This XPA-200 is where the fun starts with Emo amps IMO. Not putting the UPA series down, but the UPA-200 is the economical choice. For a fistfull of dollars more... the XPA-200 is all the amp one needs if the speakers are efficient enough.
Last Edit: Sept 29, 2012 20:32:02 GMT -5 by Erwin.BE
Stereo: iMac + Synology NAS [10,111 albums ALAC> Amarra Symphony + Dirac]> Weiss DAC2> XSP-1>  XPA-1 [#434#500]> Jamo R909
I’ll do an in-depth review in a few weeks or so (amps I find are hard to do a direct comparison with), but so far I’ve already done a lot intense listening over the last few days, swapping cables between the XPA-200 and Bryston 4BSST after each album. Listening for any anomalies, the shimmer of cymbals, the attack and decay on percussion instruments, stridency of string instruments and female voices, the XPA-200 doing an excellent job with staging/depth possibly exceeding the 4BSST. Honestly, I’ve tried really hard to trip up the XPA-200 but so far it’s held it’s own against my Bryston 4BSST, it is a really sweet amp, maybe a more appropriate comparison would be with a Bryston 3BSST of comparable wattage, but in my 10’ x 15 ’with continual reference level listening (is there really another way?) the XPA-200 still had plenty of reserve. Not too sure if it is the 90,000 uF of storage capacitance levelling the playing field but moving from music to intense movie sound tracks was a treat. Interestingly enough was that I recently added a UPA-2 to power the surrounds after previously adding a UPA-1 to power the centre channel, both of which replaced lower wattage Brystons, what I found was that there was more congruency/ immersiveness in the surround field running the EMOs all round. Anyway I’ll keep the XPA-200 in the chain for a few week and then pop the 4BSST back in and see if there is any difference. Build wise the Emotivas are fine and IMHO a step above similar priced equipment but leaps ahead sound wise. The Brystons obviously win hands with regards to construction; they’re the type of equipment you could throw into the back of pick-up and I’ve been using them extensively since the mid 80’s in home and in the studio but if your equipment is sitting peacefully at home one really can’t go wrong with the Emotivas.