Jump to content

Sign in to follow this  
Cafad

Exposure 2010S2D Review.

Recommended Posts

Exposure 2010S2D.

 IMG_0993.thumb.JPG.91a1f2fd3f1cce12ddad958e29cbf2b9.JPG

 

After hearing the 3010S2D, and having owned a 2010S and a 1010 I have maintained a passing interest in the Exposure line up of integrated amps.  I have very fond memories of the 2010S, but those are fairly old memories now, and of an amp used in a different room with different speakers.  So I don’t know for sure how well those memories will hold up.

 

As with the 3010S2D this unit was supplied by Andrew from Audiofix. 

 

My memories of the 2010S are more about an amp with character than they are about technical capabilities or performance.  The 2010, being a power amp with a passive volume control, comes across as a laid back, calm and comfortable piece of gear.  The music has no sharp edges, no hardness or harshness, in fact if you were to describe it as “a bit soft sounding” they you would be pretty close.  It isn’t an amp that excels at fast drum solos (although it isn’t half bad at those), it really specializes in slower passages. 

 

It is fairly phlegmatic in its approach to musical reproduction, and that is just fine by me.

 

This review started out with me being fairly sure I knew what to expect, I’ve heard this amp before and while I hadn’t heard it in my current room or on my current system I have heard several other amps on both old and new systems and I knew where the 2010 lay within those other amps presentations.  Lucky for me I was correct and the 2010 does sound very much as I expected it would, but as with any audio story there is so much more to it than that.

 

In the beginning I was listening to the 2010S2D using my traditional set up.  YBA Heritage cd100 as source, Aurealis Dragon interconnects, generic old 10AWG speaker wire and Lenehan S2R speakers.  And it was sounding pretty good.  A bit soft in the top end (which I expected, and will explain shortly) but the mid range was very nice with possibly a little more resolution and detail on display than I recalled.   Bass was nice and deep but for the most part it was kept on a short leash, very deep but very broad.  Bass is used to set the mood and to back up the mid range, it isn’t the main feature so not punchy, and more polite than tight.

 

Then I tried the little Exposure out with my newly modded Sansui SP-300S stand mounts (with new crossovers) and found that they combined so much better with the amp than my Lenehans did.  The Sansuis have a hard tweeter that gives more energy to the top end and that works in this case to counter the relaxed top end of the Exposure where as when the relaxed top end of the Exposure combined with the slightly softer top end of the Lenehans some of the top end details only came through when the volume was turned up higher than usual.  So the Sansuis worked far better at low listening levels, better at normal listening levels and only just better at high listening levels.

 

However, in the past I’ve always used the Lenehans for my reviewing.  Consistency is key in this game after all, so even though I was really enjoying the Sansuis I took them out of the system and put the Lenehans back in.  Things went back to the way they were and I had an additional piece of info to offer up when it came time to write my review.  All good there.

 

 

Then Terry stuck his nose into the review (to be fair to Terry, he didn’t do so deliberately, but he did ask me to do him a favour and that had a pretty serious impact on the review) and complicated matters further.  Terry had just bought a cd player from Dan, Dan and I know each other and both live out in the Kingaroy-ish area.  Since I’m meant to be heading down to Terry’s place in a week or two I’ve been asked to take the cd player along for the ride and deliver it.  All well and good, no problems there. 

But!

Then Terry asks me for my opinion on the cd player (again to be fair to Terry, I don’t think he knew I was trying my damndest to get this 2010S2D review started this weekend) and I agreed because playing with new toys is what this hobby is all about.  And because I’ve always wanted to hear this Consonance Droplet that people are talking about.

 IMG_0995.thumb.JPG.1be27f2231da7c7690c88c7d41b38cc0.JPG

 

So earlier this morning I pull the Droplet out of its box and set it up on my vibration platform.  Within 20 seconds I’m hearing that this puppy is clearly superior to my YBA and not just in a small way.  It completely transformed the performance of the system and it really raised the performance of the Exposure as well.  Instruments and vocals were clearer and the bass tightened up and deepened just a little further. 

