“The Luxman DA-06 is a damn fine-sounding D/A converter with virtually all music: insightful, explicit, substantial, colorful, and as consistently analog-like a digital product as I have heard. That it is also attractive, easy to use, and made by a corporation that will turn 90 next year tips the balance toward an enthusiastic recommendation.”
– Art Dudley, Stereophile
Advancing the state of the art
Luxman introduced their first standalone digital analog converter back in 1987 – the DA-07 weighed in at 60 lb. Included in its massive construction were:
OFC epoxy boards, 70µ OFC tracks, 11 separate regulations, two large toroidal transformers, two-chassis-rolled-into-one holding a 10-compartment structure for absolute isolation (Luxman to this day, still use loopless chasis construction), 18mm front plate, six digital inputs, two digital outputs, three analog outputs, highly rigid composite chassis base, copper-plated, custom components through-out, not to mention pure Class A throughout.
Given that the DA-07 had no low-pass filter or digital filter, and was based on interpolation theories to achieve its extended goal, it’s not surprising that it (along with the matching CD transport, the DP-07) won Stereo Sound (Japan) Grand Prix award for best cost no object digital playback.
Fast forward to 2013 and Luxman lent On A Higher Note a prototype DA-06 for use during CES in Las Vegas. Playing DSD files sourced from both SACD and vinyl, (using a Brinkmann Balance turntable) and playing the files from an Apple Mac mini computer, the results were nothing short of spectacular.
Advancing the state of the art, the Luxman DA-06 can handle up to 24/192 though its AES and S/PDIF inputs, and up to 2x DSD via USB and there are user-selectable filters for both PCM and DSD.
The arch-enemy of data playback is jitter (noise generated by timing errors) – the fluctuation of the signal. By use of a dedicated transformer to cancel the common mode noise from the USB terminal, the Luxman DA-06 utilizes asynchronous transmission by DSP (Digital Signal Processing). In addition an internal DAIR (Digital Audio Interface Receiver) helps reduce the jitter by asynchronous processing of the S/PDIF input. Finally, it is equipped with low phase noise clock modules.
Digital inputs are upsampled and processed at 32/384 and there are USB, SPDIF, AES/EBU and Toslink inputs on the back. DSD files played back on the Luxman DA-06 have a musicality and fluidity that I have not heard from digital playback ever before.
Both PCM upsampled up to 32/384 and native DSD 2.82/5.64 MHz are handled by the Texas Instruments TAS3152 chipset.
In the digital section with as much as 132 dB (theoretical value) of tremendous dynamic range, Burr-Brown’s PCM1792A is a monolithic CMOS integrated circuit that includes stereo digital-to-analog converters and support circuitry that uses TI’s advanced segment DAC architecture to achieve excellent dynamic performance and improved tolerance to clock jitter. It also supports both multi-bit and single-bit processing.
DSD files are currently transferred using the DSD Over PCM (DoP) Spec. with USB.
DSD files from the MAC will currently (Jan. 2013) be converted to DXD (352.8 kHz PCM) while an ASIO driver is supplied for use with Windows playback programs such as Foobar which will allow native DSD (1 bit) playback.
1-bit @ 2.8224 MHz, 5.6448 MHz (when used with an ASIO 2.1 DSD driver) over USB.
16, 20 & 24-bit @ 32 kHz, 44.1 kHz, 48 kHz, 88.2 kHz, 96 kHz, 176.4 kHz, 192 kHz (when used with a PCM driver)
WINDOWS XP (SP2 or later,) WINDOWS Vista, WINDOWS 7, Mac OSX 10.6 or later. WINDOWS OS needs to be installed with attached driver.
Up to 192kHz (24 bit) for SPDIF – 2 x TOSLINK, 2 x COAXIAL (RCA), 1 x AES/EBU and up to 192kHz (24 bit) & 2.8223 MHZ and 5.6448 MHz (1 bit) over USB.
High Performance Digital Analog Converter
High grade DAC chip corresponding 192kHz made by the established Burr Brown is used. All input terminals accept up to 192kHz/24bit for digital input. Ensures low jitter by mounting a dedicated clock in D/A.
Powerful Power Supply
The key of the sound quality for audio products is the power. Luxman designed a full-scale power supply ignoring cost. Uses power circuits with large leeway by using a high-capacity power transformer and two x 10,000 uF main filter capacitors. Provides realistic music reproduction by solid sound structure with energy on each particles of the sound.
The differential output of the DA converter at the monaural mode is provided into the high sound quality buffer circuit that has thoroughly balance configuration (identically configured amplifier x 4 units), and drives the amplifier on the next stage vigorously with low impedance.
Stable and high inertial power is supplied from the audio-specific power transformer to each circuit through the regulator and block capacitor with large capacity allocated for each circuit.
Balanced (XLR) and single ended (RCA)
Digital Audio Outputs: Balanced output is equipped as standard in addition to single ended (RCA). Perfect for usage as high-end DA converter.
Digital output terminal (SPDIF) on the back panel corresponds with sampling rate converter and can be used as an upsampling converter. It can also be used as DD converter that converts USB input to SPDIF.
This system has a complex structure consisting of a loopless chassis to eliminate increased ground impedance and the effect of electromagnetic fields caused by chassis current and a shielded chassis to block digital noise. The non-magnetic, nickel AC inlet has been gold-plated to assist in providing clean AC. High quality 18mm pitch gold-plated RCA terminals as well as high-grade Neutrik XLR terminals allow even high-performance, long cable runs to be utilized without any sonic degradation.. The cast-iron gradation feet are provided to protect tiny delicate sound signals from unwanted mechanical vibration.
High Frequency Attenuation, improves signal to noise ratio
Low Latency (Richer tone, more musical)
High Frequency Attenuation, improves signal to noise ratio