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April Music Eximus DP-1

post #1 of 760
Thread Starter 

Given the excellent review of the Eximus DP1 on 6 Moons, this DAC/amp is on my shortlist as an excellent DAC / headphone amp all in one solution. I've been trying to find other user reviews here on headfi and am surprised that there are none so far. 

 

Anyone have this in hand? Would love to hear how this stacks up against other high-end DACs / headphone amps in the market. Is the headphone amp in the DP1 good enough that I need not get a separate headphone amp? Any comments are appreciated.

 

 

post #2 of 760

I also have been looking at the DP-1, even though I do not really need the headphone or preamp sections. I talked May Audio who is the US distributor for April Music, and they hope to have the Eximus DP-1 available in two to 3 weeks at a retail price of $3195.00

post #3 of 760
Thread Starter 

Thanks for your reply. To me the DP-1 seems like fantastic value given the excellent DAC and amplifier sections. I have a feeling this will be a sleeper hit once it starts going out to customers. I was considering the Anedio D1, Metrum Octave, RWA Audeze edition but will most probably get this as it seems to be able to compete well with other high-end DACs / amps available in the market. Will post more impressions when I get one in-hand.

post #4 of 760

I happen to live very close, less than ten minute's driving distance from April Music's headquarters in Seoul, South Korea. Last time I visited their listening room several months ago they had the U3 at hand, but not the DP1. I recently contacted April Music and they said they have the DP1 on display for auditioning by any guests. I'm planning to take my recabled LCD-2 there soon and see how it compares to my current system. From the 6moons review the DP1 seemed to have excelled as a DAC (even outperforming the U3/Octave combo which I also happen to own), but hasn't commented about its functionality as a headphone amp as extensively as I hoped.

 

By the way, I happen to be the guy who first introduced April Music's U3 and DP1 to 6moons chief editor Srajan Ebaen by email. If you read the review from page 1 you can see my name, and I believe he also posted a picture of me and Simon Lee (the owner of April Music) in some audio show.

post #5 of 760
Thread Starter 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by songmic View Post

I happen to live very close, less than ten minute's driving distance from April Music's headquarters in Seoul, South Korea. Last time I visited their listening room several months ago they had the U3 at hand, but not the DP1. I recently contacted April Music and they said they have the DP1 on display for auditioning by any guests. I'm planning to take my recabled LCD-2 there soon and see how it compares to my current system. From the 6moons review the DP1 seemed to have excelled as a DAC (even outperforming the U3/Octave combo which I also happen to own), but hasn't commented about its functionality as a headphone amp as extensively as I hoped.

 

By the way, I happen to be the guy who first introduced April Music's U3 and DP1 to 6moons chief editor Srajan Ebaen by email. If you read the review from page 1 you can see my name, and I believe he also posted a picture of me and Simon Lee (the owner of April Music) in some audio show.

 

Thanks for posting. I was wondering about the amplifier section of the DP-1 as well when i read the 6 Moons review so I dropped Sarjan an email to seek his thoughts on the head amp section of the DP-1. His response was "killer headphone amp" and "one box bliss". Sounds very encouraging.

 

Looking forward to your impressions once you have auditioned the DP-1. 

 


 

 

post #6 of 760

I've been lent a demo unit by our local importer, I will try to come up w/ a proper review soon if anyone's interested...but so far I'm really impressed by the SQ [:keldun]

 

As usual, I let it burn-in for a little while because the whole thing is based on discrete designs and IME this kind of units need to warm up for a few hours before giving their best....anyway, I like the feeling that I'm not listening to a computer. I think the word "analog" can be used improperly sometimes, but it really gives me a "taking the headphones off your head" feeling with a very natural sounding and both immersive and impressive 3D SS. The attenuator is really great to use, only lightly stepped, it hardly takes any strength to move it and it fits perfectly my 50Ω/98dB pimped Fostex T50RP. Usually, I always find myself wishing for an in-between two steps and this is just not happening right now. OTOH, I've really been enjoying listening at low volume lately and this is a very fulfilling experience on the DP1.

 

I'm currently listening to some old school DNB, and it takes good timing and thick deep bass to make me happy...it's all very much [:yann39]

 

More impressions and pics later [:loweak]


Edited by leeperry - 11/2/11 at 3:10pm
post #7 of 760

Yes please let us know what you think. I would be mostly using the DAC section, so If you could give  your impressions as how is rates as a stand alone DAC?

 

Thank you your efforts are very much appreciated.

post #8 of 760
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the first impressions leepery. They are very encouraging. Looking forward to your review of the DP-1, particularly how the amp section performs since there isn't much coverage in that aspect.


Edited by DarknightDK - 11/2/11 at 8:02pm
post #9 of 760
Quote:
Originally Posted by DarknightDK View Post


 

 

Thanks for posting. I was wondering about the amplifier section of the DP-1 as well when i read the 6 Moons review so I dropped Sarjan an email to seek his thoughts on the head amp section of the DP-1. His response was "killer headphone amp" and "one box bliss". Sounds very encouraging.

