Where do I go next with my system?

NADs unreliability stories are based on their vintage gear. This is basically a totally new company. Lenbrook bought them decades ago and dramatically improved things.
Ahh, I did not know that! Thank you for that important clarification.

Don’t worry. One listen will get you unstuck fast. :)

I have a friend who is a big Simaudio dealer. Sells Naim and Exposure too, amongst so many others. What does he sell to His brand agnostic customers? What does he have at home? What does his extended family use? Yup. Exposure.
There is an Exposure 3010S integrated on Canuck Audio Mart right now for a more agreeable price than the Simaudio (assuming, of course, that I could get the seller to accept PayPal and ship to the US). Do you know how that one compares to the 2010S? It appears from a quick glance that the main difference is that the 2010S has a passive preamp whereas the 3010S has an active one.

I just noticed that you have the 3010S CD player in your signature :smile:
 

Prime Minister

Site Owner
Staff member
Ahh, I did not know that! Thank you for that important clarification.



There is an Exposure 3010S integrated on Canuck Audio Mart right now for a more agreeable price than the Simaudio (assuming, of course, that I could get the seller to accept PayPal and ship to the US). Do you know how that one compares to the 2010S? It appears from a quick glance that the main difference is that the 2010S has a passive preamp whereas the 3010S has an active one.

I just noticed that you have the 3010S CD player in your signature :smile:
I’m hardly unbiased when it comes to Exposure gear. I’ve owned the 3010S2 integrated, the 3010S2D preamp (still do), and the matching mono blocks, and the CD player. I’ve heard pretty well everything else in their line. To me, Exposure is one of those hidden gems of the audio world. Exposure gear sounds very similar to Naim gear, but with a layer of hash and noise removed. Not the kind of thing immediately noticeable, but VERY obvious when heard side by side. Exposure isn’t big enough to have a huge marketing budget, but they are well funded and backed. If you give them a call with a technical question, you’ll get the head designer Tony Brady on the phone to talk you through it. And he is truly one of the nicest guys in audio.
A year and a half ago, when I was setting out to buy my long term system, I whittled it down to two choices: the Luxman Integrated Amp, or the Exposure separates. Both were fantastic, with the Luxman being a tad more rich and mellow, and the Exposure being more lively and dynamic. I picked the Exposure stack for many reasons, and would have happily stayed there for the rest of my audio days. Then @Pat McGinty came along with his powered speakers and screwed everything up! :)

Unfortunately, the 3010S is one of the few pieces I don’t have a lot of experience with. I could without reservation recommend the 3010S2 or the 3010S2D. Both are absolutely delightful and pieces I could certainly live with for the very long term. Actually, if I had to keep a 3010 S2 for my last amp, I’d be fine with that too.

Finally, And for what it’s worth, the 3010S2 integrated laid waste to my fancy Manley Stingray amp, and basically ended my relationship with tubes altogether. Combined with my Spendor SP1/2e’s, with placement and tweaking by @Ernie, made for a truly wonderful sounding system.
 
I’m hardly unbiased when it comes to Exposure gear. I’ve owned the 3010S2 integrated, the 3010S2D preamp (still do), and the matching mono blocks, and the CD player. I’ve heard pretty well everything else in their line. To me, Exposure is one of those hidden gems of the audio world. Exposure gear sounds very similar to Naim gear, but with a layer of hash and noise removed. Not the kind of thing immediately noticeable, but VERY obvious when heard side by side. Exposure isn’t big enough to have a huge marketing budget, but they are well funded and backed. If you give them a call with a technical question, you’ll get the head designer Tony Brady on the phone to talk you through it. And he is truly one of the nicest guys in audio.
A year and a half ago, when I was setting out to buy my long term system, I whittled it down to two choices: the Luxman Integrated Amp, or the Exposure separates. Both were fantastic, with the Luxman being a tad more rich and mellow, and the Exposure being more lively and dynamic. I picked the Exposure stack for many reasons, and would have happily stayed there for the rest of my audio days. Then @Pat McGinty came along with his powered speakers and screwed everything up! :)

Unfortunately, the 3010S is one of the few pieces I don’t have a lot of experience with. I could without reservation recommend the 3010S2 or the 3010S2D. Both are absolutely delightful and pieces I could certainly live with for the very long term. Actually, if I had to keep a 3010 S2 for my last amp, I’d be fine with that too.

