Unveiling Luxman’s C-900u & M-900u – shipping now !

Luxman-900-SeriesLuxman introduced a new flagship stereo amplifier & preamplifier, the new M-900u & C-900u (MSRP $19,900 each), to replace their all time favorite, M-800A & C-800f.

M-900u is a low powered class A / high powered class AB using Darlington circuit design where the output from one output module is fed into a 2nd output module in order to reduce high frequency distortion. This particular circuit design, the latest version, 4.0, of the ODNF, incorporates the Darlington circuit and as a result it is grain-less with crystal clear high frequency extension. When compared to the M-800A, you still have that remarkable mid-range full of texture and yet the high frequency is not only more extended but significantly cleaner. The M-900u has the power required to drive pretty much any speaker to peak performance.

Preserving Luxman’s elegant design features, the C-900u control amplifier is most user friendly. In addition to the Darlington circuit design, it also entails 4 channels of the new LECUA 1000 attenuators and has 7 dB greater in volume bandwidth over the C-800f. This enhances the volume adjustment mechanism which is the major key for this component.

Another key feature is the Tone Controls (BTW really difficult to implement in a fully balanced design as all four channels have to be in sync across all frequencies). We all have music gems in our collection that are sonically challenging. Thanks to the Tone Controls, this component does a remarkably effective job in bringing to life a less than perfect music collection.

In point of fact, a lot of the 1980’s CDs are quite harsh sounding and the digital glare can be quite fatiguing. When you reduce the treble slightly, while the harsh CD is not going to suddenly sound like a reference recording, at least it will now be perfectly listenable. You might consider using the Tone Controls as simplified room equalization tools, to effectively bring about room acoustics’ correction.

Luxman does not settle on ordinary components within its products. The majority of the parts are bespoke.

Contact us or your nearest audio consultant for an audition.

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by Philip O'Hanlon

Music Evangelist and Master of Musical Enjoyment—Philip spends his time looking for fine music, tuning up synergistic electronic components to get the best sound, and making music compilations so he can share his listening journey and experiences with friends and acquaintances.

2 thoughts on “Unveiling Luxman’s C-900u & M-900u – shipping now !

  1. Bill K. says:

    After breaking in the Luxman C-900u for just over 200 hours, I anxiously sat down for a listen. What stunned me was how dramatically it improved my system’s performance. It’s difficult to put into words what I experienced, but I’ll do my best to detail the changes heard.

    I began the listening session at very low volumes and it immediately sounded so realistic, like music was actually being performed in the room and very unlike typical hi-fi reproduction. Even when I stepped into another room the realism of the musical portrayal remained evident. At higher volumes the room was effortlessly filled with music having an amazing sense of space and harmonic integrity along with a completely natural decay. The music now has a realistic density that I never experienced before.

    Inner detail was revealed from familiar recordings in layers that I didn’t previously know existed, making the presentation very musically engaging. There are no solid state artifacts, just a completely natural musical flow along with a very convincing recreation of the recording’s acoustic space. While being so revealing of detail it is never analytical in nature like some electronics can be. Instead the detail is reproduced as a portion of the musical whole that simply helps recreate a stunning degree of realism.

    High frequencies are crystal clear and dynamics are effortlessly reproduced. Plucked strings including those from an upright bass have a natural resonant quality with the texture of the instruments being accurately portrayed. The overall sound is always presented in a very smooth and musical way. Everything appears on the blackest of backgrounds with each instrument being portrayed in its own sense of space with an alluring airiness to the presentation.

    The attention to detail and build quality of this piece are immediately apparent, and its user interface is an absolute pleasure to use. I don’t often use the term “reference quality” but I think that it clearly applies to this preamp. It is an extremely refined design that I will be proud to have as the anchor of my system for many years to come.

  2. Graeme Scott Humfrey says:

    I own an audio shop (http://www.cdfaudio.com/) but I would hardly call myself an audiophile. I am a musician – play and adore hard bop music with flaming passion. I am also a rabid fan of many 20th century classical composers.

    Part of my job as a shop owner is to evaluate components and select them to introduce to our friends and our customers. Given how much I live and breathe musicians’ sacrifices to squeeze performance to challenge ourselves to reach higher grounds every day, I demand electronic components to play music true to the original art form, capturing the spirit of the original artists.

    In other words, I like to hear music as it is: no bizarre coloration, no squished dynamics and most certainly as close to how it would have sounded as if musicians were playing live in front of me.

    Many people ask me how we decide on which equipment to bring in. My audition routine is actually very simple: I record a piece of music then I listen to it and ask my friends to listen with me. We drink some coffee, and we listen more… until we auditioned the Luxman C-900u and M-900u recently…

    Our auditioning experience of this amplifier and preamplifier combo was so full of surprises for both my friends and I (all very competent musicians and music players) that I felt I had to write about it and share with our readers.

    We started out with piano music, playing a piece on my piano and hearing it replay on the Luxman combo. The tone was so close and the sound almost mimics the sound of us playing live. Yes, they had a very slight plumpness in the bass but my friends and I, were completely blown away by how closely this new Luxman combo interpreted our recordings.

    We initially set out to have a short listening session but ended up in such awe about the quality of the reproduced music that we kept playing and listening. In fact my bestie (a best friend, originally British slang) could not believe her alto sax was being reproduced like this through a solid state amp and pre-amp. Strings were reproduced with similar results, quick but warm, full and true to life.

    Another test we did was with a drum kit. If you have ever been in a room with a live drum kit playing, you would know that it’s not that it’s loud, it’s actually fast. When the drummer strikes the snare it arrives at your ear very quickly with all the initial transient detail intact.

    The Luxman M-900u was very capable of delivering those all important details, no smearing or rounding off of the leading edge but at the same time remaining warm and “woody”. A good analogy that all of us came up with was that while it was fast, it did not have that idiotic “I can hear the ants crawling on the studio wall” solid-state signature.

    Our final test, last but a very important one as I often refer to it as “the complete note”. When a mallet or beater hits a bass drum or tom, the drum skin resonates for quite some time after the initial attack passes by. This resonant quality is what tricks our ears into believing! It’s just not believable if it’s all attack and little or no resonance after the attack but this amp really nailed it! The skin of the drum seemed to go on forever: beautiful and believable.

    I wrote this article determined to share my experience but not to bore the readers with audiophile clichés. I hope I accomplished that. I will however assure you that the Luxman C-900u and M-900u does all an audiophile desires and will satisfy a music lover just as much if not more.

    Solid state pre-amps can be tricky when it comes to playing music well. Luxman really took me back to school as I tried (in vain) to wrap my head around how they are able to beat the solid stateness out of it without sounding deliberately rolled off or “slurry”. I can only say that the Luxman C-900u doesn’t just play music well, it plays music wonderfully. It was very quiet, allowing me to walk into the music and listen deeply without being overwhelmed by hyper detail that’s just not important. Even though I cannot figure out how they did it, I was happy to just follow my heart on this one.

    If you want to know more go ahead and call me – phone (514) 788-5066.

    Graeme Scott Humfrey
    http://www.cdfaudio.com or http://www.mixedbye.com

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