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Vintage Exposure amplifier alternatives

Discussion in 'audio' started by hixy, Nov 2, 2017.

  1. hixy

    hixy pfm Member

    I would really love an old vintage Exposure amp but the prices have gone mad and I can't afford to spend £400 on one.Are there any amplifiers which sound simular but can be had for less?My speakers are Proac studio 110.

  2. James Evans

    James Evans Bedroom Bodger

    The usual suspects would probably be:

    Inca Tech Claymore
    Onix OA21
    Ion Obelisk 3

    No idea how similar they sound to Exposure though. There was a time you could have any of those for not much more than £100 but those days appear to have gone! Must admit my old battered and bodged claymore holds its own against much more expensive newer kit I've tried.
  3. hixy

    hixy pfm Member

    Thank you.I had the vi vii and vii exposure amps which I bought for £250 about 15 years ago and now way out of my league .I will look into your suggestions.
  4. simon g

    simon g Grumpy Old Man

  5. hixy

    hixy pfm Member

    That's great thank you.
  6. stevec67

    stevec67 pfm Member


    Be ready to service it, they have been cheap for ages and they are nearly 40 years old. For years it's been cheaper to replace the dead ones, build quality was never great and access for servicing is tricky. However they do go for nowt and sound great when they run.
  7. puddlesplasher

    puddlesplasher pfm Member

    I know it's more than the £400 you're looking to spend but I'm using a Naim 62/90 with Royds and it sounds great. You can pick up for about £550. Trying the Naim amps as possible alternative to my Exposure 21/13/mono 18's.
  8. stevec67

    stevec67 pfm Member

    Anyone who wants Exposure but is put off by rising prices is hardly going to defect to Naim in search of a bargain.
  9. Arkless Electronics

    Arkless Electronics Trade: Arkless

    I'm mainly familiar with the sound of the iv, iv-dr and viii, having repaired some and modified a few, and I can't say I thought they had any specific "Exposure sound" to them. Pretty good amps but ultimately lacking the last ounce of transparency and precision when compared with more "state of the art" gear would be my description from memory...
  10. puddlesplasher

    puddlesplasher pfm Member

    All I was saying is the Naim 62/90 combo is an excellent amp for the price. I've always had Exposure but had a Naim itch and decided to try.
  11. puddlesplasher

    puddlesplasher pfm Member

    Talk Electronics amps are very Similar to the Exposure sound and can be picked up for a good price.
  12. JensenHealey

    JensenHealey pfm Member

    Musical Fidelity X series (X-A1, X-A2 ?) Seem reasonable prices. I ran an X-A1 for years and it was very good indeed.

    You don't hear much about MF on this forum.
  13. mbu

    mbu pfm Member

    You may have to go some there. My Exposure 18 mono's saw off my last Nap 250. Nearer Nap 135s I thought. Considering they retailed at about half the price back in the day that's impressive. This was using a Nac 52 and Epos es 22's too. And Nac A5.
    Also like the 21 pre amp. Its my back up for a Nac 52. And it does this rather well.
  14. lordsummit

    lordsummit Moderator

    Try a Quad 306 and a passive-pre. What are your sources? The 306 is a bit of a sleeper. Much more grunt than the 303. Very easy to service.
  15. PerF

    PerF Private

    Some of suggested amplifiers above are fine but hardly sound similar

    You could just as well be looking for a Linn Majik, first generation, not the Exposure performance, nevertheless a nice, solid but cheap amp with a friendly natural sound.
    Seen them below £200
    Beeing a rapid box shifter myself, I did hang on to this quite some years in a office setup, beeing fortunate it had the Kudos FM tuner-module built-in which was a nice addition. Despite its low wattage rating it was surprisingly dynamic and fullbodied, provided great sound on ordinary 2-way speakers.

    However Classic Farlowe amplication are fine investments, they seldom depreciate much

    Farlowes first intg was the "X" which I think can be had for a lot less than 400, old stuff it might need attention or service though
    I had one but it was a bit noisy, perhaps you know some skilled technician to help you out ?
  16. mbu

    mbu pfm Member

    What about NVA amps ?

    Not familiar at all with the gear but some swear by it.
  17. hixy

    hixy pfm Member

    The phono stage in the vii was amazing to my ears, I'm assuming it would be the same in the integrated amps of the same era.I will look into all of your suggestions.It does seem that vintage audio of all types has all gotten very expensive.
  18. stevec67

    stevec67 pfm Member

    I suspect that this is because there has been very little progress in amplifier terms since the implementation of transistor based circuitry 40-50 years ago. Sure, there have been developments but no step changes. The same basic circuits are still in use, maybe with the introduction of a regulated PSU here and a few noise reducing caps there, but still the same old circuits. 20 years ago when I discovered vintage stuff you could buy Quad 303s and 405s for loose change. Early Naim was cheapish too. I went the Quad route and had dazzling results for loose change. Can you believe a 33 for £30 and a serviced 303 for £60? Nor could I, when I heard them. Unplinthed Garrard 401s were £75-100, SME 3009s £50-75. They were just as good then as they are now. This is because the manufacturers still had the magazines in their pockets and it was in the industry's interest, in those pre-internet days, to maintain the belief that the newer, shinier item was always better than last year's and that any old relics from the 70's or (heaven forbid) the 60's were, well, of historical interest, but really rather dated now.

    People have now had 20 years of the internet and the cat is out of the bag. The step changes (CD, internet streaming) have been adopted, while the stuff that was more or less perfected by 1970 is still worth using and, properly serviced, it's very good indeed by any standards. A Garrard 401 or Thorens 124 with an SME 3009, going through a Leak TL12 or Quad 2 into Tannoy Reds/Golds or Quad 57s is still world class. It shouldn't be, but it is. Then again, look at the current manufacturing costs for a Garrard/Quad 2/ESL57 and your eyes will water.

    I'm interested to see what can be made from the current breed of chip amps. These offer dazzling performance per £, and they do make the tired old circuits of yesteryear look rather dated.
  19. lordsummit

    lordsummit Moderator

    Hixy bless him, once sold me a Quad 33/303 for buttons. I know now it didn’t get on with my speakers, should have swapped the speakers, but instead swapped it for a Linn Intek. I know... Now happily listening to a 306, which sounds great to me, and has more than enough grunt to drive the little speakers I like. I reckon Hixy could for about £300 build a nice little system with a passive pre, a 306 and a phono stage, that would be a match for his fondly remembered Exposures. Seem to remember when I heard his system, he was searching for more bass from some little Dynaudios at low listening levels. It was a long time ago. Top bloke though.
  20. stevec67

    stevec67 pfm Member

    Dear Lord. An Intek. Of all things. I listened to one at a similar time to a Nait 2 or 3, an Exposure 3020 (?) and was going home to then reviewers' favourite, the Pioneer 400. The Exposure was the best of the bunch. Then I borrowed a 33/303 and notions of splashing £750 on a new amp went out the window.

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