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Luxman Debuts New Flagship Integrated Amplifier

The L-509Z is the first to offer LIFES1.0 stages in both preamp and power amp and the first with LECUA-EX volume control.

Luxman continues to prepare for 2025, the company’s centennial, with a new top-of-the-line integrated amplifier. The L-509Z is the first component to incorporate the Luxman Integrated Feedback Engine System (LIFES1.0) in both the power amp and preamp sections. It’s also the first with the Luxman Electronically Controlled Ultimate Attenuator-EX (LECUA-EX).

Luxman L-509Z Integrated Amplifier

The L-509Z replaces the L-509X and joins the L-507Z of 2022 in Luxman’s Z Series. Compared to its predecessor, the new integrated amp also offers a new phono preamp with switchable gain to accommodate both low-output and high-output moving coil cartridges. Other upgrades include completely redesigned tone controls with separate bands for bass, midrange, and treble; 12-volt triggers; 7-segment LED volume level display; and front-panel mute switch.

The L-509Z integrated amplifier is available immediately at a suggested retail price of $12,495.

LUXMAN Integrated Feedback Engine System (LIFES1.0)

The new L509Z is the third component to incorporate LIFES1.0 and the first to have it not only in the power amplifier section, but also the preamplifier. The circuit is the latest expression in Luxman’s multi-decade quest to overcome the long-standing tradeoffs in amplifier negative feedback.

Negative feedback 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 and refined it through five generations up to 2021. LIFES1.0 supersedes even these proud achievements, with a completely redesigned circuit featuring improvements in distortion detection, regulation, and thermal stability. The result is a rare combination of exceptionally low distortion and the natural sound quality associated with “non-feedback” circuits.

Luxman L-509Z Integrated Amplifier - Rear

The L-509Z combines high power and superb linearity, thanks to three stage Darlington bipolar transistors in quadruple-paralleled push-pull configuration. The highly regulated power supply boasts a 600 VA EI-type transformer and an array of eight 10,000 µF filter capacitors. The Class AB output stage is conservatively rated at 120W+120W at 8 ohms and 240W+240W at 4 ohms.

Luxman Electronically Controlled Ultimate Attenuator-EX (LECUA-EX)

Unassuming and often overlooked, the volume control can be the source of subtle and not-so-subtle sonic degradations. Conventional, variable-resistor volume controls often introduce noise. And left/right tracking errors can unintentionally shift the stereo balance as the user adjusts volume. For these reasons, Luxman has long avoided the variable resistor in favor of carefully crafted attenuator circuits. Premiering on the L-509Z, the LECUA-EX is a computerized precision attenuator. It delivers meticulous volume adjustment across 88 discrete steps while minimizing distortion. The new LECUA-EX enhances the experience with a new rotary encoder, featuring a weighted mechanism to enable smoother adjustment with an immensely satisfying control “feel.”

Other enhancements

Compared to the predecessor L-509X, the new amplifier also features:

  • A precise 7-segment LED display, making it easy to see volume level from any listening position. Instantaneous output is displayed on large, highly sensitive VU meters that are illuminated by white LEDs for optimum viewing.
  • The “Pentaconn” 4.4 mm, five-conductor, balanced headphone jack provides independent left/right grounding for improved stereo separation. It supplements the standard 6.3 mm jack. Rear-panel 12-volt trigger input and output accommodate compatible home automation systems.
  • Control input and output terminals coordinate operation with compatible Luxman components.
  • A front-panel Mute button complements the remote control Mute.
  • Two preamp outputs and one power amp input enable flexible system configurations including biamping.

To suppress airborne and shelf-borne vibration that can blur the microdynamics of quiet musical passages, the chassis is robust with thick aluminum panels and density gradient cast iron feet. Of particular note, the top panel features a classic Luxman hairline finish and 28 individually cut ventilation ports. The amplifier weighs 65 pounds (29.4 kg).

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