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Hi All

 

I am about to get a integrated amp for my KEF LS50 speakers...

I can get the Hegel 390 from Europe for $AUD 6600 and also Luxman L-550AXII  from Japan for $AUD 4880 ...  please note that currently I have Chord Dave for my headphones so I might use this DAC in both options ... also I plan to upgrade my ls50s to something better in KEF ... not sure which option is better ...Regardless of the DAC which one has better integrated AMP ?

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Really - an LX550AXII from Japan for only AUD$4880? Secondhand? I would also assume 110v at that.   As someone who sells both and has owned both models, as many have said, you need to listen

Just so we're clear - you want to audition locally but buy overseas yes? Or are you going to audition locally and hope/argue you can get a price REMOTELY close to your already crazy pricing (I'll save

My experience when demo'ing amps for my speakers was that Luxman artificially rolled off the top end. Initially it sounds wonderful and refined but after a while I got the feel I was missing out on th

I may be biased, but IMNSHO the Luxman wins by a country mile, especially given the price differential in this instance.

 

I use my L550 with (amid others ) a pair of B&W PM1s, which are similarly low in sensitivity and the result is one that just makes you happy to be alive.

  There is no doubt at all that the Hegel is a good amplifier, but I found it to be cold and over damped and I don't think it is especially well suited to the LS50s.

 

I am sure some will come along and make a good case for the Hegel and that is entirely valid, but given they are so different, I would think you need to try both in your system to discover your preference.

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@rantan 

This is tongue in cheek - do you really have B&W speakers? Ha ha

However

I would recommend taking everyone taking his advice seriously!

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1 minute ago, Jventer said:

@rantan 

This is tongue in cheek - do you really have B&W speakers? Ha ha

However

I would recommend taking everyone taking his advice seriously!

Hi Mate. yes very witty of you:)

However I now have two other pairs of speakers and I  have to admit the PM1s don't get as  much music time as they once did due to fraternal competition in my room.

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1 hour ago, rantan said:

I may be biased, but IMNSHO the Luxman wins by a country mile, especially given the price differential in this instance.

 

I use my L550 with (amid others ) a pair of B&W PM1s, which are similarly low in sensitivity and the result is one that just makes you happy to be alive.

  There is no doubt at all that the Hegel is a good amplifier, but I found it to be cold and over damped and I don't think it is especially well suited to the LS50s.

 

I am sure some will come along and make a good case for the Hegel and that is entirely valid, but given they are so different, I would think you need to try both in your system to discover your preference.

Thanks Rantan

it is getting very difficult for me to decide...also I can get  L-507uXII  for $AUD 7000 and even  I can get L550 UXII for $AUD 3550 ...L-507uXII almost double on L550 UXII  not sure which one making more sense , also L550 UXII compare to L550 AXII... another benefit of Lumex ones is I can run 2 sets of speakers I have easier ( no needs for switch or manual changing) ... at the moment I have Rega Brio , I like its sound but it seems not powerful enough for ls50 and also my future upgrades ...also I am not into too much Bass although I have a REL Zero ... 

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4 hours ago, Mason Safari said:

Hi All

 

I am about to get a integrated amp for my KEF LS50 speakers...

I can get the Hegel 390 from Europe for $AUD 6600 and also Luxman L-550AXII  from Japan for $AUD 4880 ...  please note that currently I have Chord Dave for my headphones so I might use this DAC in both options ... also I plan to upgrade my ls50s to something better in KEF ... not sure which option is better ...Regardless of the DAC which one has better integrated AMP ?

Really - an LX550AXII from Japan for only AUD$4880? Secondhand? I would also assume 110v at that.

 

As someone who sells both and has owned both models, as many have said, you need to listen yourself and make your own mind up. I had the Luxman and went over to the Hegel.

 

You will need a step down transformer for the Luxman if 110volt and a big one at that (not something I would be prepared to compromise on given the sonic qualities of this amp).

Secondly, as you are prepared to circumnavigate the local industry in favour of saving a few dollars, keep in mind you will get ZERO help from local distributors "if" your choice develops an issue. And as you have no interest in supporting the local industry, it would be downright rude to expect a store to accomodate your auditioning when you have no intention to buy locally.

 

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In your scheming, the reliability of product is the prime consideration. 
Add the import duty. 
Add the cost of a good step down transformer and cable. 
Risk of a dodgy deal. 
Minus a far far lower second or third hand selling price later on. 
Etc. 

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Another vote for Luxman here. 

I've always had Luxman integrated amps. Initially it was for the inputs as I have 6 analogue sources and two tape in/out is a must for my system. 

But long term it is really for the sound, build quality and value. 

