Stereophile’s John Marks did a shootout between Luxman’s new M-700u and M-600A power amps!

Stereophile June 2015 M-700u vs M-600A shootout

“The huge family resemblance of the M-700u to the M-600A overshadows their few sonic differences, which I had mostly to strain to hear. With Ella Fitzgerald’s performance of  “Easy To Love,” there was a trivially greater impression of the tape hiss before the music begins through the M-700u than through the M-600A. This gave the M-700u’s sound an ever-so-slightly “Modern” feel, as well as slightly more forwardness and spatial specificity.”

“..Furthermore, the M-700u’s 120WPC had no trouble getting what sounded like almost a full octave more bass extension out of the Wilson Benesch Square Ones than had the M-600A.”

The 30WPC M-600A could be the last amplifier for the right listener with the right speakers. But the 120WPC M-700u, which debuts costing 11% more ($9990) is more an amplifier for all seasons: very well done, highly recommended and in my opinion  a solid pick for Class A of “Recommended Components.”

John Marks, Stereophile, June 2015 (now in print at newsstands)

 

SoundStage! Hi-Fi bestowed Luxman’s M-900u Stereo/Mono Amplifier with their Recommended Reference Component Award

Luxman M-900u Stereo/Mono Amplifier Receives Recommended Reference Component Award from Soundstage! Network

Luxman M-900u Stereo/Mono Amplifier Receives Recommended Reference Component Award from Soundstage! Network

“You can find higher power outputs at or even below the M-900u’s price, but you’d be hard-pressed to find something that betters its sound and build qualities for even twice as much. In that sense, the Luxman M-900u delivers reference-level sound and build quality at what can be considered very reasonable cost, and is why Doug concluded his review by declaring that “The M-900u is one of the best values in high-end amplifiers.””  <full review>

Reviewers’ Choice Award for Luxman L-550Ax Class A Integrated – SoundStage! Network

Luxman L-550AX Soundstage! Network's Reviewers' Choice Award

Luxman L-550AX Soundstage! Network’s Reviewers’ Choice Award

“What the L-550AX possessed was an incredibly lifelike, holographic, reach-out-and-touch-it three-dimensionality…”

“What set the L-550AX’s sound apart from the crowd was its presence — a natural, thoroughly organic sound that was most notable in the midrange, and made my Hegel H300 sound mechanical by comparison.”

“Once again, the Luxman was able to render the entire recording with such dimensional color and palpable weight that I struggled to find something worthwhile to write about. I was too interested in cueing up another tune. If that’s not an emphatic endorsement, I don’t know what is.” <full article>

 

AXPONA 2015 Show Report

WhereIsPhilip_Axpona_TranspAXPONA
The Westin O’Hare | Chicago, IL

April 24 -26, 2015

CAT statement and JL5 driving Giya G3 at Axpona Saturday Night WBF

Vivid Audio GIYA G3, Luxman D-08u CD/SACD Player, & CAT monoblocks

A glimpse into Kyomi Audio’s room: A customer wanted to hear the big CAT Statement monoblocks compared to the little JL5 stereo amp we had played all day. The JL5 is a stereo amp with triode design using 4 x KT120 per channel, it puts out 25W Class A or 100W Class AB and retails for $13k. The Statements are monoblocks using 16 x KT120 per chassis, with a 200W triode design, Class A and retails for $100k a pair.

The big guys did not disappoint as the micro dynamics were put in the spotlight. The tonal color was more dramatic and the sound-stage became huge and spacious; it sucked the listeners in to the musical event.

It was a packed room of music lovers who were willing to delay dinner to indulge in a religious experience. Feet tapping and lots of comments exchanged over the music played at realistic club levels. It had all the vibes of a happening.

Refreshments (wine, beer & Georgian brandy to be specific) finished but the roomful of audience stuck around for more. What does this tell you about this experience with an exceptional stereo?  Continue reading

Read why Stereophile’s Art Dudley picks Eclipse TD-M1 as his go-to system for the music he wants to hear right away

EclipseBanner1_Black“…in every case, digital files streamed wirelessly to the Eclipse TD-M1 exhibited more momentum and flow, and were far more involving…”

“…listening to the Eclipse system reminded me of listening to headphones – but headphones that everyone could hear, that didn’t make me feel as if I were in an isolation tank”

“…music played through this desktop system always sounded rich, big and uncannily right… I had a great time with this system whenever I used it – and it was always easy.”  <Full Review>

Audiodrom’s review of Luxman C-700u & M-700u combo offered unusual advice to avoid ‘sleepless nights’


Luxman_C700u_M700u_20150402_Blog_Audiodrom“… the guitars (are) so present in my listening room – The sound was so precise and pristine … The details of fingers or guitar picks were absolutely stunning.”

