ACCUPHASE E-800

MJ05.12.2020

Integrated amplifiers

The physical appearance of the E-800 is totally Accuphase: satin gold aluminum panel, controls cleverly hidden behind a flap, sensitive and accurate VU meters, silky operation of knobs and buttons, and legendary fanatical craftsmanship that extends from exterior to interior. Ownership of this integrated is like ownership of a luxury car and you can see it, feel it and hear it.

100% reference

Funkce a forma

95%
Ergonomie
86%
Zvuk
100%
Zpracování

The E-800 is a statement product, an accumulation of everything that the Japanese manufacturer knows about amplifier building to date. The new product development in Accuphase remains on the safe side, expect no dramatic changes to the company’s holistic sound philosophy, yet everything gets more refined this time.

Most elements in the Accuphase E-800’s design are derived from their A-48 (Class-A stereo power amplifier) and E-650 (Class-A stereo integrated amplifier) and combined inside a single chassis. This results into a rather bulky integrated, measuring 465 x 502 x 239mm and weighing 36kg.

The E-800 has a mono-block construction with both parts supported by a single toroidal power supply. The Class-A output stage, taken from the A-48, uses MOS-FETs (Accuphase switched from formerly used Vishay to Fairchild devices) arranged in parallel push-pull configuration to lower output impedance and achieve better driving ability of the amplifier, reflected in its damping factor where Accuphase guarantees minimum of 1000, which is higher by 25% than at E-650. The power rating of the E-800 (and Accuphase is always very honest in stating continuous power rather than peak power) progresses in a linear fashion from 50W into 8 ohms, 100W into 4 ohms, and 200W into 2 ohms.

The E-800 continues to use their formidable AAVA volume control that eliminates all variable resistors from the signal path. The E-800 employs two AAVA modules per channel, incorporated in instrumentation amplifier topology. This should work as a totally balanced circuit which is resistant to internal and external RFI noise and Accuphase claims much improved signal-to-noise ratio, guaranteed 104dB minimum, which again is an improvement over the E-650. There are also ergonomic benefits from Accuphase endlessly improving the AAVA – the resolution of the volume control is finer and smoother and feels completely gapless.

Nízké frekvence

Váha
88
Výbušnost
85
Artikulace
84

Accuphase knows a lot about building amplifiers and the E-800 proves it in spades. This integrated confirmed some expectations that I had about how it can possibly sound, however it exceeded them with some new sonic attributes that I did not expected.

The bass of the E-800 is rather traditional for Accuphase – it is courteous rather than muscular and introduces elegant softness and warm punch. Though its contours are very slightly less precise it is very carefully balanced with the rest of the frequency spectrum and is well resolved. The electric bass of Kai Eckhardt on Naim Audio sampler was presented with solid fundament, it lacks the incisive punch however. Next time I´d like to hear here the same openness that the new E-800 features in the midrange and that signifies a new age for Accuphase.

Čistota rozlišení

Detail
90
Vzduch
90
Transparentnost
90

While Accuphase amplifiers always had a kind of comfort inducing signature in how they sounded, the new E-800 walks in a different direction. It sounds quite open and neutral, with better insight into recordings and superb transparency. Still, the way it conveys details to your ears is understated and elegant, sometimes to the degree that I got aware of how much I am actually hearing only few minutes into a track or album.

Silence was never silent with the Accuphase, at least it was not the starless and pitch black silence that we associate with digital zeroes. The silence of the E-800 is thick and full of fragrances, like summer night. As if there was something happening, something that is felt rather than heard. It also means that hiss of analogue tape is a tad smoother (or peak-less if you want) and ambient sounds from studios are bathed in shimmering hot air.

Tonální věrnost

Témbr
92
Dynamika
88
Časování
89

If you like fidelity of acoustic instruments then you will like the E-800. What I have written so far gives a hint that the E-800 is in the warm side, however it is not colored. The difference is similar like the difference between naturally live and acoustically treated listening environments.

The Accuphase builds its dynamics from midrange so the result is highly dependent on instrumentation of the particular track. Guitars, small percussive instruments, cembalo, trumpets or voices are fantastic through the E-800. Big drums, organs or synthesizers remain rooted in the midrange and the bottom end adds the frequency balance, not the dynamics.

Prostorovost

Trojrozměrnost
92
Šířka scény
92
Hloubka scény
92

Antonio Forcione´s Acoustic Revenge (Naim) features just one instrument – the unplugged guitar – but it is very rich in ambient information, be it reverb or different rustles and noises coming from the audience. I really like this track for it is a torture test for how a component is able to rebuild this rather complicated ambience and still make the sound cohesive and complete. The E-800 could do that and threw the soundstage that was wide and deep, with individual sounds precisely positioned within it. I was not surprised because imaging had always been one of Accuphase´s strengths.

In case you are looking for an “all-in-one” integrated amplifier the Accuphase E-800 might be a candidate. There are two things that you need to consider, however.

First, the E-800 is comfortable to drive easier loads and smaller rooms. If you push it too hard, like I did with the not quite sensitive Estelon XB (87dB), it starts to struggle. In my case, with the volume control past 1 o´clock, the sound stopped being relaxed and become stressed. From the combinations that I have tested I would recommend to pair this amplifier with speakers like Avantgarde Acoustic or Acapella horn designs (both great in the spaces up to the size of a barn), Fyne Audio or Tannoy were also a rather good choice, and surprisingly Bowers & Wilkins D3 were also a great synergistic match.

Second, aside plethora of analogue inputs and outputs the amplifier does not provide any digital or phono connectivity. There are option boards available for digital DAC, turntable and extra analogue inputs, but these come at extra costs and are not cheap.

Cena v době recenze:409 000,- Kč

Doporučení prodejci

Navrátil Audio, Havířov, +420 737 821 360

Nisel SK, Bratislava, tel. +421 905 203 078

Připojené komponenty

  • Sources: Accuphase DP-560
  • Loudspeakers: Estelon XB
  • Interconnects and speaker cables: Tellurium Silver Diamond, Stealth Meta Carbon
  • Power conditioning Accuphase PS-1230, AudioQuest Hurricane

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