What did I buy?

JohnVF

Administrator
Staff member
I now have a rule for myself. When I look for something lost and finally find it. It goes in the first place I looked. That place is already programmed in my mind.
That's a great rule. In my recent move I had a rule I was loosely adhering to... if I hadn't used something since my last move 5 years ago, it leaves forever. There was a LOT of stuff that didn't make the cut. A lot of audio gear, even.
 

MikeO

Active Member
Just wondering if you have any further thoughts on the luxman now that you have been using it for a while. I always find that it takes me at least a week to get a handle on new gear. I have had pieces that immediately impressed but after a week I found I wasn't listening to music as much. I have also had pieces which I was not initially impressed by but over a week started to really like. As a result, I always wait at least a week before passing any judgement on gear. So, any new insights into the luxman?
 

JohnVF

Administrator
Staff member
Just wondering if you have any further thoughts on the luxman now that you have been using it for a while. I always find that it takes me at least a week to get a handle on new gear. I have had pieces that immediately impressed but after a week I found I wasn't listening to music as much. I have also had pieces which I was not initially impressed by but over a week started to really like. As a result, I always wait at least a week before passing any judgement on gear. So, any new insights into the luxman?
I haven't had a lot of time to just sit down and listen to it. Its been on playing background music for days, but I've been so busy with other stuff that it's kind of just filled the background. Every moment that I do have to pay attention, I notice how fantastic its sounds. It does that trick that my TVC/amp combo does of making everything sound nice without feeling that its putting some sort of sauce over everything to make it sound nice, or being too polite or anything. I really like it and think it'll make a fantastic companion to the Harbeths if I ever bring them over here.

The phono stage has opened up quite nicely. I suspect the previous owner didn't use the phono, or the whole unit was a demo/b-stock unit that didn't have an original owner. It was a bit thin sounding at first but quickly filled out. Who know show long this thing sat unused, or if the phono stage, especially the LOMC head amp, was ever in play.
 

JohnVF

Administrator
Staff member
One thing that strikes me about this amp is how well it fits with its environment here. Since we have the 'luxury' of a giant, easy to get to, storage unit 1/2 mile away, we only have the essentials here. Everything is clean and open, with a lot of indirect sunlight streaming in. It's a very relaxing apartment. I'm sitting here listening to Philip Glass as I wait for the workplace to wake up.

The amp is clean and uncluttered in look and sound. There's a sort of organized elegance to the music it puts out. I have a feeling that its pretty capable in the bass department, but my speakers have a pretty steep rolloff so I can't quite tell. They're excellent to a point then just drop off. Perfect if I ever get a subwoofer for them.

I don't know that I'd recommend this for fans of Norwegian Black Metal, but it brought Edith Piaf into the room this morning. Before that, Louis Armstrong's trumpet was doing that thing where, heard from another room, you'd swear somebody was playing a real instrument in the living room. The amp is quite dynamic, without being in any way brash. It's a nice trick.
 

S0und Dragon

Junior Member
This series was really a clarion call for what Luxman is capable of. They are much more confident now and it shows in the pricing of the current offerings.
 

JohnVF

Administrator
Staff member
I finally got my ass to the storage unit and dug out my proper sources. The turntable now has the SUT that goes best with the cart, and on the digital side the Topping DAC and my BlueSound Vault2 server are back in business. The Topping running XLR to the Luxman. Well, currently its running both RCA and XLR because I was comparing..because that's the kind of dorky stuff we all do.

This is one beautiful sounding amp. It's just... classy. Stately sounding? I really really like this thing. Also, what a colossal pain in the butt it was cramming all of my gear in 1/2 the cabinet we have here.... but it fit. The Luxman wouldn't fit with any sort of fancy power cord on it, though. The back of the cabinet wouldn't allow it. So ... apologies to my fancy power cables.
 

MikeyFresh

Moderator
Staff member
There's also something like this. This one is from Audioquest, but there are non-audiophile options, too.

Or if the IEC side needs a left/right orientation, the only dude I'm aware of in the U.S. offering that in a finished cable is a former G.M. engineer by the name of Michael Griffin, out of Rochester, MI.

ESP power cords are one of those under appreciated gems of the pro audio world that also cross over into high-end consumer circles, and they have been around since the mid-90s. The ESP MusicCord-PRO is an excellent power cord, I have a couple of those on active monitors on my bedroom system, the whole thing including the power strip sits in tight quarters in a bay window.

A friend of mine in NJ uses ESP's flagship The Essence Reference II power cords and distributor strip to great effect in an Über high-end system comprised of WAVAC Audio Lab SET DHT mono blocks, among various other rarified air components that dislike any/all power filtering. ESP is great stuff.
 

JohnVF

Administrator
Staff member
And now I've finally had time to properly set up the turntable here after finding my digital scale, headshells, Funk Firm Achromat, and some big cork bottle stoppers that I use as feet...as well as the previously mentioned Redboy SUT.

I also took a bunch of stuffing out of my Sony SS-m3 speakers. Their lack of bass was driving me nuts. Its one thing to be polite and shy but they were moving into agoraphobia and social anxiety. I empathize but c'mon, Sony. Maybe something has happened to them in their 20+ years to otherwise reduce the bass output but taking a surprisingly big pile of fluff out each one (which still left them pretty stuffed inside) has resulted in speakers of a shockingly different demeanor. They're now excited to play music, and actually have some bass... while still sounding pretty neutral. I have no idea if they're 'flat' now but damn they sound better.

This has allowed me to run the Luxman direct, instead of having the bass turned up to 3 o'clock. And this has resulted in a better understanding of the true nature of this amp. Its more exciting, its dynamic, its incredibly transparent and clean... its awesome!

Oh, and the phono stage is really good. I prefer the SUT to the active stage which I think i mentioned, but run at MM level with the SUT its really nice. Quiet, dynamic, throws a big image....all great!
 

ICTWoody

Junior Member
They're now excited to play music, and actually have some bass... while still sounding pretty neutral. I have no idea if they're 'flat' now but damn they sound better.
That's very "Japanese Audiophile" of you. By ear and not by spec.

- Woody
 
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JohnVF

Administrator
Staff member
That's very "Japanese Audiophile" of you. By ear and not by spec.

- Woody
They were so lacking in bass that I pulled the drivers to see if the woofers were hooked up out of phase, and when I got the bolts off the drivers just jumped out of the cabinets due to how much poly-fil was behind them. I figured that could have something to do with how over-damped they sounded, being literally over-damped. Whatever they measure, they've changed so much that I stopped looking for alternatives.
 

Tedrick

Junior Member
They were so lacking in bass that I pulled the drivers to see if the woofers were hooked up out of phase, and when I got the bolts off the drivers just jumped out of the cabinets due to how much poly-fil was behind them. I figured that could have something to do with how over-damped they sounded, being literally over-damped. Whatever they measure, they've changed so much that I stopped looking for alternatives.
I wonder if the SS-M7's would benefit from the same treatment. Mine are entirely non-fatiguing but they sounded polite, almost restrained, with limited low-bass output, and eventually left me wanting for something more dynamic.
 
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