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4 hours ago, Hydrology said:

Really - an LX550AXII from Japan for only AUD$4880? Secondhand? I would also assume 110v at that.

 

As someone who sells both and has owned both models, as many have said, you need to listen yourself and make your own mind up. I had the Luxman and went over to the Hegel.

 

You will need a step down transformer for the Luxman if 110volt and a big one at that (not something I would be prepared to compromise on given the sonic qualities of this amp).

Secondly, as you are prepared to circumnavigate the local industry in favour of saving a few dollars, keep in mind you will get ZERO help from local distributors "if" your choice develops an issue. And as you have no interest in supporting the local industry, it would be downright rude to expect a store to accomodate your auditioning when you have no intention to buy locally.

 

Thanks for the input...dont get me wrong, I have spend over 60k alone in last 6 months all to local shops mostly for my headphone and home theatre ... but honestly if you should spend $8500 for Luxman L-550AXII while you can get it on ebay for $4880 , wouldn't you do that ? if it was 10%, 20% still I would get it from Local shops... or Hegel 390 I can get for $AUD 6600 while local has it for $9,999 , I will check the l 550 volt adaptor but the Hegel is from Europe so it is compatible to voltage here ... someone offer me reasonable price and possibility to audition and surely I will buy from local... so far I couldn't find anyone has neither of them available for auditioning close to me ( Sydney 2120) , all sources I checked told me it would take 3 weeks just get them...

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@Mason Safari The only L-550 amps on eBay from Japan I can see at the price you are quoting, is USED, from Japan.  Secondhand, go for it, but you will see local units come up for sale here for around that price.
 

It will definitely require a (large) step down transformer.

 

An L-550AXII sells for 5,000 pounds in the UK, which makes it MORE expensive than a local purchase. Luxman has always been very well priced in Australia compared to other markets, but, alas, your call.

Edited by Hydrology
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8 minutes ago, Hydrology said:

@Mason Safari The only L-550 amps on eBay from Japan I can see at the price you are quoting, is USED, from Japan.  Secondhand, go for it, but you will see local units come up for sale here for around that price.
 

It will definitely require a (large) step down transformer.

 

An L-550AXII sells for 5,000 pounds in the UK, which makes it MORE expensive than a local purchase. Luxman has always been very well priced in Australia compared to other markets, but, alas, your call.

 

https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/224265819170?ul_noapp=true

sunshine-tokyo:

Thank you for your reply.
The L -505 uXII, 550 Axii and 507 uxii are brand new and unopened.
L -509 s, L -509 f and L -509 X are used.

The price is as follows.
L -505 uXII → 2699 $
550 Axii → 3699 $
507 uxii → 5299 $
L -509 s → 2799 $
L -509 f - > 3299 $
L -509 X → 7899 $

We can give you a little more discount if you pay by PayPal.
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21 minutes ago, Hydrology said:

I stand corrected.

Well, I wish you every success then!

also they have told me the unit would fit from 110V to 230V...but I need to be sure on this of course 

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11 hours ago, Mason Safari said:

also they have told me the unit would fit from 110V to 230V...but I need to be sure on this of course 

I'm not sure that's correct, 110v would be the normal coming from Japan.

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3 minutes ago, Tony B said:

I'm not sure that's correct, 110v would be the normal coming from Japan.

Apologies for being pedantic, but the voltage standard in Japan is 100V.

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they are going to confirm with the manufacturer on Monday ... but in the product sheet it says :

 

 

Power supply 230V~(50Hz) / 115V~(60Hz)

 

If  it is 110V, is using a transformer would effect on the sound quality ?

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It's just another box and hassle. Personally I'd be putting up a WTB add here on SNA and wait.

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For that sort of money and given your level of expectation, I'd be having a close look at three of the Accuphase integrated amps available on Gumtree at the moment. Prices range from $4,000 to $9,000. 

 

Build quality, sound quality, resale value and general appearance are second to none, IMO.

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2 hours ago, Mason Safari said:

they are going to confirm with the manufacturer on Monday ... but in the product sheet it says :

 

 

Power supply 230V~(50Hz) / 115V~(60Hz)

 

If  it is 110V, is using a transformer would effect on the sound quality ?

 

The fact that the seller doesnt know makes my warning radar ping.

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18 minutes ago, Hydrology said:

 

The fact that the seller doesnt know makes my warning radar ping.

it is ebay seller...there is no doubt there will be risk and perhaps no or little support  , this is the risk I will accept if I dont need a transformer, as the price differences and good reputation of Luxman units making the risk acceptable...

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22 hours ago, Mason Safari said:

at the moment I have Rega Brio , I like its sound but it seems not powerful enough for ls50 and also my future upgrades ...also I am not into too much Bass although I have a REL Zero ... 

