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NI KA6 Mkll Review Sept 2019.

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NI KA6 Mkll Review Sept 2019.

Postby ef37a » Sun Aug 25, 2019 11:59 am

Everso pleased though I was to see Robin Vincent's review of a KA 6 I was rather miffed that a couple points were missed that I would have liked to have seen covered?

No mention of the quality of the microphone pre amps. The ones on my Mk1 are very quiet but 6dB more gain would be handy. Have NI done this and if so are they still as quiet?

The Mk has very poor phantom power capabilty, no doubt due to the AI doing so much with just bus power. I would liked NI to have improved this even at the expense of providing external power. I also hope the extra headphone output is not at the expense of performance in other areas? The original was not exactly deafening anyway!

Lastly, much space was given to the DC coupled outputs. Ok, not in the least interesting to me but even so, went on a bit IMHO at the expense of stuff I would liked to have read. Oh, and it is a shame NI have dropped the Cubase bundle?

When the Mkll was announced I spent some time trying to find a proper specification and user manual for it. No joy. Since posting the above I have tried again. Again no joy, just a scabby "quick start guide". People have complained to NI about this lack and I add my voice to them. I have been keen to the point of hissing people off in my reccy of the KA6! I shall keep my council now until NI do some decent documentation. Has the management been captured by Uli mayhap?

Dave.
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Re: NI KA6 Mkll Review Sept 2019.

Postby Folderol » Sun Aug 25, 2019 12:39 pm

Interesting. I had no idea they'd released an update. Actually, there isn't anything there that I'd want over and above my existing one. However when doing a search for it on-line the first item I found was a complaint that it doesn't respond the MIDI except with other Komplete kit. I did notice that the person making the complain had it plugged into a USB3 socket, and I've had strange behavour when doing that with various bits of USB2 kit. I did try to post about that here, but it seems the Internet grue ate it :(
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Re: NI KA6 Mkll Review Sept 2019.

Postby blinddrew » Sun Aug 25, 2019 2:36 pm

I didn't think the DC coupled bit was overdone, given it's such a rare thing, especially at this price point but, like Dave, I was surprised there was no commentry about the quality / range of the pre-amps.
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Re: NI KA6 Mkll Review Sept 2019.

Postby ef37a » Sun Aug 25, 2019 3:14 pm

blinddrew wrote:I didn't think the DC coupled bit was overdone, given it's such a rare thing, especially at this price point but, like Dave, I was surprised there was no commentry about the quality / range of the pre-amps.

Yes Drew, I was being a bit picky there! I complained about the lack of pre amp info before I had tried to find a specification. Robin can hardly check the quoted figures if he is not given them!

Nice to see that at least the drivers and latency qualities have held up. I have often thought NI should make a bigger, better AI? Four mic pres and four lines in and out plus ADAT, keeping the superb drivers of course. If they could bring that to market at about £350 I think they would have a winner? They could knock the bundled software on the head to keep costs down? SO much free stuff about now.

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Re: NI KA6 Mkll Review Sept 2019.

Postby robinv » Mon Sep 02, 2019 4:57 pm

ef37a wrote:No mention of the quality of the microphone pre amps. The ones on my Mk1 are very quiet but 6dB more gain would be handy. Have NI done this and if so are they still as quiet?

Dave.

Fair point Dave. I sat and stared at the mic inputs for a long time contemplating how I can review them to any useful degree. I don't have the sort of test equipment required to make scientifically useful measurements and so it would be a matter of saying "these sound good to me" which didn't feel very helpful either. So I felt that with mic preamps at this price point they are all going to be very similar and what I should focus on is the features and attributes that I can give a genuine test or opinion on.

As you pointed out there haven't been any published specifications to compare it to a previous version and I don't have one of those to do an AB test. I did do some test recordings and saw/heard nothing unusual and so nothing prompted me to look any further.

So how good are the preamps? They are as good as you'd expect them to be - yeah, I wish I could have been more helpful and I'll take that on board for next time.

Cheers
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Re: NI KA6 Mkll Review Sept 2019.

Postby ef37a » Mon Sep 02, 2019 6:53 pm

Hi Robin, very nice of you to reply to me. I trust you did not find my comments too impertinent!

I am you see a bit of an audio dinosaur, when I was reading reiviews in Studio Sound or Hi Fi News (before it went silly!) they were pretty much all done by engineers and there would be a goodly list of specifications and wo betide a manfctr who did not meet their claims!

But times change and I can understand that the sheer volume of new stuff coming out now means those old, in depth reveiws are rarely now possible. That does NOT however let Native Instruments off the hook! They really should publish a detailed specification for the product and a decent handbook.

Thanks again,

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Re: NI KA6 Mkll Review Sept 2019.

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Mon Sep 02, 2019 7:10 pm

ef37a wrote:But times change and I can understand that the sheer volume of new stuff coming out now means those old, in depth reveiws are rarely now possible.

There's more to it than that. Back then there was still quite a difference in performance between different products and the tech specs were a good way to differentiate the good, the bad, and the middling. Added to which, most of the readership of those magazines were technically trained or aware.

Neither is really true today. The differences in tech specs between equipment at the budget extremes is generally pretty small these days, and relatively few potential putchasers can interpret or understand the numbers anyway. People don't tend to make purchase decisions based on the tech specs anymore, it's much more on price, brand, hype and fashion... ;-)
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Re: NI KA6 Mkll Review Sept 2019.

Postby robinv » Mon Sep 02, 2019 7:12 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote: People don't tend to make purchase decisions based on the tech specs, it's much more on price, brand, hype and fashion... ;-)

And I am all about the fashion :bouncy:
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Re: NI KA6 Mkll Review Sept 2019.

Postby James Perrett » Mon Sep 02, 2019 9:00 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:Added to which, most of the readership of those magazines were technically trained or aware.

I'm sure that there was also an element of Top Trumps for some readers - 'My amp can deliver one watt more than yours'. :bouncy:
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