I always thought that x2 had less conductors, but I could be wrong. I think that would have a huge affect on the sound. My Emerald x3 RCA definitely represents high valu for money. I even think it's the overall equal of the Discovery Essence that I had in my system for an extended period. It certainly has better and deeper bass than Essence, and is about on par in the rest of the range. the Essence's treble had sort of a magically organic, smooth quality that was totally absent of electronic artifice...wheras the Emerald's treble is a tad more hard and rough, but also more dynamic. For about 1/3 the price, I don't miss anything about the Essence...the midrange of the two was spot on, and each sounds like a clone of the other here.