The 7T also made some recordings sound slightly harsh in the 2–4kHz range if careful attention was not paid to speaker placement, particularly toe-in. Very careful placement was also needed with the 7T to mitigate bass overload in my room; in a larger room, the 7T’s bass output was just right without much placement optimization. The Kipod’s bass was more defined in pitch and better integrated with the midrange.
The Kipod also imparted a good deal more resolution of fine detail and of timbre, and came across as generally more revealing and airy. It also sounded more tonally neutral and threw a larger soundstage. Of course, the price difference makes the comparison completely unfair to the 7T, but it is all I had on hand for direct comparison. I have heard quite a few systems with speakers costing more than the Kipod in people’s homes and at consumer shows. While I hesitate to make definitive judgments based solely on those experiences, there is no question that the Kipod II Signature Passive is a truly accomplished speaker in its own right.
I have no significant sonic “gotchas” to report. Even though the main module is only 7" wide, I heard no power-range-robbing baffle-step issue, which can crop up on narrow-baffle designs, so I can’t fault the Kipod there. Its treble was clear and extended, and had no harshness or graininess—still no glaring fault. All kinds of music were well served by the Kipod, from hard-driving rock to solo classical guitar to full orchestral works, so I can’t call it a small ensemble or rock ’n’ roll specialist. The Kipod’s price puts it out of reach of a lot of music lovers, and it should be mated with high-quality associated gear and a fairly powerful amplifier, further raising the price of realizing its full potential. On the other hand, its build-and parts-quality and, indeed, its sound quality are in keeping with its price. Its low bass may sound just a bit reserved to listeners who are used to the more heavy-handed bass-reflex designs. A minor ergonomic note: The oval-shaped (YG logo) binding-post tightening nuts are spaced too closely together to fit your fingers around the nuts to tighten them, at least if one of the oval knobs is in a horizontal position.
The Kipod II Signature Passive is an impressive speaker all around. It is a detailed and musically engaging vehicle through which listeners can traverse their collections, no matter what kind of music they favor. With state-of-the-art mini-monitor-like resolution and soundstaging, coupled with a dynamic and frequency envelope a mini would envy, the Kipod II Signature Passive offers something I had all but given up on: a high performance, full-range speaker in a package skillfully scaled to fit in smaller rooms. Bravo.
Driver complement: 1" YG softdome tweeter, 6" YG BilletCore midrange (main module); 9" YG BilletCore woofer (bass module)
Woofer loading: Sealed
Impedance: 8 ohms nominal, 5 ohms minimum
Cabinet: Aircraft-grade aluminum; ballistic-grade-aluminum tweeter waveguide
Dimension: 7" x 16" x 13" (main module); 12" x 41" x 17" (bass module)
Weight: 122 lbs.
Price: $38,800 per pair, available in silver or black