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Kii Three - my impressions and pro reviews

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1 minute ago, fpalm69 said:

Also,  how do you adjust the subs for the 90 ms delay from the Kii dsp in exact mode?

 

Without wishing to speak for owners here, I would assume most are using some sort of off-board processor (MiniDSP, Amethyst etc) that allows setting of delays to the subs.

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14 minutes ago, Blade1001 said:

 

Without wishing to speak for owners here, I would assume most are using some sort of off-board processor (MiniDSP, Amethyst etc) that allows setting of delays to the subs.

 

Correct, in my case it is an Amethyst.

 

26 minutes ago, Blade1001 said:

 

Interesting feedback. So do you run a subwoofer or subwoofers yourself for music? 

 

How is everyone that is using subwoofers running them? As left and right subs, or in mono to produce smoother bass frequency response?

 

Can I also ask everyone, what height have you found the Kii’s sound best installed at - tweeter at ear level, midrange at ear level, or somewhere in between?

 

 

 

Yes, in a 2.1 mono constellation. My Kii‘s are mounted in the upper corners of the listening room with a 15 degree downward tilt. Tweeter at ear level.

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3 hours ago, TheStupidOne said:

Regarding subs;

 

I'm currently using Minidsp 4x10hd for connections, volume control, timing, eq and crossover. In my case I don't use the subs as subs, I use them as bass speakers crossed over at 200 hz. This "necessitates" running them as stereo and properly time aligned with the corresponding speaker.

 

With Minidsp 4x10hd I can't use Exact mode on Kii because I can only delay subs with 9 ms, but when I'm listening to music from my computer I use Audiolense with time correction. The timing is then perfect and the step response looks like this;

 

1833903450_KiiLRogsubber-Steprespons.thumb.jpg.2ef7f8d961e0a38f2413d1e0049bff06.jpg

 

Frequency response looks like this;

 

1318314444_Kiiogsubber-frekvensrespons.thumb.jpg.6f27bb9842b8ee9a7419360bd1fe7824.jpg

 

All that said, I think I would change the 4x10hd for something else in order to better the S/N ratio and to get a bit more PEQ bands to fiddle with, maybe the new SHD studio? Or perhaps OpenDrc so I can load Audiolense filters to it?

@mitchco - any thoughts/suggestions here? I would only need digital outputs.

 

Regarding height placement for best sound, I'd say that within a window of +- 10 degrees angle from the point between midrange and tweeter it doesn't really matter. I base that on this graph from Stereophile;

917Kii3fig6.jpg.8e0860053f10099276443b7983f3e153.jpg

https://www.stereophile.com/content/kii-audio-three-loudspeaker-measurements

 

 

Thanks for sharing the link. Could you help me to understand the Stereophile graph?

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9 hours ago, TheStupidOne said:

Regarding subs;

 

I'm currently using Minidsp 4x10hd for connections, volume control, timing, eq and crossover. In my case I don't use the subs as subs, I use them as bass speakers crossed over at 200 hz. This "necessitates" running them as stereo and properly time aligned with the corresponding speaker.

 

All that said, I think I would change the 4x10hd for something else in order to better the S/N ratio and to get a bit more PEQ bands to fiddle with, maybe the new SHD studio? Or perhaps OpenDrc so I can load Audiolense filters to it?

@mitchco - any thoughts/suggestions here? I would only need digital outputs.

 

 

 

Hello, @TheStupidOne perhaps a little diagram or words to describe your end to end signal path with type of connections. If using computer with Audiolense, Audiolense can also be used for digital XO duties as well (highly recommended). What convolution engine are you using? The issue with OpenDRC and the like, is the limited number of FIR filter taps. Typically around 6000 taps per channel, whereas on the PC, 65,536 taps (or even double) are available and required if you want deep bass room correction. Have you asked Bernt if Audiolense will take the 90ms of delay into consideration if using Audiolense XO with subs? Also, curious about the 200 Hz XO point. The Kii THREE's cardioid capabilities go right down to 80 Hz, which would seem more of natural XO point for the subs, so you can still take advantage of the cardioid response of the THREE's...

