Accuphase E-5000 Stereo Integrated Amplifier Review
Anniversary models are something that the Japanese audio company Accuphase takes very seriously. In 2013, they released three flagship models to commemorate their 40th anniversary in business: the C3800 preamplifier, the A200 monaural power amplifier, and the DP900/DC-901 SACD separate source component combination.
Then, in 2019, they released their 50th-anniversary commemorative model, the E-800 flagship pure A-class integrated amplifier, with each channel using six pairs of power MOSFETs to output a rated power of 50W (8Ω) per channel.
Finally, at the end of 2020, Accuphase released the E-5000 integrated amplifier, the fourth model in their 50th-anniversary commemorative series, completing their planned lineup of anniversary products.
There is no doubt that the E-5000’s exterior design is still in line with Accuphase’s typical brand aesthetic, with its champagne gold heavy panel having a high level of recognizability. The meter occupies a central position on the panel, while the large knobs on the left and right are used for input selection and volume control, respectively.
Underneath the level meter is a “flip-over” active door that hides the rest of the control knobs and switches. This typical “Japanese” style gives the machine a visually concise and clear appearance, and the excellent production craftsmanship in every detail of the machine can be appreciated as a testament to the attention to detail of the Japanese brand.
The headphone output on the panel provides a strong drive for the built-in, standalone, fully discrete component headphone amplifier circuit, allowing players to save on investing in a separate headphone amplifier.
In terms of details, the E-5000 uses spikes made of high-carbon steel casting, which the company emphasizes has excellent shock-absorbing effects, allowing audiophiles to save on the additional cost of purchasing shock-absorbing spikes.
On the back panel, the E-5000 is still well-equipped with input and output terminals, with five sets of conventional high-level RCA and two sets of XLR balanced inputs. There are also recording seat inputs/outputs, as well as RCA and XLR preamplifier outputs for connecting to another power amplifier to form a more powerful dual amplifier system that can easily handle large speakers.
Unexpectedly, the E-5000 also offers RCA and XLR power amplifier input capabilities, meaning it can also be used as a pure power amplifier by connecting to other preamplifiers. In addition, the two sets of super-large speaker terminal posts are easy to use and secure with any type of speaker wire connector.
In addition, the upper left corner of the E-5000’s back panel has two expansion slots (Option1 and Option2) reserved for users to expand the decoding function by purchasing the latest DAC-60 decoding module and AD-50MM/MC phonograph cartridge amplification module, while also meeting the needs of LP vinyl record players.
The DAC-60 digital-to-analog conversion module supports a maximum digital audio specification of DSD11.2MHz and 384kHz/32bit, and simply installing it allows you to listen to Hi-Res music with a computer or mobile device such as a tablet. Listening to a large amount of digital music is that easy.
Of course, the E-5000 slot is also compatible with previous versions of DAC and ADC modules, and if there are new breakthroughs in decoding technology in the future, it can be upgraded by updating the card.
In addition to its impeccable functionality, the E-5000 has a strong performance due to its new design standards, which is the core of its appeal. It uses the same top-level production as the top-class pure A-class flagship model Accuphase E-800, with AB-class push-pull amplifier circuit technology, providing a strong output of 240W (8Ω) and 320W (4Ω) per channel, allowing this 33.8kg integrated amplifier to achieve the performance of a preamplifier and power amplifier.
Exclusive AAVA (Advanced Amplifier Virtual Array) Technology
Accuphase’s AAVA (Advanced Amplifier Virtual Array) technology is a proprietary amplifier technology that uses a complex array of amplifiers to produce high-quality sound.
It is designed to minimize distortion and noise and to provide wide frequency response and a dynamic range. AAVA technology is used in a number of Accuphase products, including amplifiers, preamplifiers, and digital-to-analog converters, to help deliver superior sound quality.
In terms of design, the E-5000 incorporates a number of new technologies from Accuphase to pursue ultimate performance, including the proprietary “Balanced AAVA” fully balanced volume control technology, which was inherited from the C-2900 preamplifier.
This advanced Balanced AAVA (Accuphase Analog Vari-gain Amplifier) technology is a pure analog electronic volume control and channel balance adjustment technology that performs far better than traditional mechanical contact point volume potentiometers.
In addition, the Balanced AAVA operates in an analog manner, rather than being converted from digital to analog, allowing the music signal to bypass variable resistors and completely avoiding the influence of passive components, as well as eliminating the coloration of ordinary potentiometers and avoiding noise after long-term use. It improves distortion while also providing an excellent control feel.
The E-5000 is designed with Accuphase’s flagship design principles in mind, featuring a three-dimensional internal structure with the input and output circuit boards directly mounted on the back panel and all terminals directly soldered onto the circuit boards.
The preamplifier and volume control circuit boards are also installed in a separate compartment on the front panel and connected to the power amplifier circuit boards with the shortest signal path possible to ensure minimal distortion.
