Luxman L505u . . . why not?

I'm getting close to pulling the trigger on one of these--an upgrade from my Rotel receiver. Before I do, I'd like some perspective from the learned A'gon community. First, will it be a significant upgrade from the Rotel? What kind of sonic improvements can I expect? Second, why shouldn't I buy from Audiocubes II?
I know On a Higher Note is the official U.S. distributer, but my budget pushes me towards the less expensive purchase option. Third, regardless of where I purchase it from, it will need a transformer to boost the power to 220. I don't know anything about the possible effects this might have on sound and performance of the component--can anybody speak to this? Is it possible to have the piece modified to accept the U.S. 110 current? I want the piece because it meets my requirements for an integrated: it's at least 100W, it has speaker A/B (I've got speakers in the kitchen and the main living room), it's got a great phono section (I play 50% records, 50% CDs), and it's got a headphone amp. Those are the features I want in an integrated. Any advice, suggestions, dissuasions will be appreciated.

You might want to send an e-mail to On A Higher Note. If you buy the L505u from them, I don't think you will need the transformer option. I believe their units have been setup for the North American market
Thank you all for your thoughts. I did contact On A Higher Note, and yes, I would have to use a transformer if I bought from them. Thanks AudioFeil; those are some important considerations.
Somebody at Stereophile (John Marks?) has been waxing enthusiastic about this amplifier, and I'm seriously considering it too. He hasn't mentioned anything about needing a transformer, though.

Is there any place in the U.S. that one can buy a version that does NOT need a transformer?


Steve O.
No. It is a Japanese product wired for their electricity. With that said, you should have no problem using a standard transformer. I recently bought the Neoclassical CD and integrated amp and have had no problems.

If you want to stay in the US electrical grid, take a hard look at the McIntosh 6300. Very close in performance with a similar "retro" look.
I have auditioned both McIntosh MA6300 and Luxman L505u in
New York. They were connected to B&W 801D. With McIntosh
bass was weak but with Luxman was totally different sound.
Much more dynamic, but highs. You have to hear to believe.
If You buy from Audiocubes2 you do need transformer. If you
buy from Higher Note you don't need transformer but it's
more expensive.