Kinki EX M1 user comments


I’m really happy with the sound of my EX M1, and I’d like to encourage folks to post their comments as they join the user base. I started using mine around August 24, and though I was skeptical about just how good the sound would be, or that it would improve over time, I was wrong on both counts. 

Also, I hope folks will note engineering or other changes as they occur. So far, there is a gain switch and a ground jumper, and silver rather than black remotes versus the original.

Let’s start hearing from new users! 
maritime51
Darn it! That leaves me out. In the cold. Brrrr....

On a more serious note, I'd also like to hear what users with the gain switch have to say about it. So far, one user said he prefers the switch in the "off" position as when it's engaged, he can hear the dilution of the quality of the sound. 

It makes me wonder if adding it, at the request of some, may have somewhat negatively affected the sound. That's not a knock on the Kinki as, to my ears, it sounds wonderful, as is (mine was a first gen model and I'm glad not to have that feature). In the end, it could very well be just a miss match of sorts with the other gear being used.

All the best,
Nonoise
I ordered a new unit on Friday. I will let you guys know what I think of my initial impressions as soon as it gets here! Will be using it with my Harbeth 30.2. Unfourtanetly, the pass labs gear will be gone when the JBL comes, so I won't have a chance to compare the Kinky vs the Pass. I have no doubt that the Kinky will be the better amp in terms of what kind of sound qualities I'm looking for. Anyway, stay tuned.
Jesus, I’ve used high gain from the beginning. Diluted sound?  Who knew....
D2, are you in B.C., or Alberta?  Or....
maritime51,

I would greatly appreciate it if you would refrain from taking the Lord’s name in vane on this forum. I find it offensive and inappropriate. Thank you in advance.

Dave.
Uh, Christ, man, learn to spell. 🙀

How vain of you. 👀
Jesus, I love this amp. 😍
The Kinki is still in the running as an upcoming possible choice so glad to hear this thread is still in the discussion of the EX M1's strengths.
Using high gain, for me the sound is lush and lovely. Wonder what would happen if I flipped it off?  😜
will try the gain sw tonite ..had mine for a week today..sounds great..really an improvement & great amp....next up is  a DAC
kinki or denafrips ..leaning twd the pontus
Are you using high or low gain?  I’ve never used low gain. My typical listening level is between 15 and 20 with a Bluesound node 2, set to about 90% gain. I’m delighted with high gain, but curious about none. 👀
not sure whatever it came set as ....I think its up?
have a BS vault also...around the same vol level  though I do pump up 
a bit when no ones around   ...DB app says I'm usually around 85

Look on the back for a high gain toggle. They come set to high.

Budda, this is a great amp!  🙀
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mine was set to low  I believe (down) I toggled it up &
immediately it was louder ..was at almost 40 volume  down ..
put it up & had to turn the vol down to 20 something

sounds great
hey guys I will make my own thread later but here is my first initial impression based on the 2-3 hours i've listened to it:
sounds amazing right out of the box. sweeter sounding mids, more air and separation between the instruments, more clarity, more depth. i will do some a/b between the pass tonight to figure out which really is the better amp but I am experiencing a more emotional connection to the music due to the sweeter sounding midrange.
if you compare the unit to my pass stack, which costed approx $11,000 USD retail in 2015 when they were purchased (not by me, but more esteemed members of this community who I purchased from them) but yeah if you compare it to that, this is an incredible bargain considering it quite possibly out performs the pass stack I have.

expect lots more info soon
my unit was switched to lo gain from the off set, im currently using lo gain. ive found that anything above 20 on high gain is too loud, low gain lets me fine tune the volume with a bit more finesse. though when im stressed im much more sensitive to sound, its possible i will prefer high gain later on.
Welcome to the club. 👍😘

on reflection you you may be right about gain. On high, the steps are not quite fine enough so I think I’ll switch!  
I think it's wonderful that the Kinki can bring you up and out of your doldrums. I really believe the sweetness you allude to is a result of the accuracy you're experiencing. The resultant responses that one goes through as one hears something properly done is rewarding in and of itself, like one of those "Eureka!" moments. 

I don't have the gain switch and don't mind, at all, the immediate hearing of something, even at it's lowest setting. Having .25db steps in volume still allows me a mighty fine level of volume control. I prefer it to the over quarter turn of the volume dial on my Marantz before I could enjoy anything.

