Wasn't Kinki Studio all the rage when they first came on the US scene with a quasi-US Distributor? It seemed like there was no shortage of positive feedback and people who either owned one and were blown away or people who wanted one and couldn't stop posting about them.
Now that there is a new Distributor, why so quiet? Where did all the hype go?
Some of the hype may have followed reviews; I don't know, I don't pay much attention to other reviewers - I'm too busy with my own.
The Kinki EX-M1+ Integrated just made a big splash in my system this past week with a super-hot performing new DAC under review. A truly outlandish combo, the best result I have obtained from the EX-M1+. I was running them with the Legacy Audio Whisper DSW Clarity Edition speakers, and having a VERY good time!
I have owned one of the original EX-M1's with the gain switch for almost two years and about two months ago acquired one of the new 2020 versions of the M1+ and am very happy with both in two different systems. Am seriously considering buying one of the M7 power amps that Srajen just reviewed to see how it sounds. You now purchase direct from Kinki in the US with no middle man at all.
After reading all the rave reviews I bought one back in Nov 2018. I quickly sold it after 2 months. It was very detailed, but in my experience it had no bass. Brought it over to two friends systems to see if it was any better, unfortunately it was not. Looked really cool though.
Coverage goes up, then goes down, as with all things. I still have the first version and sometimes find myself lusting for the newest version with the newer volume control and exposed gold anodized heat sinks. It also has better quality connectors inside.
Whether it sounds better is up for opinion, but it sure looks better. As for the comment on the lack of bass, I find the opposite experience in my system. With my JBL 4319’s 12" woofers, I get really deep, textured and finely delineated bass. Acoustic or electronic bass can really excite my room, not to mention I can feel it in various parts of my body, and boy, can it punch and kick when needed.
I’d love to see Kinki come out with a lower powered integrated like the Bakoon, of around 100 watts/channel or less, in a smaller form factor and see how it fares.
Custom server/streamer/renderer running HQ Player, Roon library. Standard laptop-type PS > primary NUC; HD Plex 200W LPS > renderer, same HD Plex > outboard regulator > DAC fixed analog output > EX-P7 > Electrocompaniet class AB 350W @ 2 ohm power amp.
Only glitch is that occasionally (once every 2-3 weeks) my Kinki gets hinky and ignores the remote; switch EX-P7 mains off/on and it’s fine (of course the main and 2 sub amps must be off during this process).
I’d like to see a HT bypass and it offered in black. Current version deleted the rear panel gain switch; full gain range is via variable speed volume control steps of 1 dB. I also would not mind variable volume step size, some parts being .5 dB.
HQ Player allegedly has "zero loss" digital volume. I AB tested the HQ Player digital volume several times vs. Kinki analog; the latter just positively incinerates the former, not in the same zip code. Some get the opposite results, but in every single AB test I detest going direct and always prefer using a good analog preamp.
Maybe some applications need balanced preamp and power amp; in my application the unbalanced Kinki is dead quiet even with true 94 dB speakers. With ear 2" from the mid bass or stuck in the mid-treble horn (1.3k Hz) noise is barely audible at very high SPL. And that's with preamp > 8 foot RCA > power amp.
I ordered an EX-M7 this morning so I will see if I agree with Srajen on that model too over the next couple of weeks. I've used my M1 and M1+ with multiple different speakers from the Fritz Carrera Be to the Verity Otello to the Spatial Audio M3TM and never found bass response to be an issue with any. At the present my original M1 is set up with the Carrera's and the M1+ with Nola KO's.
Man, I was close to buying that one for sale in mexico; it was about 3 weeks ago. I decided against it because I just need to hang on to my money with the current situation of things. I also have some Carrera BE’s. I’m super happy with my set-up so at least theres that, but I have lusted after a kinki for awhile.
anyone replace the op amps? The gentleman selling that kinki in mexico has some sparkos for sale for anyone interested..
Had the Kinki monoblocks, amazing for the $, sold them to fund a new CODA amp. I am pretty sure though the Kinki designer could do a CODA knockoff for 75% less just like he did to Goldmund. Seems there are fewer and fewer US/Euro hifi manufacturers looking to compete in the sub 5K amp market bcuz of sharks like him in the water.
Hi @jackd , how did you go with the ex M7 ? The sound is great but with a small hiccup , for some reason when playing some low frequency at higher volumes seems to cause DC spikes tripping the speaker protection , Kinki sent me a new control board to raise the DC threshold made it better but still not 100 percent .
I have been using mine with the Supratek Chardonnay and the only issue I had with it going into fault mode was with the 5AS4 fast start-up rectifier as opposed to Mick's recommendation of the 5AR4 whose slow start up doesn't cause the EX-M7 issues. Other than that I haven't had any problems and I don't really push the combination much past the mid-80's db mark. I checked with Mick at Supratek before I bought the EX-M7 to see if I could expect any problems and even though he is not a fan of direct coupled amps he assured me there would be no DC problems. I also have a PS Audio BHK preamp and a fully upgraded Sonic Frontier Line 2 SE+ but I haven't tried them with it yet. Both are fully balanced so not expecting a problem but you never no until you try.
The pairing of the Carrera Be and the Kinki is great. Actually Fritz had the same pairing and admitted to me that he sold his Kinki Integrated too soon without giving it enough time to break-in properly. He realized it when he went to a customers house and heard the pairing with an amp that had many hundreds more hours than his did. Since the Carrera's have been rotated through three different systems during the space of almost a year they have been fronted by the PS Audio BHK 250, Van Alstine Vision SET 400 and the Kinki EX-M7 all combined with the Supratek Chardonnay preamp. Also tried them with the newest 2020 version of the EX-M1+ and the Audia Flight FL Three S. Any if the three integrateds would be a good choice. The two Kinki's just have a slightly different look and a different volume control module which with the Carrera's lower sensitivity doesn't matter. They are more on the neutral side than the warmer voiced Audia Flight which from Fritz's description to me would be closer to the Belles Aria. So it kind of comes down to what direction you want the Carrera's to go in. They will let you know what amp is on the other end.