Naim or Exposure.
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What Verity speakers are you thinking of? I had Fidelios with a Pass INT-150 and thought it was very good, but not exceptional. I've heard the Luxman, and while it runs very hot (not my cup of tea) it sounds phenomenal--very natural. I haven't heard it with Verity, but I do imagine this would be a good combination. Verity is easy to drive, so there are a lot of lower-power integrateds you can look at. The i-7 is very good, but maybe a little too analytical for verity, but again, I don't know which verity's you're thinking of. I don't know anything about the 700i.
Pass has a new INT-30A which is based off the X30.5, which is 30 watts of class A. That might be an interesting thing to audition.
If you're deciding between just luxman and sim, I would say luxman.
Which integrated will match best with your speakers and room and what kind of sound do you prefer? Unfortunately, there is no way for anyone to answer these questions. You will not know until you're able to stick the integrated in your system with whatever Verity speakers and hear what you have. Since we can't audition used units, you will need to gamble, buy the integrated and speakers, and face possible re-sale of the integrated.
I use Luxman with Verity and tried quite a few amps (Pass 350.5, Naim 250.2 of the above mentioned). The 590 has a very direct and dynamic sound that is absent even in the Luxman separates. I was very happy with the sound of 590 in my system. The Naim has excellent pace but decay is less realized. The treble is also not as sweet (very stringent on violins) and extended comparing to a pure class A amp. Pass is fluid sounding for SS and has much more power. However, Luxman has better resolution and pace. The functionality (phonostage, tone control) and build quality another plus.
The Luxman L-590 is a beautiful sounding amp. Just beware that it runs hot, and is bigger than it looks in pictures. If those minor things don't matter, I think it would be a great match for the Rienzi.
I agree with the above comments on Sim. I've tried a couple and wanted to like them because the design is great, however I never wanted to listen to music while it was in my system.
Is this a pen and paper dream system or have you written some checks?
Well, it certainly sounds like Luxman wins the day!
I have not bought anything yet, but I am considering the Verity Audio Rienzi driven by the Luxman L-590Aii, with either a Luxman (D-06 or DU-08) or Esoteric cdp.
I was looking at Simaudio to give me an all Canadian alternative, but this may not involve making the best choices...
Hope I am not highjacking the thread, but an obvious comarator to the Luxman 590 is the Accuphase E 550. They look very similar, similar size, price and specifications. Both come with 30watts of Class A and similar onboard goodies, such as a phono stage.
I am looking at a similar choice for a top integrated. Has anyone had a chance to compare the sound? I would appreciate a comparison.
Interesting- I didn't realize that Blue Circle was an Ontario based company.
In researching high quality audio, I keep discovering more high quality Canadian made products (Verity Audio, Totem, Gershman, Simaudio, Bryston, Classe, Oracle, Blue Circle etc).
Must be the long cold winters...
The components we have been discussing (Luxman 590Aii, Verity Audio Rienzi) are not ones that I can audition in my city.
Some days I think that I should just play it safe and buy stuff that I can see, touch, audition TOGETHER, and enjoy such as B&W 803d speakers driven by Bryston electronics (BP-26 and 4B or 14B SST2) with either a Bryston or Esoteric CD player.
Trying to put together a system on paper that is "better" means that I will hear it for the first time after I buy it and set it up in my listening room.
Is this a risk worth taking, and is it even an intelligent approach to spending a considerable sum of money?
If you take a trip to Montreal, you can hear the Verity ... maybe at the factory. ;-)
I purchased my Playback Designs MPS-5, Blue Circle BC206 & BC208 sight unseen and it worked out. When I purchased the BC206 ($15k US), I knew very little of Blue Circle and Gilbert. I suppose it was a little risky. I did trust the opinions of people I know however.
I think the risk of buying sight unseen is minimal if you do your research. Accuphase, Luxman, Blue Circle and Verity are all can't miss / highly reputabl brands IMO. Personally, I would hold out for a good used pair of Verity's (olderParsifals) and pair it with either the Luxman or Accuphase and buy your CDP new or gently used/demo with a warranty.
I would personally pick Verity over B&W's any day. I am a fan of building systems around speakers, and I think Verity makes very good speakers that respond well to a variety of amplification (tubes, class A, beefy AB, etc) and are life-like natural while still being neutral.
A big factor will be your room, as unless your dealer will allow you to audition at home, you're not going to gain the ultimate insight into a possible system by listening at a dealers. I've purchased from dealers, from friends, and on Audigon. I'm the kind of guy who likes to play around and tweak my system until I feel it's right, or I can settle in and listen (usually how I know I'm onto something). I don't mind buying and reselling if I have to, and I get to sample a lot of equipment that way. If your idea is to get everything and be done, then more research is required, or you have to find a dealer you trust, and let them put together a system you can try at home.
