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Higher grade I go up, more difficult It is to master Kendo is Kendo -
An interview with Kazuo Kiuchi, the owner of the brands Reimyo, Harmonix, Bravo! and Enacom led by Wojciech Pacuła


4-20, Ikego 2-chome, Zushi-shi, Kanagawa 249-0003,
Japan Tel: 046-872-1119 Fax: 046-872-1125

Text: Wojciech Pacuła

The first time I met Mr. Kiuchi it was in Munich, during the High End Show 2010 (reportage HERE) and then in Krakow, where he met with the Krakow Sonic Society. This was something special, and the personality of Mr. Kiuchi, his quietness, thought through actions and most of all his thoughts were highly inspiring. I then decided, to devote one of the “High Fidelity” cover pages to this manufacturer, or rather creator. Having the occasion I’ll ask him a few things that bugged me for a long time. I thought, that I ask about the K2 process at the very source, how this technology differs from XRCD, and what is the actual difference between the Japanese K2 and XRCD (and XRCD24) discs, both manufactured by JVC. I also wanted to ask about the K2 processor used in the DAC Reimyo DAP-999EX, because except for a few JVC devices from about ten years ago, no one else uses them, and nobody really knows what it does. I thought that this would be a nice and easy thing. And most of all – a learning experience. But it turned out differently. As it turned out, the interview went a bit different than I expected. From the questions and answers below, you can see, that some topics are “taboo”, and that Mr. Kiuchi did not want to answer all of the questions directly, and I had to push a little to learn at least something. Is it a cultural difference between Poland and Japan? Or did I touch “sensitive” topics? I do not know. Nevertheless I think, that this interview is incredibly interesting, and we now know more, than before.

Wojciech Pacuła: Why did you decide to use K2 Processor in your DAC?

Kazuo Kiuchi: K2 technology has been chosen due to as K2 is found as the most ideal process design and truth to original sound. Physically K2 processor is only in the world can generate analog sine wave wherein a true musical spectrum is stored.

WP: Please tell me – what exactly K2 processor is? I know it is digital filter but what exactly it does?

KK: It’s IC digital processor not filter. K2 is only and unique IC processor of digital encode to sine wave analog.

WP: Why no one else uses it in their equipment?

KK: No comment for this question as I do not know the reason why engineers of other company do not use. It my guess, however, they may rely more on high bit resolution than music spectrum.

WP: You mastered some XRCD24 – why not K2HD?

KK: First, music is Art but nothing else. Important is to who made and how care of the quality of original sound. You can, therefore, hear clear different in the quality of sound among XRCD sold in the market. This is one of particular example. Answer to why not K2HD is to the mastering and the production process is differ from those of XRCD24 we make. Sound quality thereby is not good as XRCD24.

WP: How do the XRCD24 and K2HD differ?

KK: In JVC pressing factory, there are two lines for pressing, one is for 16bit normal CD production line and independent and exclusive XRCD production line. XRCD we make is mastered 44.1/24bits and this high resolution 24bit master disc is brought to XRCD production line, then bit down to normal 16bit at the production. We use original mater tape for XRCD24 mastering. K2HD master, as far as I know, can be made into either DDP, CDR or Hard disc whatever is 16bit format. K2HD is used 44.1/192 high resolution process but when master disc is made, it is bit down to 44.1/16bit and pressed on 16bit normal CD production line. So if K2HD master disc is available, K2HD can be made by any other CD production company, not needed by JVC. XRCD24 must be pressed on the exclusive XRCD production line in JVC and no other company can do it. Please listen and compare.

WP: But can you tell me something more about that? What is XRCD and what is K2?

KK: What is your title of your next issue? Is it about XRCD vs K2HD? I do not think it is. If you read next you can briefly see all about. You should better not say K2HD is inferior. You cannot talk about XRCD and K2HD on the same table and it’s not important subject for your issue this time, I think.

WP: How does it look like to master a project like All for you Diana Krall?

KK: I cannot see clearly inside of your question about this. Diana Krall XRCD is XRCD2. It is 44.1/20bit mastered, not 44.1/24bit.

WP: In fact Diana Krall you gave me is XRCD24 – you were part of the team mastering it.

KK: 532-360-9 Diana Krall is not XRCD24. It’s XRCD2 the master is not Analog tape but DDP Data. I made this XRCD2 due to request from Universal. Why you need this kind of information?

WP: I did not want to offend you – it’s just that there is an XRCD24 logo on the disc, and not a XRCD2 one.

KK: Well - then it is a XRCD24 disc and not a XRCD2 one.

WP: I have seen that you used JJ tubes in MK11 pre-amp, why? I thought you are big fan NOS tubes from GE and Philips?

KK: First, we should better not use NOS because limited availability in the marketplaces. Your readers may be difficult to find NOS and time goes by, it will become more difficult for them to find when needed. When we design electronics, we test many of the parts and tubes from supply, then chose one sounds the best. The part and tube should be not difficult for buyer to buy for replacement in the future. JJ tubes we use have been found the best matching with CAT-777MK11 we have tested.

WP: You are Kendo master - how music and Kendo affect each other in your life?

KK: It may be so difficult for me to let your readers understand the traditional Japanese martial art, but in short, it is a very important for me to keep a spirit of Japanese tradition. Concentration, stoicism and judgment are fewer of unavoidable for Kendo. Truth, dignity, integral and appreciation given is another important part for Kendo to be mastered. Higher grade I go up, more difficult It is to master Kendo is Kendo. When new product is designed, this is a main subject for me.

WP: How did you find Poland? Is it very different place from Japan?

KK: First and strong impression received when I arrived in Poland. Poland is likely fairyland. Poland is also like Japan, a rich of history, more I know much I like is another strong impression I get. People are very nice and unbelievably nice. I often think why Poland is so differ and remain the same from among other European countries where ever I visited. There is no such a big difference between Poland and Japan for many ways but Poland is so much bigger country than Japan while Japan is so small and narrow.

At last, thank you very much for your care of our product and Moje Audio and your readers. I sincerely wish there will come chances that we can meet all of you once again in the near future. Thank you.

Please direct your questions, suggestions, opinions, etc. to:


"High Fidelity OnLine" is an internet magazine, published since may 2004, devoted to high quality reproduction of sound and picture. It is a monthly magazine, but the articles are uploaded twice a month - in the beginning of the month and in the middle. The news column is updated on on-going basis, if possible. The main sections are: "Tests", "Events" (interviews, reportages, and similar), "Hyde Park" (user tests, opinions) and "Who asks..." (readers questions and HFOL answers). Articles from earlier issues can be read in the "Archive". Have a nice read!

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