This is actually a reply to another SN member's review of his Luxman 509X Int Amp.
After replying, I thought it would be nice to share it with other SN members. Just my thoughts on the three Luxman amps I have owned over the last few years.
I have been lucky enough in the last few years to have own the 550AX Class A as my first Luxman Int Amp, then due to a house move, needed more power, I got the 590AXII Class A, now living most of my time in Thailand, I am enjoying the 509X Class AB. I have also listened to the 507uX Class AB extensively.
My gear from the 550AX to 590AXII and 509X haven't changed - Macbook > JRiver or Roon App > Chord Hugo TT DAC (Cable = Audioquest Diamond USB from Mac to Hugo TT) > every Luxman Amp (Cables = MIT SL8 RCA interconnects) > Spendor D7 SPEAKERS (Cables MIT SL 9).
Quick rating of each amp:
1. 550AX Class A 20 watts pc. (Build - 8) - (Look - 10 - if you like the Retro style) - (Power/Drive - 8 - ONLY if you have a small room, efficient speakers & don't listen loud) - (Clarity/Details - 7) - (Quietness - 7) - (Soul/Emotion - 8)
2. 590AXII Class A 30 watts pc. (Build - 9) - (Look - 10 - if you like the Retro style) - (Power/Drive - 8 - ONLY if you have a small/medium room & efficient speakers) - (Clarity/Details - 8) - (Quietness - 8) - (Soul/Emotion - 9)
3. 509X Class AB 120 watts pc. (Build - 9.5) - (Look - 10 - if you like the Retro style) - (Power/Drive - 9.5 - Most room sizes and most speakers) - (Clarity/Details - 9.5) - (Quietness - 9.5) - (Soul/Emotion - 8)
Quick summary of each amp:
1. 550AX Class A 20 watts pc. Fantastic Class A Int Amp. Low power, which leads to other limitations. Only buy if you don't have enough money to buy the 590AXII for more Power and Soul/Emotion.
2. 590AXII Class A 30 watts pc. Great Class A Int Amp. Still low power for larger rooms. BUT simply amazing tones that ooze Soul and Emotion especially in vocals and acoustic music. Luxman Class A Masterpiece.
3. 509X Class AB 120 watts pc. Stunning Class AB Int Amp. Tons of power and punch. So quiet, so much details, so clean, etc. Only negative against the 590AXII - doesn't have that Luxman Class A Soul and Emotion. Against Class AB Amp in this price range, the 509X has very few to no rivals.
My "Ultimate" Amp:
*A Luxman because of the build quality, features and acceptable price. Compared to nearest & equal rival, Accuphase, Luxmans are a bargain.
*A Luxman Class A Int Amp for the tone, soul and emotions that they produce.
*A Luxman Class A 60 watts pc Int Amp!! - maybe impossible and imagine the heat!
Play more music!
To the 2 SN members who bought my 550AX and 590AXII, hope you are enjoying them.
Photos of 550AX, 590AXII and 509X