THE irony of the digital age is that the analogue niche is getting bigger. The latest manufacturer to step into this corner is Emotiva Audio with its XPS-1 phono preamp. The company touts it as a high-performance phono… but at the ridiculous price of US$149 (some LPs cost more!).
The XPS-1 circuitry caters to signals from both moving magnet (MM) and moving coil (MC) cartridges – for the latter, resistance loading is provided in four steps from 47 Ohms to 1kOhm. Available gain is 40dB for MM and 60dB for MC.
According to the press literature, the XPS-1 “takes its cues from Emotiva’s precision line-level equipment, with high-quality components throughout the signal path for accurate RIAA equalisation, extremely low noise for even low-output cartridges, and vanishingly low distortion.
“Special attention was paid to the low-noise power supplies – both the external highly-regulated AC supply and the individual switching supplies within the XPS-1.”
The XPS-1 is built into an all-metal case and takes up very little space; gold-plated solid brass connectors (inputs, outputs and ground) are provided. All in all, pretty heavy duty looks that belie the price.
Given the company’s reputation for turning out high-quality audio products at real-world prices, this should be interesting. Did someone shout, “Upstart!”… ?
Do check out Emotiva’s video presentation below: