Thoughts and perceptions on the sound quality of Accuphase Digital Products

Hello Audiogoners - and I have a quick question that came up in a recent conversation I had with a dealer as well as with a friend of mine. High End single box CD / SACD players are seen as being limited these days due to the increase in  streaming, but companies such as  Esoteric, DCS and possibly Vitus to just name a few are still making and developing this technology. My question is ; '' where does Accuphase stand on this subject,,,,, '' Do we look at Accuphase as being a leader in the making and development of high end single box CD / SACD players '' ? I read where for their 50th Anniversary they came out with the DC / DP 1000 separates which is CD / SACD player that is supposed to be really, really good. ( but, at a price )  The DP 750 received great reviews and just came out with the newer version the DP 770. 

I owned the Accuphase DP 720 at one time and it was a very musical player and yet detailed at the same time. Also, Accuphase has lowered their prices here in the US due to somewhat of a change in their distribution here and hopefully it will gain some better traction in sales and at a better price than before. With that said, and being very familiar with Accuphase products ; '' is it time to look at Accuphase Digital products seriously and consider them just as good or even better than the Esoteric , DCS players that are out there now '' ........your thoughts and thank you in advance.  


I would have never thought of Accuphase as a leader in digital equipment. I may be wrong but they seem to excel at amplification, etc. not so much in the digital world. You don't see many used Accuphase digital items around which to me is an indication they don't sell much of it. 

........or owners are keeping them and trading or selling all the time . Just a thought 

I would only partially agree with the comment above only because of the point that there doesn’t seem to be a lot of their digital out there. When you read about the design of their components though the details are (at least to me) very interesting. 
The point you mentioned regarding the product distribution (at least in the US) may play into it though as I believe their network is pretty tight with steep retail prices. I know they’re a bigger player in the Japanese marketplace. 
It seems that to get the most out of their digital side you’re steered into pairing a player with a processor (CD/SACD to DAC) which makes the price of admission much higher than a single box solution. But of course for many this isn’t a problem as having a high end player from one make paired with a different DAC is common. 
I don’t own Accuphase digital components but I would think they’d be of very high quality. As always what matters most is how you feel about it.

Post removed 

……thanks dweller but have no idea on how your response relates to my question on Accuphase’s current digital products . Go back and re-read my question.



Fellow Accuphase owner here (DP-65v). Despite its age, this player is very fine in presentation and sound. Yes, this company is ever Evolving with models DC/DP 1000 separates. Then, we are offered DP 720, 750 and 770. Lastly, Accuphase could have remained in the CD-only camp, not researching/developing SACD.


On the flipside, Accuphase makes excellent amps and pre-amps.


Happy Listening!

....thanks Jafant and glad you are well. It does seem that the overall '' opinion '' is that Esoteric makes very good single and multiple box CD players  and Accuphase is better recognized for their amps and pre-amps. However , as I have inquired it would seem that Accuphase is also producing some new and really good CD players. I had owned the DP 720 a few years back and it was a wonderful player and it was sold to buy the Esoteric Grandioso K1x. I really enjoy the Esoteric but I still recall the musicality, the overall presentation of the Accuphase that was just soo easy to listen too. The rest of my system is all Accuphase and can't help but think what would a Accuphase player sound like with the rest of my system. I was hoping that anyone like you Jafant would comment on the sonic merits of Esoteric vs Accuphase CD players.       

Post removed the OP on this thread, I must admit that I am somewhat surprised that no one on this site owns any higher end Acuuphase digital products. High end digital prodcuts such as the ; DP 720, DP 750 or their seperates such as the DC / DP 950 or the DC / DP 1000. That could indicate a couple of different reasons.  

OP:  I think it's because we aren't in Japan and the prices here are so much higher.

This puts them at a disadvantage compared to Japan where they would appear to have higher value compared to similarly priced equipment.

........good point Erik where the '' economics '' of the brand here in the US is a huge factor.  

I just came back to my hotel after listening to a demo of the new dp-770 at Audio Union Shinjuku store, paired with their new A-80, and the c3900 preamp on a B&W 804D4.

It sounded good, but not great. As an owner of an Esoteric K03XD, I'd very much rather have the Esoteric K03XD, K01XD, or Grandioso K1X over any Accuphase CD players past and present. Accuphase definitely has a more laidback sound. 

Also worth noting that Accuphase's digital products are still using off the shelf ESS DACs, while Esoteric has gone on to develop their own discrete DACs. 

