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Razuu

Luxman Int Amps - ownership thoughts...

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Hi

 

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 

 

5ac5d46941bef_170915OOLLUXMAN5EDIT-02025.thumb.jpg.dcd13f8535e1b60cfe7a960eccef206d.jpgLuxman-590AX-II-Front-3.thumb.jpg.5fe56789e3e434b9b33f87d255957bbe.jpg751631789_Luxman509X.thumb.jpg.0547071190c2a5f7b393473023bd6a90.jpg

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Loved my 507UX, only moved it on as I needed more oomph for power hungry, low sensitivity speakers.

 

I suspect one day I will buy another one if I can find somewhere to hide it. As @Razuu says, the build quality and value are superb - and the VU meters are mesmerising!

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Love my 550AX MKI, large, open-plan living, middle-of-the-road efficiency speakers, love my volume high to loud, and this thing is effortless. I wouldn't necessarily say this amp is only suitable for small rooms, far from it, but certainly always consider speaker efficiency before choosing an amp!

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Have owned my 507u for about 3 years now.  Have put many amps up against it and nothing comes close at that price point. Love the phono stage also. I’ve tried to move it on, but just can’t.  Matched with the Spendor D9’s and clays GroB dac, its a match made in heaven 

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I have owned a couple of Luxman integrateds, though admittedly not in the same class as the above. I do love the retro looks/quality of the newer range. I also have a soft spot for the brand, perhaps in part because it has been able to rise from the ashes of mass-market mediocrity when the company was tied with Alpine.

The L1 was an early one. Can't speak much for its sound after all this time bit it oozes retro (in a different way).

The LV-105 Brid may not have been the last word in accuracy but it had an alluring, smooth sound that was enough to supplant a Sansui AU-517 at the time.

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1 hour ago, ashmeow said:

Are they really that good Bill? 🧐

:yes:

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No knock on Luxman Amps whatsoever, but I find the OP's Rating of 550AX Power/Drive puzzling. 8? Only if you have a Small Room, Efficient Speakers & Don't Listen Loud. How can it possibly get an 8?

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Hi. Great to hear from proud Luxman owners. A common theme of great built and great sound.

 

Hi @initforthemusic , thanks for your comment. My rating of 8 for the 550AX is if you have a small room, efficient speakers and don't want to rock the house. When I moved, I went from 4 X 6 room with standard ceiling to 6 x 8 with 3m ceiling with open space on two sides, it just didn't fill the room. Most things were lost but when I got the 590AXII, the Luxman Class A sound was back.  

 

When I got to Thailand, it was a very difficult decision to go for the 509X instead of the 590AXII. The 509 got the nod because it runs so much cooler than the 590 and in the heat of Thailand that's very important. BUT I still very much miss the emotion that the 590AXII generates. 

 

Cheers.

 

 

 

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Realise that Razuu. But if you have say a Medium Room, Medium Efficiency Speakers and like to Listen Loud! (As I do) then it would be impossible to give a 8 Rating for Power/Drive Overall.

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I know there is some love for the luxman solid states ....and understandably why... but id have to be honest id love to check out one of the tube efforts of theirs one they :)

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Hi @betty boop. your comment about Luxman tubes. In my search to find the Luxman Class A sound missing from my 509X, I have research and talked to a few "experts" about pairing a tube Pre Amp with my 509X power amp section. The 509X is designed to be used as a power amp.

 

The general consensus is that the pre amp determines the sound signature more than a power amp. So I am seriously thinking of getting the Luxman C-38u Tube pre amp to use with my 509X.

 

Review

https://www.stereophile.com/content/luxman-classic-cl-38u-preamplifier  

 

90708288_ScreenShot2019-02-25at7_26_54am.thumb.png.4858037d7e0017adff98577847aa1d47.png

Staying with Luxman should not hurt, amazing "retro" look and hopefully, give me a warmer more sound to compliment the 509X as an Int Amp.

 

Comments and advice would be great.

 

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Nice one ! Wonder if there is a nice retro looking power amp they make for it :D

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On 24/02/2019 at 5:21 PM, ashmeow said:

Are they really that good Bill? 🧐

Yep. They sure are 

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1 hour ago, Bill125812 said:

Yep. They sure are 

Hmmm if my speakers were not so big I would bring them with me when I come to your place.

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Just now, ashmeow said:

Hmmm if my speakers were not so big I would bring them with me when I come to your place.

Well you’ll just have to put up with my speakers.  I think you might be impressed 

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Hi. Great to hear from proud Luxman owners. A common theme of great built and great sound.
 
Hi [mention=131321]initforthemusic[/mention] , thanks for your comment. My rating of 8 for the 550AX is if you have a small room, efficient speakers and don't want to rock the house. When I moved, I went from 4 X 6 room with standard ceiling to 6 x 8 with 3m ceiling with open space on two sides, it just didn't fill the room. Most things were lost but when I got the 590AXII, the Luxman Class A sound was back.  
 
When I got to Thailand, it was a very difficult decision to go for the 509X instead of the 590AXII. The 509 got the nod because it runs so much cooler than the 590 and in the heat of Thailand that's very important. BUT I still very much miss the emotion that the 590AXII generates. 
 
Cheers.
 
 
 

Have you thought of adding a Luxman tube pre-amp! :-)

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Absolutely!! Have research and priced a Luxman CL38u Tube Pre Amp. Very competitively priced in Thailand.

 

But the CL38 is not a Class A. Most reviews are glowing but from my discussions with a very independent seller, some have said the CL38u is a bit "mushy"?! So, the search continues....

 

Cheers

 

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Hi Razuu,

 

I am enjoying the 550AX very very much :) specially with my new B&W 703 S2, I am finally doing the amp some justice.

 

In summary, the 20w can easily drive them and the music sounded a lot better than what I demoed with the same speakers or similar ones at the stores.

 

I must say it's the amp :)

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Hi

Fantastic. I am delighted that you finally got the speakers you wanted. Can't beat Luxman Class A (except for the heat)...

 

My next "toy" is an upgrade on my existing power cables, really expensive for the quality brand/models.

 

Take care and keep listening.

 

Cheers

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On 19/02/2019 at 8:00 PM, Razuu said:

Hi

 

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 

 

5ac5d46941bef_170915OOLLUXMAN5EDIT-02025.thumb.jpg.dcd13f8535e1b60cfe7a960eccef206d.jpgLuxman-590AX-II-Front-3.thumb.jpg.5fe56789e3e434b9b33f87d255957bbe.jpg751631789_Luxman509X.thumb.jpg.0547071190c2a5f7b393473023bd6a90.jpg

Hi there, good to hear about your sonic impressions. I have just acquired an older SQ507X 50W integrated amp that, even though it is of the 1970's old school of solid build quality, it sounds remarkably clean ... on one channel. I have two new sets of the driver transistors on the way, NEC 2SC1161/2SA653. The right channel 2SC1161 is rather burnt looking. I shall do a full re-capping while I'm at it. Love the looks and switch gear of this 45 year old amp and also that it has Pre-Out and Main In sockets. 

It's not quite the classy and shiny look of your gorgeous 550/590 models, but I'm happy to have it in house all the same. It came with a good old Marantz Model 1030 at the same time :) 

P3125282.jpg

P3125283.jpg

P3125284.jpg

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Looks great. Are you going to restore it? 

Well done.

Cheers

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