Luxman D03X vs D10X


I have been seriously contemplating moving from Luxman D03X to Luxman D10X.. But before I do such a thing, I'd like to do thorough research and any help or advice from someone who have owned these or not, would be great. Here are some spec details. The D03X uses Texas Instruments PCM1795 DA chips with SNR of 123db and a sample max rate of 200Khz resolution of 32bits. The D10X employs ROHMs BD34301EKV DA chips with SNR of 130db and a sample maxx rate of 768Khz and resolution of 32bits. How much of audible difference would these make? also the D10X support SACD decoding.. thanks in advance..


Personally, I would buy an Esoteric. My Esoteric uses the TI/burr Brown pcm1704 r to r ladder dac. It is such an analog sounding player. 

@stereo5 thanks for the response.. Rest of my gear is all Luxman, and would like to keep to that. Are you referring to Esoteric Grandioso K1X? 


I do not know what their latest and greatest is.  The VRDS NEO transport is one of the absolute best in the business and many high end manufacturers buy the Esoteric transport for their own machines.

I have the Luxman D10x and it’s the best digital playback I’ve ever heard.

It’s natural, neutral, and detailed like I’ve never heard from a source before. Directly against the Marantz SA-10 and the Lumin X1 it’s better sounding in those categories and overall enjoyment. I’ve had the same experience with the usb input on the player as well as with disc playback.

If you’ve ever played with digital filter selection on players and listened to the trade offs of each filter in terms of bass definition, full-sounding bass, warmth, forwardness, brightness, or focus/clarity/apparent resolution of the high frequencies, I describe listening to the Luxman as having none of those tradeoffs. It’s as if there is no filter and I am hearing everything on my discs with clarity for the first time. In old discs from the 80’s I hear details and punch I never before heard and didn’t think was there.

I was considering the two top Esoteric players as well but wanted to avoid considering external clocks, power supplies, or filter selection for best sound. I figured that if the Luxman didn’t float my boat, I would try Esoteric but having owned the Luxman for 6 months I have no desire to try the Esoteric at this time.


I also have the D10X, and like rnrmf1971 I will keep it for the rest of my lifetime.

@rnrmf1971 @rpeluso thank you both..  Any first hand experience like that is so helpful. Could you both detail what is the rest of your gear are? I am typing this with a little nervous twitch and a hastened breath, as I nudge towards making the decision to swap out the D03X. I'll be calling my dealer this coming week. I felt the same jitters when I decided to swap out the Mcintosh 462 with the Luxman M10X. I can say, I have never been more happier having done that. The C900 preamp to replace the Mcintosh C53 was a easy decision. I am waiting on that unit to be delivered in June. But I had brought a demo unit from the dealer and I can't wait to get the one ordered.. Thanks again!!

I have a Constellation Audio Integrated coupled with the wonderful Perlisten S7t loudspeakers; also have a nice TT, but rarely use it.  I have a big open room and the music that is played here fills the space, no head-width sweet spot, its great in most places.  I bought all of these pieces other than the TT in the last 3-4 months, but have been buying great audio for more than 20 years.  I have two other systems set up, and enough to make a 4th, but this is the one I turn to when I want to revel in great music.  I have other Luxman players, including a D-06 and a D-05u, both are great, but this new one is a step up.  

@rpeluso Thanks for sharing.. I can only imaging how incredible your system must sound. it's funny, all the upgrades that I had been doing is in the last 6 -8 months are so.. Not sure what flipped in me, been on a tear and have to admit, it's a little frightening.. But I am enjoying doing the upgrade and fortunate to find a dealer for Luxman close to where I live. And they have been incredible in letting me take home gear to try them before I buy it. On the D10X, they do not have any on demo, but have them in stock. So I have to be serious if I decide to purchase it. I am driving Magico A3's that I got in the last few months and they pair well with the M10X. I also had a pair of Veracity STs recently built by Salk and delivered. Perlisten S7t look so intimidating :) and the Constellation Audio all I can say is, Wow!! I have decided not to go the TT route.. I have had my share of TT and Vinyl when I was a lot younger.. I would never say never.. For sometime now, since losing my parents in the recent past, I have started to feel, investing in something that I had been passionate as early as my teen years.. and appreciate it, for a  hopefully reasonable life of good health.. 

Check out Steve Guttenberg's review of the Luxman D10X. He said it was the best unit he had ever heard with the best DAC extant. 

