisfying volume? Others are routing them through a separate line stage (per manual). I guess my questions is do the Kii's ADC have sufficient 'digital' gain (volume control range) to make up the lack of a line stage?

I am using a normal phono stage with no issues,  a Musical Fidelity MX-VYNL  I wonder if that manual has some translation error.   I have to go re-read it.  I will ask the US distributor.

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2 hours ago, Saburo said:

Does anyone have the sampling rate of the Kii's ADC when using the XLR inputs with analog sources? Its not stated in the manual and I can't find that spec anywhere.

AFAIR, the Kiis convert everything internally to 93.75hz

mentioned here: https://www.signals.uk.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/HFN-Aug-Kii-Audio-Three-Reprint-LOW.pdf

And has been confirmed by Kii elsewhere:

 

And described here when talking about another Bruno designed speaker: https://www.grimmaudio.com/site/assets/files/1088/speakers.pdf

Quote

 

The clock circuit is the same as that used in the CC1

except that the sampling rate is set to 93.75kHz instead

of one of the more traditional audio rates. This is

specifically done to improve the performance of the SRC ch

ip.

An uncommon clock frequency reduces the odds that mix products between the incoming clock and the internal clock fall inside the PLL loop bandwidth of the SRC.

 

 


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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Thanks for the responses. I emailed Kii's German tech support with the same question and this is the message I got back from TJ this morning: 

 

"I wouldn´t know for sure, would have to ask Bruno when he´s back. What I do know for sure however is that the whole internal processing runs on a high, non-typical audio samplerate (no multiple of 44,1 or 48kHz), because the SRC that Bruno wrote is running on our DSP as well and outclasses any SRC chips available by almost 30dB, the jitter suppression is stunning even below 1Hz."


 

I've kicked around the idea of running the phono stage into a Mytek Brooklyn ADC outputing DSD 128 into the Kii via its remote but if I understand TJ  and others here the Kii's DSP engine will resample it again so its all for naught, or what am I missing here? 

 

 

 

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4 hours ago, Saburo said:

Thanks for the responses. I emailed Kii's German tech support with the same question and this is the message I got back from TJ this morning: 

 

"I wouldn´t know for sure, would have to ask Bruno when he´s back. What I do know for sure however is that the whole internal processing runs on a high, non-typical audio samplerate (no multiple of 44,1 or 48kHz), because the SRC that Bruno wrote is running on our DSP as well and outclasses any SRC chips available by almost 30dB, the jitter suppression is stunning even below 1Hz."


 

I've kicked around the idea of running the phono stage into a Mytek Brooklyn ADC outputing DSD 128 into the Kii via its remote but if I understand TJ  and others here the Kii's DSP engine will resample it again so its all for naught, or what am I missing here? 

 

 

 

If you like the sound of DSD, I’d try it. In my experience, you can still hear the difference between a DSD source and a PCM source sent to the Kiis. 


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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Phono stage should be connected directly to Kii's. I am using EAR 834P phono stage! Fantastic!

In addition, Kii's are very sensitive to source. You will hear the difference definitely between the formats.

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On 6/1/2019 at 2:54 AM, firedog said:

In my experience, you can still hear the difference between a DSD source and a PCM source sent to the Kiis. 

 

It should be very clear even with speakers far more affordable.

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On ‎5‎/‎31‎/‎2019 at 5:54 PM, firedog said:

If you like the sound of DSD, I’d try it. In my experience, you can still hear the difference between a DSD source and a PCM source sent to the Kiis. 

 

Has anyone compared the SQ between an outboard stand alone ADC going into the Kii remote vs. the ADC built into the speaker via its XLR inputs?

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11 hours ago, AMR/iFi audio said:

 

It should be very clear even with speakers far more affordable.

Yes, the issue is that some people assume that with any system that converts all DSD to PCM, you somehow "lose" the sound of the DSD. My experience is that you don't if the system is decent quality,  and especially with the Kiis this isn't an issue someone should worry about. 
For the same reason there are turntable owners who are very happy feeding the output of their phono preamp directly to the Kiis, and they are very happy with the sound of the "vinyl" they get after the Kii converts the analog input to digital. 


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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Well it has taken me 18 months but I have finally found a 2nd hand pair of Kii 3's in my home town.   1st 2nd hand pair I have seen in Australia for sale.   They were traded in to the local distributor along with the stands and Controller.     Pick up is on Monday so pretty excited.

 

I do have a question for the wise re the connections.    I currently run the following...

 

CAPS (Lagoon - WS2012 R2 Essentials OS with Audiophile Optimizer v2.20 in Ultimate Core mode - Fidelizer 8.1pro -128g SS HD + Sotm USB exp card) via USB Curious Cable into Mutec USB 3+ reclocker. 

 

The Mutec has AES output and the Kii3 has the AES input.    MY current Lampizator L5 dac does not have AES input so I use the Coaxial from the Mutec.   I have a 110 ohm AES cable that I have never used.

 

With the Controller attached to the Kii 3 via the Cat 5, can I still connect the 110 ohm AES cable from the Mutec to the Kii 3 to access the CAPS.

 

By doing it this way I free up the Coaxial on the Controller for something else.    The Optical on the Controller will be for my TV.

