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Kali Audio IN-8v2 (Second Wave) 3-Way Studio Monitor Review

Tellus

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I would choose the Kali over the ELAC due to power handling for HT, however the ELAC wins in dispersion width which may be more enveloping.

Surrounds that work for me are lower-profile (so no one runs into them) yet still powerful. I find the Polk LSiM 702 excellent. See if they can still be found.
Yeah i suspect Kali might actually go a little louder then the Elacs due to Elacs low sensitivity, I should ofc listen to both but only way to listen to the Kali's for me is to buy them, which is always risky. I did enjoy both UBR62and DBR62 from Elac so advantage there is i know how they sound.

See my size comparison:


IMO, IN-5 would be fine.
Thanks' for the comparison
 

ndis

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DBR62 while an excellent speaker for the money, simply cannot compete with in8 attributes. The best way i can describe in8 is as better kef r300. Imaging while great on elac, just can't be compared with in8 3 way, concentric design . Sames goes for dynamics and low end extension.

Don't get me wrong elacs deliver great performance for peanuts. For waf they are miles ahead and your living room will actually look good with them.

At the end, if you just care about performance in8 is hands down a better choice.
 

Tellus

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DBR62 while an excellent speaker for the money, simply cannot compete with in8 attributes. The best way i can describe in8 is as better kef r300. Imaging while great on elac, just can't be compared with in8 3 way, concentric design . Sames goes for dynamics and low end extension.

Don't get me wrong elacs deliver great performance for peanuts. For waf they are miles ahead and your living room will actually look good with them.

At the end, if you just care about performance in8 is hands down a better choice.
Thanks, just ordered two IN8 v2 to begin with :D
 

More Dynamics Please

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^ Since there was no response to my questions in the post immediately above I'm going to call on @KaliAudio_Official for an official response. Specifically as it pertains to the limiter on the second wave IN-8, does crossing to a sub at 80Hz and reducing the speaker's low bass output allow it to play a little louder before the limiter engages? Generally speaking little has been stated anywhere by Kali Audio or in any of the reviews of any of the Kali monitors how their performance is affected when applying an 80Hz crossover to combine with a sub.

OK, so continuing my conversation with myself, if I'm correctly interpreting the graph below from the @hardisj IN-8v2 review it appears as if the limiter is mainly limiting the lower frequencies produced by the woofer which only plays up to 280 Hz and has its own separate amp. That strikes me as evidence that high passing at 80 Hz for integration with a sub would reduce the load on the woofer's amp and therefore reduce the need to limit the woofer's lower output and allow the speaker to play a little louder before the limiter kicked in. But I'm far from a technical expert on this issue so I defer to those with more expertise.

EDIT: I was so focused on the low end that I totally missed looking at the far right side of the chart to see that the limiter also reduces high frequencies. Since the tweeter covers frequencies above 2.8 kHz and has its own dedicated amp that means it will still hit the limiter even if the speaker is high passed at 80 Hz for use with a sub. It seems only the midrange covering from 280 Hz to 2.8 kHz continues to play cleanly without its separate amp being limited even after the woofer and tweeter reach their limits. Bottom line is that there should be no expectation that crossing to a sub will allow the speaker to play a little louder without the limiter affecting overall sound quality.

Kali%20IN-8%202nd%20Wave_Compression.png
 
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Anti-Climacus

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I am not by any means a technical expert myself, but from the above graph I gather that high passing the IN-8 at 80 Hz won't do much since the downwards slope begins from ~180 Hz and continues until the 50 Hz mark. So even if you cross the speaker and the subwoofer takes care of everything below 80 Hz, you would still have at least 2 db compression in the 80-180 range. That is at a level of 102 db RMS, if I am not mistaken. And of course you have compression in almost everything past the 5 Khz mark which indicates that at that playback level the tweeter is also limiting.

So the real question is how audible is all that and how bothersome to one's ear since we are talking about an output limiter ranging from 1-1.5 to max 2.5 db depending on frequency.
 