Finally, And for what it’s worth, the 3010S2 integrated laid waste to my fancy Manley Stingray amp, and basically ended my relationship with tubes altogether. Combined with my Spendor SP1/2e’s, with placement and tweaking by @Ernie, made for a truly wonderful sounding system.
Well, if that doesn’t convince me, I don’t know what could! I sent the 3010S seller a message, and I’m crossing my fingers that he’ll ship to the US. It really looks like a lovely unit, and would be around $400 less than the Simaudio that you guys have so successfully distracted me from! :p Based upon what you’ve said along with some other things I’ve read, it seems like Exposure is really a highly esteemed company. It was great to read your experiences with their gear, thanks for writing that all out. I’m sure I’ll be very happy with it if I end up buying it.
 

ICTWoody

Junior Member
I wonder if ”clean and sterile” could be a positive in my case, or if I also wouldn’t like it. As you said, though, it’s all subjective!
Since you have been listening to an unrestored Marantz and liking it, my vote is that is a big no.

used integrated amps I would be looking at in your price range:
croft phono integrated
heed elixir
The Croft has been on my list to try for a long time. I really like British electronics and I’m guessing it’s very musical based on reviews. I like the hybrid too.

I owed the Elixir and I truly miss that little integrated. It sounded absolutely wonderful with all the speakers I paired it with. And it has a really good phono section. I only sold mine cause I didn’t have a place for it in daily use.

- Woody
 

Prime Minister

Site Owner
Staff member
Well, if that doesn’t convince me, I don’t know what could! I sent the 3010S seller a message, and I’m crossing my fingers that he’ll ship to the US. It really looks like a lovely unit, and would be around $400 less than the Simaudio that you guys have so successfully distracted me from! :p Based upon what you’ve said along with some other things I’ve read, it seems like Exposure is really a highly esteemed company. It was great to read your experiences with their gear, thanks for writing that all out. I’m sure I’ll be very happy with it if I end up buying it.
Yikes.
Fingers crossed that you like it!
I do love it, and would have been totally happy to have spent the rest of my audio life with nothing but Exposure gear.
One interesting thing about Exposure is, being a small company, they can’t afford a ton of unique products. So what they do is come up with a product they really love, and then expand on it.
For instance, the start of the 3010 line is it the integrated amp. To upgrade from that, they split the amp and preamp into separate boxes, and each gets its own power supply. If you wanna pay even more, you go into the separates. Same preamp again, but the amps get upgraded to the MCX ones, but using the power supply of the power amp. It’s a cool trick that means a couple of different things.

1) If you like the integrated amp, everything up the line will sound similar, but better.
2) The Design of the basic integrated better be damn good, because the whole lineup is based on it.

Looking forward to hearing how it works out for you. Again, Keeping my fingers crossed.
 

airdronian

Junior Member
I must be the lone Moon owner at the Haven. :over:

I think @mackat will be pleased with any number of choices here. Exposure/Roksan/Rega integrated amps would probably all provide an easily recognized improvement in sound quality. And MOON too.

When I was first looking for an SS integrated, I would have bought the Exposure 3010s at the time, though none were available when I looked, or were too expensive. That brand isn't sold locally. I had a good quote on a Roksan K3 I think it was from a retailer one province over and would have bought that if it weren't for employment interruptus.

Finally, having read enough horror stories about used gear and shipping nightmares I'd decided to deal with my usual retailer near here. The only contenders near my price range were the Moon Neo 220i and an Atoll with more than twice the power of the Moon @ 8 ohms. The Moon had a top to bottom coherence the Atoll couldn't touch. Yes the mids and top end are fairly neutral but the bass grip really sold me. It's not bass heavy at all, but when called for the bass grip and control are spot on for a little amp. That Moon i3.3 also doubles it's power output into 4 ohms, and I think it would control speakers just as well, but with more volume on tap. They must have pretty decent power supplies.

Lots of options, and I'm thinking most all of them will provide an improvement for our OP.

(The CAM ad for the 3010 is indicating EMT for payment, so PayPal may not be accepted)
 

Prime Minister

Site Owner
Staff member
If I can help making the deal happen, let me know. Not sure where it is, but if the guy will only take EMT for the payment, You can PayPal me the funds and I’ll shoot him the EMT payment.
 

MikeyFresh

Moderator
Staff member
I must be the lone Moon owner at the Haven.
You might be the only MOON integrated amp owner at HFH, but I've certainly heard the i3 and it is not lean and clean, I think thats a generalization about a house sound and likely applies much more to MOON's very high powered amps that have lots of output devices per channel. The lower powered ones such as the i3, and the i3.3, do actually operate their first 5 watts in pure Class A, and in my auditions both in-dealer and at home in my own system, the amp actually sounded quite full and rich, more warm than lean and clean.

Now granted, that was a good many years ago and ultimately I decided on the Musical Fidelity A308 as my integrated, but the next choice for me was that i3 and I was never entirely certain I had made the right choice. The MF A308 has more power at 150wpc (actually measured in reviews as 165wpc), but the i3 probably had more finesse with those first 5 watts delivered in Class A.

