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Price (in Poland): 99 000 + 99 000 PLN

2-14-10 Shin-ishikawa
Aoba-ku Yokohama, 225-8508 | JAPAN


Provided for test by: NAUTILUS Dystrybucja


Translation: Marek Dyba

Images: Wojciech Pacuła | Accuphase

No 213

February 1, 2021

The Japanese company ACCUPHASE was founded in 1972 as Kensonic Laboratory, Inc. in Tokyo, and after moving to Yokohama, starting from 1973, its products bore the Accuphase logo. It specialized in radio amplifiers and tuners, and later also in CD and SACD players. We are testing its newest and most expensive DC-1000 / DP-1000 split SACD player.

LACING THE SACD DP-1000 TRANSPORT ON THE TOP SHELF of the Finite Elemente Master Reference Pagode Edition MkII rack, I was truly grateful for the help of Grzegorz from Nautilus, the Polish distributor of ACCUPHASE. Not that I could not handle it myself, but two of us we did it in a safe, secure way, both for the transport itself and for the Ayon SACD player standing next to it.

The transport weighing almost 30 kg, and together with the DC-1000 digital-to-analog converter being the new reference digital source of the Japanese company, it is to be a kind of "gift" that the company has prepared for its fans on the occasion of it’s 50th anniversary, the celebrations of which are announced for the entire 2022. Last year, it was exactly 40 years since Accuphase presented its first digital player - the Compact Disc player.

FROM DP-80 TO DP-1000

PRESENTED IN JULY 1986, the separates DP-80 / DC-81 system was the flagship player of this manufacturer. The CD transport was designed as we would do it today, ie with attention to power supply and knowledge of the impact of vibrations on the sound, etc. So its physical structure was important - the DP-80 weighed 15 kg, which is more than many amplifiers at that time. In December 1992, this system was replaced with the DP-90/91 models - the second and last two-box CD player in the company's history.

In 2006, we saw the first Accuphase SACD player, the DP-100 / DC-101 two-box system. Its top-loader transport had a very characteristic, sliding hatch, which indicated that it was based on a Sony mechanics. The SCD-1 player of this Japanese giant looked almost the same. Accuphase had used this company's transports before, adding its own electronics and using many parallel-connected chips in the D/A converters.

The transport included in the DP-900 / DC-901 system, presented in November 2011, was already a classic design, with a drawer. But what a drawer it was! Die-cast aluminum, with a silent mechanism, made a great impression. The basic components, such as the motor and optics, were bought from Sony, but the software and mechanical construction, with a heavy "bridge" connecting the whole thing, was prepared by Accuphase. The DAC again used multiple chips operating in parallel. This time they used a ready-made solution from ESS technology, with eight channels in one chip.

Five years later, the DP-950 / DC-950 system ws introduced. It was a development version of the '900' series, but with even heavier mechanics, even better power supply etc. The DC-950 again used the ESS Technology eight-channel D/A converters, this time with two ES9038PRO chips, one per channel.

| A few simple words…

Chief engineer

THE SYSTEM IN QUESTION has been developed by a team of engineers. I asked Mr. Mark Suzuki, the head of the design department for short information about each of them.

⸜ From the left: Mr. Akizawa, Mr. Shimada, Mr. Baba, Mr. Yamamoto, Mr. Miyajima and Mr. Takashima.


⸤ Mechanism design: Mr. KAZUO SHIMADA
He is 57 years old and has been working Accuphase for 36 years. His first design was preamplifier C-280L. After that, he designed masterpieces such as C-280V, C-2800, A-48, DG-68 and etc. Mr. Shimada loves driving a car and runs on mountain roads with a manual transmission red Suzuki Swift every weekend.

⸤ Electrical: circuit design: Mr. TAKAYUKI BABA
Mr. Baba has been working Accuphase for 5 years. His past works are A-250, A-75, T-1200, DG-68, and more. His hobbies are electric guitar, road bike, and bonsai(tray planting). He enjoys computer programming in coding languages “Scratch” with his kids on holidays.

⸤ Electrical: Microprocessor programming: Mr. SATOSHI AKIZAWA
Mr. Akizawa is 55 years old and has been working Accuphase for 32 years. Most of the system control software for Accuphase SACD/CD players was written by him. He is baseball lover and enjoys playing baseball with his 11 year old son.


