Exposure 5010 Pre/Monos pre/power amplifier Page 2

Certainly the 5010s had no problem with the loudspeakers I chose to employ – PMC OB1s and the compact but rather unusual Neat Iota Xplorers [HFN Jul ’18] – and in both cases made the most of the quality on offer from my Naim NDS network player to deliver a big, authoritative sound, packed with fine detail.

1118exposure.rem.jpgRather as with some other British-built minimalist amps once thought to be great for rock but perhaps not the prime choice for, say, intimate jazz or delicate classical works, this Exposure trio shows clear all-round ability, and is at home thundering out music at full charge as they are when delighting with the sheer amount of clarity and information on offer.

None of that ‘old Exposure’ dynamics and drive has been diluted, yet the sound has more delicacy and space to it than I recall from early exploits with the company’s products. That’s much in evidence with the dense (and often mono) mixes on The Essential Phil Spector [Legacy 88725443752], with the plaintive vocal and harmonies of The Ronettes on ‘Be My Baby’ beautifully showcased against the big ‘wall of sound’ orchestration, while The Righteous Brothers sound suitably lush and magnificent on ‘Ebb Tide’.

Similarly, the drive of Sad Café’s ‘Digital Daydream Blues’ [from the two-pack release of the band’s eponymous album and Facades; Demon edsd 2036] shows the way the Exposure 5010s can boogie, laying down a big weighty rhythm section with great definition for the drum kit while keeping the band fast and tight.

It’s a punchy, appealing sound without ever showing any signs of the harshness or spit some claim to hear in amps known to favour rock music. Rather this is an entirely balanced presentation, as adept at turning on the aggression when the music demands as it is at illuminating the finer details of an intricate recording.

Exploding Into Life
This open, tightly-controlled and yet massively dynamic sound is heard to good effect with a fine recording such as Reference Recordings’ Beethoven ‘Eroica’, by the Pittsburg Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Manfred Honeck [Fresh! FR-728; 192kHz/24-bit download]. Here the Symphony seemingly explodes into action with the hard-hitting opening chords, instantly setting the stage with a big, crisply-defined picture of the orchestra, the rhythms sprightly and captivating.


But the sound is just as persuasive in the second movement Funeral March, the sombre mood delicately shaded and yet still dramatic, and the instrumental timbres rendered with impressive texture and detail.

Striking, too, is the way the (relatively) compact 5010 monoblock power amps can both drive speakers properly and keep them under firm control, their ability to stop and start drive units with precision delivering not just those often thrilling macro-dynamics but ensuring sensitive handling of the micro-dynamics that convey detail, imaging and timing.

Play Katia Labèque and Triple Sun’s Moondog set of works by Louis Thomas Hardin, in an immaculate recording by guitarist/keyboard player David Chalmin [DG 678 3578; 88.2kHz/24-bit download], and the sheer presence of the musicians is one of the great pleasures of this Exposure amplification duo.

The sound is effortlessly three-dimensional and yet intimate and crisply focused, whether in the dream-like opening of ‘Bird’s Lament’ or the snarling guitar break to which it builds, while Labèque’s pianoforte always sounds perfectly weighted, and with just the right sense of both delicacy and attack. Clearly all of that simplicity – if that isn’t simply a contradiction in terms – is being used to impressive effect.

Hi-Fi News Verdict
The new Exposure flagship amp system is deeply impressive. There’s no sign of fat or bloat in the sound, and yet the 5010s manage to be highly revealing without ever becoming excessively bright or overbearing. The power amps are especially worthy of praise for their power and grip. Ignore the anonymous looks – buy with your ears rather than eyes – and you’re likely to be extremely pleasantly surprised.

Exposure Electronics
Lancing, UK
Supplied by: Exposure Electronics
01273 423877