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Hayabusa

Luxman L509X Integrated Amp User Review

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Sonicy, I think that what you say seems logical. There really would seem to be no reason why it should be the case that one particular musical style would be presented in a "better" way than another genre. I can see, however an argument that a listener may have specific aspects of musical presentation that they find appealing and on which they place greater weight. It then could be that one style of amp presents these acoustic cues in a "better" way to that user and these cues may be more obvious in a particularly genre than in another. This is what I took from the Audiodrom reviewer's comments.

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@Hayabusa  To be honest, I'm not across the exact technical reasons why class A differs from class A/B (apart from a very general understanding of the differences between class A and A/B), but the class A amps I've heard (don't own one) seemed to be just better all round. Musical Fidelity made a range of class A amps about a decade or so ago and the ones I auditioned really delivered the goods.....must stress, I only listen to classical, small-scale jazz, some world music and vocals...no rock or so-called contemporary.....believe it or not, there is such a thing as contemporary classical. 🙂

Edited by Sonicy
Typo

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Regarding Luxman C-900U & M-900U, they are high on my list of wants. I've heard it said that the M-900U operates in Class A for the first 15 watts. If so, most of us wouldn't get it out of Class A very often, mainly because most of us listen at levels below 15 watts....I mean for everyday listening....not for special occasions or impressing fellow enthusiasts.

Edited by Sonicy

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That’s a beautiful looking setup. I like the simple zen like look and the combination of a few high quality components.

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Afternoon

 

Ian, great detailed review, well done. Hope you are still enjoying your 509X. 

 

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!

 

Will post this snapshot as a new topic as well and to the 2 SN members who bought my 550AX and 590AXII, hope you are enjoying them.

 

Photos of 550AX, 590AXII and 509X 

 

59bb572eda8c7_170915OOLLUXMAN5EDIT-02025.thumb.jpg.47121a524184d8b3d13ff4f9b666ad7a.jpgLuxman-590AX-II-Front-3.thumb.jpg.5fe56789e3e434b9b33f87d255957bbe.jpg751631789_Luxman509X.thumb.jpg.0547071190c2a5f7b393473023bd6a90.jpg

 

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Corey, thanks or the kind words but more especially for the comparative review of these three Luxman integrated amps. Very interesting reading. I am not sure how long you have had the 509x but if you have less than 200 hours playing time on it you will like it even more with extended use. I am changed quite a lot in my system since I did the initial review but I won't be changing the 509X. I think the phono stage in the Luxman is excellent but the Nu Vista Vinyl is a step or two up as it should be of course. I only went for this over the Luxman EQ500 because of the price differential. There are some very nice integrated amps out there but I agree with your call that at its price point it is hard to think of what would be as good let alone better than the 509X. Some very nice audio gear is available in Bangkok. I bought my Isotek Sigmas Evo3 in Bangkok when I lived in Phnom Penh.

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As most people would know ,I have a 550 A  II and it is easily the best amplifier ( all things considered ) that I have ever used in many decades in this hobby.

It is tonally organic, and makes music sound real and alive,with great  timbre, texture and tone.

I always judge amplifiers on their ability to satisfy those 3 parameters.

I routinely use it with 83Db sensitivity speakers in a medium to large room on a very wide variety of music and it has never faltered, clipped or gone harsh even at very anti social levels( such as when I have the house to myself )

I wouldn't use it with Infinity Kappa 9 s in a 15 metre room, at disco levels, but then again not many amps would pass that test anyway.

 

It is one audio item I own, that I will keep until I die and I have made arrangements for someone to have it when I do.😎

 

Is it the prefect amp? NO, not at all but my 550 is perfect for me. ( I do have several other amplifiers as well and I enjoy them also )

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Hi Ian. 

Thanks for replying. At least 500 hours so far, so it should be nearly there!!! I am lucky enough to enjoy and compare 3 Luxmans and they are all great, just wished the 509 had more 590AXii Class A genes.

What's your next toy?

Cheers Corey

 

 

 

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Hi guys, we are just lucky to have owned or owned Luxmans. Keep enjoying.

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Just stunning to look at. But the 509X takes it to perfection with the white backlit meters, and the diveted top plate. It seems to have consistently rave reviews as well.

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@Hayabusa

 

Hi Ian, thanks for the great write up! 

 

I am scouting for a new amp and the Luxman has made my radar. Just wondering if you have any extra insights that you would like to add, both positive or negative, 9 months later?

 

For instance, have you tried an MC cart with the phono section yet?

 

Thanks

 

Dave

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23 minutes ago, DarkNark said:

@Hayabusa

 

Hi Ian, thanks for the great write up! 

 

I am scouting for a new amp and the Luxman has made my radar. Just wondering if you have any extra insights that you would like to add, both positive or negative, 9 months later?

 

For instance, have you tried an MC cart with the phono section yet?

 

Thanks

 

Dave

Not aimed at me, but I used to use an Primare R32 phono before I bought the Luxman L-550AX. I reckon the in-built phono is far better. Having a very high quality internal phono also negates any capacitance issues that the cables may introduce, so that in itself is a benefit, not to mention the cost of cables!

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Just now, Hydrology said:

Not aimed at me, but I used to use an Primare R32 phono before I bought the Luxman L-550AX. I reckon the in-built phono is far better. Having a very high quality internal phono also negates any capacitance issues that the cables may introduce, so that in itself is a benefit, not to mention the cost of cables!

Could not agree more.

I recently purchased an outboard phono stage which I thought would improve that contained internally in my own Luxman amplifier.

 

It was certainly a very good phono stage, but not even close to the tonality and musicality of that in my Luxman.

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Hi Dave,

 

Well 9 months on, I still have the 509X and to me it is sounding better than ever! Yes I used a MC with the Luxman and while the sound was good it was not properly loaded. It needed from 400 Ohms to 800 Ohms to sound its best and the Luxman is 100 Ohms only. Many MC's will sound perfect at 100 Ohm I think but I did not have one on hand. I have since gone to a Musical Fidelity Nu Vista Vinyl phono stage and this has multiple loading options for both mm and mc and yes it is clearly superior to the Luxman inbuilt phono stage but it should be at the price. The MF Vinyl really only started to obviously outshine the Luxman phono stage though when I got some second had balanced Audioquest WEL Signature interconnects from the Vinyl to the Luxman 509X. This was the greatest single improvement I have had with my system outside a major equipment upgrade but then the new price of these cables is more than the Vinyl phono stage itself. I am now waiting on an Audioquest Wild LP phono cable to arrive and I hope that will also be a step forward when I attach it to my EPA100.

 

I must repeat though that the phono stage in the Luxman 509X is excellent and super quiet but as I run two TT's currently (had 3 before)it was a real pain having to constantly change the phono cable which was the real motivator for me to get the MF Vinyl.  I tried the new Graham Slee phono some time ago which had great reviews but I preferred the Luxman in-built! As Hydrology mentioned, you save on the cables too with the Luxman in-built and reduce signal degradation. I will try the new Wild LP when I get it with the Luxman in built and report back

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11 hours ago, Hayabusa said:

Hi Dave,

 

Well 9 months on, I still have the 509X and to me it is sounding better than ever!......

Well thats a good sign. 😊

 

Thanks

 

 

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