Christmas in July! – Trio Céleste

Christmas came early for me this year; what a wonderful surprise! What a unique opportunity to sit in on Trio Céleste while they recorded an upcoming album at Soka’s Performing Arts Center, here in Southern California.

Kyle & Jesse monitoring intently with the Eclipse TD-508 MK II driven by the LUXMAN M-200 at the Control room at SOKA’s Performing Art Center, Thursday 2 July 2015

Kyle & Jesse monitoring intently with the Eclipse TD-508 MK II driven by the LUXMAN M-200 at the Control room at Soka’s Performing Art Center, Thursday 2 July 2015

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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)

 

Hi-Fi Harmony 2015 Music Seminar with Luxman in New Hampshire

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A glimpse of some attendees in front of the Luxman stacks

Hi-Fi Harmony 2015 was a great success. John Rein, owner of Audio Video Therapy & the host of the show, was very charismatic and effusive and a pleasure to be with. Attendance was roughly around 100 people.  Not only was it very well attended, the attendees felt the novelty of being able to listen to Luxman in New Hampshire!  Little did I know there are lots of Luxman enthusiasts in N.H. Continue reading

AXPONA 2015 Show Report

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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

Luxman’s new EQ-500 phonostage North American debut at THE Show Newport May 29-31, 2015

LUXMAN EQ500_PD171Pg12001 was the last time Luxman released a top of the line phono stage, the E-1 (solid state).  When they discontinued the E-1 recently, the buzz was on as to what they are replacing it with. Continue reading

Luxman monoblocks – thumbs up from long time fan, owner of many Luxman components over the years

Roman has owned many Luxman components and components from other reputable high end manufacturers throughout the years. He has two systems where Luxman monoblocks are bridged, with both Luxman source components and preamps.  The video above showcases one of his existing systems (details of equipment list below).  He also did some A/B testings across brands and models and shared his insights.

System 1: Westlake Audio HR-1VF speakers, Luxman Amplifiers C-800F + 4 X M-800A, sources – VPI HR-X, Wadia 861se, Esoteric K-01, cables DH Labs

System 2: JBL DD66000 Speakers, Luxman Amplifiers C-1000F + 4 X B-1000F or Mark Levinson No. 326S + 2 X No. 532. Sources – Transrotor Appolon, Luxman D-08 & Esoteric K-01 Continue reading

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

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“… 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

CES 2015 video from EnjoyTheMusic.com with Bruno Putzeys & Philip O’Hanlon

Philip O’Hanlon & Mola-Mola’s co-founder & designer Bruno Putzeys tag team in presenting the On a Higher Note room at CES 2015 with all the exciting gear, news & music for the two systems.

Tune in to hear Bruno talk about Mola-Mola’s revolutionary Makua preamplifier ($13,450) with optional phono stage, DAC, PCM & DSD tone controls…

Soundstage! Network 2014 Product of the Year Award to Luxman C-900u Preamplifier ($19,990)

Soundstage! Network POTY 2014 for C-900u

Luxman’s C-900u is the only preamp named Product of the Year by SoundStage! Network for “Outstanding Performance.”

It also made Doug Schneider’s 2014  “Three Favorite Products” List, citing it impressed him more than any other electronic component he heard in 2014!

“… recording after recording, reproduced soundstages had more width and depth than I’d ever heard before.”

“The C-900u is not only well built for its price, it’s so well built that if it costs $39,800 instead of $19,900, I’d still applaud it”

See Soundstage! Network’s review of this component here.

Call us or your nearest dealer for an audition.

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PROMOTION: Is accessing your high fidelity music collection anytime, anyhow, anywhere a holiday wishlist? Rip 150 of your CD/SACD FOR FREE

CD spinesHere’s a nudge from us!  GET 150 of your CD/SACD ripped FOR FREE with the purchase of our extremely musical and non-fatiguing Luxman DA-06 DSD DAC (offer through end of December while holiday supplies last). Continue reading

Vivid G3 Debut in Denver 2013 complimented with Luxman C-600f and M-600A with DA-06

Vivid G3 Debut Roadshow in Denver, CO, March 9, 2 pm – 5 pm,  2013

Vivid G3, Luxman C-600f, M-600A and DA-06

Vivid G3, Luxman C-600f, M-600A and DA-06

Perfectly timed snow storm that day made the listening session even more enjoyable in a room cozied up with music lovers and audiophiles sharing a common passion.  We sampled LUXMAN DA-06 DAC and high rez PCM & DSD vinyl drops with Vivid Audio’s G3 loudspeakers, Luxman C-600f and M-600A.

Unfortunately the stylus for our Brinkmann turntable broke and I did not have a spare one so we would have to wait to play original records when I return next. Continue reading