Luxman C-700u
Luxman C-700u
Luxman C-700u

Luxman C-700u: Versatile Japanese preamplifier

The Luxman C-700u is a pre-amplifier that inherits the versatility and high sound quality of the C-600F, but has a higher gain: 12 dB versus 10.5 dB for the C-600F. The Luxman C-700u preamplifier is similar to its fully balanced older brother, the C-900u, but does not have a balanced circuit topology, despite the presence of XLR connectors.

Luxman C-700u is equipped with a proprietary negative feedback circuit ODNF (Only Distortion Negative Feedback, version 4.0), which minimizes high-frequency noise and distortion. The circuits use a Darlington circuit to increase the current gain. The preamplifier uses the LECUA 1000 precision 88-step volume control, similar to that found in the older C-900u model. The power supply uses a fairly high power transformer and two 3300 µF electrolytic capacitors. The model uses premium resistors and capacitors, as well as other high-quality components. To control the device there is a convenient aluminum remote control.

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The Luxman C-700u case is equipped with gradient shock-absorbing legs that can effectively combat vibrations and resonances. The front panel has a fluorescent display, the characters of which can be scaled using the Zoom function on the remote control. The display has built-in miniature indicators that indicate the selection of a specific function or operating mode. On the right side of the facade there is a volume knob, a balance control, an output selection button and a button for turning on the through channel for the AV processor/preamplifier. On the left side there is a power key, an input selector, HF and LF tone controls, a monitoring key and a Line Straight button, which allows you to bypass the tone block.

Rear panel inputs: five line-level RCA, two phase-switchable balanced XLR, loop-through (RCA), recording monitor (RCA). Outputs: linear RCA, balanced XLR, recording output (RCA). There are two sockets for controlling components connected to the Luxman C-700u, a ground terminal and a power supply toggle switch. Luxman C-700u has a crisp, clear and open sound with a natural musical presentation. To work in tandem with this model, the proprietary M-700u power amplifier is quite suitable.

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The What Hi-Fi magazine (8th June 2016) published a test of a pair of Luxman C-700u preamplifier and M-700u power amplifier. The author of the article gave them the highest scores – 5 stars each for sound, design and functional equipment, and, of course, the overall rating is also “5 stars”!

“If you haven’t previously come across a pair of preamp and power amplifier, the sound of which should not be judged by the first listening, then here it is. Fresh out of the box, it sounds too thick and soft and lacks clarity. Leave it on for one night and things will get much better. Once properly warmed up, this pair begins to produce a neat sound that matches how it looks. The leading edges of the notes are precise, but never overly emphasized, and are delivered in a stable and controlled manner.”

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“You think they sound boring? Not at all, and we found that out when we played Macklemore and Lewis’ “Thrift Shop.” There is so much energy in this track and Luxman captures it all perfectly. Playback is fast, vibrant and precisely defined. The sound of the notes stops and starts clearly, but never protrudes. There’s a wonderful organic quality to the flow of sounds that hints at the best tube designs, but without any hint of over-the-top warmth or luxury.

In terms of rhythm, things are also pretty good. Although the pair aren’t meant to be danced, they hold a firm grip on the rhythmic elements of the track, which is characterized by a tight and authoritative bass line.

It is usually difficult to combine the weight of low frequencies with their correct articulation, but this pair succeeds in this combination. The two Luxman components also sound quite refined, refusing to convey a slightly harsh recording that becomes annoying. It’s an extremely delicate balance, keeping plenty of aggression but never crossing the line into harshness. Macklemore’s signature vocals come through easily and clearly.”

Verdict

Despite criticism of the preamp, this system from Luxman is very tempting. We love the way they look and the workmanship is absolutely top notch. But more importantly, she (for the most part) knows how to get the essence of the music right without getting in the way of it, a quality that is far less common today than it should be.

Luxman C-700u Specifications

Input Sensitivity/Input Impedance 250 mV/46 kΩ (RCA), 250 mV/67 kΩ (XLR)
Output Voltage/Output Impedance 1 V (Maximum: 11 V)/90 Ω (RCA), 1 V ( maximum: 11.5 V)/600 ohms (XLR)
Frequency response 20 Hz – 20 kHz (+ 0, – 0.1 dB), 5 Hz – 120 kHz (+ 0, – 3 dB)
Harmonic distortion 0.007% (RCA , 20 Hz – 20 kHz), 0.010% (XLR, 20 Hz – 20 kHz)
Signal-to-noise ratio 125 dB (RCA), 122 dB (XLR)
Tone control range Bass: ± 8 dB (100 Hz), Treble: ± 8 dB (10 kHz)
Loudness function yes
Inputs 5 line RCA, 2 balanced XLR with phase switching, through input (RCA), recording monitoring input (RCA) Outputs
line RCA, balanced XLR, recording output (RCA)
Other switching 2 sockets for controlling connected components, ground terminal Remote
control RA-22
Power cord JPA-10000 yes
Power consumption 28 W; 2 W in standby mode
Dimensions (WxHxD) 440x130x430 mm
Weight 14.6 kg

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