The first with LUXMAN Integrated Feedback Engine System (LIFES1.0)
BALLSTON SPA, New York, January 2022 – An uncompromising new power amplifier from Luxman, the M-10X embodies advanced design methods to combine sonic nuance with formidable power. The M-10X replaces the classic M-900u of 2013 and joins the acclaimed D-10X digital player as flagship models that anticipate the company’s 100th anniversary in 2025. Jeff Sigmund, president of Luxman America, commented: “Reflecting decades of Luxman experience and with build quality second to none, the massive, beautifully executed M-10x power amplifier also debuts our LIFES1.0 circuit technology to achieve a new benchmark in performance.”
The M-10X power amplifier will be available in February at a suggested retail price of $19,995US.
LUXMAN Integrated Feedback Engine System (LIFES1.0)
Amplifier negative feedback use has always been a double-edged sword. While feedback plays a central role in reducing distortion, even minuscule inaccuracies in its application can compromise the expressive power of music reproduction. It was to overcome this paradox that Luxman created the Only Distortion Negative Feedback (ODNF) circuit in 1999, repeatedly updating it through to ODNF 4.0 in the M-900u and most recently ODNF-u in the L-595ASE integrated amplifier of 2021. For the M-10X, Luxman engineers were determined to supersede even these proud achievements, delivering a dramatic advance in musicality, freshness, and overwhelming impact. The result of their concentrated efforts is the LUXMAN Integrated Feedback Engine System (LIFES1.0).
To create LIFES1.0, Luxman engineers embarked on a systematic exploration of alternate designs, using dedicated software to simulate electronic performance across the entire circuit. Simulation enabled the team to examine many more alternate layouts and consider individual circuit components. After arriving at the most promising logically simulated circuits, the team’s work had only just begun. Luxman designers carefully evaluated available components for their contribution to audio performance. Finally, the team connected assembled experimental boards to an existing amplifier, assessing prototype designs through repeated listening tests. The resulting circuit incorporates three essential advances.
- Improved configuration. To substantially upgrade the detection of distortion, Luxman engineers selected a Field Effect Transistor (FET) with unusually high transconductance (gm) and a different polarity in the primary stage. This not only improves sound quality, but also reduces the number of parallel circuit elements. The result is a unique balance of low distortion and exceptional musicality.
- Highly regulated constant voltage circuit. The drive stage has an outsized impact on an amplifier’s ability to render fine musical nuances. For LIFES1.0, Luxman engineers redesigned the constant voltage circuit with new, high-performance regulator chips and carefully selected Zener diodes manufactured by Vishay in the United States. The team adopted a highly regulated power supply circuit that resists load fluctuations, even under duress.
- Improved current mirror circuit. Amplifiers can generate heat, and as temperatures inside the amplifier change, performance can degrade. For the most stable operation under all thermal conditions, the M-10X employs a new configuration of high-precision fixed resistance components in the current mirror constant current circuit.
The epitome of power
Connoisseurs of Luxman power amplifiers will immediately recognize the massively overbuilt heat sink stacks, giant power transformer, super-sized 80,000 µF filter capacitors and quadruple parallel push-pull output stage with sixteen transistors per channel. The result is prodigious power into just about any conceivable load: not only 150 W + 150 W into 8 ohms, but also an instantaneous 1,200 W + 1,200 W into 1 ohm, or even 2,400 W into 2 ohms in BTL monaural mode. As with previous Luxman amplifiers, damping factor is high (710) for extraordinary control of speaker motion. As a result, power is instantly and effortlessly available, regardless of the challenges of loudspeaker impedance or the dynamic requirements of the music. Another result of these design choices is an amplifier chassis of uncommon heft: 107 lbs. (48.4 kg).
The front panel is understated in blasted white finished aluminum, with small-diameter function switches and generous, needle-type analog level meters, illuminated by incandescent-toned LEDs. Luxman designers repositioned the left channel meter to the center, as a respectful nod to BTL mode monaural listening. Like the companion D-10X digital player, the M-10X incorporates hairline detailing and a beveled front panel for added visual interest.
Attention to every detail
Luxman designers have examined, tested, auditioned and refined every aspect of the M-10X power amplifier.
- Power linearity from 150 W + 150 W (8 ohms) to an instantaneous maximum 1,200 W + 1,200 W (1 ohm) to drive the widest range of speaker types
- Pure class A operation up to 12 W with a bias current setting that successfully balances high output power and detailed sound quality
- New LUXMAN Integrated Feedback Engine System (LIFES1.0) achieves the ideal balance between low distortion and effortless musicality
- 4×2 output configuration incorporates 3-stage Darlington equipped quadruple paralleled push-pull output modules
- Extra-thick oxygen-free copper bus bar provides the main line from the power section to the output stage
- Balanced transformer-less (BTL) straight circuit configuration does not pass the conversion amplifier to the cold signal for BTL mode balanced inputs
- Strictly regulated, high coupling, low loss EI type power transformer with flat copper windings
- Highly stable power supply with independent 80,000 μF filter capacitors for each channel
- All circuit boards feature gold plated, low resistance 100 μm thick copper signal traces
- Peel-coat type removable circuit board solder mask eliminates dielectric effects causing subtle degradations in sound quality
- Achieves a damping factor of 710 by directly connecting large speaker relays via 4-contact parallel connection and a bus bar to the speaker terminal
- Composite, loopless chassis isolates the effect of ground impedance
- Chassis shielding blocks magnetic fields influence and digital noise
- High-grade alloy RCA input terminals combine the conductivity of copper with the durability of brass
- New trigger input/output terminals enable power supply syncing between compatible products (3.5 mm monaural jack with daisy chain connection also possible)