“During the review I had Accuphase’s E-600 integrated for comparison… the Luxman’s combo rewarded me with more accurate soundstage, bigger slam, sharper transients and more air, the music was illuminated better.  At the end I preferred the Luxmans.” 
“Similarly, the progress that the new ‘M’ line of Luxman have made is apparent even within its own catalogue. As much as I liked the sound of the Luxman L-550Ax integrated I have to admit that the amplifier separates are in a totally different league. The direct comparison shows superiority of the C-700u and M-700u: the soundstage explodes laterally and in depth, microdynamics are supercharged and artists regain their passion. If you are a Luxman devotee plus budget short you should consider not to audition the newcomers otherwise you risk sleepless nights.” <Full Review>

“HEARING IS BELIEVING” – Times Live on Vivid Audio

PC - Times Live

PC – Tebogo Letsie

“You do not know high fidelity until you have heard two speakers produce what sounds like a live performance.” <Full Article>

Ed Selley of Hi-Fi Choice “waves the flag for single drivers” in an informative review of the Eclipse TD-M1 desktop system

HiFi Choice EdSelley Quote LONG

 “…’Time Domain’ principle…distinctive and seriously impressive… The TD-M1 represents an attempt to marry this technology with a degree of convenience that should broaden the appeal…”

“The shape is a function of the Time Domain principle, but the result is still a fabulous looking little speaker… somewhere between science fiction prop, organic growth and sculpture… looking anything other than truly excellent.”

“The whole purpose behind the Time Domain principle is to create a speaker better able to follow the variation and nuance of a piece of music and this means that the TD-M1 delivers a performance that is at times almost supernaturally fast. Almost everything else at the price sounds processed and compromised in comparison.”

“… a cut above any integrated AirPlay system… performance that are beyond anything else at a similar price point… a little piece of sculpture that happens to produce one of the loveliest nearfield presentations I’ve had the pleasure of listening to.” <Full Review>

“Fast, tight and uncannily well timed” Macworld’s Andrew Harrison reviews Eclipse TD508MK3

Eclipse TD508MK3 (on long stands , ?? mm, or regular stands where you have the option of hanging them

Eclipse TD508MK3

“Sounding fast, tight and uncannily well-timed, the Eclipse TD508MK3 is a rare hi-fi loudspeaker that has been clearly designed for music enjoyment and a temporally authentic sound, rather than blindly ticking the usual textbook boxes. Married to a good amplifier these Eclipse speakers can open your ears to the purity of single-driver musical bliss.”

In this new review Andrew explains what Eclipse’s Time Domain philosophy sets out to achieve:

“… focused on the timing accuracy of music rather than the widest possible bandwidth…”

“There are manifold tidyings to the sound, the kinds of details that allow musicians to spot the differences between different designs and vintages of concert grand pianos for instance.”

“It is in the leading edges of notes that so much information about an instrument can be heard, and this is where the Eclipse speaker seems to reward in its rendering of transients so faithfully.” <Full Review>

Montreal’s SSI 2015 Show Report

Baniere_SSI_2015

Montreal Show _2015_ Philip and FriendsOnce again, congrats to Coup de Foudre Montreal for putting on a great show at the SSI 2015. Thanks again for the hospitality and warm welcome. Proud to announce that Doug Schneider of SoundStage! Network awarded our room with the “Best of Salon Son & Image 2015” Award!

Behind the Scenes: While we had a great size room at the Bonaventure Hotel, unfortunately Continue reading

100% Reference Award and a marriage proposal for Luxman’s M-900u/C-900u from Audiodrom

Luxman_C900u_M900u_20150402_Blog_Audiodrom

” … I can imagine to spend the rest of my life with (Luxman M-900u / C-900u) …”

“The bass of the M-900u is deep enough for any recording and it has enough weight not to cause proportional misbalance in frequency spectrum. It digs deep to the basement yet the sound does not stay confined underground and swiftly gets back to daylight if music calls for it.”

“My summary could be pretty straightforward: the anniversary Luxman M-900u / C-900u combo is a fantastic piece of audio that signifies a new era for the company. I can say aloud that both amps are first affordable amps, however relative is this term … Actually, I am considering to replace my all Accuphase set up with them. Cannot be more enthusiastic.” <full review>

Thomas Schmidt of HiFi Magazine gave a rave review of Vivid Audio’s Giya G3

HiFi Magazine Thomas Schmidt Vivid G3

“The frequency response of Giya G3 is extremely wide – the controlled bass extends well into the 30-Hz region …”

“Always sounding convincing – with excellent productions and correct dynamics, we learn how well optimized, in all respects, this speaker really is.”

“Decades of experience, the unconditional desire for perfection and absolutely consistent implementation of all ideas makes the Giya G3 an absolute exceptional speaker.”

– Thomas Schmidt, HiFi Magazine <for full German review>

Reviewers’ Choice Award for another Luxman component: “The M-900u is the best-sounding power amp I’ve ever heard” – Doug Schneider, SoundStage! Network

Luxman_M900u_20150402_Blog

“… effortless top end… such clarity that it set a new benchmark for me for high-frequency reproduction and detail… it reproduced kick drums with power, heft, and control usually heard only from amps with twice the power output… despite its modest output spec into 8 ohms, the M-900u is actually a powerhouse.”