Do you have a particular listening preference? My feeling is that the kind of person who listens to B&W and Bryston wouldn't necessarily be pleased with a verity/luxman system and vice-versa.
I listen to cds - mostly classical solo piano (Beethoven sonatas, Bach etc), chamber music, and small ensemble jazz (Oscar Peterson, Thelonius Monk, Coltrane, Evans etc).
In researching locally available equipment, I realized that perhaps I was not finding the best options for me, and this is why I have been pondering the Verity Rienzi with Luxman 590Aii combo (sight unseen) vs. the 803d/Bryston option which I have been able to audition.
I have heard the Verity Audio Finn with a 20 wpc Luxman pure class A 550A integrated amp, and I liked what I heard. If I bought Verity Audio speakers, I would go up higher on the food chain to the Rienzi (or possibly even the Leonore). The Rienzi probably needs more than 20 wpc, so the 30 wpc 590Aii would be a better match.
Given my musical tastes, I have a feeling that I would prefer the Verity/Luxman combo. I can afford to buy new (which I much prefer to buying used), but I would have to buy the system sight unseen, and I am wondering if this is not too big a risk given the expense?
Mark...I have heard the Verity Rienzis, Leonores and Parsifal Ovations (all driven by tubed ARC source and amplification) and they are excellent speakers. I am a firm believer of building a system around a speaker. So I would recommend a quick visit to Verity in Montreal (or one of their dealers there) and take a listen. While as mentioned above you are not guaranteed the same sound you hear at a dealer's, at least you know that the speakers are capable of a sound you like and you can address any room/speaker interactions with room treatment if the speakers end up sounding differently in your listening space. So my suggestion is to audition the Verity's (hopefully with Luxman electronics) before buying something at that price point new and unseen. My sense is electronics you are less likely to take a hit on (especially if you buy a pristine used or demo unit with warranty coverage) and I would be more comfortable buying and reselling that stuff unseen. Just my 2 cents worth.
The best thing to do is call up Verity. I have a sneaking suspicion the Rienzi's will be too small for your room. I had the Fidelios in a 17 x 20 room and while they sounded good, they did sound small. If you are buying new and can afford good speakers, then take your time. I've spoken to Verity before and they're straightforward and helpful. Since you mentioned the Leonore, I'd investigate them. The 509u doesn't doesn't have a remote, in case you need one.
Other speakers you may want to investigate: Devore Silverback Reference or something from Audio Physic. If you can handle the heat of the Luxman, then go for it. I thought it was stellar.
Not hard to drive? Probably rules out the Simaudio: there are sweeter sounding integrated amps out there. I found it powerful enough, but a bit dry in my system, and pretty similar in sound to the much cheaper CODA integrated I had not too long ago (you can get those for around 1/2 the price of the I-7). As others have said, get something with tubes, or something biased higher to class A. I had better luck with a sweeter sounding amp, as my speakers aren't super power hungry.
You CAN hear the Luxman together with the Verity speakers in Toronto - go visit John at My Kind of Music...he carries both.
I believe that he currently has a pair of finns, as well as the Parsifals. And for Luxman, I am not sure which one he has in the showroom right now, possibly the 550...
Worth going to his shop though - he is an excellent dealer and an all around nice guy.
I have spoken to the local Verity Audio dealer and corresponded with Verity Audio, and they have assured me that the Finn, Rienzi, and Leonore would all be appropriate for my room size. The designer of the Rienzi has assured me that it is a good match for my size of listening room.
I can audition the Finn and Parsifal locally, but the Rienzi best fits my budget, and it should fit somewhere between these two speakers sonically.
Toronto 416 (Mark) - I just noticed a pair of Verity Parsifal Ovation's on Auction with only 2 days left, with no bids against them and no reserve Starting price is a very reasonable $5K. Strongly suggest you go after these! I have no affiliation with the seller... just able to sniff out a good deal when I smell one.
You are looking at excellent choices both. If you are going into this as a hobby where you will continue to tinker and trade, than don't be afraid to buy sight unseen, especially at this level of equipment. However, if you want to buy once and then listen forevermore, lol, listen first, then buy. If you can get the stuff into your house for a home audition, all the better, as that will tell you the ultimate truth: how it sound in YOUR space.
I'm sure, without having constant nearby comparison, that you will like either system. However, they will sound different. What will matter is how YOU like music to sound, ie, immediate and in-your-face or laid-back, forward sounding and bright or deeper (soundstage) and softer, analytical and detailed with pinpoint imaging or lush and full. I would recommend listening to similar speakers (efficient vs power hungry) and hearing them with different amps (tube, class A/B and class A) to get a sense of their sound, and try to determine the "type" of sound you like. Also, read as many reviews as you can on the specific pieces you are considering as they may give you a consensus on the type of sound they produce.
