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Kii Three - my impressions and pro reviews

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I think it is room acoustics. At my setup voices are a bit high...If the listening position is closer to the speaker you will higher the image.


Kii Three / Kii Control / Uptone Iso Regen LPS 1.2 / Ultrarendu with LPS 1.2 / FMC LPS1.2 / Roon Rock

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10 hours ago, George Hincapie said:

 

I had them on home demo. Didn't like them and they went back, so they aren't the be all and end all.

Very useful comment. I don't think anyone thinks any component is the be all and end all.
Especially speakers, which certainly appeal to tastes - lots of speakers that magazines and many users love, but that I don't like.
So what? Doesn't mean they don't sound fantastic to lots of other people.


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>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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1 hour ago, Bernstein said:

What I experienced was, that it also highly depends on the recording: with Summertime (Fitzgerald & Armstrong) you have a natural height of the voices, also with some violin recordings. Other recordings puts the singer straight in the

middle between the tweeters like they are sitting. Is it the recording? Is it the placement? 
 

Best practices are welcome! 

 

To be honest I think you’ve answered your own question at the start of that paragraph. If the perception of height changes with the recording, it would suggest your system is accurately portraying the recording height as it was intended.

 

If you’re looking to alter the average perceived height in general, then physically raising the speakers would seem the answer.

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3 hours ago, Blade1001 said:

 

To be honest I think you’ve answered your own question at the start of that paragraph. If the perception of height changes with the recording, it would suggest your system is accurately portraying the recording height as it was intended.

 

If you’re looking to alter the average perceived height in general, then physically raising the speakers would seem the answer.


I toed them in and this was one part of the equation: the soundstage becomes small when doing this...everything gets a little smaller. I just have them parallel to the front wall: wider soundstage, more height...but I need experimenting...

 

any best practices/experience with toe in?

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Toe-in is very much dependent on acoustics. You change the ratio between direct and reflective sound, the timing and strength of the reflections - and possibly the tonality of them as well. The Kii's themselves was tuned to perform best with about 15 degrees toe-in (info from Kii Audio), which translates to the point where you can barely see the inside - or outside - of the speaker sides.

 

With a strong toe-in where you can see the outside of the speakers the crossing point will be just in front of your listening position. This makes for a bigger sweetspot and severely reduces the first-reflection strength of the closest wall to the closest speaker, but increases the strength of the reflection from the opposite speaker.

I know Grimm Ls1's have this kind of toe-in as a recommendation and I've been to an official Kii BXT demo where Kii had the same kind of extreme toe-in as well.

 

In my living-room I've chosen the "normal" toe-in where I can barely see the insides, but not particularly because of sound quality. It's more of a visual thing.

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18 hours ago, Blade1001 said:

 

To be honest I think you’ve answered your own question at the start of that paragraph. If the perception of height changes with the recording, it would suggest your system is accurately portraying the recording height as it was intended.

 

If you’re looking to alter the average perceived height in general, then physically raising the speakers would seem the answer.

 

My setup is different than most: I'm using my THREEs as desktop monitor speakers.  That said, I had issues similar to Bernstein, with image height not only too low, but also "squeezed down" in the vertical plane.   I raked the speakers back considerably on the stands and now the mid-point between the tweeter and woofer converges considerably above my head... I thought they sounded great this way! 

 

But, since everyone (including Kii) says that your ears ought to be even with the mid-point between the tweeter and woofer, I adjusted them down (and back up and back down) and experimented a lot with rake angle.  In the end, I ended up almost exactly where I started: with my ears about even with the bottoms of the physical woofers and the mid-point between the tweeter and woofer, accounting for rake, converging perhaps 12-16 inches over my head.   

 

I am not saying that this is the right set-up for everyone, esp. for those who are not listening at a desk in the extreme near-field.  But I can 100% say: 1. Like Bernstein, I had image height issues; 2. The THREEs are extremely sensitive to ear-level/rake; 3. The best solution in my situation and to my ears have the speakers elevated (again, by angle, not by absolute height) considerably higher than Kii recommends.

