2022 was an eventful year. With many highs and unfortunately deep lows. In the spring we encountered many logistics issues, so we had to be very creative on many aspects to be able to make and ship IKIGAI audio cables. Covid, the war in Ukraine, it turned the world upside down for humanity. Unfortunately we can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel yet. So let us hope 2023 will make a difference!
2022 was the year of our KINZAN level introduction. Through the first quarter we gave some glimpse and hints. First one was on the 12th of January.
We also expanded our KANGAI level with new cable types.
On the 29th of January we introduced our KANGAI-S grounding cables in Hong Kong to match Tripoint’s grounding solution.
On March the 4th we gave our second glimpse on the new KINZAN line as we were heading towards Munich High End
12th of March we had our exclusive introduction of our KANGAI DC power cords at PUUR avd, their Masterclass event. The show was held together with Pinkfaun and Goldmund. A close eye would have noticed one of our first KINZAN power cords being there. A third glimpse! Photo’s are from PUUR avd
The KANGAI DC power cords are very well received all over the world. Our Hong Kong distributor Audio Exotics made a remarkable video on the change it made in his studio. The difference with the DC power cord and without it, is very audible even through the iPhone microphone and Facebook compression.
The DC cable is one of the most challenging cables to make due to the enormous number of different pinning and connectors on both sides of the cable. A lot of versions require research on sourcing the connector and determining the pinning. We lost count in the number of variations we already did.
We also noticed that some expensive power supplies and connected devices don’t take care of proper pinning to keep out distortion caused by RFI interference. This really surprised us!
On the 6th of May we did our fourth glimpse on the KINZAN level, showing a complete interconnect. The KINZAN level is built up using even more labor intensive techniques on top of our Kangai level. It combines 5N Silver and our new generation 24KT gold. Specially treated to form a mono crystal wire. Each type of cable has filigree, or mixtures from filigree to thicker gauge strains of silver. Also pure cotton is used as a dielectric. The cotton is protected against the environment to keep its unique characteristics constant over time.
For interconnect cables we invested heavily in a new connector bonding technique. The ETI-Research connector contacts are welded to the wires to form a point to point connection losing contact resistance and keeping the material properties on a same, high level.
For the interconnects, XLR and Cinch we also needed to make a new cable relief to protect the connection and filigree wiring. As in all our products we choose a subtle design also preventing extra mass and change in capacity.
In Munich we also introduced another cable in our KANGAI level, our USB cable. Unfortunately due to all the news around KINZAN, the USB never got to shine properly. We will position it again in the spotlights somewhere in 2023, so keep your eye on it!
In Munich we had a great show. We finally had the chance to meet everyone in person.
After Munich we had to prepare another big event for our distributor in Hong Kong. From June on, he received a full KINZAN level set so he would be able to show it in august on the Hong Kong High End audio event. Chris made a remarkable post about our power cords, with 0 hours playing time on them. Feedback like this really makes us feel what IKIGAI is all about.
The 1st of July, Audiotweaks became our new dealer for the northern part of the Netherlands. This was no surprise as we have been constantly teaming up in Veldhoven and Munich audio shows. The combination of SPEC, Pachenco and IKIGAI audio is a match made in heaven.
Piet de Vries from Audiotweaks was not the only one who heard this. Patrice Alepetite, the French SPEC distributor from NEXT audio, also noticed this. On the 22nd of July he made the plunge after receiving a combination of SUGURE, KANGAI and KINZAN cables. From then on, Patrice invested heavily in IKIGAI audio to represent it in a wonderful way in France. We are very thankful and proud!
End of July we launched our new website. The old site was not able to do the things we would like. This BLOG is just one example. For the future we have some great stuff coming for IKIGAI cable owners!
Did you also know when you make a typing error in the domain, there is a big chance you will be redirected to our main website?
5th of August it was showtime again. Our Hong Kong distributor hosted a big room at the HKCEC with two different great setups, using a lot of IKIGAI audio cables, mainly KINZAN level. This was the introduction of KINZAN for the Asian market. We are very proud and humble that Audio Exotics carries IKIGAI besides all the TOP brands in the world like Göbel, Wadax, EMT, Tripoint, Dartzeel, Audionec etc.etc.
During the event we also launched our new cables in the KINZAN level. Grounding cables, to match Tripoint’s grounding solution including power ground cables and a Phono cable.
After the Hong Kong event, KINZAN started to spread around the world through our distributors and dealers during September. Also Australia made us proud, because George from ZenSati was truly flabbergasted by the performance.
