A lot of people love these Luxman integrateds, and I think they're impressive when it comes to detail and delivering that "live, in the room" sound. They look cool, too. But like most Class A amps, to my ears they're rather bright and fatiguing, even the 590 and 509 models. I auditioned the 550 last week over Harbeths, and even those extremely warm speakers couldn't tame its upper end. I know the salesman agreed with me, and we both preferred an LFD integrated in the same room, but I've spoken to others who think the Luxman is clearly superior to LFD, so YMMV. Anyway, to answer your question properly would require more info on your setup, but the best speakers I ever heard the 550 paired with were the Gershman Avant Gardes. Again, that's a warmish speaker, and in my opinion these Luxmans really need that. I'd look into Spendor, JM Reynauds, Harbeth, although if you can handle that high end, they were very impressive with Devores.
Do listen with your own ears. Upper end needing to be tamed? I can't disagree more with what coverto says with what my ears are hearing. I own the L590A II and it is the one I will live my days out with. I have never read a review that said anything like what coverto mentions either. That is why it is important to see if this is what floats your boat. Everyone's ears and biases are different so what I hear and what coverto hears may not be what you like.
clarification: the Luxman 505U's amp section is Class AB, not Class A (as the 509 and 590 are).
always buy speakers first.
I'm a dealer for Harbeth, Lux and LFD so take or leave my opinion. Both are excellent but the Lux 505 is a bit more involving, faster and more exciting to listen to. Takes many hours to sound it's best. Maybe 200+ hours. Just about all customers have agreed the Lux is better. Plus it has a pretty darn good phono stage. 505 is class AB as chosenhandle has mentioned. Feel free to call us at 248-259-7017 if you want to discuss.
I have one--just got it a few months ago. Check out the thread I initiated for related reading. It's done amazing things to my system. I never thought an amp could have such a positive impact on both speakers and sources. I use it with Vandersteeen 2ce Sigs. Send me an email if you want more specific information. I highly recommend this amplifier!!
Rosedanny--I have been intrigued by this amp lately and have been following discussion forums. Can you please provide specifics as to how the L-505U had such a positive impact on your system? I too am considering purchasing this amp in the near future. Your response would be kindly appreciated. Thanks..
Hi Mdnocum. I'll try my best to put this into words . . .
Impact on Speakers:
I didn't realize how fast my Vandersteens could be until I got the L505u. The front edges of notes spring into the room, and everything seems more lively. Also, the resolution is much better across the sound spectrum. I didn't realize the Vandies could be so detailed in bass, mid, and highs. Never harsh, mind you, only an abundance of the correct musical details.
Impact on Sources:
The analogue front end is least changed. I just notice a more well defined soundstage and better detail. As I stated in another thread, the texture of strings and body of stringed instruments is wonderful.
The digital, which is an inexpensive Oppo, is a mixed bag with the Luxman. Initially, the amplifier revealed the shortcomings of the Oppo to me: some blurred imaging, undefined bass, and difficulty with complex music. While I still believe this to be true, I've also had some very enjoyable listening experiences with small combo jazz and acoustic music. I can certainly see that a better CD player will bring great returns in digital playback. That's probably going to be my next upgrade.
I hope this helps. It's hard to describe these things. I know that I'm enjoying music for music's sake from this amplifier, and many nights I lose track of the time while the disks spin and the meters dance!
Rosedanny--Thank you very much for your insight on this amplifier. Now, I just need to go out an audition the Luxman L-505U and hear for myself. I did listen to the Luxman L-507U briefly (It sounded wonderful!!) as the dealer did not have the L-505U but since this amp cost almost twice the price of the L-505U, I am not sure if the sonic character of these amps would be that similar. Thanks again!
