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Kii Three - my impressions and pro reviews


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I have not spent a lot of time listening to my Kii Threes WITHOUT my BXT modules.  I have turned them off for specific listening sessions.  There is a trope that you cannot un-hear them.  They shape the sound in a different manner.  I have been doing a set of direct comparisons between several speaker systems.  The fully integrated Kii Threes with the BXT punch well above their weight class.  It is very hard to build a conventional system to rival them. Using a system with Ayre AX-5 Twenty amplifier and multiple speaker systems I was unable to get to the same level of sound quality that I get from the Kii Threes.

 

I have had my Kii’s with BXT for just over a year.  I love them.  I am downsizing my system and I am getting ready to sell them.  I was starting a small audio dealership in my home, and those plans have changed.  I have a lot of gear I am going to move along.  

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Had a chance to listen to the BXT at a local dealer recently. Wish I hadn’t;) Sonically it is unmistakably  a Kii but the differences aren’t subtle. Even better bass, more effortless presentation and a soundstage that is just as high as it is wide. If I had the cash it would be a no brainer.

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Folks,

 

Just having some discussions on SNA audio website about implementing subwoofers with their Kii 3's.   A recent issue raised is the 90ms latency with the Kii 3's in Exact mode.   Can anyone using subs with their Kii's explain how they have overcome the latency issue please.

 

Regards Cazzesman

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Having got some other advice on SNA and done more research with Minidsp products, it would appear as if my answer lies with the OpenDRC DA8 hardware and miniSHARC 4x8 plug-in (96hz).  This will give me my digital In, from my current minidsp 22D, via Spidif to the OpenDRC and the Sharc plug-in provides Delay of up to 1500ms.

Regards Cazzesman

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  • 1 month later...

Bit Transparent

Hello,

in the menu of the Kii Control Setup => About => about aster speaker  is a column Bit Transparent. In my case it says "no".

 

What does this mean? Shouldn´t it be YES?

The control is hooked to an Auralic Femto via USB

 

Greetings

Steve

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2 hours ago, Yellowspider said:

Bit Transparent

Hello,

in the menu of the Kii Control Setup => About => about aster speaker  is a column Bit Transparent. In my case it says "no".

 

What does this mean? Shouldn´t it be YES?

The control is hooked to an Auralic Femto via USB

 

Greetings

Steve

It's "no" here too, regardless input. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Circling back to chat about mating 2 subs with the Kii 3's.

 

I have probably narrowed my research down to SVS SB200pro, Rythmik F12 SE  and JL Audio E110.

 

At Australian price points the SVS is the cheapest.   I also love the idea of the SVS DSP app to control the sub.

 

Rythmik gets great reviews and the Direct Servo control peaks my interest.    Their is a local supplier near me.     Their large range of Amp plates with various EQ is a bonus.    Their prices are manageable.  Abit more expenive than the SVS.

 

JL Audio is pretty expensive compare to the rest hence the 10" vs the other 12" possibles.

 

The dilemma I have is that I do not have enough room to fit 2 subs behind or beside my Kii 3's in my listening room.    I have come up with a cunning plan that I think will work well (If done professionally of course)

 

My plan was to replace the Kii Stands with a purpose built stands for a Sub/Kii 3 'In Line' combo.

 

I can get a frame welded up and powder-coated whereby it would provide the following.

 

Total height of my Kii 3 Speaker stand is currently 27.5" (700mm)

 

Height is the main measurement I'm concerned with on all 3 subs. 

 

SVS    14.6” (372mm)

Rythmick 15-3/4" (401mm)

JL E110   14.24" (362 mm)

 

Even with the Rythmik at 401mm I still have roughly 300mm to play with.

 

My stand would have a box base.  The box would be fitted with 4 spiked feet (as my Kii 3 stands are).   Roughly 250mm in height (give or take) and slightly bigger depth/width wise than the selected sub.     The box would become the platform the sub would sit on.  This would mean the sub is isolated from the floor.    

 

The box lid would be removable so the box could be filled with sand/shot etc.  From the box there would be 4 tube supports rising from each corner that would go to the 700 mm height.   The supports would then have a top plate upon which the Kii 3's would sit.  The tubes would also be filled with sand/shot.

 

I'm thinking it would be better to isolate the Kii 3's from the sub with a separate stand plate, rather than just sit the Kkii 3's on top of the sub.   But I am open to suggestions with this idea.   Obviously it would be a cheaper exercise to just have a box platform for the sub and plonk the Kii 3's on top.   

