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Japanese Exotica Kondo, Leben, Luxman, Zanden

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  #1  
Old 01-28-2013, 05:08 PM
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Default Luxman L-505u on the rack

I received the Luxman on January 14th to demo it against my longstanding Cary SLI-80 Signature w/ all F1 mods. I have had the Cary in my office system for almost 4 years now, and I have improved it over time with tube rolling and getting all the factory upgrades performed. Its seductive looks and sound have been close to my heart, but the loose soft bass (in relative terms for me) is something I have been trying to compensate for. So in steps the Luxman!
When I first turned on the L-505u, even cold and new, I was immediately struck with 3 things. First the bass. Wow! There is what I have been craving, tight controlled and deep. Next was the increase in soundstage width. Third was a little surprising to me; I found that the treble is actually more extended and somewhat brighter than the SLI-80. I did not expect more top end air, but it is there.
After letting the unit settle in and get some significant hours on, I spent some time last week listening more seriously to a variety of music. I mostly listen to rock, alternative, folk, Americana, jazz, and blues. What I found most interesting is that I ended up raising the subwoofer level one click. With the Cary I found myself adjusting up or down one-two clicks depending on the source. I have not felt it necessary to change the level with a wide variety of music. With the Cary I believe that bass prominent recordings tended to get a little boomy and that is why I felt the need to reduce the level. I am hearing more detail in music that I am familiar with than I have before. The Luxman seems more accurate to the source and somewhat brighter sounding. I think it may be more that the Cary is warm than the Luxman in bright though. One thing for sure though, leading edge transients are sharper; the sound is fast and detailed.
On the other side of the coin, The Cary has beguiling midrange with lush full sound. The Luxman has a drier sound to me, especially on vocals and piano works. I think the Luxman is slightly fatiguing at higher volume levels in contrast to the Cary; I find myself adjusting the volume more often, turning up favorites initially, then backing them down gradually again.
This unit is very feature rich for its price point. I have always romanticized about getting a record player again and starting to collect vinyl. I have not spun vinyl since the '80s Now I am one step closer. The tone controls actually work pretty well. I used them for the first time to listen to an old favorite CD, Queensryche Operation Mindcrime, which I love but is poorly recorded. Cutting the harshness from the treble and boosting the bass a little made it more listenable, good enough that I could enjoy the music without thinking too much about how crappy the recording was.
So I have decided to keep the Luxman This was my initial thought when I first plugged it in, and after 2 weeks I know it is staying. I really have enjoyed my time with the Cary but now I am enjoying a different flavor. I love the retro look, the functionality and the performance.
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Primary System: Ayre KX-5, Ayre VX-5, Ayre C-5XEmp, Ayre QB-9 DSD: Sonus Faber Olympica III: Audioquest Meteor: Yamaha RXV-1800, Oppo BDP-103, Paradigm center and rear surrounds, Paradigm Ultracube 12 sub, Audience ar6-TSD
Office System: Luxman L-507uX, Esoteric K-05, Harbeth 30.1, Dual REL T5 subs, Nordost Tyr 2 cabling, Audience ar6-TSD

Last edited by AudioPhilio; 11-02-2013 at 06:31 AM.
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Old 01-28-2013, 05:12 PM
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L-505u is a beauty!
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Old 01-28-2013, 06:02 PM
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AudioPhilio.......Glad to hear the Luxman past muster. Looks well constructed inside, too.


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STUDIO - McIntosh C1000C/P, MC2301 (2), MR88, Aurender N10, Esoteric K-01X, Shunyata Sigma spdif digital cable, Sonos Connect, PurePower 2000, Stillpoints, Furutech Flux 50, Michell Gyro SE, Michell HR Power Supply, SME 309, Ortofon Cadenza Black, Wireworld, Sonus faber Amati Anniversario
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Last edited by jdandy; 01-31-2013 at 11:31 PM.
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Old 01-31-2013, 06:41 PM
tntman tntman is offline
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I recently went on an auditioning adventure.. I tried heaps of different speakers.. one particular set I tried was the Sonus Faber Liuto floorstanders. The shop had it on demo with the Luxman 505U... the 2 combined with a Luxman D-05CD player was a match made in heaven. In fact, the dealer sells B&W Diamonds as well, and I did have a quick comparison with the Liutos against a 804 Diamond. I know both are in different price categories but the Liutos held up well against the 804!

Simply put, the Luxman is a very rich and sweet sounding amp. It packs a lot of power and it can develop a very fast and warm sounding bass.

