Luxman Knockoffs or Counterfeits?


Living in the US, it has been very difficult finding a Luxman on the used market. I see lots of models on ebay selling from Japan. The listings look suspicious to me - different sellers with the exact same photo of the product; sometimes the same photo with one seller naming a different model number than another seller, but using the same photo.    

I found one Japanese ebay seller who seems to be legit, Monotokyo, based on seller reviews, but I am hesitant to rely on ebay seller reviews.  

Does anyone have information about Luxman knockoffs or counterfeits? 

audiojerry

Will Luxman not look up the serial number for you and tell you mfg date? I’m strongly considering Luxman but have been wondering if they will do this.

I am a Simaudio owner and also considering a used preamp from them. I took the serial number from picture and emailed to CS. They ALWAYS get back to me in 24 hours via email. The unit I was looking at 5 years old. Seller said unknown (third party seller)

But I would feel more comfortable if Luxman did same. Not sure if all mfgs will do this for you based on serial number.

But with a 24 hour turnaround from Simaudio does not impact a sale which is pretty awesome. Also not sure I’d buy on EBAY and especially from Japan. But if your going to try this maybe try  the serial number thru Luxman for mfg info. 

Luxman is a much more common brand in Japan.  All the models coming from Japan will have 100v electrical, so you need a step-down transformer.  This makes those models considerably less desirable.

You will want to get a quality step down transformer so you are not introducing extraneous noise to your system.  I think this is the main detractor to buying a 100v Luxman. 

Nice gear but be careful. I would look for a local source and be patient. 

Not sure they're hard to find used in the US there are 146 listings for used Luxman gear on US Audiomart.

 

 

I should have been more specific: I have been looking for the M-700u and the L-590AXII. I did see 1 of each on usaudiomart, but no success with either listing.


I'm wondering though, how safe it would be buying from an ebay seller from Japan.

+1 twoleftears

I suggest only purchasing from the USA. Keep looking and waiting. As mentioned above you need a step-down transformer which isn't the end of the world but I don't recommend it.

If you buy a Luxman off of an eBay seller and for whatever reason your not satisfied, file a report with eBay and they will put a hold on the eBay sellers account and rule in your favor.

I sold a broken tool recently for parts, pictures of it broken and sure enough the guy said I misrepresented the item, eBay put a hold on the funds, 15 bucks and 5 shipping. The buyer has gotten it for free from me because according to him I would have to send him a pre paid shipping return label. Buyer knew what he was doing and got the item for free.  I would image a lot of gear sold in Japan and shipped here is fully refunded and the buyer keeps the goods. It would have to be damaged or seriously misrepresented for myself to keep something for free. 

Is there any reason using a step-down transformer would degrade sound quality?  

So much angst.  New from an authorized Luxman dealer or used from here at Audiogon or Audiomart or Echo Audio or.......  It's a waiting game.  Best of luck. Cheers

i think it is so silly, so shortsighted to try to save a few bucks on such an expensive, complicated, hundred pound amp, ship it halfway around the world, then... use a step down transformer every day, and then... risk no warranty support if it is damaged or malfunctions one day...

...and then... if you deal with all that, dodge those bullets, you get to worry if the piece is a fake!!??

 

Pass XA series would be close to Luxman in sound and much more available.  I've also seen Luxman on one of the high-end web sellers. Been awile tho.

What's the rush....good things come to those that wait...last time I checked that is....

First, 100 to 120 volts is a step up transformer.  Minor point but thought I'd mention it.  

Why is that a challenge?  We spend thousands of dollars on power regenerators or even boutique power cords.  Putting a cheap transformer in the power circuit is asking for noise and degradation of quality.  

I haven't shopped for a quality transformers to see if a quality manufacturer makes one.  But I did look for a quality 120 to 240 transfomer without success.  PS Audio is the top brand here IMHO and I have contacted them about making one of their power regenerators that changes voltages and they seemed uninterested.  It would not be difficult, they have the technology.

Jerry

Try contacting albertportis.  He has a knack for finding people what they want: new, previously owned, demo, etc.  He is a great person and extremely fair with his prices.

This reference to “counterfeits” is a red herring. To my knowledge there have never been reports of Luxman counterfeits, which would be fakes produced by a company other than Luxman. 
 

Duh, differs countries have different electrical requirements- guess what, it’s been that way forever. Buy the model made for your country. But don’t call the others counterfeits 

A heck of a lot of people use voltage transformers successfully. The only issue is really cheap ones may hum.

My JVC Victor TT81 is 100V. I got a decent inexpensive 120/100 transformer. 120 comes from my Furman P18000 which has tremendous capacitor reserves; then to transformer 120/100 to TT.

My Luxman amp is 120v, but I would not hesitate to use a 100 v unit if either a good deal, or they are hard to find.

My only concern is if I forget and plug it into 120v by error

 

 

I can see OP dilemma over price disparities between US and Japan. When you see similar items from Japan priced 25-30% lower than US counterparts, it’s can be very enticing. But as @jjss49 pointed out, consider all those points before buying from Japan. Not to mention, you will have a tough time reselling the Japanese model in US.

Personally, I will never buy any grey market electronics that requires voltage conversion to operate properly.

Buyer beware, I thought I found a deal on a pair of speakers from Japan. Did my due diligence. In the end it it turned out to be a scam. The sellers know this, send me your money and they are gone. Especially on a larger ticket item. Us laws don’t apply!!! Not to mention shipping costs, damage issues, etc. if you really want it , buy it. Don’t complain if you got taken. I wouldn’t do it. 

