Stereocheck Reviews:
Luxman L-505Z
Luxman L-505Z
Luxman L-505Z

Luxman L-505Z: Integrated Class AB amplifier unveiled

Luxman unveiled the L-505Z, an integrated amplifier that functions in class AB and includes four RCA line inputs and an XLR input. The company has also equipped it with a turntable input and two pairs of speaker terminals. Additionally, there are two headphone jacks on the front panel.

Luxman L-505Z: Class AB Integrated Amplifier

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The integrated amplifier L-505Z from the Japanese manufacturer Luxman is, like the larger models L-509Z and L-507Z , equipped with the factory-proprietary LIFES technology, a technical design that is an integral part of Luxman’s next-generation amplifier designs. LIFES (which stands for Luxman Integrated Feedback Engine System) is based on the technical concept of the also factory-proprietary ODNF feedback circuit (ODNF stands for Only Distortion Negative Feedback), which achieves excellent static characteristics without feeding any of the musical input signals back to the main amplifier. This produces a natural sound quality that is more akin to a system without feedback.

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The circuit has been redesigned from the ground up after testing and performing multiple simulations. By combining carefully selected components and through repeated listening tests, Luxman claims to have achieved the ultimate performance and sound quality, which the designers believe is truly worthy of being adopted in the next generation of components. In LIFES version 1.0, the entire circuit has been reconstructed and simplified, improving performance, while also successfully reducing the number of parallel elements, reducing distortion during amplification to less than half.

The output stage uses a parallel push-pull configuration with bipolar transistors, achieving a generous Class AB power rating of 100 watts per channel into eight ohms and 150 watts per channel into four ohms.

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The L-505Z has no digital inputs and therefore has only analog circuits on board. Luxman has equipped the L-505Z with a turntable input that is suitable for both MM and MC cartridges.

Luxman L-505Z: power supply circuit

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The power supply is the foundation of a good amplifier and must provide instantaneous current and stable output voltages. The L-505Z is equipped with Luxman’s traditional and highly stable 540VA EI-type power transformer, combined with four custom-made 10,000 μF smoothing capacitors. This combination provides the instantaneous energy needed to faithfully reproduce the most radical or softest musical dynamics and maintain a stable voltage supply under all load fluctuations.

LECUA, electronically controlled volume control

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The volume control section is crucial to both the functionality and performance of an integrated amplifier and requires special signal processing. The L-505Z is equipped with Luxman’s own electronically controlled volume control called LECUA (which stands for Luxman Electronically Controlled Ultimate Attenuator), which has been greatly reduced in size by using a solid-state (IC) circuit configuration. LECUA provides 88 steps of volume control.

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The L/R balance control also relies on LECUA’s volume shifting function. Despite multitasking, LECUA manages to minimize sound quality degradation across the entire range of volume control. Intuitive operation is retained while being linked to remote control operations. A traditional rotary volume knob achieves that weighty, tactile response and operational feel that enthusiasts will enjoy, combining convenience with pleasant operation.

Headphone jacks with independent grounding

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The L-505Z features an advanced headphone driver. In addition to a standard 6.35 mm jack, the L-505Z features a new 4.4 mm jack with independent left and right ground wiring and separate unbalanced amplifiers, significantly improving left-right separation. By connecting compatible headphones and cables, the listener can enjoy further enhanced three-dimensional imaging.

Luxman specifies a damping factor of 200 and an S/N ratio of 104 dB for the line inputs. The MM input has an S/N ratio of 87 dB and the MC input is specified at 70 dB. For the line inputs the frequency range is 20 Hz to 100 kHz at level -3 dB. For the turntable input it is 20 Hz to 20 kHz at level +/- 0.5 dB.

Price and delivery information

The L-505Z comes in an aluminum-colored version. No, Luxman does not do black versions. A beautiful aluminum IR remote control is included. The price has yet to be announced.

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