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A selection of files used for the test - Audiofeels, Sounds of Silence from Audiofeels Uncovered, Penguin Records 5865033, ripped CD WAV; David Sylvian, World Citizen (I Won't Be Disappointed) + Angels from David Sylvian, Sleepwalkers, P-Vine Records, PVCP-8790, ripped CD WAV; Kankawa, Dear Myself from Kankawa, Organist, T-TOC Records, UMVD-0001-0004, Ultimate Master Vinyl, 24/192 WAV; Keith Jarrett, January 24 1975. Part I  from Keith Jarrett, Köln Concert, WAV 24/96, HDTracks; Nosowska, Kto? from Nosowska, 8, Supersam Music, SM 01, WAV, ripped CD; Pieter Nooten & Michael Brook, Searching from Pieter Nooten & Michael Brook, Sleeps With The Fishes, 4AD, GAD 710 CD, WAV, ripped CD; Sonny Rollins Tenor Madness from Sonny Rollins, Tenor Madness, WAV 24/96, HDTracks;  Stan Getz & Joao Gilberto, Corcovado (Quiet Nights Of Quiet Stars) from Stan Getz & Joao Gilberto, Getz/Gilberto, WAV 24/96, HDTracks;  The Alan Parsons Project, Sirius + Eye In The Sky from The Alan Parsons Project, Eye In The Sky, WAV 24/192, ripped DVD-A.

LAN-1.0 PA + Accuphase DP-900/DC-901.  This was my base configuration through which I checked the direct influence of the Japanese cable on the sound by working as a digital interconnect for the HS-Link port. This digital transmission interface from Accuphase transfers signals between  drive and DAC in their newest top system priced at zł 170.000,- using standard RJ-45 ports (Ethernet). This link must then be of the highest quality because beside transferring PCM up to 24/192 it has to deal with DSD at 2.8224MHz/1-bit. It also seems that drive and DAC clocks are separately synchronized to present a large amount of information tunneling down such a cable to be prone to distortion.

I reviewed the Accuphase system for Audio. The Polish distributor for Accuphase and Acoustic Revive asked me for a comparison between HS-Link and S/PDIF connections. He wondered whether S/PDIF was better. The review involved plugging in two cables, S/PDIF via Acrolink 7N-D6100 and HS-Link via Accuphase’s supplied cable. My response to his question was short – no, S/PDIF did not sound better. For the first five minutes it seemed that it was more palpable and fuller but it quickly turned out that it was actually more shallow i.e. worse. This was clearly audible with CD already but with SACD became unacceptable. As you can see two  cables at wildly different prices went head to head – the very very expensive Acrolink cable (zł 10.900/1m) and the bundled rather cheap Accuphase cable. Yet the superior interface standard of the HS-Link gave the cheap cable a clear advantage. What would happen upon changing this cheap cable (when the Ethernet link works as a digital interconnect) to the Acoustic Revive was a big unknown to me.

Ha! The change in sound was immediate and explicit. It was bigger than going from coaxial S/PDIF to HS-Link. The Acoustic Revive transferred incomparably more information about the room and extra-musical elements, so much so that it seemed I was listening to a completely different device. The Accuphase system is extraordinary and with any cable it allows us to sit down and fly away - better yet with SACD but even CDs show their best side.

Yet with the Acoustic Revive cable I heard details that seemed intrinsic to master-tape studio sound, i.e. a direct microphone feed. This impacted bass definition, an incredible amount of treble information and more. Suddenly I couldn’t imagine to listen to the Accuphase without it. But. And there's always a ‘but’ even if you believe that I approach each and every review subject with the same enthusiasm. True, I only cover pre-selected products I already know to be of good quality. But this always includes comments on their weaker points too. If readers fail to notice or neglect their importance, the fault lies with them. Relative to the Acoustic Revive, the sound grew seemingly brighter mostly with CDs. In truth the timbre didn’t change much but the amount of treble information did. This made things denser which required adaptation. With SACD this happened quickly and agreeably. With CDs the Redbook format’s innate problems began to surface.

With even the best CD players one can reach a state of balance between listening quality/comfort and quality of reproduction (adherence to the recorded truth and the format itself). ‘Absolute sound’ isn’t neutral but natural sound. Those are two different things. With the Acoustic Revive and SACD I got neutral and natural at the same time. With CDs it was only neutral whereby, frankly speaking, the listening pleasure diminished. And I also had a problem returning to the Accuphase cable because I immediately heard a lot less and quite literally so. After some accommodations of a day of listening with that cable, the enchantment with this top player’s sound returned but even a short interlude with the AR would show so much more information!