 

I was thinking about flexibility in the design so that different subs could be used if desired.    To have that flexibility, it makes sense to have the dimensions between the tube corner supports big enough to fit most 12 inch subs.   Having the base plate fixed at 700mm  means a change of sub size below does not effect the Kii 3 height placement.   

 

With this 'Inline' Sub/Kii 3 combo, logically it should make easier to Time align and phase the two together.   Is my logic right in this instance?    Being able to move the Kii 3 back and forward on the top plate should make time alignment easier.

 

A Kii 3 owner I chat with has a single sub incorporated in his system.  He also uses Dirac Live 3.0.    The initial problem he had was with the Kii 3's latency in Exact mode.   He is now using a Minidsp product that provides up to 1000ms Latency.   I think his is set to around 99.5ms. 

 

Overall it could be a $5000 (aus) exercise but alot cheaper than the $20,000 BXT's.

 

All and any recommendations on the above thought process is welcome.  

 

Regards Cazzesman

 

Covid ISO gives us all to much time to think 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I'm not sure I totally get the picture of what you are trying to do, but I'd be a bit concerned about vibrations to the Kiis from the subs. 

I'd also ask Kii if they have any comments. 

Covid 19 gives us too much time to think - it has cost me a lot of money. Too much online shopping. 

On the other hand, no money spent going out.....

Main listening (small home office):

Main setup: Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>QuietPC Low Noise Server>Roon (Audiolense DRC)>Stack Audio Link II>Kii Control>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.

Secondary Listening: Server with Audiolense RC>RPi4 or analog>Matrix Element i Streamer/DAC (XLR)+Schiit Freya>Kii Three .

Bedroom: SBTouch to Cambridge Soundworks Desktop Setup.
Living Room/Kitchen: RPi 3B+ running RoPieee to a pair of Morel Hogtalare. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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Like every part of this hobby it is just a hypothetical Work in Progress.     The idea is to free up the bottom end of the Kii 3's.   Provide them some head room and at the same time gain some further bottom end and great SPL overall.

 

Is it all worth the $$$$.  Yeah/Nah; I have no idea, if I'm honest. 

 

Plan B;  is save the money and maybe buy a JCat XE USB card and replace the Sotm PCIe card I have.    Is that worth it?   Who knows???

 

Plan C is to leave the money in the bank and listen to the music.

 

What do we do along the way to the grave?    Take advice, take a chance, give it a go.   Do we reach for audio nirvana or save our money and die a rich corpse.

 

#$%^ if I know to be honest. 🙂

 

It is a strange life.   I could go and buy a Taiko Extreme tomorrow and a pair of BXT's to go with my Kii 3's and yet I do not.   Why is that?

 

If I did, would I be happy with result?    Probably, maybe. could be, don't no.  

 

I'm thinking 75% of us all are just kicking Tyre's along the street, day dreaming about a lot of maybes, from one audio store to the next.

 

What say you all??????

 

Regards Cazzesman

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, Cazzesman said:

What say you all??????

 

..... I say .....  life's too short 😇

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 hours ago, Cazzesman said:

Like every part of this hobby it is just a hypothetical Work in Progress.     The idea is to free up the bottom end of the Kii 3's.   Provide them some head room and at the same time gain some further bottom end and great SPL overall.

 

Is it all worth the $$$$.  Yeah/Nah; I have no idea, if I'm honest. 

 

Plan B;  is save the money and maybe buy a JCat XE USB card and replace the Sotm PCIe card I have.    Is that worth it?   Who knows???

 

Plan C is to leave the money in the bank and listen to the music.

 

What do we do along the way to the grave?    Take advice, take a chance, give it a go.   Do we reach for audio nirvana or save our money and die a rich corpse.

 

#$%^ if I know to be honest. 🙂

 

It is a strange life.   I could go and buy a Taiko Extreme tomorrow and a pair of BXT's to go with my Kii 3's and yet I do not.   Why is that?

 

If I did, would I be happy with result?    Probably, maybe. could be, don't no.  

 

I'm thinking 75% of us all are just kicking Tyre's along the street, day dreaming about a lot of maybes, from one audio store to the next.

 

What say you all??????

 

Regards Cazzesman

 

 

 

Do I detect FOMO??

 

Being a person who has that affliction I can usually recognize it.

 

I find that reading and picking out new music to listen to from "the album of the evening" thread helps!

 

I am also just watching what @The Computer Audiophile is doing with the CAPS servers.

 

 

 

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Hi ,

 

I am currently using a KII audio three with an Kii control (both 2nd hand for a good price). Usually i am playing using a laptop connecting through the usb port.

