I believe the Acute is up to "4" status.
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The "4" is a separate DAC with separate CD transport. It came out 2 years ago. The DAC is $8000 and the CD transport is another $5000. The Acute Classic just got release a couple of months ago. It is a single unit which is a CD and DAC, retails for $6800, as it replaced the Acute 3. It has 2 output tubes instead of 4 tubes in the DAC 4, but is based on the DAC 4 design. It is about half the price of the DAC4/CD transport, so seeing what the performance of it is.
I would say that if you weren't satisfied with the Acute 3Charyo, I stated that I loved the sound of the Acute 3, but only felt the DAC is a little dated. Not sure I understand what you can gather from a price point - why couldn't a newer model 5 years later be a significant improvement? Technology has changed drastically in the past few years.
Manufacturers now using their own algorithms, DAC chips have significantly improved, circuitry advancements….. So many factors contribute to a sonic difference (though it may look the same). Doesn't necessarily make it better, but they are different. Many companies are entering the DAC market as well, increasing competition and getting more performance for less money. DSD, HDI, USB interfacing, file compatibility, etc.
The Acute Classic is a replacement for the Acute 3. CD transport & DAC. The Acute 4 is a SACD transport that needs to be married to the EAR Dac 4.
I stated that I loved the sound of the Acute 3, but only felt the DAC is a little dated.The tube and transformer section of these designs is pretty timeless but DAC chips/circuits technology seem like they evolve everyday. I think for CD playback, the Acute 3 was already pretty good. If you are never going to play CDs, the Dac 4 or something else is probably better. Just watch out though, as there are some super high end DACs out there that do 384Khz or even 768KHz but some of them sound really poor so specs aren't everything from my experience. Plus I don't actually own any music of those resolution that aren't just sample files.
I have looked everywhere for any reviews or user feedback on this cd player and as yet not found anything. I use an EAR Acute 3 cd player through an EAR 868 and 890 and it is simply stunning. However, I feel TDP has really gone to town and come up with 2 new cracking digital source products. So, I would be grateful if anybody can provide any user feedback on either of these.
the dealer I work with just go the Dac 4 and is running pcm, hi res, and dsd files through it. He will be getting the acute 4 cd sacd transport as well. Let me know if you want his info and he can give you his feedback. He is a super nice guy, honest, and great to work with. Just send me a personal message. I'm assuming you are in the United States? But maybe not.
i had the acute 3 as well but sold it. I am looking to get the acute classic since I'm not in need of dsd.
I will be placing an order for the Acute Classic in the near future (hopefully in the next month). There has been some issues with the DAC 4 and using DSD - it is pretty temperamental and has a loud pop when going from DSD to PCM tracks (that was my dealers experience). He thought the PCM tracks were fabulous though. Being I have no DSD, I will be getting the Acute Classic.