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Luxman’s D-03X is a CD player and a DAC

  • CDs or streaming? Streaming or CDs If you’ve been slow to make the shift from CDs to streaming audio – or if you’re already a streamer but find yourself wanting to pull your CD collection out of storage – you might wish to give Luxman’s latest product more than a second look. The D-03X is a CD player that permits access to its internal D/A converter via three digital inputs.

    We can feed the D-03X’s dual-mono configured TI PCM1975 chips with a CD but going USB pulls hi-res audio into the picture: up to 32bit/384kHz for PCM and DSD256. Just connect a PC, Mac or network streamer and you’re off to the races. If your network streamer has only S/PDIF outputs, the Luxman D-03X’s TOSLINK and coaxial input are there to keep you on the streaming field.

    On the CD mechanism, Luxman says: The D-03X incorporates a unique Luxman customized CD transport, which is mounted on an extremely thick aluminium base and protected with a steel top plate.Β  The result is a highly rigid enclosure, which negates even the slightest vibrations and resonance. Luxman’s asymmetric chassis layout places the CD transport at the left, to further reduce vibration and promote ideal signal flow.”

    Concerned about MQA support? Luxman has you covered on all bases. MQA is supported by all of the D-03X’s digital inputs, including MQA CDs.

    Those more attuned to streaming’s finer points might be enticed by the Luxman player’s more advanced USB tech: as well as accommodating digital audio data transfer via the isochronous mode, used by 99.9% of the world’s DACs and with which no error correction takes place, the D-03X USB receiver also offers Bulk PET (Pure Enhanced Technology) mode that appears to offer date transfer akin to a USB drive or print job for which CRC error correction is engaged. Luxman asserts that their Bulk PET mode “optimizes data packaging and delivery to the DAC, easing the processing load for both the host CPU and the device CPU. This, in turn, reduces the workload between reading and reproduction, thus enhancing playback stability and ultimately yielding improved sound quality. Here we assume that the data is buffered before being handed off to the DAC chips for conversion to analogue.

    On outputs, we note two digital (coaxial and TOSLINK) and two analogue: single-ended RCA (gold plated) and balanced XLR (Neutrik) sockets where, according to Luxman, each DAC chip’s differential outputs feed a pair of current-to-voltage conversion amplifiers to complete the dual-mono circuit layout.

    Under the hood, the Luxman player’s power supply is fed by an oversized transformer and sports independent filter capacitors for each circuit section: digital and analogue.

    The D-03X carries a ‘fine blasted white finish’ and its vacuum fluorescent display can be enlarged to be more easily read from across the room when using the supplied aluminium remote wand.

    Shipping of the D-03X has already begun in the US of A where it is selling for US$3295.

    CD or streaming? Yes.

    Further information: Luxman

    Written by John Darko

    John currently lives in Berlin where he creates videos and podcasts for Darko.Audio. He has previously contributed to 6moons, TONEAudio, AudioStream and Stereophile.

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