Kreisel Sound DXD-12012 and Quattro Stack Review

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Reviewed by Russell Williams, 7th November 2012. Where the DXD-12012 Quattro is concerned, there needs to be a 'Weapons Grade' mark on the scoring scale.
Read the full review...
 

sammy the squid

Distinguished Member
Another well balanced and well written review Russell..even though I've seen/heard it...its nice to read your written piece on it:smashin: must dash now, as I need to adhere to your advice and focus on my fronts:grin


Asif
 

hifix

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
I enjoyed reading that - I want three more now! :laugh:

It is nice to see the fruits of someone's lifelong labour praised so highly - especially when it is deserved. I have to admit Russ, this review is better than I thought it would be :smashin:
 

the_dude2

Well-known Member
Great review! After hearing one myself recently it really tempts me into getting a home demo to see what it is like in my familiar environment. Or just getting one anyway!!
 

Apone

Well-known Member
Thanks for the review:thumbsup:

It seems Ken has lost none of his magic:)
 

Darkstar_surfer

Well-known Member
As always another very well written review with a good sense of balance to keep the reader engaged. :smashin:

And I will take your recommendation very seriously and avoid a demo like the plague. :D
 

kbfern

Distinguished Member
In the words of the Bond movie soundtrack "No body does it better" Russ your reviews are epic.The only problem is every time I read one of your reviews it makes me want to rush out and buy.:D
 

sergiup

Distinguished Member
The only problem is every time I read one of your reviews it makes me want to rush out and buy.:D
That's more or less how I ended up with the XTZ's... My cards are doomed, I reckon there's about a 10% chance that I won't end up getting 1+ of these sometime, most likely after buying a house.
Thanks Russ, you're simultaneously possibly the best and worst thing that happened to my AV addiction :smashin:
 

True Romance

Distinguished Member
In the words of the Bond movie soundtrack "No body does it better" Russ your reviews are epic.The only problem is every time I read one of your reviews it makes me want to rush out and buy.:D
Oh dear Keith, thats 3 things you need to buy now....:D
 

kbfern

Distinguished Member
No way Neil the 12012 is £2k and way beyond my budget mate, the 808 maybe but not till I get this damn receiver sorted.:rolleyes:
 

mikelj

Well-known Member
No way Neil the 12012 is £2k and way beyond my budget mate, the 808 maybe but not till I get this damn receiver sorted.:rolleyes:
To make matters worse, I can definately recommend the 808 if you can't stretch to/accomodate the 12012.

Ignoring the differences that the bigger enclosure and drivers of the 12012 make, Russ's comments on the sound characteristics of the 12012 apply to the 808.
 

Doomlord_uk

Well-known Member
I have been following KK/Kreisel Sound on Facebook for a while so I knew what was in the pipeline from this company... and it was most satisfying to read such an excellent review. Normally long reviews can be a bit of a drag, but not this one. Technically informative and enthusiastic in equal measure, just as it should be :) And just like the equipment should be too!

You didn't make any comment on HOW you assembled the Quattro stack, btw. These subs must be heavy, even without the monster drive units usually found in subs. How exactly did you safely put the third and fourth units up? Was it really a one-man job or did you need assistance? and would you recommend that to any potential buyers of Quattro stacks?

I am also interested to know if you tried using a pair of 12012s in stereo - one per channel? It will be interesting to see how KKs new speakers turn out, and I hope you will be reviewing them! I will be keen to see how they pair with these subs to make true full-range systems. I've twice run hifi systems in the past with dual subs, one per channel, and I've always felt it was a very natural way to extend the range of a loudspeaker to true full range, with the acoustic centre of the sub (at it's upper, locatable rolloff point) in time-alignment with the speakers.

