Luxman made some really nice amps back in the 70 and early 80's. Tube and transistor. I think they were underrated at the time. I don't remember the models. They sounded better than the Yamahas. I don't know how they compared to Accuphase. They were definitely a cut above.
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I have a Luxman L5 integrated that I bought new in 1979. Used it for a few years and then put it in a closet. When my Rotel blew a channel, I used the Luxman again til I got a new PS Audio. I was pleasantly surprised (The Lux sounded better than my Rotel, which I don't miss at all!) The L5 can be used as an integrated, a pre or an amp. While it is only rated at 60 watts, it sounded much better than its age would dictate.
I don't know the specifics, but Lux Audio became Luxman and then Luxman was later bought out by Alpine of car stereo fame. They maintained the Luxman name for home stereo until they phased the company out. Prior to Alpine purchasing them, their amps and integrated's offered good bang for the buck with their tuners and turntables being "okay". They were not ultra expensive but they weren't mass market "commercially known" products either. After Alpine purchased the company, the power supplies in the amps, preamps and integrated's got a LOT smaller. Since power supplies ( transformers and filter caps ) are about the most expensive components in a high output component, they went there right off the bat in order to cut production costs. As such, the units lost a lot of warmth and dynamic characteristics. Their performance into lower impedances also became markedly less desirable. On the other side of the coin, the tuners after Alpine took over were a marked improvement in performance. Sensitivity, which is where many car audio tuners shine, was much better. Sound quality wasn't bad either, but i'm sure that it can be improved upon by updating caps and wiring.
Either way, i'm sure that what you've got is probably of at least good to decent quality. If you haven't already hooked it up, i would connect it to the worst ( most disposable ) speakers or preferably some 8 ohm resistors and let it idle with it turned on for 48 - 72 hours. After this period of time, if nothing seems haywire with the unit, give it a shot with some signal and see what you think. As Bookert2 mentioned and depending on what you are currently using, you might be in for a very pleasant surprise. Sean
For what it is worth, the new (last several years) stuff from Luxman is very high quality and sounds great. It also runs decent bucks.
A link to their current products can be found here. I do not know how many of these products are available outside of Japan but Japanese solid-state afficionados actively search out the B10 and M10 and M7f amps and the C10 and C7f preamps in the used market, and they certainly don't last long when they come out.
The company of Luxman is actually owned by a Japanese company called e-Lux which has as its main business domain name registration and internet billing services. Audio product sales was about 20% of revenue last year.
Rgairns: Many people think that i'm much older than i really am due to the knowledge that i have on some older products. I am "only" 39 years old, but i've been interested in "hi-fi" since i was about 8 or 9 years old. I remember reading my Dad's "Audio", "Hi-Fidelity" and "Stereo Review" magazines from that time period. I can also remember buying many of the various "Annual Buyer's Guide's" that various companies put out each year on my own. Many of these came complete with pictures for each component and i studied them with a passion. I can remember going into the local Musicraft, Pacific Stereo and Playback stores when i was 12 / 13 years old and answering questions for the salespeople working there pertaining to different models. I also spent time on the phone with Victor of Victor's Stereo as he took the time to educate me in a manner that was both informative but not "condescending" to a young but highly inquisitive teenager.
In that respect, i've been lucky to meet and know many folks that both friendly and "enlightened" as far as audio goes. I try to do the same thing, but i'm sure that some take my posts as being a "know it all" : )
As a side note, I currently own a collection of "Audio" magazines annual equipment directories dating back to 1976. These make for great points of reference should i ever need them.
T-bone: I did not know that Luxman was still in business. I have to wonder how many times they changed hands and if there are still any "original" employee's working there. My guess is that this brand is somewhat like Sherwood, which has come and gone under various ownership many times over. Thanks for sharing this info with us. Sean
Probably because it is both faster and actually has the potential for greater current delivery. You have to remember that most music is dynamic in nature. As such, the circuitry that can deliver the highest peaks in a timely fashion while offering the lowest noise floor will sound the loudest / have the most muscle. Sustained power is great, so long as it can deliver that power as needed on a dynamic basis.
Think of your Marantz as a big Cadillac V8 ( 501" ) motor compared to a much smaller, earlier, higher revving Ferrari V12 ( 180" ) motor. While the Cadillac is capable of providing a lot of sheer grunt, you've got eight huge pistons and a very long stroke to work with. As such, it is not very responsive due to the increased mass, but it can do the job if you give it enough time.
On the other hand, the Ferrari revs SO much faster that it is much more responsive under any type of condition that you can throw at it. As such, 12 tiny pistons with a much shorter stroke actually ends up making more power in a far more responsive fashion.
The Luxman is a Ferrari and the Marantz is a Cadillac. The Luxman probably cost more and is rated for less sheer "grunt", but it runs circles around the Marantz in terms of total performance. Sean
The company itself has been around in some form for several decades so I'm not so sure that there are that many completely "original" employees :^) but I imagine that it's much like other smaller Japanese audio companies - the employees/facilities/philosophy stay the same but the boss changes - something which has happened to a horde of them: Kenwood, Nakamichi, Denon, Marantz, FR, Akai, SAEC, MicroSeiki, and others... Still others had their hey-day and then moved down-market or reduced operations.
I am curious though so will see what I can find out by calling the company. If anything, I'd almost see the possibility they could eventually be bought out by D&M Holdings, the firm which was established after the merger of Marantz and Denon not long after Ripplewood effectively took over management control of Nippon Columbia (which owned Denon before that). Luxman sales are so low globally that it might make sense.
Dazedandconfused, I think sogood51 is probably right on the specs. I cannot find the L-2 in the product history of Luxman on their Japanese site but the L-1 and L-3 are both listed as having been 35Wx2. The time is about right too as the L-1 went on sale in August 1980.
Hope you enjoy it.
Like mentioned above, Luxman never left. Even when they were selling less robust stuff here in the late 80s thru mid-90s (less robust than before, but still often better sounding than Yamaha, Denon, Onkyo, HK, NAD, etc), they were building very high-end pieces for the Japanese market...pieces that cost $2000-$10,000...pieces that didn't have the compromises of their lower end gear. They are still building and selling thoise pieces in Japan. As a matter of fact, I believe they have a universal player out right now that retails for more than $5k. You can check their website. It's Japanese, but you'll get the general idea.
I'd recommend trying the piece if it's possible. I have had 6 or more Luxman components over the last ten years (dating from the mid 70s to early 90s) and all were very good, very musical components.
http://www.hilberink.nl/codehans/luxman.htm has many color brochures of Luxman equipment, though not all of them.
You'll also find other useful Luxman links there.
The company site in Japan has a history page that's a good read.
On the whole, it's fair to say that it's like the Japanese version of the old Marantz in the US. It wasn't marketed seriously in the US until the 70s. Their prices were comparable to McIntosh. However, it didn't have a loyal customer base like Mac, so the prices today are very cheap...because some younger folks have never heard of them.
Luxman did make some of the top tuners in addition to amps. After Alpine took over, they made a lot of lower quality products, but they did maintain a small effort at the no-compromise exotic high end. The LV-105 hybrid amp with tubes and MOSFETs was the first of its kind. The T-03/C-03/M-03 tuner/pre/amp series in the late 80s was probably the last set of great products. if you look at the power supplies in these amps you wouldn't say that they're light weight. The M-03 was marketed in the US as the M-117 without the digital meters. The T-03 became known as the T-117. The C-03 was never not sold in the US, probably because of the chaos in the company's marketing strategy.