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Active Speaker Owners Comparison Discussion (Kii, D&D, SGR, Buchardt etc.)


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12 minutes ago, wikeeboy said:

So if i have a Roon Nucleus for example, and some Kii Three's and 8c's at home, i would run an REW sweep through each speaker and then get Thierry to do a unique file for each? I'd then in theory be getting the best result possible in room for each speaker system, from which i could then compare on their merits to decide which speaker i prefer?

 

He has his own measurement tool which is easy to use. You can find it on his website. It runs a a series (I think 8 sweeps) and saves a file which you send him. You just need a UMIK or similar and you can find his sweep audio files on roon. Its all much easier than using REW. 

 

I cant remember and im too lazy to check how much it costs but if the first filters are about 200 euro's and he then charges about 40 euro's if you change a component and want to update the filters. I have gone back to him a few times now to upgrade my filters with new DAC's, new speakers etc. 

 

On first look it may seem expensive but when you're paying several thousand dollars for cables injected with special snake oil to get a slightly different sound, it suddenly becomes a small and meaningful investment. :D 

 

12 minutes ago, wikeeboy said:

I guess the downside to this is the convolution file in Roon does not apply to any analogue signals such as your turntable? In that case you'd be better with the onboard eq settings in the Kii or 8c which would then apply to all incoming signals?

 

 

Correct... I dont run much vinyl these days as I have OCD when it comes to music and like to have full control over what I am listening to. If I did dust off the turntable I would, as you've pointed out - rely on the REW room correction in the 8c's to get the room correction. 

 

 

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My set of Dynaudio 60XD arrived and I have finally got a chance to have a quick listen tonight. some basic, initial thoughts below. I will amend the points as the speakers run in;   1. They

I know this is probably off topic but I reckon people think the "punch" or "slam' frequency is a lot lower than it actually is. To me it's always about mid to upper-bass rather than low bass  

When it comes to bass it is not very often that I have heard Mike Lenehan say he is impressed by someone else's speakers, in fact I have only heard him say it once while he and Simon Garcia of Heschl

19 hours ago, gibbo9000 said:

Kii's out the box measure pretty much flat down to 25Hz but certainly don't have the punch / gravitas / air movement my old 15 inch Tannoy's had. 

Well, of course they don't. They can't. And no one should expect it. To move enough air to give you a physical "punch" you need big woofers and a lot of power.

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Yes Kii 3 and Kii 3 + BXT are completely different propositions and should be given the price differential. The addition of the Kii provides other benefits than just bass output. Gives the system a sense of boundless dynamic capability, less restrained, bigger soundstage etc.

 

If I’m being honest though, as great as the addition of BXT is, based on your individual experience, the addition can be a debatable vfm argument. Yes the crossover can be dialled up to make the BXT bass reasonably “bonkers” if you want.

 

I have owned a couple of passive systems that outperform the Kii/BXT reasonably easily. Being a bit of a bass lover. The two most memorable are Dynaudio C2’s with Dual JL Audio F212. Which are truly superb subs (the best bass I’ve owned by a large margin) The other was gryphon system (Atlantis speakers) with dual Martin Logan 212 balanced force subs. As has been pointed out there is no substitute for big drivers/power.

 

It would be great if Kii added an output for a sub, I know some members have added a sub with an external crossover or dsp unit. I can understand Kii probably don’t have appetite for this given sales cannibalisation. But I hold out hope they do at some point as not everyone can afford the BXT.

 

in truth the Kii 3 bass on its own is technically impressive at 25hz response and very punchy, but it’s still quite a dry response in reality.

 

Given the Dutch 8c has such good bass for its size, will be interesting to see if Dutch develop a sub solution themselves. By the feedback I’ve seen, most users don’t seem to think it is missing anything by not having it.

 

Couple of the subs pictured for ref;

 

 

F260AD98-A581-44E1-9B94-52D4C9CB583B.jpeg

563858D8-FD8D-411E-907F-39D479068F21.jpeg

0C6A9FE2-44A7-462A-89A0-4D29D73AEABD.jpeg

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1 hour ago, firedog said:

Well, of course they don't. They can't. And no one should expect it. To move enough air to give you a physical "punch" you need big woofers and a lot of power.

 

Point taken - but not quite what I was getting at. 

