Onkyo DX-7333 CD-player
Onkyo is a typical Japanese company. It cannot boast of the fact that it is included in the top ten or twenty of the largest manufacturers of electronics, but it has other capital - more than 50 years history of production of high-end audio equipment. Due to the exceptional reliability of its equipment, Onkyo became popular in the whole world and managed to survive the many and very strong competitors in the past.
DX-7333 player, which is easy recognizable among the others by tray of loader in the center of the faceplate and large display's window, looks very attractive for a number of consumer's preferences: price, functionality and design.
The Onkyo developers keep a healthy conservatism also to the construction of their products. Nowadays, when everyone rushed to discover in CD 24-bit chips with already built-in digital filters and DACs, the Japanese have held their own system of internal synchronization, Accupulse - filtration with eight times oversampling and 1-bit data conversion into analog. What once glorified expensive Onkyo players was moved now to a device with the price less than $300. Although the word "now" is perhaps no longer appropriate - this model is produced from more than three years.
In addition to the main and secondary control buttons, there is also a headphones output with volume control on the faceplate. Here are both main control buttons and some service. Except analog outputs the device is also equipped with digital ones and both are optical (no coax at all). This is done in order to connect by digit not only to external processor or receiver but also to mini-disc or CD recorder, bypassing a digital selector.
To be honest, we immediately had several questions to the sound of DX-7333 in our system. The main feature of this player is not very expressive dynamics, the lack of proper drive. Its sound is too calm, even inert, although somebody will surely love it. Because even at high volume levels the player doesn't give sharp sound and concentrates the listener's attention on something more aesthetic.
We had more serious complaint to the quality of transmission of the upper range. The sound is very airy at first blush, discants are enough clear and accurate. However, if put disks with music, recorded in 50-60-ies years, everyone, who is familiar to noise of analog magnetic tapes, will immediately suspect a trick. In the interpretation of DX-7333 this soft and absolutely natural for perception noise background is slightly colored (the result of either simplified digital filtration or a primitive process of masking of noises - Noise Shaping - in the converter).
Finally, not everything is good with spatial characteristics too: DX-7333 shows a perfect localization and good depth, but the scene itself is more modest than in other participants of the test. That's all the cons.
Now about the pros. DX-7333 deserves praises for a rich, plastic and at the same time disciplined bass - yeah, exactly the latter definition is the most appropriate. Each kick and bass line is easily tracked even in a very dense musical spectrum. This alone is worth a lot.
In addition, mid-range also differs by music accuracy and good resolution. Voices become live with this player, acoustic instruments get realistic. Chamber of chorus compositions sound very similar to live performance in DX-7333. Onkyo has dignified manners even at the quietest levels - a problematic place for playing music on any CD device.
By the way, we can see quite often the following compromise: either "naked" top or inarticulate middle, or detailed live voices with slightly colored top. It is good, that DX-7333 refers to the latter.