August 11, 2014
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.
Bill K, Chicago, IL