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  #1  
Old 07-15-2011, 07:36 PM
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Question Luxman upon Alpine acquisition -- junk?

I've seen a number of people say that when Luxman was acquired by Alpine, the brand rather quickly slipped in quality and design. But then, weren't the well respected R-11x series receivers made after the acquisition? Alpine apparently held onto the brand up until the early 2000's, so it was a good long 15 years of ownership.

I'm just wondering if there was a certain period where Alpine had not yet contaminated the brand too much. I understand the acquisition took place in 1984, so certainly anything released in the mid 1980's had probably been on the drawing board before then. What models or years of Luxman/Alpine gear should be avoided?
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Old 07-15-2011, 09:14 PM
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My meager experience with that era of Luxman is this: the LX-104 integrated amp is nothing special, but the R-115/117 is. The LX-104 had some interesting design touches, such as input switching relays, but the sound quality and overall design really weren't worth doing backflips over. But the R-115 that I have is simply a fantastic piece of work, with excellent sound.
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Old 07-15-2011, 11:35 PM
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I feel that as long as you stay away from the gimmicky cheaper stuff, the quality and reliability will be good.
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Old 07-16-2011, 09:42 AM
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They named that 'Arrested Development' show after me, as I initially thought that 'separates' were too much trouble ; but I did do one or two things 'right'. One of them was buying an R-117 brand new in 1991 and enjoying it's near perfection until 2009, when I sold it prior to 'de-immigrating' from Canada [great place to have lived/brought up my kids!]. The buyer emailed me, just before I left, to extol it's virtues; and mention that he was then going to seek another one

We ['us lot'] earlier discussed the above referenced pieces here:

http://www.audiokarma.org/forums/sho...d.php?t=147924

And these guys seemed to like it too:

http://www.audioreview.com/cat/ampli...x.aspx#reviews

I have heard 'bad' things about life after the Alpine 'takeover'; but my experience is tres positive.

Cheers, Dave
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Old 07-16-2011, 12:40 PM
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I worked at Garland Audio in San Jose, CA, for most of the period from 1977 to 1980 and thus left about four years before Alpine acquired Luxman. Lux receivers, particularly the 1050 and 1070, were our "entry-level" product, and I loved store and in-home demo'ing the rated 55-wpc 1050 against customers' higher-rated-powered integrateds, where the Luxman consistently punched well above its class and demonstrated the worth of paying attention to power supply design and execution.

I moved on to other business pursuits after that, but auditioning Luxmans in various stores in the mid-to-late '80's (i.e., after the Alpine acquisition) was a letdown, leaving me with the impression that there was nothing special to distinguish them from their mass-market competition. Not "junk," just ordinary.
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Old 07-16-2011, 12:49 PM
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Alpine owned Luxman still turned out a very good product.

It's just this-

The pre-Alpine Luxman wasn't good. It was great.

So, while Alpine owned Luxman is far from junk, it's not the level of premium product that it was prior to this change of ownership.
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Old 07-16-2011, 01:02 PM
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I think the company's priorities changed. Some of the Alp/Lux products seem to be more "gimmicky" than simply based on sound engineering. In fact, the more simple the product, the better it is. The R-115 that I have is simple, has no "frills" per se, just excellent performance. The R-117 is legendary, as is the rest of the 117 series.
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Old 07-16-2011, 01:15 PM
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The R-117 may not have the classy looks of earlier Luxmans but that is all it is lacking.
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Old 07-16-2011, 01:23 PM
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I personally don't see the point in acquiring Alpine Luxman when 'real' Luxman can be had. Unless one of the R-117s falls in your lap- as that seems to be an almost universally loved product regardless of its lineage.
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Old 07-16-2011, 01:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnVF View Post
I personally don't see the point in acquiring Alpine Luxman when 'real' Luxman can be had. Unless one of the R-117s falls in your lap- as that seems to be an almost universally loved product regardless of its lineage.
There is nothing wrong with Alpine-Luxman products at all. Just because it is not the best - it means it doesn't cost an arm and a leg like the Luxman alone products. For me that is a bargain in the making.
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Old 07-16-2011, 01:31 PM
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Or R-115, as it is nearly identical. And mine did nearly fall into my lap. Other than that, I agree with John.
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  #12  
Old 07-16-2011, 01:40 PM
JohnVF JohnVF is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by botrytis View Post
There is nothing wrong with Alpine-Luxman products at all. Just because it is not the best - it means it doesn't cost an arm and a leg like the Luxman alone products. For me that is a bargain in the making.
I'm just of the opinion now, after spending a few years in the 'buy what finds me' camp, that a better route to audio happiness is to save more, buy fewer things, and make them better things. I don't think there's anything wrong with Alpine Luxman. I just think they were better before, and after, Alpine owned the name.
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Old 07-16-2011, 03:53 PM
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I picked up a R-114 (50wpc, 1990) recently, based on feedback from other AKers. You sure couldn't tell by its appearance or weight, but in my opinion it has a very nice sound, not to mention pretty darn sensitive FM tuner.

It sounds a bit bright with EPI 100 speakers but just right with Paradigm 5SE MkII - somehow, rich and detailed at the same time.

I did notice on the rear it says: "A or B - Speakers 8 - 16 Ohms" "A and B - Speakers 16 Ohm minimum". 'Not exactly a high current design. That said, 1/2 volume on the Paradigms is quite loud and still relatively clean.

I'd love to hear a "real" Luxman someday!
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Old 07-17-2011, 01:53 AM
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Exactly when is the Alpine -Luxman era?
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Old 07-17-2011, 02:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by superdog View Post
Exactly when is the Alpine -Luxman era?
Starting around '84 I think, until they stopped using the name. It was sold again then Luxman came back, privately owned, around 2000. IIRC.
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