Review Kinki Studio EX-M1+

Pros

  • Build quality
  • Power and refinement
  • Price

Cons

  • Limited number of inputs
  • Analog inputs only
  • Prijs: € 2895

    Buid quality
    usability
    Sound
    Price
    Kinky Studio EX-M1

    Set-up

    Contents

    The Kinky Studio EX-M1+ replaces a Ps Audio Stellar Gain Cell Dac and Benchmark AHB2 in our referencesystem below:

    Besides the ATC’s we also played with our Audio Vector QR1’s and two other monitors that we had in house at that time. (JM Reynaud Bliss Jubilee and Vienna Acoustics Haydn Jubilee). We opted for the high gain on all these monitors because the volume then goes up a bit faster. Low gain is more for efficient horn loudspeakers or floorstanders. It is noticeable that the volume does not have to be high to achieve a nice listening level. We’ll soon find out why.

    Sound

    The EX-M1+ produces ink-black backgrounds with an exceptional amount of information coming through. Because of the ATC’s transparent character this is immediately noticeable. The EX-M1+ brings a reproduction that is downright holographic. And this, in combination with a refinement that we have not heard before. At least not in this price range. We even dare to say that the EX-M1+ purely in terms of amplification can go with the amplifiers from our recent multitest. A great achievement!

    Classy

    We try to further describe what is so special about this amplifier. Normally we immediately notice some differences in the low-end, midrange and high frequencies but it seems that the Kinki doesn’t emphasize anything. This can be a very boring and clinical listening experience, but it is by no means the case. As with the excellent Audiolab 6000A, this ensures a natural flow of music. But the EX-M1+ offers more on all fronts. Much more.

    We would describe the sound as light and airy, feather light even with punch speed and resolution. We get a lot of insight into the recording but the totality of the music is not neglected. Our SCM19 V2 monitors are very hard to control but now the music comes effortlessly out of this speaker. The soundstage is wide with excellent imaging. The sweetspot is wider than we’re used to, even on our Audio Vectors which don’t radiate very wide by nature due to their AMT tweeter. All in all, we get a nice 3D picture and not a lot to complain about.

    9 Comments

    1. Greetings,

      I have a Kinki Ex-M1 and i want to upgrade, i see in this review that is compared with the Hegel H390 which was the unit i was aiming for to upgrade over the Kinki, but i m reading that they are contenders, so my question is regardless of the versatility of the H390 having a DAC & Streamer, how do they stack sound wise ONLY, is it worth to upgrade to the Hegel H390 for the sound over the EX-M1 ?

      Thank you and hoping you guys are doing fine ih this contingency

      Warm Regards
      Miguel

        1. Hello Jaap,

          Thanks for your feedback !

          Some have claimed the Hegel is smoother, do you agree ?

          The only think i would like a little a bit more on my Kinki is to be more meatier and a bitty smoother, my PMC Twenty5 26 could benefit on that i guess, any suggestions ?

          Kinki has evolved both Kinki EX-M1 & EX-M1+:

          —-“The new EX-M1 sounds calmer due to the quieter background. Also has more drive due to the higher power encapsulated transformers and 50% more of the capacitors reservoir. There is also improvement to the amp circuitry, preamp and input selector boards”—-

          Regards

          Miguel

        2. I wouldn’t say Hegel is the smoothest sounding amp I know. The Yamaha 3000-series for example is a lot smoother than the H390. I don’t know how that matches on the PMC, but that one is magical on the Focal Sopra. But I guess you need a bit more control in the bass. In terms of control Hegel is very good. But another brand that is well known for control is MOON. You could check that out. It’s a bit smoother than Hegel ánd has the bass-control you need with PMC.

        1. Hi Jaap Veenstra,

          It is me here again, sorry to bother you with my questions:

          It is that just sold my Kinki M1 and first wanted to ask you how do you compare the sound signature of the Kinki vs the H390 ?
          The NEW Kinki has 400VA per channel vs 300VA of the one i just sold, Kinki claims is “calmer” and with a bit more drive, and dont get me wrong i loved my Kinki but wanted a bit more specially that fuller sound, my PMC Twenty5 26 are super fast and transparent and sometimes i felt the combination needed a bit more of air specially in the High frequencies where it can get a bit incisive sometimes, you told me the H390 is not the smoother one, but to clarify, is it smoother than the Kinki, would help me describing the difference sound wise between the two ?

          In the other hand i am also considering (for better possible SQ ) the Kinki M7 with Denafrips Athena Preamp…but if it is possible i want to keep it simple with the Integrated path

          Thank you very much

          Miguel

        2. Questions are always welcome!

          Hegel has a lot of drive. But it’s not the smoothest or most refined. But it’s fun and dynamic. If you want fast and smooth, go for a Yamaha 3000-series. But that one doesn’t have a dac… Don’t know if you need one?

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