Whether this the gospel truth or not I cannot say. But, Luxman are my favorite CD\SACD players today.


I‘m also looking for a new DAC for my Luxman 590axii and my Harbeth 7ES3XD. Wanted to go with the D-03x but will go without CD now. Narrowed my choices down to

Denafrips Pontus II

Boarder Patrol SEi

Audiomirror Toubadour III

Which one would you choose?


I have the D10x as well. It’s a very good DAC but It’s USB input is not very good. It is a DAC that really benefits from a reclocker or upscaller. Feeding that DAC directly through USB input does not do it justice in my opinion. While the coaxial sounds better, you cannot stream more than 192kHz sample rate and DSD is not supported. Other than weak USB implementation, D10x sounds as good as some $20K DACs I have heard.

@arize84 thank you for your input.. This feedback really helps. I'd be using the USB input a bunch.. So that's good to know this might not be the right upgrade path. I am still waiting on the C900U to be shipped in June.. 

@rman9 Don't let my comment dissuade you; you just need to add a reclocker to your budget, I use a Chinese one (Singxer Su-6) that is actually very good (reference level good) and you can get it new for $600. Alternatively if you have a high quality streamer with coaxial out, you can just use that with the limitations I mentioned. I recently bought a Chord M Scaller to see how that will work with the Luxman (I will report back on performance after I get it).

Another downside that I forgot to mention is that the Luxman doesn't not support Blu Ray or DVD Audio; something I really didn't care about, but in retrospect wish it has that functionality. There are many great studio and concert albums that were released in bluray/dvd that I can't play on the Luxman but can play on a $200 dvd player.

@arize84 I have a Lumin U1 mini streamer, unfortunately it doesn't support all streaming services like Amazon HD.. How high of a bit rate do you push into the USB port of the D10X? Is it less than what it is for D03X? Please do keep me posted when you get the Chord.. 

My dealer also carries the Audio Research high end CD9SE player, but doesn't play SACD's. It looks so ungainly.. Like the engineers fell asleep as they were building it :) Some of the comparisons on the web between the AR and The D10X, say the AR is more musical.. 

I have the Panasonic DP UB9000, I didn't have a clue there is the blu-ray and DVD audio format music. You just opened up a whole new dimension for me.. Thanks much :)



In my auditions, I found the ARC CD9 slightly more musical than the D-03x. Very subtle in presentation and sound. To date I have not auditioned the CD9SE nor D-10x.  At this level of price and performance, it is a matter of taste. It is too bad that ARC never delved into SACD playback.


Happy Listening!

@jafant agree on ARC not supporting SACD.. Otherwise it'd be an easy choice.. They can work little bit on the aesthetics.. I find the handles very unappealing.. 

The CDS9E has tubes and it runs real hot..

I tried the Chord M Scaller going into the D10x. I was disappointed. I preferred what I was getting from my Singxer SU-6 reclocker. The Chord was a tad warmer, resolution and sound stage was the same between the 2. Tonal density and liquidity is where the Singxer outclassed the Chord. I'm returning the Mscaller tomorrow. I will note that I used a $5 adapter on the BNC output of the mscaller to convert it to an RCA connection in order to use my existing coaxial cable. I don't think the adapter would make a huge difference but who knows.

@arize84 thanks for the update on the Chord.. it's hard to tell if adapters would degrade the signal, but you'd have to trust your ears. I have decided to stay put on the D03X.. I am sticking with it.. I brought home the Luxman 509X and 550AXii for side by side demo.. No question in my mind, the 550AXii is the clear winner. I am getting that instead of bumping the D03X to the D10X. This way I have the Luxman Integrated(550AXii) and Separates (D03X, C900U and M10X) to listen to.. 



An update- how are you enjoying the Luxman D-03x?


Happy Listening!

Hi @jafant 

 I decided to stick with the D03X.

I am not listening to CDs as much as I am streaming through Qobuz.

I have made some significant add on and upgrades to my system. I have the T+A PA 3100HV now, let go of the Luxman 595ASE and Rogers High Fidelity tube integrated, also I upgraded from the Magico A3 to A5s. And last not but least, I have added the T+A DAC 200 after auditioning that and the Mola Mola Tambaqui..

The T+A 3100HV with the A5 is incredible. I still have the Luxman C900U/M10X and Luxman 550AXii. I love the Luxman line.. 