More Dynamics Please

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I am not by any means a technical expert myself, but from the above graph I gather that high passing the IN-8 at 80 Hz won't do much since the downwards slope begins from ~180 Hz and continues until the 50 Hz mark. So even if you cross the speaker and the subwoofer takes care of everything below 80 Hz, you would still have at least 2 db compression in the 80-180 range. That is at a level of 102 db RMS, if I am not mistaken. And of course you have compression in almost everything past the 5 Khz mark which indicates that at that playback level the tweeter is also limiting.

So the real question is how audible is all that and how bothersome to one's ear since we are talking about an output limiter ranging from 1-1.5 to max 2.5 db depending on frequency.

It wouldn't matter if the downward slope of the limiter begins at ~180 Hz if the limiter isn't triggered. The point of an 80 Hz high pass would be to relieve the bass driver/amp of that load so that the limiter wouldn't be triggered in the first place. I believe it's the lowest bass that gets limited the most because it puts the biggest load on the bass driver/amp.

I noticed the high frequency limiting only after initially posting and edited the post to reflect that.
 

Tellus

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Was looking at cables for connecting the Kali's to RCA pre out, there is what some call cinch/rca to "semi balanced" XLR, this would be handy since XLR can be locked in a way RCA can't, does the Kali IN8 V2's accept unbalanced input through XLR? Some say they have the IN series connected like this and some say it wont work so a tad conflicting info there, it might be in this thread already & I'm just blind... I do apologize if that is he case.
 

thewas

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EDIT: I was so focused on the low end that I totally missed looking at the far right side of the chart to see that the limiter also reduces high frequencies. Since the tweeter covers frequencies above 2.8 kHz and has its own dedicated amp that means it will still hit the limiter even if the speaker is high passed at 80 Hz for use with a sub. It seems only the midrange covering from 280 Hz to 2.8 kHz continues to play cleanly without its separate amp being limited even after the woofer and tweeter reach their limits. Bottom line is that there should be no expectation that crossing to a sub will allow the speaker to play a little louder without the limiter affecting overall sound quality.
The spectra of the vast majority of music tracks are falling to the high frequencies so a lower tweeter SPL limitation is usually not a problem, here the spectra of 260 tracks of different genres:

Track260AvgL.png

Source: https://www.hifi-selbstbau.de/grund...6/81-musik-qvergleichenq-mit-dem-waveanalyzer
 

audio2920

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That strikes me as evidence that high passing at 80 Hz for integration with a sub would reduce the load on the woofer's amp and therefore reduce the need to limit the woofer's lower output and allow the speaker to play a little louder before the limiter kicked in.

Indeed. I set up a 5.1 room with the older IN8 v1s and found that crossing to a bass bin made a massive difference to spl capability.

I think we landed at a 100Hz crossover rather than 80, but yeah, from memory we got about 6dB louder* before hearing the limiter. Obviously that number would depend on content.

They're not perfect but I was impressed with what the IN8 could do out of the box given it's relatively budget price point, but once the sub was brought in I was like "why doesn't everyone just get IN8s and do this?" It sounded great.

*compared to without bass management
 

Anti-Climacus

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It wouldn't matter if the downward slope of the limiter begins at ~180 Hz if the limiter isn't triggered. The point of an 80 Hz high pass would be to relieve the bass driver/amp of that load so that the limiter wouldn't be triggered in the first place. I believe it's the lowest bass that gets limited the most because it puts the biggest load on the bass driver/amp.

I noticed the high frequency limiting only after initially posting and edited the post to reflect that.

I guess @audio2920 already answered your question then and it shows that indeed crossing to a sub has its merits with IN-8. And if most recorded music has lower energy in high frequencies anyway, the tweeter limiting would also be less of a problem, as @thewas suggests.

Nevertheless, it's worth noting that there is a difference between overall SPL capability between 2 and 5 (or 7 or 9 and so forth) speakers/units and this is one of the benefits of multichannel audio, among others. The higher the number of speakers in a given room the lower the level each one of them will be playing in order to reach a target playback level (say 85 db) and consequently the lower the overall distortion will be e.t.c. Obviously, integrating one or multiple subwoofers is an integral part of this approach so yes, I don't see why the IN-8 would behave any different.
 

