This tale is too fascinating not to share. But it is hard to explain.
A local customer bought a pair of the Kii three active speakers last year. These speakers are wholly digital and accept either a digital input or an analogue one that they then digitise internally. They were successfully replacing quite an involved and rather more expensive conventional system, and there has been more than a little bit of culture shock, particularly in how to integrate his analogue source.
For digital, it was very straightforward with a Melco server connected via USB to the Kii controller. For analogue you need to connect directly to the XLR sockets on the loudspeakers themselves and various experiments of cables and hardware had set him free of the usual ‘doing it by the book’ constraints.
In another property the same man has been using the same Melco source into a Chord Hugo TT and PMC Cor amplifier and the quality being attained there, coupled with the success of running analogue into the Kiis, set him thinking:
How would the Hugo M Scaler / Hugo TT2 combo work into the analogue input of the Kiis?
Bizarrely, and I have to say this is not something we would have thought to do, the results have been remarkable. By upscaling to 24 bit 705.6 and 768kHz, then conversing to analogue and running via conventional balanced interconnects to the speakers which promptly digitise the signal all over again, he is reporting it to be wildly ahead in all respects of running the same digital signal directly into the Kiis. It seems to inject a greater sense realism and ‘humanity, greater musicality, more information and a better sense of ‘place’ into the system.
He was knocked out by what it could do before. Now he is head over heels.
So here we are with another little project.
When we’ve finished bedding in our own homage to Kudos’ comparatively low cost active Naim system from the Bristol show, we have another little project to put together.
We are lucky or unlucky (delete as appropriate) enough to have a high number of very technically knowledgeable customers on our books. I’m sure this unusual digital > analogue > digital concoction will have many holding they heads in their hands. Perhaps some can shed light on why this should be so successful.
Just in case you’re wondering, M-Scaller straight into Kiis was tried but it was not judged to be as good. For a start, the Kiis are limited to a far lower sample frequency than the Chord Hugo TT2.