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Srajan Ebaen
Financial Interests: click here
27" iMac with 3.4GHz quad-core Intel Core i7, 16GB 1.333MHz RAM, 2TB hard disc, 256GB SSD drive, ADM Radeon HD 6970M with 2GB of GDDR5 memory, PureMusic 1.85 in hybrid memory play with pre-allocated RAM and AIFF files up to 24/192; April Music Eximus DP1, Esoteric/APL Hifi UX1/NWO-M, Weiss DAC2 as Firewire/S-PDIF converter for NWO-M
Preamp/Integrated: ModWright LS-100 with Synergy Hifi tubes, Esoteric C-03, Bent Audio Tap-X
: First Watt SIT2, ModWright KWA 100SE

Speakers: Voxativ Ampeggio, Audiomanufacture Boenicke B10, Aries Cerat Gladius
Cables: Complete loom of Zu Audio Event, Entreq USB cables
Stands: 2 x ASI HeartSong 3-tier, 2 x ASI HeartSong amp stand
Powerline conditioning: 1 x GigaWatt PF2, 1 x Furutech RTP-6
Sundry accessories: Extensive use of Acoustic System Resonators, noise filters and phase inverters
Room size: 5m x 11.5m W x D, 2.6m ceiling with exposed wooden cross beams every 60cm, plaster over brick walls, suspended wood floor with Tatami-type throw rugs. The listening space opens into the second storey via a staircase and the kitchen/dining room are behind the main listening chair. The latter is thus positioned in the middle of this open floor plan without the usual nearby back wall.
Review Component Retail: $2.495/ea.
April Music's Simon Lee just after CES 2012: "We finished with huge success and enjoyed an unexpectedly enthusiastic response. You should have been there to hear how the small S1 drove the current-hungry Wilson Sasha with such musicality and effortless power. I'm grateful that you pulled the trigger on the first formal Eximus DP1 review. Of course there were many doubters when it first hit. "Really? How could it possibly be this good?" But when we showed at the Japan and Denver shows after your review had published, people were truly shocked by the little guy's performance.

"The same happened in Las Vegas now. We blew away a lot of suspicions with real music. About your question on the new Stello 700 components which we premiered there, yes, in some ways they are reborn older Eximus components which at the time—we then collaborated with Metal Sound Design on the very overbuilt enclosures—cost us $2.500 for the chassis alone. This had us discontinue those massive Eximus pieces three years later. Today the Eximus brand is a resurrection of reasonably priced real high-end. The Stello 500 components you reviewed remain in the catalogue. The two new Stello 700 pieces offer more power and resolution and should carry an estimated price tag of $4.500 each when they formally launch."
discontinued Eximus CD5

Sharing its handsome 208 x 62 x 291mm WxHxD chassis with the previously reviewed Eximus DP1, the 2.9kg S1 is a bridgeable amp. In makes 125 watts into 8Ω in stereo and 500 watts in mono mode. It is based on B&O's 250ASX2 ICEpower module. Simon finds that its "unique circuit design and state-of-the-art semiconductor technology outclass the performance parameter of class A/B amplifier designs". Compared to B&O's top-power 1000ASP board, this module has half the distortion, 4dB more dynamic range and 7% higher operational efficiency. It offers dynamic range of 112/121dB in stereo/bridge mode and TDH+N of 0.008 and 0.003%. Consider how the BTL measurements are superior to single-ended. Voltage gain for SE/BTL is 28.8 and a steep 34.9dB. RCA or XLR sockets with an ultra-high 1MΩ input impedance are selectable via two recessed switches on the rear panel. So is output mode with a single slider.
With equivalent ICEpower amps from Bel Canto and Wyred4Sound amongst many others, cynics will yawn. Just what does Simon Lee bring to the party outside the fancy case work? E.J. Sarmento at Wyred4Sound for example modifies his board's input impedance, then drives it from his own fully balanced input buffer. John Stronczer of Bel Canto relies on custom power supplies to clone batteries. Will a prospective Eximus owner drive stock B&O? The description custom designed with fully balanced input circuitry suggests not.