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DAC - Eximus DP1
APRIL MUSIC DAC : EXIMUS DP1


I-INTRODUCTION.

We all know that the most known Hi-Fi manufacturers have been American for many years, but we regularly discover new competitors coming from Asia. Most of the time, their top of the line products are surprinsingly good, and even if they still do not belong towhat we call « high end » at Threshlold Lovers, they perform surprinsingly well. Well enough to push the legacy well known American or European brands to understand that the top quality will be (is not already is) the only serious issue to avoid an anounced death...

The DAC that we reviewed this time comes from South Corea and is made by APRIL MUSIC.

This manufacturer has got a lot of positive buzz with its previous DAC, the Stello DAC DA220 mk-I.



StelloDACDA220.jpg

Since this model, their range of products has increased and we suggest you to have a look at their website.


II-THE EXIMUS DP-1 DAC.

This DAC is recent and offers both the DAC features and the preamplifier features. Its exterbal build quality is excellent and the top face presents an original picture representing a Japanese tree:

feuille.jpg

This DAC, like many of its competitors, supports the 192kHz. It uses a Burr Brown 1794A DAC chip.

The front face is a pure beauty, at least for our eyes:

DP1_avant.jpg

and the rear face shows a lot of connectors:

DP1_arriere.jpg

We note that the XLR inputs are present, and that has to be underlined, as well as an AES/EBU digital input (also XLR of course). There is also an I2S input that we have not tested.
The other inputs, matching the RCA format, are more common, but they are there and it is essential.


III-SYSTEM SETUP.

We have kept the system setup unchanged compared with the previous and recent DAC reviews, in order to have a solid base of comparison. Here it is:

config_eximus.jpg


IV-THE LISTENING SESSIONS.
 

We have (once again) to recognize that our feedback regarding the DACs musical quality, differs from what we have read in the various websites and magazines around over the last months.
We perfectly know that these differences in the feedback we give can (and will) create a trouble and a doubt in your mind. We know that, but we are obliged to be honest with us and say exactly what our feeling is.
We refuse at Threshold Lovers to be too nice with the devices we review, even if we take the risk to be juged as « too strict or too hard ». Our goal is to help you to be able to separate the good products from the exceptional ones.

We know that the EXIMUS DP-1 is very often presented as an "exceptional DAC without any shortcomings at a very acceptable price (<4.000€) ". We have even read in a few magazines or websites that it is « as good as a dCS ».

My point of view differs from that. I After having lessoned to it through a high definition headphones, I have found that its musical qualities are more or less in the same category than the Antelope Gold, and its kind of reproduction is similar.
Its manufacturing quality is good (very good), it has no major shortcoming in its musical presentation. But... There is a "but"...we miss the pleasure we got with the MC INTOSH D-100 for example. A sort of organic pleasure...
The music is clear, fluid and beautiful, without any evident weakness, but we still miss some pleasure. I prefer to get more weight on the notes, more « meat around the bones », more emotion and speed, and I had been a little frustrated regarding these expectations.


V-CONCLUSION.

The EXIMUS DP-1 is a beautiful product with a wide range of connectors. But our viewpoint is that its price is a bit too high regarding its musical qualities, and we do not share the same enthusiasm than the people comparing it with a dCS...

Despite its qualities, we consider that a lot of magazines or websites have been too positive regarding the EXIMUS DP-1. Do not misunderstand what we mean: the DP-1 is, without a doubt, a good DAC, but it is not in the state of the art category like a few persons have written.

Pros:
  • excellent volume control (like an attenuator)
  • excellent definition
  • compatible with the 500 ohms headphone (like the Sennheiser HD-600 for example)
  • supports the 96kHz and 192kHz on its USB input
  • a preamplifier is included
  • beautiful design
  • the music is fluid

Cons:
  • the bass is not good enough
  • the voices do not carry any magic
  • the price, around 3,500€, is too high
TL_4.jpg

This article has been written by Florent and Nounours - March 2013.

Creation date : 09/02/2013 @ 17:00
Last update : 12/01/2016 @ 19:23
Category : DAC
Page read 57 times


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