I do appreciate one comment you make, a point rarely alluded to or appreciated by many in the 'reference' sound reproduction market - your ears are your limit. Yes, few systems can *cleanly* exceed our hearing limits - and that's important as distorted sound causes disproportionately more hearing damage - so it's worth knowing what those systems are. It's equally or perhaps even more worth knowing that sustained exposure to high SPLs can and will cause lasting hearing damage. I'd be genuinely curious to know whether you, as the reviewer, have experienced any ringing or tinnitus as a result of listening at or close to the limit of what you consider your hearing to be. This bears back on what level of SPL is really desirable in a domestic living space and thus how much equipment is really needed. For my part, I more or less avoid going to the local cinema now because I know I will find the SPLs painful and will leave with ringing ears. I value my hearing, so I stay away. I may or may not go to see Skyfall whilst it's still out, but to be honest for me the price of that could just as well be spent on the Blu-ray.... the point being little art is worth suffering for, if any. Anyhoo...

As for feedback to KK - yes, white would be great, so would wood finishes - at least as a custom option - and also a paintable finish for custom installs.

I haven't seen it, but an active speaker/monitor that matches the 12012 and stacks neatly on it, or between two of them, would be nice - perhaps feed this back too? Or maybe I will anyway via FB.

Overall: :thumbsup:
 

samhain

Well-known Member
It strikes me that reading the commentary carefully, having a duo stack at £4k is really the best solution for someone wanting the best balance between slam and attack but also having a room shaking bottom end that two 12" woofers (no matter how good they are) just can't achieve as a single solution.

If that is the case then buying in stages is a really good way to budget. Most of the customer base is really probably wishing for a one size box fits all but we know that is not possible in the world of subwoofers and there are compromises in every design.
 

Member 96948

Distinguished Member
You didn't make any comment on HOW you assembled the Quattro stack, btw. These subs must be heavy, even without the monster drive units usually found in subs. How exactly did you safely put the third and fourth units up? Was it really a one-man job or did you need assistance? and would you recommend that to any potential buyers of Quattro stacks?
I picked them up and stacked them. I needed steps for the top one. I did enlist help for getting the top two down, as carrying a weight backwards down steps is a lot harder. Forwards and up just requires commitment!

I am also interested to know if you tried using a pair of 12012s in stereo - one per channel? It will be interesting to see how KKs new speakers turn out, and I hope you will be reviewing them! I will be keen to see how they pair with these subs to make true full-range systems. I've twice run hifi systems in the past with dual subs, one per channel, and I've always felt it was a very natural way to extend the range of a loudspeaker to true full range, with the acoustic centre of the sub (at it's upper, locatable rolloff point) in time-alignment with the speakers.
We are slated to get first dibs on the new speakers.

I run stereo, or rather dual mono subwoofers, which sit just outside of my stereo pair - whatever they happen to be at the time. I do not use them to extend the range of the main speakers in the normal 'hi-fi' way, as just rolling them under the mains, ignores most of what a sub (or two) brings to the party. I run them bass managed and as the wide separation of the two subs does a lot to prevent aural location, I set the crossovers typically in 100-120Hz range. Aside from all the usual increase in headroom/reduction in distortion benefits, this also has the huge benefit of almost completely negating floor bounce, which sucks the upper bass impact of most speakers I've ever measured.

I do appreciate one comment you make, a point rarely alluded to or appreciated by many in the 'reference' sound reproduction market - your ears are your limit. Yes, few systems can *cleanly* exceed our hearing limits - and that's important as distorted sound causes disproportionately more hearing damage - so it's worth knowing what those systems are. It's equally or perhaps even more worth knowing that sustained exposure to high SPLs can and will cause lasting hearing damage. I'd be genuinely curious to know whether you, as the reviewer, have experienced any ringing or tinnitus as a result of listening at or close to the limit of what you consider your hearing to be. This bears back on what level of SPL is really desirable in a domestic living space and thus how much equipment is really needed. For my part, I more or less avoid going to the local cinema now because I know I will find the SPLs painful and will leave with ringing ears. I value my hearing, so I stay away. I may or may not go to see Skyfall whilst it's still out, but to be honest for me the price of that could just as well be spent on the Blu-ray.... the point being little art is worth suffering for, if any. Anyhoo...
To be honest, I listen loud BUT, if the speakers start to sound loud, that's down to distortion and I back the volume off. Protecting ones hearing thus becomes a matter of common sense, being lead by mechanical sympathy. Theoretically, you can turn sub-bass up far louder than the speakers, with little risk, but as I like my bass proportionate to the rest of the frequency range, this seldom happens.