⸤ Mechanism design: Mr. TORU TAKASHIMA
Mr. Takashima is 71 years old and has been working Accuphase for 48 years. He is a senior managing director and mechanism designer as well. His past works are C-280, DP-80/DC-81, A-100 and more. He loves tennis and enjoys playing tennis every weekend.

⸤ Electrical:  Circuit design and Microprocessor programming: Mr. MAKOTO YAMAMOTO
Mr. Yamamoto has been working Accuphase for 33 years. He is high frequency technology and DSP programming specialist. His past works are DF-65, DG-68, T-1200 and more. He is enthusiastic mechanical watch collector and has complication watch a lot.

⸤ Electrical: Circuit design and FPGA programming: Mr. TAKAYUKI MIYAJIMA
Mr. Miyajima is 36 years old, young engineer. Our original technology ANCC: Accuphase Noise and distortion Canceling Circuit was invented by him, and use in the DC-1000, C-3900 and more. Mr. Miyajima is electric guitar and bass lover, and is a great fan of Jaco Pastorius.


2017 WAS A SPECIAL YEAR for the development of transports manufactured by Accuphase. It brought a significant change - for the first time in its history, the DP-560 model used a D&M (Denon & Marantz) transport, not so much a SACD drive, but a DVD-ROM. Thanks to this, it was possible to play not only SACD and CD discs, but also DVD-R / RW and CD-R / RW with high resolution files. We saw its improved version in the excellent DP-570 model and now the top version of this solution can be found in the DP-1000.

It is an SACD transport that supporting CD, CD-R / RW, SACD, as well as DSD Disc (DSF) and Data Disc with files saved on CD-R/W, DVD-R/-RW / + R / + RW (WAV, FLAC, DSF, DSDIFF). DSD disks can be recorded with a signal up to 5.6 MHz (DSD128), and PCM with a 24-bit signal, with a sampling frequency of up to 192 kHz. The mechanical structure of the DP-1000 is phenomenal and it is one of the best constructed digital transports I know. It can easily compete with the top products of dCS, Esoteric or CEC.

The appearance of the new Accuphase transport is absolutely iconic and belongs to a category in which there is only one company - Accuphase. The front has a golden anode applied to a thick aluminum plate. The whole thing is mounted on a 12 mm aluminum bottom plate. Together with the multi-layer, veneered steel case, it creates a rigid, resonance-resistant environment for the mechanics. The high-carbon steel feet, which have been used by this manufacturer for years, also help.

The front looks like a two-part display and LEDs are hidden under the glass plate, below there is a drawer with buttons on the sides. The display shows information about the disc and track time, as well as information about the sampling frequency and word length. However, we cannot read the CD-Text, present on almost all SACDs. The back panel is minimalist. There is only an IEC mains socket and two digital outputs - RCA, with S/PDIF signal, and HS-Link, a broadband connection developed by this company for DSD signal transmission.

The newest Accuphase DP-1000 represents the fifth generation of Accuphase SACD transports. Its mechanics have elements made of milled aluminum, and the designers wanted to lower the center of gravity as much as possible. The mechanics were mounted directly to the C-shaped frame with greater stiffness than before.

The discs are moved by a brush-less DC motor with an external rotor - the motor is very quiet. The drawer ejection mechanism works extremely smoothly, precisely and virtually noiselessly. You can only hear a slight knock when the disc that holds the disc from the top is lowered after the drawer is closed. Flexible decoupling elements have been redesigned. The soft elements decoupling a disc with the optical system from the frame have different compliance - two are harder than the other two. Thanks to this solution, the laser head is, as we read in the company materials, “even better protected against micro-vibrations”.


THE SECOND PART OF THE TOP Accuphase SACD PLAYER is the DC-1000 digital-to-analog converter. Its dimensions are identical to the DC-1000, also similar in appearance and mechanical construction, but packed with electronics. A glance inside is enough to see that the company has organized its internal structure, dividing its individual parts differently.

The device has a fully balanced circuit and offers no less than eight digital inputs: HS-Link, AES/EBU, three RCA, two optical and USB. The inputs differ in the signal they receive. And so, AES/EBU and RCA support 16 – 24, 44.1 – 192 signal, and the optical PCM up to 24/96. The USB accepts DSD signals up to DSD256 and PCM up to 32/384. Outside, we will send the analog signal in a balanced or unbalanced form; XLR sockets have a switch that changes the absolute phase of the signal.

