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Opinions on Exposure Amplifiers

elnorte

New member
Mar 6, 2016
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Hello everyone

I'm planning on buying a new hi-fi system which will include a turntable, amplifer and speakers with a total budget of around or a little over £2000. I shall be visiting a couple of shops in the coming weeks to have a listen to products that have been recommened to me.

One of these will be an Exposure XM5 Integrated Amplifier. It is priced (relatively) high at around £1239 but I have been struggling to find reviews of it online. The What Hi-Fi website itself does not appear to have one.

Therefore I was wondering if anyone has any experience at all of using this amplifier (or any of the other Exposure range) and could possibly advise on whether it would be a worthwhile purchase?

Thanks
 

Vladimir

New member
Dec 26, 2013
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IMO thats too expensive for a small shoebox amp with 200VA transformer. I'd price it less than half of that.
 

drummerman

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Jan 18, 2008
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The integrated is widely reviewed now in the UK HiFi press. All very favourable.

It's not cheap though as Vlad said. A Rega Brio 2017 is half the price and roughly comparable, on specs at least, as is Cyrus's ONE.

Perhaps you can dem them side by side.

To put things into perspective, a Cyrus 82dac integrated is now £1600.
 

jonathanRD

Well-known member
Jan 27, 2011
175
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18,670
elnorte said:
Hello everyone

I'm planning on buying a new hi-fi system which will include a turntable, amplifer and speakers with a total budget of around or a little over £2000. I shall be visiting a couple of shops in the coming weeks to have a listen to products that have been recommened to me.

One of these will be an Exposure XM5 Integrated Amplifier. It is priced (relatively) high at around £1239 but I have been struggling to find reviews of it online. The What Hi-Fi website itself does not appear to have one.

Therefore I was wondering if anyone has any experience at all of using this amplifier (or any of the other Exposure range) and could possibly advise on whether it would be a worthwhile purchase?

Thanks
I have the Exposure 3010S2D pre/power set up which is a completely different beast to the XM5. Originally I demoed amplifiers around the £1000 mark (roughly around 70wpc) from Naim, Arcam and Rega, before going up to the Rega Elicit R and Exposure 3010S2D integrated. Not a huge difference between them but I did prefer the Exposure, before then getting the pre & 2 x mono power amps which I love.

The XM5 for its specificiation seems quite expensive, it reminds me of the similarly half width case Leema Elements integrated which is even more expensive albiet with an added dac. I'm sure both the Exposure and Leema are excellent amplifiers but these wont fit into your overall budget. But by all means have a listen, especially if a dealer can put together a set of components including the XM5 for £2000.

You may be better off looking at amps for around £650 to £900, trying to match the amp with a suitable pair of speakers and TT etc.

I think there is a review of the XM5 in one of the hifi magazines at the moment but I cannot remember which?

Nothing wrong with Exposure, but as always go listen to them.
 
Q

QuestForThe13thNote

Guest
Ive heard exposure amps which have seemed to feature a lot at shows being used in rooms demoing speakers etc where it’s a ‘non exposure’ room.

But I agree with drummerman, look at getting a slightly more commercial amp from the likes of Rega, cyrus etc. You’d get a lot out of the cyrus one and I wouldn’t too be spending £1200-£1300 on amps which leaves little room for speakers. Spend the most on speakers, say a grand, then amps and sources the least, but you want an amp that punches above its weight in performance. A high power class d amp seems like a good idea.
 

drummerman

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Jan 18, 2008
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Perhaps we are being a little unfair to Exposure. I would expect a home made product of Exposure's quality and kudos to cost around the asking price. Many products have gone up in price over the last few years.

To be honest, I don't know how Rega manage to sell the UK/Swiss made (for the manufacturing purists) Brio for 600 quid.

Not sure about the new Cyrus, but if made here it's a bargain too.
 

Vladimir

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Dec 26, 2013
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Exposure is Malaysian, with products built in Malaysia, AFAIK. Doesn't change the fact you get a small amp for the price (over half the total budget). If it must be an Exposure, better have an older version second hand under 1K.
 

Al ears

Moderator
Vladimir said:
Exposure is Malaysian, with products built in Malaysia, AFAIK. Doesn't change the fact you get a small amp for the price (over half the total budget). If it must be an Exposure, better have an older version second hand under 1K.
British from design to finish..... does that mean Malaysian now?? ;-)

http://www.exposurehifi.com

Whatever, their recent products are overpriced for certain.
 