I believe a big part of this improvement comes from the Droplet having a very low output impedance.  Remember my mention of that passive pre/volume control above?  Well it shares that particular design with the ME240 and I’ve already found that the ME240 behaves far better when paired with a low output source (or when used with an impedance  buffer in between it and the source).  I believe that the YBA has a fairly high output impedance (read weak signal if you aren’t up to date on the whole impedance matching game) and the Droplet has a much lower one (read strong signal, so it can push through the passive volume pot without losing any strength or detail). 

 

So, give the 2010 a stronger signal and it sounds like it has more resolution and detail.  No real surprise there I guess but it is nice to know from experience rather than deduction.

 

The problem now is going to be going back to my YBA for all the nitty-gritty evaluating and awarding numbers to each category.  That will not be an easy thing.

 

This promises to be a bit of a long and rambling review ladies and gents.  Best settle in for a multiple post review put up over several weeks.  I will do my best to make it thorough but it could turn out a bit on the long winded side.  Just letting everyone know ahead of time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This section of the site is sadly under-utilised.

Thanks for kicking off another promising review.

 

I'll be moving suitable material into this section from now on (it tends to stay in more General areas where it probably doesn't belong).  🙏

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry for inadvertently making the Droplet a part of your review Jeff and I’m glad to hear how much you like it ... please tell me this though, you are going to bring it down with you when you next visit aren’t you?  ... pleeeease 🙄

 

cheers Terry

 

 

Edited by TerryO

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
50 minutes ago, TerryO said:

Sorry for inadvertently making the Droplet a part of your review Jeff and I’m glad to hear how much you like it ... please tell me this though, you are going to bring it down with you when you next visit aren’t you?  ... pleeeease 🙄

 

cheers Terry

Oh all right then...

Probably.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Sunday seems to be fast becoming my review writing day.  

 

OK, time to get down and detail-y.  As per usual the source in use was my YBA Heritage cd100, joined to the 2010S2D via Aurealis Dragon interconnects.  Speaker cables were stock standard Ugly cable, 10AWG stranded copper and my speakers were my trusted (and much loved) Lenehan S2R stand mounts.  I decided on generic speaker cables due to the massive disparity between the amplifier RRP of $2K and my other, more fancy, cables.  I doubt anyone is likely to use $700 plus speaker cables with a $2K amp.  However I like the Aurealis Dragons so much I just didn’t want to use anything else.  As always with this hobby, sometimes practicality wins and sometimes emotion wins, and predicting beforehand is not an easy thing.

 

Highs: 

Trumpets come across as more raspy and less brassy, very easy on the ear but I can’t help thinking it is at the cost of sounding the way brass should.  Brass should be at least a little hard and sharp, but not with the 2010S2D (or at least, not until you turn the volume up, more on that a little later).  Triangles sound less metallic and more crystalline and sparkly and they actually seem to gain a little zing that is usually only heard on strings in the mids.  On my Lenehans it rates a 7.0, I could see brighter speakers as a better match.

 

Mids:

Slow strings have extra zing in spades, sweet and seductive.  There is also a sort of “soft Poise” present on slow, plucked strings that is just so gorgeous to hear that it sends little shivers down my spine (the shivers that I usually get when hearing hard played electric guitar).  Piano is very good but not quite as special as strings.  8.25

 

Bass:

The 2010S2D has no trouble sounding big and deep but it doesn’t really do hard or punchy.  The bass doesn’t hit you, it just looms large from across the room.  That doesn’t mean that there isn’t plenty of it of course, it is full and smooth and almost creamy.  This is best suited to slower music but it also does surprisingly well with small to mid-sized drums.

7.5

 

I should note here that I surprised myself about half way through my test disc as a phone call forced me to stop and start again a bit later.  For some reason it took me a few minutes to get back in the right mood and once that happened I skipped back over the song I had just not-really listened to so I could listen to it again.  Then when it still didn’t grab me I turned the volume up.  Well, the difference between 9 o’clock on the volume dial and 9:30 was completely unexpected.  Harder and sharper sounds pushed through that relaxed overall feel to make themselves heard, for harder rock the difference was quite marked.  I have to go back and listen to the first few songs again but I’m pretty sure that 7.0 that I gave the top end will go up to a 7.5 by tomorrow morning.  (This is what happens when you don’t listen loud enough folks, you miss things.  Learn from my mistakes, don’t follow them, listen loud, not soft!)

