Emotiva XSP-1 preamp

ClipdatClipdat Posts: 7,138
I'm good on preamps currently, but I like the looks of this Emotiva preamp. I also like that it doesn't have a built in DAC. I wonder how this bad boy sounds?

Looking for thoughtful discussion on it's merits/specs and sound quality, please refrain from outright bashing of the Emotiva brand name.

xsp1g2_front_1-1_1200x.png

xsp_rear_1500x.png?v=1516048196

Here's some specs/bullet points I found interesting:

"Exceptional sound quality via an all-analog, fully balanced, differential signal path with vanishingly low noise and distortion."

"Level control via a high resolution (.5dB/step) digitally controlled analog resistor network."

"Full analog bass management with independent, individually configurable, Linkwitz-Riley 12 dB/octave high-pass and low-pass filters for the mains and subs."

"2 sets of balanced inputs, 4 sets of unbalanced inputs, one set of balanced main outputs, and one set of unbalanced main outputs."

"Tight-tolerance surface mount components and short, precisely matched signal paths deliver a superb, tightly focused acoustic signature."

Unbalanced Input to Unbalanced Output:
S/N (signal-to-noise ratio, A-weighted, ref +6 dBV): > 113 dB.
Frequency response: 20 Hz to 20 kHz +/- 0.015 dB.
THD + N (harmonic distortion plus noise, @ 1 kHz): < 0.0006%.
IMD (intermodulation distortion, SMPTE method, 60 Hz/7 kHz): < 0.001%.
Crosstalk (measured at +6 dBF, 10 kHz): < 102 dB.

"Electronic music is human sound adapting to indulge technology, and for some, it feels like the signature sound of energy. New and abstract sounds over hypnotic rhythms can conjure vast soundscapes for escape, pleasure, and transcendence."

Comments

  • ClipdatClipdat Posts: 7,138
    edited February 9
    _DSC2964.jpg

    pol_pl_Emotiva-XSP-1-Przedwzmacniacz-stereo-15_4.jpg

    Innovative-Audio-Emotiva-XSP-1-back-right.jpg

    I admit I giggled at "precision crafted" in China.
    "Electronic music is human sound adapting to indulge technology, and for some, it feels like the signature sound of energy. New and abstract sounds over hypnotic rhythms can conjure vast soundscapes for escape, pleasure, and transcendence."
  • joecoulsonjoecoulson Posts: 3,457
    I can appreciate the tech but their components do nothing for me aesthetically. Even the back using those oversized plastic washers are fugly.
    Meh. Sorry just not feeling it.
    Auralic Vega G1/Rega TT/Denon SACD - Parasound P6 - PS Audio M700x2 - Elac Adante AF-61
  • jeremymarcinkojeremymarcinko Posts: 3,484
    I haven’t heard this preamp but
    I used their USP-1 pre and XPA1 Gen 2 monoblocks for several years. They sounded really good and never a single issue with it.

    I’d have no hesitation purchasing one.
    Oh, Listen here mister. We got no way of understandin' this world. But we got as much sense of this bird flyin in the sky. Now there is a lot that bird don't know, but it don't change the fact that the world is happening to him all the same. What I am tryin to say is, is that the course of your life, well its changing, and you don't even see it- Forest Bondurant
  • heiney9heiney9 Posts: 24,112
    Wouldn't touch it with a 10' pole.

    H9
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

    Pass Aleph 30 | EE Avant Pre | EE Mini Max Plus DAC | MIT Shotgun S3 | MIT Z P/C's | updated SDA 1C| SQ Box Touch/Welbourne Labs P/S- Tubes add soul!
  • steveinazsteveinaz Posts: 19,004
    Never heard any Emotiva gear, but the digital controlled volume is not a personal preference of mine. The build quality and styling look nice to me.
  • tonybtonyb Posts: 31,440
    edited February 9
    It's what I would call another gateway piece into the world of separates for those moving off a receiver.

    Then people discover what we mean by "rabbit hole". :)
    HT SYSTEM-
    Sony 850c 4k
    Pioneer elite vhx 21
    Sony 4k BRP
    SVS SB-2000
    Polk Sig. 20's
    Polk FX500 surrounds

    Cables-
    Acoustic zen Satori speaker cables
    Acoustic zen Matrix 2 IC's
    Wireworld eclipse 7 ic's
    Audio metallurgy ga-o digital cable

    Kitchen

    Sonos zp90
    Grant Fidelity tube dac
    B&k 1430
    Tad 803 speakers
  • stangman67stangman67 Posts: 1,280
    Impossible to talk about how it sounds without actually hearing it. Specs mean next to nothing when it comes to sounds quality, you should know that by now
    2 Channel - Major reduction complete

    KEF LS50W I Rega P6 w/ Ania MC I Rega Fono MC I Audience Ohno ICs


  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 22,995
    I have no opinion one way or t'other re: Emotiva.
    If one's philosophy runs towards more is more, this looks like an appropriate product.
    Sure has a lot of ICs in it.