Vladimir

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Dec 26, 2013
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Al ears said:
Vladimir said:
Exposure is Malaysian, with products built in Malaysia, AFAIK. Doesn't change the fact you get a small amp for the price (over half the total budget). If it must be an Exposure, better have an older version second hand under 1K.
British from design to finish..... does that mean Malaysian now?? ;-)

http://www.exposurehifi.com

Whatever, their recent products are overpriced for certain.
Exposure was founded by John Farlowe (RIP) in 1974. He moved manufacturing in Malaysia due to financial issues and eventually sold the business to the factory. Maybe they put the volume knobs in Hove, England. Does that make it British?
 

plastic penguin

Well-known member
Apr 28, 2008
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I'm a big fan of Exposure CDPs and amps (2010S). Fairly easy to speaker match but the older models did lack a little with inputs. So if pure ergonomics isn't your priority, these newer kiddies should fit the bill.

That said, don't go purely on people's views, a dem (preferably home demo) is advisable.
 

daytona600

Well-known member
Oct 5, 2012
256
132
19,070
vinyl is always source 1st - best allocate 50% to turntable say £1000 & £500 amp & speakers for the best sound

you can always upgrade in the future without chaging your Front End
 

Vladimir

New member
Dec 26, 2013
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Michell Focus One Turntable & Linn LV-V Tonearm - £495

Accuphase E-206 - £799

Acoustic Research AR-5 - £700

Click on the prices for ebay references. No affiliation.

Yeah. I was bored.
 

rainsoothe

Well-known member
Apr 30, 2012
371
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Vladimir said:
 

Michell Focus One Turntable & Linn LV-V Tonearm - £495

Accuphase E-206 - £799

Acoustic Research AR-5 - £700

Click on the prices for ebay references. No affiliation.

 

Yeah. I was bored. 
This looks pretty nice indeed. Accuphase have a great sound. No experience with AR speakers.

If you want new tt, I'd look at the new Rega p3, or even the p6 (although I think the p3 can be upgraded to close to p6 spec in the long run). Either with Rega's own cartridge and phono preamp if you need one, or with Nagaoka mp110 + Schiit Mani (I've seen this combo recommended a lot).

Try to audition everything you're considering.

The exposures got great reviews in HiFi choice, but so did wharfedale reva 2, so what do they know? Joking, should be good products, so do test them.

If you're not afraid of sh and would like great sound, looks and functionality, look for used or ex-dem naim Unitiqute 2 + nap 100 + Focal aria 906.
 

elnorte

New member
Mar 6, 2016
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Hello

Firstly thank you to everyone for the very helpful replies.

I actually decided to up my budget to around the £2500 mark to allow me a better range of options.

Today I had my first demonstration which included:

Turntables: Pro-Ject 1 Xpression Carbon and Pro-Ject 2-Xperience Acryl
Amplifiers: Arcam FMJ A29 and the Rotel A12
Speakers: B&W 707 S2s and KEF LS50s

To me the best combination was the Pro-Ject 2, the Arcam and the KEFs and all together sounded very impressive.

While I noticed a certain degree of difference in quality between the two turntables it was most apparent with the amplifiers. To me there was just no comparison in the sense that the Arcam blew the Rotel out of the water.

However, another very important aspect to all this is while the Pro-Ject 2 normally retails at £999.00 it is being offered to me at a reduced price of £750 simply due to it being out of the box. This seems to me like a very encouraging deal as it is obviously a quality piece of kit and keeps me within my budget.

I will also be visting a second shop tomorrow where I believe it will be Rega items on offer which will most likely include the Planar 3 turntable and the Elex-R amplifier. Based on what I've read this would seem to be an excellent combination but obviously I shall have to wait to see how they sound in comparison to what I heard today.

Last thing to say for the moment is that part of me wonders whether I should give a consideration to buying the items I like from different shops if it makes sense to do so. I realise I wouldn't be able to hear all of them collectively before buying but I reckon I could make a pretty accurate assessment of how they would sound together having heard them separately with other items.
 

Vladimir

New member
Dec 26, 2013
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It doesn't matter what you heard in the shops. It will very likely sound completely different when you bring it home. For the convenience alone I would buy a system from the same shop with option to return/swap kit.
 

lindsayt

New member
Apr 8, 2011
16
2
0
Vladimir said:
Al ears said:
Vladimir said:
Exposure is Malaysian, with products built in Malaysia, AFAIK. Doesn't change the fact you get a small amp for the price (over half the total budget). If it must be an Exposure, better have an older version second hand under 1K.
British from design to finish..... does that mean Malaysian now?? ;-)

http://www.exposurehifi.com

Whatever, their recent products are overpriced for certain.
Exposure was founded by John Farlowe (RIP) in 1974. He moved manufacturing in Malaysia due to financial issues and eventually sold the business to the factory. Maybe they put the volume knobs in Hove, England. Does that make it British?
And the reason for him moving from Hove to Malaysia is not the sort of thing to be discussed on a family friendly forum like this.

The Farlowe era pre-powers are worth buying - at the right price.
 

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