So what ever happened to Kinki Studio???

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! 

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The EX-M1+ version sees an added Gain switch on the back. I don't know the numbers of both settings, but quite a difference between them operationally. 
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.

All the best,
My EX-P7G (Goldmund Edition) is fantastic.

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..
@roberjerman, if Kinki made the cover of Stereophile it would cost them so much that they would raise the price of the amps and they would no longer be a bargain.
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. 

Great to hear that you having some great results driving it with the supratek tube preamp ! From memory supratek are OTL coupled right ? 

I guess this issue is only noticeable when driving low sensitivity speakers( mine are ATC scm40 85db) as you will need to really crank up the gain to get loud . 

Correct the Supratek's are transformer coupled and fully balanced. I think the lowest efficiency speaker I have in my stable is the Fritz Carrera Be but it is an easy load.
how does the Kinki pair with the Fritz Carrera BE?  What other amps have you used with the Fritz Carrera BE’s and which was your favorite?

I was close to pulling the Trigger on a Kinki but other financial responsibilities came up.  Still curious though as I’m keeping the Carreras forever and have wanted a Kinki for awhile... 

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.
Hi Jackd—can you give your sonic impressions of the M7 vs the M1+?  I guess to to compare directly you’d need to use the M1+ as the pre for the M7.  I have a Schiit Ragnarok2 and Merlin VSMs, thinking about replacing with the M1+ or using as the pre for the M7 (and therefore keeping the Ragnarok’s headphone amp in the system).  Thanks!!

The M1+ and the M7 are set up in two different systems in two different room so no can't try M1+ as a preamp for M7.  The two amps have the same basic sonic signature the M7 just has more reserve current which I don't think would really be needed with your speakers unless your room is huge. The M1+ is in my Family Room which is 22'x26'x10' driving the Nola KO's and it does so effortlessly.  If you will read Srajen's review he goes into his view of the differences between the integrated and the power amp.  Were I in your shoes I would get the new version of the M1+ and be done.

Thanks for the very helpful feedback.  I just wish the M1+ had a headphone output.
@jackd  Thanks for sharing your impressions, it was very helpful. 

I am thinking about pulling the trigger on the Kinki m7 but I have 3 concerns about it and I hope you help me with those. 1) is it too soft as some others reported? 2) is it lean or thin in the mids (low mids)? 3) is the bass light and not hefty/full like the older Kinki m1?

Don't know where that information is coming from but I haven't found any of those three points to be true in my system. Can't find anything on the internet in my searches where any of those points were made unless your talking about the one You Tube review which I as a rule ignore. I own a first version M1, a 2020 M1+ and the M7 and I find the sound to be pretty consistent between the three models and quite similar to the sound of a Goldmund/Job amplifier.  As in my system your preamp is going to be a big determining factor in the final "sound" of the M7. 
I had an EX M for a few months when they first became popular. If I remember correctly, it benefited greatly from an upgraded power cord.
Referring back to the original post, what did happen to Kinki, at least in the US?

I would be very interested in purchasing the  EX-M1+ int amp. There had been only one authorized US distributor, now that is gone. Would have thought they would have expanded into the US, instead they pulled back. Presently there is only one Canadian (near Toronto) distributor authorized to handle mailorder sales to the entire US.

To me $3kUSD is a lot of money to commit, with having a bit of concern about Kinki's future US support. I do see the value in the product, I'm just wavering on this purchase.
they just announced two service centers in the US. also when you add distributors the price goes up.
The reality the amps aren't as impressive as the universally ultra positive reviews make them out to be. I never heard one but just looking at the internals made me suspicious of it. It looks like a low-cost simple design sold at a hefty markup. For some reason a bunch of hype went out on the forums and and positive-feedback types about how they were a killer value. And the reality is everyone sells them after a while because they're actually not a great value at all. It's frustrating that we're absolutely swamped with ultra positive reviews. It could also be the first distributor ran a marketing campaign.
Sounds like a lot of veiled China bashing, to me. HiFiZero shows 3 for sale in Hong Kong, 5 in Canada and 3 in the US. All on one page. That’s not a lot. USAudiomart has just 1. Searching something like Krell shows many multiples of that running about 4 pages. Just saying.

Oh, and going by the looks and being suspicious sounds like good old trolling. Lots of reviewers still own theirs as well. One in Ireland, at least 3 in Germany, etc. Haters gotta hate, I guess.

All the best,
I happen to be one of those reviewers who found, and continue to find, the EX-M1+ to be a wonderful component, to have excellent build quality, and to have additional value in the flexibility of having 3 operating modes. I use the unit I purchased after review on a regular basis, and it has excellent sound quality. I also wrote about the bonus factor of rolling into it discrete opamps, which elevated the performance more, and which, imo, boosts the value significantly. 

