The DDP-1 has come a long way from the good old days of the early Audio Alchemy era. After a long hiatus, Audio Alchemy launched this DDP-1 amongst a range of of other components and its winner out of the starting blocks. With this newer model, Audio Alchemy has combined the preamp, DAC and headphone amp into one unit. Unlike some of its competition, the preamp section is analog and not digital (although you can adjust the variable output on its digital input signal). We put the unit through its paces for both the analog stage and its DAC section and found the DAC section offering a bit more detail than the incoming signal into its analog stage. So although both the analog and digital signals came out from the same Pioneer CD player, the DAC section was better at extrapolating the signal than the same analog signal that came out from the Pioneer’s DAC board. And that’s probably due to the better and more advance DAC chip on the Audio Alchemy. The Pioneer maybe a 24 bit/ 192 KHz but the DDP-1 has dual 32/216 PCM/DSD AKM DACs with proprietary technology built into it. The previous owner of this unit ordered this DDP-1 with the optional PS5 outboard power supply ($600 MSRP) that supplies a “beefier” amount of current over the standard wall wart power supply. He said that with the PS5, the DDP-1 improved tremendously.
Cosmetically, the unit looks good. Minor scuff marks/ light scratches here and there and a minor ding on the top left corner and side edge of the power supply unit. Nothing major. We have the original box, manual and remote and will securely pack the unit for safe shipping.