Touted as Luxman's "finest SACD/CD player," the Luxman D-10X is the world’s first home audio component using ROHM Semiconductor’s latest and eagerly anticipated MUS-IC BD34301EKV digital-to-analog converter, shown for the first time at High End Munich 2019. The player also incorporates important new technologies in the disc transport and analog circuit.
“We’re building on the heritage of our acclaimed D-08u,” says Jeff Sigmund, president of Luxman America, “adding more playback capabilities, the very latest conversion technology and refinements in every sub-system.”
Luxman engineers understand that exposing the disc transport to vibration and resonance can result in subtle distortion. The Luxman Original Disc Transport Mechanism or LxDTM-i (for improved) was designed to overcome this challenge, substantially upgrading the company’s former LxDTM disc drive. Made in Japan, the new LxDTM-i encloses the drive in 8 mm thick aluminum sides that extend to the front and rear panels, plus a 5 mm thick steel top plate. For added reliability during production, the physical mounting system forms an integrated structure that supports the side frame. An improved disc reading mechanism contributes to music playback of exceptional clarity.
The D10-X marks the world premiere of the MUS-IC BD34301EKV digital-to-analog converter from ROHM Semiconductor. Like Luxman, ROHM is a Japan-based manufacturer with many decades of audio expertise. The converter reflects 28 separate parameters optimized for sound quality, including aspects of circuit design, layout, photomask, wafer production and packaging. For example, to optimize sound quality, selected “bonding” wires that connect the chip to the lead frame are made of copper, while others are made of gold. A 32-bit ΔΣ (Delta-Sigma) design, the converter achieves a phenomenal noise signal-to-noise ratio: -130 dB. The D-10X applies a pair of these converters in dual mono configuration, delivering a listening experience of unsurpassed musicality.
In addition to two-channel SACD and CD media, the D-10X plays a robust selection of file formats via USB inputs and the free Luxman Audio Player computer software. Available for MacOS and Windows PCs, the software decodes WAV, FLAC, MP3, DSF, DSDIFF, ALAC and AIFF files. The USB input accepts PCM signals at up to 768kHz sampling and up to 32-bit quantizing plus DSD signals at up to 22.4MHz/1-bit sampling. Coaxial and optical inputs accommodate PCM digital audio up to 24-bit/192kHz.
The D10X also incorporates Master Quality Authenticated full decoding for MQA files and MQA-CDs. MQA audio files up to 24-bit are supported via USB, optical and coaxial inputs.
In addition to conventional, “isochronous” file transfers at fixed bitrates, the USB input supports two modes of Bulk Pure Enhanced Technology (Bulk Pet) high-resolution audio file transfer. This optimizes data packaging and delivery to the converter, easing the processing load for both the host CPU and the device CPU. This in turn reduces the workload between reading and reproduction, enhancing playback stability and improving sound quality.
Only Distortion Negative Feedback
Negative feedback is an extremely powerful tool in analog circuit design. But minuscule inaccuracies in the application of feedback can compromise the expressive power of music reproduction. For this reason, Luxman has developed and refined the Only Distortion Negative Feedback (ODNF) circuit, culminating in ODNF-u, which debuts on the D-10X. This fully balanced configuration maximizes error detection accuracy, for greater musical expression across the audio band. Tailored, gradual 1st order filter x 3 band processing achieves a natural waveform without the need for conventional output filters.
In typical Luxman fashion, the company’s engineers have seen to every detail. The composite, loop-less chassis is well shielded to block digital noise. The oversized power supply features large filter capacitors and a transformer 27% larger than that of Luxman’s previous flagship. The printed circuit boards exhibit the full suite of Luxman’s signature refinements; 100 μm copper foil signal traces and gold-plated connections to minimize stray capacitance; and peel-coat removal of the solder mask to suppress even subtle degradations in sound quality.
The RCA output jacks apply gold plating over an alloy that combines the conductivity of copper with the durability of brass. Rugged Neutrik terminals provide the balanced XLR outputs while a front panel Phase Invert button enables listeners to swap polarity. And density gradient cast iron insulator feet provide firm support while diffusing shelf-borne resonance.
The D-10X has a clean, understated design finished in brushed aluminum and comes supplied with the matching RD-29 aluminum remote control. The front-panel fluorescent display has a zoom mode for easy reading from the ideal listening position.
All perfect, it it wasn't for the fact that the D-10X will be available in August at a "suggested" retail price of... $16,495. So, if you are still listening to CD's and SACD and still need a player, this is as good as it gets.