 

My advice to you Bernstein: give this solution a try.  If it sucks, lower the rake angle again... the experiment is literally free!


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

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3 hours ago, input username here said:

 

My setup is different than most: I'm using my THREEs as desktop monitor speakers.  That said, I had issues similar to Bernstein, with image height not only too low, but also "squeezed down" in the vertical plane.   I raked the speakers back considerably on the stands and now the mid-point between the tweeter and woofer converges considerably above my head... I thought they sounded great this way! 

 

But, since everyone (including Kii) says that your ears ought to be even with the mid-point between the tweeter and woofer, I adjusted them down (and back up and back down) and experimented a lot with rake angle.  In the end, I ended up almost exactly where I started: with my ears about even with the bottoms of the physical woofers and the mid-point between the tweeter and woofer, accounting for rake, converging perhaps 12-16 inches over my head.   

 

I am not saying that this is the right set-up for everyone, esp. for those who are not listening at a desk in the extreme near-field.  But I can 100% say: 1. Like Bernstein, I had image height issues; 2. The THREEs are extremely sensitive to ear-level/rake; 3. The best solution in my situation and to my ears have the speakers elevated (again, by angle, not by absolute height) considerably higher than Kii recommends.

 

My advice to you Bernstein: give this solution a try.  If it sucks, lower the rake angle again... the experiment is literally free!


Thanks a lot sharing your experience. 
Interesting: I have to see how to achieve this with the stands. Everything is also linked to the stand height (70cm?), my couch and my 1.73m height. If I sit lower than normal, the sound gets smaller. If I sit on tweeter level or higher, the sound gets higher (a pillow helped). 
So how do I rake it using the stands spikes below...I don’t want to put something between the top plate and the KII due to my little daughter and the risk of accidents. Any tips?

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49 minutes ago, Bernstein said:


Thanks a lot sharing your experience. 
Interesting: I have to see how to achieve this with the stands. Everything is also linked to the stand height (70cm?), my couch and my 1.73m height. If I sit lower than normal, the sound gets smaller. If I sit on tweeter level or higher, the sound gets higher (a pillow helped). 
So how do I rake it using the stands spikes below...I don’t want to put something between the top plate and the KII due to my little daughter and the risk of accidents. Any tips?

Kii also makes a wall mount which allows one to tilt and swivel the Kii's in a wide range of angles. They mount on the back of the speaker and are very stable. Not sure about your listening room, but possibly an option to explore?

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10 hours ago, mitchco said:

Height wise, the tweeter should be at least ear height and ideally mid point between the midrange and the tweeter. No rake as in "exact" mode means the tweeter and midrange (and bass drivers) are time aligned/phase aligned as per the measurement in my review, with 0 degree rake. Now if that is not possible, it is better to have the speakers elevated and pointing down as a compromise.

 

I've got a lot of respect for @mitchco and what he says aligns very closely with what others have said--and what Kii recommends.  That's why I wanted to be very careful to state that my experience was for my situation (and preferences) only.  That said, my experiences have been quite different than his.  I have very flexible desk stands (from Arden Audio) and it was very easy for me to do the recommended set-up: 0 rake, ears mid-way between the tweet and woofer.  I did not like the sound of that at all.  So, like I said, I've ended up with a (moderately) steep rake and the HF driver converging over my head (at the listening position).  But YMMV, I have no idea why that sounds the best to me in my situation  (it might even be because I'm delaying the "floor-bounce" off my desk and it has nothing at all to do with the drivers' alignment with my ears--I really cannot say).  But, like I said @Bernstein, you can try to adjust your rake for free and see what you think... but I'm only willing to refund you what you paid me for my advice if you don't like the results!

 

21 hours ago, baconbrain said:

Kii also makes a wall mount which allows one to tilt and swivel the Kii's in a wide range of angles. They mount on the back of the speaker and are very stable. Not sure about your listening room, but possibly an option to explore?

