Kali LP-6 studio monitors - your opinion ...?

ManicMiner

in the Skylab landing bay
Looking at getting a pair of Kali LP-6 ~$300.
There are a few videos on Youtube about a hiss/noise issue.

Kali were open about this and say they've fixed it in their new batch and encouraged buying from a licensed dealer.
However, the hiss videos on YT, there are 3 in the past two months. Granted these are from abroad and possibly they got an earlier batch.

But just wondering what you guys think about the LP6 (or maybe you want to suggest something else in this price range)?
 

TigerTheFrog

Reid Rosefelt
I love these speakers and have had no issue with noise. I have the white ones, which are only came out recently.

In the manual, they say to use TRS cables. While you can hook them up with unbalanced TS cables, they are more susceptible to noise. Is it possible that some of the people who experienced noise connected the speakers with unbalanced cables?
 
OP
ManicMiner

ManicMiner

in the Skylab landing bay
I love these speakers and have had no issue with noise. I have the white ones, which are only came out recently.
In the manual, they say to use TRS cables. While you can hook them up with unbalanced TS cables, they are more susceptible to noise. Is it possible that some of the people who experienced noise connected the speakers with unbalanced cables?
I watched a YT video by "In the Mix" and he was saying that Kali admitted to a noise issue but it had been fixed in newer batches. Iwas wondering if TRS cables come with the speakers, evidently not.
 
OP
ManicMiner

ManicMiner

in the Skylab landing bay
I went ahead and bought a pair (black) LP-6, direct from Kali today.
I am sure the batch that had the hiss/noise issues has gone. They identified the issue, and told me that I should only buy from them and authorized dealers.
The noise/hiss vidoes on YT although recent, look like they are in a foreign country, and perhaps the old batch are out there.
 
OP
ManicMiner

ManicMiner

in the Skylab landing bay
In the manual, they say to use TRS cables. While you can hook them up with unbalanced TS cables, they are more susceptible to noise. Is it possible that some of the people who experienced noise connected the speakers with unbalanced cables?
Can I ask a question? My Kali speakers are arriving tomorrow. They have an RCA in as well as the TRS in and XLR in.
My soundcard has got RCA outs, and my current speakers (which I am ditching tomorrow) have RCA inputs only.
With the Kali's - is it OK to go with just RCA-to-RCA, or is RCA-to-TRS better ?
 

TigerTheFrog

Reid Rosefelt
Can I ask a question? My Kali speakers are arriving tomorrow. They have an RCA in as well as the TRS in and XLR in.
My soundcard has got RCA outs, and my current speakers (which I am ditching tomorrow) have RCA inputs only.
With the Kali's - is it OK to go with just RCA-to-RCA, or is RCA-to-TRS better ?
The Kalis have dipswitches on the back. If the 8th one is pushed up, it will be set up for RCA inputs.

I could be wrong, but I don't think you will improve much by getting an RCA to TRS cable. If you ever can trade up to a new audio interface, like a Focusrite, that might be better.

RCA.jpg

There's a chart on the back of the speakers that shows how to set up the dipswitches so they fit with your setup. This is one of the features that makes these speakers sound so good, in my opinion. Other speakers in this price range aren't as easy for amateurs to set up.

Kali_LP6_02-aXLIH4k19hgw2BJvISqqezIo5wqphoBx.jpg
 
OP
ManicMiner

ManicMiner

in the Skylab landing bay
The Kalis have dipswitches on the back. If the 8th one is pushed up, it will be set up for RCA inputs.
I could be wrong, but I don't think you will improve much by getting an RCA to TRS cable. If you ever can trade up to a new audio interface, like a Focusrite, that might be better.
Thanks,appreciate it.
I'm going to test the hiss/noise issue. I got a black pair but direct from Kali so I think I should be good. I gather the hiss noise comes when the speaker is idle for a few moments (?)
Apparently their noise issues came with them using Class D Amps, I heard somewhere.
With the newer batch I think they upgraded those.

Regarding a newer interface, I was looking at the Focusrite actually, but have become more interested in the Audient id14.
 

TigerTheFrog

Reid Rosefelt
Regarding a newer interface, I was looking at the Focusrite actually, but have become more interested in the Audient id14.
I think this would be a great move, as the Audient has XLR balanced outputs. I got cables that went from the 1/4" on my Focusrite to XLR.

If you have hiss, you will never be able to test whether the problem is unbalanced cables unless you borrow an interface or buy yourself a new one. I haven't had my Kalis long, but so far I have never experienced any issues with hiss.
 
OP
ManicMiner

ManicMiner

in the Skylab landing bay
EDIT: Just having read the troubleshooting, it does say that if you are using RCA "be aware that these connections are unbalanced and therefore prone to picking up" noises, hissing, hums, crackles etc.
So, I'll have to get hold of a sound card that has balance and test it out properly.


Just got my Kali LP6's today. I do hear a background electrical noise. I recorded what type of noise I am getting below.
Actually when the volume is turned down all the way in Windows and I press the Scroll Page Down button or move a webpage up, I do get a auidble burst of interference.
Here's the noise:


I am using just an inexpensive sound card, the Behringer UM2.
There is a Focusrite at work, I might try that and see if I get better results.
edit:
and this is the noise I get when I press the Page Up key on a webpage in Chrome, even with volume turned right down (each squish noise is a keypress!) :


I am sure there is interference somewhere. I checked if any audio cables were crossing power cables, and they're not , they're completely free.
 