The right side of the chassis has a metal partition reserved for the installation of optional card slots and is fully shielded to prevent electromagnetic interference to DAC or phono amplifier card slots. It is also equipped with the MCS+ first-order slow charge amplifier circuit, an improved multi-stage parallel circuit with current feedback design, ensuring linear response at all levels and improving sound purity.
The optimized NFB amplification circuit is also used to further reduce the output impedance of the amplifier.
The internal space of the E-5000 is filled with power and amplifier circuit boards. The large power ring transformer is located in the center of the chassis, providing a stable center of gravity.
Two 100V40000μF large-capacity electrolytic capacitors serve as filtering energy storage, with a total reserve of 80000μF providing a solid foundation for the dynamic instantaneous current requirements of the music. The left and right channel output amplifier circuit boards are symmetrically installed on both sides of the power circuit and stand on the large radiator.
The fully balanced line design of the E-5000’s power amplifier stage uses 5 pairs of high-power triode power tubes per channel, with a rated output of 240W (8Ω) and 320W (4Ω).
The ample power supply of the E-5000 allows for a damping factor of 1000, which is equal to that of the flagship E-800 model, meaning that it has excellent control over the speaker units. In addition, the use of current feedback circuit topology significantly improves dynamic low-distortion performance.
In order to achieve a sound that does not compromise on detail and dynamics, the output protection circuit of Accuphase amplifiers has been specially designed to not use a conventional relay on/off methods.
This is because even high-quality relays inevitably compromise sound detail and energy. Instead, they have designed a bypass switch protection circuit with MOS-FET field-effect transistors at its core. This not only does not waste power or detail but also provides comprehensive protection in the event of amplifier failure or speaker short circuit.
The amplifiers produced by Accuphase have traditionally been known for their delicate and refined sound, and the E-5000 is no exception. In addition to this characteristic Japanese sound, the E-5000 also boasts impressive rhythmic qualities and dynamic performance.
Listening to Hugh Masekela’s album “Hope” for example, the final track “Stimela” features a repetitive drum sequence that gradually builds from a soft to a loud volume. The E-5000 handles this sudden change in volume with ease, delivering a solid impact and clear imaging with quick positional bounce.
The amplifier’s strong driving and control capabilities make for a smooth listening experience, even at higher volumes. The E-5000’s rated output power of 240 watts (8Ω) is certainly no joke.
Is the E-5000 good at playing vocals? When replaying the album “Taking a Chance on Love” by Jane Monheit, the E-5000 presents a sufficient thickness in the mid-frequency range but is not too rich, so Jane Monheit’s singing is refreshing and non-trivial. Her cute and charming expression is still vividly depicted.
Through the E-5000, one can clearly feel Jane Monheit’s precise control of his vocal cords, with a smooth and graceful vocal line that is very pleasant to listen to.
The piano-sounding performance is also an essential element in sound testing. For example, when replaying the solo album “Mirror” by Jacky Terrasson, the E-5000 shows a good sense of balance, with neither the highs nor the lows suppressed. The piano sounds clear and lively, with a strong and sharp transient response, again demonstrating the first-class response speed of this high-end integrated amplifier. It gives a realistic and neutral listening experience.
After considering the various features and performance capabilities of the Accuphase E-5000 Integrated Stereo Amplifier, it is clear that this is a top-of-the-line piece of audio equipment that is worth considering for any audiophile.
With its powerful output, excellent control and dynamic range, and finely tuned balance, the E-5000 is capable of delivering an exceptionally enjoyable and immersive listening experience. Additionally, its use of high-quality components and innovative protection circuit design make it a reliable and long-lasting choice for those looking to make a long-term investment in their audio setup.
Overall, the Accuphase E-5000 is a highly recommended choice for those seeking a top-performing integrated amplifier that can deliver the highest level of audio quality.
Accuphase E-5000 Stereo Integrated Amplifier Feature
- Balanced AAVA volume control
- Highly reliable logic-control signal switching relays
- Ample input connectors (Five line level and two balanced)
- Line level input and output connectors for a recorder
- Individual phase setting for each input
- Stereo signal can be switched to monophonic operation
- Left / right balance control through Balanced AAVA
- Volume attenuator that can instantly reduce sound as low as –20 dB
- Loudness compensator to adjust audible sonic balance
- Tone controls using summing active filters
- Power amplification stage employs instrumentation amplifier principle
- Current feedback amplification circuit topology assures excellent phase characteristics in high range
- Speaker output protection circuit guards against short-circuiting
- Protection circuitry using low impedance, highly reliable MOS-FET switches
- Two massive speaker connectors for output switching and simultaneous output
- Line level and balanced outputs at the preamplifier section support bi-amping connection
- Line level and balanced inputs at the power amp section allow use as a power amplifier
- Dedicated, high-quality headphone amplifier constructed with discrete components
- Two expansion slots for option boards