KaliAudio_Official

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^ Since there was no response to my questions in the post immediately above I'm going to call on @KaliAudio_Official for an official response. Specifically as it pertains to the limiter on the second wave IN-8, does crossing to a sub at 80Hz and reducing the speaker's low bass output allow it to play a little louder before the limiter engages? Generally speaking little has been stated anywhere by Kali Audio or in any of the reviews of any of the Kali monitors how their performance is affected when applying an 80Hz crossover to combine with a sub.
Stand by please!
 

KaliAudio_Official

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^ Since there was no response to my questions in the post immediately above I'm going to call on @KaliAudio_Official for an official response. Specifically as it pertains to the limiter on the second wave IN-8, does crossing to a sub at 80Hz and reducing the speaker's low bass output allow it to play a little louder before the limiter engages? Generally speaking little has been stated anywhere by Kali Audio or in any of the reviews of any of the Kali monitors how their performance is affected when applying an 80Hz crossover to combine with a sub.
From Charles:

Measured +2dB with bass management crossover at 80Hz for Dolby DARDT. This was measured with pink noise, so it does not affect the peak SPL measurements made with sinewave burst. (Peak SPL measured with sine wave is significantly higher than that measured with pink noise. Peak SPL measured with sine wave is unaffected by bass management crossover above 80 Hz.)
 

Chromatischism

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OK, so continuing my conversation with myself, if I'm correctly interpreting the graph below from the @hardisj IN-8v2 review it appears as if the limiter is mainly limiting the lower frequencies produced by the woofer which only plays up to 280 Hz and has its own separate amp. That strikes me as evidence that high passing at 80 Hz for integration with a sub would reduce the load on the woofer's amp and therefore reduce the need to limit the woofer's lower output and allow the speaker to play a little louder before the limiter kicked in. But I'm far from a technical expert on this issue so I defer to those with more expertise.

EDIT: I was so focused on the low end that I totally missed looking at the far right side of the chart to see that the limiter also reduces high frequencies. Since the tweeter covers frequencies above 2.8 kHz and has its own dedicated amp that means it will still hit the limiter even if the speaker is high passed at 80 Hz for use with a sub. It seems only the midrange covering from 280 Hz to 2.8 kHz continues to play cleanly without its separate amp being limited even after the woofer and tweeter reach their limits. Bottom line is that there should be no expectation that crossing to a sub will allow the speaker to play a little louder without the limiter affecting overall sound quality.

Kali%20IN-8%202nd%20Wave_Compression.png
You just need to ask yourself: do I need more than 96 dB?
 

More Dynamics Please

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Wow, my self conversation drew a crowd. :) What everyone has said over the last 24 hours all makes sense to me.
You just need to ask yourself: do I need more than 96 dB?
I mostly listen at moderate levels but occasionally like to approach modest live concert level without getting into ear damage territory. I'm very sensitive to compression and distortion so playing cleanly with high dynamic range at the occasional high SPL session is a priority. After a major home remodel with wall removal and ceiling vaulting the distance from the front wall where my speakers are located to the back wall is now 50 feet.

My primary listening distance is usually ~12 feet and Kali specs say the IN-8v2 can produce 85 dB continuous with 20 dB headroom (for 105 dB peaks) at a listening distance of up to 4 meters (13 feet). I would find that satisfactory as long as there was minimal compression and distortion at that level. But the review comments about the limiter are a bit concerning. I'd prefer to have a little extra headroom for insurance rather than being right on the edge. That's why I was interested in learning how crossing to a sub at 80 Hz might reduce the potential for distortion/compression/limiter activation.
 

ndis

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At 4 meters i don't know many 8' speakers that can play at reference levels. But seriously, don't overthink it, in8 in a typical room is capable of producing more than enough SPL.
 

