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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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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 thou

Well, I have had the 509x running for a couple of weeks. It is currently being used as part of a secondary system with the fantastic (and very small) Elac BS312 speakers and a REL No 25 sub.  End

Cool! Tele is something of a B&W aficionado and I've had an L590AXII in my hands for about a month and, prior to that had quite a protracted experience back when Elrotts was experimenting wit

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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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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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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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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  • 2 weeks later...

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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29 minutes ago, Razuu said:

Looks great. Are you going to restore it? 

Well done.

Cheers

Yes indeedy! The main power supply caps are in excellent condition, so I won't change them out just yet, though may bypass them with some quality ex Russian military 0.1uF PIO caps I have here. Every other cap will be swapped out for Nichicon FG stock and WIMA models for the smaller values. This is what I did in the restoration of an Akai AM2600 integrated that turned out a treat, the new owner is very happy with it! It retained it's punchy and communicative analogue character, while gaining a lot of transparency and focus. The phono stage turned out really well, perfect for the two turntables currently connected to it. 

The Luxman SQ507X also has two phono stages, both MM, one of them being adjustable for input impedance. I'm about to start the strip down this afternoon. 

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please take progress photos and post...I am sure lots of people would love to follow the restoration.

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28 minutes ago, Razuu said:

please take progress photos and post...I am sure lots of people would love to follow the restoration.

Sure thing. I do that with all gear, turntables, amps and tuners :) I'm a photographer from way back and I just can't help myself. I should probably start a new post for that one. 

 During a general restoration, I don't go as far as completely re-painting the rear panel though, that's beyond my skill base and besides, I like to have some of it's original patina of age, far too hard to screen print the decals and socket designations :) A good clean though is definitely on! Circuit boards are cleaned, new caps installed, any new transistors, diodes and dodgy looking resistors are up for renewal. Power supply diodes will be replaced with modern UF soft recovery types, as well as a few of the others on the boards. Initially, I will only replace the driver trannies on the right channel, the left is fine, but I will see how the sound balance is with both up and running. The protection circuitry will probably be completely renovated, as it was this in the Akai that failed and switched off the amplifier. Once replaced, all was well. 

 The same process will be for the Marantz Model 1030, a sweet little amp, that after a good clean (It was twenty years in a farm shed, as was the Luxman!) has survived remarkably well and does actually run. I'm impressed at how well it still looks underneath the boards after 45 years!

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Love my L-507uXII, drives both the Spendor D7's & PMC twentyfive.23 with ease. I have a small-medium space but have found that @ 8.45 on the volume dial is plenty loud. The only exception is light classical music, volume needs to be around the 9 mark, but all genres have great presentation. Build quality & having two speaker outputs also makes choosing speakers easy with an A-B comparison...

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Well, a Luxman Amp and Spendor D7 can't go wrong.  Are you using the D-05u as your DAC?

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Hi Corey, yep great as a DAC as well spining discs. If your musical collection is mainly Redbook standard, highly recommended. It's only if you have a lot of hi-res material that you would need to look @ a dedicated DAC from companies like Chord, PS Audio, & Gieseler Audio

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  • 11 months later...

Hey guys, reading everything I can about the L-509X and the L-590Aii

always loved the luxman sound.
My question is, do you think the 590axii has enough power to drive B&W 803 diamonds?

 

 

 

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9 hours ago, Boyder91 said:

Hey guys, reading everything I can about the L-509X and the L-590Aii

always loved the luxman sound.
My question is, do you think the 590axii has enough power to drive B&W 803 diamonds?

 

 

 

May well depend on your favourite style of music and how loud you wish to go.

 

 

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10 hours ago, Boyder91 said:

Hey guys, reading everything I can about the L-509X and the L-590Aii

always loved the luxman sound.
My question is, do you think the 590axii has enough power to drive B&W 803 diamonds?

 

 

 

No.

