Luxman LV-105u Integrated Amplifiers

LV-105u

Stereo Integrated Amplifier - 80 Watts

User Reviews (10)

Showing 1-10 of 10  
j.r. van wijk   Casual Listener [Dec 18, 2014]

De Luxman lv105 is een prima versterker.
Na het aanzetten volgt geen klikgeluid meer en de werking blijft uit.
De lampen branden wel.
Wat kan het zijn?

OVERALL
RATING
1
VALUE
RATING
1
gadget1   AudioPhile [Feb 21, 2010]

i dont agree with any of the other reveiws that i read
conpared to other tube amps the 105 is very nice pc. for the money
i paid 300.00 bucks for mine and running a pair of martin logans with it
and have money to buy what is very high end,but why sounds great at any level
maybe the other guys need new power tubes mine are brand new and makes big difference
the gadgetman,

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
caitjens   Casual Listener [Jul 02, 2003]
Strength:

Soft warm sound.

Weakness:

Lacks bass Mid range gets out of control at high volume settings

I purchased the Lv_105u new about 15 years ago. I would have to agree with a couple of the other reviews. The bass performance is relatively poor, at higher listening levels, the mid range is muddled. On the positive side the sound is soft, and at lower volumes with the bass turned up it sounds great.

Similar Products Used: Rotel
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Perj   Audio Enthusiast [Jun 05, 2003]
Strength:

Good natural sound, can play all sorts of music.

Weakness:

None so far.

This amp just does it. I have had many different amps, Jolida tube, Audio Note, Sugden, Musical fidelity etc. The sound is smooth with a great soundstage, I have no problems with the sound when i crank it up to higher volumes, it still have good crisp highs, mellow mids and a good bass. The best thing is that you can purchase it for about 250 USD in DK in mint condition. The tubes used is still made and not hard to get (type: 6CG7)

Similar Products Used: Jolida JD 102B, Audio Note OTO, Sugden a21, Accuphase E202, Musical Fidelity A1, Cambridge A500 etc.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Pontus   Audio Enthusiast [Mar 20, 2002]
Strength:

Relaxed sound. Quite powerful amp. CD direct button, a must to fully enjoy amp.

Weakness:

This amp may get you hooked on tubes, happened to me, so watch out! A bit too soft in the low end. Lacks a pre out option, apparently due to the existence of a feedback circuit (why else are there more than 4 wires between pre/power stage?).

This amp has a smooth sound with comparably good soundstaging and detail. Low bass could be firmer and more powerful. A lot more detail and soundstage can be found in my current 300B SE amp (8 watts), but the Lux definitely has got more overall punch and drive. Contrary to what has been stated in a previous review the tubes DO affect the sound. I have A/B tested two diffrenet LV-105u with somewhat worn and really worn stock tubes. Then tried some EI tubes and they all sounded notably different, not surprisingly the newer the tubes the better the sound. Overall verdict: This amp sounds sweet and relaxed, equally so for all kinds of music. However, really compressed material (typically pop/rock) played at high levels can sound a bit muddled. Interestingly the original owner of the amp decided to upgrade to a 60´s RCA amp. Yes, we do have some vintage US gear in Sweden, although not too many (except for Dynaco which is quite common).

Similar Products Used: N/A
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Brad   Audio Enthusiast [Jan 16, 2000]
Strength:

Stronger than it's rated output; kind to difficult loads; good looking; versatile inputs

Weakness:

No separate amp/preamp jacks; speaker binding posts do not accept bannana plugs; moderately expensive

This is a very nice Integrated amp. I have the slightly older version which lacks the CD direct feature, but essentially these are the same. The Mosfet/Tube hybrid design takes a bit of both and manages to produce a comfortable and pleasant product.

The amp in this unit is a monster as far as Integrated units go. It's very kind to difficult loads compared to most; I used this amp to drive a set of Infinity 2.5's (4 ohms nominal; drops to 2 ohms in places) and was able to drive these inefficient speakers to high levels without overdriving the amp.

I have never used the amp's "video" capabilities; but since this amp preceeds the Home Theater craze I'm sure that it is fairly primative by today's standards in that respect. I

The amp sounds warm without being soft and has good woofer control. The Soundstage is good, but not nearly as good as the finest tube gear that I have ever heard (ARC & Beard).

I have experimented with different tubes and found that these can make a difference. RCA & Sylvania NOS Tubes are smoother, EI tubes have more bass.

These units retailed for just about $1000 new; but used they should be affordable.

