- Jul 30, 2019
I would like to apologize English isn’t my native language
The following is a review of my Luxman D10X CD//SACD/DAC player
It's been almost two weeks since i received my Luxman D10X after almost a year of waiting.
the D10X replace Luxman's D08 as the flagship player.
Player Structure & Features
The D10X size is quite big – it's taller than the C900U preamp, the player comes in a huge package that weighs about 38 kg, the player itself weighs about 23 kg.
As usual with Luxman flagship series, you get a loop-less chassis structure, the exterior structure is made of brushed aluminum at the top and the front of rough aluminum using a fine sandblast.
Unlike the previous generation of the company, Series 10 front with angles replaces the rounded corners of previous series, the device front panel design brings some fresh look.
The finish as in all the Luxman flagship products is exceptional, the metal thickness and processing quality will definitely bring the owner proud, no bare screws can be found on the front or the side panels. the construction successfully combines massiveness and refinement - Something the Japanese are good at.
According to Luxman D10X contains improved transport, which according to the manufacturer's statements has been built more massively than the previous generation transport.
According to Luxman the loading and reading speed of optical media has been improved from the previous generation. Luxman also state about improved power supplies.
One of the most intriguing things about a new player is without a doubt the D/A converter chips, the BD34301EKV from the Japanese company ROHM. The player has 2 such chips installed for Dual Mono configuration.
As a company that analog is no stranger to, Luxman claim that the new chip combines top-flight specs with impressive refinement.
The player reads CD \ SACD discs as well as MQA encoded discs (quite rare).
DSD playing has 2 analog FIR filter (D1, D2).
As with other devices made by the company, here too you can change phases in case your pre-amp is European / American.
In addition to analog outputs (XLR and RCA) digital inputs and outputs (coaxial and optical) can be found through the USB inputs. The player will handle PCM from 44.1 kHz to 786 kHz and DSD from 2.8 MHz to 22.4 MHz (1-bit ). The coaxial and optical inputs are limited to PCM 44.1–192kHz.
The D10X replaced me with another player that also included a converter (Unison Research DUO) and integrates with another converter/streamer I have (Cary DMS-600) that allows me to stream PCM to the D10X
Optical Media Play - CD \ SACD.
Anyone who believes that there is no difference between music played from streaming services such as Tidal and Qobuz and music originating from optical media can stop reading here, the difference exists and the D10X reinforces the attitude that the days of optical media as audiophilic media are far from over –for audiophiles at least.
The D10X has made a noticeable improvement in digital sound quality of my system (my reference is always my analog system – Brinkmann Edison MK2 phono, Brinkmann Balance TT+ Brinkmann 10.5 Arm, Miyajima Kansui cartridge), making instruments and human sounds sound very realistic.
In recent years we witnessed the decline of optical media sales, the D10X proves that optical media is far from exhausting itself in everything related to sound quality, piano, strings, drums, trumpet, or natural human voice sounds incredible through the D10X.
Playing music from a CD or MQA CD on the D10X allows you to get a holograph and a large stage while retaining detail resolution and delicacy (excellent micro and macro dynamics) that I didn't hear before from optical players I had so far.
Even bad recorded albums from 80's New Wave groups such as Yazzo and The Mission) sound incredible on the D10X, without the edgy bright harshness that accompany some of those albums.
Regarding playing music in SACD format (I have about 70 albums in this format), if the album is recorded well you will get a nirvana experience that is already close to the music that can be obtained from a nice analog setup, the sound ability of this player in SACD is impressive.
If the SACD recording is mediocre, the D10X manages to extract to "iron" the wrinkles, this will make you concentrate more on the music instead of recording issues (Santana's Abraxas, some of Hendrix's recordings or some of Stevie Ray's albums that are in SACD).
As a Converter
The streaming at my home is done through my Cary Audio DMS600 converter/streamer, using the DMS coax port to output signal to the D10X coax input.
Music comes from streaming services - Tidal, Qobuz or from files stored on NAS server in the home network, due to the use of a coaxial input the signal is limited to PCM 44.1–192kHz (processing for MQA is performed on the Roon Core computer I use )
In order not to prolong, I can tell you that the D10X retains the same sound characteristics I wrote above - excellent tonality, stage dimensions, resolution, and delicate details.
The D10X was able to preserve the above even when streaming music from music services, one hand you get the impressive ability of the D10X to dig and extract even the finest details from the files, on the other hand, the D10X knows how to produce exceptional tonality and musicality reminiscent of an analog source.
Elaborating about the difference between my current converter/streamers and the D10X, it is mainly reflected in the latter's ability to turn music from a digital source into an experience that even analog enthusiasts can enjoy without moving uncomfortably in the seat.
Complains – Sort of
Is everything perfect? the answer is of course no.
- I think it's a shame that Luxman did not go one step further like Playback Designs and equip the player / converter with a streaming component - this would have saved another device, probably you cannot ask for everything.
- The remote, make no mistake, the remote is great, properly constructed of aluminum, the reception is excellent, but the remote isn’t incorporate buttons for company amplification – meaning you'll have to work your way with 2 remotes.
- Switching between resolutions – when switching between sample resolutions from 44.1 to 88.2 or vice versa for example, you will hear sounds like a relay click (also exists on other Luxman devices), for me this is the first time I hear such a thing, a bit strange in the digital world but I got used to it quickly.
The music that the D10X can produce is seductive, one that draws the listener into the music. for me the D10X may prove dangerous, as it will make me want to keep listening to music far beyond my free time i have.
In the last two years, I have listened to quite a few converters in a wide range of prices sometimes at an outrageous price (some costing more the double the price of the D10X), the D10X is a very capable and high-performance audio component that successfully combines old (optical media) with new (D/A converter) while providing an addictive listening experience for those who can afford it.