Earlier in 2017 Exposure Electronics launched its new ‘XM’ series of hifi components, packing a complement of high-end features into a compact and affordable design. Now, the XM3 phonostage and XM5 integrated amplifier are joined by the new XM7 preamp and XM9 mono power amp.

Real world’ hifi at ‘real world’ prices is something Exposure has always been particularly strong on. “The inspiration for the series came from the unstoppable resurgence of vinyl amid a digital age,” explains Exposure’s chief designer Tony Brady. “I see both formats as being here to stay and believe that both have further growth and development ahead of them. It’s no longer a case of either/or. At the same time, quality of sound is once again becoming important to an increasing number of people – across all media.”

Brady was keenly aware that despite this proliferation of formats and desire for quality, not every music lover or audio enthusiast has the space or budget for a massive hifi system with multiple bulky components. “Many music lovers want to enjoy better performance but they still want convenience and value for money.” The XM series is the first of Exposure’s ranges to cleverly pack a full quota of features into a narrow, half-width design. Kicking off the series were the XM3 phonostage and the XM5 integrated amplifier. The new XM7 preamplifier has even more features. Again, it includes a built-in moving magnet phonostage and DAC allowing both vinyl and digital sources to be used. The DAC sports five digital inputs, plus there’s a fixed gain home theatre input and two headphone outputs. Two preamp outputs allow for bi-amping. While the XM7 can be partnered with a wide range of power amplifiers or active speakers, it comes into its own when paired with Exposure’s new XM9 mono power amps, described by designer Brady as “the highest performance amplifier we could fit into a compact chassis”. While most smaller hifi components (and indeed a good many larger ones) fall back on switch-mode power supplies both the XM7 and XM9 feature a linear power supply with a large 200VA custom-made toroidal power transformer. Only high quality resistors and capacitors are used in the signal path, while Toshiba bipolar output transistors are carefully chosen for their dynamic performance.

Technical specifications

XM7 preamplifier

Frequency response 20Hz – 20kHz +/- 0.5dB
Total harmonic distortion < 0.005% @ 1kHz, 1.3V RMS
Signal to noise ratio > 92dB
Channel separation > 60dB
SPDIF (BNC & optical) input compatibility 24-bit / 192kHz
USB input compatibility 24-bit / 192kHz, DSD (x 64 DoP)
Headphone output impedance 10 Ω
Headphone maximum level into 330 Ω 8V RMS @ 1kHz & 0.1 THD
Headphone total harmonic distortion < 0.03% @ 1kHz, 2V
Power consumption < 25W
Dimensions 218mm (W) x 89mm (H) x 363mm (D)
Weight 4.8kg

XM9 mono power amplifier

Power into 8Ω @1kHz 80W RMS
Frequency response 20Hz – 20kHz +/- 0.5dB
Total harmonic distortion @ 1kHz, 80W < 0.005%
Signal to noise (unbalanced) @1kHz, 80W > 95dB
Power consumption 200W
Dimensions 218mm (W) x 89mm (H) x 348mm (D)
Weight 4.6kg

Pricing & availability

The Exposure XM7 and XM9 are available from July 2017, each with black or titanium finish and a warranty of 3 years. Prices (incl. VAT):

XM7 preamplifier £1,236 XM9 mono power amplifier £1,388 per pair

 

 

 

 

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