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Luxman P-200 Headphone Amplifier

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
After a long wait, I finally received my Luxman P-200 Headphone Amplifier from TTVJ. And despite promising myself that I would not listen to it at all until a proper burn in period, the truth is that like a lot of folks on this site, I just couldn't resist a peek, fully aware that I might be initially disappointed. But to my surprise and relief, the P-200 sounded incredible right out of the box and I’ve become literally addicted to it.

Before getting into how it sounds, I should mention though that the pictures from Luxman's website don't do the P-200 justice, for it is truly a beauty to look at. And it has nothing of that well known do-it-yourself look, quite the opposite, with a beautiful matte finish and a substantial weight in relation to its size. It should be noted also that the AC inlet on the back of the unit is two pronged, and I have yet to contact the distributor to find out if the use of an aftermarket power cords is advisable.

In my setup, it is being fed directly from the RCAs of a Sony SCD-XA5400ES SACD player via Cardas Cross Interconnects, while the headphones are Audio-Technica ATH-ESW10JPN and Denon AH-D7000.

The music diet consisted mostly of assorted Telarc, Channel Classics and Pentatone Super Audio CDs, all DSD recorded. Actually, I'm a bit amazed at the lack of awareness on this site about the SACD format, which IMHO trumps even the most expensive Transport/DAC combo playing Red Book CDs. Anyway, disc after disc, the impact of the soundstage and the dynamic range were miles above what my old and reliable Creek OBH-21SE could offer. Mind you though, that at least in the US, the Luxman is thrice as expensive as the Creek, although in my personal scale, it offers twenty times more resolving and involving power.

Since I got the P-200, it has been logging hour after hour of playing time and to paraphrase the Beatles, it's getting better all the time. Listening to Telarc's SACD of Paavo Jarvi conducting the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra on a program of Britten and Elgar, has been a revelatory experience. I can hear minute details now that simply weren't there before. The plucking of the double-basses strings on Britten's "The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra" is simply stunning as are the percussion solos in the same piece. And for those bass freaks out there, fear not for while the P-200 does go quite deep, it does so with absolute precision. You will not find sloppy bass reproduction here.

Channel Classics' beautiful edition of Bach's B Minor Mass is another SACD that benefited greatly from the P-200's imaging, revealing entirely new layers to the recording. The placement as well as the space around the performers became much more precise and vivid. The soundstage and depth expanded way beyond my head, to the point that it felt like a surround-like simulation.

For the sake of diversity, the last disc I heard just before posting this was Mobile Fidelity's re-mastering of Yes' Fragile. Mind you that it felt a bit dated both musically and sonically the last time I played it, in spite of MoFi's incredible transfer, which actually improves on the original. But again, through the P-200, I was finally able to listen beyond Jon Anderson's silly lyrics and instead just enjoy his amazing vocal range, as well as Steve Howe's guitar work and the rest of the gang’s ensemble playing.

If there’s a conclusion to be made here it is simply that the Luxman P-200 will not interfere with your music. It will neither paint it with an artificial tube glow, nor will it chill it with a solid-state glare. It will not mask it, make it better or worse. But with great recordings, it has an amazing ability to reveal more of what’s there. And for me, that’s just what the doctor ordered.
post #2 of 12
Congratulations on the P-200! Glad to hear you're enjoying it.
post #3 of 12
Hi and welcome Arnaldo. Luxman makes fantastic gear, as you've discovered. SACDs are known here, but since there's a large contingent of people who like to use their computer as their music source, much of the desire for a better quality recording pushes people in the direction of vinyl, if not 24/96 downloads.
post #4 of 12
Thread Starter 
Luxman's distributor in the US (On a Higher Note) sent the reply below regarding the use of aftermarket power cables with the P-200. As stated in the review, the P-200 has a 2 prong AC inlet.

"You are free to use both the 2 & 3 prong cables; be mindful that if the source is plugged into a different outlet from the amp, you develop a ground hum."
post #5 of 12
Thanks for the review, Arnaldo.

