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AUD$499 – AUD$569
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RJuggernauth (verified owner) – June 17, 2022
Ordered the KSE1500 compatible version of this amp to compare to both the original KSE1500 and KSE1200 models I own.
Firstly the service from Myheadfi and Vance was excellent. He was quick to respond and answered my questions with practical knowledge of the Kingsound Amp. Delivery was just over a week to The UK and true to their claim, I did not have to pay any import fees, which I was very happy about.
One nice addition is a very nice quality STAX to KSE1500 adapter, which I much prefer to a modded output on the amp or requirement to reterminate the KSE1500. It is, however, a large adapter. About the size of an 18650 battery.
In terms of performance the MO3 has a very similar sonic presentation to both the original Shure amps. There is a very slightly elavated bass performance but mids, treble and soundstage remain are about the same between all the amps. The power on tap is considerably more than the Shure amps though. I’d suggest about double the power output on the M03 however it is far too loud, with the same line level input, to be used anywhere near max volume unless you want your ears to bleed. There is no input level indication however I did not experience audible distortion using a Hifiman HM1000, which has a 6v line level output. That output is too high for the KSA1200 amp, with 10dB attenuation and is only compatible with the KSA1500 which has a 20dB attenuation setting on the input.
In terms of battery life the M03 lasts ages. About 3 times the battery life compared to the original Shure offerings however it should be noted there is a considerable parasitic battery drain which can empty the battery within a couple of weeks. It should also be noted that to accommodate the huge battery the size and weight of this unit is considerably larger than either of the Shure amps. One further issue is a slight channel imbalance at very low listening levels however not enough to bother me as it becomes unnoticeable at usable volumes.
One important thing to note is that I contacted Kingsound directly about these issues and they advised me that they do not manufacture nor support the KSE1500 compatible version of the M03… Which suggests this is a third party mod. Something I was not aware of when I ordered the unit. This is disappointing.
Overall though, for the price, if you want more power output, longer battery life and were looking for very slightly more warmth/bass than the original Shure amps, this might be worth looking for. Given that Shure don’t offer the KSA amplifiers on their own, without buying a whole replacement set, this is currently also the only alternative solution to keep using your KSE1500 earphones should your original amp fail.
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