Accuphase E550 or E560?

Is Accuphase E560 much better than E550?
Would be very interested, if anyone has direct comparison experience.
maybe this can help a little
Thank you, I had a chance to demo E560,it was good, but I was not impressed(it was almost brand new, so it maybe required break in) on my speakers.It sounded better on Adams speakers (powered woofers) in the showroom.I end up getting Rega Isis and Osiris and I'm happy with the sound.
I listen both amps and I think the new E-560 it's better than E-550. It is practically a different new amp. It sound sweet as a high-end class A tube sound and, very amazing, it is very fast like a high-end class B amplifier. And a huge reserve of power.
This amp is incredible ! I own it for about one year and I couldn't be happier !
IMO Cosmin's statements above are not quite true, i.e. E-560 and E-550 are not completely different integrated amplifiers.

Like all new Accuphase amplifiers, the E-560 is built on what Accuphase calls instrumentation amplifier principle. In theory this is significant as it allows for fully balanced signal paths, in practice not so much. For example, the old-now E-450 integrated is built like an instrumentation amplifier but it was inferior to E-550 (which is not an "instrumentation amp") in almost any respect (except power of course). On the other hand, E-560 is suppose to have a somewhat larger power supply than E-550, plus it has two larger capacitors which should give better results than the eight smaller ones found in the E-550. As a result, it is said (and it is likely true) that E-560 has larger power reserves than E-550. However, one has to be rational here and realize that 30 watts are but 30 watts and will not work miracles, i.e. none of the two amps will have fist control over large woofers.

I own the E-550 for almost 1.5 years now and a few months ago I have listen for a few hours to the E-560 (at a dealer). Even though the dealer used for the demo the Avantgarde Uno speakers which are very different than my speakers (Focal Micro Utopia Be) I have instantly recognized the "golden" sound of class A Accuphase. Based on this demo I can not tell whether the E-560 is indeed better than the E-550. But one thing is certain, if E-560 is better than E-550 it is only marginally so (E-550 it still is one of the best integrated in the world). On the other hand, price-wise there is a large difference between the two, i.e. the E-560 new cost almost twice as an E-550 demo unit with full warranty. (This seems to be the general trend with Accuphase integrated. Prior to purchasing my E-550 I have listen extensively the E-550, E-450, E-350 and E-408 integrated amps. My preference back then was E-550 > E-408 >= E-450=E-350. However, the reality was that all of them had very similar sound and one will quickly forget any sonic difference between them after 30 minutes of listening. The most important things to consider in my opinions are the amount of power one needs and of course the budget. You can't go wrong with either.)

Having said all this, I should also say that I like very much the fact that the E-560 has numerical volume level indicator. For me this is the most significant difference between the two integrated (leaving money aside). I do believe that the volume indicator adds up for the long term satisfaction. However, there is no way I will pay 4000 euros or more to change my E-550 for an E-560 only to get a volume indicator. (As the Accuphase AAVA volume controls allows a very smooth adjustment of the volume I am not much bother by the lack of display but probably that will not be the case if I would have had very efficient speakers, e.g. horns.

I hope this helps. Good luck with your purchase.

All the best,
I noticed just now that my answer came quite late. Zszwedo has bought the Rega combo almost a month ago.

Zszwedo/Cosmin what speaker do you have?

nvp, I listen both Accuphase E-550 and E-560 on the same setups - practically only change amps in different setups.
What I already told was the general oppinion of about 7 folks who assisted to the comparation.
But, of course, E-550 was my first love in Accuphase's A class amps ! :) E-550 was the reason I used to decide to switch from A/B class to A class !
IMO, the main difference between E-560 and E-550 is the speed, control of the bass, and more neutral sound. For example I was very impressed for the speed of the E-450. In the same way I was more years ago impressed about E-550 delicacy, musicality and tube-alike sound. Now, let's imaginary put E-550 and E-560 in a blender and that's E-560 ! Of course, with a bigger power reserves and better filtering caps than any of two. :)
Dear Cosmin,

There was an unfortunate typo in my previous post, i.e. I wrote "statements" (plural) instead of "statement" {singular}. I was disagreeing with you saying that E-560 is practically a different new amp. Indeed, Accuphase advertises the E-560 as being a model change from E-550 but this is not really the case.