 

@Ray H touched on the issue above.  What is the source of the 'punch'?  Why might one be 'dry'?  Does a 75db 25Hz transient signal sound the same if coming from multiple smaller drivers facing different ways, versus a single large driver?  Can one have 'punch' and not the other given sound waves at that frequency aren't directional? Or is the 'punch' coming from a higher SPL / more bass tilted frequency response (set in design of passives, in theory under control of the DSP in actives)?

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I'm not as technically literate as the rest of you lot, but i had a pair of Perigee FK1's for many years. Pretty sure they had twin 6.5" cones along with a ribbon tweeter. They weren't 'big woofers' but they had a stack more 'punch' than the Kii's so it's not always merely the woofer size.

 

I'll leave it to Gibbo to eloquently and technically explain with this may be the case :)

32 minutes ago, Ray H said:

Yes Kii 3 and Kii 3 + BXT are completely different propositions and should be given the price differential. The addition of the Kii provides other benefits than just bass output. Gives the system a sense of boundless dynamic capability, less restrained, bigger soundstage etc.

 

If I’m being honest though, as great as the addition of BXT is, based on your individual experience, the addition can be a debatable vfm argument. Yes the crossover can be dialled up to make the BXT bass reasonably “bonkers” if you want.

 

I have owned a couple of passive systems that outperform the Kii/BXT reasonably easily. Being a bit of a bass lover. The two most memorable are Dynaudio C2’s with Dual JL Audio F212. Which are truly superb subs (the best bass I’ve owned by a large margin) The other was gryphon system (Atlantis speakers) with dual Martin Logan 212 balanced force subs. As has been pointed out there is no substitute for big drivers/power.

 

It would be great if Kii added an output for a sub, I know some members have added a sub with an external crossover or dsp unit. I can understand Kii probably don’t have appetite for this given sales cannibalisation. But I hold out hope they do at some point as not everyone can afford the BXT.

 

in truth the Kii 3 bass on its own is technically impressive at 25hz response and very punchy, but it’s still quite a dry response in reality.

 

Given the Dutch 8c has such good bass for its size, will be interesting to see if Dutch develop a sub solution themselves. By the feedback I’ve seen, most users don’t seem to think it is missing anything by not having it.

 

Couple of the subs pictured for ref;

 

 

F260AD98-A581-44E1-9B94-52D4C9CB583B.jpeg

563858D8-FD8D-411E-907F-39D479068F21.jpeg

0C6A9FE2-44A7-462A-89A0-4D29D73AEABD.jpeg

 

Appreciate the feedback and comparisons with your passive systems Ray.

 

Damn, those JL's are seriously drool worthy :) Would love to have experienced that set up.

 

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35 minutes ago, wikeeboy said:

Damn, those JL's are seriously drool worthy :)

Looks like a pair would be a great stands on which to put <insert Kii, D&D, Bucahrdt etc. . . . . >

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33 minutes ago, gibbo9000 said:

Looks like a pair would be a great stands on which to put <insert Kii, D&D, Bucahrdt etc. . . . . >

Yeah that thought did cross my mind, I put a pair of C1’s on top for a while, worked quite well.

 

im not convinced massive drivers are required for good bass either, tuning, cabinet resonance control all play a part. The Kii 3’s are obviously tuned to sound the way they do. Not everyone is going to love/like it.

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1 hour ago, gibbo9000 said:

 

Point taken - but not quite what I was getting at. 

 

@Ray H touched on the issue above.  What is the source of the 'punch'?  Why might one be 'dry'?  Does a 75db 25Hz transient signal sound the same if coming from multiple smaller drivers facing different ways, versus a single large driver?  Can one have 'punch' and not the other given sound waves at that frequency aren't directional? Or is the 'punch' coming from a higher SPL / more bass tilted frequency response (set in design of passives, in theory under control of the DSP in actives)?

Yes, I agree on the summisation. I certainly think the best bass I’ve heard comes from middle size woofers. The 12” version in the JL Audio being a reasonable example. It’s not a big driver by subwoofer standards. It does have big power and great cabinet rigidity. The bass is explosive in nature and not home theatre explosive either.

 

Line array speakers like the Dali Megaline and even the Gryphon Pendragon, don’t use big drivers (8” for the Gryphon) and they operate in unison to create incredible bass.