All the best,
Nonoise
This may interest some. I sold my 20 year Mac preamp and amp to buy a Rotel rc/rb 1590 combo. I loved the rotel until I heard the Kinki. I kept the Rotels, and today added a Cambridge Audio Cxc transport, using the internal dac. Initially, the rotels sounded thinner and with less soundstage but wonderful detail from the internal dac. As they warmed up, bass and midrange got better, as did the soundstage, but never made it to the lush, full/fulsome level of the Kinki. Close, but no cigar. So, I’ll keep them all, but the Kinki is the clear winner, at half the price, but no flexibility. If I had to choose, it would be the Kinki but I’m glad to have both. 
I will make a point to touch upon this fact when I finish my writeup but this is something everyone needs to know. The Kinki Studio outperformed my Pass stack, which had a retail of $11k new. How do you like them apples?
I like them apples for sure. 👍
I know it’s not appropriate to say the Kinki is a giant slayer, so how about a giant handicapper, or equalizer. Like Samuel Colt made all men the same, the Kinki too, levels the playing field, if not seismically upsets it.

All the best,
Nonoise
If the Kinki was a intergrated in the style of Accuphase/ Luxman then I would be very interested, I have grown tired of the minimalist approach, but it looks like a fine amp in that minimal design style.
My simple guess is that more would mean less of a lush, lovely sound....

D2, how was the Mission Hill?  🙀
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I find that you stop listening to the amp and start listening to the music. 
Yes, that is to say, what amp?  😀
Agreed. Though I'm still enamored of the looks, it's a distant second to the music. Now, I just sit back. listen, and fade away.........

All the best,
Nonoise
You and your stinking Darwin cables. You got me into this mess. 🙀👍😘
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Guilty as charged. 😄
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Sounds like D2 is AWOL. Maybe try Burrowing Owl instead?  🦉
dlcockrum, some find belief in nonsense inappropriate and offensive,
I can almost see d2girls playing CD after CD, not believing what's being heard, much too busy to talk right now. That, and wasn't it around this time that those JBLs were to arrive? 115 lbs. apiece makes for a very time consuming task.

All the best,
Nonoise
And, they’ve had early snow....👍
Haven’t had a moment yet to really write up my thoughts on the kinky, busy with family matters and setting up things for the Jbl. I have been listening to the amp for quite a bit. But I got the JBL coming so now we got a whole new can of worms to open. Speaking of which, Christmas came early for me: https://imgur.com/a/1xpIG42
I’m using low or no gain now, and have better control. Thanks, d2!👍

same lush, full sound....
Nothing like seeing those JBL boxes, sitting patiently, waiting to be heard. I think that Christmas gift will be the gift that keeps on giving.
🎅🎅🎅

All the best,
Nonoise
Haven’t had a moment yet to really write up my thoughts on the kinky, busy with family matters and setting up things for the Jbl. I have been listening to the amp for quite a bit. But I got the JBL coming so now we got a whole new can of worms to open. Speaking of which, Christmas came early for me: https://imgur.com/a/1xpIG42

Huge congratulations! I love mine and I know you'll love yours. Enjoy!
Thanks @mikepowellaudio  First read comes across as quite contradictory. I'll take another read tomorrow morning.
Dawid is a seasoned reviewer and his personal integrated, the hybrid Triology 925 is among the best available and priced at around $17k. 
Sometimes things don't translate perfectly. I think that's why some may think at times it sounded like the reviewer had a complaint. But he didn't as he bought the Kinki without a second thought. All he did was to view it comparatively against the British gear, which naturally did a couple of things better, or equaled. 

Thanks for the link, Mike.

All the best,
Nonoise

I wanted the review to be not so great because this unit is tempting me and I have just purchased another.  Its funny though, I am a read between the lines kind of person and although I was reading the review really late last night, I came away thinking the reviewer considered the Kinki outstanding with just a little thinner bass than his reference.

Mind telling me what made you think otherwise? 

That about sums it up. The reviewer felt the British gear had the edge with a bit more authoritative base. That can all change with a different set of speakers or cabling.

I say that because my old Clear Wave Duet 6 monitors don't sound as good in the base with the Kinki when I use silver speaker cables, but is great with the copper cabling that I have. And, this all goes contrary to how it used to sound with my Marantz (good with copper but even better with silver). There are too many variables that aren't considered when the reviewer uses only one set up.

All the best,
Nonoise
Dead thread?  Just got a Schitt Loki mini for mine!  Great little addition.