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Item: Accuphase Pre C 290 ex condition
Price: 4200$ plus post
Item Condition:totally mint
Reason for selling:need funds
Payment Method: Pickup - Cash, Paypal, COD Only
Extra information: great working orders see pictures below. please Note:serious buyer PM Only more info . Donations after Sold.
Item: One Accuphase E460 Integrated amp with both AD20 Phono card and AD40 DAC card fitted.
Location: Sunny Nanango
Price: $6600 plus postage.
Item Condition: Aesthetically very good with some light scratches on the top panel.
Reason for selling: I've had my "Best of Japanese Integrated Amps" fun and now it is time to move the Accuphase on.
Payment Method: Pickup - Cash, Paypal, COD Only (buyer to pay Paypal fees if choosing to use Paypal)
Extra Info: Comes with remote, manual and original boxes and packing. This is the same amp as listed in the FS thread below:
I have had the front panel fixed and have added the DAC 40 card and have adjusted the price to reflect these alterations. Also, I don't have any more of the little grey plastic RCA plug covers, but I do have some cheapo looking red and white ones if you really want them.
It was suggested that I copy the review I put up in my Addicts Guide thread and put it up in its own, individual post that way people can search for and find it a little easier. So here it is with an extra pic of the remote that I forgot to include in my initial post.
I have noticed in the past that some amplifiers cut/smooth off/leave out/trim/blunten the leading edge of musical notes. I can’t say I’ve ever understood why before but with the Accuphase I think I do, that initial impact carries so much power that it kills all the little details that follow. I’m not sure how it does this, maybe it is something to do with the amp itself or maybe it is to do with the human ear decreasing its own sensitivity in response to strong stimuli. If you remove that initial hit then you also remove the veil from all the detail hiding behind it.
I usually notice this effect in the bass, because that is where many of the most powerful notes are, but the benefits can be heard throughout the frequency range. For instance, with triangle, while the initial strikes only come across as brightly as tiny little stars in the night sky the ability to hear the triangle itself ring out so clearly after each series of strikes is really something special. Also, while brass instruments come across as incredibly “rough and brassy” they don’t annoy at all and may just be the most listenable that I’ve ever heard. The higher piano notes are very nice, but not as noteworthy as the brass and light percussion.
In the days since I typed those first two paragraphs I have done some research and have found that this effect, or at least something very much like it, seems to be characteristic of MOSFET amps. This would explain why the Accuphase reminds me of the Redgum sound as far as the missing leading edge of bass notes goes. The only other MOSFET amp I can remember off the top of my head is Perreauxs Audiant 80i and it certainly does not sound like the other two so I guess the effect is not universal.
Anyway, back to the Accuphase, I simply have to mention the volume indicator. The volume is displayed in red numbers just below the green, illuminated Accuphase logo but they don’t stay displayed. The volume level appears when you press the up or down buttons and then disappears again about 2 seconds after you remove your finger from the buttons. Nice!
And here's a picture boys and girls.
Also, those VU meters are a bit less distracting than those on the Luxman, they are lit up a bit softer and that tan/yellow colour doesn’t draw the eye in as such. You can watch them or not, as you choose. The blue back lighting on the Luxman keeps you looking at them even if you try not to, you can turn the back lighting off on the Luxman, but then you can’t see them at all.
I am a little disappointed in the remote control, in the days when many sub $3K amps from China come with a remote that seems to be carved from solid billet Accuphase have stuck with a remote that, while it has an aluminium cover, still manages to feel very light and very plastic-y. Functionality wise it is fine, but it doesn’t feel as though it belongs with an amp as eye-wateringly expensive as an Accuphase.
Into specs, the E460 generates 180wpc into 8 and 260wpc into 4 Ohms with a THD of 0.05% from 20 to 20,000Hz at +0 and -0.2dB. Power consumption at idle is 92 watts, max is 440. It does run fairly warm. It weighs in at a quite reasonable 24.4kg. The model I have purchased from Galactic Soap has the optional AD-20 phono card fitted and I went and got all excited and ordered a DAC-40 card before the amp even arrived. I’m still waiting on the DAC-40 card to arrive but I have been assured it is on its way.
I found that, rather like the Luxman before it, the Accuphase did not really like my Aurealis IC cables, they just seem to let through too much top end. Fussy Japanese amps require careful IC matching it seems, so I opted for a pair of Redgum Audio Pipeline ICs as they were the closest to hand and since the Accuphase seemed happy with them I didn’t go any further. The source in question was my YBA Heritage cd player, speaker cables were my 10 AWG Ugly cables with Jaycar banana plugs attached and the speakers were my Lenehan S2R stand mounts. Caffeine levels were maintained by the carefully co-ordinated consumption of Pepsico products and sugar levels were elevated via the regular consumption of Nestle chocolate. So, let the evaluating begin.
Highs: As mentioned above the triangle ringing out is truly something special and the brass sounds so much more brassy than anything I have heard to date. Piano is nice, maybe even very nice but it does not come close to being as noteworthy as the triangle or the brass. 8.5 (maybe 8.75, I want to give it a 9.0 due to the triangle and brass performance but that level of performance, and that score, should really be backed up across the board)
Mids: Slick, clear, clean and just a little smooth and calm. Rise to the occasion with an increase in volume, they are a little soft at lower volume levels but really come alive as you move up to regular listening levels and above. The mids are very good, violins and Santana style guitar are good enough to get an 8.0 by themselves but they jump up to an 8.5 with the addition of magic from the sound stage. More on that in a couple of paragraphs.
