Exposure has always been the epitome of fuss-free hi-fi. The equipment is typically well put together but not flashy, adequate but not excessive on the features front and generally quite low key in a comfortingly confident sort of way.
As with the Audio Analogue Crescendo, they are built to a tough price, but the savings necessary to do this have been achieved thoughtfully.
Take the case design, for instance: the complete case of both units is made of aluminium – believed by many to be preferable to steel because of its non-magnetic properties. It's more expensive than steel, but Exposure has taken advantage of it in other ways, notably in the amplifier where its good thermal conduction is utilised in making the entire base the heatsink, saving a sigificant cost.
Sure, that won't allow full-power operation for long periods, but music doesn't work like that and we found no signs of distress in practice.
These may be the latest versions of the long-standing 2010 range, but electronic construction of both units is distinctly old-school, with through-hole components everywhere apart from the DAC chip and a few control parts; the amplifier even uses a single-sided circuit board.
Each unit has a decent-size mains transformer and the CD player uses multiple parallel power supply capacitors and several regulators for the various circuit stages. The disc transport is a dedicated audio one – in our review sample it was a bit noisy mechanically, producing a rather louder hiss than we'd ideally care to have around the listening room.
The CD player's digital output is on a BNC, theoretically better than a phono though possibly a wasted effort given how often people end up with a BNC-phono adaptor in circuit.
Over at the amp, features include a preamp output and the option of converting one line input to phono with an inexpensive add-on circuit board.
The fuss-free approach certainly seemed to do it for our listening panel, who were, of course, unaware of which combination they were listening to at the time.
From the outset, the 2010S2 units drew almost unqualified praise for their performance, covering both technical aspects and general musical qualities. Above all, the listeners agreed that this combo really got to the heart of the matter and simply played music that one really wants to listen to.
They are energetic and full of sparkle and life, with good attack and body to the sound, too and the results are highly convincing across the full range of musical styles.
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