Similar Products Used: NAD 3020a; a ton of mass market Receivers; Adcom and Rotel amp/preamp combinations; older Rosewood Series Luxman gear
OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
4
Fred Garvin   Audio Enthusiast [Sep 27, 2001]
Strength:

Harmonic accuracy. Realism. Warmth. CD Direct. Quality phono stage. Tube pre-heating mechanism.

Weakness:

Stock tubes aren't the greatest.

I am using this amp with a pair of vintage advents. Phono sounds amazing though this amp. For the price, this amp is perfect for someone who enjoys the sound of tubes with the low distortion power of solid state amplification. This unit is a bargin. I would suggest finding different tubes to smooth the sound or to enhance the overall bass response. I love this amp and it will suffice till I can afford more expensive audiophile gear.

Similar Products Used: none - unique in its nature
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Scott   Audio Enthusiast [Jan 27, 2002]
Strength:

Decent sound quality at lower volume

Weakness:

Tubes don't effect sound quality- there presense is superficial, low power output, constricted design in parts

I'm actually writing here about the original LV-103, not the 105. But the design characteristics carry over to the 105. The U versions are an improvement, but these Luxman units are poorly designed with cheap parts and constricted output. The preamp stage I'm told is worse in design then the output stage, so just using this thing as a preamp is not worth bothering since better stuff can be had by other companies. The tubes I've also been told make NO effect on the sound quality, so there presense is superficial for looks only. Only one part of the tube is even used. Now for my review on the 103:

I have had 3 60 watt high current amps in my life so far. The Lux is in the middle of the 3. I have the original LV-103 from 1985, not the "U" version from 1986-on. I have always wanted one of these units because of its tubes in the design and the smooth sound these amps had. I found this one on Ebay for $175 US. I wish I had the U version since it allowed pre-outputs for an external amp. The reason for this is the current output of this Lux is rather weak. It only puts out 8 amps of power and anything above the sound is quite distorted and falls apart. I'm currently trying to get a pre-output connection wired into my Luxman. I will then go back to a Rotel amp for the output stage. My setup includes B&W 602 series 2 speakers. I have noticed on music transient peaks this amp just sounds weak. My Rotel used to scare me when the woofer kicks out a bass peak especially on classical music. The Lux seems rather tame. Given my Denon wasn't much better, it did handle peaks better though. The problem with the Denon was sound wasn't as clean and highs were gritty. The Rotels have excellent current capability. Now as for the sound from the 103, it is very smooth which I'm wonder if the tubes are responsible for- but told they aren't. At lower volumes the quality of sound is quite good and very open. The soundstage is excellent as I can hear where the location of voices and instruments at low volume. When the volume is cranked, the sound stage falls apart though and sounds conjested. It still has the smoothness to it, just not as lively. The highs are clean with the Lux. There is some hiss to be heard from the unit when there is no sound playing. I'm told the tubes add noise and distortion to the signal which gives it that tube sound quality. I have looked into getting this unit upgraded with a few better parts installed. I looked into substituting the MOSFET transistors (since the one in this unit are no longer made) for BJT or Darlington transistors. One guy did sub to Darlingtons and had success in doing so. He said he rebiased the amp and it gave slightly better power output. But he did warn this may not always work. Others I have talked to said you cannot switch from one type of transistor (MOSFET) to another type (BJT, Darlington) as it will simply not work and destroy the amp. I also looked into replacing the old capacitors to a slit foil type or polypropeline types. Apparently modding this unit according to quite a few is futile since its design is the limiting factor. Apparently the parts quality isn't the greatest and the design itself makes this unit very hard to improve it meaning stuck with a poor amp. Well anyway I have yet to work out what I will do to the Lux. It would be better to just get the Conrad Johnson tube preamp and a decent power amp like a Bryston or such. Of course they cost bucks though. Tubes aren't cheap and it seems the Lux LV-103 and 105 were the cheapest units to offer tubes as far as I've seen. Of course the tubes in the Lux are only in the preamp stage acting as a buffer. It's hard to know if this is true or not that the tubes effect the sound quality. By design in the circuit path they don't. Apparently the Luxman units from the mid 80s-on were poorly designed pieces. Apparently the 103 is in this group. The sound is still quite good for average listening and its probably better then the sound coming from todays receivers for the money I spent ($175 US). The list price for the 103 in Canadian when I saw these things out was $1000. The 105 listed for $1200. So these things weren't cheap by any standards. Technology has surpassed however the performance of these units and you can buy better stuff out there now for the same money the 103 cost when new. Make note the LV-103 U was not offered in North America in 1988-89 according to the brochure I have. So the U versions may never have been released in North America. I do know the 103 I have is rare to find, as the 105s are more common- though still hard to find used. People seem to be holding onto these hybrid amps. Don't get me wrong- I do like the 103 however limited it is. I will be keeping it partially out of nostalgia and collecting units like these. When I upgrade to a Conrad Johnson preamp I will probably keep my Lux for a spare unit.