Why would you even consider buying Luxman or Hegel if you like Rega? They have different sound characteristics.  I would prefer Rega Elicit R over any Luxman. 

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2 minutes ago, Irek said:

Why would you even consider buying Luxman or Hegel if you like Rega? They have different sound characteristics.  I would prefer Rega Elicit R over any Luxman. 

Big call! Everyone likes different flavours lets face it.

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16 minutes ago, Irek said:

Why would you even consider buying Luxman or Hegel if you like Rega? They have different sound characteristics.  I would prefer Rega Elicit R over any Luxman. 

Trying different flavour i guess, Brio is not strong enough but I like it a lot, wanted to get Rega Elicit or Rega Aethos but then I thought to try something different if I don't like it will exchange ...fact is Brio is my first amp and I chose it just by chance so I thought try my luck with different brand mow...how is Aethos compare to Brio ?

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I have extensive experience with a Kef Ref 1 with a Mcintosh Ma8900 and a Luxman L509x. 
 

The Kef’s are bright speakers. Maybe not in the range of the focal but I would still want to pair them with something slightly on the warm side of neutral. I’ve not heard the Hegels with the Kef but I’ve heard Kefs with Accuphase

integrateds with Kef R series and above. They are a good pairing. I was also told that Kef use Hegel for development so there might be some synergy there. 
 

image.png

BCFB61AC-56A7-46D5-92E4-A807B7C2EA72.jpeg

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2 hours ago, BrownMagic said:

I have extensive experience with a Kef Ref 1 with a Mcintosh Ma8900 and a Luxman L509x. 
 

The Kef’s are bright speakers. Maybe not in the range of the focal but I would still want to pair them with something slightly on the warm side of neutral. I’ve not heard the Hegels with the Kef but I’ve heard Kefs with Accuphase

integrateds with Kef R series and above. They are a good pairing. I was also told that Kef use Hegel for development so there might be some synergy there. 
 

image.png

BCFB61AC-56A7-46D5-92E4-A807B7C2EA72.jpeg

I guess you mean particular models are bright for you, like  Kef Ref 1 or old Focal utopia and electra series. 

I wouldn't call Kef Ls50 bright even for a moment, the same for Focal aria, chorus, chora are neutral towards warm and Kanta is the most neutral focal with beryllium tweeter.   

In my experience McIntosh and Rega are different like day and night. I can't imagine anybody who likes Rega to ever buy Mcintosh and the other way around.  

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19 minutes ago, Irek said:

I guess you mean particular models are bright for you, like  Kef Ref 1 or old Focal utopia and electra series. 

I wouldn't call Kef Ls50 bright even for a moment, the same for Focal aria, chorus, chora are neutral towards warm and Kanta is the most neutral focal with beryllium tweeter.   

In my experience McIntosh and Rega are different like day and night. I can't imagine anybody who likes Rega to ever buy Mcintosh and the other way around.  

How about Hegel ? Rega is more close to hegel than LumX? Also Rega Aethos close to Brio ( characteristics)?

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@Irek I had the focal aria 926 for a year and I didn’t find them bright. I know how we define brightness would wary to a certain extent but I don’t think I will call any of the current Focal speakers warm. The sopra is bright. the kanta when I heard It with Naim gear it was bright. Just was not the pairing for me. Kef Ref 1 and the new Kef R series are less bright than the focal speakers that I’ve mentioned above.  I will happily live with any of the focal speakers but I just won’t pair them with neutral or forward sounding gear. That’s just my preference. Cheers 

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1 minute ago, Mason Safari said:

How about Hegel ? Rega is more close to hegel than LumX?


I can only talk about the Luxman 509X. It is a great amp. It doesn’t do anything spectacularly well. It just does everything right. Doesn’t add anything much on it own. Tonally I would call this a neutral sounding amp compared to the MA8900. Accuphase to me is a mix of both. Has the details of the luxman and the warmth of the Mcintosh. 

i have only heard the rega amps when I went to buy my rega turntable. I didn’t necessarily find them bright. I found them to have this get up and go attitude. I find that a trait in many Brit amps Like Naim, Exposure, etc. Fast and Nimble. Better paired with meaty speakers. 

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12 minutes ago, BrownMagic said:


I can only talk about the Luxman 509X. It is a great amp. It doesn’t do anything spectacularly well. It just does everything right. Doesn’t add anything much on it own. Tonally I would call this a neutral sounding amp compared to the MA8900. Accuphase to me is a mix of both. Has the details of the luxman and the warmth of the Mcintosh. 

i have only heard the rega amps when I went to buy my rega turntable. I didn’t necessarily find them bright. I found them to have this get up and go attitude. I find that a trait in many Brit amps Like Naim, Exposure, etc. Fast and Nimble. Better paired with meaty speakers. 