2F0885AE-89BD-4688-822D-0B785931D42B.jpeg

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The discussion of “fully active speakers as all in one boxes” vs “fully active speakers with separate components” is interesting to me. 
 

I’ve landed in the latter camp but I can see why people might favour either approach. 
 

The single box allows the manufacturer to control the whole chain and therefore (potentially) optimise it. But what if something breaks?
 

The multi box approach allows you to byo components and tweak and replace stuff more easily if it breaks. But all the boxes can be visually unappealing and the usability can be less than seamless. 

Edited by sir sanders zingmore
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8 hours ago, sir sanders zingmore said:

The multi box approach allows you to byo components and tweak and replace stuff more easily if it breaks. But all the boxes can be visually unappealing and the usability can be less than seamless. 

The Genelecs seem to have a horse in both races. The bigger units (eg 1238a) have an external amplifier section that you can rack mount which is where all the dsp happens.


There’s only a pair of speakon connectors from the amplifier stage to the speakers, (but they apparently match the amp to the monitors in the factory).

image.jpeg.ad3184e25bfcb38fedde026744057383.jpeg

I really like this approach.  Even if all the electronics go kaput at some stage in the future, you’ll have options, even just running the monitors off another amplifier will work, though you lose the genelec dsp.
 

I imagine this amplifier will be able to be purchased discretely too so you may be able to go up to a future generation without changing your main cabinet.

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Other than at audio shows, I haven't had the chance to listen to the all-in-ones - although the Kii's with BXT were best in show sound for me. I'm also watching the Buchardt story closely, as I can see a pair of those in my future. 

 

My two cents on 'punchy' bass is that is more about air movement, and not necessarily just at the lowest frequencies. I have standmounts with single 6.5" drivers, which I then supplement with a sub. I'm happy with the sound for the investment (good soundstage, speakers disappear, sub makes for a 'full' sound), but I know that single 6.5" drivers won't give me that mid-bass punch that floorstanders with three or four 6.5" (or larger) drivers might. On electronic or folk music you won't miss it, but with rock you do. 

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1 minute ago, Topman_Chief said:

Other than at audio shows, I haven't had the chance to listen to the all-in-ones - although the Kii's with BXT were best in show sound for me. I'm also watching the Buchardt story closely, as I can see a pair of those in my future. 

 

My two cents on 'punchy' bass is that is more about air movement, and not necessarily just at the lowest frequencies. I have standmounts with single 6.5" drivers, which I then supplement with a sub. I'm happy with the sound for the investment (good soundstage, speakers disappear, sub makes for a 'full' sound), but I know that single 6.5" drivers won't give me that mid-bass punch that floorstanders with three or four 6.5" (or larger) drivers might. On electronic or folk music you won't miss it, but with rock you do. 

 

Agree with your comments. It's an exciting time to be in this space with so many great options popping up.

 

Only minor thing i'm at odds with is the comment re Electronica. I love my electronic tunes and the 'punch' is absolutely essential to me for this genre.

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I know this is probably off topic but I reckon people think the "punch" or "slam' frequency is a lot lower than it actually is. To me it's always about mid to upper-bass rather than low bass

 

descriptors2.png.5987810c4393d1a680ca42adcedf2087.png

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1 minute ago, sir sanders zingmore said:

I know this is probably off topic but I reckon people think the "punch" or "slam' frequency is a lot lower than it actually is. To me it's always about mid to upper-bass rather than low bass

 

descriptors2.png.5987810c4393d1a680ca42adcedf2087.png

 

Yes, totally agree with this. I remember reading somewhere yesterday that 'punch' is in the 150hz range which is what your pic above shows.

 

This is why i'm finding the Gen 8351's having greater punch than the Kii's, even though the Kii's go flat to 20hz and the 8351's 'only' 32hz. That lower register is not where the slam and punch occurs.

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2 minutes ago, wikeeboy said:

 

Yes, totally agree with this. I remember reading somewhere yesterday that 'punch' is in the 150hz range which is what your pic above shows.

 

This is why i'm finding the Gen 8351's having greater punch than the Kii's, even though the Kii's go flat to 20hz and the 8351's 'only' 32hz. That lower register is not where the slam and punch occurs.

 

The thing with actives is that you can EQ them. Want more punch, just boost that region.