....thank you Mr. chadsort as this was the information and answer that I was looking for. My system is very close to the same one that you listened to the Accuphase DP 770 on and I am not surprised that you came to that listening conclusion. It is not that the Accuphase digital is bad, it is just different sounding compared to let's say : Esoteric. Accuphase digital does take on a very musical ''persona'' but it is very laid back. I was considering selling my Esoteric Grandioso K1x and buying the Accuphase separates or more realistically the new DP 770 but what you noted was what I was afraid of......being too soft. I would like to say that having the Esoteric Grandioso K1x with the rest of the system being all Accuphase, is the right mix to my ears and what I will keep using. Thank you once again for your response.     

Accuphase is a company that should go manufacturer direct for the sake of its customers (get rid of the vulture they have in the US for a dealer). 

I own the Accuphase DP550 SACD player and use it mostly as a DAC for streaming purposes (fed through a little Aurender USB-SPDIF converter). I don't have exposure to a lot of comparatively priced DACs, but I did compare it several times, in my own system, to a Rockna Wavelight. The Rockna is a bit better in technicalities such as extension up and down, detail / separation and bass tightness. On the other hand, the Accuphase has a more colorful, natural and seamless, cohesive presentation (whereas the Rockna's bass and midrange were a bit disjointed by comparison), a very musical sound favoring the reproduction of the acoustic instruments. Overall I preferred the Accuphase. An important thing to mention is that the Accuphase is very sensitive to the power cord and kind of needs a punchy, dynamic one with assertive treble or else it might be too laidback indeed.



Which Power Cord (PC) are you enjoying with your DP550 SACD player?


Happy Listening!

@chadsort , Accuphase does use off the shelf DAC chips, however quite a few in parallel to cancel out errors as the conversion is completed, plus a few other methods, see here on how this is accomplished. 

@garebear , it's unfortunate that in the US, the price of Accuphase in the past is double that of Japan, tantamount to extortion. At high prices the brand does not gain much traction in the US, however in Europe, Australia, Malaysia and of course Japan, the brand is very well known for many years now. If Hifi shark is visited, Accuphase products are mainly offered from Europe and Japan, the used prices from the US are still over and above new prices anywhere else.


I bought my first E-205 amp in 1988, still have it and it works, a testament to reliability. Also E-450 integrated, P-4200 Power, C-2420 Pre, DP-720 SACD, DC-901 DAC & T-1100 tuner, so, very familiar with the sound. The DP-720 and the DC-901 are similar, however the main differences with the DC-901 are positional accuracy and spacing of instruments in the vector space away from the centre image with uncanny accuracy. This is of course with very good recordings of which only a handful really exist! 

I play both CDs, SACD, and digital from a Lumin U1 streamer, power cables are mainly Oyaide Tunami, Furutech silver, signal cables are all Accuphase grey and blue RCA, gray XLR.

I haven't heard Esoteric gear, so difficult to compare SQ. Like Esoteric, Accuphase make their own drive mechanism, not some pressed steel rubbish that looks fine in a computer. Often users of Accuphase sell their equipment, then deeply regret that decision, so I keep all my gear, still used. 

Not a point sonically, but I couldn't live with the design of Esoteric gear, far too rounded, much rather prefer classic traditional audio.

Digital gear from Accuphase is certainly worth the audition. Accuphase amps tend to be matched with B&W gear for some reason, I have used KEF reference instead and enjoy them every day. Feed them good music, and they sing. Compared to Playback Designs MPD-3, Accuphase digital is night and day. The MPD-3 is sitting in a corner, the DA doesn't work any more, garbled audio coming out of it.

FWIW, Damien Plisson founder of Audirvana has an Accuphase E-650 integrated for listening to the software he develops.



In Europe, especially in Germany, Netherlands and Italy, Accuphase is very common and favorable. The reviews are very good, surely pushed by the distributors, as common in the business anywhere…


I have a DP-750 and love it. Never had any other digital Accuphase gear, and just some older FM tuners in the past.



The aesthetic of the unit is fantastic, I like this classic, elegant style with wooden box, orange and green lights. 

The sound is not warm, soft and rounded, but indeed on the very pleasant side of truth. There are many colors, plenty of body and flesh, powerful images, and an excellent flow. Very good images and room dimensions. I don’t miss any small details, even if they are not unnaturally spotlighted.


I would indeed like to here some of the latest esoteric as K1XD and Grandioso 1X, or even the now new updates of them.


But if you liked the 720, I would recommend to take a listen to a 750 or the now new 770 (not heard yet), it could be an interesting comparison, even after some years with an Esoteric player.

