Exposure Electronics XM5 integrated amplifier Manufacturer's Comment

Manufacturer's Comment

Editor: Our sincere thanks to Art Dudley for the recent review of the Exposure XM5 Integrated Amplifier. The XM5 was designed for "real-world" buyers who want a unit that can do most things, without taking up the room needed by conventional hi-fi separates. These days, many urban dwellers don't have the space for a living room full of boxes. The XM5's half-width size allows it to be more flexible for positioning, while not compromising performance. The circuitry is based on the legendary Exposure 2010S2—which is the staple of our separates range—but it necessarily has a lower power output due to the space constraints of the case. We have again chosen a class-AB design and use discrete power-output transistors instead of MOSFETs. We believe this sounds better-indeed, all our amplifiers except for the original 2010 have been bipolar, and it works very well for us. The overheating described in the bench measurements has not been a problem in the real world. We have not had a single complaint about overheating.

The digital section is based on the 2010S2's DSD DAC; it uses the respected Wolfson WM8742 chip, which has a fine reputation for sound quality across a wide range of source material in both PCM and DSD. We note that much of the DAC commentary resulted from comparison of the XM5 with the fine Hegel Mohican CD, a dedicated CD DAC separate costing $5000. We wonder how this can be a useful comparison, as the XM5, of course, is a preamp, power amp, DAC, and phono preamp, all for $1795. Is it realistic to expect a comparable DAC? The design goal for the XM5 was to provide a fully featured, excellent-sounding, compact unit representing very high value, which required careful choices about where to spend. Finally, we would like to invite readers to visit www.exposurehifiusa.com where there are other reviews on the XM5, one from Stereophile's sister publication Hi-Fi Choice where David Price states, "The XM5 is all about power, punch, rhythm and richness," and concludes, "This is very much an audiophile integrated amplifier that just happens to be small." We couldn't say it any better.—Bill Duvall, CEO, Exposure Electronics USA Inc.

Exposure Electronics
US distributor: Fidelis Music Systems
460 Amherst Street (Route 101A)
Nashua, NH 03063
(603) 880-4434

Bogolu Haranath's picture

Denon PMA-1600NE ($1,599) integrated amp would be a good comparison :-) .........

Ortofan's picture

... 60W output rating, one could just as well compare it to the $600 Denon PMA-800NE and/or the $700 Marantz PM7005.

Bogolu Haranath's picture

Denon and Marantz units also have tone controls ..... if such things matter :-) .......

Bogolu Haranath's picture

Those tone controls are centered at 100Hz and 10KHz ....... Most of the listeners seem to prefer those types of tone controls :-) .........

ok's picture

..beautiful introduction!

ednazarko's picture

Yet another component review where the enthusiasm is dependent on the right combination, where a different combination of perfectly good components isn't as good as a different combination.

The differences in the review between being hooked to the Altecs versus the deVores is striking. This little box went from just OK to enjoyable, by switching speakers. That's my greatest sadness about the current trends in audio retailing. There are fewer. Those that exist have stripped their lines down to a few manufacturers. That stripped down inventory definitely has its negatives. I've heard some speakers that I know are fantastic (given the right sources and amps) that sounded dull and flat, because the retailer's limited palette of options didn't match well with them.

Putting a system together, where the components all play well with each other, is now down to guesswork.

My best sounding system is one I got almost 20 years ago... when I could select from and test several different speakers and integrated amps, and then test a few different speaker cabling options. Over the course of a few days, I found a harmonious combination. When the integrated had to go for repair and I had a substitute in the system, suddenly I hated the speakers. When the integrated went up in a spectacular show of flames, I went through a half dozen different units (on 30 day trial, and each time I felt vaguely guilty about the return) to find the one that worked with the system.

I suspect this is a problem limited to the affordable range, and not the very high end.

Juhazi's picture

Yes it seem pretty much to be the audiophile trend to leave tone controls away. The user is forced to a mouse's wheel of buying new speakers, players, amps, speakers, players, amps etc. ad infinitum! Makes sellers and some manufacturers happy...

musicislife's picture

I have this XM5 amp, and I love it with the setup I have. I totally agree with your review on it.