Thanks 

Which speakers you call meaty ,kef  ls50 or any other Kef ?

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6 hours ago, gemini07 said:

For that sort of money and given your level of expectation, I'd be having a close look at three of the Accuphase integrated amps available on Gumtree at the moment. Prices range from $4,000 to $9,000. 

 

Build quality, sound quality, resale value and general appearance are second to none, IMO.

Thanks, any brand new or all used? Can't find a seller with price !

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3 hours ago, Mason Safari said:

How about Hegel ? Rega is more close to hegel than LumX? Also Rega Aethos close to Brio ( characteristics)?

No experience with Hegel yet. I think only audioconnection in Leichardt has Hegel but they don't have Rega.

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3 hours ago, BrownMagic said:

I found them to have this get up and go attitude. I find that a trait in many Brit amps Like Naim, Exposure, etc. Fast and Nimble. Better paired with meaty speakers. 

Agree on that, Rega is fast, really fast.

Well, it's not very useful with slow music, especially for vocal + few instruments but when the music gets really fast and congested Rega is keeping up. 

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2 hours ago, Irek said:

No experience with Hegel yet. I think only audioconnection in Leichardt has Hegel but they don't have Rega.

I might give them a visit , how about Luxman ? anyone have them for auditioning in Sydney ?

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BTW I don't think so it's worth to pair Ls50 with $5k + amplifier. 

Reason one Ls 50 wireless has the performance of ls50 + $4k amp (generally speaking)

 Reason two , upgrading speakers is almost always more beneficial than upgrading amp. There are few nice bookshelf speakers $5k - $8k that can be use with Rega Brio. 

 

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For LS50, perhaps Luxman? That’s if you cannot audition and buy blindly.  A safe choice becos most ppl like warm musical sound and like Made in Japan.

 

I am happy with my Hegel (very neutral and non-fatigue) and I used to have Rega Elicit-r.  

 

I would be more worried about the fact that OP plans to upgrade speakers... The particular Luxman model may be slightly under powered for some... ?

 

 

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4 hours ago, Irek said:

BTW I don't think so it's worth to pair Ls50 with $5k + amplifier. 

Reason one Ls 50 wireless has the performance of ls50 + $4k amp (generally speaking)

 Reason two , upgrading speakers is almost always more beneficial than upgrading amp. There are few nice bookshelf speakers $5k - $8k that can be use with Rega Brio. 

 

Thanks , what would be some options to try and audition  from ls50s?

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18 hours ago, Mason Safari said:

I might give them a visit , how about Luxman ? anyone have them for auditioning in Sydney ?

 

Just so we're clear - you want to audition locally but buy overseas yes? Or are you going to audition locally and hope/argue you can get a price REMOTELY close to your already crazy pricing (I'll save you the time - you wont)?

 

If everybody did this, how do you expect stores to stay in business and remain open so ANYBODY can try before they buy? Just so you know, retail businesses dont stay open on goodwill and positive experience alone - there are bills to pay LONG before you consider making a profit.

 

Anyway, to answer a question you asked earlier, as a Hegel owner (and previous Luxman owner) I would class Hegel amps as incredibly neutral and devoid of having a "house" sound. I would say the Class A Luxmans are very organic, smooth and relaxed sounding. The Hegel in comparison is fast, agile with an inky dark background.

Edited by Hydrology
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1 hour ago, Hydrology said:

 

Just so we're clear - you want to audition locally but buy overseas yes? Or are you going to audition locally and hope/argue you can get a price REMOTELY close to your already crazy pricing (I'll save you the time - you wont)?

 

If everybody did this, how do you expect stores to stay in business and remain open so ANYBODY can try before they buy? Just so you know, retail businesses dont stay open on goodwill and positive experience alone - there are bills to pay LONG before you consider making a profit.

 

Anyway, to answer a question you asked earlier, as a Hegel owner (and previous Luxman owner) I would class Hegel amps as incredibly neutral and devoid of having a "house" sound. I would say the Class A Luxmans are very organic, smooth and relaxed sounding. The Hegel in comparison is fast, agile with an inky dark background.


I’ve walked in to plenty of stores over 30 years without any intention to buy, purely to just sit and listen, see a piece of gear in the flesh or chat all things audio.  If I was told “how do you expect us to keep the lights on” or similar, the store would never see me again.

 

When it comes time to purchase, sometimes years down the track, I go back to those who showed me courtesy, hospitality and gave their time without obligation.  
 

The OP has already said he’s previously spent 10’s of thousands locally.  Personally, I’d be keen to try and establish a positive relationship.

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