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Who's heard the Kii Three speakers?

Discussion in 'audio' started by Bluedroog, Nov 23, 2016.

  1. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    That is certainly my view, and it has to be pointed out that a studio monitor is designed to be very revealing as you are looking to find fault and correct it at the time of creation/mixing. A hi-fi system needs to play by slightly different rules IMO as no way do I want a system to tell me not to play Charlie Parker because Diana Krall is just so much better recorded. By saying that I do like studio monitors a lot and have a huge pair of Lockwoods in my living room, I just choose to domesticate them a little with a nice valve preamp (which was also very successful with some MEG actives I owned for a while), and a friend does similar with BBC active Rogers 5/8s.
  2. darrenyeats

    darrenyeats pfm Member

    Taste comes into it of course, at least until the perfect speaker is created!

    But first we should decide what the perfect speaker should be - box, open baffle? If I was using it in the middle of wheat field, I'd want perfect flat bass down to 0Hz at any SPL but indoors I'd want a roll-off to take into account room gain ... what should that be (probably depends on the room)? Etc.

    Plenty of life left in hi-fi for the future!
  3. Strictly Stereo

    Strictly Stereo Trade: Strictly Stereo

    A euphemism for what? And what is the difference between "revealing" and "making the difference clear"?
  4. darrenyeats

    darrenyeats pfm Member

    Hi Strictly, sorry I should have quoted the whole phrase "too revealing of poor recordings". This is definitely implying that poor recordings are not as enjoyable.

    I agree if I read "revealing" on its own, I just assume any kind of recording would be portrayed well.

    This has got a bit meta, I'm discussing how I read someone's summary of a review! I'm not actually saying anything about the Kiis (or even the review).
  5. Purité Audio

    Purité Audio Trade: Purite Audio

    How does a loudspeaker make a bad recording sound better?
  6. Strictly Stereo

    Strictly Stereo Trade: Strictly Stereo

    I understand that you were commenting on Dozey's summary. You seem to be drawing a line between two terms, which seem to me to be the same thing. Is there a distinction or is it just a case of "too much" versus "just enough"?
  7. darrenyeats

    darrenyeats pfm Member

    I recently improved my front end (objectively better as in lower distortion). An album that I like musically went from what _I_ thought was a "difficult recording" to "enjoyable recording". That's what I'm talking about.

    I suspect we're agreeing but just arguing over the words.
  8. John Phillips

    John Phillips pfm Member

    I agree for sure. I don't get the "too revealing of bad recordings" criticism for these reasons:
    • If the mixing and mastering engineers have employed 'speakers in their studios that reveal a problem then they should be able to fix that in most cases. That's part of the job AIUI. So revealing 'speakers in the home should simply reveal what was recorded. In my philosophy of audio reproduction that's a good thing (other philosophies are available).
    • Comparatively, a small number of "bad recordings" may slip through or even not be correctable. I have a very few of these in opera and jazz recordings mainly from the early 1960s and beforehand. However the music on these is so good that most recording quality issues fade into insignificance.
    I think "too revealing of bad recordings" is a stock criticism used by reviewers. As a criticism it means very little in practice and as praise it means rather more.
  9. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    To my ears some modern hi-fi is clearly ‘hyped-up’ response wise to give a, to my ears entirely false, impression of ‘detail’, ‘speed’ etc. The sort of system that actively draws your attention to guitar fret-buzz, the most inconsequential vocal spits and slurps picked up by the mic, bass drum pedals squeaking etc. I personally hate this. I won’t name brands I view as guilty, but its those with a very bright, dry and forward presentation. Obviously unnatural to my ears. I’m of the view that is a system sounds hugely different to say a pair of Quad ESLs, BC1s, Tannoys or whatever it is quite simply wrong. Some small studio monitors are very deliberately tipped up in the areas I describe (NS10s etc) as the engineer wants to catch these issues. I’d never want to listen to that presentation at home!

    PS None of this has any relevance to the Kii - I’ve never heard them so can’t comment on their balance or presentation (but if they sound much different to ESLs I’ll hapily argue they are wrong!).
  10. Purité Audio

    Purité Audio Trade: Purite Audio

    Yes no relevance to the KiiTHREE at all, which are just transparent, neutral, natural ,revealing whichever term you prefer.
    Their transparency is easily demonstrated when you directly compare them to any other speaker/system.
  11. firedog

    firedog pfm Member

    The Kiis will tell you if a recording isn't good. Doesn't make them unlistenable. For me it means I'm hearing "good music, not such a good recording".