I am not sure I understand what you mean when you say the E-560 is a blend of E-550 and E-560. Did you meant to write a blend of E-550 and E-450? If yes, then I should say that E-450 is not faster than E-550. Definitively not when listening to acoustic guitars or harps. Because they are much more powerful, the E-450 and E-460 models delivers bass drums with much larger impacts/attacks than the E-550 and E-560 models. This is not just my opinion, read for example the review of the E-560 on the Accuphase site.

I will stop now as I really do not want to get into a debate with you, especially since it seems we both are (impreuna cu Puitu62) very found of Accuphase and obviously like very much the Accuphase house sound.

What speaker are you using with your E-560 Cosmin? Also, did you by any chance compared the E-560 with Accuphase pre-power combos, e.g. the A-45 + C-2410?

I am looking forward to you answer Cosmin.

Best wishes,
Yes, it was a typo mistake - I mean to write a blend of E-550 and E-450, indeed.

I don't use guides and reviews anymore when I want to evaluate and compare an audio equipment. I prefer to use only my subjective ears ! :)

I use a pair of JMLab Electra 920.1 with E-560. IMO it's a very good match. I doesn't hear yet any pre / power combos with class A power from Accuphase, but I listen for many other Accuphase pre / power - most of them with the fabulous P-7100 power.

BTW, are you romanian ? :)

Hi Cosmin,

Sorry for the late reply.

I too find that Accuphase electronics and Focal speakers pair very well together. My speakers are Focal Micro Utopia Be (I also have a REL Stentor 3 subwoofer).

Regarding, your question about my nationality, I am romanian indeed. I assume you are romanian too, right? Where are you located? I live in Amsterdam (for about 10 years now).

Best wishes,

Last week I had the chance to compare the E-550 and E-560 amplifiers at a dealer (in a rather bad room). The speakers were Martin Logan Spire and the CD player was the Accuphase DP-510. I know Zszwedo has bought (sometime ago already) a Rega combo, but other might still be interested in this comparison. As I own the Accuphase E-550 integrated, keep in mind that to some extend I am biased.

As I have expected the two amps sounded very similar, however, there were some audible differences. On one hand the E-560 seemed to have more drive. By that I mean that, for a give position of the volume potentiometer, the E-560 produced somewhat louder sound from the speakers than the E-550. Probably also because of this (it was difficult to match the volume levels as the difference in loudness was not very large) minor details in the music seemed more obvious via the E-560. I also had the impression that the E-560 had a somewhat blacker background. One the other hand, the E-550 was more open and portrayed a much larger sound stage. By comparison, the E-560 sounded a bit constricted and too focused. I could summarize this by saying that, at least to me, the E-550 sounded more life-like (had a larger presentation was more organic and had less obvious details), whereas the E-560 sounded more "hi-fi" (more focus, more evident details but less organic). But overall, except for the E-560 being a bit louder, the differences were quite small.

Based on my audition, I can't say anything about the ability of the two amps to control large woofers (the Spires have powered subwoofers). Somebody on a dutch forum has reported that the E-560 controlled the woofers of his Focal Electra 1037 Be speakers better than E-550. That probably is the case, but as I have already mentioned, 30 watts are but 30 watts. Do not expect the E-560 to drive speakers like B&W 800 or 802 to their full potential, and/or be able to reproduce the dynamic of a full orchestra or big-band. If you want the later get a pair of horns :) (e.g. Avantgarde speakers pair beautifully with Accuphase).

I would conclude that (IMO) if one has large speakers E-560 is probably a better choice (though personally I would opt for E-450/E-460 over E-550/E-560). For monitors, however, IMO the E-550 wins hands down as in principle it can be had for approximately half the price of E-560.