Interested parties can read my review at 

Hi Kinki fans, I have borrower Kinki EX-M1 for home demo. I don’t know what version is it because it has ON/OFF switch in middle from bottom.On the back I have DC filtering ON/OFF switch and also Link/Float switch with two clamps GNG and Earth. What the version of Kinki I got?? Thanks so much.Have look on this picture my look the same:
That's the current version with the better volume control.  Gold heatsinks designate the newest version. 
Many thanks jackd :) I’m glad that I have actual "version" of Kinki :-) I will return my borrowed silver version of Kinki EX-M1 next week. I would probably take EX-M1+ version in black. The black version is mandatory for me because all my gears are in black. I have played with idea take plus version for the future...???? due to preamp output for example to headphone amp or sub woofer or something similar. What do you think guys is it good idea? Many thanks for any suggestions :)

I own the original version of the M1, the EX-M7 and the current EX-M1+ in black.  If you need the extra features of the M1+ now or think you might in the future it is well worth the extra couple of hundred dollars.  I think you might have to spend quite a bit more to get a better sounding integrated. I have used the various Kinki amps with at least eight different pairs of speakers and haven't run into a bad match yet. If the sound fits what you are looking for then just go for it.  
Because the EX-M1+ (I reviewed and own the version just prior to the one with the gold heatsinks exposed; see my review at has such splendid flexibility to be an integrated, preamp or amp, it offers many ways to achieve a superior result. It is not a given that it will sound best as an integrated. Owners should try it also as dedicated pre or dedicated amp. I bought it because it does a fine job as preamp or as amp, too. It's a no brainer for me to have a component that allows me to build so many good systems without clogging up with several other components that may not sound any better. 

Now that class D is showing itself to be superior to class A or A/B amps in some cases, then I'm not so excited by an A/B integrated. However, once again, the flexibility of the EX-M1+ saves it. I would not buy a typical integrated A/B amp nowadays, but with this I can build a lot more interesting systems. So, the A/B amp with all the extra functionality is worth having. Does it guarantee a superior outcome? Of course not; one has to build all the rigs to find the best result, and most will not have the money to commit, or the time or energy to do so. But, it's my thing. So, if you're just going to do an integrated and never experiment with alternative systems or discrete opamps, then imo you're not benefitting from most of what the EX-M1+ offers, the ability to make and compare several iterations of systems to achieve optimized sound (and by that I do not mean SOTA).  

I'll bet the majority of you haven't even thought of some configurations possible, i.e. splitting the pre or DAC out with a Y cable and running one to subs, while running the other to the EX-M1+ as dedicated amp. Or, how about this? Split the preamp out of the EX-M1+ to send four outputs to four channels of amps to passively bi-amp speakers. Would that sound better than bi-wiring with two channels? Perhaps not obvious to some, you would have to build the systems to know. There are so many potential configurations it would make your head spin! A person who simply uses this as an integrated hasn't begun to tap into what can be done with it. It's like a Swiss Army Knife of components. 

If the updated EX-M1+ still offers discrete opamp rolling, I strongly� encourage - obviously, a "do at your own risk" activity! - looking into that as well. I have been most pleased with the Staccato Opamps, and I am using them in both the EX-M1+ and the Eastern Electric Minimax Tube DAC Supreme, with terrific results. 

For the interested, before you begin asking all sorts of questions here, please read my articles on the integrated amp and opamp rolling, as I have several articles about opamp rolling. The inevitable question arises, which opamp is the best? I enjoy mixing and matching them, but the best set that I have used so far - new, upgraded models are coming all the time - is Staccato. 
"The inevitable question arises, which opamp is the best?"

That's easy. No opamp at all.

I'm curious how the Kinki would be used a amp? I was reading the manual and it seems like through through the home theater bypass, you could achieve this.

But, can the Kinki be used as a amp connected to another integrated acting as a pre-amp or directly to a pre-amp?


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Ive owned the Kinki EX-M7 for two months now. My initial interest in it is that it had Exicon MOSFETs which Ive known to be stellar for audio. I wasnt so sure about the DC coupled design, but was intrigued.

After an initial evaluation period, I ended up selling a Pass Labs X150.8, First Watt F8 and and Audion Super Sterling KT120 tube amp. The Kinki turned out to be an excellent match for my system that I felt I no longer needed my stable of amps. It gives me amazing imaging, sound stage, an excellent midrange and outstandingly controlled, refined, tonally correct bass. I absolutely adore this amp.

its currently matched to Devore Fidelity Gibbons Xs, Allnic L3000 preamp, Allnic H1202 phono pre, SS Zephyr MkIII cartridge, rebuilt Thorens TD-124 TT, Denafrip Ares II DAC and Bluesound Node 2i. 

i enjoy the M7 a lot.



Anyone in the US doing repairs/warranty work?

I'm going on 8 weeks waiting to have my US made amp repaired under warranty.