Bass: Clear, strong and overflowing with smooth, well balanced bass. Never forward, there is no risk of it pushing you back in your seat here, the Accuphase is far too cultured to ever exhibit any of that hooligan-style behaviour. I’m going to mention something here that works in with the sound stage below, the bass is never punchy, it is never felt as such but it is big and it growls very low. At one stage there I could swear it found the resonance frequency of my lower jaw but it did it by pressurizing the room with a hard, deep growl and not by punching me in the head so hard that my jaw felt it. All the bass stays on the stereo’s side of the room, in fact all the music stays on the stereo’s side of the room. There are some drum strikes that I feel are a little odd, perhaps it’s the MOSFET style of bass presentation, but those are few and far between. I’m giving slow bass (such as cello and double bass) an 8.75, faster bass (such as bass guitar) an 8.5, fast-ish bass (such as normal-to-fast played drums) an 8.0, and very fast, punchy bass (such as hard, heavy drumming) a 6.0. It just does not do punchy. For that 6.0 to really come to the fore however the drums have to be the main instrument playing, if they stay in the background the effect is minimised.
Vocals: Female: The Accuphase does like the ladies, it adds a nice airy surrounding to songstresses who are already heavenly to listen to. To more regular vocals it doesn’t add or subtract anything that I can identify. But then, regular vocals are by their very definition not anything special. This is interesting because the better the vocals (you could read that as “the more audiophile the recording” if you like) the more effort the Accuphase seems to put in. So I’m awarding an 8.5 for the serious songstresses and a flat 8.0 for all the regular singers.
Male: Very open, very honest, but frankly nothing special. 8.0
The Sound Stage:
At low levels this is the same as most other amps but as you increase the volume beyond about 70dB something very special happens. The sound stage inflates, it puts me in mind of a soap bubble rising from the floor. It starts out in between the speakers and inflates out until, between 80 and 85dB, it envelopes both speakers and about of the floor space between the listener and the stereo. Once this happens it is difficult to go back, within this bubble the stereo separation is as nothing I have heard before, if you could imagine that instead of 2 speakers set about 3 meters apart you instead had 7 speakers and even then none of the instruments come directly from them. Placement within this space is a bit eerie, no two instruments occupy the same space at the same time so you could say that separation is extreme but it doesn’t feel like it is separation at all, just placement. And it is all portrayed in front of a background that makes the rear wall feel like it has been covered in several layers of warm velvet. So there is nothing that can be heard behind the speakers except the occasional instrument. This is magical stuff! I’m not sure my description quite does it justice.
However… there is a catch. It isn’t present on every album. I was devastated when I moved from my pre-test discs to my test disc and found that this effect was generally absent. I’m giving it a 9.0 because I have heard nothing to equal it, or even rival it come to that, but I’m afraid I have to mark it down due to its inconsistency so I’ll call it an 8.5.
I think that, if you bought this amp you would seek out discs that this sound stage effect worked with and just not listen to any that didn’t work with it. It’s as close to magical as I have yet heard. My big gripe (and the reason I marked it down a big 0.5 instead of only a 0.25) is that it doesn’t really work with most rock music. Montaigne, Dido, Enya, Amy Lee all sound amazing on the Accuphase but it doesn’t lend the same effect to Kiss, Big Pig or Poison. I don’t have a problem with listening to the first 3 more often but I don’t think I could manage to give up the last 3 completely.
Overall Performance Integration:
Smooth, calm, smooth again, un-intrusive, with an every so slightly soft/blunt feel to the music. Loves breathy songstresses and unpowered instruments, very high foot tapping factor but can be a little inconsistent. Works much better with female vocals than with male IMO.
Ability to Emote:
Since all the music stays on the other side of the room from the listener there is a sort of an “Ability to Emote from a slight distance” effect going on. If you are happy to accept that the band seem to be playing for the next table over in the restaurant you are seated in then this is an 8.5. If you prefer them to be performing for you then it would obviously be less, probably an 8.0.
Electric Guitar Test:
Nice twang, even though it is smooth and not very edgy at all it still came very close to making my teeth shiver, I like! 8.25 It would score better on Santana style guitar (8.5) but by longstanding tradition this score is generated from Joe Satriani’s guitar.
80’s Rock Test:
I did not think the Accuphase’s smooth presentation would work for it here, it did do much better than I expected (minus the magic of the soundstage effect). My Whitesnake and Def Leppard albums came through very well. The earlier recording styles (I call it 80’s but that isn’t really accurate) that include more incidental noise and less compression come out much more effectively than I thought they could, let alone would. 8.5. I do miss that punchy bass, but not as much as I thought I would.
I now know, and completely understand, why Accuphase amps are so well regarded. That bass presentation does take a bit of getting used to, even after a fortnight I’m not sure I’ve quite got it figured out, but everything else is just fine. And that sound stage, that is just icing on the cake.