“… the best-sounding power amp I’ve ever heard… The M-900u is one of the best values in high-end amplifiers.” <full review>

CES 2015 Show Report

Internatices-banneronal CES 2015, Venetian Hotel, Las Vegas

January 6 – 9, 2015

2015_CES_Collage 5 photos_no wordsCES 2015 was once again a terrific success!

Our gratitude: A big thanks to my good friends: Bruno Putzeys of Mola-Mola, for bringing his remarkable prototype DAC, Laurence Dickie and Philip Guttentag of Vivid Audio for their unfailing support, and Caelin Gabriel of Shunyata Research for going the extra yard to help us achieve absolutely first class sound with the best of the best amongst his staple of cables at the Venetian Hotel. Special thanks to Jayson Lloyd of Audio Elegance for helping with the set up of our rooms and Peter Ledermann of Soundsmith who lent us his absolutely superb Hyperion flagship moving-iron phono cartridge for our Luxman PD-171 turntable. This Soundsmith / Luxman combo produced some excellent sound which smoked the digital files in our listening rooms, in case you were wondering! Last, but certainly not least, a big thanks to Steve Rochlin of EnjoyTheMusic.com who streamed a live broadcast for us at the show. Continue reading

“captivating comes to mind” – Paul Bolin, The Audio Beat

Mola-Mola Makua pre-amp driving the Vivid Giya G3's with Shunyata wiring

Mola-Mola Makua pre-amp driving the Vivid Giya G3’s with Shunyata wiring.

“Importer On a Higher Note, over which presides the genial Philip O’Hanlon, a man with impeccable and seemingly universal taste in music, had two rooms, the larger of which showed off the capabilities of a fine system featuring Luxman’s exceedingly cool, retro PD-171 turntable and integral tonearm ($6400) with a Soundsmith Hyperion moving-iron cartridge ($7500), the Mola-Mola Makua preamplifier ($13,400, optional internal phono stage adding $2,500, internal DAC’s price not determined) and Kaluga mono power amps ($18,000/pair, 400 watts each), Vivid Audio’s Giya G3 speakers ($40,000/pair) and Shunyata cabling and power conditioning/distribution. Digital was sourced from O’Hanlon’s laptop.

When I first stopped by, Philip was playing a marvelous version of Illinois Jacquet’s “Birthday Party Blues” from the Groove Note 45rpm LP. I listened casually for a couple of minutes and was slowly but surely drawn in to giving the music my full and undivided attention. This happened with everything I subsequently heard through this system. Nothing jumped out, but the basic rightness of music through it inevitably took the day. The word captivating comes to mind. Continue reading

Maximum pleasure from a superb desktop audio system – Eclipse TD-M1

EclipseQuote_sizeEdit_2“I work from home, and most of that work is spent in front of a screen. It’s not possible to work with headphones, because I would be forever removing them to answer my land-line or mobile phone, so I’m a prime candidate for good desktop audio. What I didn’t realize is how much pleasure I would extract from good desktop audio.”

When you realize unexpected “pleasure” from a listening experience, as what Nicholas Ripley of HiFi+ experienced when writing the review of the Eclipse TD-M1, then you need to ask what have I been missing?

Continue reading

Joël Chevassus described Vivid GIYA G1’s as “formula one race cars compared to most civilian loudspeakers” as the G1 wins another award from 6moons!

Pearl White Vivid Giya G1's powered by Luxman M-800A monoblocks

Pearl White Vivid Giya G1’s powered by Luxman M-800A monoblocks

This article bSixMoons_Most holographic of full range speakers_2015_Vivid G1egins by explaining Joël’s passion for his Vivid Oval K1’s which paves the way into his informative review of the GIYA G1. He topped off the review with yet another award for the GIYA G1!

“…In my opinion that’s unique to the Vivid experience. It’s in fact the cause of my greatest addiction to this South African brand…”

“…Vivid Audio and Laurence Dickie are about anything but marketing chat. That’s important to highlight since many audiophiles stop short with Vivid’s audacious form factors. Truly each step in the design of their speakers was guided by function…”

“To my ears they represent the purity and perhaps essence of what I am looking for in the field of music reproduction: neutrality, clarity, transparency, liveliness and natural scale.”

“To me the G1 appears to be one of the very best speakers I could buy today. I will thus take action. These will not fly back to Durban…” <Full Review>

Mola-Mola Makua Preamplifier DAC “is designed from the ground up by Bruno using no off-the-shelf DAC chips”

Mola-Mola Makua's internal DAC. PC - AudioStream

Mola-Mola Makua’s internal DAC. PC – AudioStream

“I mention all of this because not only was the On A Higher Note room one of my favorites of CES 2015, Philip O’Hanlon had an interesting A/B comparison in store for us, as usual…” <more>