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.

The truth is, since the introduction of the award winning PD-171 in 2011 and the subsequent PD-171A and PD-171AL turntables, Luxman’s engineers were eager to return to the drawing board to deliver a complimentary phono stage with fresh designs using all of the best parts at their disposal. Given that Luxman spent almost four years designing the PD-171, it makes sense that they took their time designing the EQ-500.

In order to deliver the tonal density that the best vinyl playback is capable of, the vacuum tube design is not a surprise. Nor that they reached out to Mundorf (Germany) for their “Audiophile” series of capacitors. Many of the Japanese designers feel that the best amplification of the super low output of a moving coil cartridge is with a step-up transformer. Considering that Luxman have been designing transformers for ninety years, it is perfectly logical that four moving coil step-up transformers (two per channel) are employed.

Features:

  • In order to deliver all of the harmonic density available in the best analogue recordings, its a vacuum tube design. All stages are vacuum tube (1, 2 stage SRPP {Series Regulated Push Pull}, the final stage cathode follower parallel and non-feedback CR type phono-equalizer amplifier RIAA standard only)
  • Vacuum tube rectifier to the power supply circuit for supplying a stable voltage to the amplifier circuit and (EZ81) employing a choke-coil.
  • Moving coil step-up transformers (super permalloy), four in all, two per channel for high & low output moving coil cartridges deliver up to 18dB of gain.
  • Individually adjustable gain & loading up to 67dB for low output moving coil cartridges.
  • Balanced & single-ended outputs.
  • Three separate, single ended inputs.
  • Highest quality parts employed: Mundorf “audiophile” series capacitors (Germany), JJ vacuum tubes (Slovakia) and Takamisawa capacitors (Japan)
  • Filter switches: low cut (20Hz/3dB), high cut (8kHz/3dB)
  • Mono/Stereo switch
  • Articulator switch = cartridge demagnetizer
  • Phase invert (for balanced output)
  • VU meters

Availability: Late September, 2015

Tentative Pricing: $7,500 – $7,950

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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.

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