Kitty Kat Port Tuning Progress II

Well, after many weeks, it is a long time past when I should have updated my blog. With a major change in employment, a death in the family, other family situations and volunteer assignments, there has been little time to make progress on measurements and final port tuning. However, we have done listening a few hours each week, and made some progress in speaker placement and port tuning.

  • It is clear that the Kitty Kats must be very close to the wall to have any chance of correct bass balance. In our case, we have placed them with a slight toe-in to help improve the imaging. The placement is therefore about 1.5" from the wall on the inside corner, and about 5" on the outside corner.

  • The port seems to match our room best with the straws just at the end of the port, not sticking out at all. We have tried several settings and something between flush and 0.5" out of the port is optimal. We still have to make our measurements to fine tune it but it will probably be in this range at least for the living room. Our recording workstation may be totally different.

  • Even with the best tuning in the living room, the Kitty Kats are too lean for these ears. The bass is very strong for such a small woofer, but it is still not up the level we would like. I think that many listeners would be very happy with them the way they are, but we feel strongly that a subwoofer is needed. There are a few recordings that have sufficient bass on them so that the Kitty Kats sound 'Normal" to us, but only a few. Others that sound balanced on other systems or headphones, are seriously lacking. In addition, a few selections have bass notes with that fall off on the lowest notes in certain passages. Our experience with these recordings tells us that it is not the signal chain but the speakers themselves that are too lean. Other reproducers do not show this problem.

  • The Kitty Kats do have a more natural balance and quality that is superior to the Casitas but only a small amount better. The Casitas are capable of much more than anything we have heard from our home theatre front pair. Perhaps it is because of the superior sources, DAC, and power amplifier in our living room as compared to the 20-year old Kenwood receiver on the other pair and the compressed dolby-digital audio tracks as sources.

  • The Kitty Kats do have a very natural sound however, and are still never strident or harsh in any way. This helps especially with some of our early digital recordings that have a bit of digital hash on the top end. They are pleasant to listen to. We just keep wanting some more bottom.

    Please see the next article in the series ???

Copyright © 2010 David L. Bytheway