“Exposure has done it again”: Hi-Fi News reviews the British brand’s new XM3 phono stage

Earlier this year, Exposure Electronics launched its exciting new XM series of hi-fi components. Inspired by the unstoppable resurgence of vinyl in a digital age, the series offers a high-performance, compact solution for music lovers who want great sound across multiple media but don’t want the size or cost of their system to spiral out of control.

In the May issue of Hi-Fi News Adam Smith checks out the XM3 phono stage and asks, “does it pack a full-sized performance into a ‘half width’ chassis?”

Smith opens his tests with an MM cartridge. “The synthesizer action on ‘Computer Weekend’ from Jean Michel Jarre’s Revolutions LP was beautifully rounded and taut, with the cymbal effects from his drum machine ticking along smartly behind. Bass lines were firm and weighty with plenty of detail, ensuring that low-end action perfectly complemented the rest of the frequency range.”

“The Exposure XM3 also captured the sonic signature of instruments, both acoustic and electric, and it struck me that this phono stage sounds like a much more expensive design, given the precision and clarity if its treble detail.”

Exposure XM3 phono stage (below) with XM5 integrated amplifier (above)

Moving up to an MC cartridge, “The wide range of MC loading options was a boon… and really does mean that the Exposure XM3 can lock on to the optimum setting for a moving coil cartridge, thereby ensuring the very best performance.”

“With this fine-tuning complete, the XM3 absolutely sang.”

Switching across different music genres, Smith found the XM3 to be more than capable of handling whatever it was fed. “Classical encores rang out strongly and yet dropped to a whisper when required, and a spot of hard rocking showed that the XM3 can indeed mosh when necessary. Equally, more subtle acoustic material was smooth and languid, with both male and female vocalists expressed in realistic fashion.”

The verdict? “Exposure has done it again with the XM3. It’s a phono stage that announces its abilities by simply getting out of the way of the music and allowing your chosen cartridge to work its magic.”

 

Read Adam Smith’s full review in the May 2017 issue of Hi-Fi News

Discover more about the XM range at www.exposurehifi.com