The DC-1000 uses the ESS Technologies ES9038 PRO converter in the 8MDSD configuration for DSD and 8MDS ++ for PCM; in the DC-950 it was the ES9018 chip. The MDSD (Multiple Double Speed DSD) technique allows for direct conversion of DSD signal to analog. First, the signal is upsampled from 2.8224 MHz / 1 bit to 5.6448 MHz / 1 bit, then delayed in a special sequence in programmable ultra-fast FPGAs (Field Programmable Gate Array) and finally decoded in D/A converters.

The manufacturer says that the device uses "low-noise circuits developed during working on projects focused on the best amplifiers", such as the ANCC (Accuphase Noise & Distortion Canceling Circuit) or parallel configuration of analog output stage circuits. It also uses a new version of the DBF (Dual Direct Balanced Filter), consisting of two parallel modules with separate output paths for the RCA and XLR signals.

Compared to the DC-950, the circuits are much more advanced and developed, which translates directly into the parameters (10% lower noise level, THD reduction to a level below 0.0001% and an increase in dynamics by 2 dB, i.e. by as much as 25%). The stage of filters and output buffers was assembled on the best commercially available fluorocarbon resin plates, characterized by a very low dielectric constant and minimal signal loss along the gold-plated paths.

However, it is still a device based solely on integrated circuits. Accuphase is faithful to semiconductors from the very beginning, seeing them as the way to the lowest possible distortions and noise. In times when there are often manufacturers who use tubes on a regular basis, without having a sufficient knowledge of them, it is noteworthy, surprising, but true - conservatism. The DAC itself is equally conservative. It is not possible to change the digital filter, this one was chosen by the manufacturer, it is also not the so-called "Streaming DAC", that is simply a file player with a digital-to-analog converter. The DP-1000 is what it is meant to be.

Both devices are equipped with low-noise power supplies with two separate toroidal transformers placed in rigid screens. In the DP-1000, they support the mechanical drive section and signal processing circuits with a clock generator, and in the DC-1000 - separate analog and digital circuits. Voltage stabilizing circuits are also excellent.


⸤ HOW WE LISTENED The DP-1000/DC-1000 player was tested in the HIGH FIDELITY reference system, using its unbalanced outputs (RCA). It was compared with the Ayon Audio CD-35 HF Edition SACD player. The signal to the Ayon Audio Spheris III preamplifier was sent using the Siltech Triple Crown cable.

The transport was powered by the Siltech Triple Crown cable, and the DAC by the Harmonix X-DC350M2R Improved-Version cable. The transport was placed on its feet on the top shelf of the Finite Elemente Master Reference Pagode Edition Mk II rack, and the D/A converter on the middle shelf and on the Acoustic Revive RAF-48H anti-vibration platform. To connect the transport and the DAC I used the TiGLON TPL-2000L LAN cable |PL|.

Recordings used for the test | a selection

⸜ PATRICIA BARBER, Companion, Premonition Records 522 9632, CD (1999);
⸜ SONNY CLARK, Cool Struttin’, Blue Note/Audio Wave AWMXR-0003, XRCD24 (1957/2009).
⸜ SONNY ROLLINS, Saxophone Colossus, Prestige/Analogue Productions CPRJ 7079 SA, SACD/CD (1956/2014).

⸜ ANNIE LENNOX, Medusa, BMG Ariola München/Sony Music Entertainment Hong Kong 430868021, No. 0123, K2HD (1995/2014).
⸜ KRAFTWERK, 3-D The Catalogue, KlingKlang | Parlophone 95873424, 7 x CD (2017).
⸜ MICHAEL JACKSON, Thriller. 25th Anniversary Edition, Epic/Sony Music Japan EICP-963-4, CD+DVD.
⸜ PRIYA DARSHINI, Periphery, Chesky Records JD446, Master CD-R (2020).
⸜ RADIOHEAD, Amnesiac, Parlophone/EMI 5327672, CD (2001).

⸜ BAJM, Bajm, Pronit PLP 0004, niewydany remaster z oryginalnych taśm: Damian Lipiński, Master WAV 24/88,2, DVD-R (1983/2020).
⸜ DICK HYMAN, From the Age of Swing, Reference Recordings HR-59, HRx (Master WAV 24/176,4), DVD-R (1994/2001).
⸜ MRYCZEK & TOMASZEWSKI, Revisited, For Tune 0038 (01), Master WAV 16/96, DVD-R (2014).


