Doesn't the Luxman L-505u
amplifier featured on our front cover have a certain charm? Just look at those
illuminated blue power meters – see page 12. They are pure hi-fi bling! And
there's a little story behind what you see. Luxman Corporation of Japan
bounced between various owners – check out Luxman on Wikipedia – until
recently, when it was acquired by International Audio Group of China. I saw
Lux products being assembled by IAG in Shenzhen, China, overseen by UK
engineers who have introduced higher internal build standards and rigorous
quality control. Luxman today is still a Japanese designed product, but now
built in China to exacting standards. Having bought and enjoyed Lux products
in the past, I hope their loveliness continues!
Question: what's the connection between Lux of Japan and
Leak of England, other than they both start with the letter ‘L’?
Surprisingly, many. The Leak Troughline tuner featured in this issue – see
p27 – hails from the days of valves, and that is where Luxman started,
producing valve amplifiers. Both brands are now owned by International Audio
Group. And Tim de Paravicini of EAR Yoshino designed Lux valve amps in the
1960s then our own Leak Troughline valve stereo decoder in the early 1990s.
Sansui is another respected Japanese brand that fell on hard
times but is back doing what it was famous for: producing good quality budget
hi-fi. For its low price of around £350 the WLD+ 201L music streamer offers a
mountain of ability - see p55.
I can't quite believe how Sony can build and sell something
as complex as their new STR-DN1030 AV receiver for £470. It packs in vast
amounts of modern ability to support home cinema, and nearly every conceivable
form of audio streaming too. See p46 where Martin Pipe ably delves into its
Talking of which, I apologize for deciding to move over both
NAD M51 DAC and Chord Index reviews to next month. Both are complex products
and probing their abilities with our advanced Rohde & Schwarz UPV analyzer
isn't something to be rushed. Both offer fascinating glimpses into high
fidelity of tomorrow and we will provide unmatched reviews of them next month.
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