 

 

Vocals:

Now this is interesting.  That relaxed, laid back overall character has an unexpected effect on male vocals, it makes them sound a bit more lively and a bit more energetic.  I really don’t understand the why but it really felt like I was listening to a younger Freddie Mercury and a younger Mark Knopfler.  The girls don’t seem to gain anything extra, but then they sound pretty good as is.   8.0 for both Male and Female vocals.

 

Soundstage:

2D and 3D sound stages are just fine, stereo effects are present and accounted for but they feel a little ghostly as the sounds aren’t fixed into a particular spot so much as they are coming from a particular direction.   You just don’t get razor sharp separation and distinct placement from a relaxed presentation, that shouldn’t really be a surprise.  The 2010S2D is more about the song than the details when it comes to sound staging, and in this case that works quite well.  7.0

 

Overall Performance integration:

What can I say, it is relaxed and laid back and that’s what it wants it’s listener to be as well.  Raising that volume will definitely allow it to rock but at heart it is more interested in taking things is a less rushed and more leisurely manner.  I personally think it sounds more tube like than many tube amps. 

 

Ability to Emote:

8.5 on slower, softer styles.  7.5 on faster and harder stuff below 9:30 on the volume dial, 8.0 on the faster and harder stuff above 9:30 on the volume dial.

 

Electric Guitar Test:

7.0 at 9 o’clock, I had to go up to 10 o’clock to get the score up to 8.0.  I could probably live with it but I’m not sure my neighbours could. 

 

80’s Rock Test:

Again, volume is key, only 7.5 below 9:30, 8.25 above.

 

So in summary, if you like slower, more relaxed styles of music then the 2010S2D should definitely be on your list of amps to try.  If you like to venture into the harder styles every now and then that’s just fine, but if you want to live in the harder styles long term I’d be recommending the Exposure 3010S2 over the 2010S2. 

 

While I was listening and taking notes I wrote the following line on the bottom of my test sheet.  It doesn’t really fit into the review anywhere in particular so I thought I’d end with it.

 

“If you have enough stress in your life that you don’t want any in your music then the 2010 is for you.”

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

IMG_0999.thumb.JPG.4d7387c325fb3d971026cb314021cf0c.JPG

 

And what review would be complete without delving into the past of the 2010 model and comparing the latest 2010S2D with the older 2010 (prior to the "S")?

SNA's own @wen has kindly lent me his 2010 for just such a comparison.  He even included the manual, with additional notes added.  The 2010 we have here is the 2000 model which, according to printing on the PCB is the 2010R.  So we are comparing across about 18 years and with 2 models in between.

 

 

The earlier model has a significantly different sound signature.

There are some distinct similarities in the bass region but it is a little more forward and a little faster than the latest incarnation.

There also appears to be more gain, 8 o’clock on the volume dial gives the same volume as 9 o’clock on the 2010S2D.

 

Highs:

The top end is nowhere near as relaxed, it sounds very similar to the 3010 but just a little on the thinner side.  So it sounds harder and brighter than the 2010S2D does, not hard or bright enough to offend, just enough to lightly annoy on every third or fourth song.

It has a more dynamic presentation, more leading edge and more slap and tap to it.  Trumpets are more brassy and triangles more metallic but that special zing is conspicuous by its absence.

 

Mids:

The slow strings that were so seductive on the 2010S2D sound almost rushed.  There is definitely more detail on display but it isn’t as engaging to listen to.

 

Bass:   Quite similar but faster with more of a sense of attack to it.  Still quite broad.

 

Vocals:  A little more gain-y, not as engaging.  Male vocals don’t have that “fountain of youth” effect to them.

 

Soundstage:

Tighter and more pronounced, with that extra detail sound stage placement is much easier to pick.  Not quite as much fun to listen to but definitely easier to notice stereo and 3D effects.