FOR A FEW YEARS A CERTAIN TENDENCY has been observable in the sound of the digital sources that I reviewed I would call it a "normalization". It would not be a "norm", but a striving for "normal", that is, natural sound. Supporters of vintage solutions argue that the basic audio design solutions were absorbed in the 1950s and 1960s, therefore everything that came afterwards is secondary, often even degenerate. They are partly right, but not entirely. Because in the last few years many manufacturers have successfully pushed the limits of those solutions even further.

Because it is like this: based on semiconductor circuits, operating ones at that, the Accuphase DP-1000/DC-1000 does not sound in a completely different way than the one featuring tubes, i.e. Ayon Audio CD-35 HF Edition. Yes, the Japanese source is twice as expensive. Some time ago, however, I would not have bought for any money what we now get, it is an incredibly musical, beautifully natural sound from a digital disc and integrated circuits. It is a real triumph of technical thought over the limitations of matter.

The tested player sounds perfectly relaxed. I mean, there is some kind of "effortlessness" in its presentation. But not „effortlessness” associated with "loosening control" and a lack of precision. For this class of devices, precision is of course an important component of the sound, but it is only a means to an end, not an end in itself. Accuphase mastered it perfectly. However, unlike in some of the earlier players from this company, this does not involve hardening the attack, but allowing the sound to be filled and saturated after the attack phase.

Although the Ayon saturates the presentation with harmonics even more, we have such an impression because it reproduces the sound more internally vibrating and more emotional. Accuphase also has this internal energy that makes the recordings “live”. Except that it is more distant in their presentation, both when it comes to showing layers and in "putting pressure" on the recipient.

I started the listening session with a series of SACDs and it was with them the most obvious. Whether it was SONNY CLARK from the Just Coolin' disc, released in Japan on a single-layer SHM-SACD disc, or a monophonic, phenomenal re-edition of Analogue Productions Saxophone Colossus by SONNY ROLLINS, or finally a contemporary production, i.e. PATRICIA BARBER's concert entitled Companion, in the Mobile Fidelity version, they all had an internal glow, pulse and a kind of "drive" that made the listening session one great anticipation of "what's next?"

If I were to compare Ayon, the HIGH FIDELITY’s reference, to another format, it would be - it should not be surprising - an analog master tape. The Accuphase, on the other hand, would be - I really didn't think I would say this - a turntable. Yes, that's how I perceive this sound. There is an internal warmth, there is a certain softness, but also a bass extension that semiconductor based digital sources lacked in the past.

The DP-1000 / DC-1000 system belongs to the high-end class, and the real high-end at that, not one "created" by the price of a product. Another Japanese SACD player that I tested some time ago, the K-01XD from ESOTERIC, went in a similar direction. Only that this one was unambiguously warm and "analog", and Accuphase stops one step before such an unambiguous declaration. That's because it is more disciplined.

So played on the synthesizer, the low bass opening of the Billie Jean from the MICHAEL JACKSON’s Thriller had both weight and clarity. Ayon plays this track in a more dynamic, or actually more emotional way. Sometimes, really rarely, but still, in this enthusiasm, it takes a step towards disorganization. It is not ostentatious, but rather subtle, but a comparison with a source of this class, like Accuphase, shows it.

It works best with the bass. The double bass that opens Use Me on the Barber’s album, and then the aforementioned synthesizer groove that is the basis of Jackson's piece, and then the bass from other albums, all of them they were very well controlled, had a nice soft attack. Ayon presents them in a more "lively”, more "forward" way, though.

On the other hand, compared to Accuphase, the Esoteric sweetens them up and deepens their mid-range, so the events have a large volume and are happening closer to us. The tested system builds a large sound stage. It does it, however, more subtly than the Esoteric and Ayon. For some, it will be a better choice because they will get breath, a greater distance from the foreground. For others, it will be a more structured presentation, but also less emotionally charged.