    Not my cup of tea but some folks prefer complexity to gain flexibility.
  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 22,995
    stangman67 wrote: »
    Impossible to talk about how it sounds without actually hearing it. Specs mean next to nothing when it comes to sounds quality, you should know that by now

    'specially, I'd opine, in a preamp.
  • SIHABSIHAB Posts: 1,355
    I owned this unit at one time.
    As you can see, it is flexible. If you have Sources w/ XLR you can lower
    distortion a bit. (arguable, as you probably cannot hear the diff) The phono pre is good and you have a bit of control over things with the nice remote.

    On the other side of the coin, the xovers are hard to tune in exactly.
    I never was confident at the setting and tuning by ear.

    AFA sound, preamplifiers are tough IMO. The best for me don't do anything
    to the sound, yet somehow make it better. Ultimately, this didn't lift the
    boat enough for me to keep it. There is a somewhat rabid fan base and
    you would have no trouble moving it if it isn't your cup of tea.

    As an aside,
    If you like the looks its all there. I'm betting mods to this piece would
    bring it up to muster. FWIW


  • sgtmick63sgtmick63 Posts: 151
    I have the XMC-1 and I love it. I have had it since 2015. I use a Parasound A31 to power my Lsim 703's and 704.
  • nooshinjohnnooshinjohn Posts: 21,325
    Personally, I don’t like having 40 blue lights staring me in the face. No need to have every button light up like that. To me, it makes it look cheap and detracts from not only the look of the product, but also the listening experience.
    The Gear... Carver "Statement" Mono-blocks, TriangleArt Reference SE with Pass Labs Xono Phono Preamp, Walker Precision Motor Drive, ClearAudio Goldfinger Diamond v2 cartridge and Origin Conquerer Mk3c tonearm, Polk Audio "Signature" Reference Series 1.2TL with complete mods, Pass Labs X0.2 three chassis preamp, PS Audio PerfectWave DAC MkII, Pioneer Elite SC-LX701, Oppo UDP-205 4K Blu-ray player, Sony XBR70x850B 4k, Polk audio AB700/800 "in-wall" surrounds.

    Saying that it's "too hard" to pursue your dreams is no different than admitting to yourself that you are too lazy to achieve them.

    “If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.”
  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 22,995
    edited February 9
    It does, unfortunately, have something of that Pyle Pro look going.

    swqpy9xbm46b.png

    P2001AT_angle_NEW.jpg

    Mind you, I still like the blue LED thing (passe though it may be) but one would be plenty.

    Then again, de gustibus non est disputandum.

  • ClipdatClipdat Posts: 7,138
    stangman67 wrote: »
    Impossible to talk about how it sounds without actually hearing it. Specs mean next to nothing when it comes to sounds quality, you should know that by now

    I asked about it's specs and it's sound quality. Two disparate things.
    "Electronic music is human sound adapting to indulge technology, and for some, it feels like the signature sound of energy. New and abstract sounds over hypnotic rhythms can conjure vast soundscapes for escape, pleasure, and transcendence."
  • mark090852mark090852 Posts: 937
    Personally, I don’t like having 40 blue lights staring me in the face. No need to have every button light up like that. To me, it makes it look cheap and detracts from not only the look of the product, but also the listening experience.

    FYI, the lights on all the front panel buttons and the volume control can be dimmed in ten brightness levels. Level 1 is barely noticeable, if at all, except in a very dark room.
    McIntosh MA252 Integrated Amp, LUMIN D2 Network Music Player, Yamaha Aventage RX-A840 receiver, Emotiva XPA Gen3 2 channel amp, Polk LSiM 703 speakers. Oppo UDP-203 Blu-Ray player, Polk LSiM 705 speakers. Polk Signature S20 speakers.
  • gurot1gurot1 Posts: 505
    I had it in a home theatre setup. I am not that adept at sound quality stuff, so I won't comment on that...but it was nice having HT bypass. I have since simplified my setup after realizing that I won't get to sit down and just listen to music for quite a few years until the little ones grown up a bit. I did like that it has dual sub outs. I wish the lights could be turned off as it sat under my PJ screen. I did like the look of the preamp though
    lsim705,lsim706c,fx500,rti4
    rti6,csi5...no rears on system 2
  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 22,995
    mark090852 wrote: »
    Personally, I don’t like having 40 blue lights staring me in the face. No need to have every button light up like that. To me, it makes it look cheap and detracts from not only the look of the product, but also the listening experience.

    FYI, the lights on all the front panel buttons and the volume control can be dimmed in ten brightness levels. Level 1 is barely noticeable, if at all, except in a very dark room.

    that's a plus.
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