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Computer Audiophile


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About Kelly

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  1. The Kii Control has an IR receiver on it. I use a cheap, generic $7 Apple remote with it. You can control volume (up and down buttons), mute off/on (play/pause button), and source (side to side) with it. You do have to leave the butt of Kii control exposed or at least direct line of site visible for this to work.
  2. Nice review firedog. I will add jmy 2 cents of a review... I have had my Kii Three system for a few weeks now. I came to the Kii Three system (with Kii Control) from a system that probably cost close to the MSRP of the Kii Threes once you totaled up the cost of amp, dac, speakers, cables, etc. The Kiis are head and shoulders better than any system I have ever had or have ever heard in anyone's house. They do EVERYTHING well, there really are no weaknesses. The black background and startling dynamic capability takes a lot of getting used to after coming from a passive speaker system. To compare with conventional hi-fi systems, I really think you have to break it up in two ways: 1.) compare to what a regular hi-fi can do, then 2.) consider the overall design and how the DSP is integrated into the speaker so that they arrive at a product that cannot be compared to anything except perhaps the uber-expensive Beolab 90. The clarity and precision with which the Kiis present music is at first a bit startling and disorienting. I spent the first few days trying to figure out what their character or flavor is. I honestly still can't really tell you other than they are just very transparent. Mediocre recordings sound mediocre, brilliant recordings will sound brilliant. I think the quality that jumped out at me first was the dynamic capability. I don't necessarily mean just when loud things happen in the music. I mean when a singer comes into a song after the instrumental intro, voices just appear with a purity and rightness, and with a proper placement that is disarming and that makes everything else I have experienced sound tired and muffled. The speakers I came from, Gallo Ref 3.5, were very good in this way, but the Kiis take it to another league. Bass extension and quality is also (for me) initially disorienting for a loudspeaker. The Kii give the kind of clarity and texture in the bass that I have only ever experienced in top notch headphones. This similarity I can only attribute to the fact that the relative freedom from room interractions is something I've only ever heard with headphones, as all other speakers behave in a fundamentally different manner. Up until the Kii Three, the best quality bass I can remember from a speaker is the Vandersteen 5 at an excellent dealer. The Vandersteen of course has self-powered integrated subwoofers with extensive tunability for room placement. Still, the Kii offers a definition and vitality I don't remember from the Vandetsteens. The Vandersteens obviously had more impact with their opposing 12 in drivers, but it is also a huge floorstander. So, with the Kii Three you have a not inexpensive, but also not an obscenely priced audio system. As firedog referenced, you can get speakers with far more exotic and esoteric drivers, but as the Stereophile review mentioned, the final product likely won't be any more compelling. What the Kii team has done in my mind is finally deliver on the decades old promise that digital audio can do things that analog simply cannot. Beyond their use of excellent DSP crossovers and driver calibration, the Kii simply energizes a room in a way that makes mores sense than just about any other speaker on the market. On top of that, execution of all the more conventional aspects of speaker design are also carried out with absolute perfection. If you have read this far then you can tell I am smitten with my purchase. I am looking forward to moving them upstairs into my main living room. Up until now they have been in a smaller, extra room while I have some remodeling done upstairs. When the move into my living they will have to be moved much closer to the back wall and one will even be almost in a corner. With these speakers, I know they will sound every bit as good with this compromised placement as they do in their current room. That is something I couldn't say about any other speaker.
  3. Sorry to ask if this is the wrong place, but how does the Aries stack up against the microRendu? I understand there have been quite a few firmware improvements and that the Aries is significantly better for the changes. Can anyone comment on the absolute performance vs the microRendu with the recent firmware? I like the added functionality and wireless capability but don't want to pay more for that functionality if performance isn't at least equivalent. Comments?
  4. yellowtec puc2 and streamers

    Another thing to note, the yellowtec still requires proprietary drivers. Standard USB Audio 2.0 devices running linux won't work with it, since you can't install those drivers.
  5. NAD M50.2 compatibles?

    The NAD doesn't support of USB audio out. The USB port is only for storage. BluOS has come a long way, but it is still a bit clunky from when I last used it. The original M50, was an EXCELLENT AES source though, really very, very good and ahead of its time. I'm am sure the new one is even better.
  6. Your Power Supply is TOO NOISY

    Hasn't Linn moved to SMPS or their fancy streamer/dacs? I think NAD has moved into them for their Master Series stuff. The Kii Three active speaker also has an SMPS. I haven't heard anyone complaining that any of these products are "noisy."
  7. yellowtec puc2 and streamers

    I have used the yellowtec puc2 lite for some time now. (I am actually looking to sell only because a new system is on the way and supports USB.) An accessory power supply definitely works fine with it. The ifi can work, using a two headed cable also can work very well and allows you to use just about any 5v power supply.
  8. New Ayre 8 series DAC

    For that money the new 8 series had better be a significant step up from the Codex. Perhaps it will offer similar performance but add the increased functionality? The Codex is a really superb performer, substantially better than the qb9 dsd and sets the bar very high at a lowish price point. Ayre never disappoints tho, so I am sure it will be a lovely piece.
  9. NAD M12

    It is very very good. I do not own one but a system I know quite well uses this as the streamer/dac/preamp. The rest of the system consists of audio research amp and vandersteen speakers. It sounds great and the streamer module works well for him. He uses the bluesound app and not Roon, so I can't say how well it works as a Roon endpoint. Until very recently I used an M51 as my dac/preamp. They share similar qualities but the M12 is a bit more refined. The NAD digital volume control is exemplary, it works extremely well. The unit generated noise is very quiet at all volumes.
  10. Dynaudio is one of the few brands that makes home use and pro speakers and even car audio speakers. They also make passive speaker and active speakers. They are also make their own drivers. In these respects there is almost no other manufacturer with the diversity of product offerings. While their products are very good, I have never owned a dynaudio because I always thought the price was a bit high vs products with competitive performance (well, in the US market anyway.)
  11. It has been a while, but I am a self professed Vandersteen evangelist and did not really like the cubes all that much. This is weird because i love every other Vandersteen I have ever heard and have owned two different sets. The Gallo strada 2 is super good, but definitely needs a sub. If you need something really tiny, their spheres sound very good too. I feel for you about the blending cosmetics requirement. I have just recently fought that battle. Perhaps I should learn some of your wisdom and learn not to fight it so hard. I am pretty sure GTT audio is a Genelec home theater dealer. There isn't a lot of reason to get the home theater version of a speaker instead of the studio version other than the single ended input vs xlr and the white color. The studio versions have far more sellers like Sweetwater and front end audio. I can highly recommend front end audio. They can get any of their Genelec speakers in white for a $250 upcharge.
  12. Any Boenicke W5se Owners Here?

    Did you ever get these? What do you think and what did you choose to power them?
  13. Yeah, that is bad, and I haven't heard one of the iFi units in a long time. But I am in the market for a cheap desktop unit for headphones and powered speakers. If you spend up and get the larger $100 Behringer unit then you get XLR outputs. I might have to try that.
  14. Let me preface this by saying that I am not making any claims to technical expertise ... BUT it would not surprise me if the iFi was a particularly poor measuring device. The iFi/AMR philosophy is to playback all material in native format within the hardware as much as possible (hence they were the innovator in introducing a truly affordable, true DSD playback device.) They are very open that doing things in this manner doesn't always lead to the best measurements, as simple techniques like upsampling can dramatically improve some measurements. They philosophically seek to avoid this as much as possible in their implementations. So my question for those more knowledgeable about these things, if the iFi is indeed processing these signals at a native rate, and the Behringer is processing at upsampled 192khz would that, explain the difference in measurements?