 

Hi @baconbrain, an adjustable wall mount sounds very interesting: I like the idea since it would free up (a lot of) desk space and maybe give me another near-field/desk-top option (even though I have no real complaints about the Arden stands I'm using now).    But I have never heard of such an accessory from Kii--or from anyone else.  Do you have a link and/or more info. on this thing?  Thanks in advance.

 

 


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

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1 minute ago, input username here said:

 


Don‘t worry: I will try everything out! Every thought is valuable. Limitation is only my stand, which I won’t (can’t) abandon at all ;) 

 

@mitchco Does the soundstage get smaller in such a triangular setup with tweeters aligned to the ears? 

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2 hours ago, input username here said:

 

Hi @baconbrain, an adjustable wall mount sounds very interesting: I like the idea since it would free up (a lot of) desk space and maybe give me another near-field/desk-top option (even though I have no real complaints about the Arden stands I'm using now).    But I have never heard of such an accessory from Kii--or from anyone else.  Do you have a link and/or more info. on this thing?  Thanks in advance.

 

 

 

I wasn’t aware of them either until I stumbled across a reference to them at last spring‘s High End Event in Munich.

 

Here is a pic:

 

65D88585-E4BF-496C-B80B-9880152E64C6.thumb.jpeg.d5dfcd4ae5f30dfe5326664e8af78eff.jpeg

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18 hours ago, baconbrain said:

 

I wasn’t aware of them either until I stumbled across a reference to them at last spring‘s High End Event in Munich.

 

Here is a pic:

 

65D88585-E4BF-496C-B80B-9880152E64C6.thumb.jpeg.d5dfcd4ae5f30dfe5326664e8af78eff.jpeg

 

VERY interesting.  #1, thanks for the info.  #2 are these from Kii or from a third party for Kii.  #3, and lastly, it looks like the pre-drilled holes would be far too wide to get both sides into a stud.  Is one expected to use, day, drywall anchors?  I am hanging a moderately heavy TV on my wall with only two drywall anchors (Wingits Super Duty Anchors), so I have no concern that these would hold the weight.  But I wonder how good the vibration isolation would be if you were mounting to a non-structural part of the room....?

 

Thanks for the info., any more is much appreciated!


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

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7 hours ago, input username here said:

 

VERY interesting.  #1, thanks for the info.  #2 are these from Kii or from a third party for Kii.  #3, and lastly, it looks like the pre-drilled holes would be far too wide to get both sides into a stud.  Is one expected to use, day, drywall anchors?  I am hanging a moderately heavy TV on my wall with only two drywall anchors (Wingits Super Duty Anchors), so I have no concern that these would hold the weight.  But I wonder how good the vibration isolation would be if you were mounting to a non-structural part of the room....?

 

Thanks for the info., any more is much appreciated!

I only know that they are sold by Kii Audio directly. Also afraid I won‘t be much help in regards to the wall structure and anchoring requirements. The wall mine are mounted on consists of perforated brick. Recommend asking an expert given that the Kii‘s have a significant weight and watching them dropping to the floor is the last thing anyone wants to witness ...

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6 hours ago, baconbrain said:

I only know that they are sold by Kii Audio directly. Also afraid I won‘t be much help in regards to the wall structure and anchoring requirements. The wall mine are mounted on consists of perforated brick. Recommend asking an expert given that the Kii‘s have a significant weight and watching them dropping to the floor is the last thing anyone wants to witness ...

 

Haha.  When I get the chance, I'll drop a note to the US importer, Grace Design, and ask them what's the deal.  Thanks for the heads up.


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

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I would love to hear from Kii owners how this Mahler symphony sounds like, I'm particularly interested in the image depth and width, more so if you have the speakers closer to the front wall. With all my conventional speakers they need some distance from the front wall to create that illusion of image depth, but I have never heard Kii and D&D that want to be placed closer to the front wall. Thank you!

