Luxman's flagship preamp promises sonic quality and massively reduced distortion at a whopping price

Luxman C-10X preamp slight side-on white background
(Image credit: Luxman)

Hot on the heels of its recently announced PD-191A premium turntable, Luxman is back with another new model: the flagship C-10X preamplifier. Designed to fill the shoes of 2013's Luxman C-900u, the C-10X looks to "achieve the overwhelming audio quality" upon which the Japanese company has forged a strong reputation.  

Quality components are plentiful. The new preamp comes with Luxman's bespoke feedback engine, first used in the M-10X power amp, as well as four balanced preamp blocks, an electronically controlled attenuator and a built-in damping mechanism. 

This should all, it's claimed, mean serious sonic gains. Luxman's feedback reduction tech aims to achieve superb static characteristics without noise feeding back into the main amp, diminishing distortion in the process. Dubbed "LIFES", the new engine promises "more realistic, fresh, rich musicality and overwhelming audio performance". 

To support the amplification and the full nuances of the music signal, bespoke control elements and improvements to the voltage circuitry promise a more stable performance. A new power supply also claims to resist load fluctuations. The preamp's design also uses multiple current circuits and transistors for each channel to reduce the effects of the changes to the ambient temperature and the power supply voltage.

Luxman C-10X preamp internal circuitry side-on shot

(Image credit: Luxman)

Around the back, the new preamp features 3x unbalanced and 3x balanced inputs plus 2x unbalanced and 2x unbalanced outputs, as well as a trigger input/output terminal and a control input/out terminal to make it easier to integrate into a custom install situation. There's also an external pre-input which could be used as part of a home cinema setup. 

As part of Luxman's volume control system, the C-10X combines a precision encoder with a new rotation mechanism for further increasing reliability and delivering a more natural, musical feel. As is essential in a decent preamp, the volume control attunes the voltage while maintaining the input's quality to output audio at a suitable level. 

Design-wise, the C-10X follows on from the M-10X and D-10X models, boasting large slanted sides and plenty of contrast between the thick front panel and the main chassis. The unit's display offers various modes, zoom and dimmer functions, and there's a dedicated aluminium remote control if you don't fancy getting up close and personal.

Tempted? Better start saving. The Luxman C-10X preamplifier is available to order now for a retail price of £16,000.


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Harry McKerrell
Staff writer

Harry McKerrell is a staff writer at What Hi-Fi?. He studied law and history at university before working as a freelance journalist covering TV and gaming for numerous platforms both online and in print. When not at work he can be found playing hockey, practising the piano or forcing himself to go long-distance running.