Having used the Accuphase DC-37 for a while now, these are the only two short comings I noticed:
- Yet to succeed in rendering voices to a ghostly/realistic level the KillerDAC can do
- Timbre is just slightly off to the KillerDAC, with a slight hint of digital edge at times when playing redbook
And I’m really picking the bones and being very fussy here. The gains on the other hand far outweigh the two things above:
- More definition in the lower end. Bass is the soul of music and the DC-37 can do this in spades (even out my tiny ML-1 Ultras)
- Very good speed and pace. It is this attribute that allow me finally realise the issue that was bugging me with the Carolyn Chan SACD
- Very low noise. As good as the KillerDAC is, the noise floor is too high with very limited dynamic range. I’m happy to get the full dynamic range of my stereo back again
- The timbre and realism is second only to the KillerDAC, and IMO is streets ahead all the other DACs I have experienced so far
This DC-37 is capable of playing music to hold my attention and yet allow my imagination to run wild at the same time. For me playing back redbook so far does not have the same magic as HighRes/PCM. I’m confident this is a setup issue and will continue to investigate this further (anybody has a unused PCI SOTM card and want to donate to the Snakeoil project?)
- Solidly built with thought placed into everything
- Legible LCD with active realtime bit depth information
- Solid Redbook player
- Excellent High Res PCM and DSD player
- Problem when switching from DSD to other high res PCM files in a playlist
- USB input easily damaged. Do not power the USB card externally just in case. *NEW*
Certainly impressive considering this unit is based around the ESS9018 chip set. True to the word it’s the implementation and not the the DAC chip that makes or break an audio component.
In Japanese culture there is this unwritten law on the strive on perfection. You see this law every day in Japan, every thing they do they are striving for perfection. I see this in their food (ramen, sushi), I see this in their wares (knives), and I see this especially in their gardens.
And now I see the same in the Accuphase DC-37.
For what this DAC can do, the RRP of the DC-37 suddenly appears very reasonable, and if one ends up on the second hand market, IMO it is a crime of audiophilic proportions to if you did not buy one if the opportunity arises.