Thank You for the update. At its price-point on demo/used, the D-03x, cannot be beaten. Enjoy the Music.


Happy Listening!

@rman9 sorry to go off topic a bit but going from your statement of recently choosing the T+A DAC200 over the Mola Mola Tambaqui, could you go into any details about that decision? Those are two DACs that have risen to the top of my list. What were the main differences you heard and what was it for you personally that led to choosing the DAC200? Any comments will probably help, 

@jriggy I had the Tambaqui for three days, exquisite build and beautiful tonality. the issue that I had was I had to crank up the volume on it to the max to get all the details. The T+A DAC 200 on the other hand, is equally good in sonics and even at -20 and goes up to 0, it paired so nicely with the T+A PA3100HV and also with the Luxman C900U. The bass punch on the DAC 200 is more commanding and with symphonies, I felt the Tambaqui was a little subdued. Again, it's all with my system, Maybe the Tambaqui would be perfect with a different setup. And I enjoy being able to select the different filters and having more output selection, it made it easier to pick the DAC 200.. Please let me know, if you need any more specifics.. 

@rman9  I'm finding out the invert phase button is quite useful. I'm using it on about half my discs. Fills in the center image. Makes the stage seem more solid, with no loss in transparency.



How is the D-03x settling into your System?


Happy Listening!


Very nicely!

It sounds wonderful.

Love the "Invert Phase" button. Try it on every song. About half of the songs I've listened to sound better with it engaged.

Thank you for asking.

Many CD was mastered out of the absolute phase, which is why some sound thin, flat, and lacking bass and dynamics. I’ve never purchased a preamp without the ability to invert phase, even some preamps and amps do not match in the same phase using XLR’s some designs use pin 2 - others pin + and some preamps send the signal out of phase even with RCA only outputs. In my current preamp I can hit the phase button and within seconds know which is proper, the other night 5 CDs in a row needed the phase reversed, and Vinyl suffers also, there was a great book written years ago called the wood effect and it was all about the negative impact of your system not being in proper phase and recordings. As far as CD players go, I always stick with a company that builds them from the ground up, every OEM builder and they are audiophile names I’ve had issues with. Marantz, Esoteric, and Luxman reference gear is superb, I’ve owned 3 Esoterics, 2 Luxman’s, 2 Marantz, and 4 Sony’s and they are still in use today from owners who purchased them from me. The early Sony’s like 707ES, XA707ES, and others were working 20 years later and never had an OEM design meaning parts used from various sources and the name put on the unit, The list is many if they are not from Japan, and a company like Playback Design, Meitner, a just a few others. This is not to say others cannot have issues they can of course, but nothing like one build piece mill OEM parts. I still buy well-recorded CDs and I grew up on vinyl. Don’t miss it at all, but I did like the artwork on the large covers, I miss that. I have 1,200 CDs and Boxsets and all sound good to really good, and that is a better ratio than the vast LP collection I had till I sold them in the early 90s. Then I never looked back, and today many of my recordings will never be on LP. If you got a phase button you are so blessed so use it to check every recording, your ear will learn when is correct, imaging will become more solid between the speakers, bass will have more impact and vocal will have more body. Some recordings are truly night and day better.



Excellent. Good to read that you like the Luxman.


Happy Listening!


Exactly my findings! Center fill, bass, vocals all improved when phase is corrected.



I hope that you continue to enjoy your D-03x this Fall. Question: if using the USB input/output, which type of Cable Type A to Type B? Or, one of the other configurations?


Happy Listening!



Same question: is the correct USB cable Type A to Type B? Did you upgrade to a D-10x Reference Player?


Happy Listening!

If someone already has a D03x and is looking to move up the luxman chain, I would recommend cross-shopping with something like the TAD D1000/mk2 in a similar price bracket. Brands like Luxman try to implement/retain a certain type of house sound as you go up the chain and your "upgrade" is not going to be all that different from what you already have. With a TAD, you could add another different/unique sonic flavor (especially if you are going to keep the D03x/not sell it..i mean..don't sell it).


I am not using the USB input/output.

I only listen to CDs.

The Invert Phase button is very useful!

Happy listening!


Not only do I use the Invert Phase button on every disc, I use it at the beginning of every song. Even on the  same album some songs require it, some don't. I can tell usually within a few seconds if it's needed or not.

I can't imagine life without it now that I've heard the difference it makes.