Be aware that by choosing B&W as an option, you will get, as you already have, strong opinions. It is pretty universal though that the new diamond tweeter has smoothed out one of the biggest complaints against B&W: bright or harsh highs on some material. I happen to be a big fan of B&W, and have listened to lots of different speakers. B&W competes with the best, to be sure. It really becomes a matter of personal taste. Like you, I listen to lots of small ensemble jazz and vocalists, and I will say that my B&W Nautilus 803's sound very good to great. However, I've auditioned the 803D and 802D extensively, and they sound absolutely spectacular. The one thing that I like about the B&Ws though, is their ability to sound good across a wide range of music, including more complex and robust orchestral or rock music. And, you can modify their sound by virtue of the electronics. Some people love the Bryston/B&W combo, while others think it may be a little bright. If you can hear them in Toronto, do so and be your own judge. I have heard the 802/3D with lush amps like MacIntosh and Cayin, which I believe (but not sure) will sound similar to the Luxman. The sound was beautiful. I think it would make sense to talk to dealers about system/component matching based on how you like to hear your music.
Bottom line, unless you are an overly critical listener or have VERY sharply defined likes/dislikes, you will be a happy camper no matter what you choose.
I have listened to a lot of systems in many audio dealers, and it has been an interesting and educational journey.
I have discovered several good brands that I had not previously heard (Verity Audio, Gershman, Simaudio, Pass, Luxman, Esoteric etc), and a few sacred cows have fallen by the wayside.
I have enjoyed listening to the B&W 803d and 802d, but I am not sure that they are right for me (even though I could easily live with them!). But I keep going back to hear them, as a reference point...
I have also enjoyed the Gershman Avant Garde, and look forward to hearing the Verity Audio Rienzi and Parsifal Ovation.
I am a past owner of the wonderfull Parsifal encore. I have tried many amps with them. The worst match was with Moon gear ( Monn i-5 and P5-w5 combo). Dry and lifeless, at least for my taste, but they sure looked good, about all I can say to their credit. Not sure about the Lux as I have never heard it, but I don't think you can do worse than the Sim gear with the Verity's.
After auditioning the Verity Audio Parsifal Ovations, I was smitten. I bought them.
I drive them with a Luxman L-509u class A/B integrated amp and a Luxman D-06 cdp. I am very pleased with this combination, and am enjoying the music.
My only recent addition to the system was a pair of Beyerdynamic T1 headphones (marvelous). I use the headphone jack in the Luxman 509u integrated amp (which is more than decent). I don't feel the need to buy a separate headphone amp.
Thanks to you all for your contributions and advice.
How do you think 509 and D06 should sound with 803D ?
I have the B&W speakers (driven by Denon PMA and DCD 2000, which I had before buying the 803D 2 years ago) and I am going to buy 509 and D06 without listening them before (impossible).
Will I have neutral, musical and natural sound with strong bass and no digital harshness in high frequencies in my 80% rock/20% jazz-fusion listenings ?
Luxman 509u is my only chance, I need an integrated amp with the same size as Denon PMA 2000 (this is my setup : http://im2.freeforumzone.it/up/23/67/1011509478.jpg ) and with the preamp/amp separate switch (so I can use the integrated as a power amp for the ht Denon AVR 3808's left and right pre-out, as I do with PMA 2000).
D06 will replace the harsh and bright Denon DCD 2000 for my CDs and (many!) SACDs, offering me digital inputs to use it as an external DAC for my PC
The Luxman 509u is possibly one of the best integrated amps on the planet, and the D-06 is a very fine CD player that mates well with it. Their build quality is as superb as their sound.
Well recorded regular Redbook CDs sound especially wonderful (I am rediscovering the glory of some gems from the early 90's). The D-06 sounds very natural, and it is much less clinical than say an Esoteric cdp. You will appreciate this attribute with longer listening sessions. Even though the more clinical player may sound better on an initial short audition, you may find this quality tiresome with longer listening.
The 509u together with the D-06 forms a very musical and neutral system, totally devoid of harshness. The 509u also has very good bass control, which should help improve the sound of the 803d by making the bass tighter and more controlled.
You are taking a big jump in quality, performance and musicality with the Luxman components - bravissimo!
Keep us posted regarding your new system.
Tomorrow I'll have the D06, but the 509u shipment is expected in FEBRUARY 2011 :-/ !
The italian Luxman importer told me that the 509u are produced in limited numbers, virtually on demand, personally signed by its designer!
In the meanwhile my friendly dealer will lend me his 550AII... Better than nothing...
Congratulations! Let us know what you think of the D-06.
Though the 550AII is only 20wpc, and not quite enough for your speakers, I did hear this amp do a surprisingly good job driving the Verity Audio Parsifal Ovations.
You will however be amazed when you finally have the 509u in your system.