August
2022

Country of Origin

China

Mini integrated amplifier

Reviewer: Srajan Ebaen
Financial interests: click here
Main system: Sources: Retina 5K 27" iMac (4GHz quad-core with Turbo, 32GB RAM, 3TB FusionDrive, OSX Yosemite. iTunes 14.4), PureMusic 3.02, Audirvana 3, Qobuz, Tidal, Singxer SU-6 USB bridge, Sonnet Pasithea DAC; Active filter: icOn 80Hz/4th-order hi/lo-pass; Power amplifiers: Kinki Studio EX-B7 mono, Enleum AMP-23R; Headamp: Kinki Studio; Phones: HifiMan Susvara; Loudspeakers: sound|kaos Vox3wf + DSUB 15 on Carbide Audio footers, Audio Physic Codex, Cube Audio Nenuphar Cables: Complete loom of Allnic Audio ZL; Power delivery: Vibex Granada/Alhambra on all source components, Vibex One 11R on amps, Furutech DPS-4.1 between wall and conditioners; Equipment rack: Artesanía Audio Exoteryc double-wide 3-tier with optional glass shelves, Exoteryc Krion and glass amp stands; Sundry accessories: Acoustic System resonators, LessLoss Firewall for loudspeakers, Furutech NCF Signal Boosters; Room: 6 x 8m with open door behind listening seat
2nd system: Source: Soundaware D300Ref SD transport clock-slaved to Denafrips Terminator +; DAC: Denafrips Terminator+; Preamp/filter: icOn 4Pro + 4th-order/40Hz hi-low pass; Amplifier: Goldmund Job 225; Loudspeakers: Acelec Model 1 + Dynaudio S18 sub; Power delivery: Furutech GTO 2D NCF; Equipment rack: Hifistay Mythology Transform X-Frame [on extended loan]; Sundry accessories: Audioquest Fog Lifters; Furutech NFC Clear Lines; Room: ~3.5 x 8m
Desktop system: Source: HP Z230 work station Win10/64; USB bridge: Singxer SU-2; Headamp/DAC: iFi iDSD Pro Signatur;  Headphones: Final D-8000; Active speakers: DMAX SC5
Upstairs headfi/speaker system: Source: smsl Dp5 transport; DAC: Auralic Vega; Integrated amplifier: Schiit Jotunheim R; Phones: Raal-Requisite SR1a
2-channel video system: Source: Oppo BDP-105; All-in-One: Gold Note I-1000 Deluxe; Loudspeakers: Zu Soul VI; Subwoofer: Zu Submission; Power delivery: Furutech eTP-8, Room: ~6x4m

Review component retail: TBA

Two years and counting. That's how long Kinki Studio's desktop integrated has been in R&D. By August 22nd, their website's news page had this brief teaser: "New product launches: 1/ the new mini integrated amplifier; 2/ the new ultimate preamplifier; 3/ the new ultimate power amplifier; 4/ the new Kinki Studio cables and power cords. The Vision DAC-1 is discontinued. A new version will be introduced in due course." Two days later, Kinki's general manager Ken Ng sent me an equally short note. "Good day. We will send you a mini integrated amp for review once ready." Yes, sir!

As a grunt, I currently have no more. My early sneak peeks smuggled out of the Kinki embassy during the dead of night show bomb-shelter construction and fresh new cosmetics; and what relative to the hand appears to be a half-width casing with massive top doubling as heatsink and perhaps even computer monitor stand. Anything more is pure speculation. DAC aboard? Interactive touch screen? Cloud streaming? For an all-in desktopper, all of that would make perfect sense. But for now it's patience, grasshoppers!

By September 27th, patience rewarded/punished all good grasshoppers with our news post.

790 + 791 = $45'000: Yup, that's the math of Kinki Studio's new top separates, the 790 preamp [$20K] and 600-watt 791 monos [€25K/pr] teased in a news announcement on their site. In it we read of 4 x 800VA transformers in each mono amp's basement coupled to 88'000µF of capacitance and 8 pairs of lateral Exicon Mosfets.

The matching preamp offers 0, 3 or 6dB of voltage gain, dual RCA and XLR inputs each, twin RCA and single XLR outputs then mounts its signal-path circuity on an elaborate suspension system to float it above the dual-mono power supply.

Clearly this company is no longer content to just be called a high-value brand from mainland China. That tiger has roared, that ship sailed. Of course their current range remains available. It's the new top tier that's hunting adventurous big-game shoppers.

And who knows, forthcoming reviews could find that the value equation remains because Kinki now compete with Gryphon, Pass and other heavy hitters?

Those less flush will content themselves with Kinki's Mini Integrated; once we learn more about that.

… to be continued…