 

My 2nd question relates to setting up a remote to control the Controller from the comfy chair.   I have a Harmony Universal 650 remote.  Will that do the trick or will I need to buy a  RC5 type or Apple Remote?

 

Thanks for any advice.

 

Regards Cazzesman

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Congrats @Cazzesman I saw that post by Sonic Purity on SNA, alas I don’t have the cash to jump in myself just yet!

 

Anything you feed into the AES on the speakers direct is still controlled by the Kii Control, including all settings.

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2 hours ago, Cazzesman said:

Well it has taken me 18 months but I have finally found a 2nd hand pair of Kii 3's in my home town.   1st 2nd hand pair I have seen in Australia for sale.   They were traded in to the local distributor along with the stands and Controller.     Pick up is on Monday so pretty excited.

 

I do have a question for the wise re the connections.    I currently run the following...

 

CAPS (Lagoon - WS2012 R2 Essentials OS with Audiophile Optimizer v2.20 in Ultimate Core mode - Fidelizer 8.1pro -128g SS HD + Sotm USB exp card) via USB Curious Cable into Mutec USB 3+ reclocker. 

 

The Mutec has AES output and the Kii3 has the AES input.    MY current Lampizator L5 dac does not have AES input so I use the Coaxial from the Mutec.   I have a 110 ohm AES cable that I have never used.

 

With the Controller attached to the Kii 3 via the Cat 5, can I still connect the 110 ohm AES cable from the Mutec to the Kii 3 to access the CAPS.

 

By doing it this way I free up the Coaxial on the Controller for something else.    The Optical on the Controller will be for my TV.

 

My 2nd question relates to setting up a remote to control the Controller from the comfy chair.   I have a Harmony Universal 650 remote.  Will that do the trick or will I need to buy a  RC5 type or Apple Remote?

 

Thanks for any advice.

 

Regards Cazzesman

The controller works with either an RC5 type or Apple type remote protocols. There’s a definition in the controller you set for the type of remote you are using. Once you do that all you have to do is pair the remote acc’d to how it is supposed to work. 
I’m not familiar with your remote. If it works with one of those protocols it will work. 


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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4 hours ago, firedog said:

The controller works with either an RC5 type or Apple type remote protocols. There’s a definition in the controller you set for the type of remote you are using. Once you do that all you have to do is pair the remote acc’d to how it is supposed to work. 
I’m not familiar with your remote. If it works with one of those protocols it will work. 

 

I could never get my RC5 remote to work but the apple one worked from the start like a charm.

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10 hours ago, Cazzesman said:

Well it has taken me 18 months but I have finally found a 2nd hand pair of Kii 3's in my home town.   1st 2nd hand pair I have seen in Australia for sale.   They were traded in to the local distributor along with the stands and Controller.     Pick up is on Monday so pretty excited.

 

Congrats!

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I also use a 2000 VA Isolation Transformer in my Audio system.     My Current Active speakers, each with its own separate power supply box, are plugged into the walls 240vlt plugs and not via the IsoTrans.  This was at the recommendation of the Speaker Maker .

 

Anyone have any thoughts on whether I should plug the Kii 3's into the IsoTran or simply into the wall plugs.     I presuming the Digital Amps within the Kii 3's aren't drawing any massive loads so the IsoTran should be fine.     For info the power to my audio set up comes via a direct single line off the house power box. 

 

Regards Cazzesman

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32 minutes ago, Cazzesman said:

I also use a 2000 VA Isolation Transformer in my Audio system.     My Current Active speakers, each with its own separate power supply box, are plugged into the walls 240vlt plugs and not via the IsoTrans.  This was at the recommendation of the Speaker Maker .

 

Anyone have any thoughts on whether I should plug the Kii 3's into the IsoTran or simply into the wall plugs.     I presuming the Digital Amps within the Kii 3's aren't drawing any massive loads so the IsoTran should be fine.     For info the power to my audio set up comes via a direct single line off the house power box. 

 

Regards Cazzesman

I would at least try to have them go through some power line protection system..  I have mine hooked up through a Transparent Cable P6 for just basic filtering.  I think they are pretty frugal on power but all those amps can draw some power when working!  You will enjoy them a lot!

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With my current room I have 1st and 2nd reflection acoustic treatment set up.   I also have rear corner bass traps that stand 2.2 metres.

 

I will try with and without treatment once the Kii's are in situ.    Have you current Kii owners found that you could do away with the Treatment (if you had any) once you moved from standard speakers to the Kii's?

 

Regards Cazzesman

 

 

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51 minutes ago, Cazzesman said:

With my current room I have 1st and 2nd reflection acoustic treatment set up.   I also have rear corner bass traps that stand 2.2 metres.

 

I will try with and without treatment once the Kii's are in situ.    Have you current Kii owners found that you could do away with the Treatment (if you had any) once you moved from standard speakers to the Kii's?

 

Regards Cazzesman

 

 

I would remove the room treatments if possible. Setup and Tune the Kii Threes, then make any decisions.  Do not rush it.  It took me a couple of weeks to get them tuned where I felt that they sound the best. 

 

I did not have treatments in my room and now I do not feel the need for any.  Which is one of the reasons I got the speakers in the first place!  

 

 

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