Accuphase E-5000 Integrated Amplifier Review
Suppose you aim to enjoy music without any interest in tinkering with audio equipment, dealing with amplifiers or setting up a complicated sound system. In that case, consider investing in an integrated amplifier. If you’re looking for one that offers the best quality, the Accuphase E-5000 and E-800 are excellent choices. While listening to the E-5000, I was reminded of the E-800, as both are outstanding examples of integrated amplifier technology. Ultimately, you can go right with both.
I understand your passion for audio equipment, and it can be challenging when you desire to have both the E-800 and E-5000 integrated amplifiers. The timbres of these two amplifiers are slightly different, with the E-800 offering a sweeter and warmer sound due to its pure Class A design, while the Accuphase E-5000 is more open, relaxed, and lively. Understandably, you would want to compare them side by side to make an informed decision, but unfortunately, they are both out of stock and in high demand.
One option could be to wait patiently until they are back in stock. Alternatively, you could contact Accuphase or their authorized dealers to see if they have any suggestions or solutions to help you compare the two amplifiers. Another option is to consider attending audio shows or exhibitions where you can audition different equipment and reach them directly. Ultimately, it’s essential to remember that there is no “perfect” amplifier, and it’s all about finding one that best suits your preferences and listening habits.
Accuphase, a Japanese audio equipment manufacturer founded in 1972, celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2022. It is common for companies to release commemorative products during such milestones, but interestingly, Accuphase has been releasing 50th-anniversary memorial products since 2019.
The first product in the series was the E-800 integrated amplifier, which was released in 2019, followed by the C-3900 pre-amplifier in 2020. In 2021, they launched two more products: the DP-1000 SACD/CD turntable and DC-1000 DAC. The most recent addition to the series is the Accuphase E-5000 integrated amplifier, which was released at the end of 2021 and is the fourth product in the 50th-anniversary commemorative series from Accuphase.
The E-800 and E-5000 are integrated amplifiers, and it may seem confusing why Accuphase released two products for their 50th anniversary in the same category. While the exact reasoning behind this decision needs to be clarified, it may have to do with Accuphase’s tradition of releasing both Class A and Class AB amplifiers simultaneously.
Typically, Accuphase releases amplifiers in both Class A and Class AB versions, as the output power of pure Class A amplifiers is relatively limited. The E-800, a pure Class A amplifier, has an output of 50 watts, while the Accuphase E-5000, a Class AB amplifier, has a significantly higher output of 240 watts. This makes the E-5000 a more practical choice for audio enthusiasts with higher power requirements.
While the exact reasoning for releasing two integrated amplifiers for their 50th anniversary may need to be clarified, Accuphase likely wanted to offer various options to cater to different customers’ preferences and needs.
Differences between Class A and Class AB
I agree that comparing the E-800 and E-5000 may be unnecessary as they are both high-quality products from Accuphase. It may be challenging to determine which is better as they are both designed to provide excellent audio performance.
In terms of price, both the E-800 and E-5000 are priced similarly, with the E-800 being slightly more expensive. Therefore, the choice between the two may come down to the difference between Class A and Class AB, as well as the power requirements of your speaker.
Many features between the Accuphase E-800 and Accuphase E-5000 are similar, and the main difference lies in the Class A and Class AB designs. As you mentioned, the choice between the two comes down to the working efficiency of your speakers.
If your speakers are efficient and only require a little power, the E-800 may be the better choice. On the other hand, if your speakers need more ability to drive and are less efficient, the E-5000 would be a more practical option.
Choosing between the E-800 and E-5000 depends on your specific needs and preferences. Both are high-quality products from Accuphase and are designed to provide excellent audio performance.
It’s difficult to say whether Class A or AB is “better” as it depends on personal preference and the specific application. Both have strengths and weaknesses, and both can achieve excellent sound quality.
Class A amplifiers are known for their high-quality sound reproduction and low distortion, but they also tend to generate a lot of heat and consume a lot of power. Class AB amplifiers are more efficient and can deliver more power, but they may have a different level of sound quality than Class A amplifiers.
Ultimately, the choice between Class A and Class AB comes down to your needs and preferences. It’s essential to consider factors such as speaker efficiency, power requirements, and personal listening preferences when choosing an amplifier. Accuphase strives to provide the best of both amplification lines and lets the listener decide which fits their needs better.
The Ultra Low Noise characteristic of the 50th-anniversary products means that Accuphase has put much effort into reducing the noise generated during the amplification process. This ensures the output signal is as pure and clean as possible, without unwanted interference or distortion. This is achieved through high-quality components, careful circuit design, and advanced manufacturing processes.
