Luxman’s Best Phonostage

The Luxman EQ-500 phono stage is the best-looking, best-built, and best-sounding phonostage that Luxman has ever made.

Luxman’s last top of the line phono stage, the E-1 (solid state) was released in 2001 and was only recently discontinued. 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 and deliver a fresh design using all of the best parts at their disposal for a complimentary phono stage.

Given that Luxman spent almost four years designing the PD-171, it makes sense that they took their time designing the Luxman 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 has been designing transformers for ninety years, it is perfectly logical that four moving coil step-up transformers (two per channel) are employed.

Features of the Luxman EQ-500

  • 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.
  • Luxman have been designing audio transformers for ninety years. 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.
Item Value
Circuit System SRPP, final stage cathode follower, non-feedback CR type equalizer (RIAA)
Vacuum tube compliment 4 of 12AX7, 2 of 12AU7, 1 of EZ81
Input sensitivity (1kHz, when the gain switching 36dB) MM 4mV, MC high 0.44mV, MC low 0.18mV
Input impedance MM 30kΩ ~ 100kΩ (variable), MC high 40Ω, MC low 2.5Ω
Rated output / output impedance 250mV / 850Ω
Gain (1kHz, when the gain switching 36dB) MM 36dB, MC high 55dB, MC low 67dB
Maximum permissible input (1kHz) MM 300mV, MC high 34mV, MC low 13mV
External dimensions {mm} 17.3” {440} (W) × 3.6” {92} (H) × 15.6” {397} (D: front knob 3/4″, including the rear terminal 1/2″) mm
Weight 27.5 lb. (12.5kg)
Power consuption 36W
1W (at standby)
Dimensions 400(w) x 154 (h) x 413 (d)
front side knob of 2mm and rear side terminal of 11m included in depth
Net weight 22.5kg
Accessories Remote Control (RD-21)
Power Cable
Install Software CD

L-550Ax Owner's ManualEQ-500 Owner’s Manual

Frequently Asked Questions


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“…especially for the LP enthusiast who uses an analog front end with multiple tonearms and an assortment of cartridges — it’s difficult to imagine another contemporary product offering this combination of flexibility and superior sound. In addition to being a pure delight to use, it was easily one of the best-sounding, most musical phono preamps I’ve ever had in my system. If your budget can stretch this far, the Luxman EQ-500 is a must-hear. ”


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