This is a HiFi review of the rather brilliant Exposure 3510 integrated amplifier (plot spoiler). It is an exceptionally understated piece of equipment to look at, however, it is anything but when it comes to doing its job.
This 3510 is an update on the 2510 and it draws on technology learnings derived from the 5010 range that was used recently in monoblock form for the Active Crossover project here at HF&MS.
The Exposure 3510 integrated amplifier is a Class A/B type offering a claimed 110W/ch into 8Ohms. 2510 had a modest 75W/ch into the same 8Ohms and just 5 line inputs but it did feature a fitted MM Phono stage.
The 3510 has six line inputs, all RCA type, but there is an option to fit either a DAC board or a MM or an MC phono stage which offers the opportunity of tailoring your amplifier to your purchase needs and you are not buying anything you do not want, this, to me is a plan! Based on my dealings with the DAC treatment by Exposure in the CD player I’d say there is an opportunity here.
There is a preamplifier output with the integrated amplifier although in the 3510 range there is a preamplifier anyway as well as a matching stereo power amplifier or monoblocks options. Having experienced the 5010 monoblocks, you may look no further, they’re very dynamic.
To the rear there is a second set of speaker terminals, left and right, for bi-wiring output. Interesting that they give you bi-wiring but then offer the choice of a DAC or Phono board.
The casework is heavy with the Exposure 3510 integrated amplifier. The all-aluminium casework and extruded front panel are designed to control resonance and stray electromagnetic fields.
Included in the box is what we will call here a ‘functional remote control’. It works very well indeed, and it is super responsive to the smooth volume knob on the front, but it is neither good looking nor aesthetically pleasing as it is a rather plasticky affair. The remote apparently complements other Exposure Electronics, like the CD player. No complaints if they have spent the money inside the box, which appears to be the case.
The Exposure 3510 integrated amplifier is a standard width though quite tall on the feet at 115mm x 440mm x 300mm (HxWxD), and it weighs in at a lumpy 12kg. The 3510 is available in black or titanium.
The Exposure 3510 integrated amplifier is retailing at £2,250 (incl. VAT) with the DAC board an extra £450, the MM or MC board is a very reasonable £320 add on (May 2022 prices confirmed).
I’m using the Exposure 3510 integrated amplifier with a Vertere Power cord (leftover from the Active Project). I have it on a plinth for isolation purposes. It is driving the sumptuous Kudos Cardea Super 20A loudspeakers with Tellurium Q Ultra Black II speaker cable. It has also been driving the Jern 14 DS loudspeakers supported by the REL S/510 subwoofer. Sources include the iFi Pro iDSD, fixed output to the Exposure 3510 integrated amplifier, the brilliant Leema Sirius Music Server and a Pro-Ject Debut Carbon EVO turntable with a modest Musical Fidelity phono stage (compared to Exposure’s offerings).
The amplifier is the standard size, it appears not to run hot at all and in all other respects has been very easy to live with. There’s plenty of room around the back, the speaker terminals are the flush ones which means if you wanted to run a high-level connected subwoofer, as I do with the Jerns, I’m running off the speaker terminals instead. No problem. Input selection is linear, they’ve clearly spent the money inside the box, no bad thing.
The remote is very responsive indeed, driving the volume knob at the front smoothly. Input selection to the front is decisive, linear, and clean, with no hint at all of crossfeed.
with the Super 20As I’m getting a full bass reproduction as they reach down to the floor, it is classy
On to the important bit, the key thing about this Exposure 3510 integrated amplifier is that it is very dynamic, it has plenty of energy. Paired with the Kudos Cardea Super 20A midrange kings the output is nicely matched. I am getting plenty of pace and rhythm and really room-filling soundstage. I believe the audiophile term for this lively presence is musicality and that is the best way to think of this terrific amplifier.
Tonally, with the Super 20As I’m getting a full bass reproduction as they reach down to the floor, it is classy and possibly approaching that of the Chord Étude power amplifier.
Switching to the Jern 14 DS speakers, they are notably leaner but cleaner in presentation and I still like their midrange vocal reproduction a great deal. A really positive example of this leanness and clean presentation are the pianos in Radiohead’s Pyramid Song (Qobuz 16 bit, 44.1kHz). The bass in the following track Pulk/Pull Revolving Doors (Qobuz 16 bit, 44.1kHz) grinds the floor down with the REL in tandem, it’s a great experience. The dynamic performance from the 3510 is brought to life with the opening thumping pulses in this track.
Switching to OK Computer the familiar cymbal at the opening in Subterranean Homesick Alien (Qobuz 24 bit, 96kHz) is beautifully controlled by the 3510 with no sign of fuzziness or sibilance. There is the finishing ‘K’ in the lyric “Wake from your Sleep” in the opening line of Exit Music (Qobuz 24 bit, 96kHz) that ensures you have the resolution you want in a system like this. With this 3510, the Super 20As and particularly with the Jern 14DS this accurate clean presentation is pure and demands more time.
I find, that if I am listening to a lot of Radiohead in my reviewing, I’m engaged totally, sometimes I even start trying Hail to the Thief again! Knowing how clean the iFi Pro iDSD is, that the Tellurium Q cables are transparent and knowing how accurate the Jern 14s can be it is a relatively simple matter to hear the amplifier doing its thing. This amplifier is a nice neutral-sounding piece of electronics to me and I really appreciate it. I also note that I have barely had it over a quarter-turn of the volume, certainly nowhere near half.
It is clear the headphone output is very competent indeed from this Exposure 3510 integrated amplifier
The headphone output is impressive, and I certainly prefer it to my own general Naim amplifier output which often leaves a lot to be desired. The 6.35mm headphone jack neatly cuts the speaker output on insertion. The Meze 99 Neo are very clean and precise headphones and they match up nicely and replicate the resolution described above to their limited extent. Switching quickly to a pair of Oppo PM-2s it is clear the headphone output has the clarity and definition needed from more demanding headphones, like these.
The Sendy Apollo (not shown, sorry) headphones offer their warmth and presence but the Focal Radiance, classier in all departments, delivers their control and heightened presence and they make for a good sound. It is clear the headphone output is very competent indeed from this Exposure 3510 integrated amplifier.
I have been swapping in and out with my own Moor Amps Angel 6 and preamplifier which is perhaps a little unfair, just to get context with this amplifier. Though not equivalent, I have also swapped in the excellent Audiolab 6000A Play which may be the precursor for stepping up to something like Exposure 3510 integrated amplifier if you were on an audiophile journey. Similarly, I’ve put in my own Naim Uniti2 that is languishing in the listening space looking for a good home. Throughout this process, the Exposure electronics have been very engaging indeed and have not let me down with anything I’ve thrown at it, including a Champions League semi-final screening with five of us! The new Rega Elicit Mk5 is arriving this week, now that will be very interesting indeed.
if you are serious about your audiophile journey, Exposure Electronics must be on your shortlist
I have placed this Exposure 3510 integrated amplifier against many varied amplification sources and it is coming out on top every time. The 3510 has the capability to dig out the bass, it has punch, musicality and resolution. Recalling the Active crossover project, Exposure just seems to do the basics really well with an understated design philosophy, centred on what’s inside their box of electronics. This price band is highly competitive, but if you are serious about your audiophile journey, Exposure Electronics must be on your shortlist and this Exposure 3510 integrated amplifier offers a really solid first stride on that journey.
Plenty of space
DAC or Phono option
1 or 2 XLR inputs
Looking forward to more power with the pre/power combination separately.
Full details are on the company’s site.