There is no question of lack of emotion, nothing like that happens. Accuphase conveys the internal „voltage” of recordings in a perfect way. And it does it regardless of the music genre played and the type of a disc. I would even say that it is incredibly skilled at this and has complete control over it. It develops recordings according to their internal "structure", whether it is Rollins, Jackson, or - listened immediately after - ANNIE LENNOX from the Medusa, released by Sony in Hong Kong on the K2HD disc, or even a recording of the KRAFTWERK’s live performances, released in the 3-D The Catalog box.

With all these discs Accuphase showed the championship when it came to the lack of a "digital" signature. Even the Lennox disc, annoying with some difficult to identify coloration in the treble, here sounded smooth and almost warm. The opening bass of the Take me to the river was incredibly dense and deep, and the treble, although clear - were silky. There was a slight brightening in the vocals, which was a choice of the producer, and not a signature imposed by the player. But even that wasn't irritating.

So it is so that with Super Audio CDs the top Accuphase source is resolving, dense, silky, has strong bass, but also shows events from a certain perspective, does not throw them "on the face". With Compact Discs the sound will be shown closer to us, it is warm, maybe it will even have a lower center of gravity than with the SACD, but it will still be perfectly controlled and we will feel that the player has full control over each material.

The more interesting was listening to DVD-R discs with PCM files. It turned out that they sounded as if we took an open sound from SACD and close perspective from CD. Swing arrangements of classics from the 1930s, found on DICK HYMAN's album From the Age of Swing, were shown in an incredibly natural way, a bit like on a concert. The publisher, Reference Recordings, records a lot of interior acoustics, which was perfectly legible. But it did not blur the contours of the instruments, nor did it take away their body.

The Accuphase offers an incredibly careful, balanced sound, in which everything has its place. It is resolving sound, but you will not perceive it as a "detailed" one. Even in Polish recordings from the 1980s, like on the debut of the BAJM group, from the still unreleased remaster prepared by Damian Lipiński, which I he got me in the form of 24/88.2 WAV files on DVD-R or on the first MAANAM’s album, brilliantly remastered by Andrzej Poniatowski, one of the original producers of these recordings, and released only on vinyl by Warner Music Poland, each time the sound was emotional and natural, but also well-controlled.


I would like to say that the ACCUPHASE SYSTEM surprised me with this or that. It was not like that, I anticipated or even expected it. Listening to the devices of this company for years, I have been following its constant progress, moving from the sphere of "technology" to the sphere of music. At each of these stages, it was credible, which is rare in the audio world. It did not meander, but went straight to where it is now.

I consider the DP-1000/DC-1000 system to be the best product of this Japanese company they have ever prepared - not only the best digital player, that's clear, but also a product. It plays every album in an equally great way, giving each performer emotions and energy, but also not allowing the sound to be too bright. I would even say that this is the darkest sounding player of this company, if it did not suggest that it is dark, and it is not. We get a lot of information about the treble with it, but even more about the midrange and bass.

By the end of this test, I am listening to the fantastic MRYCZEK & TOMASZEWSKI Love Revisited, released in 2014 by the For Tune record label. About this album, Adam Dobrzyński said in "Jazz Forum": "Love Revisited" is one of the most important jazz works of 2014" (more HERE ; accessed: 28/12/2021). The voice of Wojciech Tomaszewski is beautifully saturated, deep, low, while the piano has an illuminated beat, but it is in a great perspective. This is how it was recreated.

And that's all thanks to the combination of saturation and discipline in the DP-1000/DC-1000. Simply a top high-end system, hence our most important award ˻ GOLD Fingerprint ˺.

Technical specifications (acc. to the manufacturer)

⸤ DP-1000
Supported formats: CD, SACD, DSD (DSF) Digital outputs: HS-LINK RJ-45, (SA-CD/CD) 2.8224 MHz/1 bit DSD, coaxial (CD) 44.1 kHz/16 bits PCM  Separate one-lens lasers for CD and SACD  Power consumption: 16 W  Dimensions (W x H x D): 477 x 156 x 394 mm  Weight: 29.8 kg 

⸤ DC-1000
Frequency range: 0.5 – 50 000 Hz (+0, -3 dB)  S/N: 123 dB Dynamics: 121 dB  Chanel separation: 121 dB  THD: 0.0004%  D/A Converter: MDSD (DSD), MDS (PCM)  Output: RCA 2.5 V | XLR 2.5 V  Power consumption: 36 W  Dimensions (W x H x D): 477 x 156 x 394 mm  Weight: 24.4 kg


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