That's why I sometimes struggle to say what an active speaker 'sounds' like

 

So it would be interesting to boost the Kiis at around 150Hz and then compare

Edited by sir sanders zingmore
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3 minutes ago, sir sanders zingmore said:

 

The thing with actives is that you can EQ them. Want more punch, just boost that region.

That's why I sometimes struggle to say what an active speaker 'sounds' like

 

So it would be interesting to boost the Kiis at around 150Hz and then compare

 

Agree with the theory. I guess the issue then becomes power handling? 

 

If i was regularly getting clipping signals around 85db with the Kii's, then boosting up that 150hz may make this worse? I think @gibbo9000 may have mentioned something about this earlier and i agree (Power handling). Putting subjective sound quality aside, the greater power handling of the 8351's i have allow me to turn the wick up harder in that region giving more perceived slam. 

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1 minute ago, wikeeboy said:

 

Agree with the theory. I guess the issue then becomes power handling? 

 

If i was regularly getting clipping signals around 85db with the Kii's, then boosting up that 150hz may make this worse? I think @gibbo9000 may have mentioned something about this earlier and i agree (Power handling). Putting subjective sound quality aside, the greater power handling of the 8351's i have allow me to turn the wick up harder in that region giving more perceived slam. 

 

Of course you are correct. One of the other benefits of some active speakers (like the Kiis) is that when someone silly (like me!) comes along and says "just crank up that frequency" they let you do it but not enough to cause any damage :)

  

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36 minutes ago, sir sanders zingmore said:

I know this is probably off topic but I reckon people think the "punch" or "slam' frequency is a lot lower than it actually is. To me it's always about mid to upper-bass rather than low bass

 

descriptors2.png.5987810c4393d1a680ca42adcedf2087.png


This is a good input - I really like that graph - thanks. Your point regarding type of bass is important. The bass I’ve been referring to is in that 60-150 range. As I listen to mainly rock, there’s not much happening below 50hz.. 
 

The attached is another one I like. I found it particularly useful when recording / mixing bands. I’ve applied it to hifi eq but have only had limited success as you can’t isolate an instrument and improving one instrument can negatively impact another. You also find yourself improving one album but muddying up others. The journey is fun nonetheless. :) 
 

 

8BAE3761-CCA7-4DDD-AAC1-86C2CB5F0C4B.jpeg

Edited by Jhsg
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1 hour ago, wikeeboy said:

Only minor thing i'm at odds with is the comment re Electronica. I love my electronic tunes and the 'punch' is absolutely essential to me for this genre.

Much of that punch in a kick in electronic music comes from layering lots of sounds to get the right kick sound.  

 

Believe it or not, a lot of the harder styles of dance music lay about 3-5 kicks together and frequently use things like low passed closed hi hats to give that kick that makes them seem like they are just jumping out of the speaker. 

 

Despite downright detesting psytrance, I don't think I've ever heard a kick go deeper and lower than Infected Mushroom on a big rig. Just bowel churning.  

 

Edited by BugPowderDust
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1 hour ago, sir sanders zingmore said:

I know this is probably off topic but I reckon people think the "punch" or "slam' frequency is a lot lower than it actually is. To me it's always about mid to upper-bass rather than low bass

Very useful reminder and graphic

 

45 minutes ago, sir sanders zingmore said:

I think @gibbo9000 may have mentioned something about this earlier and i agree (Power handling)

It is pretty well documented that the combination of small, sealed cabinet and 4 long throw drivers partially out of phase really chews power in the Kii's and they will begin to power limit around 85db despite 250 W per driver.  In DSP mode it is also about how they manage impulse response rather than steady frequency reproduction, plus the whole cardiod theory.

 

Will do some testing around the 150Hz 'punch' theory.  I do remember when setting up sub at 80 Hz crossover or lower, I ran Dirac boost of 4db up to around 300Hz to get a sound that felt balanced and punchy.  The sub also unloads the Kii bass drivers and allows overall increase in SPL before limiting cuts in (well above my view of loud, loud listening)

Edited by gibbo9000
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15 minutes ago, gibbo9000 said:

 

58 minutes ago, sir sanders zingmore said:

I think @gibbo9000 may have mentioned something about this earlier and i agree (Power handling)

 

Somehow it seems as if you've "EQ'ed" that quote so that it looks like I said it :)

 

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1 hour ago, BugPowderDust said:

Believe it or not, a lot of the harder styles of dance music lay about 3-5 kicks together and frequently use things like low passed closed hi hats to give that kick that makes them seem like they are just jumping out of the speaker. 

