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Exposure 2010S2 to Emotiva XSP-1

Luxman Amplifiers India

audiodelic

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Using an exposure 2010S2 as pre-amp presently through pre outs. Planning on upgrading to an Emotiva XSP-1, it seems to have great reviews and want to try out this whole dual differential funda. This will be the first piece of kit to a patient chain of future upgrades as finance and wife permits. Basically next add a pair of dual differential mono blocks, a schiit yggdrasil dac with xlr outs all connected via balanced from dac to poweramp.

Emotiva XSP

Comments, thoughts, better options if any in the same price range +/- 10%.
Would you guys do it differently, if yes please suggest.

Can some members also give us their insight on this whole dual differential design merits and demerits if any.

cheers:)
 
Last edited:

shibashis

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Since you already have Emotiva UPA-2 and are getting a XSP-1, why not look at DC-1 as the dac, all of your gear looks like going to be Emotiva, so the synergy possibly could be better with a DC-1.
That is of course not to say that Schiit is worse than the DC-1 or will not match your Emotiva chain of equipment (one can not really say unless we have experienced it...), but DC-1 is a thought.
 
M

mpw

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Audiodelic

What goes on inside the black box - nobody can be certain wrt the final sound produced in your room.

Preferably don't select electronics on topology or semantics.

Am not saying the emotiva you mention is not good but
The criteria cannot be " dual differential "

Regards
 

docd

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Audiodelic,
I am using the Emotiva USP 1 preamp along with UPA 700 power. My source is Oppo 103. Overall sound is good but I felt it could be improved by adding a DAC. So when I visited Boston USA in may, I went to Q Audio which is a well known hi end audio shop in Boston. I particularly wanted to audition the Marantz HD DAC 1. The owner of this shop is a very friendly and helpful gentleman. He asked about my present setup, I mentioned Emotiva and his reply was somewhat surprising. He said Emotiva is an over hyped brand, very ordinary and not audiophile in anyway! He said I did not need a DAC, it wouldn't improve my setup. He asked me to junk Emotiva and go in for a NAD, Marantz , Musical Fidelity, or Exposure integrated amp or some other established brand. Of course the fact that he was a dealer with these brands could have something to do with his advice! In fact I told him so and he said he is talking from experience and he could easily sell me the Marantz DAC if I wanted but he felt it would not help me.
The point I am making is that this opinion of Emotiva is not uncommon among many in the audiophile community and they are not totally wrong. Emotiva is good value for money, but in your case having already used Exposure you could possibly go for something more higher up in the value chain.
 

audiodelic

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I actually compared the Exposure 2010S2 to my Emo UPA-2 connected to it via pre outs. Giving credit to Exposure 2010S2 it does have a flattering sound more warmness, less dynamics, less inner detail retrieval, maybe more musicality but whole sound is like there is veil between the music and listener.

As soon as i connect the Emo UPA-2 i get much more 3d soundstage, sound extends more outside the speakers, details shine through, dynamics give the bass the grunt needed as i listen to psytrance, transparency/naturalness is better. With my music i need something that can resolve complex music really well as in separation even there the Emotiva does better, id rather believe what i can hear than brand names. just my 2 paisa

Infact before the Exposure 2010S2 i used to own the USP-1 myself but the volume control is making crackling noises etc. me as i believe lot of dust went into it in indian dirty conditions and i barely cleaned it ever which was my fault. Anybody who knows electronics and has the ability to open it and get it repaired, if they want can buy it from me for dirt cheap and get it repaired and use it, pm me if interested.

The USP-1 sounded leaps and bounds better than the Exposure as a preamp except the treble which sounded little grainy which a reviewer also noted about the USP that like all budget equipment it does lack refined treble. In the XSP reviewers and emotiva forum members claim treble is at a whole another refined level and the preamp THD, it is quite as hell letting the music come through beautifully with least noise and distortion.
 

docd

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I actually compared the Exposure 2010S2 to my Emo UPA-2 connected to it via pre outs. Giving credit to Exposure 2010S2 it does have a flattering sound more warmness, less dynamics, less inner detail retrieval, maybe more musicality but whole sound is like there is veil between the music and listener.

