Power Amplifiers

Emotiva XPA-1 Monoblock Power Amplifier


Emotiva XPA-1 Monoblock Power Amplifier


I make no apologies about my enthusiasm for Emotiva. After I reviewed their RSP-1 preamplifier and RPA-1 dual mono power amplifier here about 18 months ago, I replaced a $3000 Plinius integrated amplifier with them. They cost less than $1400 retail for the entire setup, and bested the "high end" Plinius in virtually every area. Emotiva is built on the idea of offering the maximum possible value to home theater and audio enthusiasts. They sell manufacturer direct only, build their products overseas and pass those discounts on to their customers. Their products offer quality and performance you would have to spend at least twice as much, maybe even three or four times as much to equal.


  • Design: Single-channel (Monoblock) Power Amplifier, Differential Configuration
  • Power Output: 500 Watts RMS into 8 Ohms, 1000 Watts RMS into 4 Ohms
  • Gain: 32 dB
  • MFR: 20 Hz to 20 kHz ± 0.2 dB, -3 dB at 100 kHz
  • THD+N: 0.001% (20 Hz to 20 kHz)
  • Input Impedance: 47 kOhm
  • Dimensions: 7.75" H x 17" W x 19.5" D
  • Weight: 75 Pounds
  • MSRP: $999 USA (Check Emotiva Website for Special Sale Price)
  • Emotiva

The XPA-1 is the "statement" amplifier from Emotiva, and has been hotly anticipated by fans for quite a while now. The specifications are quite impressive: 500W RMS into 8 Ohms, 1000W RMS into 4 Ohms. As we'll see later in the measurements section, these are very conservative ratings. It will drive a 2 Ohm load, but requires a 20A 115V circuit or a 10A 230V circuit to reach its maximum output into that load. If you'd want to try to run a pair of them into 2 Ohms at or near full power, you'd want a dedicated 20A 230V circuit. That's combined with a fully differential design that takes full advantage of the balanced inputs. Other manufacturers typically ask at least $3000-$4000 a piece for amps like this. The MSRP is $999, with an introductory special price of $899 each (January, 2009).