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And yes, the Luxman does do SACD but given the format’s lumbering status, this might be irrelevant to most. Even in the classical sector there are only perhaps two or three new SACD releases to every 100 new albums. It’s sad once you compare the more realistic timbre of a violin or the spatial impact of a grand orchestra. As such, this feature of the D-05 will appeal mostly to classic fans and those with sizeable SACD libraries.

The digital inputs will be of greater interest since they offer a bridge to the home network, admittedly requiring intercession by one of the many affordable USB-to-S/PDIF converters should USB be required. As converter the Luxman cut a sleek figure too even though in my chain—NAS plus Squeezebox, 16/44 WAV and FLAC files—the internal drive of the D-05 had the edge on midrange realism, body, soundstage depth/stability and fine textures. While nuances only, I’d reach for my CD rack to enjoy the best sound, not Logitech’s remote control. Still, external access to the D-05’s converter is a strong feature.

Experienced audiophiles, manufacturers and dealers alike agree that to really get any system to sing requires acting like a good chef. Quality ingredients are king and whoever seasons his stew in any particular direction might create something interesting but not necessarily better tasting. The chefs at Luxman must have figured that what’s good for teamwork between different components can’t be bad for the D-05.

The zoom function cleverly enlarges the display

No sonic ingredient should cover up any other. It’s well possible that other machines make more bass, light up the treble more, play warmer or more present. I however was impressed by the Japanese’s essential neutrality and sophistication. In matters of focused soundstaging and plasticity, I regard it in fact as a true benchmark. There’s also a particular charm and high degree of certainty. As such, fairaudio editorial will retain this deck as workhorse reference against which all others will henceforth be measured. If you’re in the market for a more upscale player, the Luxman deserves an in-depth audition.


  • The low bass lacks a bit of pressurization, otherwise the tonal balance is exceptionally even.
  • Bass quality is rhythmic and articulate but not bone dry
  • The midband combines warmth and clarity in a very rare marriage. Differentiation is high and textures are fully developed. A true virtue.
  • The upper bands are open, free and utterly bereft of edge or nervousness. Good resolution for this price class.
  • The Luxman plays neither excessively liquid nor heightens transients for staccato rhythms. The motto remains balance.
  • Soundstaging is a clear forté. The general perspective is laid-back, the panorama broad and exceptionally deep. Against an utterly calm background the sounds rise well contoured and with well above average body. This avoids artifice in conjunction with the high focus. Music is believably tactile. This is a somewhat subtle but very impressive quality.
  • The machine will play SACD and with its digital inputs can act as standalone DAC but in the review context, the built-in transport proved superior.
  • Build quality is immaculate as it should be in this class.

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  • Dimensions & weight: 440 x 133 x 410mm (WxHxD), 14.7kg
  • Finish: Silver
  • I/o ports: 2 x digital inputs (coax and Toslink up to 24bit/ 96kHz), 1 x digital out (Toslink, CD data only, two analog outputs (RCA and XLR)
  • Other: Remote control, digital outputs defeatable, zoom function on the display to increase legibility from the distance, display can be dimmed or turned off
  • Power consumption: Standby 1 watt, idle/use 24 watts
  • Warranty: 2 years.
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