Kii Three vs. actives with analog crossover

Has anyone had a chance to compare Kii Three speakers to PSI Audio or any other active speakers that use analog active crossover and not DSP, maybe some active 3-way ATCs, etc.?

I am interested in educated opinions on transparency, I know it cannot be generalized in such a way as the whole package defines the sound, but maybe there was someone who had opportunity to compare actives using DSP and analog crossovers.

There are some opinions that DSP cannot deliver as transparent sound due to not powerful enough processing to keep signal integrity and generally subpar DA conversions used to keep the cost down, while others believe analog processing cannot match DSP processing and will degrade quality of sound more.

In addition, PSI Audio has completely different approach, they focus on delivering maximum without using DSP, produce most of their drivers, amps, and have arguably the most sophisticated analog crossover, while on the other hand Kii Audio uses inexpensive drivers, Ncore amps, and focuses on DSP processing.

I am interested in opinions on these actives, not about passive vs. active arguments, I am passed that.

@erik_squires , correct me if I’m wrong but there advantages to the crossover being handled in the digital domain correct?
I would also look at Dutch and Dutch 8c and the new Buchardts A700 look pretty cool too!

You can argue that there are pro’s but also cons. Don’t get me wrong, DSP processing of audio is fabulously flexible, and I rely on it for my living room in both Roon and to EQ my sub.

The main argument against a DSP crossover really is the quality of the ADC/DAC combination. You buy a nice Berkeley, Mytek or whatever brand DAC, and you feed.... dsp based speakers? To me that makes no sense as the DSP must:

1 - Convert the analog to digital using an ADC
2 - Process it
3 - Convert the digital into analog

Now, if you can do this all in the digital domain before the signal hits the system, like with say a digital preamp, or Roon, then no problem.

An active/analog XO still has potential drawbacks, including the quality of the components and the additional analog stages that must be put in line, which will introduce flavors, distortion and noise of their own.

In either case, you’ll need more amps.

With a passive, speaker level crossover you ALSO introduce a number of issues, like reduced efficiency (due to voltage square vs. power) and the need to spend WAY too much to get great components, but you only buy a stereo amp for 2 speakers. :)

This is why to me, at the end of the day the whole package/end result is what matters most. I have to say though that the idea of having say, a digital pre amp that feeds the speakers a digital signal, and no additional amps is pretty damn sweet sounding. :) Meridian sure was ahead of their time here.
I have had the pleasure of meeting and listening with the designers of the Kii III on several occasions. Each listening session has been a revelation. I have been amazed and left scratching my head each time while checking my bank balance. Go and demo with your own music and source if possible. If you have any doubts about how they will perform in your system ask for an in home trial before committing. Move them around in the room to see how well they image regardless of room acoustics thank to the DSP processing.

So I meant to say this, above:
One of the main reasons I would not go with a fully active speaker system is I love the sound of my electronics, and speakers. I love how my DAC and amp sound. I’ve had ICEpower Class D amps and it was very good, but not this good. Barring a lottery win I'm on my last amp.

nCore/Bruno make fine gear, they really do, but if you go that route you buy the package, and god knows with so much stuff I should get rid of here maybe I should too. :)

I think if they accomplish the room acoustic integration, along with good sounding EQ and tuning, it's surely going to be a great speaker system.


To clarify my question, I do not care about EQ, room modes, etc. I am interested to hear about experience with and opinions about 3-way speakers employing digital (DSP) active cross-over (examples being Kii Three and D&D8c) vs. 3-way speakers employing analog active cross-over (examples being PSI Audio A23-M, ATCSCM50ASL).
If you look at those examples, PSI Audio A23-M is using propitiatory tweeter and midrange drives developed in house, with propitiatory amplification using unique technology such as Adaptive Output Impedance error correction feedback system which according to them allows for superb control of excursion. They also do phase compensation what is evident in impulse response and transients reproduction. All of this done in analog domain, what according to them is the proper way, not employing DSP. This certainly sounds like proper approach.

On the other hand, Kii Three does active cross-over in digital domain employing DSP. They also do phase compensation as well as cardioid dispersion pattern in low-mids and bass which is certainly beneficial, and their DSP processing seems to be very well done, what is all great, but on the other hand they use off-the-shelf drivers and amplification.

So I am interested to hear how these compare based on actual experience and/or in lack of the actual experience opinions based on some sound engineering knowledge (not marketing info, and not some biased pointless arguments not founded in anything).