Accuphase e-280 Review

We recently brought in Accuphase - and wanted to share some initial thoughts on their E-280 Integrated. There are some reviews online - but wanted to share our own $0.02 and why we partnered with Accuphase. 

"Entry level. Its a phrase I have always associated with a job you can get with no experience. In hi-fi, we usually think of entry-level gear as a small taste of what a brand can really offer. Like a sample at Costco, just a morsel that wets your appetite enough to go big, and buy the whole box.

In the case of the Accuphase E-280, there is nothing about this that will make you want more. That is, when paired with the right speaker. Owners of big, multi-driver speakers look elsewhere. There are large aluminum boxes with infinite power, warming the room like a small campfire that can offer that experience. No, with the E-280 Integrated - you get a strong foundation of Japanese craftsmanship, that exudes top notch build quality, meticulous attention to detail on the inside, and on the outside, an elegant look and feel that combines vintage looks and modern amplifier design.

We are audio dealers. But, we only deal in the things we love and appreciate, and the type of gear we are proud to recommend to our friends and customers. So, we decided to bring in the line, based on the strength of the Accuphase E-280 alone. $6,995 is a lot of money, to be sure. However, its also a case in hi-fi in which you can really say that you are getting value for your money. Recently at Axpona, I had time to talk to the chief engineer of Accuphase. Despite the language differences, I was able to ask about the failure rate of their products, and from the Cheshire-Cat grin I could tell it was low, but when they told me "around 0.03%", I was astounded. It made me feel even better about selling their products. He even told me “if anything come in for repair, I will be the one who does it”.

If you know the history of Accuphase, you might know they were founded in 1972 by a former Kenwood engineer, and collaborating with other engineers from companies such as Marantz and Luxman, started “Kensonic” that is still in business today, manufacturing the Accuphase amplifiers we have grown to love so well. (Accurate Phase = Accuphase). Many Audio brands have consolidated, been acquired, etc. but Accuphase remains the same, a small, private company from Japan, with a high level of dedication to detail and the purity of accurate sound reproduction.

All of that preamble aside, what does the E-280 sound like? This amp is a crossroads where refinement meets smoothness. The highs are crisp and detailed, and are very revealing. But, the midrange is the star of the show. Think lush with a slight warmth (almost tube like), while still maintaining a somewhat neutral sound signature. Bass is tight and controlled due to the high damping factor. All of this offered long listening sessions with no fatigue, and, even after hours of listening, the amp will still feel cool to the touch. Partnered with our beloved QLN Prestige 3, 2-way speakers (87db) efficient, we never left Volume level 2, playing up into the 80db levels. We also had these connected with Von Schweikert and Perlisten to wonderful effect".

Anyone else have experience with the Accuphase sound? If anyone has questions about this amp, or their bigger brothers let us know. Just wanted to get some more info out there about these amps! 


Not sure what the rules are for dealers these days but this reads an awful lot like an ad to me. Nice looking amp though.


As a very happy owner of the E-280 I enjoyed and appreciated your comments. I think you've described the essence of the amp quite well.  Having also owned a class A Luxman integrated, which had much to recommend it, on balance I prefer the Accuphase.  It is indeed more "tubelike" and provides hours of listening pleasure with absolutely no fatigue. The Lux as good as it is, could sound a bit dry and strident to me at times. Speakers are Sonus Faber Guarneri Homage.

I should add that my main system is McIntosh tube preamp and Conrad Johnson tube amp. and while I prefer that combination, the Accuphase more than holds its own.  Soundstage is wide and deep and fairly three dimensional for a solid state amp.  Build quality (like the Luxman) is impeccable.  In short, the E280 is a keeper.

If you want a proper review of this unit, Taron at A British Audiophile has done one. He gave it a "highly recommended" rating.

The new replacement E3000 is much better still .

not cheap but my friend bought one and gets great service and pricing 

Anthony from Perrotta consultants Audio. Very well built a cut above McIntosh 

Luxman , Boulder that are similar in $ price.