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I have a completely different topic: My KII were send out last week to my dealer and aren't there yet. Is it normal to count hours and minutes awaiting the KII? Just feeling emotional sickness...

Any advise and relief is welcome! 

 

😄 

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@mitchco; Thank you for replying! Well, I'm the simplest of souls, so here's my signal path;

 

Digital sources (pc, playstation, chromecast) > TV > Optical to MiniDsp > digital to Kii and analogue to subs.

(The subs have one Hypex psc 2.400d each, so I could preferably connect them digitally)

 

It's the least audiophile signal path in the world, I know, but I'm TheStupidOne after all.

I'm currently using JRiver when playing from the computer, and I like the program. I'm fine with a somewhat limited correction when watching tv, movies and the like because I figured I could always just have a different preset and switch when using the computer/Jriver and full-on correction with Audiolense?

 

I'm literally clueless about how to best set-up a system for my use because I have no interest in components and different boxes. Some say I should get a multichannel sound-card like Lynx Aurora and let Audiolense do the X-over, but why can't I use some kind of Minidsp box after the TV like I do now?  I'm dying a little bit inside every time I try to read about different boxes and solutions, so I resign to simpler stuff like astrophysics on YouTube instead... 😆

I guess I'm asking how you would set up a signal chain if you were me and used the speakers as tv-speakers 90 % of the time?

 

The 200 hz crossover is just a first attempt at fixing the distortions and dips in the area between 150-350 hz. It worked spectacularly right off the bat, so I haven't tried crossing them over at lower frequencies yet. It's quite possible it would be as good or even better, but the lazy asshole inside my head is quite difficult to convince that it's worth the monumental effort to go get the measuring microphone! 

But if you say it's worth the hassle, I'll do it... Soon. 

 

EDIT; Yes, Bernt said it wouldn't be a problem for Audiolense to take those 90 ms into account. But the way I use them now, I have enabled minimum latency so that I can still have time aligned the subs when I'm not playing through Jriver on the computer.

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, Bernstein said:

I have a completely different topic: My KII were send out last week to my dealer and aren't there yet. Is it normal to count hours and minutes awaiting the KII? Just feeling emotional sickness...

Any advise and relief is welcome! 

 

😄 

A year from now, you'll fail to understand what the fuzz you made was all about while you consider the BXT to be the only drug in the world that can make you happy again. You'll hate the Kiis for not having been born with the BXT in the first place and you will not understand how you could ever think you would be happy with those little shoe-boxes.

 

Does that help? 😁

 

Of course, I kid. I think. Maybe. Do I?... Yep, it's normal. What's even weirder is that you will count the hours and minutes left of your vacations in the future just dying to get back home to the glorious sound you're used to.

Big mistake buying the Kiis, you'll hate every minute away from them. 

Helpful? Hey, I'm trying!

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10 minutes ago, TheStupidOne said:

A year from now, you'll fail to understand what the fuzz you made was all about while you consider the BXT to be the only drug in the world that can make you happy again. You'll hate the Kiis for not having been born with the BXT in the first place and you will not understand how you could ever think you would be happy with those little shoe-boxes.

 

Does that help? 😁

 

Of course, I kid. I think. Maybe. Do I?... Yep, it's normal. What's even weirder is that you will count the hours and minutes left of your vacations in the future just dying to get back home to the glorious sound you're used to.

Big mistake buying the Kiis, you'll hate every minute away from them. 

Helpful? Hey, I'm trying!

 

Sounds funny,  awesome and (yet for me now) unreal! Thanks! 😂

 

Sometimes I act like my little daughter and not being a good example how to behave PATIENT. 

 

When do you order your BXT to achieve inner peace?✌🏿 

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Haha, my gf tells me I'm like a child every time I get a new audio-toy to play with.

