Third Annual Emofest

A look inside the impressive Emotiva ERC-2 CD player.

Audiophiles have been buzzing about Emotiva for a few years now. The attraction is no mystery: Emotiva’s products are solidly built and modestly priced, and the company takes pride in its strong relationships with customers. Yet, other than in the usual show report, Emotiva’s products have been absent from Stereophile’s pages.

But that will soon change: Our November issue will include Kal Rubinson’s thoughts on the Emotiva XPA-5 five-channel power amplifier, and, unless something crazy happens (always possible), I’ll discuss the Emotiva ERC-2 CD player in our December issue.

If you need an Emotiva fix before then, however, you can attend this weekend’s Emofest—thankfully, not a showcase for overly sensitive, castrated boy bands—held at Emotiva headquarters, in Franklin, Tennessee.

The two-day event begins on Saturday, September 3, with the EmoTech Open House, featuring tours of the design lab, a behind-the-scenes look at the latest Emotiva gear, and conversations with Emotiva’s engineers. Sunday, September 4, is Family Day and will include live performances by Grammy Award-winning bluegrass artist, Alison Brown, and Nashville blues artist, Johnny Hiland, as well as activities for children, gourmet food, and a generous raffle.

Says Dan Laufman, Emotiva’s president and CEO: “Last year, we were blown away by the sheer number of Emotiva end-users who made the trip. This time, we’re pulling out the stops with an even greater array of attractions, in-depth product discussions, food, entertainment, and giveaways, all as a way of saying thank you for making Emotiva such a huge success among audiophiles and anybody who just plain enjoys great-sounding music and movies.”

Emofest is free. To participate, register here.

robertbadcock's picture

Transformers, cooling fins, capacitors, fat boards and nifty wire szes and colors.

I wish more components had plexi covers; but I suppose the 'gut shots' like Emo has for its copy above will have to do for now.

Yeah; GUTS!

nunhgrader's picture

I love seeing the insides as well. I like their products - looking forward to the reviews!

kevon27's picture

Emotiva has allowed many, many people to experience the world of separates. Before, if your wanted Top quality Mono block amps, you'll be looking at a few thousand dollars to get you started. The Xpa 1 at $1000 and less gives, you get incredible sound and build quality. And the measurements don't lie. I've heard time and time again, The Emo amps out classes gear costing thousands and thousands more.

Emotiva has a great business model.. And they will keep growing and growing while others will remain a niche player in the Audiophile world..

smittyman's picture

They really care about customer service.  I bought a CD player from them that was unfortunately dead in the box.  Emotiva went well above my expectations in sending me a replacement even before they received the return of the defective unit.  They responded quickly to any notes I sent and took on all of the red-tape around customs clearance on my behalf.  I always judge a company by how they do when things go wrong, and Emotiva excelled at making things right as quickly as possible.  Oh, and the second player is really sweet; sounds great; built like a tank with balanced and digitial outs as well as RCA.  You can buy with confidence because they stand behind their product and care about their customers.

ccvalentino's picture

I love my Emo gear. Earlier this summer I got in on their 4th of July sale. I purchased a USP-1 stereo preamp, XDA-1 Dac and a pair of UPA-1s which drive my vintage Klipsch Heresey Is. My two main sources are my MacBook Pro and Pro-Ject Debut III. All in all this is a very nice sounding system for the money.


volvic's picture

I have a YBA cd1a which I love and which has functioned flawlessly for many many years yet I know this player can now be bested by players costing a lot less than what I paid for many years ago.  If the EMO cd player can even better my YBA, if their seperates can best my old Linn seperates then I am sold on them for life and I still can't believe those prices for something that ooozes quality and looks so good.  Hurry up with the review Stephen ;)


gkrr1's picture

    I have owned an XDA-1 DAC since last spring. It is an outstanding unit for only $300. The sound is warm, open, and musical; build quality is phenomenol for the price; it puts to shame comparably priced units.  I've looked at their other products, but I am not in the market right now; but I will certainly consider Emotiva if things change.  I've even considered the XPA-1 monoblocks just because I've always wanted to own an 85 lb. amp! And they are oh so affordable!

Gregg R.

wavydavy's picture

After using well regarded A/V receivers + bookshelf / sub speaker set ups ... I fell into a pair of Martin Logan Sources. These panels NEED current and A/V amps generally don't deliver too much of it.  2 UPA-1 amps ( 350W / 4 ohm ) + XDA-1 DAC are an AWESOME combo. I use a PC playing FLAC files thru a USB-SPDIF converter ( M2-Tech Hiface ) . The SOUND is DEEP, DETAILED and I no longer have upgrade-itis ...

Not bad for $1000 .. 2 monoblocks, dac with remote + interconnects

That being said I wonder what $5-10K of electronics would sound like in my room ...

For an audiophile on a budget these cannot be beat, and I suspect they will romp with gear costing much more.

rrrbert's picture

Dollar for dollar, pound for pound, a better multi-channel amplifier does NOT exist on the market. Zenerx