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To Garrett Hongo,

I am looking into the Luxman D-380 CD player as a replacement for a vintage California Audio Labs Icon Mk II player. I will be using it with a Leben CS-600 amplifier and DeVore Fidelity Orangutan O/93 speakers. I am looking for a more organic and less harsh sound. My listening room is a tad on the bright side, so a sweeter sound is a must. I wonder if you have had any experience with the lower-priced Luxman CD players, as my wife is having a case of sticker shock.

From your review, it sounds like the D-380 is quite a gem in this digital audio world.

Thanks,
Mike
United States

Thanks for your question about the Luxman D-380. I loved its sound, frankly, and wished I could splurge on it for my own family-room system. Along with Lector and Ayon players, I’ve got a venerable California Audio Labs CL-15 there, so I’m familiar with the CAL house sound. It was, in fact, my first high-end piece. But I’d always heard the CAL Icon Mk II was extra special.

I also know the rest of your system pretty well—the Leben integrated and DeVore Orangutan speakers. Terrific setup!

My feeling, fairly strong, actually, is you’ll be extremely happy with the D-380, which will be a great match with the rest of your system. The style of this player will shine and its sound will really bloom with your Leben/DeVore gear.

When thinking about the D-380 for myself, I also researched a lower-priced player from Luxman, the D-N150—a compact, half-size unit. Much more “affordable,” it has the same transport as the D-380 but with a different DAC and no tube output. I anticipated that I might be disappointed in its sound by comparison to the D-380.

The D-N150 also lacks the D-380’s retro wooden case. I’d say the D-N150’s style is more “swanky utilitarian,” if you don’t mind the contradiction, and better suited for a desktop system. But the D-380, with its gorgeous walnut case, would look fabulous with your DeVore 0/93s (assuming they’re in walnut too), both echoing and accenting their cabinets.

If I had to choose one player for my family-room system, it would be the Luxman D-380. Basically, I’d go for it if I were you, man. . . . Garrett Hongo