Hope you are well. It’s been a few weeks since I received the Ares II and the Kinki Studio EX-P7 and EX-B7 combo. These have been paired along with my Monitor Audio Gold 300 5G speakers, as well as my vintage pair of JBL 4311 monitors. Speaker cable is made by Blue Jeans Cable, and interconnects have been crafted by me using Mogami 2354 cable and Neutrik XLR connectors.
When I received the Ares II, I made sure to take the time to also listen to it first in my headphone setup. This setup consists of Focal Clear Professional headphones, Massdrop THX789 Headphone Amplifier, and the balanced Mogami interconnects mentioned above. My previous DAC was a Grace Design m900, so a delta sigma DAC. Music selection is streamed from my Roon Core and is extremely mixed, from Jazz to Synth Pop, Classical to Psych Rock.
The sound of the Ares II was incredibly natural even right away. What struck me first was the natural soundstage and atmosphere created. Gone were the “edges” on the outside of snare hits and hi hats from the m900. Truth be told, I did not even know they were there! Doing an A/B comparison revealed further differences as time went on: widened sound stage and greater depth. Clear separation of instruments, plenty of air as has been described, and a complete lack of congestion during all passages.
It’s been an absolute joy, and has added a warmth (but still neutral), as well as a “roundedness” to my music that I did not know I was missing. This is my first experience with R2R and I am excited to see where it goes. It still seems that the Ares continues to open up and breathe, adding small details to the music as time passes. I’ve occasionally switched between NOS to OS and I will be honest, I love NOS with most music, but OS with a lot of more electronic music and music that is a little brighter.
As for the Kinki Studio EX-P7 and B7, it is incredible synergy between them and the Denafrips. They truly never lose control, and always feel completely easy and relaxed. There is so much I can talk about with regards to their incredible dynamics, speed without being too tight and rigid. There is an incredible refinement with everything that is played and I feel like I can never even reach the limits of their power. The transparency is so remarkable, but I would like to note that this is a touch on the warm side, so that nothing ever sounds too analytical. Truly the greatest amp and preamp I have heard so far. I know I will be incredibly happy with them for years to come, and they completely open up both pairs of speakers that I have tried so far.
Lastly, my most sincere thanks to you for your dedication to serving me and going out of your way to help me and provide clear instructions and answers to all of my questions when troubleshooting. It really put me immediately at ease and has really earned my loyalty. I know I will be a customer of Vinshine for years to come as a result. At the risk of becoming too long winded, I will leave my review here. Know that I cannot be any happier and am struggling to see what else can be improved. I’m honestly not sure how the Ares II can be bested, but am eager to move up the ladder in due time. Hope you are well and continue doing what you do so well.
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