The attractiveness of the E40 built-in amplifier from the Taiwanese Keces is demonstrated by each its mature, musical sound and enticing value.
Keces is a broadly unknown Taiwanese model specializing within the manufacturing of comparatively cheap stereo and energy gadgets. It has been working available on the market for over a dozen years, however its catalog could be very modest. It contains, amongst others: stereo energy amplifier, DAC with preamplifier, two phono preamplifiers and one built-in amplifier – E40.
The dominant building materials of the neat, compact E40 housing (solely 22 cm broad and 6 cm excessive) is steel, which successfully blocks EMI/RFI interference. The 3mm thick black aluminum entrance panel has rounded edges that stream easily into the aspect partitions. A particular aspect of the entrance is the silver quantity management knob positioned on the correct aspect. On the left there’s a swap with a Standby LED, a 3.5mm headphone output, a slot with a sensor for distant management indicators (the amplifier is provided with a distant management with membrane buttons), three LEDs – indicators of the energetic enter (Analog 1, Analog 2 and Phono) and the one activating them button.
The view of the again panel reveals that the E40 just isn’t a classically analog machine. Between 4 pairs of RCA connectors (Phono for turntables with MM cartridges, two line inputs and a preamplifier output) and single speaker terminals there’s a USB-B enter meant for a pc. Proper subsequent to the narrowly spaced speaker terminals there may be an IEC energy connector. Connecting community cable and cables with spades on the similar time just isn’t an choice, so it is best to purchase banana plugs immediately. The entire is accomplished by a fuse socket and a important swap.
(…) the Keces built-in is characterised by a really cultured strategy to the sign given by the supply.
The small dimension of the Keces built-in makes us subconsciously put together for sophistication D, in the meantime this amplifier not solely works within the conventional AB class, but in addition makes use of a traditional energy provide based mostly on a toroid and two Jamicon filter capacitors with a capability of 6800µF every. The preamplifier, occupying a smaller, upside-down board, is predicated on op-amps, whereas the ability amplifier options Sanken 2SA1386/2SC3519 (one pair per channel) screwed to a small flat bar on the correct aspect of the housing, because of which the Taiwanese amplifier boasts with an influence of 50W/8 Ω and 65W/4 Ω. The conversion of digital indicators into analog is finished by the outdated Burr Brown PCM2701 system, which solely helps fundamental indicators, i.e. 16-bit/48kHz PCMs. To say that its prospects are modest is to say nothing, in 2023 even pocket cash can do far more. The quantity management within the E40 is dealt with by an analog “pot” managed by a motor.
Sound high quality
Taken straight from the field, linked proper after Rogue Audio’s Cronus Magnum III, the E40 sounded flat and a bit bland at first. Nevertheless, it took only a quarter of an hour, possibly 20 minutes, and the sound, which did not draw consideration to itself, began to draw me – actually. I ended engaged on one of many evaluations and took the very best listening place. Together with the richness of colours and fairly a big dose of subtlety that appeared within the sound of the “e-forty”, I discovered, not with out shock: the Keces built-in is characterised by a really cultured strategy to the sign fed by the supply (through the take a look at it was the Community DAC LINA by dCS together with devoted Grasp Clock). She does not attempt to be as clear as attainable – her interference within the content material of the message is sort of apparent – however that is what makes her so musical.
The intervention issues each slight warming and softening of contours, in addition to boosting the bass. Regardless that it isn’t majestic, it might sound decisive and deep, however with out being heavy, which supplies the music “drive”. The low tones introduced this fashion additionally affect the midrange to some extent – weighted, full and free, barely warmed, with a really good vocal texture. Typically talking, the midtones sound energetic, juicy and fascinating, because of which the character of Keces is perceived as stress-free, barely softened, however very, very nice to hearken to.
The sopranos are additionally of fine high quality. They aren’t significantly selective and resolving, they don’t permit an excessive amount of “air” into the sound, however due to this fact they don’t seem to be a supply of sharpening – I didn’t discover even a hint of exaggeration or emphasis on sibilants. The transition from mid to excessive tones is clean and just about imperceptible, which undoubtedly impacts the consistency of the sound. The dynamics additionally doesn’t go away a lot to be desired, though it’s actually not the “crown self-discipline” of the E40 – the message really at all times stays safely rounded, even within the case of indicators with a really quick rise.
You might also just like the presentation of the stereo sound stage. It’s true that it’s neither significantly deep nor significantly broad, however it’s actually not totally different from what amplifiers at an identical (additionally increased) value can provide. The precision with which particular person digital sources are positioned is absolutely passable.
Keces E40 is an amplifier for individuals who are on the lookout for an open sound that’s, on the similar time, mature, heat and free from sharpness. Compact dimension and affordable value must also be added to the listing of its benefits.