I have already reserved the main prize in the next lottery, so I expect to have a full surround system with Kii BXT's by this time next month. If I can decide on color, of course. 🤠

 

From serious business to jokes, I'm looking at buying a house with a space large enough to let me have my own cinema-room, so I'm financially self-restricted at the moment.

I have even considered selling the Kiis to replace them with larger speakers with that room in mind. Something like the JBL M2's have been itching in my mind.

 

We'll see, though.

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16 hours ago, mitchco said:

 

Hello, @TheStupidOne perhaps a little diagram or words to describe your end to end signal path with type of connections. If using computer with Audiolense, Audiolense can also be used for digital XO duties as well (highly recommended). What convolution engine are you using? The issue with OpenDRC and the like, is the limited number of FIR filter taps. Typically around 6000 taps per channel, whereas on the PC, 65,536 taps (or even double) are available and required if you want deep bass room correction. Have you asked Bernt if Audiolense will take the 90ms of delay into consideration if using Audiolense XO with subs? Also, curious about the 200 Hz XO point. The Kii THREE's cardioid capabilities go right down to 80 Hz, which would seem more of natural XO point for the subs, so you can still take advantage of the cardioid response of the THREE's...

 

I reached out to the guys from Kii Audio a while back regarding SW integration and XO. You can find their response here: 

 

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On 8/25/2019 at 10:39 AM, baconbrain said:

 Guys, 

 

I am hiking in the beautiful Austrian Alps for the next week and will add Mitcho‘s tracks to our Tidal PL after my return.

 

I have added Mitcho's tracks to the PL:

 

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

 

There are some good ones in the list, but unfortunately Flim and the BB's + The Brooklyn Funk Band were not available on Tidal.

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2 hours ago, Bernstein said:

https://tidal.com/playlist/50cb1ee8-9b05-4447-8264-66fdbc6a56eb

 

new „fall“ playlist from KII in Tidal :) @baconbrain 

 

They are in:

 

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

 

Lots of content to enjoy! It is now growing to a size that we may want to think about putting them in some type of order, thoughts?

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10 hours ago, baconbrain said:

 

They are in:

 

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

 

Lots of content to enjoy! It is now growing to a size that we may want to think about putting them in some type of order, thoughts?

Hmmm...

I would maybe group the genres in the sequence or split the playlist in different Genres (which could be difficult) as separate playlists. Though keep it chaotic as it is has also charm...

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10 hours ago, baconbrain said:

 

They are in:

 

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

 

Lots of content to enjoy! It is now growing to a size that we may want to think about putting them in some type of order, thoughts?

Hmmm...

I would maybe group the genres in the sequence or split the playlist in different Genres (which could be difficult) as separate playlists. Though keep it chaotic as it is has also charm...

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On 9/7/2019 at 12:36 AM, Bernstein said:

Hmmm...

I would maybe group the genres in the sequence or split the playlist in different Genres (which could be difficult) as separate playlists. Though keep it chaotic as it is has also charm...

 

Agree on the genre sequencing approach, I just have to figure out the easiest way to go about it ....

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On 9/6/2019 at 5:27 PM, mitchco said:

 

If that is the case, and you are happy with the SQ, I would simply leave well enough alone. If you wanted to experiment, I would lower lower the XO to the subs to 80 Hz or below. The suggestion from Kii is a good one. The subs should augment the Kii's and not replace their cardioid response I would find the -3 dB point at the LP with just the Kii's and then use that point as the XO point to the subs. That way you are maximizing the response of both Kii's and subs. Fyi, that' what I did with my rig (not Kii's but finding the -3 dB point on my mains) and XO to my subs are at 45 Hz. 

I will experiment with different XO, but below the -3 dB point in my room would be somewhere between 20 an 30 hz, so I'd get no benefit distortion-wise higher in the range :)

 

My initial rationale was that below Schroeder (ca 180 hz) it won't help much with cardioide due to room resonances being the dominant factor, but I guess we'll find out. I'll start with reducing XO by 30-50 hz at a time to see where the dispersion pattern becomes irrelevant and to see where the distortion starts to go up again in the 150-300 hz area.

