Our magazine reader, definitely know who is Kiuchi san, recent year Taiwan hifi show, he almost attended every show, therefore there are many local audiophile who get to know Kiuchi San. For those who has personally talking to him, must have this impression, all conversation must be about music. That’s right, he is the one who is the true music lover.
This impression is the same no matter in Japan or Taiwan. Last year I was invited to Japan, he also keep emphasize “music is heart”, every products by him, design to make the music nicer to listen. Therefore, every hifi component, include cable, tuning feet all must contribute to music reproduction, or else it is a waste.
Because of this approach, products that under Kiuchi san, like Harmonix, Reimyo , Bravo etc. all being tuned by him personally. It is rarely seen worldwide, his stubborn attitude also cannot find in the hifi industries.
Kiuchi san already mentioned long time ago, good tubes are difficult to find, therefore the final goal is to design a transistor power amplifier. Last year while we were in Combak, we had seen this new power amplifier, that time we were glad that we had something to report, but he said: please do not expose photo! We felt sad as we are from far. The reason given by Kiuchi san is, some design haven’t being finalised.
No matter how, this giant amplifier was being exposed in the Kaohsiung hifi show. After the show, it is sending to us for review. For Reimyo products, the present of this amplifier break few Kiuchi san records; this is the product that carry most weight ever seen in Reimyo history, it is after PAT-777 300B power amp, the second model of power amp, output 200W per channel, compare to 300B power amp, 7W X 2 output, it has 28 times more power. Following the company information, it is a dual mono design, at 4 ohm, output is 400W, it is sufficient to drive any speaker in the world.
From first look, KAP-777 design is nothing special, it is a standard design power amplifier, but the internal design is not simple, because it uses four tuning feet, that is about or equal to TU-606. Regarding the internal view, Kiuchi san said, do not use photo to expose. I have to respect him, but what is inside the amplifier, I still have to tell by words.
As we guess, the chassis, component selection, and special tweak to make the sound good, we can seen that effort Kiuchi san had putting in.
Inside the chassis, there is a divider metal piece, in front is twin toroidal transformer amplification circuit are at both side. Circuit is not complex, but component are carefully select , most of them are made in US or Europe, such as RIFA capacitor, high current MOSFET power transistor. Cabling inside clearly seen is by hand, it is neat. I think the reason why Kiuchi san does not like to show the internal picture of the amp is because for those who are not really understand, they just thought it is a simple amplifier. I feel that this amp design, component, soldering work is different from those mass production equipment. KAP-777 looks simple, but every parts of the amplifier are being carefully designed.
Review equipment including those we normally use ML 7AXL pre-amp, Krell CD and ADAM classic compact speaker. In fact, before listening, I can guess the sound of KAP-777, it must be the same as Kiuchi san character, because I had listened to this KAP-777 during Kaohsiung hifi show, that time KAP-777 sound warm and vivid, it is like a tube amp, dynamic transient and clarity are better than the PAT-777.
Now KAP-777 comes to us, the sound character become more obvious. KAP-777 is expected to sound good, it is a full transistor amp, but having high end tube amp warm sound, this make me very surprise, because in the past I never heard of a transistor amp sound exact like a tube amp. To be more precise, KAP-777 sound special, sound like tube but it has transistor amp clarity, the sound is like merging music and hifi aspect together, sound become very balance. KAP-777 sound soft and punchy, details, transparency, air and imaging, are build in a very balance platform. Music lover once listen to this amp will feel that they never had heard of this beautiful sound before.
The sound produce by this amplifier, it care both music and hifi aspect, this is really high end, most of the audiophile that have more than many ten years experience, still cannot get the sound like this. I had heard few records, all type of music, including Japan Stereo Sound demonstration CD and normal CD. I had discovered that under KAP-777, all music note are so nice, lively present, emotional, drum stick moving, violin string all are lifelike and nice to listen, I feel touching. I am unexpected after adding in only this power amp, it can reproduce music to this extent!
In traditional way of listening, generally tube amp sound harmony, warm and soft, but doesn’t have lower and higher and extension, ability to control of speaker is weak; in contrast, transistor amp sound punchy, better lower frequency, clear, tends to bright, details, well bass control. A hybrid amplifier also cannot achieve this level of music reproduction.
After listen to KAP-777, it has all the aspect that had described above, far beyond any tube, transistor, hybrid amplifier that I had heard before. I never heard any transistor amp sound so smooth, beautiful and clear.
Strange thing about KAP-777, no matter what kind of music being played, it sound smooth and sweet, extremely musical, warm and emotional, string sound refine, sparkle high, all bright sound instrument never attack on ear, flute sound airy and realism, it is almost can see the instrument outline. In addition, a singer breathing, teeth sound, it is extreme natural, it just like the singer singing in front, soundstage imaging is solid and vivid, it does not have hollow and messy sound that generally created by typical amplifier.
KAP-777 has a special character, it creates lifelike sounding, get people involvement, it is the extreme level of music reproduction. In orchestra presentation, all instrument sound coherent, good layering, doesn’t feel tired for long time listening, satisfaction level is very high.
I again respect Kiuchi san, as I do not know how he can make it, tubby sound with transistor detail and dynamic, sufficient speaker control ability, therefore when playing percussion or heavy bass music, it doesn’t sound distorted, I purposely listen to those with extreme dynamic music like Stravinsky Rite of Spring, Mahler or jazz drum, dynamic is scary, and do not have grain, its make the Adam Compact 3 sound like a floorstand speaker, continuous lower frequency, very nice to listen.
KAP-777 is something special compare to those gears I had listened to before, because the sound is subjective, it is similar to tube and transistor hybrid amplifier, this special character that will reproduce music in the other way.
After 2 weeks extensive listening, KAP-777 is an amp that convey Kiuchi san heart, it is also the highest standard equipment that created by Kiuchi san. KAP-777 is not a normal amplifier as its represent a music lover inner heart.
KAP-777 not only reproduce music, its translate music. KAP-777 actually is a merge of design and designer musical taste. This amp is Kiuchi san incarnation; it is not surprised for this amp to have extraordinary performance.
It is equal to other Reimyo products, it is hard to say the price is friendly, but the performance is not money can measure. In high end market, it is something special and extraordinary, because of the effort of Kiuchi san had putting in, there is only company available worldwide!