Many CE devices allow you to upgrade the firmware to fix problems (or add new features). They tell you firmware upgrade is a feature. In fact it is just poor quality control. I know because Snakeoil OS is built around the idea of firm wares (what I can say, this is a one map operation after all).
The reality of firmware upgrade is this - we are shipping a unfinished product. We want to get your money first and you may end up with a finished product in time. In most likely hood that will never happen. In a couple of years we will try and sell you something else, something that is the same but disguised as something new.
At least I am making Snakeoil free. What excuses can the others make?
Also, many SACD players allow you to configure the low pass filter too (e.g. full pass, steep and gentle).
The Accuphase DC-37 offer none of these modern day “features". The DC-37 is sold as is, sold as a fuss free plug and play CE. Most importantly, the DC-37 is sold as a finished product.
They are confident there is no need for you to upgrade the firmware.
But alas there is a bug they missed. The DOP marker is not detected properly in some instances - if you play DSD and immediately switch to High res PCM (e.g. 192 kHz material) and vice versa, you’d get noise (Fun trivia: You can actually hear the music but they are at a very low volume). Switching to a 44.1 kHz material then to one of the high res formats fixed it.
This is the only issue I have found so far.
Other DSD DACs from the same era suffers:
- Fear inducing loud pops when switching between different formats, you can hear the Accuphase cleverly attenuate the sound before full volume is restored
- High frequency noises not completely filtered out
- Random freezes or reboots
- Need to power cycle the unit multiple times to work
- Need to power cycle the unit when playing different formats
- No audio
Accuphase only has this single playback bug, with a very simple workaround.
This one bug tells me that the people working in Accuphase is only human after all. And it is this single bug that makes me love Accuphase the brand even more. They are not perfect, but they are trying damn hard at it. What is their motivation, what drives them to this level?
Note: This DC-37 unit is one of the first DC-37s ever sold. In all likelihood the later DC-37s and the new DC-950 do not even have this issue.