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Kinki Studio EX-M1: Op-Amp Replacement?


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I purchased the EX-M1 used and believe it is one of the early 2018 models.

 

Would like any information regarding op-amp replacement in my EX-M1.    Specifically:

 

Exactly how is the cover removed. two nuts on top and two hex bolts on bottom.  Anything else?

 

Will the Sparkos, Burson, and  other op-amp upgrades fit without modification?

 

Any help is appreciated.

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Although I have no direct personal experience with your Kinki Studio component, a quick Google search leading back to Burson Audio's website reveals the excellent Burson V6 Vivid Opamp being used in this exact instance. The photographs reveal the EX-M1 with cover removed and opamp compliment in place. It would seem there is adequate room inside to allow for this. You can probably go on line for a manual, or alternatively email the manufacturer to seek answers on cabinet access etc. I have generally found that smaller boutique companies quickly and readily respond to such queries.

Edited by Bisguittin
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FWIW. A search on SNA for Burson V6 Vivid, will reveal a review of this item I penned several weeks ago, when it was used to upgrade a Matrix Preamplifier. In that instance, it proved to be an excellent product.

Edited by Bisguittin
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Bisguittin, thank you for the replies.  I found the picture on the Burson website.  Looks like the fit is no problem. 

 

This is apparently the V6 Vivid dual.  What about replacing the other four op-amps?  I read somewhere that replacing all 5 was beneficial.

 

I searched and could not find your review.  I'm in the US and have had problems accessing some content in the past.

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I had trouble too🙂. Search A dream come true. Should be the second article found.

My "experiment" only necessitated using 1 op-amp although they ship in pairs. I would be pretty confident that all 5 would be effective, but you could converse with Burson on the specifics of that. Purchase of 5 op-amps is not cheap. The other issue may be that you are better served by the V6 Classic (or a combo of both varieties).

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Hi @chinook9, 

I purchased a secondhand Kinki Studio EX-M1 from StereoNet earlier in the year. Luckily, it came already fitted with a full set of Sparkos op amps replacing the standard IC versions - 4 singles and 1 dual. 
The Sparkos Labs SS3601 single op amps and the SS3601 dual op amp fit easily into the EX-M1 without the need for risers. 
I’m pretty sure the Burson V6s do as well. 
I have since upgraded the four Sparkos singles with four Staccato single op amps and have a dual op amp on the way. 
I have written a forum post outlining my experience. 

Opening the Kinki Ex-M1 involves taking six screws out. Two from the front top, two (one from each side) from the middle-side bottom of the amp, and the middle top two screws at the back of the amp. 
If you need to know anything more about installation, etc., just send me a message. 
PS I will be putting up the full set (4+1) of Sparkos op amps in the Classified section as soon as the Staccato dual arrives.

Kind regards,
Peter

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Thank youi PeterB7858

 

I will check out your writeup on the sparkos.

 

Just to confirm the "two (one from each side) from the middle-side bottom of the amp," are the smaller ones on each side closer toward the center of the amp.   I had been assuming the bigger hex bolts closer to the front would need to be removed.  I'm glad I didn't try them.

 

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4 hours ago, chinook9 said:

Thank youi PeterB7858

 

I will check out your writeup on the sparkos.

 

Just to confirm the "two (one from each side) from the middle-side bottom of the amp," are the smaller ones on each side closer toward the center of the amp.   I had been assuming the bigger hex bolts closer to the front would need to be removed.  I'm glad I didn't try them.

 

Hi,

Yes, upon re-reading I can understand why my description might cause confusion. Sorry.

On the underside (underneath) of my Kinki EX-M1, as you look at it from the front, there are two screws (one either side - close to the sides) at about the mid-point between the front and rear of the underside off the amplifier. These hold two "fins" attached to the top cover of the amplifier, that run down the inside of the side walls and are anchored from underneath. 

The two front top screws you can easily see and the two middle top screws on the back of the amp secure the top plate - and the two screws underneath on about the mid-point of the side walls secure the fins. I hope this helps... 🙂

This photo may help.

Regards, Peter.

 

Kinki EX-M1.jpeg

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Peter, I took the top off to see what op amps came in the unit.  There appears to be a coating on the top of the op amps that covers any printing that would have been there.  Do you know if I can remove this coating with solvent?

 

 

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Hi Colin. The stock op amps in my EX-M1, which I still have, are also coated with something to stop them being identified. Not sure why. 
I haven’t tried to remove the coating. 
Perhaps someone else knows what they are.

The amp got very good reviews using the stock op amps, so they must be reasonable quality, but I am certainly not an expert in the field, so I can’t offer a guess. 
Sorry.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

We upgraded the OPAMPS in a mates EX-M1 about a month or so back with a single Burson V6 Dual Classic and 4x Sparkos SS3601 discrete OPAMPS. Even prior to burn in he was delighted with the change. To me, it now bridges the gap between solid state and tube gear, having the aspects of both that I like. Namely the bass impact and authority of solid state, along with the expansive sound stage and inherent richness of tubes. The best of both worlds.

 

He runs a Denafrips Ares as his source, and VAF DC-X63 speakers. Aurealis Audio Litz copper XLR interconnects and Van Damme LC-OFC speaker cable. A very nice setup all in all.

 

Whatever you do don't undo the big bolts underneath. Those are for the transformers. We made that mistake.

Edited by MattyW
  • Haha 1
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