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When were Exposure products unreliable?

Discussion in 'Hi-Fi Stereo Systems & Separates' started by Triggaaar, Apr 18, 2005.

  1. Triggaaar

    Triggaaar
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    I've seen comments in threads suggesting the reliability of exposure products used to be a problem, but isn't any more. I'm interested in when they improved, as I'm keeping my eyes open for secondhand equipment, and am not sure how far back I should consider.

    Thanks.
     
  2. Ed Selley

    Ed Selley
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    Late 80's, early 90's were the really halcyon days. By the time the 2010 and 3010 stuff broke cover, they had cracked most of it.
     
  3. Jules Tohpipi

    Jules Tohpipi
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    I retailed Exposure amps from 90-97. Sold a lot of them too, because we really liked them. In all that time not a single one went wrong. Whilst they might look a bit biscuit tin on the outside (in that era), opening the lid revealed components put together in a rock-solid way. No PCB mount sockets of any kind - everything soldered, no tags anywhere. Very, very, impressive stuff and leagues ahead of some of the other supposed high-end kit.

    So, I can only speak personally for the 90-97 line of products, but you can buy those with complete and utter confidence. Those products would include (in non-Roman numerals!):

    Exposure 15 integrated
    Exposure 20 integrated
    Exposure 17 and 19 pre amps
    Exposure 18 and dual reg 4 power amps (and the matching pre to the dual reg 4 - which I can't remember the name of).

    I never saw the VIs and VIIs go wrong either, but haven't got quite as much hands-on experience with them.

    I would stay away from the Exposure X integrated, as it hissed and was very prone to RF interference.
     
  4. Ed Selley

    Ed Selley
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    Exposure 20's and 15's were coming back in when I was in retail at the turn of the century (which sounds an odd phrase when I think about it!). Lost Cause is right as many of the problems were cosmetic related but they were a little fragile nevertheless.
     
  5. Jules Tohpipi

    Jules Tohpipi
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    "...but they were a little fragile nonetheless".

    So, what you are essentially saying is that, as a retailer, you had a higher number of returns than normal for Exposure amps ? Hence your statement ?

    If you did, then fine. But I'd be very surprised at that. Did you really have a load go wrong on you ? Other shops I knew selling Exposure had absolutely no trouble at all either - such that they would actually pass comment on it.

    So (and it's fine to for you to say this, but just to be clear), you had a lot of returns on Exposure amps then - outside of cosmetic quibbles ??
     
  6. Ed Selley

    Ed Selley
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    If we take a return (irrespective of diagnosis) to mean time we had to take mending them, then they would come back more often than their MF, Naim and Arcam counterparts that we also looked after. As I said, the faults were mostly cosmetic but a sheered off input knob still renders the thing bloody difficult to use. The other for me were rca terminals on the back coming away with tight interconnects.

    My time in retail was comparitively brief- and I have no desire to pick a fight on this one. Based on my own limited experience, Exposure 20's and 15's did not have the same exterior quality and resilience as:
    a) Some of their contempories
    b) Their descendents.

    Still, I came within a gnat's cock of buying a 3010 before I plumped for an Electrocompaniet so it certainly hasn't put me off.
     
  7. Triggaaar

    Triggaaar
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    Thankyou chaps, that's good enough for me.

    Since you both know more about exposure than I was expecting to find (others can chip in too) can I now move the question on to:

    I'm specifically after a pre-amp
    Is there much sonic difference between the 17, 19, 21 and 23?

    Thanks
     
  8. Jules Tohpipi

    Jules Tohpipi
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    I can't speak for the 21 and 23 because they are outside of my experience.

    The 17 and 19 were superb pre-amps in my opinion, so long as they were partnered with matching Exposure power amps such as the 18, 18 monos, or the mighty 4. The 17 came out first and included a phono stage. About one year later Exposure released a line-level only version of the 17 which they called the 19. Exposure were adamant that the removal of the phono stage improved the sound of the pre-amp... in a sceptical way we gave it a listen and found to our surprise that we agreed, as did the customers. I remember John Farlowe joking about a Japanese he spoke to once "We take phono stage out of 17, now it is a 19, and it sound better". To which John got the reply "OK, I pay you twice as much for this one !" The 17 carried on in production alongside the 19. Both are excellent by anyone's standards.