 

I want to include a streamer (don't need a dac because dacs are included in the kii system itself)

At the moment i am leaning towards a Lumin u1, an optical rendu or Sim Audio Mind2. I have a nuc who might will be assigned roon core duties(will allow me to do Eq-ing in roon) . However if i will go with a Lumin i will be able to connect to with spdif or usb and with the optical rendu with usb only. Btw i have a android tel i will use for control functions

 

My question is does somebody have experience with the sound difficences or will that be minimal being that the kii connect is quite good already (even with a laptop). Right now i am a little undecided because i am also using deezer hifi which is only supported by bluos devices ) that would be a plus for Sim audio MIND 2 (supports also Amazon hd and deezer hifi). It owuld be difficicult to get these devices at homw to test them. Esp. i like to buy 2nd hand stuff.

 

So anybody having experience with the above streamers (specifically regarding sound)???

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 7/2/2020 at 3:05 PM, Cazzesman said:

Like every part of this hobby it is just a hypothetical Work in Progress.     The idea is to free up the bottom end of the Kii 3's.   Provide them some head room and at the same time gain some further bottom end and great SPL overall.

 

Is it all worth the $$$$.  Yeah/Nah; I have no idea, if I'm honest. 

 

 

Missed this post ...

 

Not sure if you have placement restrictions in your listening room, but I wouldn’t worry to much about going to all the trouble of building a fancy box for the SW‘s. Sometimes the most unorthodox placement of them in a room can give you the best listening results, and if you successfully find that sweetspot, then you have won 70% of the integration battle.

 

IMO your idea about freeing up bottom end for Kii‘s, while increasing SPL, (and soundstage btw.) is spot on. I would start with a good sealed SW, plus a quality bass management solution, and take it from there. I would be really surprised if you are disappointed.

 

Have fun!

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On 7/5/2020 at 2:09 PM, Wazzup said:

Hi ,

 

I am currently using a KII audio three with an Kii control (both 2nd hand for a good price). Usually i am playing using a laptop connecting through the usb port.

 

I want to include a streamer (don't need a dac because dacs are included in the kii system itself)

At the moment i am leaning towards a Lumin u1, an optical rendu or Sim Audio Mind2. I have a nuc who might will be assigned roon core duties(will allow me to do Eq-ing in roon) . However if i will go with a Lumin i will be able to connect to with spdif or usb and with the optical rendu with usb only. Btw i have a android tel i will use for control functions

 

My question is does somebody have experience with the sound difficences or will that be minimal being that the kii connect is quite good already (even with a laptop). Right now i am a little undecided because i am also using deezer hifi which is only supported by bluos devices ) that would be a plus for Sim audio MIND 2 (supports also Amazon hd and deezer hifi). It owuld be difficicult to get these devices at homw to test them. Esp. i like to buy 2nd hand stuff.

 

So anybody having experience with the above streamers (specifically regarding sound)???

 

 

I owned the first version of the SIM Audio Mind and although the SQ was quite good, their App was just the opposite. Of course, that doesn‘t mean that V2 is the same. Also owned a micro rendu and was really impressed with it. Excellent SQ and ease of use. Haven‘t had a chance to play with a Lumin.

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On 7/5/2020 at 3:09 PM, Wazzup said:

Right now i am a little undecided because i am also using deezer hifi which is only supported by bluos devices ) 

Logitech Media Server has a plugin for Deezer and also for UPNP/DLNA devices, so you can connect to many devices, not just those that are desiged to work with LMS - which the Sonore devices are, BTW. 

Main listening (small home office):

Main setup: Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>QuietPC Low Noise Server>Roon (Audiolense DRC)>Stack Audio Link II>Kii Control>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.

Secondary Listening: Server with Audiolense RC>RPi4 or analog>Matrix Element i Streamer/DAC (XLR)+Schiit Freya>Kii Three .

Bedroom: SBTouch to Cambridge Soundworks Desktop Setup.
Living Room/Kitchen: RPi 3B+ running RoPieee to a pair of Morel Hogtalare. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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  • 2 months later...

It's been some time now, but a new firmware update for the Kii Control I suppose should become available soon in the official firmware update section. It only seems to update Kii Control from v2.4 to v2.5 (for BXT I can't say as I don't own it)

The changes will include:

- Fixed bug in standby sleep/wake-up behaviour
- Fixed bug in multi filter setup
- Added filter bypass option for easy A/B comparison, including a preset option

So stay tuned...