That's really interesting stuff to learn. It's a shame that the Venn diagram of electronic music lovers and audiophiles doesn't overlap much, because it does sound amazing on a good system.

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2 hours ago, gibbo9000 said:

Will do some testing around the 150Hz 'punch' theory.  I do remember when setting up sub at 80 Hz crossover or lower, I ran Dirac boost of 4db up to around 300Hz to get a sound that felt balanced and punchy.  The sub also unloads the Kii bass drivers and allows overall increase in SPL before limiting cuts in (well above my view of loud, loud listening)

 

Hi gibbo, since acquiring a setup similar to yours [Digital Crossover speakers with miniDSP SHD and subwoofer(s)] I've been playing around more lately with potential curves.

 

So, I've been thinking of starting a thread where we can display and upload our frequency response Curves. For me it would be based on Dirac Live but would I wouldn't care if other platforms were included.

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Just did some experimenting: alternated adding peaks of 3,5, and 8db at 150hz.

Sure I heard the difference, but that didn't give what I 'd call punch or slam.

For that, I think you need to move more air than these smaller boxes can do.

 

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On 22/02/2021 at 5:50 PM, Satanica said:

So, I've been thinking of starting a thread where we can display and upload our frequency response Curves. For me it would be based on Dirac Live but would I wouldn't care if other platforms were included.

Good idea.  To me Dirac is complicated enough when done well so perhaps keep focussed.  Quite a bit in one of the NAD discussions as well from what I recall.

Here we will keep trying to understand where 'punch' comes from!

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Gulp!

Just ordered a set of SGR MT3.2 in Porsche jet black metallic finish.

They are about 6 to 8 weeks away. Active of course with all controls in the analogue domain so I don't have to digitise my LPs.

They will take some time setting up and then some enjoyable listening.

To be continued in the SGR owners section.

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4 minutes ago, GregWormald said:

Gulp!

Just ordered a set of SGR MT3.2 in Porsche jet black metallic finish.

They are about 6 to 8 weeks away. Active of course with all controls in the analogue domain so I don't have to digitise my LPs.

They will take some time setting up and then some enjoyable listening.

To be continued in the SGR owners section.

 

Congrats! Mighty speakers. Make sure you show us some pics.

 

No issue with those puppies giving you all the slam and punch you need :)

 

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On 22/02/2021 at 8:50 PM, firedog said:

Just did some experimenting: alternated adding peaks of 3,5, and 8db at 150hz.

Sure I heard the difference, but that didn't give what I 'd call punch or slam.

For that, I think you need to move more air than these smaller boxes can do.

 

There's no replacement for displacement :)

 

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19 minutes ago, wikeeboy said:

This should be fun, let the comparisons begin :)

 

IMG_8145 copy.jpg

 

Congratulations, just in time before the Easter holidays!

 

These the Buchardt S400s?

 

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18 hours ago, anandpkumar said:

These the Buchardt S400s?

The box seems to say White A500's . . . . . . . . .

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1 minute ago, gibbo9000 said:

The box seems to say White A500's . . . . . . . . .

 

Correct :)

 

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5 minutes ago, wikeeboy said:

Correct :)

 

My bad - meant to say A500.

 

How to they sound? and pictures too......think you're the first here to get your hands on these

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7 minutes ago, anandpkumar said:

My bad - meant to say A500.

 

How to they sound? and pictures too......think you're the first here to get your hands on these

 

Box opening pics here... 

 

 

Had a heap of fun listening to them this morning, but trying to reserve judgment till they've had some run in time being completely new speakers.

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My set of Dynaudio 60XD arrived and I have finally got a chance to have a quick listen tonight. some basic, initial thoughts below. I will amend the points as the speakers run in;

 

1. They offer a very big soundstage horizontally and vertically.

2. Because of point 1 they have a very big soundstage and the speakers do a very good job of disappearing, despite their size, which is very impressive.

3. The soundstage does not yet portray significant front to depth detail (this will likely change with positioning and burn in).

