EX-M1 | Paolo Boccardi
For a music fan like me, listening to it at its best is an extraordinary pleasure. To literally rediscover one's favorite music through high-end equipment, I think it's one of the greatest pleasures of a passionate audiophile. And that's what happened to me lately, during the Kinki-studio Integrated Amplifier EX-M1 listening sessions: let's face it, to avoid misunderstandings, it's an extraordinary device.
Going in order, let’s frame the quality of my small audio plant. It is based on a PC server source assembled by me with the utmost care in every component (primarily the power supply), fanless pc player powered with an iPower ifi to minimize noise and daphile (alternating jriver on windows 10) to drive the two components . A Pontus Denafrips as a Dac, it’s already a year since it arrived in my home, and a pair of Pylon Diamond Monitor that I chose recently after a careful selection of speakers with excellent ratio / quality like Proac, PMC, ATC and B & W (before the Pylon I had just a pair of B & W cm6 s2). Rca cables, power and usb of different origins and that I often change between self-made and branded (Wireworld above all). Finally, Wireworld oasis 7 cables as power cables.
Surely, I'm an audiophile very attentive to the budget, always looking for the best quality at the best price: I would never have thought to listen to a device without compromise with a truly competitive price (about 1800 € excluding duties).
The Kinki EX-M1 has very good features: 215W in a load of 8 ohms, class AB. It has linear R2R volume control (non-log) from 0 to 255 which allows up to even night listening. With respect to my environment and my preferences, I have never exceeded the value of 70.
The frame is completely made of aluminum (as well as the remote control made from a single piece of this metal), very often (without any kind of vibration) and acts as a heat sink (it has upper holes with cooling channels): the case it becomes particularly hot, so it needs the right ventilation. Looking at the interior photos on the internet, it appears immediately the extreme order and cleanliness of the assembly: a symmetry and a design that makes me understand the extreme care in the engineering phase, at least in my perspective
How does it sound? I always look for a well-balanced sound, with great detail, but not at the expense of pleasure. Kinki sounds refined, with a huge dynamic with basses that are always precise, extended and never pimpy. The average frequencies are very pleasant and never blatant or aggressive: a clarity also given by the absolute silence that helps to perceive the smallest details. With the Roksan the voices were slightly backward, here everything seems in the right place and it is as if a further veil has been removed: the virtual stage of the sound reconstruction has an extraordinary intelligibility. Soundstage that is also very broad (wider than the Roksan that I had previously) in all the different situations and musical genres. I do not have a dedicated environment, but a living room and the Kinki EX-M1 has shown that the higher is the quality (and what a quality!), the more the sonic results are heard on every occasion. I have listened to different musical genres and all the songs and compositions that I know well and which I also use for the tests in my environment. Rock, jazz, great orchestral works all sound great and you have a great sense of presence and position of brass, strings, wind instruments. The keyboards of the prog, the batteries of the strongest rock, the guitars (from acoustic to the more electric ones) and last but not least the pianos, rise to a naturalness and pleasantness that I only listened to in the high-level installations that I had the pleasure to listen to.
Beautiful voices: from the feminine jazz and the warmth of the male rock voices to the extent and the magic of the voices of works most dear to my musical tastes. It's an integrated no-frills, it has no BT connections, built-in dacs (unfortunately it does not have balanced but 'simple' XLR inputs): everything sounds great and very good at all volumes.
It's only been a month since I've had this beautiful device: the spark has fired immediately and after several hours of listening it's true audiophile love. Each song is always brought to a conclusion: listening to it again and again is really a pleasure and I tend to turn up the volume to satisfy more and more the ears, the mind and the heart. And, last but not least, to rediscover pieces of music that I have not heard since a long time. Even risking of repeating myself: the more you listen to it, the more you want to listen to it.
This is a product highly recommended to all those audiophiles who want to make a huge leap in quality with the right amount, savoring excellent sound quality every day. I have not found anything that sounds like this in its price range. Without ifs and buts.
Finally I have to say thanks to Alvin of Vinshine audio for his extreme kindness and cordiality, and to Claudio De Pasquale, without which I would not have known this brand.
Explanatory note regarding shipping: apart from having all the certifications of the case, the parcel arrived from China with a strong attention to each details in order to protect the product in the best possible way. Double super-rigid cardboard packaging to ensure perfect transport.
Credit: Paolo Boccardi