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No to Chi-Fi? Wrong! (Kinki Studio EX-M1+ Amp)

The number of comments I get on my YouTube channel from posters who state they wouldn’t buy ‘Chi-Fi’, the somewhat derogatory term for any HiFi that is Chinese made, which isn’t to be grandiose of my own self-importance….but it was made in respect to my Kinki Studio EX-M1+ review.

But it doesn’t work like that, there is a supply chain – one part comes from here and another from there, so products are never usually from a single country of origin.

The quality controls that go into Chinese factories output, for western products made in China, is controlled by these brands anyway. Many HiFi companies don’t ‘make’ HiFi but they simply assemble Chinese made boards, with cases often made elsewhere. Where it may be British made with a badge signifying ‘British Made’. Is that correct? Well yes if it’s been planned, designed, and assembled in that country. Does that make it Chi-Fi? Possibly, Possibly not. Who really cares if quality is good….

Watch my video on the Kinki Studio EX-M1+ on YouTube

The other comment I see is that people say they want to support the local home brand – but how are you supporting ‘your own’ when, say, the Chinese amplifier you decide not to buy uses an American case, or a Chinese DAC uses technology from an American licensed design? So it isn’t clear cut.

The thought of deciding not to buy a countries product because of a maintained view of poor quality, regardless if that is the case, inevitably means you will end up buying the wrong products and in fact ironically those which are not of good quality.

Sometimes you find annoyances such as wonky volume dials that don’t move smoothly, cheaper flimsy casework and just sound quality that doesn’t fit price. Rare as most HiFi is incredibly competitive, but the aforementioned state of affairs applies to Chinese and Western products, no one country has the t-shirt on this.

Chinese Brands Like Denafrips and Holo Audio offer awesome quality

Inevitably the economies of scale of Chinese made products and China’s status as the worlds factory still, despite rising Chinese labour costs and events like post pandemic pressures on shipping costs and the fuel price increases with current world events, means products can still be made cheaper there. This is good for brands and us Audiophiles quite obviously, regardless of the balances between country of design, manufacture and assembly, and if products are ‘Chi-Fi’ or not! Quality is all I’m interested in reviewing audio gear. Are you?

Kinki Studio Amplifiers are Chinese made and they offer incredibly good value for money in terms of sound and build quality – find more information about their product on their website here.

Want to know how the Kinki Studio EX-M1+ amp compares against the Naim Supernait 3, Hegel’s H390 Amp, and NAD’s M33 – watch the video embedded below;

Specifications (Kinki Studio EX-M1+)

  • Frequency Response: 10-150kHz (±3dB)
  • THDN: 0.0232%; 0.006% (A-Weighted)
  • S/N Ratio: >103dB
  • Output Power: 215W RMS (8Ω) , 290W RMS (4Ω) – Both Channel Driven
  • Damping Factor: 2000
  • Gain: Normal Gain 26 dB
  • Max Output Voltage: 55VAC
  • AC Power: 110/240VAC, 50/60Hz (Factory configure)
  • Input Sensitivity: 2.25Vrms – 3.6Vrms
  • Input Impedance: 50kΩ
  • Input Connector: RCA x 3, XLR x 1, HT BYPASS x 1
  • Output: Speaker Binding Post 4mm L/R Channel
  • Output: Preamp Output x 1

Written by Simon Price

I'm music lover who shares experiences of faithfully reproduced audio in an ENGAGING way with HIGH VIDEO PRODUCTION VALUES. I enjoy and make reviews as I love audio gadgets, being a voice on audio and producing creative videos that ultimately benefit the industry and new participation. I keep technicalities easy, as I believe great audio serves music and music is inclusive and to be enjoyed by all!

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