4. Despite the disappearing act, there is a noticeable cabinet resonance to the sound (especially noticeable if you are used to Kii3 & BXT). In saying this it does not significantly impact on tone or clarity.

5. Positioning and separation of sounds/instruments is very well done.

6. The bass currently displays as ultra clean with reasonable depth, but slightly limited upper bass punch.

7. The tweeter is definitely the best implementation of an Esotec+ I have heard. It is definitely brighter than an esotar. I had to turn it down a notch on the crossover. There have been some that have preferred the extra brightness or bite that the Esotec has compared to the Esotar and I can understand this now. My hope is that the tweeter will smooth out with burn in but retain the bite (knowing what burn in does to Dynaudio drivers, I would be surprised if this isnt the case after a couple of weeks).

8. ( new point) Because of the extra bit of the tweeter, they are actually pretty good at low level listening, which is quite rare for Dynaudio’s, often they need to be turned up to come alive (so to speak.).

 

Interestingly, compared to my Kii3 & BXT, amazingly I would say the soundstage in a two dimensional sense (given the lack of front to back staging) is bigger than the Kii’s. The other main differences are the Kii system offers significantly greater detail retrieval, dynamics and bass.

 

Am I happy with the Dyn’s, yes very happy so far, noting their discounted price they are truly exceptional value.

2BA2C3FF-6246-405A-BC9F-B52300D09431.jpeg

Edited by Ray H
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@Ray HThanks for the feedback. I'm very tempted to buy a pair myself as Class A have a pair left in grey oak.

 

I don't need them but at the discounted price it's hard to resist.

 

I'm a sucker for Dynaudio,  I must resist!

Edited by Tony B
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15 hours ago, Ray H said:

My set of Dynaudio 60XD arrived and I have finally got a chance to have a quick listen tonight. some basic, initial thoughts below. I will amend the points as the speakers run in;

 

1. They offer a very big soundstage horizontally and vertically.

2. Because of point 1 they have a very big soundstage and the speakers do a very good job of disappearing, despite their size, which is very impressive.

3. The soundstage does not yet portray significant front to depth detail (this will likely change with positioning and burn in).

4. Despite the disappearing act, there is a noticeable cabinet resonance to the sound (especially noticeable if you are used to Kii3 & BXT). In saying this it does not significantly impact on tone or clarity.

5. Positioning and separation of sounds/instruments is very well done.

6. The bass currently displays as ultra clean with reasonable depth, but slightly limited upper bass punch.

7. The tweeter is definitely the best implementation of an Esotec+ I have heard. It is definitely brighter than an esotar. I had to turn it down a notch on the crossover. There have been some that have preferred the extra brightness or bite that the Esotec has compared to the Esotar and I can understand this now. My hope is that the tweeter will smooth out with burn in but retain the bite (knowing what burn in does to Dynaudio drivers, I would be surprised if this isnt the case after a couple of weeks).

8. ( new point) Because of the extra bit of the tweeter, they are actually pretty good at low level listening, which is quite rare for Dynaudio’s, often they need to be turned up to come alive (so to speak.).

 

Interestingly, compared to my Kii3 & BXT, amazingly I would say the soundstage in a two dimensional sense (given the lack of front to back staging) is bigger than the Kii’s. The other main differences are the Kii system offers significantly greater detail retrieval, dynamics and bass.

 

Am I happy with the Dyn’s, yes very happy so far, noting their discounted price they are truly exceptional value.

2BA2C3FF-6246-405A-BC9F-B52300D09431.jpeg

Thank you for the review. The sale pricing is certainly tempting.

 

Curious what streamer, DAC, preamp combo you are using?  And I assume you are using the same to feed the Kii Three?

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30 minutes ago, Snoopy8 said:

Thank you for the review. The sale pricing is certainly tempting.

 

Curious what streamer, DAC, preamp combo you are using?  And I assume you are using the same to feed the Kii Three?


hi Snoopy;

 

With the Kii system I am using the Innuos Zenith MKiii via USB.

 

With the 60XD I am using the matrix audio element x streamer/dac/preamp from my headphone setup. I can’t use the the Innuos with the 60XD as I don’t have the hub with the USB input. The 60XD minus the hub have coax or analogue rca only so I can’t use the Innuos with them.

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