Disclaimer: The Luxury&Precision L3 was sent to me free of charge for the purpose of this review, it doesn’t need to be returned but goes in to the collection for future reference. Pictures in this article were taken from the Indiegogo page and our own media library.
Luxury&Precision still isn’t the world’s most famous DAP maker but they over a short time, and especially with the help of the sublime sounding L5PRO, have become very well known outside the Asian market. Their Indiegogo campaign for the new L3 – which we are looking at today – of course helped getting the L&P name out as well. In fact the campaign for the L3 was funded at 112% and L&P even raised $17,823 before launching the DAP.
There still isn’t a lot to be found on the company itself unless you speak Chinese. I don’t. The L&P website still is well, not in English. You would think that they after the success of the L5PRO would have translated their site or worked on improving their communication but they don’t seem to find that a priority.
Luckily we have guys like John and Daniel who serve as a communication bridge between the non-Chinese speakers and the L&P company. Thanks guys for the hard work.
The L5PRO wasn’t the first DAP L&P put on the market, it actually was/is a subsequent product from the L5 and LP5. Because of the success of the L5PRO, L&P decided to launch the L3 player. A lot of people had high hopes for the L3 but at the same time a lot of other people were worried. Let me explain.
If you have read our L&P L5 review you will remember that we had mixed feelings about it. The L5PRO’s build quality is one of the best and it sounds absolutely great but its firmware and user interface still have lots of room for improvement. I think a lot of users were upset with the L5PRO not “doing” swiping and kind of expected this and several other issues to be solved with the new L3.
The L5PRO was a powerful DAP that could both handle sensitive monitors and harder to drive full sized headphones. The L3 however is designed specifically for use with sensitive IEMs and L&P by all means wanted to keep the completely black background free of noise just the L5PRO has. Because the L3 has a smaller area to work with, the circuits on the device are all on one side of the board. At -115 dB testing with a 32 Ohm load, the distortion level is less than 0.0017%, providing a jet black background with even the most sensitive in ear monitors.
Armed with both a 3.5mm single ended and a 2.5mm balanced output, line out and SPDIF out options, the L3 has everything you need. The L3’s balanced output is done right and it is equipped with a dual DAC, dual OP amp true balanced architecture. The L3 also comes with a USB DAC plug, allowing you to double up on its functionality and plug into a PC to take over sound functions and improve audio quality. The L&P L3 goes for only $399 USD!
The L3 and L5 Pro share many internal components while also maintaining the same digital circuit architecture. In L&P’s opinion, an important step of creating a high quality DAP is to separate the digital and analog signals cleanly. (Digital circuitry is very noisy, whereas analog circuitry is vulnerable to noise).
The DAC chips used in the L3 DAP are the Cirrus Logic CS4398, which are used in a whole lot of DAPs and desktop DACs. The double OPAmp used is the Crown 18120.