Accuphase DP-55

simon g

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I've had very many different DACs and CD players over the past year ~ just as an interesting excursion in to the improvements, or merely differences, to be had at various price points. To my ear, most DACs in the £200-£600 sound very similar. From £600-£1000 there are some gains to be had, but nothing that really stands out. However, once past £1k then things do get noticeably better. Of those that I tried, the Leema Elements DAC was very good indeed and miles ahead of the MDAC and the like. On the CD/DAC front, the Cambridge 851C takes a lot of beating.

So, I thought I'd try the next step up and see what that level of player brings to the party. Enter the Accuphase DP-55. The one I bought is now around 12 years old, being one of the last before the 'V' version. Having done some research, the CD mechanism for this, and the DAC, are both still available so I had no major worries on the age of the player. It had also come from a caring original owner and hadn't seen that much use. This player has also had a Trichord Clock 3 and PSU fitted.

The first thing that strikes about this is its sheer physical presence. This is a big box that just exudes quality and class and it just sits there saying to you 'come on then, bring it on'! Fit, finish and operation of this is, by far and away, the best I've ever experienced (and that includes various models from Wadia, Ayre, Meridian, et al). The drawer operation is delightful ~ smooth and elegant. The drawer is properly guided and is very rigid. Great care has gone in to the construction of this mechanism and I'm sure that care contributes to the player's performance.

The DP-55 can be used as either a CD player or a DAC, with two digital inputs. Digital outputs are also available, as are analogue outputs on RCA phono and XLR. The switch between DAC/CD is on the front panel and also on the remote control. Output can also be varied. As an aside, I prefer CD players that have DAC functionality, as that means I get the same presentation whether I'm listening from my SBT or the physical CD.

The display is a bit old school, but to me that's a complete non issue. All I need is track display, repeat light and play indication. I tend to play a CD in its entirety and don't record from CD, so the various time displays, track programming, etc are of no interest to me.

So, how does it sound? Bloody awesome is the answer. Seriously, this is quite the best sound I've heard from a CD player. I don't have many 'jaw dropping' moments but this really is a player that has got me going through my collection land marveling at just how damn good this is! Sound quality is difficult to describe, but I'll try to give a flavour. The music has tremendous authority and really comes alive. Yes, massive detail is there but it's as much about the definition as the detail. Soundstage is quite tremendous, not just width but placement of instruments and vocals. As an example, Chris Squire's bass work on the Yes album, 'Relayer' is so much more intelligible. Complex pieces from Weather Report are just so much more enjoyable. And as for Miles, well, what can i say? His genius is certainly fully revealed by the Accuphase. And this is in the context of a fairly modest system (although I firmly believe that the Epic 5 speakers, in my room, are quite capable of seeing off much more expensive speakers). I'd love to hear this player in the context of a serious system (I'll be trying it in my AN system at some stage, although I think the AN system perfroms as a system and that the Accuphase wll detract from the synergistic whole).

For the money I paid (and way beyond it) this player just cannot be beaten. For this money you could also buy an Audiolab CD/DAC. Frankly, the difference is laughable whether judged from the construction quality, joy of use or the sound produced. If you've got £600-£1000 to spend then go seek out one of these (if you're rack is big enough, of course!) and then you'll know that what you've got is, to a large extent, as good as it gets.

As a final note on this; when i first plugged this in and listened my initial thought was 'perhaps there is more than I thought to this source first malarkey'!

 

Vinyl Art

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An excellent review Simon. I heard one of these when they were new and along with the Dax Deacade was one of those stand out products. I may well revisit given current prices.

 

Lefty

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Sep 8, 2005
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As a final note on this; when i first plugged this in and listened my initial thought was 'perhaps there is more than I thought to this source first malarkey'!
I'd go along with that. All of the most musically satisfying systems I've owned have been based on the source fisrt principle.

Lefty

 

GJO

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Have to agree,had my amp and speakers for some 10 years and am happy with them,the only upgrades I have made during there residence has been to the front ends.

We had an Accuphase integrated amp at my last bake off,lovely bit of kit,pity we never got time to get to try it.

I'd go along with that. All of the most musically satisfying systems I've owned have been based on the source fisrt principle.Lefty
 

crispy98007

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Jul 23, 2013
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Chris
I've had very many different DACs and CD players over the past year ~ just as an interesting excursion in to the improvements, or merely differences, to be had at various price points. To my ear, most DACs in the £200-£600 sound very similar. From £600-£1000 there are some gains to be had, but nothing that really stands out. However, once past £1k then things do get noticeably better. Of those that I tried, the Leema Elements DAC was very good indeed and miles ahead of the MDAC and the like. On the CD/DAC front, the Cambridge 851C takes a lot of beating.So, I thought I'd try the next step up and see what that level of player brings to the party. Enter the Accuphase DP-55. The one I bought is now around 12 years old, being one of the last before the 'V' version. Having done some research, the CD mechanism for this, and the DAC, are both still available so I had no major worries on the age of the player. It had also come from a caring original owner and hadn't seen that much use. This player has also had a Trichord Clock 3 and PSU fitted.

