To be or not to be? Do we need a music server or are there easier and better options?

FAQs | Applies to:


I own a Luxman L-590AX amplifier and it sounds terrific. I like it very much…. I am considering an upgrade (of my CD player) to the Luxman D-05… In the April issue of The Absolute Sound, Mark Waldrep, President of AIX Records states on page 160 that “delivering music on physical discs is over.” He believes the future is in digital downloads tailored to the individual listener. I experimented once … and did not like the way it sounded… Does Luxman, or any of the other brands you carry, have a music server product that supports a high quality digital download as noted by Mr. Waldrep? … I am very interested in hearing your comments and suggestions. – Howard G


Answer:

I personally listen to music in all formats and have long embraced the SACD format with the rest of the audiophile community as my go-to medium for high quality digital music playback, boasting a collection of well over 1,000 SACD albums. For music labels, digital downloads give their music a new lease of life. Of particular attention are the DSD files now being made available to download. The DSD Master sounds better (richer & fuller) than the DSD file ripped from the SACD, however, they are usually more expensive than the physical SACD.

The digital revolution benefits music lovers like us as it increases accessibility and variety for our indulgence, but I would not go so far as to say that physical discs are finished. Just to illustrate, Acoustic Sounds show 31 recent SACD releases while they show 116 titles coming soon.

To answer your question, sonically and practically speaking, you really don’t need to buy a dedicated music server per se, but something as simple as a MAC Mini and install Audirvana, then hook up a hard drive to it. You can take the digital audio output via USB to the D-05 or D-06.

We supply a LUXMAN U-100R (USB / SPDIF converter) free of charge with the D-05, D-06 & D-08. This way you can spin CDs & SACDs and hook up a music server whenever the urge takes you. To top it off, Luxman is bringing to the North American market a high resolution DAC (DA-06 – retail $6,000) that is DSD compatible in a few months time and its terrific sounding. The DA-06 is built upon the D-06 platform, minus the transport mechanism. But of course, it will not play any discs, only music files.

I am conducting music seminars around North America with this equipment and other latest components. Drop by to see us or inquire for a dealer near you.

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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.