In September we also started our preparations for the Dutch Audio Event. We teamed up with Audiotweaks (SPEC, Pachenco, Diretta) and HNNY (Fyne audio, racks) to form a wonderful system together with our KINZAN cables in one of the biggest rooms at Veldhoven.
Also Very Fine Solutions (Trax, MSB) used our cables during the event. Both rooms received a lot of positive feedback from reviewers and visitors.
During the event we launched our last KINZAN cable of 2022, a network cable!
In September college also started. Jeffrey is a teacher in Engineering as you may know. This school year a lot of students approached him to ask for projects, in college and at IKIGAI audio. This was our first year with two interns at IKIGAI with different projects and two in college working on a project together, to guide. We had a great time! We want to thank them again for all innovative out of the box ideas. One you may have already seen. A complete measurement setup to speed up our R&D work and validate our production process.
The other projects will evolve in 2023 or even later, so please stay tuned!
December started with our American distributor getting ready for a big audio event in the USA next year. Stay tuned for more news on that!
Rob Wilson from Sonata and Goldmund UK also hosted a very nice event in December at the Robert Taussig showroom in London. He demod a GOLDMUND and Clarisys system with IKIGAI audio cables KINZAN and KANGAI level. The system is still there to audition, so grab your change if you can! The system gained a lot of positive feedback in the press, Hifipig, Stereonet, Mono and Stereo, just to name a few. This made us very humble and proud!
The 16th of December we also showed our KANGAI COAX SPDIF cable with coax connectors. The cable is not new in the KANGAI level, the connectors are. What’s also good to mention, this cable is used (4 cables to be exact), to form the digital connection between a CEC TL2 and a CEC DAC to form the unique Superlink connection. This set of four was specially made for a customer from NEXT audio. Patrice from Next audio gave us incredible feedback telling us: “Incredible cables indeed, but above all, very linear (I don’t like the word neutral) sounding, hence easy to insert in many audio systems. Ikigai cables sound lively but extremely refined. My best discovery in 2022”. Isn’t this a wonderful way to end this year?
But there is even more feedback we had during this last month of the year. A Hungarian customer showed us his system and gave feedback on our cables.
“I could compare Ikigai cables to my SRX cables which are more expensive than these ones and also to Crystal Cables. Ikigai is way much better than Crystal top cables and could keep up with my cables as well. Your cables are extremely transparent. I could amplify the weak point of my system. In my case I have some resonance on vocals which according to my dealer comes from the ceramic drivers. He said that he had the same experience with ceramic after using Tripoint and high quality cables. All in all I really liked your cables. They show the real thing. You have to have a good system to recognise this.
I also like the design very much. Simple but elegant.
My friends who listened to my system said that it’s sick. So real sounding now. Almost live music, dynamic with tremendous emotion.
Btw there are a lot of talented guys in the Holland audio industry like you, guys at Taiko, Pinkfaun.
Thank you again for the opportunity to know your cables in my system. I will try to bring some awareness to the Ikigai brand to Hungary!
Have a wonderful Christmass and happy new year Jeff! Thanks for the cables! Be proud of your work!”
This BLOG may be a long read, but we hope you like it and it makes you curious on what’s to come from our stables in the near future.
We have a lot of interesting projects running at this moment. Unfortunately we can’t talk about it in detail, or at all, due to the enormous number of copycats out there. We always have mixed emotions about copycats. On one hand we are proud people are copying us, so we must are doing wonderful things. On the other hand we feel sorry for them not being creative/smart enough to design and make unique products instead of me too’s. Copycats do push us even further to make products which are unique, special and a true IKIGAI way of experiencing music and our cables.
So what’s to come?
- We are working on a dedicated page for each IKIGAI customer, where he can find details about his cable i.e. a user manual, measurement report, specification etc. etc. To achieve this we are also investigating the possibilities in apps for iOS and Android besides extending our website (this was also the reason for our website overhaul).
- We are also continually working on cable measurements. There is so much to explore and investigate what we hear and (can’t yet) measure. To do this we are measuring and listening to different variations of our cables, only changing one variable at a time. This is a lot of work and takes a lot of process time. Please be patient to see first results.
- Of course new cables and levels will follow. Did you know we already make more then 30 different types of cables?!
- And last but not least we will be in Munich again in 2023! We will partner with our German distributor in Atrium 4.2, room E223 together with Kroma Speakers and some great equipment as well. More will follow in the near future!
We would like to wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. We wish you all the best for 2023 in joy, luck, love and above all, in good health!