 

 

 

Hey, Srajan has heard more kit than I ever will, but please try to get more points of reference before you put any money down on this. I really enjoy the photos on the 6Moons site, but they have a tendency to wax lyrical about every single thing they review, with very few exceptions.
 

 



 

post #10 of 760

I can certainly confirm that the HP out is seriously business. But the unit is hardly burned in, so I will come back w/ more thorough impressions in due time[:tanya]

post #11 of 760

Just spent more time that I'd be willing to admit listening to it, well ya know its caps and transistors gotta break-in anyway...so let's do some active listening while we're at it ^^

 

I'm not sure what you could connect to its I2S input(that embeds a discrete clock signal AFAIK), but the async USB input is truly astounding! The coax input is nice and all, but nothing like the USB....I guess no miracle in the world can overcome the drawbacks of this sloppy protocol: http://www.gearslutz.com/board/1788545-post2.html

 

And no more stories of cable length in order to avoid signal reflections, connectors impedance, clock extraction & passive recovery, yada yada...it literally has a U3 embedded w/ its two low jitter clocks for 44.1 and 48kHz multiples and all, no jellybean TE7022L this time. It clearly allows you to hear what its discrete output stage can do when being fed a crystal clear input signal...and oh yes, it does 88.2/176.4/192kHz and custom ASIO out of the box[:myrkul]


Edited by leeperry - 11/3/11 at 8:25pm
post #12 of 760

some first pics: imagebam.com imagebam.com

 

I've disabled the megabass and upsampling functions, the manual advises to only enable the latter(you can choose between 192 and 96kHz) for lossy audio....I'm currently listening to 24/88.2 digital SACD transcodes via bit-perfect ASIO, so it really doesn't do anything good to my ears [:thektulu]

 

I might try it later on youtube or lossy audio, but this is really not my scope.

 

Anyway, I've heard my good share of high-end audiophile opamps and discrete designs....but this is really something else! My current benchmark is the SACD of Thriller, as much as I've never been a fan of MJ Steve Hoffman said that it was the closest he had ever heard to the master tapes and the SQ was too bright and really shrill when resampled to 96kHz via the adaptive Tenor chips, but this is a completely different ballpark. You're only as strong as your weakest link, and the higher you go up the food chain w/ audio, the more impossible it becomes to downgrade....as someone said "the higher you fly, the smaller the ppl who stayed on the floor look", I can certainly understand why my reseller left it to me on loan [:killer instinct]

 

All this said, the SS seems to have an infinite number of layers both in depth and width....and it can also do a narrow SS if you like, which is quite a challenge because a very expansive SS often ends up sounding like a mere "stadium reverb" DSP. Also, it never becomes hollow and each instrument is clearly audible in its own right, there's no "overlapping" as far as I can hear...to be honest, I'm discovering tiny bits I had never heard in songs I had already played hundred times on other gear.

 

I think I'm gonna have to do some major spring cleaning in my other gear, coz I don't see much chance of this unit going back at this point [:d_omi]


Edited by leeperry - 11/4/12 at 8:06am
post #13 of 760

Thank you for your posts. Please keep them coming. As I mentioned a few posts back would mostly just use the DAC section of the DP-1. in your opinion could you justify the $3200.00 price tag on the DAC alone?

post #14 of 760

Well, the 6moons review has been updated and you can read a comparison to other spendy DAC's: http://www.6moons.com/audioreviews/aprilmusic8/5.html

 

I can certainly confirm that "metallic sounding" & "harsh" are not things anyone could say about the DP1. And anything based on cheapo opamps doesn't hold a chance IMHO. I agree when they say "What the thrice-high investment of the DP1 buys is more of three things - ambient recovery, lateral expansion and overall scale". When feeding USB, I'm really stunned by how resolving it can get on good recordings. Nothing sound mushy EVER, even the SS extremes...this is as 3D sounding as can get basshead.gif

 

Next on my list are those soundboard unmastered bootlegs from The Beatles, the "Revolver Sessions" are always fantastic on highly resolving gear...but I'm too busy enjoying a superbly remastered & recorded reggae classic atm: http://www.amazon.com/True-Democracy-Steel-Pulse/dp/B0009I7NLM

 

I've also tried some Ennio Morricone(I'm a huge fan) and hard pan music(w/ a tiny bit of xfeed on the PC) never disappoints on the DP1, that's fosho!

 

I guess the sound is sooo resolving because the embedded U3 has two uber-low jitter clocks and it's prolly fed via a very short I2S connection directly to the DAC stage...it's all about the details smily_headphones1.gif

post #15 of 760

I fully agree when they say "Its circuit achieves 'analogue comfort'—generosity, rich colors, fleshy robustness—and 'digital resolution'" Too often, a sweet sound just ends up being stellar THD...oh it's not harsh alright, it's just distorted ^^

 

That's the first time I'm impressed by a 6moons review...I wonder who wrote it? It doesn't say. Not a single sentence of purple prose, a lot of good points("Mary walks her nervous dog under an ominous sky" really made me laugh, coz it's a very smart way to make his (valid) point)...very good review indeed, and it matches exactly what I'm hearing regular_smile%20.gif


Edited by leeperry - 11/3/11 at 9:04pm
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