Luxman recently released the 505UX. It looks slightly better with it's dual mono design. Did you have a chance to listen to that?
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Old 01-31-2013, 10:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tntman View Post
I recently went on an auditioning adventure.. I tried heaps of different speakers.. one particular set I tried was the Sonus Faber Liuto floorstanders. The shop had it on demo with the Luxman 505U... the 2 combined with a Luxman D-05CD player was a match made in heaven. In fact, the dealer sells B&W Diamonds as well, and I did have a quick comparison with the Liutos against a 804 Diamond. I know both are in different price categories but the Liutos held up well against the 804!

Simply put, the Luxman is a very rich and sweet sounding amp. It packs a lot of power and it can develop a very fast and warm sounding bass.

Luxman recently released the 505UX. It looks slightly better with it's dual mono design. Did you have a chance to listen to that?
I have not heard the upraded 505uX model. My dealer is waiting for the new 507uX to become available in the US. It is already in distribution in Japan. Hopefully he will have it here this spring. I will be looking forward to listening to it when it arrives, especially the upgraded volume control, as I use this amp for low volume listening quite often.
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Primary System: Ayre KX-5, Ayre VX-5, Ayre C-5XEmp, Ayre QB-9 DSD: Sonus Faber Olympica III: Audioquest Meteor: Yamaha RXV-1800, Oppo BDP-103, Paradigm center and rear surrounds, Paradigm Ultracube 12 sub, Audience ar6-TSD
Office System: Luxman L-507uX, Esoteric K-05, Harbeth 30.1, Dual REL T5 subs, Nordost Tyr 2 cabling, Audience ar6-TSD
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Old 01-31-2013, 11:40 PM
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Phil.......Here's a look at the new Luxman 507uX. 110 watts x 2 at 8 ohms, 220 watts x 2 @ 4 ohms. It incorporates Luxman's new electronic control attenuator. Looks good.


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STUDIO - McIntosh C1000C/P, MC2301 (2), MR88, Aurender N10, Esoteric K-01X, Shunyata Sigma spdif digital cable, Sonos Connect, PurePower 2000, Stillpoints, Furutech Flux 50, Michell Gyro SE, Michell HR Power Supply, SME 309, Ortofon Cadenza Black, Wireworld, Sonus faber Amati Anniversario
LIVING ROOM - McIntosh C2300, MC75 (2), MR85, Magnum Dynalab 205, Simaudio MOON Neo 260D-T, Schiit Audio Yggdrasil, Aurender N100H, Shunyata Sigma USB cable, Micro Seiki DD40, Ortofon Cadenza Blue, Nakamichi BX-300, Sony 60ES DAT, PS Audio P10, Furutech Flux 50, Sonos Connect, Stillpoints, Wireworld, Kimber, PMC EB1i, JL Audio f113
VINTAGE - McIntosh MA230, Tandberg 3011A tuner, Olive 04HD, Sony DTC-59ES DAT, McIntosh 4300V, JBL 4312A

Last edited by jdandy; 02-01-2013 at 01:59 AM.
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  #7  
Old 02-01-2013, 01:53 AM
tntman tntman is offline
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That amp does look super sexy...
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Old 02-01-2013, 02:21 AM
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What the hell is a Luxman


































































Congrats, great choice!!
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Old 02-01-2013, 08:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdandy View Post
Phil.......Here's a look at the new Luxman 507uX. 110 watts x 2 at 8 ohms, 220 watts x 2 @ 4 ohms. It incorporates Luxman's new electronic control attenuator. Looks good.


The upgraded version now doubles into 4 ohm. Looks like a pretty beefy power supply upgrade

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Primary System: Ayre KX-5, Ayre VX-5, Ayre C-5XEmp, Ayre QB-9 DSD: Sonus Faber Olympica III: Audioquest Meteor: Yamaha RXV-1800, Oppo BDP-103, Paradigm center and rear surrounds, Paradigm Ultracube 12 sub, Audience ar6-TSD
Office System: Luxman L-507uX, Esoteric K-05, Harbeth 30.1, Dual REL T5 subs, Nordost Tyr 2 cabling, Audience ar6-TSD

Last edited by AudioPhilio; 02-01-2013 at 08:14 AM. Reason: add pic
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Old 02-01-2013, 08:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DonBattles View Post
What the hell is a Luxman

Congrats, great choice!!
Luxman tranlated from Japanese = music pouring out of soul of transformer from essence of copper magic. lol
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Primary System: Ayre KX-5, Ayre VX-5, Ayre C-5XEmp, Ayre QB-9 DSD: Sonus Faber Olympica III: Audioquest Meteor: Yamaha RXV-1800, Oppo BDP-103, Paradigm center and rear surrounds, Paradigm Ultracube 12 sub, Audience ar6-TSD
Office System: Luxman L-507uX, Esoteric K-05, Harbeth 30.1, Dual REL T5 subs, Nordost Tyr 2 cabling, Audience ar6-TSD
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