....thank you breezer and rms 456 as you made some very good points about the sound of Accuphase digital products as well as how they are viewed outside of the US which I was aware but now confirmed. I have a whole Accuphase system outside of my single box CD player the Esoteric Grandioso K1 x.....and enjoyed the comment of ; " on the very pleasant side of truth ''. I would agree with that perspective. However, they really do not keep their value here in the US large in part due to the price that is charged here in the US so it does not make them a prudent buy. Then again no high end equipment should or can be viewed in that light but more of how the music is presented to you and if you enjoy it. That's what important to me. Thank you again and I continue to look into the DP 750 and or the DP 770. Enjoy.....     

@garebear I'm surprised you even considered selling the Grandioso K1X for the DP770.

That's a massive downgrade in my opinion, the DP770 that I heard did not come close to my own K03XD, and I can't imagine even comparing that to the Grandioso, which are 2 levels above.

I'm not talking about just details or low-end extension (where Esoteric has always excelled at), but also every other parameter including soundstage, imaging, depth, width, air, layering, microdetails and spatial, ambient cues, speed, transients,  attacks and decay. Esoteric was better in all of these traits.

The Accuphase does have a beautiful sound, tonality and timbre-wise. But I wouldn't sacrifice all other parameters just to obtain this 'polaroid-like' presentation. It also depends on what music you listen to. If it's just unplugged, acoustic, jazz stuff, and you're all about musical enjoyment (whether truthful or not), then the Accuphase works for sure.


The Esoteric Grandioso K1X plays in the league of MSB and DCS with its new discrete DAC, and many user reviews have indeed compared it favourably to these digital giants. You're already close to the end game, imo.

Don't forget that there is also now the newly-launched Esoteric Grandioso K1X SE, which have major upgrades internally for the discrete parts, and you also have a further upgrade path for adding on a Grandioso G1X master clock, which again brings it up another level.



…….thank you chadsport and your points are well taken and other friends of mine have expressed the same sentiment . One actually said to me ; “ why don’t you keep the Grandioso and add the Esoteric PS 1 power supply “‘ ? That has occurred to me and put a thread on here on the sonic merits of this change and it was all positive . So that may be an alternative. 

Keep in mind sounding more laid back than Esoteric means it might be more real and natural sounding, Esoteric sound is direct in your face. Not a bad thing if you like that type of reproduction which means like all audio it is a personal taste like cooking with spices. In my many years of experience, if you buy a CD player and then stick with the Japanese designers, they are more reliable, and more advanced than boutique manufacturers that use OEM parts to build those, I've owned them and all had problems early on, and needed to go back for repairs and adjustments. My one Sony that I gave away to a friend was still going strong after 15 years with no problems at all. My SCD1 was 10 years old when I sold it and it is still going strong. My Esoteric's K03. K01 is still in service. Digital players are a strong point of Japanese companies. Looking inside the Sony SCD1 was a marvel to see the quality and design. Stunning. Never owned one that was built like that player was. Marantz SA10 is a superb sounding player also with their own design of the music mastering system. 

When discussing Accuphase and Esoteric cd players, should one not also add Luxman to the list of excellent Japanese brands?  The Luxman D-10x and D-07x look promising.

@jafant : Sorry, I missed your question. It's a long (at least 2.5m I think) DIY OFC copper cable I have received as a gift. I installed the connectors myself: a Furutech FI-38 (G) schuko plug and a Furutech FI-11 (Cu) IEC plug.

I am the OP on this thread that is now almost 5 months old. I originally ordered the Esoteric Grandioso K-1x SE after much discussion back in the first week in  December. Well it seems that there is still distribution issues with Esoteric here in the US from what I was told and after waiting nearly 4 months decided to go with Accuphase. I will first note that my entire system which consists of a power conditioner, amp, pre-amp are all Accuphase but liked the addition of the Esoteric Grandioso K1x to that system. I sold the current Grandioso to move up to the SE edition and thought the transaction and or purchase would have been easy but as I noted it was not. 

Now the Esoteric and Accuphase CD players are both good but just present music in a different way. I wanted to go with the new Esoteric but with the problems noted I went with the Accuphase separates ; DC and DP 1000. They were a little more than what I wanted to spend but now I am really glad that things happened the way they did. I was familiar with Accuphase digital which was why I started this thread but my goodness these pieces are pure music magic to my ears and beautiful as all Accuphase products are to look at. Sonically just right, dead spot on as far as being detailed in a way that is just musical but presents the music is such an engaging but never fatiguing fashion. They were well worth the trouble I had to go through to get to this point. So to answer my own question...... Acuuphase digital products are a tour de force and should be listened to. Just my opinion.....