Upgrade to Exposure 3010S2D

wezzy

Novice Member
Hi, i currently have a Rega Brio r amp, Rega Apollo r CD and Neat SX2 floorstanders. These were all bought in 2016.
I am thinking of ungrading my amplifier, initially i had the Rega Elicit r in mind but the Exposure 3010S2D, is now on my radar.
The bass on my speakers gets quite muddy with the present amp, so it is to be replaced. The reviews i have read seem to favour the Exposure over the Rega, for producing a warmer sound, which i am looking for from my new amp. Are there any Exposure owners or anybody with experience of what i could expect with this amp upgrade, especially with the Neat speakers. Any input is welcome.
Thanks.
 

karlsushi

Active Member
A bit more power and control from a decent amp will inevitably help to tighten up a muddy bass, but after years of experiencing this same issue and throwing money at new speakers/amps, I discovered that the problem was more about the room acoustics than anything else.

You could try physical room treatments, but short of turning your room into a studio, you may find that incorporating one of the various choices of room correction software into your system enhances and tightens up your bass more than a new amp could ever do.

I use Dirac Live and it was a game changer for me.

One idea might be to get a home demo of one of the new NAD amps that incorporate Dirac, so you get two birds with one stone.
 

wezzy

Novice Member
Thanks for the reply. No chance of a home studio unfortunately, my system is in the living room. I will check out the Dirac, as i have never heard of it before. The amp upgrade is something i have though abought, just for my own listening pleasure. I think i have seen something about Arcam amps having room correction tech. So something to chase up on.
Thanks again.
 

karlsushi

Active Member
Yes, Arcam have been using Dirac in their AV amps for a while and I think are now incorporating into their stereo integrateds too, so would be another good option if you decide to go down that route (it looks like the SA30 has Dirac if that's within your budget at £1995 RRP).

The cheapest way into Dirac would be using a miniDSP unit or their standalone PC software version, but integrating those into your CD player set-up might be a bit less user-friendly and may take some fiddling.

Out of interest, Linn's preamps and streamers also use their own version of room correction these days ('space optimisation' as they call it) and if you can afford it, I hear Lyngdorf's 'Room Perfect' is about as good as it gets within the domestic setting, as well as doing very good quality Class D amplification.

Going back to the Exposure suggestion though, I demo'd one of their power amps not that long ago (the 3010S2, which I guess is the standalone power amp version of the integrated you have been eyeing-up) and it sounded very good to my ears, so wouldn't be a bad option by any means.

Too many options...
 

wezzy

Novice Member
Yes, Arcam have been using Dirac in their AV amps for a while and I think are now incorporating into their stereo integrateds too, so would be another good option if you decide to go down that route (it looks like the SA30 has Dirac if that's within your budget at £1995 RRP).

The cheapest way into Dirac would be using a miniDSP unit or their standalone PC software version, but integrating those into your CD player set-up might be a bit less user-friendly and may take some fiddling.

Out of interest, Linn's preamps and streamers also use their own version of room correction these days ('space optimisation' as they call it) and if you can afford it, I hear Lyngdorf's 'Room Perfect' is about as good as it gets within the domestic setting, as well as doing very good quality Class D amplification.

Going back to the Exposure suggestion though, I demo'd one of their power amps not that long ago (the 3010S2, which I guess is the standalone power amp version of the integrated you have been eyeing-up) and it sounded very good to my ears, so wouldn't be a bad option by any means.

Too many options...
Thanks you for the reply, really appreciate it, going from an entry level, Rega Brio r and apollo r cd with Neat SX2. Is going to be a fun journey and steep learning curve. Thanks again.
 

karlsushi

Active Member
I'm sure you've thought of this and notwithstanding that you may be restricted in terms of what you can do in your living room, but also don't discount the impact that speaker placement can have, especially on bass.

You may find that pulling your speakers a little further out from the wall helps with the 'muddy' bass.
 

wezzy

Novice Member
I'm sure you've thought of this and notwithstanding that you may be restricted in terms of what you can do in your living room, but also don't discount the impact that speaker placement can have, especially on bass.

You may find that pulling your speakers a little further out from the wall helps with the 'muddy' bass.
Yes i have now tried doing this, which is does change things. After having them tucked away to avoid kid and dog damage! I can pull them out and just measured the speakers at 7ft apart C-too-C, and toed inwards to my head position, 8 ft away.
Thanks once again.
 

acgingersnaps

Active Member
Hi. I have Neat SX2, powered by a Rega Elex R (A bit more power than the Brio, of course). No flabby bass issues here. I find it to be a lovely sound combo.
 

wezzy

Novice Member
Hi. I have Neat SX2, powered by a Rega Elex R (A bit more power than the Brio, of course). No flabby bass issues here. I find it to be a lovely sound combo.
Hi, thanks for that. It seems back up that the Neat SX2 need a bit more power than the brio. Do you use a CD player, as I do. If so which one is it. Thanks again.
 

acgingersnaps

Active Member
Hi, thanks for that. It seems back up that the Neat SX2 need a bit more power than the brio. Do you use a CD player, as I do. If so which one is it. Thanks again.
Sorry. Streaming and vinyl only.
They are super speakers. The elex isn't a monster, but it's got enough and i think it's great. The only thing that would tempt me to change it would be room correction, which i can't afford so is irrelevant!
 

wezzy

Novice Member
Sorry. Streaming and vinyl only.
They are super speakers. The elex isn't a monster, but it's got enough and i think it's great. The only thing that would tempt me to change it would be room correction, which i can't afford so is irrelevant!
OK Thanks for that.
 

karlsushi

Active Member
Sorry. Streaming and vinyl only.
They are super speakers. The elex isn't a monster, but it's got enough and i think it's great. The only thing that would tempt me to change it would be room correction, which i can't afford so is irrelevant!
I know I keep mentioning it (I don't work for Dirac, honest!), but if you do, or can, use a laptop as your music source, then the full stereo desktop version of Dirac Live is only $349 (so what's that, only about £250 - far less than a new amp!).