The first thing that strikes about this is its sheer physical presence. This is a big box that just exudes quality and class and it just sits there saying to you 'come on then, bring it on'! Fit, finish and operation of this is, by far and away, the best I've ever experienced (and that includes various models from Wadia, Ayre, Meridian, et al). The drawer operation is delightful ~ smooth and elegant. The drawer is properly guided and is very rigid. Great care has gone in to the construction of this mechanism and I'm sure that care contributes to the player's performance.

The DP-55 can be used as either a CD player or a DAC, with two digital inputs. Digital outputs are also available, as are analogue outputs on RCA phono and XLR. The switch between DAC/CD is on the front panel and also on the remote control. Output can also be varied. As an aside, I prefer CD players that have DAC functionality, as that means I get the same presentation whether I'm listening from my SBT or the physical CD.

The display is a bit old school, but to me that's a complete non issue. All I need is track display, repeat light and play indication. I tend to play a CD in its entirety and don't record from CD, so the various time displays, track programming, etc are of no interest to me.

So, how does it sound? Bloody awesome is the answer. Seriously, this is quite the best sound I've heard from a CD player. I don't have many 'jaw dropping' moments but this really is a player that has got me going through my collection land marveling at just how damn good this is! Sound quality is difficult to describe, but I'll try to give a flavour. The music has tremendous authority and really comes alive. Yes, massive detail is there but it's as much about the definition as the detail. Soundstage is quite tremendous, not just width but placement of instruments and vocals. As an example, Chris Squire's bass work on the Yes album, 'Relayer' is so much more intelligible. Complex pieces from Weather Report are just so much more enjoyable. And as for Miles, well, what can i say? His genius is certainly fully revealed by the Accuphase. And this is in the context of a fairly modest system (although I firmly believe that the Epic 5 speakers, in my room, are quite capable of seeing off much more expensive speakers). I'd love to hear this player in the context of a serious system (I'll be trying it in my AN system at some stage, although I think the AN system perfroms as a system and that the Accuphase wll detract from the synergistic whole).

For the money I paid (and way beyond it) this player just cannot be beaten. For this money you could also buy an Audiolab CD/DAC. Frankly, the difference is laughable whether judged from the construction quality, joy of use or the sound produced. If you've got £600-£1000 to spend then go seek out one of these (if you're rack is big enough, of course!) and then you'll know that what you've got is, to a large extent, as good as it gets.

As a final note on this; when i first plugged this in and listened my initial thought was 'perhaps there is more than I thought to this source first malarkey'!
Simon g: Hi I am new here, hello to all, and thanks for having me here. I am a little confused. According the the Accuphase website, the DP-55 is a frequency dividing network, or electronic crossover. Here it's...a DAC? CD player? Anyway the reason I ask is I own an Accuphase F-25V analog crossover that I bought here in the USA, some 10+ years ago. It's fantastic and does exactly what I need for my current setup, but as of 9/20 this year, there will be absolutely no cards or parts available for it. It's set up for a 3-way active system, meaning it's got 3 gain modules. I've been in touch with Art @ Axiss Audio, the US distributor, and there are no more to be had, anywhere, anyhow, through him or the factory in Japan. I would like to buy a 4th gain module, just to have, for future use if I change things in the future, and seeing as the 4th space is blank, I'd like one to put there so I can at least make it 4-way if I want to. There are a few crossover cards left, but for odd frequencies that I can't see needing for anything in particular, although I may grab some just because they're almost gone forever.

Simon, do you have a F-25V or better yet, parts for one? If not do you know who does? Do you have any ideas where I should look? I think I'm grasping at straws, and the reason I'm here is to gather information about their latest crossover, the DP-55, which I THINK is the right model number, but you guys are talking about CD players and DACs. Am I missing something, and can you help? I will PM you, and check back here soon.

Chris

 

simon g

Senior Wammer
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Sep 11, 2006
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Lincolnshire Coast
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Simon g: Hi I am new here, hello to all, and thanks for having me here. I am a little confused. According the the Accuphase website, the DP-55 is a frequency dividing network, or electronic crossover. Here it's...a DAC? CD player? Anyway the reason I ask is I own an Accuphase F-25V analog crossover that I bought here in the USA, some 10+ years ago. It's fantastic and does exactly what I need for my current setup, but as of 9/20 this year, there will be absolutely no cards or parts available for it. It's set up for a 3-way active system, meaning it's got 3 gain modules. I've been in touch with Art @ Axiss Audio, the US distributor, and there are no more to be had, anywhere, anyhow, through him or the factory in Japan. I would like to buy a 4th gain module, just to have, for future use if I change things in the future, and seeing as the 4th space is blank, I'd like one to put there so I can at least make it 4-way if I want to. There are a few crossover cards left, but for odd frequencies that I can't see needing for anything in particular, although I may grab some just because they're almost gone forever.Simon, do you have a F-25V or better yet, parts for one? If not do you know who does? Do you have any ideas where I should look? I think I'm grasping at straws, and the reason I'm here is to gather information about their latest crossover, the DP-55, which I THINK is the right model number, but you guys are talking about CD players and DACs. Am I missing something, and can you help? I will PM you, and check back here soon.

Chris
I think you are confused, Chris ~ the DP-55 is definitely a CD player. See here (among many other references on the web);

http://www.positive-feedback.com/ambackissues/dp55.htm

I certainly don't have the part you're after. All I can suggest is that you post a wanted ad on appropriate forums, or perhaps ask a Japanese dealer?

Good luck with your search!

 

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