by Wayne Garcia
"The first thing you need to know about the Exposure 3010S CD player
and integrated amplifier is this – yes, you will very much enjoy
listening to music with these items. They deliver the goods by
beautifully balancing detail with warmth, rhythmic precision with
lyricism, and delicacy with power.
Founded in 1974 by John Farlowe, a designer who once worked with
Pink Floyd, The Who, and David Bowie, Exposure had a spotty history in
North America until Canada’s Bluebird Music took over distribution in
2005. Since then, Exposure has been getting a lot more of same- and so
have Bluebird’s other brands, which include Chord Electronics, Van den
Hul, and Neat Acoustics speakers.
What this brief technical description cannot tell you, however, is
that Exposure's 'Proudly Made in England by Music Lovers' tagline isn't
just marketing BS. It's clear that the people behind these products know
what music sounds like and are able to design components that bring
music's emotional and intellectual power alive in a way that makes both
standouts in their price class.
Although I listened to them separately, it quickly became apparent
that these 3010S components were designed together, and as good as they
are on their own they have a special synergy when paired.
The real magic began to happen when I placed the integrated
amplifier in the system. Lingering electronic artifacts on
Frankenstein!! started to vanish, leaving a highly natural-sounding and
easy-not the same as mellow-sonic presentation, from the bloom of a harp
to the taps of a timpani to the rhythmic thrust of cellos and basses to
the ear-splitting brightness of a toy whistle. Gruber's expressive vocal
remained intact, but he now sounded that much more believably 'real',
and the overall tonal balance was rich and warm, but not overly
so. Again the word 'natural' sums it up best.
In short, these Exposure electronics do what great audio should-
step aside and let the music do the talking. But to suggest that they
merely 'get out of the way' does injustice to Exposure's efforts. The
3010S CD player and integrated amplifier make listening to music so
intensely involving that it borders on an addiction."
- Wayne Garcia, The Absolute Sound, April/May 2008.