I have had the XPA-5 gen 2 and a set of XPA-1Ls in my cave and have compared them one against the other. I did find a difference in sonic signature ( real or imagined ) and found that I preferred the MONOBLOCKS to be much more palatable. How much, enough to tell them apart in my cave with my speakers blah, blah, blah. Is it worth the extra cash? To me,,,,,,yes!,,,,,,,,,,hum,,,,,,honestly not sure that everyone would hear it, is it night and day? NO! but if you do have a little extra,,,,,,get it, if you don't, then don't worry about it. Do I still have my -1Ls? No, do I want them back,,,,,, I'll be placing my order shortly, if the gen 2 don't get here first.
I think the only difference will be esthetics, hard to inprove at this price point. If the gen 2 go up too much, then it will be the XPA-1 gen 2. Yes! I can hear the class A and like it very much. Just me! You may not agree with my opinion and that's fine. It's my money here and your money there,,,,,he,,,,,he,,,,,,he,,,,,,
RMC-1 Oppo UDP 203 ATV4K XPR-1’s UPA-500 A-700 Paradigm Studio 100's V5, CC 690V5, ADP 590 V5 X 4, Atmos - RSL C34E (4) PSA S3000i (twins) LG OLED65C8PUA - Calibrated Mapletree custom switching Sherbourn C-12 fans McIntosh C220 Bob Latino M-125 Monoblocks Rega RP6 + Exact II Lehmann Decade Mac Mini SOtM sMS-200ultra Plus sMS-500 sNH-10G Switch Hub Mytek Brooklyn Sbooster BOTW ZMF Cocoblo Auteur Focal Clears
I see sound quality increases as this. Let's say it's 10% better sound. Well that's 10% better EVERYTIME you listen for years. That's worth a more than 10% more expensive imo.
Transport: Sony UBP-X700 UHD-Blu ray player spdif PC using Musiland Digital Times WASAPI via BNC connection - DAC: DC-1->XLR XPA-1 , RCA->Basx A-100 CD: Denon DCD 600 PCM 61 DAC. RCA Amp: XPA-1 gen 2 using XLR connections. Speakers: Axiom Audio m80 V3, Sennheisser HD700 headphones. two pairs 12 guage each bi-wire speaker cables per monoblock Headphone amp: Basx A-100 (INCREDIBLE VALUE!!)
I'd recommend going straight for the XPA-1L's or an XPA-5 as well. I have the UPA-7 which is 125 watts and wish I would have gone bigger. So now I'm considering an upgrade and will probably end up with some XPA-1L's or XPA-5. or possibly 2 XPA-1L and an XPA-3 haha. I honestly don't expect to hear much difference but it's more a piece of mind thing and of course the aesthetics are nice as well. That being said I'm not really in a rush and would really like to see what they are going to do with the tube amps.
Last Edit: Jun 30, 2014 10:32:56 GMT -5 by Nodscene
I'd recommend going straight for the XPA-1L's or an XPA-5 as well. I have the UPA-7 which is 125 watts and wish I would have gone bigger. So now I'm considering an upgrade and will probably end up with some XPA-1L's or XPA-5. or possibly 2 XPA-1L and an XPA-3 haha. I honestly don't expect to hear much difference but it's more a piece of mind thing and of course the aesthetics are nice as well. That being said I'm not really in a rush and would really like to see what they are going to do with the tube amps
We need to start a thread named "XPA-1L's Just Do It" or am I stealing something from Nike there................... and cannot say enough good things, they're grrrrreat...wait did I just use a cereal slogan now as well,
A man from the "TV generation for sure....
"The ear is not a microphone, the brain is not a tape recorder, and measurements are limited in describing subjective quality." - Nelson Pass
2 Channel: DC-1, Actively bi-amped custom built planers with Maker Audio G9 Mono Block amps (2 ea), and XPR-1 (2ea) crossed over at 650hz 12 db Linkwitz/Riley Electronic Crossover
Theater: A whole bunch of junk that I haven't been interested in in years. Movies suck....
FWIW the 2 best sounding amps I own are 35w/ch and 8.5w/ch--and have a pretty glow from the output tubes
Been reading stuff like that a lot... Perhaps also somewhat true for the 1L's 35w Class-A (compared to A/B amps, not tubes) or is that just seriously wishful thinking?
#1. I've never heard ANY difference with class A amps over good class AB amps. Switching distortion? OK what ever you say... The switching distortion must literally be going in one of my ears and out the other. I've never caught any of it.
#2. I LOVE tubes. I'll probably never go back. However, I'm very aware of tube limitations, and I take steps to minimize the limitations in my system. For a LONG list of tube limitations, send a private message to KeithL, administrator. He'll be happy to give them to you.
In my system, there are two tube amp shortcomings I want to alleviate.
First, I do not ever want to do without large dynamics and volume, or have to cripple my personal choice of speakers by only considering speakers with high efficiency. Therefore, I won't own a tube amp with less than 100 watts, BARE MINIMUM. 250-300 watts is better. Those single ended triode lovers out there can enjoy their trip. More power to you (or less power in this case), but it's not my cup of tea to say the least. Way too much "reverb" effect IMHO.
Second, even "high power" tube amps do not control woofs or sub-woofs well. Damping factor is an amp spec that has became meaningless during the decades that tubes weren't built. Solid state amps all perform so well in this regard people pay no attention to it. Lots of SS amp manufacturers don't even mention damping factor because it's mostly moot. Lots of tube manufacturers don't mention it because it makes them look bad. Let me say, damping factors ARE NOT meaningless. Tube amps score very poorly in damping factor, and their bass performance exposes it. To get to my personal audio nirvana, I bi-amp with a good pair of high powered tube amps on the top, and some good Emotiva SS amps on the bottom.
Audio bliss. Buy whatever speakers "ring your bell". Just sit back and enjoy.
Edit: This is definitely a personal preference rant. If I've offended anyone, I apologize.
Also let me say that tubes and HT don't go together well. If the OP is only interested in HT or multi-channel, I again apologize. Sometimes my passion for music makes me forget some guys are more interested in their theater. My theater mostly gathers dust. But, this was posted in the "stereo" section, yes?