 

https://listen.tidal.com/album/19320601

 

I chose this since the recording quality is reference quality.

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2 hours ago, input username here said:

 

Haha.  When I get the chance, I'll drop a note to the US importer, Grace Design, and ask them what's the deal.  Thanks for the heads up.

Newly posted by KII Audio...I think we have a well hidden KII guy watching us :) 

62136974-CD09-47E2-8308-5289DC839BF4.jpeg

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6 hours ago, Bernstein said:

Newly posted by KII Audio...I think we have a well hidden KII guy watching us :) 

62136974-CD09-47E2-8308-5289DC839BF4.jpeg

 

I love the red.  I've said it before: the only thing I regret about buying my Kii THREEs was getting the boring, base grey.  I'd really like a do-over on that decision.   Still curious about vibration issues and how you're supposed to anchor to a drywall wall.  I'll post back if/when I learn any more. 


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

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2 hours ago, input username here said:

 

I love the red.  I've said it before: the only thing I regret about buying my Kii THREEs was getting the boring, base grey.  I'd really like a do-over on that decision.   Still curious about vibration issues and how you're supposed to anchor to a drywall wall.  I'll post back if/when I learn any more. 


Baton Rogue is very appealing...couldn’t convince my wife though. But her argument about „longevity“ in living with such a vibrant color makes sense. 

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On 9/23/2019 at 8:07 PM, mitchco said:

 

Not sure how to answer that as I am following industry guidelines for monitoring music production. A couple of examples are: EBU Tech 3276-1998 Listening conditions for sound programme material

and 

Recommendation ITU-R BS.1116-3 (02/2015) Methods for the subjective assessment of small impairments in audio systems.

 

There are others, but other than the frequency response target and that the monitors are not elevated to accommodate a control room window to the studio, this is how most music is recorded, mixed and mastered, using these guidelines for room setup. The guidelines should be updated based on the work of Sean Olive and Floyd Toole have done showing peoples preference for a more neutral response as per one of my posts above.

 

So if the goal is to reproduce as closely as possible to what was heard in the studio (or venue or concert hall or whatever) by the artists, producers and engineers, I would follow the guidelines. If not, then anything goes 🙂 There is no right or wrong.

 

Every system I have set up or worked on, whether pro or home, I use the equilateral triangle and follow the guidelines. The soundstage always sounds right to me, with a solid phantom center. But that's my preference. I can't listen to speakers that point straight ahead or the triangle is too wide or narrow or the LP is too close or too far from the speakers. In all of those cases, the soundstage does not sound right to me. But again, that's my personal preference to align with industry guidelines. For others, likely different and in some case very different, but I would not argue with anyone's preference if it is different than mine.

 

I don't know the details of your setup to say one way or another, other than to say there is an industry "best practice" that I follow,. It may not be your preference.


Thanks a lot! Now I understood my issue: Head distance to back wall. I am sitting too near to it, because our couch is next to it. After going more towards the speaker everything changed. Now added a pillow: 70cm from ear to back wall...over 1m would be better. After coming to 70cm the soundstage was higher and deeper. I also adjusted the speaker according to your description and reference with a laser. It’s like the sound hugs you :) 

This week I need to look for a suitable Diffusor behind my head - going more far than 70cm is not workable. 
Anything special I need to consider for a diffusor for the head area underneath the picture?73485367-9217-4FCA-A373-B3C8FE4C6C83.thumb.jpeg.732210452f490751fb729a37b3a703c3.jpeg

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You shouldn't go for diffusors directly behind your head in this case. Diffusors need some distance to properly create a diffuse sound field, typically above 1-2 meters at least. I have the same kind of placement and have chosen RPG Absorbors. I'd recommend the Broadsorbors 4 inch with a photo print because it's the best on the market.

 

Here's my absorbors on the concrete wall;

 

20190704_214749.thumb.jpg.c86a1439c319bd11a84da933880a3920.jpg

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