 

Overall Performance Integration:

A much better amp for faster music but it can come across a bit on the hard side.  Nowhere near as relaxed as the newer version.

 

Ability to Emote:

Doesn’t resonate with me anywhere near as well as the later model, that extra harder, brighter presentation annoys me and that makes it hard to find an emotional anchor.

 

Electric Guitar Test:

The bright side to that extra hard, bright detail is that electric guitar loves it, far superior to the 2010S2D, at least 0.5 higher. 

 

80’s Rock Test:

Also a better score, 0.25 higher, maybe 0.5 if the song has some stereo and 3D effects mixed into it.

 

I was going to launch into a comparison of the technical details and differences between the two 2010s, how the earlier version is a MOSFET amp and the later uses bipolar transistors, how the earlier version has a higher input impedance (>25K) and the later a lower figure (>14K)  but I’m not sure any of those technical details are as important as I first thought they would be. 

It seems fairly obvious to me that Exposure altered their vision for the 2010 as they went.  The earlier model sounds very much like a smaller version of the 3010 where as the later model has a sound that is very much it’s own. 

This makes The Exposure integrated line up somewhat unique in that you don’t just get a house sound with more power and/or features as you move up in price you actually have a choice of two amplifiers that sound quite different.  It’s not very often that happens.

 

I'd like to thank, once again, Andrew and David for lending me their amplifiers to listen to.  It has been most interesting for me, and I hope a worthwhile read for the rest of SNA.

 

Cheers Everybody!

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

interesting review, reading from your previous post it seem component matching needs to be considered

On 24/03/2019 at 1:11 PM, Cafad said:

I believe a big part of this improvement comes from the Droplet having a very low output impedance.  Remember my mention of that passive pre/volume control above?  Well it shares that particular design with the ME240 and I’ve already found that the ME240 behaves far better when paired with a low output source (or when used with an impedance  buffer in between it and the source).  I believe that the YBA has a fairly high output impedance (read weak signal if you aren’t up to date on the whole impedance matching game) and the Droplet has a much lower one (read strong signal, so it can push through the passive volume pot without losing any strength or detail). 

 

So, give the 2010 a stronger signal and it sounds like it has more resolution and detail.  No real surprise there I guess but it is nice to know from experience rather than deduction.

 

11 hours ago, Cafad said:

I was going to launch into a comparison of the technical details and differences between the two 2010s, how the earlier version is a MOSFET amp and the later uses bipolar transistors, how the earlier version has a higher input impedance (>25K) and the later a lower figure (>14K)  but I’m not sure any of those technical details are as important as I first thought they would be. 

i would say the technical difference relates to the sound being produced , and as said before, which component is connected

Edited by wen

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On ‎1‎/‎04‎/‎2019 at 10:27 PM, wen said:

interesting review, reading from your previous post it seem component matching needs to be considered

And that has me wondering as to how it is meant to sound.  I can't say for certain as I haven't heard it paired with the 2010 series cd player.  I guess I'll have to talk to Andrew and see if we can make that happen.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


rereading the reviews,

On 24/03/2019 at 1:11 PM, Cafad said:

So, give the 2010 a stronger signal and it sounds like it has more resolution and detail.

 

On 01/04/2019 at 12:13 PM, Cafad said:

hard or bright enough to offend, just enough to lightly annoy on every third or fourth song.

would this be tamed by 

 

On 24/03/2019 at 1:11 PM, Cafad said:

the Droplet has a much lower one (read strong signal, so it can push through the passive volume pot without losing any strength or detail). 

i had a Rega Apollo CD player, to use your words, the resolution and detail,was incredible but became fatiguing, only being resolved  by using CHORD Cobra 3 cables, this seemed to settle it and make it enjoyable to listen to again?

On my next CD player, Creek Destiny, the Chord cables were unsuitable, now using MIT CVT terminator2 cables, these match well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Cafad for a highly detailed and careful study of the Exposure 2010S2D and its much older forbear.

 

I can only agree with your thoughts on how it sounds.

 

On the CD front you are more than welcome to give the matching CDP a go but it will unfortunately disappear from the range sometime in the next 12 months like many UK built CD players already have....