    The 17 and 19 had XLR connectors on the back, but note that these DON'T run in balanced mode. There is no balanced operation on the 17/18 or 19/18 combos - John put them on as an alternative to a phono connection because an XLR is simply a better connector. The XLRs do indeed provide better sound over the phono alternative - but they musn't be wired up (inside the sockets) in the same way as a normal XLR. If you go down that route, then a good cable company such as Chord should be able to help you out getting the necessary cable wired properly - conveniently you'll find a pin map next to the connectors on the back of the amps.

    As for the models I listed above, you would need a hammer, chisel and five minutes spare to get the volume/input controls off. I can't comment on the stuff from the mid-80's (which might have been different), but the stuff of the 90's - using Alps units with machined dials - was as robust as it gets, leaving only the odd old-wife's tale to worry them...

    :)
     
  9. Jules Tohpipi

    Jules Tohpipi
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    Oops, forgot to mention that the 17 used to sell for about £750 IIRC, and the 19 sold for £700. So, if you're not bothered about a turntable then the 19 is the better and cheaper option.
     
  10. Triggaaar

    Triggaaar
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    That's very helpful, thanks.

    What if I'm not using Exposure power amps, but using active monitors (Mackie HR624s)?

    That's a shame, as my Mackies run balanced.

    Or perhaps Mr Grant?
     
  11. Jules Tohpipi

    Jules Tohpipi
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    I think you will be OK running into the Mackies, but as a double-check I will ask our 'pro' man Weds morning (who knows those monitors very well).
     
  12. Triggaaar

    Triggaaar
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    Oh how I love this forum :thumbsup: thanks

    I'm sure it will work, was just wondering if running the pre-amps without the matching power amps was missing the point somewhat, with regard to their sound.
     
  13. Paul Williams

    Paul Williams
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    Hi Triggaaar

    Can I take it that you like the new 'Exposure sound' :smashin: Trouble is, not sure the older Pre's have the same degree of clarity and scale as the 2010s - this was the first Exposure product I felt that really covered all the bases. A remarkable amp for its price. As for the matching CD player it's way up on my list when I start looking to replace my ageing NAD.

    Happy hunting :)

    Paul
     
  14. Triggaaar

    Triggaaar
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    Evenin'. I certainly do, although I'm far from done testing. So far I've only used it with my Blueskys, and freebie inter-connects.

    I need to sort out the speaker cable connectors to test with my Dynaudios. Any idea where I can get plugs I need to fit to some QED silver ann?
     
  15. Paul Williams

    Paul Williams
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  16. Jules Tohpipi

    Jules Tohpipi
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    Alrighty then...

    I've had a word with our 'Pro' chap and he confirms that the Exposure amp should not have any problems into the Mackies. He claims that the Mackies are designed to be quite tolerant of what they are connected to, because they might be connected to a balanced connection (higher voltage), an unbalanced connection (lower voltage), or off a computer sound card... etc. Standard hi-fi preamps are no problem at all.

    The audiophile set would typically ensure that they use a pre-power from the same manufacturer - but this is purely a matter of 'good house-keeping' rather than electrical issues. Your case is slightly different to theirs, but nonetheless there's very definitely an advantage to parking a good pre-amp in front of the speakers (assuming the Mackie has no volume control of its own - frogive my ignorance), and that advantage is in no way spoilt for you by the absence of an Exposure power amp.

    HTH
     
  17. Triggaaar

    Triggaaar
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    Oh :blush:
    Thanks :)

    The Mackie had a choice of inputs suggesting it accepts a variety, and I've been running them unbalanced with my 561.
    Sure does, thanks :thumbsup:
     
  18. Paul Williams

    Paul Williams
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  19. Triggaaar

    Triggaaar
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    Behave yourself Paul
     

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