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9 hours ago, Rubysea said:

It's been some time now, but a new firmware update for the Kii Control I suppose should become available soon in the official firmware update section. It only seems to update Kii Control from v2.4 to v2.5 (for BXT I can't say as I don't own it)

The changes will include:

- Fixed bug in standby sleep/wake-up behaviour
- Fixed bug in multi filter setup
- Added filter bypass option for easy A/B comparison, including a preset option

So stay tuned...

 

Thanks for the update @Rubysea.  I haven't run into any of the problems that this update seems intended to address--perhaps because I don't use any of the Kii filters b/c I am EQing with Audiolense (the difference isn't huge but I think it's worthwhile). 

 

What I am waiting on is more news about their "big" preamp/streamer, is this thing ever going to drop!?!  Does anyone have any new info?  I was planning on asking Kii about this at HiFI Munich a few months ago but, with no audio shows this year, the opportunities to get answers to such questions are pretty limited.  Still, if anyone has any info, I'd appreciate a heads up.

 

 

Shut-Up-And-Take-My-Money-1024x1280.jpg

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

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On 7/5/2020 at 2:09 PM, Wazzup said:

Hi ,

 

I am currently using a KII audio three with an Kii control (both 2nd hand for a good price). Usually i am playing using a laptop connecting through the usb port....

 

 

 

 

Like you I also managed to get my hands on a second hand (ex demo) set:) Yes, there is a audible difference in sound between streamers.  I wouldn’t necessarily say in sound quality but that also depends on your situation. In a well treated listening foom you will be able to hear more differences than in a living/listening room situation. There is also a difference running through usb or  Spidf. I find that coax cables have more influence on the sound than usb cables.

I use both a Linn majik dsm and an Audio aan Zee Reference flow streamer.. Both deliver an excellent sound quality but the differences in presentation are audible. Linn is clean sounding and the AaZ sounds more analogue.

 

I have heard the Kii’s demo’d with an antipodes EX/CX combo...stunning. Also on an Aurender N10 which sounded great as well.

 

Best advice is to demo the streamer at home if possible. Or take your system to the store for an a-b comparison. Some internet shops offer a good return policy.

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 months later...

Kii Three and Turntable

 

I am little bit concerned about the performance when using my turntable with my Ki. Compared to the digital source, Auralic Aries Femto, this digital source is in most cases sounding better. Analog Source lacks space, the virtual stage is smaller. Tried it with different phono pres. (Einstein turntables choice, Tube Pre by Ampearl)

 

When changing to my analog setup (Pair of Magnepans powered by odwright integrated) there are all those things, we love our turntables for. Space, dynamics, pressure. The digital part is done by a Meitner MA1 in this setup, should not be too bad ;-). But no chance against the turntable...

So it seems that the A/D converter of the Kii takes away some of the benefits of analog music reproduction. What are your experiences?

 

Merry Christmas

Stephan

 

 

 

 

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Stephan, Kii's are fantastic with analog sources. I was also concerned, but actualy they proved me wrong. Very analog full, ruch sound from my analog part, which is Allnic H1201 phono, SAM Aldebaran turntable, ZYX cartridge and TransFi tonearm. Try to play with interconect from the phono preamp to Kii's!

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20 minutes ago, Yellowspider said:

Kii Three and Turntable

 

I am little bit concerned about the performance when using my turntable with my Ki. Compared to the digital source, Auralic Aries Femto, this digital source is in most cases sounding better. Analog Source lacks space, the virtual stage is smaller. Tried it with different phono pres. (Einstein turntables choice, Tube Pre by Ampearl)

 

When changing to my analog setup (Pair of Magnepans powered by odwright integrated) there are all those things, we love our turntables for. Space, dynamics, pressure. The digital part is done by a Meitner MA1 in this setup, should not be too bad ;-). But no chance against the turntable...

So it seems that the A/D converter of the Kii takes away some of the benefits of analog music reproduction. What are your experiences?

 

Merry Christmas

Stephan

 

 

 

 

 

I suspect the issue is more to do with comparing two very different types of speakers and speaker technologies, rather than comparing the reproduction of the analogue source per se.

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My analog setup for the Kii has been Feickert Analogue Venti TT, Graham Phantom, Tonearm, Zyx R100 and Einstein TTchoice. This setup didn´t outperform the digital presentation of the Kii with Auralic Femto, i was missing the analog benefit, liked more to listen digital. In the other Setup it outperfors digital reproduction clearly! Even when using the Femto in front of the Meitner.

That´s my expectation when using such expensive analogue gear in every high end setup.

 

@ Gastronaut: Which cables  you are using?

 

Cheers

Stephan

 

 

 

 

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