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.