    You can hear more of what's there with the Kiis. On the vast majority of recordings I think this makes for an improvement in the listening experience.

    There may be an occasional recording that is revealed to be so bad you don't want to hear it. But when it is that bad you probably also don't want to hear it on another setup, either.
    What the Kiis don't do is disguise the weaknesses of a bad recording. Maybe this is what the writer was referring to and what he doesn't like.
  12. Dozey

    Dozey Air guitar member

    I suspect that is what he meant.

    I apologize to the reviewer if my brief summary was in any way misleading. I see it has provoked an interesting debate however.
  13. Purité Audio

    Purité Audio Trade: Purite Audio

    I often read of loudspeakers which were ‘kinder’ to poor recordings but I can’t see a mechanism that would ‘improve’ poor recordings and not roll-off, colour, distort good recordings.
    Personally I just want to hear what is on the record.
    Jonboi likes this.
  14. firedog

    firedog pfm Member

    Agree. Some speakers are intentionally voiced with a bit of an upper bass boost or a small midrange boost. Or even a slight roll off at the very high end. Many people like this, as they perceive it as a bit more "warmth" or "naturalness". I'd think they'd also call the Kii "too revealing" or possibly "cold". Probably the writer is one of those listeners.
  15. darrenyeats

    darrenyeats pfm Member

    I don't agree. If recordings sound bad like that, something is wrong and you're just doing some mental gymnastics to justify the component not performing. In that situation I would just go tweaking (starting with positioning and acoustics) or go shopping. Accepting it is not helpful.

    I've been around and, in my experience, in 99% of situations where something didn't sound right, it came good when system or acoustics were improved, or heard in another system. I can count the number of genuinely "poor recordings" I've ever heard on a few fingers! Not sure what you're on about, this is not a problem.

    Conversely, if I had pound for every audiophile who blamed the recording when their set up is not doing the job it's supposed to do, I'd be retired! You get a lot of complaints about modern music but most of it is fine in its own manner (though a lot different to 50s jazz!)

    Of course recordings sound different and I want to hear that. I'm talking about being put off listening to certain music - very, very rare.
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2018
  16. Purité Audio

    Purité Audio Trade: Purite Audio

    The Kiis are extremely transparent, cardioid response, wide even dispersion, phase coherent ,full-range they and Dutch&Dutch 8Cs are the most transparent
    speakers I have heard here, a list which includes ATC, PSI, Geithain, Manger,Harbeth Spendor B&W etc etc
    They just play the file as it is, you hear everything, fantastic recordings sound fantastic, less fantastic recordings sound less fantastic, recording/mastering quality varies hugely.
    I understand some listeners enjoy adding distortion to their systems, valves perhaps or speakers which roll off both bass and treble or which have a FR like the Himalayas and that is fine, but those additions are added to every recording.
    Personally I just want to hear the recording reproduced as closely as the artist intended.
    Jonboi likes this.
  17. firedog

    firedog pfm Member

  18. JTC

    JTC PFM Villager...

    Fascinating - and long - discussion here. Good stuff. Don't have much to say that hasn't been said before, but it's worth making the distinction between bad recordings and bad mastering (and by which I mean the application of excessive compression etc.). Under those circumstances, there's not a lot to be done in reproduction beyond 'put up with it'. And there are many, many, many bad masterings out there....
    darrenyeats likes this.
  19. G T Audio

    G T Audio Trade: Manufacturer and Distributor

    Can you tell us what these added distortions are Keith, how they are added and how we would know when we hear this distortion?
  20. Elephantears

    Elephantears Trunkated Aesthete

    Perhaps some of you folks with the false ontology of transparency could give us some examples of what you classify as 'poor recordings'. I noticed in a recent reviewer of the Keythree mentioned that 'Astral Weeks' sounded tiring and harsh. Are going to chalk that down as a 'poor recording'? If so, how many of the greatest pieces of music in recorded history are going to get the chop?
    G T Audio likes this.

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