The Super High Damping Factor characteristic means that the amplifiers can tightly control the movement of the speaker cones, resulting in a more accurate and controlled sound. This is achieved through the use of a high damping factor, which is a measure of the amplifier’s ability to control the movement of the speaker. A high damping factor means the amplifier can more effectively manage the speaker, resulting in a tighter and more controlled sound.
Together, these two characteristics result in a Hi-End audio experience that is as close to the original recording as possible. Accuphase’s dedication to achieving these goals is evident in its 50th-anniversary products, which showcase its commitment to producing the highest quality audio equipment.
All audio manufacturers claim to reduce noise and maintain music’s authenticity, but the real question is how to achieve it. It all comes down to careful considerations in line arrangement and component selection.
It’s similar to how a Michelin three-star restaurant operates, where nothing can be left to chance – from the choice of ingredients, the cooking techniques, and the presentation of dishes to the quality of service. Similarly, Accuphase’s 50th-anniversary vast expansion showcases their meticulous attention to detail in designing and manufacturing Hi-End audio products for the past 50 years.
Take a moment to appreciate the internal design of the Accuphase E-5000. The layout is symmetrical and clean, with a large toroidal transformer and a super-sized filter capacitor at the center. The dual mono amplifier circuits on the left and right sides are separated for optimal performance. The rear panel is dedicated to the signal input and speaker output, while the front panel houses the logic control. The wiring is functional and aesthetically pleasing, making it a true testament to the ingenuity of Accuphase’s R&D team.
The E-5000 can deliver 240 watts at 8 ohms and 320 watts at 4 ohms, making it a powerful amplifier. Its dual mono design features 40,000 uF filter capacitors on each channel, totaling 80,000 uF, providing a reliable reserve power source. With five pairs of left and right-channel MOSFET power crystals, the fully balanced push-pull amplifier circuit produces a clean, high-quality sound.
The E-5000 also includes a fully balanced version of the AAVA volume control, which achieves an impressive signal-to-noise ratio of -124 dB, a feat that is not easily achieved. The ultra-low noise level of the E-5000 is on par with that of the E-800, both boasting a signal-to-noise ratio of -124 dB.
One of the critical features of the Accuphase E-5000 is its ultra-high damping factor. With a damping factor above 1000, it is on par with Accuphase’s flagship power amplifier P7300. The damping factor measures the amplifier’s ability to control the low frequencies of the speaker, with higher values indicating better control and low output impedance.
In addition to using MOSFET power crystals, Accuphase has incorporated its own Remote Sensing technology, which leverages negative feedback control of the speaker output terminal to achieve ultra-low output impedance and reduce overall distortion and intermodulation distortion.
Accuphase’s decision to use MOSFET switches instead of Relay switches for the speaker output terminal protection is based on their belief that Relay switches have a high resistance value, which can negatively impact the sound quality. On the other hand, the MOSFET switch reduces the output impedance and enhances the amplifier’s durability and temperature stability.
Additionally, Accuphase has added a photocoupler and temperature sensor to the protection circuit, ensuring that the protection circuit does not affect the audio signal path and, thus, the sound quality.
Accuphase’s commitment to design and engineering excellence has remained constant. While they continue to refine their AAVA volume control and improve upon their ultra-low noise and ultra-high damping factor technology, their design philosophy remains steadfast.
This commitment to excellence is also reflected in their industrial design, which maintains a consistent aesthetic and attention to detail. By constantly striving to improve upon its already exceptional products, Accuphase sets the standard for high-end audio equipment.
The Accuphase E-5000 has a similar design and style as Accuphase equipment from a decade ago. To notice the differences between generations, it would take more than 20 years of Accuphase’s products to observe the subtle changes, such as the color of the champagne gold being lighter in older models.
However, classic design elements such as the power meter head, analog buttons, and knobs remain consistent throughout the decades, serving as a testament to Accuphase’s commitment to classic design continuity.
Looking at the front panel of the E-5000, it appears straightforward, with the left and right channel meters placed in the center. The gear switch is on the left, and the power switch is at the bottom. The volume control knob is on the right, and below it is a 6.3 mm headphone output hole. There is also a volume attenuation attenuator button that can quickly reduce the volume by 20 dB.
One must gently press the central protective decorative cover to reveal additional control switches. The leftmost switch controls the speaker output, followed by a treble and bass increase and decrease buttons. The center of the panel features tone, absolute phase, mono switching, and volume compensation controls. The MC function key requires an additional module for practical use. The display controls the brightness of the meter head. The left and proper channel balance controls, pre-amplifier/post-amplifier function switching, and recording circuit switching are on the right.