And it looks like they currently do a free 14 day trial.

Pop all your CDs onto a laptop, get rid of your CD player and exchange for a decent DAC and bobs your uncle, plus you get to enjoy hi-res etc. Yes, you'll need a decent media player too - I use J:River which Dirac works pretty comfortably with, but there are plenty more out there and they tend to cost pennies in the grand scheme of things.

Yes o.k, I've had a bit of learning curve to get it set up properly, but it's fairly easy with internet searches and Dirac's technical support desk to guide you. And if you're competent with IT you'll do better than I did, because my skills with IT are pretty basic.

Now, I appreciate the impact of Dirac will be variable depending upon your room, but in the average living room where aesthetics and practicalities constrain what you can reasonably do with speaker placement and room treatments, I can't think of a more cost-effective hifi upgrade I have ever taken.

Some people buy cables for more than £250!

The only caveat is that getting a turntable through the desktop version of Dirac is a bit more problematic, because you'll need an ADC (i.e. you need to turn your 'analogue' turntable signal into a 'digital' stream to be passed through the DSP processing). This is where the Arcam/NAD amps make life a lot easier, as they tend to have phono stages and ADCs built-in.

o.k, enough said now. But you get the point.

Each to their own and YMMV, but for me, it has been a game-changer.
 

karlsushi

Active Member
Sorry, forgot to mention, you need a microphone too, which is another £100 to buy new, but lots of people out there with one sitting in a cupboard that might be willing to lend it out to do your initial measurements.

I have.

Think you get a mic included with the Arcam and NAD amps.

O.k., I'll be quiet now.
 

acgingersnaps

Active Member
o.k, enough said now. But you get the point.

Each to their own and YMMV, but for me, it has been a game-changer.
I am definitely curious and i've looked into it. However, i've stripped my sources right back recently and I only stream through a Sonos connect or play records, so any solution that I got would need to be able to accommodate that.
I've seen that I could pop a minidsp between my connect and my amp, but that seems excessive, given that if I'm just sitting and listening, it tends to be the vinyl.
As a result, I've just come to accept that until I can afford a Lyngdorf, I'll just wait. Not too hard given my system sounds pretty sweet anyway, which means I'm really in no rush to upgrade.
 

wezzy

Novice Member
Sorry, forgot to mention, you need a microphone too, which is another £100 to buy new, but lots of people out there with one sitting in a cupboard that might be willing to lend it out to do your initial measurements.

I have.

Think you get a mic included with the Arcam and NAD amps.

O.k., I'll be quiet now.
Haha Thanks for all your input,
 

Adam72

Active Member
Would be interested in hearing what you think if you do make the change, I'm currently toying with the idea of changing from my Quad Vena, exposure is an amp I'm considering. I'm still not convinced that an amp change would make that much difference.
 

acgingersnaps

Active Member
I'm still not convinced that an amp change would make that much difference.
Assuming power and current are similar, or if you're speakers are easy to drive, it shouldn't do.
 

wezzy

Novice Member
Would be interested in hearing what you think if you do make the change, I'm currently toying with the idea of changing from my Quad Vena, exposure is an amp I'm considering. I'm still not convinced that an amp change would make that much difference.
OK no problem, i am searching around to se if there are any ex demo for sale, could save a few quid.
 

Adam72

Active Member
I've also got the Neat Sx2s, I got them at such a great price approx 2 years ago. I've thought about changing them for something more in line with the price of the Vena, the trouble is, if I get rid of them I could never afford to buy them new.

In the back of my mind is the thought that I've never heard them on the end of a great amp.
 

acgingersnaps

Active Member
I've also got the Neat Sx2s, I got them at such a great price approx 2 years ago. I've thought about changing them for something more in line with the price of the Vena, the trouble is, if I get rid of them I could never afford to buy them new.

In the back of my mind is the thought that I've never heard them on the end of a great amp.
Are you not sure about them?
 

Adam72

Active Member
I do like them a lot, they are the best speakers I've owned, but I do sometimes feel the lack a little weight to the sound. Not sure how else to explain it. Perhaps I'm just after a change. I'm tempted by the Quad S2 or Wharfedale Denton 85s.

As I say, I've never heard the Neats on the end of a great amp so that might change them.
 

acgingersnaps

Active Member
I do like them a lot, they are the best speakers I've owned, but I do sometimes feel the lack a little weight to the sound. Not sure how else to explain it. Perhaps I'm just after a change. I'm tempted by the Quad S2 or Wharfedale Denton 85s.

As I say, I've never heard the Neats on the end of a great amp so that might change them.
I love mine. Sound first and then how elegant they look.
With enough power there's no issue with "weight". Annoying if you're not getting a full bodied sound though. You could always add a power amp, using the Vena's pre outs. An XTZ Edge or a 2nd hand Quad 606 or 909 for example. Be cheaper than the speakers and do you for future upgrades as well.
 

Adam72

Active Member
I'm definitely gonna try an amp before I do anything. I almost bought a Leema Elements amp today.
 

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