To sum up- clear smooth sound and great soundstage. Sound falls apart at higher levels and lacks current in producing peaks in music that impress the listener. Bass in this unit also seems weak, but is still there. Tubes don't effect sound quality. Keep in mind parts for these things are becoming hard to find to fix these things without chaging the design all together. I keep the preheat on on this unit. If they are turned off it does take a minute for the relays to kick in to tell the amp is ready for sound output as it warms up.

In all getting decent tube sound isn't cheap. I would stick with Rotel units if you want decent power and sound. Buying this thing used wasn't such a bad deal. I'm just picky.

Similar Products Used: Denon PMA-300, Rotel RC-980 with Rotel RB-970
OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
2
Michael Day   an Audio Enthusiast [Jun 11, 1999]

The Luxman LV-105u is a stereo integrated amplifier with 80 watts x 2, 0.25% THD (0.015% THD @ 1kHz), 0.03% IM Distortion. I purchased this unit about ten years ago to drive my Klipschorns. This integrated amplifier is unique in that it uses 1st stage input J-FETS, 2nd stage 6CG7A vacuum tubes and 3rd stage power MOSFETS in lieu of the typical all solid state circuit. There is a CD Straight switch which bypasses the input selectors, tape monitor, mode, tone controls, balance and signal processor switch to give the shortest direct path to the power amplifier. Since the amp uses vacuum tubes, a pre-heat mode may be switched on to retain quiescent operating conditions for the tubes, power output stages and other circuitry when the power switch is turned off. This eliminates turn on delay but does generate considerable heat (nice in the winter but a bummer during the summer).
Inputs include phone (selectable for moving magnet or moving coil cartridges), CD, external tuner, AV-1, AV-2, tape 1 and tape 2. AV-1 has audio and video outputs as well as inputs (AV-2 has audio and video inputs only). AV-2 can be switched to use the rear inputs or convenient front inputs (L, R, V). Both tape 1 and 2 have inputs and outputs. A signal processor switch directs the signals to an external equalizer or other signal processor if you feel so inclined. Unfortunately, pre-out/main in connections are not included. The front panel includes a headphone jack which is live at all times. Speaker switches located above the headphone jack control two sets of speaker connections on the rear panel. The speaker connections are well constructed binding posts with banana plug adapters. There are 3 switched and 3 unswitched AC outlet on the rear. The rear phono connections include a separate ground connection. There is also a video monitor output to feed your TV.

This is an excellent stereo amp. The dynamic range is noteworthy, noise is non-existent (96 dB S/N for all but phono, 90 dB for MM phono and 70 dB for MC phono). Frequency response is -3 dB 3.5 Hz to 300 kHz for audio, -1 dB 10 Hz to 6 MHz for video, and +-0.3 dB RIAA 20 Hz to 20 kHz for phono. The tone controls are +-5 dB at 100 Hz and 10 kHz. The sound has the warmth often lacking in solid state equipment thanks to the highly linear voltage swing of the vacuum tubes. Demanding music transients are no problem for the Luxman. Each channel has a 16,400 microF filter capacitor.

If home theater Dolby Pro-logic or AC-3 are not a requirement, this unit is a winner. The glow of the vacuum tubes behind a transparent section in the front of the amplifier makes this a conversation piece. After use with speakers ranging from Realistic mini speakers (used in the kitchen) to Klipsch KG2's (in the bedroom), Cornwalls (rear of living room) and Klipschorns (front of living room) I have been pleased with the versatility and sonic characteristics of this stereo amplifier.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
Tim Bjørn   Audiophile [Apr 29, 2000]
Strength:

Easy to listen to, cd straight function, warm sound.

Weakness:

do not except banana plugs, not very pretty in my oppinion.
The bass can be a bit sloppy,

I've had the amp for a week now, and i'm very positive about it. It sounds warm without sounding dark in any way, it has a fairly good soundstage, creamy mids soft but clear hights. The bass can be a bit sloppy but doesnt have to be.
If you experiment with some different tubes and find the right cables the bass can be pretty ok actually.
The Luxman is the kind of amp you can lisen too for hours without getting tired og the sound, thats a big step for me, compared with the much newer harman/kardon reiceiver i have which sounds cold and you get tired of listening to it very quickly. Its a charming amp with a likable sound but not absolutely completely fantastic, i'd say its a pretty good amp with some personalety unlike many other products, im satisfied for now.

Similar Products Used: Harman/Kardon receiver, denon amp.
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Showing 1-10 of 10  

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