 

It has a sweet character and is a worthy player for 2k but alas Exposure cannot obtain anymore of the CD drawer parts.

 

Thanks again for your time taken to listen to the Exposure.

 

Andrew.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Cafad ,
In a earlier review do I remember you
using a Burson Line Buffer , or am I mistaken , sounds as though this is
what the YBA / Exposure "coupling" may need to really hit it off...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, rudihaas said:

Hi Cafad ,
In a earlier review do I remember you
using a Burson Line Buffer , or am I mistaken , sounds as though this is
what the YBA / Exposure "coupling" may need to really hit it off...

Good call mate, I do have one of those (don't know how I managed to forget about it).  I'll have to drag it out and see what difference it makes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


I have a Redgum SG 5500 , and I think its a passive pre , always thought the Burson might be a good addition , they are not the too expensive 2nd hand if you find one.......(one day , yes ,one day)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 Having Exposure 3010s2d for a few months now I thought I add 2c. I would say with my speakers that amp is really good at "prat" (Pace, Rythm And Timing) and dynamics. It's very addictive. With Focal aria 936 mids and heights are rather smooth but bass is strong and punchy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Similar Content

    • By SpotOn
      Item: NAD C355 BEE Integrated Amplifier
      Location: MELB 3030
      Price: 350 plus postage if required 
      Item Condition:Excellent
      Reason for selling: Upgrade
      Payment Method: Pickup - Cash, Paypal, COD Only
      Extra Info: Bought this about 10 months ago from another SNA member. Very nice sounding amp and is in excellent cosmetic condition. Comes with original remote and generic power cord.
      Power output: 80 watts per channel into 8Ω (stereo)
      Frequency response: 20Hz to 20kHz
      Total harmonic distortion: 0.02%
      Damping factor: 160
      Input sensitivity: 300mV (line)
      Signal to noise ratio: 98dB (line)
      Dimensions: 435 x 116 x 292mm
      Weight: 8.5kg
       
      Pick up is preferred but can pack safely and post at buyer's cost and risk if required. 
       
      Photos: Advertisements without photos of the actual item will not be approved.
    • By Somethingclever
      Item: Indiana Line Puro 800 Integrated Amp - Italian Made
      Location: Southern Sydney (2232)
      Price:  600 ono plus postage 
      Item Condition: Great, other than a couple of light superficial scratches on the top
      Reason for selling: NLR / funding upgrade
      Payment Method: Pickup - Cash, Paypal, COD Only
      Extra Info:
      Original RRP was EUR 1,200 in 2014, now available for EUR 869.  The RRP if ever released in Australia would've been about $2k ( when EUR 1.2k ) or 1.3k ( when EUR 869 ).  This unit was imported by @Cafad a couple of years ago and I bought it from him about a year ago.  It is a great little unit and has an onborad DAC.  
       
      Here are the specs...
      • 2 x 80 watt rms / 2 channel driven (8 ohm) 
      • 2 x 110 watt rms / 2 channel driven (4 ohm) 
      • 10 ÷ 80000 Hz +/- 0.5 dB frequency response
      • 20 ÷ 20000 Hz +/- 0.5 dB (Phono) 
      • 0.006% THD @ 1 KHz (80% nominal power) 
      • > 92 dB A weighted signal noise ratio (CD, Aux) 
      • > 82 dB A weighted (MM Phono) 
      • 400 mV / 47 Kohm input sensitivity 
      • 1.2 mV (MM Phono) 
      • 750 mV / 600 ohm pre output 
       
      • 24 bit / 192 KHz digital to analog converter 
      • 500 mVpp / 75 ohm coaxial input 
      • JEITA format / CP-1212 optical input 
      • 32-96 KHz USB input sampling 
       
      • 220 ÷ 240 VAC / 50 Hz power supply 
      • 280 W max power consumption 
       
      • dimensions : 430 x 88 x 345 mm 
      • weight : 8.2 Kg 
      • remote control included
       
      Here is a review...
       
      https://headmania.org/2015/04/23/indiana-line-puro-800-integrated-speaker-amplifier-review/
       
      And for the Italians amongst us...
       