Yes, that’s right. The Accuphase E-5000 is designed to be versatile and flexible, allowing for different setups and configurations based on the user’s needs and preferences. Including the recording loop function and the switch between pre-amplifier and post-amplifier also add to the versatility and functionality of the amplifier. Overall, the E-5000 is well-designed and thoughtfully crafted audio equipment that embodies Accuphase’s commitment to quality and innovation.
That’s right. High-bass compensation and Loudness Compensator compensation are classic tone control functions. They can adjust the frequency response of the amplifier to achieve a better match with the speakers. However, some people may prefer a more transparent and neutral sound so they may turn off these functions. It’s about personal preference and finding the best sound for your listening experience.
I agree with you. The physical buttons of the E-5000 provide a tactile and intuitive experience that digital interfaces may not offer. Accuphase has always emphasized the importance of ease of use and simplicity in its design philosophy, which is reflected in the E-5000. Using physical buttons allows for quick and easy adjustments without the need for complicated menus or apps, which can be a refreshing change in a world where everything seems to be going digital.
The Accuphase E-5000 provides a clear, detailed sound with a comprehensive, transparent soundstage. The vocals of Rebecca Pigeon are described as sweet and moist, which suggests that the amplifier is producing a warm and natural tone. The layering of the interludes with piano, violin, and guitar is clear and distinct, indicating that the amplifier can reproduce a wide range of frequencies with good separation between instruments. Overall, the listening experience is immersive and captivating.
I listened to chamber music and played “Homage to Sarasate” by Rachel Barton and Samuel Sanders, followed by the passionate “Carmen Fantasia.” The E-5000 performed exceptionally well, delivering the powerful and robust pounding of the piano chords and the staccato notes of the violin, which seamlessly blended with the soft piano notes.
The violin’s dense and coquettish tone was beautifully conveyed, and the amplifier’s ability to handle high-frequency notes ensured that they were not too sharp or ear-piercing. As the music entered the passionate passage, the E-5000 provided the necessary tension to create an emotionally powerful and engaging experience. The transition to a new melody was seamless, and the Accuphase E-5000 captured the romantic and passionate essence of “Carmen Fantasia.”
The E-5000 is not only capable of delivering passionate performances, but it can also evoke a sense of blissful joy. Listening to Mozart, for example, one can put on Pierce’s solo, where Abbado conducts the European Chamber Orchestra’s “Mozart Piano Concerto No. 17”. The third movement, Allegretto, features a light and pleasant intertwined melody of strings and woodwinds.
The Accuphase E-5000 can reproduce the dense texture of the music while maintaining a soft and airy feel. Pierce’s piano is crystal clear, with vivid changes in strength and intensity, while the exact phrase hides subtle changes in strength and weakness. The interweaving of the two elements makes the music richer and imbues it with a childlike wonder.
The alternation of the piano and orchestra themes created a delightful interplay of melodies. The woodwinds added their charming melody, and the piano echoed back. Abbado masterfully led the orchestra to sing joyfully, while Pierce’s piano sounded crystal clear, with changes in strength and intensity that brought richness and childlike wonder to the music.
With the E-5000 and Alexia 2, the focus was on something other than whether the E-5000 could drive the music correctly, as it did that flawlessly. Instead, the richness of the Mozart performance took center stage. As I listened, I was transported to the recording scene, imagining the interaction between the performers and the music they created.
After the gentle and relaxed section, the music builds towards a thrilling climax, as expected by those familiar with the piece. The triangle rings out frantically, the brass section surges forward again, and the woodwinds and strings melodies ease slightly before racing towards the finish line.
The timpani thunders, brass pipes collide passionately, and the music stops. The strings and brass are poised to surge forward again, culminating in an inspirational, long note that brings the piece to an end. It’s imposing that the Accuphase E-5000 can deliver such power and brilliance with its simple yet effective integrated amplifier design, outperforming many pricier options.
The Accuphase E-5000 is a reliable and versatile music partner, boasting an abundance of inputs and outputs and expansion modules for DAC and phono amplification. With a powerful output of 240 watts, it is built to last with Accuphase’s timeless industrial design that never looks outdated. Regarding sound performance, the Accuphase E-5000 is undoubtedly worth its price tag.
It’s perfect for those who prefer a single integrated amplifier over a separate preamp and power amp. For those seeking the ultimate upgrade, there’s always the E-800, but both models offer long-lasting listening pleasure and are highly recommended.