AudioValve Luminare High Performance Tube Headphone Amplifier/DAC. Black


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The AudioValve Luminare/DAC is a supurb tube headphone amplifier and DAC capable of driving Electrostatic, Planar Magnetic and Dynamic headphones to their full potential offering state of the art results.

AudioValve puts most of their budget towards the sound quality of their design and components rather than all of the audio jewelry and marketable designs featured by some of the comparable sounding amplifiers on the market. On sound alone it outclasses its price point, as for performance, design, fit and finish it far exceeds our expectations and represents a truely exceptional product at double or triple it’s price catagory. Sound wise this amplifier delivers great tonality, world class 3D sound stage, a noise floor on par with all but the very best valve based amplifiers, and macro and micro dynamics in spades. The sound quality of the Luminare is of absolute top reference level for a headphone tube amplifier. The pros to this are a very low noise floor, low distortions, high frequence range, high damping, very natural and musical tonality, wide impedance matching, perfect open soundstage and so on. This amp isn’t for the weak of heart – it is an audioholic’s dream. Highly recommended is an understatement, we can’t tell you how impressed we have been with the arrival of this headphone tube amplifer.

Output capabilities up to 5.5 watts depending on headphone impedance.

Includes Remote.

Available in Gold or Chrome Knobs. Please specify on PayPal form.

Please vist the AudioValve website for design details and specifications.

For question please call of email us.

RECENT REVIEW: (Translated from German to English – but you get the idea.)

The German headphone magazine “EAR-IN” – edition Sept. 2016 awarded top level references status for LUMINARE inclusive DAC (written by Dr. M. Mertens)

When it comes to the best DAC / Headphone amplifier in the world goes, the air is thin. Then one might fall a dozen devices. Starting this year, you can expand the list – since AudioValve the Luminare with USB – DAC board presented.

The in the EAR IN magazine 2-3 / 2015 presented AudioValve RKV Mk III belongs the handful headphone amplifier which for me absolute world top class belong. The Luminare represents the latest evolution of the headphone amplifier from the Kassel factory AudioValve. And I fall right now with the door into the house – in the presented stage with built-in USB DAC will cost the unit 4.200 Euro retail.

So consider carefully whether you are reading this test further, or whether they do listen to the Luminare once myself …

The ALLINONE – allrounder


The amplifier circuit is based on the developer Helmut Becker preferred tube circuit which even in RKV Mk III has been used and the different modes of operation allowed. It is immensely powerful for a headphone amplifier. Depending on the mode makes the Luminare 4 to 5 watts per channel. On the front there are connections for virtually everything it on headphones gives. This starts with two combination jacks that either a 6.3mm stereo plug or a 3-pin XLR connector to record. Here, up to two headphones asymmetrically with the conventional plugs or alternatively a symmetrical Headphones are connected via two XLR connectors. Also, for the symmetrical connecting headphones more commonly used 4-pole jack connector can be found on the front. Moreover, Helmut Becker finally come to meet the many Stax fans.

The headphones were on RKV 2 operate only using the attachment Verto, which provided the bias voltage and the high signal voltages for operating electrostatic headphones are necessary. When Luminare you have this option built the same so that the front and a Stax-6-pin socket for Stax – Standard and -Pro Headset “graces”. Overall, one can at Luminare so well run as any reasonably standard headphones.

On the back there are two entrances, implemented between which on the front can be switched on. Input 1 can be asymmetrically is via RCA or balanced XLR via. The second pair of RCA jacks next input 1 is a signal output of the pre-amplified and volume-controlled signal outputs – the Luminare can therefore be used as preamplifier (as DAC and). Input 2 simply provides two parallel RCA jack pairs, so you can loop through the input signal easily. Optionally the Luminare like our tester can be equipped with a DAC board. This is obviously not a solution of the bar, but a specially developed for use in Luminare board, on a converter is a suitably programmed XMOS chip, the digital PCM data 24-bit / 384 kHz and DSD processes up DSD128. Input 2 automatically switches from analog to USB at once into the USB port to a digital signal bears. The second analog connection is therefore retained.


Among the three modes of Luminare amplifier circuit is OTL Mode to clear preference for normal headphones. This mode is for headphones with an impedance of 50 ohms – applies here: the more, the better. And what of Luminare kindled here music is breathtaking bend. Common criteria can hardly cite. That tonality, dynamics, Timing, resolution and whatever else used to assess is, simply are perfect, should be self-evident. Here it’s more the elusive aspects that can easily experience a music, a go under the skin, making goosebumps let you laugh or cry, and we describe HiFi writers struggle with that. And this elusive, complex and yet so simple music brings the Luminare so clear, of course, and sovereign over how I really rarely seen.

This holds true as well for the Stax port in conjunction with the corresponding headphones of Luminare in tonal resulting in regions where the Stax own amplifier can only dream. In Transmit mode, the also for the operation of low impedance Headphones to shut suited to 3 ohms, a little goes by the magic of lost OTL operation, however, we move here still on a level achieved by few other headphone amplifier makes the DAC any time the impression that he exploits the talents of the amplifier, which in this combination is simply top notch testimony to the digital section.

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