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Kii Audio Owners and Discussion Thread

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I go this reply from Baconbrain over on the AudiophileStyle Forum - Kii 3 Thread where I posted the same question.   Thought it worth posting here.....

 

After listening to the system with my previously mentioned setting (80 Hz crossover, Butterworth Filter, etc.) for a few weeks,  I decided to loop back with Kii Audio and ask them as to their recommendations regarding settings, etc. Here their response:

 

“I would definitely stay way below 50Hz with the x-over to the sub, if I had to start I would start at around 30Hz and below. That´s where the Kii THREE has it´s -3dB roll off point, so you could slowly start to fiill the spectrum below that.
If you want extra SPL from the system, you can gradually turn down the Boundary control to -12(dB). If you do, you want the sub to come in below 50Hz roughly.
In any case, if you measure the room response of the Kii THREE only (with your Boundary setting of choice),
the Trinnov measurement should give you a proper indication where the power response drops off and try to fill that with the sub.
Don´t forget to roughly time align sub and Kiis. I would also experiment with using the front wall as a boundary layer for the subwoofer! The benefit being that you can eq the sub response to put out less energy (roughly -6dB) and the subwoofers time aligned (to the Kiis) wave front will also be cardioid of course.”

 

Given that my boundary setting are currently set at -12 with the corner placement of the Kii’s, I decided to change the active crossover settings to 50 Hz and utilize 8th order Linkwitz-Riley LP and HP Filters. This resulted in a much more distinct bass with a perceived positive influence to the SPL. 

 

If any of you are considering a 2.1 constellation with the Kii’s, I can only recommend that you give it a try. It is definitely my preference setup and adds another dimension to an already excellent set of speakers.

 

Regards Cazzesman

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On 16/02/2020 at 10:23 PM, cazzesman said:

I would also experiment with using the front wall as a boundary layer for the subwoofer! The benefit being that you can eq the sub response to put out less energy (roughly -6dB) and the subwoofers time aligned (to the Kiis) wave front will also be cardioid of course

Continuing to muse on the subwoofer question with Kii 3's that @cazzesman is exploring.  Two questions / comments on the above.

Am I right in assuming that using the front layer as a boundary layer effectively implies a single sided, sealed subwoofer with its back up to the front wall and front aligned with the front of the Kii's?  So back-to-back (B&W's) or down firing subwoofers less suited? 

Not sure I understand the comment about the subwoofer being cardioid.  The more I read it seems the Kii 3's are cardioid down to 50hz (active dsp function nulling the rear energy) but below that aren't.  So seems to me subwoofer crossover below 50Hz keeps it out of the way of the Kii's cardioid distribution strengths, so that comment is less meaningful?
I also like the look of the SVS SB-3000 - but pity it isn't available in white.

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The Kii's now have a subwoofer friend.  Ended up going with the Rythmik F12 based on certainty of low down frequency response and matte black colour goes with Kii stands.  I am using a MinDSP SHD Studio that is only digital out, so had to add a DAC for sub.
Took me a few days and a couple of detours to master REW for delay calculations and get consistent, sensible results.  And they showed the sub was a good 90ms ahead of the Kii's!  Can get some of that back by turning off 'Exact' mode in Kii's, but that is not recommended for stereo.  Unfortunately adjustments on sub and in MiniDSP could only add around 40ms delay on sub, so I had to add an external delay - currently a Blustream analogue in/out device, but looking for a digital one.  Armed with that I got the sub and main pretty tightly time aligned.

At this stage I have followed the Kii advice above on keeping the sub below 50Hz and have two settings for testing - one with XOver at 30Hz and a second with XOver at 40Hz.  Both use Linkwitz-Riley filters at 48db/octave.  Sounds highly technical but I take the simple version - keeps output constant through XOver frequencies, and the 30Hz one has sub completely turned off by 50Hz.
I then calibrated both XOver steups, along with a no sub version, to Dirac house curve from ~18Hz up.  MiniDSP makes it easy to switch between the 3 different configurations in almost real time.
Now I have some listening to do.  Initial impressions are that the sub does very little work unless listening to tracks with lots of deep base and up loud.  At my normal listening levels the audible changes are definitely quite subtle.  Nothing dramatic, just a sense of slightly more power / ease.  No large change in sound stage (but the starting point is pretty good!).
Will do some more listening, and perhaps try moving the XOver up to 50Hz to see if letting sub do more work alters anything more dramatically - but I doubt it - it seems to fit in pretty seemlessly.
Gibbo

SWUsed.JPG

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Good choice with the rythmik. Glad the results are positive. Is it an option to add a second sub ? Ie are there enough connections with the miniDSP ?

