CES 2022 wasn’t exactly a smorgasbord of new high-end amplifier introductions; the Mark Levinson ML-50 was the lone exception for $50,000 USD and we’re still saving our pennies for the new McIntosh MC3500 MKII that was announced before Christmas. Luxman must have felt like the odd man out but that has now been rectified with the brand new Luxman M-10X Power Amplifier.
It is definitely one of those “if you have to ask, you can’t afford it” high-end components but Luxman products have a strong reputation for both excellent sound quality and longevity.
The Japanese manufacturer has definitely not lowered its prices in recent years, but it has experienced success with its “entry-level”
The Luxman M-10X is their new flagship stereo/mono power amplifier designed to replace the long-running M-900u, first released in 2013. The M-10X is the first in a series of products to commemorate the brand’s forthcoming 100th anniversary in 2025.
The M-10X power amplifier will be available in February at a suggested retail price of $19,995.
Those who complained that the new McIntosh MC3500 MKII is really expensive must be feeling some serious guilt this morning.
How Much Power?
Connoisseurs of Luxman power amplifiers will immediately recognize the massively overbuilt heat sink stacks, giant power transformer, super-sized 80,000 µF filter capacitors and quadruple parallel push-pull output stage with sixteen transistors per channel.
The result is prodigious power into just about any conceivable load: not only 150 W + 150 W into 8 ohms, but also an instantaneous 1,200 W + 1,200 W into 1 ohm, or even 2,400 W into 2 ohms in BTL monaural mode. As with previous Luxman amplifiers, damping factor is high (710) for extraordinary control of speaker motion.
As a result, power is instantly and effortlessly available, regardless of the challenges of loudspeaker impedance or the dynamic requirements of the music. Another result of these design choices is an amplifier chassis of uncommon heft: 107 lbs. (48.4 kg).
The front panel is understated in blasted white finished aluminum, with small-diameter function switches and generous, needle-type analog level meters, illuminated by incandescent-toned LEDs.
Luxman designers repositioned the left channel meter to the center, as a respectful nod to BTL mode monaural listening. Like the companion D-10X digital player, the M-10X incorporates hairline detailing and a beveled front panel for added visual interest.
LUXMAN Integrated Feedback Engine System (LIFES1.0)
Amplifier negative feedback use has always been a double-edged sword. While feedback plays a central role in reducing distortion, even minuscule inaccuracies in its application can compromise the expressive power of music reproduction.
It was to overcome this paradox that Luxman created the Only Distortion Negative Feedback (ODNF) circuit in 1999, repeatedly updating it through to ODNF 4.0 in the M-900u and most recently ODNF-u in the L-595ASE integrated amplifier of 2021. For the M-10X, Luxman engineers were determined to supersede even these proud achievements, delivering a dramatic advance in musicality, freshness, and overwhelming impact.
The result of their concentrated efforts is the LUXMAN Integrated Feedback Engine System (LIFES1.0).
To create LIFES1.0, Luxman engineers embarked on a systematic exploration of alternate designs, using dedicated software to simulate electronic performance across the entire circuit. Simulation enabled the team to examine many more alternate layouts and consider individual circuit components.
After arriving at the most promising logically simulated circuits, the team’s work had only just begun. Luxman designers carefully evaluated available components for their contribution to audio performance. Finally, the team connected assembled experimental boards to an existing amplifier, assessing prototype designs through repeated listening tests. The resulting circuit incorporates three essential advances.
Original Luxman amplifier design hallmarks, such as ODNF circuitry were carefully analyzed and then further evolved through extensive computer simulations to achieve a radical improvement in audio performance.
Only after repeated new circuit components auditioning and prototype listening tests were the results judged suitable for adoption as “LIFES1.0” in Luxman’s new M-10x.
A three dimensional chassis housing design, in common with the D-10x is featured. Improved LED backlit analog level (VU) meters are employed with the left channel meter exactly centered for BTL-mono use priority.
Equipped with 12 volt trigger input/output connections to daisy chain multiple amplifiers in a home theater or enable convenient integration into automated systems.
For more information: luxmanamerica.com
Where to buy: $19,995 (coming February 2022)