As soon as i connect the Emo UPA-2 i get much more 3d soundstage, sound extends more outside the speakers, details shine through, dynamics give the bass the grunt needed as i listen to psytrance, transparency/naturalness is better. With my music i need something that can resolve complex music really well as in separation even there the Emotiva does better, id rather believe what i can hear than brand names. just my 2 paisa

Infact before the Exposure 2010S2 i used to own the USP-1 myself but the volume control is making crackling noises etc. me as i believe lot of dust went into it in indian dirty conditions and i barely cleaned it ever which was my fault. Anybody who knows electronics and has the ability to open it and get it repaired, if they want can buy it from me for dirt cheap and get it repaired and use it, pm me if interested.

The USP-1 sounded leaps and bounds better than the Exposure as a preamp except the treble which sounded little grainy which a reviewer also noted about the USP that like all budget equipment it does lack refined treble. In the XSP reviewers and emotiva forum members claim treble is at a whole another refined level and the preamp THD, it is quite as hell letting the music come through beautifully with least noise and distortion.
audiodelic,
Ultimately our ears are the best judge. Emotiva does have many loyalists and it's newer models have received good reviews. If your experience with USP1 has been good, then XSP would be a nice choice. In fact while USP does have a sharp hiend, I have never found it to be very grainy. I would love to match it with a better power like XPA 2.
As they say, YMMV!
 

audiodelic

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audiodelic,
Ultimately our ears are the best judge. Emotiva does have many loyalists and it's newer models have received good reviews. If your experience with USP1 has been good, then XSP would be a nice choice. In fact while USP does have a sharp hiend, I have never found it to be very grainy. I would love to match it with a better power like XPA 2.
As they say, YMMV!


Agreed sharp hi end is more accurate, grainy is a huge overstatement. There is constant cymbals in psytrance so has to have a smooth high end but this is nitpicking. When the emo usp-1 was there i really loved the matching and sound. The only thing better in the exposure was maybe a little less sharp on the high end, but not as transparent, imaging + 3d sound stage is as not as good. With the emo the sharpness also pronounces itself on 128 kbps MP3 and not 320, so its part bad source quality at play here too.

Actually once i get this i want to connect up two Emotiva XPA-1L's for a dual differential path or an Odyssey Stratos Extreme, lets see how it pans out. First i want to replace the Exposure 2010S2, which will be going up on sale on HFV. Anyone interested PM me, get first in line once i do put it up. Gauge the sq difference with this change before i move forward to the next component.
 

docd

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Agreed sharp hi end is more accurate, grainy is a huge overstatement. There is constant cymbals in psytrance so has to have a smooth high end but this is nitpicking. When the emo usp-1 was there i really loved the matching and sound. The only thing better in the exposure was maybe a little less sharp on the high end, but not as transparent, imaging + 3d sound stage is as not as good. With the emo the sharpness also pronounces itself on 128 kbps MP3 and not 320, so its part bad source quality at play here too.

Actually once i get this i want to connect up two Emotiva XPA-1L's for a dual differential path or an Odyssey Stratos Extreme, lets see how it pans out. First i want to replace the Exposure 2010S2, which will be going up on sale on HFV. Anyone interested PM me, get first in line once i do put it up. Gauge the sq difference with this change before i move forward to the next component.

You are right about the transparency of USP1. Bad sources sound bad. Would love to hear your impressions on the differences between USP and XSP once you get the XSP. Might tempt me to go for one! BTW how do you plan to get it? Direct from Emo?
 

audiodelic

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Last edited:

audiodelic

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Review after a few months of listening

The sound from the XSP-1 is awesome, if i had to describe the sound i can't its more like its got no real sound of its own. It just gets out of the picture and lets the DAC show off its sound.

Some perceivable differences from the exposure i upgraded from. Much lesser noise, dead silent, this helps in the music really coming out from a dead silent background real eye opener for me, the details in the music are just so effortless and clear now. It does boost the pre-amp signal voltage wise so now my amp is running with much less gain decreasing the distortion.

Sound wise the treble is much much more refined its detailed but not bright sounding to emphasize details. Bass is nice and defined, mid range is there but not forward that might have more to do with the schist having laid back mids
 
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