Anyone else heard the P-200?
post #6 of 12

Luxman P-200 is indeed a great headphone amp, even with the price

however, in amazon.co,jp, that P-200 is sold with the price equivalent to around $1,000 which is 30% cheaper comparing to US distributor.

i wonder if that japanese P-200 can use the same voltage as in US?

post #7 of 12

Thanks for the review...it was well done. 

 

Does the P-200 have a low/high impedance setting? 

 

If not, is the gain low enough to use with low impedance headphones or IEMs?  (i.e. can you turn the volume up fairly high -- say past 11:00 or 12:00 -- with your Denon D7000s?)

 

I e-mailed Todd with this question but he didn't respond.

 

post #8 of 12

Great review thanks

P-200 is a good amplifier.

post #9 of 12

Yes i would have to agree with your review of the Luxman P-200,

I have listened to many tube amps and solid state headphone amplifiers

and would have to say this unit has a very special quality indeed.

I have compared it to the later P-1u Luxman unit side by side with

the Sennheiser hd800 headphones and after an extensive break in

period with the P1u, i wrote down my conclusion,

The P-200 has a natural easy listening sound with a black background

that draws you in to well recorded material,

and has that special smooth silky bass, and treble that really stands out

on drum kits, and is sadly lacking on most headphone amps, I;ve listened

too.

The P-1u sounded very fast with instruments, that initialy suprised me

and kept me listening, but unfortunately lacked that smooth warm sound

that gives music that special characteristic with vocals,

it also i thought it had a bloated mid to high end frequency range,

which on first listen would i think get most ears excited.

 

I can only conclude that simple circuitry wins the day

for me, my initial thoughts with the P-200 was"I dont think

it could get much better than this" and would have to say

this has not changed !

post #10 of 12

Hi Arnaldo, thanks for the very informative review.

 

I am currently using a Luxman DA-200 DAC w/ headphone amplifier.  I use Sennheiser HD800's which I had been driving with the highly rated Violectric HPA V200.  Until I got the Luxman, all of the traits that people use to criticise the HD800s were apparent to me, but I put up with all of those things because everything else about that headphone is just so good.  Enter the Luxman, and I am just blown over by it.  The Sennheisers sound absolutely wonderful being driven by the Luxman.  It has bass to die for, and when have you ever heard that said about the HD800's?   Is it the DAC or amplifier, I don't know.  I suspect it's the amplifier, but whatever it is the HD800's sound stunning; way better than the Violectric, and I mean way, way better.

 

That brought a problem though.  This week I saw a Luxman P1-u headphone amplifier for sale: used, 2 weeks old and going for $2k.  So I bought it (it's in the post, so I still haven't got it).  The consolation however is that I bought believing that I will have one of the finest pieces of headphone gear you can buy, and that should stave off 'upgraditis' for a long, long time to come.

 

I'm interested in Jonn1000's observations, but assuming that Luxman has a 'house sound', then I should be okay (Please, I hope so....).  I've never heard the P-200, nor am I likely to, but would be pleased to post my impressions of the P1-u vs DA-200.

 

For a DAC, I also have the Chord QuteHD which I intend pairing with the P1-u, but using the two Luxmans in tandem will be something I look forward to trying, though I don't intend that to be my final setup.

 

Not interfering with the music is how you summarised the sound of your amplifier.  With my Luxman I only hear the music, and it sounds great.  Thas to be the stopping off point for hifi.  I'll need to find a new hobby now!

 

Good luck with your Luxman, and thanks to you and the other posters in this post.

 

Regards,

 

Bob

 

My Luxman DA-200 had me revisiting my headphones and all of my music, and I can listen for hours on end without tiring

post #11 of 12

Hi 24 bitbob,

how is the P1u coming along,

hope your enjoying it very much,

I have posted a further article

about the P-700u amp recently

you may be intrested

cheers

post #12 of 12

Any other Luxman p-200 owners?

I can only agree that with great recordings it runs senn HD800, HD650 and Denon D7100 great.

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