More Dynamics Please

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At 4 meters i don't know many 8' speakers that can play at reference levels. But seriously, don't overthink it, in8 in a typical room is capable of producing more than enough SPL.
A "typical room" is what I used to have. With the major home remodel to include removing two walls and converting more low ceiling to vaulted I estimate there's now ~10,000 cubic feet of contiguous open space. While the primary listening position remains ~12 feet I've never dealt with this much connected open space in any of my homes and am concerned the IN-8v2 may be marginal in that much open space. I've been considering live performance PA type speakers as well, sacrificing some accuracy for greater clean SPL and dynamics.
 

Chromatischism

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A "typical room" is what I used to have. With the major home remodel to include removing two walls and converting more low ceiling to vaulted I estimate there's now ~10,000 cubic feet of contiguous open space. While the primary listening position remains ~12 feet I've never dealt with this much connected open space in any of my homes and am concerned the IN-8v2 may be marginal in that much open space. I've been considering live performance PA type speakers as well, sacrificing some accuracy for greater clean SPL and dynamics.
The space matters less than your listening distance. Don't overthink it.

12' is longer than usual though and that will reduce SPL by a few dB.
 

More Dynamics Please

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The space matters less than your listening distance. Don't overthink it.

12' is longer than usual though and that will reduce SPL by a few dB.

Well, I personally don't think it's overthinking it to want to give careful consideration to the reviewer's conclusion that "I do not know that I would recommend these for high volume listening more than 3 meters" when my primary listening position is 3.65 meters and there's now another 11.5 meters of open space behind that primary seating position to the back wall where I and others might also be listening on occasion. I've always been comfortable taking my good time on what others might see as overanalysis. :)
 

Anti-Climacus

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12 feet listening distance, 10,000 cubic feet of open space, 50 feet distance of the front to the back wall, modest live concert levels, I sincerely would be looking at main monitors instead (not even midfield) and certainly not nearfield speakers like Kali! Yes, listening distance matters more than the space but the volume of the latter dictates how many and how powerful subwoofers you need in order to fill it with low end. Dissapointment is certain to follow because of unfortunate choices and that wouldn't mean that Kali is incapable but that one has chosen the wrong speaker for the task. Unless you plan to build an Atmos 9.4.4 multichannel system in that space or something like that.

With every doubling of the distance, we lose 6 db SPL: so if the IN-8 plays at 97 db at 3 feet, you will be listening at 85 db at 12 feet - that means you have no headroom left, the speaker is already playing near to the point where the limiter is about to kick in and distortion would be on the rise. You need speakers with much higher SPL capabilities and lower THD. Something like this Genelec:
 

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More Dynamics Please

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12 feet listening distance, 10,000 cubic feet of open space, 50 feet distance of the front to the back wall, modest live concert levels, I sincerely would be looking at main monitors instead (not even midfield) and certainly not nearfield speakers like Kali! Yes, listening distance matters more than the space but the volume of the latter dictates how many and how powerful subwoofers you need in order to fill it with low end. Dissapointment is certain to follow because of unfortunate choices and that wouldn't mean that Kali is incapable but that one has chosen the wrong speaker for the task. Unless you plan to build an Atmos 9.4.4 multichannel system in that space or something like that.

With every doubling of the distance, we lose 6 db SPL: so if the IN-8 plays at 97 db at 3 feet, you will be listening at 85 db at 12 feet - that means you have no headroom left, the speaker is already playing near to the point where the limiter is about to kick in and distortion would be on the rise. You need speakers with much higher SPL capabilities and lower THD. Something like this Genelec:

^ This is what concerns me. I'm only looking at a 2.1 system using my existing sub for starters. Main monitors are way out of my price range as I'd like to keep total cost for 2 speakers under $1,000. That's one of the reasons the IN-8v2 is attractive. I still might go for it and settle for less than reference. But I'm also open to something that will play cleaner at higher levels even if frequency response is a little less textbook. I've paid close attention to live performance PA speakers playing recorded music at multiple small events and found the sound acceptable even though less pure than home audio speakers. I discussed this in my first post on this forum last year and am getting close to pulling the trigger after long deliberation to include the remodeling expansion of my listening area.

 
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