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On 11/03/2020 at 7:33 AM, Boyder91 said:

Hey guys, reading everything I can about the L-509X and the L-590Aii

always loved the luxman sound.
My question is, do you think the 590axii has enough power to drive B&W 803 diamonds?

 

 

 

I imagine easily - it is an extremely high bias to class A and switches to A/B to deliver about 160w x 2 8 ohm.

 

Huge current.

Edited by Flayed
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I think we're sending some mixed messages here guys. 

 

One maybe, one yes and one no. 

 

Anyone else care to chime in with a tie-breaker?

 

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15 hours ago, Cafad said:

I think we're sending some mixed messages here guys. 

 

One maybe, one yes and one no. 

 

Anyone else care to chime in with a tie-breaker?

 

If it counts - I own an L-590axii...

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15 minutes ago, Flayed said:

If it counts - I own an L-590axii...

Cool!

Tele is something of a B&W aficionado and I've had an L590AXII in my hands for about a month and, prior to that had quite a protracted experience back when Elrotts was experimenting with amps to get his 802Ds sounding good.  I'm pretty sure all our opinions are valid.

 

Perhaps if I elaborate on mine. 

I'm sure the Luxman will sound very nice on those B&Ws but since the 800 series floorstanders are such current pigs I don't believe that high volume drum solos or anything hard rock to heavy metal will be within the L590's easy grasp.  Slower music will not be a problem but if you aim to annoy the neighbours with Japanese Steel Drum performances then you will need more current.  On the other hand, if AC/DC is too hard and fast for you then it might just be a match made in heaven.  

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1 hour ago, Cafad said:

 

Cool!

Tele is something of a B&W aficionado and I've had an L590AXII in my hands for about a month and, prior to that had quite a protracted experience back when Elrotts was experimenting with amps to get his 802Ds sounding good.  I'm pretty sure all our opinions are valid.

 

Perhaps if I elaborate on mine. 

I'm sure the Luxman will sound very nice on those B&Ws but since the 800 series floorstanders are such current pigs I don't believe that high volume drum solos or anything hard rock to heavy metal will be within the L590's easy grasp.  Slower music will not be a problem but if you aim to annoy the neighbours with Japanese Steel Drum performances then you will need more current.  On the other hand, if AC/DC is too hard and fast for you then it might just be a match made in heaven.  

It will be great with folk music, forget orchestral or Rock.

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      The ECI 3 is equipped with a balanced, motorised volume control without sonic degradation, and all input switching is done by relays.

      Volume up/down and input selection can be controlled using the four Navigator touch buttons on the front panel, or from the remote control. The selected input source is shown in the Navigator Window.

      The ECI 3 features Electrocompaniet’s unique Floating Transformer Technology (FTT) power supply which is capable of delivering twice as much current as conventional designs. The ECI 3 is built with the same quality components as our most prestigious models. A 550 VA transformer, in FTT configuration, and a current reservoir of 40.000uF delivers 2 x 70 W of clean and powerful dynamics into an 8Ω load. Like all our amplifiers, the ECI 3 is stable in all loads down to 0.5 Ω.  The balanced output of the ECI 3 can feed an additional power amplifier in a bi-amped set-up. 
       
      All measurements are made at 120V / 240V  //50Hz / 60Hz
      Preamplifier section
       
       
       
      Nominal Input impedance
      330 kohm
      Max. input level
      > 10 Volt RMS
      Equivalent input noise
      < 4 µV
      Input sensitivity for rated output (single)
      0.6 V
      Input sensitivity for rated output (balanced)
      0.3 V
       
       
      Amplifier section
       
        Output Impedance
      (20 Hz - 20 kHz)
      < 0,01 ohms
      Max. peak current
      > 60 A
      THD
      (measured at 1 kHz half power,8W)
      < 0,005 %
      THD
      (measured at 1 kHz -1 dB 8 W)
      < 0,006 %
       
       
      Rated output power
       
       
      8 ohms
      2 x 70 W
      4 ohms
      2 x 120 W
      2 ohms
      2 x 160 W
       
       





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