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To pick just one highlight from amongst the broad assortment of audio kit I listened to, investigated and critiqued this year is fundamentally impossible particularly when you factor in that listener preferences diverge wildly to eliminate any one true path to happiness. Why should one make one particular component so important as to place it ahead of all others? Aren't audio reviewers constantly embroiled in careful balancing acts of "even though" and other equivocating? And now Srajan wanted me to name just one? The man was nuts! Even though—aha, here we go—I really had no issues since the category is called Writer Favorites. It's about a decidely personal statement. Taking this literal to ask what component I purchased in 2010 for my own system (aside from cables, replacement valves and such) there truly was just one such machine, curiously a SACD/CD player this late in the game. Why?

Contemplating this after a few beers I might say that by 2020 when the CDP revival movement is in full swing, a Luxman D-05 in my rack will be très chic just as those who during the mid 80s did not dump their Thorens, Garrard or whatever turntables at the local fleamarket suddenly were the true cognoscenti.

Fully sober and considering present developments with computers & hifi, I might point out that the latest Lux player doesn't merely spin silvery discs but can be used as a DAC, albeit 'merely' via S/PDIF. Then again those wanting to use a hard disk as transport needn't part with any long green today to insert a low-jitter USB-to-S/PDIF converter.

In the end I of course had primarily sonic grounds to acquire the Luxman D-05 in the wake of my August 2010 review. I view it less as aural peak than high plateau. What do I mean by that? Simply that the Lux is an all'rounder of tall standing. This isn't a deck characterized by one or two dominant showcase virtues bought at the cost of trade-offs elsewhere. As hifi journalist, a high-level all'rounder is an important tool that's far easier used as a reference and constant yardstick than components with more personality.

Even as a 'civilian' listener I'm more of the opinion that the last 3 millimeter of treble resolution, bass definition or whatever aren't essential as long as there is a finely balanced harmonious overall presentation. Enter the Luxman D-05. It simply sounds right. Not really affordable, it's not priced insanely either as are so many high-end machines. To me it was and is well worth the money.

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