MOON may no longer employ that sliding bias design, I haven't had occasion to specifically look into their amp designs in some time, but for sure the i3 that Art Dudley reviewed, and the successor i3.3 definitely also delivered the first 5 watts in Class A, and they were not clean and lean sounding to my ears driving ProAc Tablette Reference 8 Signature speakers in my own home, nor any of the speakers the dealer used to demo them either including ProAc Response Two S, Harbeth C7, and Joseph Audio RM7si.

I only auditioned the line stage input, so if there is any lean/clean sound with an i3 or 3.3 it may very well have something to do with the onboard phono stage, but I did not hear it with the line input.
 

airdronian

Junior Member
You might be the only MOON integrated amp owner, but I've certainly heard the i3 and it is not lean and clean, I think thats a generalization about a house sound and likely applies more to MOON's very high powered amps that have lots of output devices. The lower powered ones such as the i3, and the i3.3 do actually operate their first 5 watts in pure Class A, and in my auditions both in-dealer and at home in my own system, the amp actually sounded quite full and rich, more warm than lean and clean.

Now granted, that was a good many years ago and ultimately I decided on the Musical Fidelity A308 as my integrated, but the next choice for me was that i3 and I was never entirely certain I had made the right choice. The MF A308 has more power at 150wpc (actually measured in reviews as 165wpc), but the i3 probably had more finesse with those first 5 watts delivered in Class A.

MOON may no longer employ that sliding bias design, I haven't had occasion to specifically look into their amp designs in some time, but for sure the i3 that Art Dudley reviewed, and the successor i3.3 definitely also delivered the first 5 watts in Class A, and they were not clean and lean sounding to my ears driving ProAc Tablette Reference 8 Signature speakers in my own home, nor any of the speakers the dealer used to demo them either including ProAc Response Two S, Harbeth C7, and Joseph Audio RM7si.

I only auditioned the line stage input, so if there is any lean/clean sound with an i3 or 3.3 it may have something to do with the onboard phono stage, but I did not hear it with the line input.
They do still use the sliding bias AFAIK. My amp was discontinued, it's much like the current 250i - first 5w in class A, and doubles down its 8 ohm power rating into 4 ohms. And its driving Harbeth C7's here fwiw.
 
Yikes.
Fingers crossed that you like it!
I do love it, and would have been totally happy to have spent the rest of my audio life with nothing but Exposure gear.
One interesting thing about Exposure is, being a small company, they can’t afford a ton of unique products. So what they do is come up with a product they really love, and then expand on it.
For instance, the start of the 3010 line is it the integrated amp. To upgrade from that, they split the amp and preamp into separate boxes, and each gets its own power supply. If you wanna pay even more, you go into the separates. Same preamp again, but the amps get upgraded to the MCX ones, but using the power supply of the power amp. It’s a cool trick that means a couple of different things.

1) If you like the integrated amp, everything up the line will sound similar, but better.
2) The Design of the basic integrated better be damn good, because the whole lineup is based on it.

Looking forward to hearing how it works out for you. Again, Keeping my fingers crossed.
I think I'm really going to like it! It's funny that you mentioned Tony Brady, as the seller did as well! He was thinking of converting it into a standalone power amp, and was very surprised when Tony gave him the necessary instructions to do so. He decided against it, but your experiences makes me feel really good about buying a product from a company with such excellent customer service.

I was wondering how all their products were related, that's a really interesting way of doing things. Your point #2 especially gives me a lot of confidence in this purchase! I have been subconsciously wanting to upgrade my stereo system for a while, but only recently started giving it more serious thought, due to how expensive things can get. Another thing is that I really need to get away from buying a bunch of different turntables that I need like a hole in the head. Now that I have my SL-1200MK2, and in a few days will have your KD-750, I should be more than satisfied on that front for a very long time. Spending less than $1000 on a used but extremely high quality integrated amplifier that I plan to keep for a good number of years is a win in my book!

If I can help making the deal happen, let me know. Not sure where it is, but if the guy will only take EMT for the payment, You can PayPal me the funds and I’ll shoot him the EMT payment.
I really appreciate your offer to do this, it's very kind of you. Fortunately, it looks like all is going well and I believe the seller is going to accept PayPal. He has used it to buy, just not to sell. I explained to him how it works, offered to cover the G&S fees, and he said he'll look more into the logistics tomorrow. I'm optimistic that it will work out. It looks like shipping-wise, I'm going to go with Canada Post insured. It appears to be the least expensive, and even if it takes 11 days like my SUT did, I'm pretty confident in Canada Post and USPS. He will ship it in the original box.
 
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