How does the Luxman L-505u integrated amp (or the L-507u) sound compared to the Luxman L-550A II integrated? Maybe the real question is how does the Class AB amp compare to the Class A amp? It is my understanding that both Luxman amplifiers are not dual mono design yet have XLR inputs. Is this a concern? My friend recently purchased a Luxman L-550A II Integrated for his Sonus Faber Auditor M speakers and wants me to look at Luxman (I own the Ayre AX-7e Integrated and like it very much). He is very happy with his Luxman Class A amp with these speakers.
I have yet to hear a Class A solid state amp that is fatiguing and tiring to listen to.
This includes the Class A's from Accuphase, Lamms, Pass Labs, and others.
I think the ancilliary wiring and cords would make a difference though.
Perhaps there is some sort of mismatch somewhere along the chain.
For those who owns the 505u, even though its a 100w amp, how is the power ? is it more powerful than what the specs suggest ?
I'm very curious about this amp & hope to audition them soon as well.
I have a 505u and play mostly vinyl. Great phono stage and plenty of power - I rarely have the knob much past 9 o'clock. I use Monitor Audio RS8 speakers. I love this amp. Sounds wonderful. I didn't have the chance to compare it head-to-head with teh 507u, but that's almost 2x the cost, so I was doubtful if it was worth it. Highly recommend the 505u.
Nolitan, it seems to have MUCH more power than the specs designate. I, too, rarely have the volume past 9:00. Never been to 12 and I've had some rockin' sessions! I hope you get to hear one soon!
I'm hoping it can drive the atc scm 19s well.
thanks for the inputs.
Nolitan, I had both the 505u and the 507u. The 507u is still with me. The amplifiers are very similar in sound. Very relaxed, powerful and with super controlled deep bass.
I have compared them with an accuphase e408, which has 180 Wpc. But even the 505u sounds so incredible much more powerful then the 408. The 505u really has grip on the speakers. I still enjoy my 507u everyday
Would you be kind enough to advice whether the extra $ difference between the 505u and 507u is worth it ?
I know the wattage differs by 10watts but i'm almost sure there is something else that differs in the two in terms of sound quality ?
My guess, the 507u is more refine than the 505u.
I'm familiar with accuphase and LFDs having tried them numerous times.
I look forward to auditioning the Luxman soon.
If you look at the importer site you will see that it has lots of "ness" to it. It didn't compare well to the Ayre integrated I had at the time or the McIntosh 6500 IMO.
Luxman is trying to win back the mid to upper end high fi and IMHO they are doing it. Look a little deeper into the line. The 505u is a hopeful unit. "I really like your personality but..."
The L505u is an interesting piece of audio equipment. I decided to go that direction due to cabnitry constraints that prevented me from using a medium power tube amp. I bought the L505u on reputation. My speaker system is extremely hohographic with exceptional depth perspective. At least that is the way it sounded with the tube amp I was using previously. Right out of the box, I couldn't believe how congested and "thick" sounding the L505u reproduction was.I expected a little better start up than that, however, in as much as all audio equipment needs to go through a "break in" period, I decided to be patient. Well, after 200 hours I was told that the reproduction would totally open up; equivalent to opening a door. Yes there was an improvement, but only slight. I now have about 1000 hours on the piece and have also tried a variety of tweeks to see if the sound character would change or improve. Agreed, it has improved somewhat but not to the extent I expected. The sound reproduction is accurate and pleasant but nowhere near that wonderful "holographic" and totally open reproduction I experienced with tubes. Interestingly, I am using the same pair of speakers with another tube based system I own. God, what a difference. Everyone who has heard both my systems agrees. I have discussed this issue with various dealers and members of the CAES (Chicago Audio Engineering Society.) Generally speaking, most agree that this is, for the most part, one of the primary difference between tube based audio and solid state. Be that as it may, I guess I am not totally enamoured with the L505u. Lovely build and wonderful features. I wish the sound matched. Unfortunately I really can't afford to experiment with other solid state amps.
At least you still have a tube amp. I very much wanted to move back to solid state and so far my ears haven't allowed it. Next up is a Hegel H200. I've already come to the conclusion that I can't ever sell the tubes