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1 hour ago, Ray H said:

Good choice with the rythmik. Glad the results are positive. Is it an option to add a second sub ? Ie are there enough connections with the miniDSP ?

Thanks Ray.  Rythmik feels good and tight as it is meant to be, and miniDSP setup can easily handle second.  It has two SPDIF out - one going to Kii's and second to DAC (currently using combined signal on one channel out to sub, so second into other channel of DAC and away it would go).

It is small step up, but I sense there is a lot more to the line source concept of the BXTs and the impact they have.  Well set up sub just unloads the low end of Kii's a little when pushed - perhaps 5 - 10% improvement if pushed on loud/deep base, but little on most of my listening.  To emulate BXT's I might need two stacks of 3 subs!

I sense part of my result is a bit obvious.  Given I have used Dirac to set a specific response curve for Kii's (no Sub), and then also asked Dirac to set the same curve for Kii's plus sub, and the sub is time aligned and below 50Hz, they should really sound the same until the Kii's run out of puff - which is only when pushed very hard by my standards.  I have only very rarely seem the red light, and they were accidents.  Without Dirac 'normalising' the two they may sound more different, but that would be equivalent to setting a different curve.
So interesting and a small step up -- but from an awesome base.  I am still wondering what a 30-40% improvement could possibly sound like?!

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Posted (edited)

Thanks David for the explanation. The 2 x stacks of three would probably be fantastic, and quite cost effective compared to the BXT’s.

 

I don’t get a chance to listen much since we have moved, but today I had a listen to the Kii three’s/ BXT’s. and it was one of those “burn in “ moments, were all of a sudden the room was being bass locked, ie like the drivers and amps had freed up and were producing noticeably more bass power. When the deep bass hits and the room is bass locked it is one of those audible things that makes the hairs on your neck stand up. So pretty happy where the sound of the combo is going, even bearing the cost in mind.

Edited by Ray H

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6 hours ago, Ray H said:

The 2 x stacks of three would probably be fantastic, and quite cost effective compared to the BXT’s.

Stacks would be fun - but BXT's would be better.  From the emerging reviews on them they are a lot more than a sub, and your experience supports that.  Enjoy them!  I will keep playing and try not to get too tempted. 

I am not a bass head, but I do want to try some target curves that are a bit more intensive in the lower range for classical / orchestral, and I sense the sub will add some grunt there without sacrificing SPL overall. 

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Good morning fellow Kii owners;

 

Just a short post to recommend upgrading the stock Kii Ethernet cables. From the Ethernet cables topic posted by dbastin, and the length of the stock cables, I decided to upgrade to a 2 metre and 5 metre HD labs cable. The effect on the sound is astonishing to my ears given the reasonably low upgrade cost.

 

My observations were;

 

New Cable: DH Labs Reunion Cat 8

Connected upstream to: Kii three/BXT system and Sony HAP-Z1ES.

Upgraded from: Stock Kii cables.

Switch: N/A

Other downstream: Curious USB evolved.

Other cables you considered: Nordstrom Heimdall 2- but probably too expensive for an initial shot over the bow.

Reason for your choice:   recommendation above. Good feedback/comments online. Price.

Links to info about the new cable:

Your comments/observations: Build quality is very nice compared to stock CAT cables. They are a bit physically stiff, which is a bit of a negative, but very minor. Sound quality increase; frankly a bit shocking how much better this is in the context of the Kii system. Initial thoughts are that I am very impressed considering the relatively low cost, even for a 2 and 5 metre cable together, ie around one 5th of the cost of the Nordost Heimdall 2 equivelant. sound quality difference includes, bigger soundstage, much better bass, smoother sound without loss of detail, more organic less digital.

 

In short I recommend an upgrade of the Ethernet cables in the Kii system, as a sound quality improvement at little extra cost.

359FBF22-38E3-4768-BE2B-406C9DE858F0.jpeg

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