DEQX HDP-5 Preamp Processor

Holy dueling Bose radios Batman! DEQX pulled out all the stops (again) showcasing their flagship HDP-5 Preamp Processor's ($6,499) DSP prowess through a pair of Magnepan MG1.7 loudspeakers/JBL Fathom Sub driven by Parasound monoblocks and a stereo'd pair of Bose Wave Radios. I'd like to say that the Bose Wave Radios sounded amazing when DEQX'd but I'd have to add some sort of qualifier which would effectively null that noise. Yes, the DEQX made the Bose sound more like music, no doubt, which is a very impressive feat. But let's be clear—never, ever, buy a Bose Wave Radio unless you are prepared to spend over $6 grand to make it listenable.

The HDP-5 also houses a DAC that supports PCM resolutions up to 24-bit/192kHz through its USB, Toslink, 2x coax S/PDIF (RCA and BNC), and AES inputs. There are also analog inputs (RCA and XLR). DSP processing is powered by dual Analogue Devices SHARC 32-bit floating point DSPs and the HDP-5 delivers room correction, an active crossover for adding a sub(s), speaker correction, and a 3-way active crossover if you'd like to bi-amp your speakers.

What do you think the odds are that a Concert Fidelity DAC-040BD Vacuum Tube Digital-to-Analog Converter owner would be a DEQX customer? That's what I love about this hobby; there are many more ways than one way to get where we want to be.

Gunkase's picture

Hi, Michael, I'm sorry I didn't bump into to you to tell you how much I enjoy your writing and your viewpoint. Okay, enough gushing. I was lucky enough to listen to this system in the relative quiet of Saturday morning and I thought the Maggies and subs sounded amazing. What I'm having trouble with is the sound with and without DEQX. While the differences were very obvious, on some tracks I couldn't say I preferred the DEQX on. Sometimes the soundstage was larger and sometimes things sounded artificial. The host was so gracious and really explained how it worked but in the end I wondered if the DEQX was overcompensating. What are your thoughts?

Michael Lavorgna's picture
For RMAF, I cover floors 5 and 4 on Friday (if possible) then start at the top of the tower on Saturday and work my way down.

When I was in the DEQX room there were a few guys talking throughout the demo so it was difficult for me to focus on the sound quality. But based on these imperfect conditions, I found the demo when using the Maggies to be less convincing.