       
      Photos:  First two images are from the internet, then my unit










    • By att23
      Item: Hegel H200
      Location: Sydney 
      Price: $1850 $1700 (Local pickup prefer.  I can also deliver within reasonable distance.  I have boxes and packaging.)
      Item Condition: Good.  Works fine.  No damage or scratches.
      Reason for selling: Surplus
      Payment Method: Pickup - Cash, PayPal, Direct bank transfer. I will consider interstate buyer, who will pay postage, but obviously prefer local sale first. 
      Extra Info:
      I bought this from SNA member @trippinonprozac about 2 years ago just to try out a Hegel at cheap price based on all the great reviews online. I have since upgraded, so selling this at a lower price than what I paid so others can continue to enjoy this hobby.
      Well looked after in pet free, smoke free, kids free home. 
      I also noticed previous owner has upgraded with Furutech RCA connectors. 
      I can demo for serious buyer if you get back to me soonish, as I am gonna pack it away before Xmas time to free up space in my unit. 
      It also has HT bypass.

      A lot of amp for this price
       
      See Tech specs in photo below for all other info of interest:

       
      Photos: Advertisements without photos of the actual item will not be approved.

       

       

       

       
       
    • By Cafad
      Item:  One Technical Brain TB-Zero/Int (integrated amp)
      Location: Sunny Nanango, southern Qld
      Price:  $14,600 (including postage within Oz)
      Item Condition: Very good, no obvious scratches or marks.  Fully operational.
      Reason for selling:  I'm trying to consolidate my gear.  Thought I had a buyer for this amp but unfortunately that sale didn't end up happening so I thought I would list it officially and see what happens.
      Payment Method: Pickup - Cash, Paypal, COD Only
      Extra Info:  I have the original box.  Please note this amp does not have a remote control function.  
      More information available in the links below.  Note the Technical Brain website is in Japanese and will need translation.
      https://www.stereo.net.au/forums/topic/251642-technical-brain-tb-zeroint-review/
      http://www.technicalbrain.co.jp/products_tb_zero_int.htmls
      https://www.stereo.net.au/forums/topic/263126-terry-o-and-cafads-integrated-amp-challenge/page/4/
       
      Pics:  

       
    • By Goatboy
      Item: Exposure 3010 Stereo Power Amplifier
      Location: Blue Mountains NSW
      Price: $400, no offers
      Item Condition: Very good (perfectly functional, minor cosmetic wear)
      Reason for selling: NLR
      Payment Method: Pickup - Cash, Paypal, COD Only
      Extra Info:
       
      Having a last crack at moving this along.
       
      I bought this amp from the forums in 2017, and it has mainly done HT duties as well as spinning 10 hours or so of vinyl each week. The amp has performed flawlessly and presents as warm and emotive, ie. the Exposure house sound. The amp is rated at 100w / channel into 8 Ohms, and has the capability to run as a mono amp, as well as the option to biwire. Note: the amp only takes banana plugs. 
       
      Cosmetically, there are minor blemishes and some light scratches on the top of the unit.
       
      I have the original box, and happy to post.
       
      https://www.exposurehifi.com/images/quickstart/3010_Power_Amplifier_QS_Manual_web.pdf
       
      Specs:
      Power Output (Stereo): 100 Watts per channel at 1KHz into 8 Ohms
      Power output (bridged mono): 110 Watts at 1KHz into 8 Ohms
      Input Impedance: 18K ohms
      Frequency Response: 20Hz - 20 KHz ±0.5dB
      Total Harmonic Distortion: <0.015% at rated output ref 1 KHz
      Signal to noise: >100 dB ref rated output
      Channel Separation: >60dB, 20Hz - 20KHz
      Mains Supply: 110/120V or 220/240V, 50/60Hz (factory set)
      Power Consumption: <350VA, 8 ohm load both channels driven
      Dimensions (H x W x D): 115mmx440mmx300mm
      Net Weight (unpacked): 11kg
      Gross Weight (packed): 13kg






×
×
  • Create New...