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OP
ManicMiner

ManicMiner

in the Skylab landing bay
I got hold of a focusrite with a balanced TRS to XLR cable out.
Sounded much better.
I can't hear a hiss/crackle from my seat here.
However, when I put my ear right up to the speaker I do still hear a background hiss although much quieter.
I can't expect total silence right, there should be at least a little noise there?
(sorry for the newb question, its my first studio monitors)
 

macca

New Member
A Hum Destroyer worked for me to get rid of electrical noise like when moving the mouse. I had that problem with focusrite and Audient interfaces
 

gpax

Senior Member
With respect to the LP-6 hiss, I’m not doubting that balanced cables may benefit some, though do question an earlier post about dated production “batches.” Could be Kali is sending mixed signals about this?

My detailed email to Kali this past December, providing serial numbers as I bought from a third-party vendor, was answered by a justification that this class of monitor was within the range of being acceptable for the noise it emits. This, even as I described how these chronically sounded like it’s raining outside my studio. My “batch” were of the later white model, btw, and Kali did not clarify with my respect to the info I got here about any earlier production runs. Incidentally, my balanced cables were the same ones connected to my Adam A7s, which have never hissed.

Perhaps it’s obvious that when I contact any support, I am fairly detailed about the info I have, lol. My checklist of questions, and their response, is that this nicely priced monitor is what it is: arguably better than other options in that $300 class/price range, yet with its own inherent caveats.

As for my impressions, I think I got caught up expecting that a decent monitor at such a great price could perform miracles. My experience with the LP-6 was that the annoying hiss was secondary to the way it (mis)handled rigors of midi orchestration. Despite the dip switch settings, these were not adequate for my needs, particularly with mid-range strings. Yet, they did exceed some expectations in other ways.

The initial use was impressive with a focused lower end, especially for some brass, and a crisp tightness with some higher frequencies. But the proof was in the daily use over time, my assessment after a couple of days being that of a surprisingly good monitor when composing sections in isolation, but where, after that first week, the orchestral spectrum never came together for me. I gave them a month, in fact.

I own/use most sample libraries available, and cello, viola, lower violin all sounded tinny and thin - no matter how I adjusted the switches to match placement my room. To my ears, there is/was just a distinct drop-off for a two-way monitor, as can be anticipated even with some higher priced monitors, but where these entry level Kali (now that they have introduced a higher-end three-way) does not hold up to orchestrating/mixing demands I’m looking for. Others may disagree.

In the end, I missed the Amazon window for a return, but have these boxed for some future purpose, if not for cross-referencing mixes if/when I find more space to set them up. My synths sounded great on these, and for the money, I felt these were really good for certain genres, even crisper and more true than my original Adam A7s in some contexts. But a lot of (better) options have debuted in the years since the A7s were released, hence my taking a chance with the cheaper Kali after its glowing reviews.

And hence, I got a bit caught up late last year in muddling this notion of a lower priced monitor’s claims compared to others out of its league. Not a bad monitor in its class, but not designed to compete with a higher quality investment either - I ended up with DynAudio LYD 8s (which I am very happy with). But I took a $300 detour before coming back to the realty of what my needs demand I spend.

This free user review provided as a courtesy by gpax, lol.
 
OP
ManicMiner

ManicMiner

in the Skylab landing bay
I got my Kali speakers last year direct from Kali to be more certain of having a newer batch. The white colour ones are apparently the later batches, but recent runs of the black ones are OK too.
The concern is buying old stock from 3rd party vendors as far as I'm concerned.

I got a SPL meter from work and tested the Db of noise and had to get right close to the cone to register. It registered 53Db just under an inch from the cone. An inch or two away and it goes down < 50Db (my meter does not register below that). I'm sitting 5 feet from them now and can't hear any hiss.
I'd simply be cautious about buying from 3rd party vendors, but get them direct from Kali instead.
I'm very happy with the quality of sound I'm getting from them.
 

pderbidge

Senior Member
And hence, I got a bit caught up late last year in muddling this notion of a lower priced monitor’s claims compared to others out of its league. Not a bad monitor in its class, but not designed to compete with a higher quality investment either - I ended up with DynAudio LYD 8s (which I am very happy with). But I took a $300 detour before coming back to the realty of what my needs demand I spend.
I've read alot of reviews of the LYD 8's and they are all very positive. If I was willing to shell out $1600 on a pair right now these would be the first ones I would test out in that price range. I've looked at the Kali's but I'm not sure they would be much of an upgrade to my LSR305's. I have tried out the Mackie MR524's and I think I like them better for mixing vocals and guitars but for hearing the panning, reverb and anything in a 3D space, I think the LSR's are a bit better at producing a sound with depth. I'll bet the Kali's are very much the same in that regard. I'm going to give the Fluid Audio FX8 or FX80's a try which seem to be an "actual" step up from what I have, but we'll see. They seem to be just a step below the Presonus Sceptre's which I've heard and was very impressed with and are also in the same price range as the Dynaudio LYD series. When I get a chance to try them out I'll have to post a review of my thoughts but I'll have to do some mixes with them first because just hearing a speaker, no matter how good it sounds, doesn't really tell you how they perform when it comes to the critical task of mixing.