Kenzie Headphone Amp Review

June 27, 2014 2 min read


Review by joessportster on the Klipsch User Forum:
I am currently auditioning this very animal using my HiFiMan He500, I am thinking REFERENCE level amplification…………

This is the builder Justin Weber’s variant on the Darling circuit using the 1626 tube at 3/4wpc it is driving my phones easily as good as my 3wpc EL84 tube amp.

The amp is the most revealing I have heard, all the nuance in vocals shines through with ease, I have always associated SET with romantic / warm / syrup…………….Not the case here with ZERO feedback this thing is as crisp and neutral as one would typically associate with High End solid state……………..but with absolutely no hint of grain or edge. And DEAD QUIET to boot, Music just emanates from a solid black background ( it’s almost eerie, yet welcome).

Bass is tight, deep, and controlled. tones show rumble at 20 hz on my cans, while I can hear tones as high as 15khz.

Bela Fleck, Flight of the Cosmic Hippo, bass is surprisingly guttural at 3/4 WPC This thing is amazing.

Sometimes God Smiles, track 20. Prism is a drum solo by Bill Bruford, I have used this as a reference for impact and many amps just cannot pull it off, I often find myself reaching for the volume knob in order to reach the desired level…………Not so with this amp It recreates the effect with ease.

Beck Sea Change, A very well recorded album about breaking up, The amp portrays the emotion with startling realism………..One of Becks best albums just got better

Vocals reveal different pitches in what I considered well known, Steve Earl, Bruce Springsteen, Ray LaMontangue, Ryan Adams, Allison Kraus, Adele just to name a few.

The amp seems to excell at any quality recording I throw its way, It also seems brutally honest in its presentation of the source (crap in = Crap out, no warming the edges here.)

Strings reveal the pluck, the body and the decay, Cymbals reveal strike and decay and just shimmer with no static, or sizzle, Piano is very realistic. I cannot recall ever hearing acoustic guitar so realistic (short of being there.)

Build quality is second to none, very robust and solid construction with stunning wood work.

If you are looking for a reference level amp you owe it to yourself to call Justin who can fill in all the details of the build, His number is listed on the web site, when you call you get the builder and he is one of the nicest people you will come across.

Follow up Thread from joessportster on Klipsch User Forum.

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