We all should be careful with stuff common in other countries but in US not only if we buying from abroad. I remember the story of one guy who bought 30K Burmester amp with appears to be switched EU market 220V OEM transformer to non OEM chip US voltage transformer and he bought it from legit reputable dealer. 

Here’s an audio forum reference to a past LUXMAN cd tube website warning for counterfeit for cd tube fakes .

Looks like L UXMAN were not ( are not?) immune from cheap ad fakes on eBay and the like. Admittedly I don’t have the time to crawl through the current discussions for the current state. The “fakes” are likely “B” and “C” grade refurbs and repairs on faulty returns, rather the classic illegal counterfeit POS build cable fakes made in China. 

So …does this validate the OP’s assessment of higher risk when buying from anybody that than a bona fide and reputable audio dealer, or at least from a healthy prior positive feedback private seller fully registered with a robust history on AGON, USAUDIOMART, CAM etc.?

me … I wouldn’t buy it on eBay and it’s all too many dodgy listings. Instead …. Buy NA dealers or registered audio forum members as a cheap cost of insurance IMO.

 

 

I have purchased audio equipment (SME tonearm, turntable parts) from Japan via Ebay. No problem and great result. I always look at the Ebay ratings of the supplier and find this to be a very good indicator in terms of the number of raters and the percentage of positives

KCC Scientific is a US company that makes voltage and frequency converters for audio equipment. Great products. I use their Athena converter to run my Garrard 401 at 50Hz so the strobe works. Dead quiet! Check out their website:

- GAR

Before you invest in Ebay, have you looked at Luxman Dealers north across the border in Canada? The dollar ratio is in your favor at $1us to $1.25cdn. I'm pretty sure there are a few Luxman Dealers up here willing to take your money and ship to the US, and the kicker, no transformers required. You will just have to pay what US Customs will charge, same as Ebay and importing from Japan. 

 

 

Speaking of Customs. I asked one of the ebay sellers from Japan about Customs. It was my understanding that the seller/shipper must provide the Customs - HTS Harmonized Tariff Schedule - code in order for Customs to determine the fee, but thiis seller said he never had to provide a code in the past. I know there are specific codes for audio components. 

What happens if he ships to US without a HTS code? 

@tim_p 

I am not privy to customs regs in any sense...but I have bought several Bryston products and never heard a word about it.  And the purchase was even below the MSRP (new pieces).

To your original point, don't play in an arena that you are not 100% comfortable with.  And by that I mean if you get screwed you are good with that.

Personally I wouldn't deal with the uncertainty unless see above.

Regards,

barts

The most favorable exchange rate in 40 plus years for the US dollar against the Yen, so a Luxman EQ500 that retails Stateside for US6,700 is 3,200 retail in Tokyo today and a lightly used example might be around 2,500

but; don’t deal with the Uncertainty, 120V dropped down to 100V is a Disaster, Mr XYZ has GREAT deals locally so… just be patient and the real kicker, for those prices these must be counterfeit!

sure… sure…

G

 

Okay, I did not have time to read the entire thread; however, there are so many knock off Luxman units that just buying from a United States source does not mean it is an authentic Luxman product.  The buyer MUST contact Luxman to confirm serial number…Even that interaction does not completely confirm the reality…

OK.....Here's the scoop...I have a CD transport that is Japanese and rated at 100v.  We have 110-120v outlets here.These units play fine with a 10 v varience. 100v + 10 v. varience is 110. That's what we have....I think you'll be fine. My is sounding great and I saved a grand.

I purchased a $3.50 turntable mat from eBay once.  It was coming from Japan.  Not a high-ticket item so I figured I would spend a small amount of money to see what it was about.  I never received the item seller said he shipped it but it never arrived.  I communicated with the seller via messaging through eBay trying to get the issue resolved.  After 6 weeks I gave up tried to file a claim with eBay and was told too bad.  I provided them with the correspondence, and I was told that you have to file a claim within 30 days of the purchase date.  So no way would I recommend someone purchase a high-ticket item from eBay particularly one that can take up to 6 to 8 weeks to arrive.

 

Just sayin.

It's to my understanding Luxman USA will not do any work on these offshore purchased units as well.

I've bought a lot of camera equipment from Japanese eBay sellers and never had a problem, so if the audio gear I wanted was available from there, I'd probably do it, although the step-down transformer is a separate issue (but the t-former will clean up your electrics)

@audiojerry 

I've noticed the eBay listings from different sellers with the same items and pictures with different prices.

My suspicion has always been that these are used items for sale in a Japanese shop and the various sellers are trying to market them to overseas customers.

I've noticed it with instruments, audio gear, etc.

So it's worth considering you're probably not dealing with a retailer or even the original owner familiar with the condition of the product and there's little recourse if something goes wrong. The post a bit further up really points out the pitfalls of buying a used amp from overseas. I also think it's a big risk. I would rather wait for the gear to show up domestically.

 

FYI: I purchased an L-590AX II from a very fine gentleman who has participated in this forum.

Thanks to all for you helpful insights and advice.

I have a Luxman 509u integrated 100v and have been using for years without issue. Save the money and buy 100v. Some units can be converted by changing a few jumpers and adding a 120v sticker.  There is a guy in Wisconsin that tried to help me over the phone but he ended up needing to physically see it.  Wasn't worth me shipping and he agreed. Sorry I don't have his contact info. 

I am looking for an Esoteric piece that is $7k new from Japan (100v) and $11k from a US dealer.. When I pull the trigger, I am sure I will need another voltage converter.