How about the Emotiva XDA-2?

Hey guys,

I've been running an NAD C162 as a pre amp, but have decided that I want to get something that is more up to date.

I've been shopping around and have been keeping my eye on an Acurus RL-11 and an Aragon 28K. What can I say, I've gotta have remote.

Anyway, I was just thinking that I really like my Emotiva maybe a good choice might be the XDA-2. I'm just guessing that it will be sonically similar to the XDA-1, with the addition of an analogue volume control.

Anyone out there using the XDA-2 as a Pre/DAC? If so, how has your experience with it been?

They're on sale right now for $339.
I have Emotiva gear, but not an XDA-2. Nonetheless, the folks at the claim that the XDA-2 is a noticeable step up from the XDA-1.

Since Emo has a 30 day in-home trial, why not buy one and see how it sounds in your system?

Although I see your train of thought, I was wondering about using the XDA-2 as a preamp. Emotiva touts it as a preamp, but I was wondering if it was a real preamp, or more of just a line attenuator, like in a passive.

I've seen the remarks made at the Emotivalounge, but my guts tells me to take all of that with a grain of salt, or a larger grain of salt than I usually take with opinion.

In any case, my primary focus was on the XDA-2's performance as a digital pre amp.

Maybe I'll just have to take your advise and try it out, although I just bought a new pre amp, so it's importance has taken a bit of a back seat. Still, at $339, if it's an upgrade in sound quality, it's worth a look.

My experience tell me that you are best off with an analog preamp, and in my prejudiced opinion, a tubed preamp like an Audio Research.
I own the XDA-1 and agree it is excellent for the cash and is a good DAC. I don't think that even an improved (XDA-2) will outperform your NAD C162 as a pre-amp. The NAD is an excellent unit for the money and has a good phono stage if you ever get into vinyl. For under $400 I don't think you could beat the NAD. I also agree with Levchappy about analog pre-amps..
Thanks guys. I kind of suspected what you stated above. As nice as the XDAs are for the money, I really do believe that they need a true pre amp. My XDA-1 doesn't put out nearly enough juice to drive my amp correctly.

I have been giving a tube pre amp some thought for quite a while. Unfortunately, I just don't have the setup (space) to get into tubes right now.

I recently ran across an Aragon 28K MkII pre amp. I really don't know what my fascination is with Aragon gear, but I've always wanted an Aragon pre to go along with my Aragon amp, so I grabbed it. It should be here tomorrow.

My present system has turned into such a budget build that I'm thinking that when I get to move into a listening room, I may just put another system together based on a tube pre amp. I've been wanting to try some Class D amps too and don't want to get rid of my Aragon.
Tonyangel: I used a Conrad Johnson PV3 with the emotiva dac and it sounded wonderful. I just set the volume to a good level on the CJ pre, and then used the Emotiva remote for "fine-tuning" the volume settings depending on digital source. I think you should go the tube pre route like you mentioned.
has anyone compared the xda1 to the xda2 --dac to dac.

i heard the xda1 and it lacked body, somewhat on the lean side.
Mik971, I would imagine that your setup would work nicely. According to the guys at Emotiva, keeping the XDA-1's volume at a minimum of 60 should get you very good sound quality.

Mrtennis, what did you compare the XDA-1 to, in your system? I think that the XDA-1 is pretty good. Yes, there could be more body. There could be more detail. There could be more air, but it handles the mids nicely and has a good bottom end. I didn't find that it lacks body at all.

Still, if you feel that the XDA-1 lacks body, you may not like the XDA-2 at all. Based on what I've read, the XDA-2 has a bit more detail and more air, but at the expense of sounding a bit leaner and lacking a bit on the bottom as compared to the XDA-1.
Yup, how about it?
i heard the xda-1 compared to the ayre (don't remember the model number) and a theta.

i suspect that if i had issues with emotiva's original dac the successor wwould not be my cup of tea either.
Yup, how about it?

There always has to be one.