 

Will I keep my somewhat noisy 4x10hd or switch to SHD studio? Will I get the same glorious sound from Dirac as I do from Audiolense? We'll see! Interesting times indeed!

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How are you measuring distortion? At the listening position? If so, then unfortunately, the room dominates below Schroeder and likely not getting real distortion numbers... Distortion of speakers needs to be measured at 1 meter distance and ideally outdoors using a ground plane measurement. Also, does the mic come with a distortion spec? There are only a handful of mics that spec distortion. Earthworks, DPA, B&K and http://www.isemcon.com/datasheets/EMX7150-US-r04.pdf  for example. Most measurement mics are good at measuring frequency response, but not so good measuring distortion (including the mic I am using right now).

 

The Kii's have fantastic directivity down to 80 Hz and designed to avoid SBIR and it is worth the time spending with the measurement mic to take multiple sweeps while adjusting boundary eq to get the smoothest response from the THREE's first in your room (maybe you have already done that). Then bring in the subs. Yah, it could be that the -3 dB point in your room is 30 Hz, but subs are supposed to, you know... sub 🙂 If you still want to offload, then I would start at 80 Hz and work your way down from there...

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Have to chime in to agree with mitchco - I wouldn’t want to waste that cardioid response down to 80Hz. The Kii’s should be comfortable down to 80Hz or less with ease, and without excess inherent distortion. Obviously when they get down to 30Hz and below is where they might start to struggle hitting peaks at volume, but you’d probably be able to identify that better with compression sweeps in REW, and this is where you can add the subs in to give them more headroom.

 

if it were me I’d be looking to cross over at around 80Hz also, which is also where the bass will become omni directional also, allowing you to get better bass response at the MLP by moving the subs around a bit, and playing them mono.

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@mitchco I'm measuring distortion at listening position with Umik-1 and REW. While it's not a good way to measure absolute distortion, it shows the tendency of running speakers too hard. Example of the distortion in the midrange when I cross subs at 200 vs 80 hz;

 

1636524393_DistortionsubsXO80hz.thumb.jpg.8b9e6fae5494adbc9ce4183fbe37036b.jpg511164936_DistortionsubsXO200hz.thumb.jpg.101b156dc5176097a88fb9812de8476c.jpg

(Frequency response differences is mainly due to the top one being after Audiolense and the bottom one before Audiolense)

 

I think this shows a clear tendency and given the anechoic distortion-measurements of Kii, I'm inclined to believe that it's more than just my room.

Earl Geddes believes that cardioide dispersion is rather meaningless in the schroeder-area and below because the response will be dominated by the room's resonances/modal behavior regardless of dispersion. It's possible, I don't know, but I'm not afraid to test both high and low XO's.

After 7 hours of testing back and forth today, I settled on a 150 hz XO with L/R 36 dB oct. Sounds less strained and forced while keeping the subs (they're not subs, they're built to be bass speakers up to 700 hz) completely "invisible".

 

But holy smokes, that Audiolense... Stupidly good! And thanks alot for your well-written guide on Audiolense, Mitchco! 

Here's my current response + step response with subs included;

 

1092405736_Audiolensesubs-config2.thumb.jpg.f44846172ca969a29857620b19b85886.jpg

1787300962_Audiolensesubs-config2-stepresponse.thumb.jpg.6d7ce98827006f6dc9623ba0a198f3f6.jpg

 

I listened to you guys and tested crossovers between 30-200 hz and came to the conclusion that, in my room, the benefits of crossing higher outweighs the negatives. It should be noted that my subs are not exactly subs and they are placed right next to the Kiis. Right now I'm totally in love with the sound and can honestly say that this is the best I've ever heard the Kiis in my room, and probably anywhere. 

I think I'm done bombarding you guys with measurements , sorry for that! 🤓

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