Any hope of a XSP-1. Gen 3 or RSP in the near future? Jul 5, 2016 6:50:12 GMT -5
Post by boomzilla on Jul 5, 2016 6:50:12 GMT -5
This is a most excellent question, and I wanted to sleep on it before I gave an answer.
The XSP-1 is a preamp with few weaknesses. But, that doesn't mean that it has outstanding strengths, either. The ultimate answer to your question is that I've heard better sounding preamps.
Preamps with a more-extended, airer-sounding treble
Preamps with deeper sounding bass
Preamps with more voluptuous-sounding soundstaging
Preamps with more transparency that allow the listener to hear further into the recording
Now don't get me wrong - the XSP-1 isn't BAD at any of these things, but I've heard better (and in every one of those categories).
I've owned the XSP-1 repeatedly, and I always end up selling it. Why? Because I hear something I like better. So the XSP-1 is a good preamp, but the good is the enemy of the great. I want a GREAT preamp. After all, the preamp IS the center of the whole system. And I believe that Emotiva is easily capable of making a GREAT preamp. The XSP-1, Ver. 2 just isn't it.
Why? I don't know for sure. Maybe it's the parts quality that was used to meet the price point? Maybe it's the preamp's peripheral functions (tone controls, bass management) that throw away the fully-differential advantages of the circuitry when engaged? Maybe it's the focus on meeting the (excellent) specifications without enough emphasis on voicing? I don't know.
So ultimately, I want an Emotiva preamp that exceeds the standard of "great for the money," and achieves a world-class status. Can Emotiva do it? Will Emotiva do it? I'm hoping so.