As for feedback to KK - yes, white would be great, so would wood finishes - at least as a custom option - and also a paintable finish for custom installs.
Funnily enough, Ken 'fessed up that was his wife's first comment, when seeing the DXD12012, was with respect to a white option.

I know from personally experience, that wood veneers are a different, very much more expensive proposition in production terms though. It simply doesn't use the same materials off the same production line, which would impact econmies of scale, in a way that changing paint wouldn't. FWIW, I see matte black as a more serious addition to the colour options, as reflective surfaces are distracting in an AV role. If it's flanking a projector screen, gloss finishes do nothing for picture contrast either. As far as a custom painting, the current finish is as paintable as anything out there, so I don't see a need.

Cheers,

Russell
 

Member 96948

Distinguished Member
Thanks for the kind comments, I'm just sorry it took so long. Having 'designed' and built a sub or two (my own are based on hand built 15" drivers imported from The States in 105L sealed cabinets) I took more than an average interest in the DXD-12012.

Most subwoofers follow a fairly standard recipe, with few commercial subwoofers, regardless of what they claim, straying much from a refinement or two of these principles. No matter, because most work very well. But KK has always cut his own cloth, from his own rule book. Most of my time was spent writing and then re-writing the information that he shared (and by share, I mean we exchanged multiple 1000+ word emails), into a form that illustrated why he does it that way. Frankly, a lot of the technical details left my head spinning and I've got half an idea, so disseminating this into something readable, was the bulk of the work. I hope I struck the balance between being interesting, technically in depth and yet not sounding like an advert for the brand.

To be fair, if he keeps turning stuff of this standard out, the reviews will do that job anyway.:)

Russell
 

Simon Crust

Movie Reviewer
Excellent review mate.

I don't know how you manage to go back to your own kit after auditioning some of the remarkable kit that you do - I'd never want to give these back :D

Simon
 

Doomlord_uk

Well-known Member
Well, it's up to KK Sound but by the sound of it these subwoofers work perfectly as music/stereo subwoofers and sold and used in that context, wood finishes would I think greatly enhance the domestic market for them. It's not that unusual for the market to bear the cost of premium finishes - look at ATC for example, who are in a very similar position to KK Sound in that their products span both professional and domestic markets.
 

hifix

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
Russ - I'm assuming the Reference Status is being awarded to both the Quattro stack and the single DXD12012?
 

hifix

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
The review states it is for the DXD12012 AND Quattro stack hence why I am seeking clarification.
 

Doomlord_uk

Well-known Member
"Back-sidefire"

tee-hee-hee...! :D

Also, he left HD out of the name... though I guess 3D is the new HD? Yeah, I hadn't realised that the Americans had taken a leaf out of the Cheap Japanese Electronics school of marketing. "push-pull-pulsar" indeed... :suicide:
 

samhain

Well-known Member
The review states it is for the DXD12012 AND Quattro stack hence why I am seeking clarification.
Clarification would be appreciated :clap:
 

b3taboy

Standard Member
Dav1dF said:
The review states it is for the DXD12012 AND Quattro stack hence why I am seeking clarification.
From the review.

"The marks as awarded are for the full Quattro stack, with a single DXD-12012 maybe loosing a power handling mark. "
 

mikelj

Well-known Member
Doomlord_uk said:
"Back-sidefire"

tee-hee-hee...! :D

Also, he left HD out of the name... though I guess 3D is the new HD? Yeah, I hadn't realised that the Americans had taken a leaf out of the Cheap Japanese Electronics school of marketing. "push-pull-pulsar" indeed... :suicide:
You can take the mick all you want, but trust me, you wouldn't be laughing once you heard one:).
 

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