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Kali Audio LP-6: Seeking clarity on Input (RCA), and Preamp/Volume control Ideas

Luxman Amplifiers India

hydra

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I’m thinking of getting a pair of Kali Audio LP-6 Active speakers for desktop use in my home office. I’d be grateful if members who own these, or have had personal experience with these, could advise about the following:

- These speakers have an RCA input. How bad is the hum from the speakers when connected via RCA to a typical DAC? How are you feeding input signal to your Kalis? I would like to stay away from using a PC as much as possible, so I was thinking of using a DAC (that would get input from a chromecast device via optical, and maybe sometimes via USB from a PC). The reports of hum in active speakers when used with RCA/unbalanced inputs is what’s pulling me back.

- I would like some sort of volume knob so I can control their volume conveniently. For that, I was thinking of getting a DAC (like an iFi Zen DAC, or a FiiO K5 Pro) with a volume knob. This is why I’m asking about how well these speakers work with an RCA signal from a DAC. Do you have any alternate suggestions?

- I also considered getting a pro USB interface like a Focusrite Scarlatti Solo or an Audient EVO 2/2, that would give me a volume control, and also let me use balanced inputs to the speakers. But that would tie me down to using a PC, and I would not have any other inputs. I’m also not sure how well this would work for just listening to music. I‘m also not sure how well Roon would work in this setup (with the PC as an endpoint: I run a ROCK on the network as server).

- Are there any DACs with preamp knobs and balanced outputs (TRS or XLR) under 20k INR? An optical input would also be great. That would basically tick all my boxes! I know the Zen DAC has a preamp/knob and balanced outs, but the 4.4mm pentaconn balanced cable required for the balanced output to active speakers is very expensive, and not available in India.

Thanks in advance! Please feel free to add unrelated advice and comments on using these speakers.
 
Last edited:

raz_737

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Windows volume controller is sufficient if desktop is your only source. Else you can buy passive volume controllers available around 5k price.

It's best not to buy a DAC just for volume control. Passive controller would be enough.
 

hydra

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Just to update, I was able to audition the Kali LP6s and Adam Audio T5Vs in a Pro Audio Shop in my city. They gave me a very extended audition (basically left me alone and went about their business).

I chose the Adam Audio T5Vs in a heartbeat.

I also bought:
- An Audient Evo 4 USB interface.
- Ultimate Support Jamstands.
- Belden + Neutrik Balanced cables.
 

hydra

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Messages
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Location
Kerala
Windows volume controller is sufficient if desktop is your only source. Else you can buy passive volume controllers available around 5k price.

It's best not to buy a DAC just for volume control. Passive controller would be enough.
Thank you for your reply! A passive controller would have been perfect, but I also wanted to avoid using the 3.5mm audio out of the computer.

I decided that an good entry level Pro Audio USB Audio interface was best for my needs. The Headphone Amp is a welcome bonus. Sonos the ability to record something live, if I want to.

There's zero hum or hiss with the connection from the computer via USB > Evo 4 > Balanced cables > Adam T5V.
 

raptorhertz

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Patiala
Just to update, I was able to audition the Kali LP6s and Adam Audio T5Vs in a Pro Audio Shop in my city. They gave me a very extended audition (basically left me alone and went about their business).

I chose the Adam Audio T5Vs in a heartbeat.

I also bought:
- An Audient Evo 4 USB interface.
- Ultimate Support Jamstands.
- Belden + Neutrik Balanced cables.
What clinched it for T5Vs?
Belden 8402?
 

hydra

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Messages
1,648
Points
113
Location
Kerala
What clinched it for T5Vs?
Belden 8402?
I was mostly sold on the LP6, but I wanted to listen to the T5Vs too. I preferred the Adams the moment they switched those on. The Adams have a much airier and atmospheric top end, without being at all harsh. I could listen to these for hours together. (The internet videos do not do any service to the Adam T5Vs, as those make these speakers sound really bright). Also, I also preferred the midrange response of the Adams.

The Kalis do sound really good (for less money), and I might have had trouble deciding between them if not for the physical size difference, and the fact that the Adam T5V is made in Germany and has a 5 year warranty (important for active speakers).

The Kali LP6 are gigantic (for my use case). The 6.5" drivers are definitely the reason for that. The Adam T5Vs are much more compact (though they're also much deeper).

The Kalis have very nicely setup boundary EQ dipswitches on the back (in addition to the usual high and low +2/-2 adjustment) to account for placement (stand/desktop and distance with front wall on each case). To me, that was their biggest advantage. And they sounded very good for the money too.

The balanced cables are Belden 1813a, with Neutrik connectors.
 
Last edited:

raz_737

Member
Joined
Jan 10, 2011
Messages
75
Points
8
Location
Vizag, Andhra Pradesh
Thank you for your reply! A passive controller would have been perfect, but I also wanted to avoid using the 3.5mm audio out of the computer.

I decided that an good entry level Pro Audio USB Audio interface was best for my needs. The Headphone Amp is a welcome bonus. Sonos the ability to record something live, if I want to.

There's zero hum or hiss with the connection from the computer via USB > Evo 4 > Balanced cables > Adam T5V.
Passive controllers have RCA and XLR inputs and you can use it in your chain.

Eg. https://www.amazon.in/dp/B01NCUZ32O/ref=cm_sw_r_wa_apa_glc_i_PMQPEBRPE40DG2Z8EME7

Also Audio interfaces generally don't have good DAC's inbuilt unless it's very high end.
 

raptorhertz

Member
Joined
Oct 27, 2010
Messages
35
Points
8
Location
Patiala
I was mostly sold on the LP6, but I wanted to listen to the T5Vs too. I preferred the Adams the moment they switched those on. The Adams have a much airier and atmospheric top end, without being at all harsh. I could listen to these for hours together. (The internet videos do not do any service to the Adam T5Vs, as those make these speakers sound really bright). Also, I also preferred the midrange response of the Adams.

The Kalis do sound really good (for less money), and I might have had trouble deciding between them if not for the physical size difference, and the fact that the Adam T5V is made in Germany and has a 5 year warranty (important for active speakers).

The Kali LP6 are gigantic (for my use case). The 6.5" drivers are definitely the reason for that. The Adam T5Vs are much more compact (though they're also much deeper).

The Kalis have very nicely setup boundary EQ dipswitches on the back (in addition to the usual high and low +2/-2 adjustment) to account for placement (stand/desktop and distance with front wall on each case). To me, that was their biggest advantage. And they sounded very good for the money too.

The balanced cables are Belden 1813a, with Neutrik connectors.
Enjoy the music, Anup!
 
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