"I have been looking for a while for a powerful amplifier to go with my Boenicke W5SEs. I was aware that they ideally need a reasonable amount of power to bring them alive but trying to find something that was within budget was a struggle.
I have tried a number of amplifiers over the years from the likes of Karan, Gryphon, Primare, Sugden, Croft, Linn, Musical Fidelity……the list goes on.
More recently, I had been using an Audiozen amplifier from Italy that is rated at 170 watts per channel into 4 ohms. It sounded fine and had a reasonable amount of drive for the W5SE’s. I always felt though that the little Boenickes could give more if they had an amplifier with a greater power output.
I had read great things about the EX-M1 amplifier. The unanimous view from owners and reviewers is that this is an amplifier that performs well above it’s asking price. It was when I read that there seemed to be a particular synergy with Boenicke speakers that my interest was piqued and felt that the amplifier was well worth taking a chance on.
Within hours of delivery and set up I realised that I had made the right decision. Firstly, it is clear that the amplifier is built to an extremely high standard. The metal finish is wonderful to behold and huge volume and input controls are smooth and responsive as they should be.
As for the sound it is simply breathtaking. The way that it has brought the Boenicke speakers alive is a wonder to behold. Suddenly there was bass that wasn’t there before. The lower notes of any music I played was rock solid. As for the soundstage this suddenly extended beyond the speakers. Instruments are now beautifully separated with a palpable sense of musicians and their instruments in the room. The fact that the amp with the W5SE’s can create this illusion even at the lowest volumes is amazing to experience.
I can find nothing to criticise and suspect that it will be my end game amplifier.
Mr Liu should be congratulated on his creation – it is truly a marvel and should be heard by a wider audience."
Credit: Rob Moores @ UK