Luxman Integrated - What do they sound like


Hi Everyone,

I'm considering getting myself a late 2018 Christma present or early 2019 birthday present.

Modern Luxman reviews are really hard to come by, and are generally just superlative without being very qualitative. I mean, it's all "rah rah rah!! " and no actual details.
For anyone who has listened to them lately, can you tell me what they actually sound like in comparison to other nice amps I might have heard?

Thank you,
Erik


erik_squires
Post removed 
Erik, you asked a good question and I'd also be interested in some answers. Also for anyone that has actually heard the following I'd be interested in the difference in sound between the following:
Luxman 507 UXII, 505 UXII, 509 AXII, 509 X.
I own the L-590AX. I wouldn’t describe the sound as warm, but maybe it is compared to some other amps. I consider it fairly neutral, and very detailed across the range.
http://www.navratilaudio.cz/novinky/Luxman_L590AXII_HFW.pdf
Sort of off the subject,  i have the R115 and R117 receivers and love them both.
Have.the Klipsch Heresy hooked to the 117 and.the KG 3 to the 115
@builder3 Can you compare it to any non-luxman gear?
@escorial  The biggest problem with getting an idea from others about Luxman is no one has a good comparison to other gear. Sometimes to Accuphase, but I haven't heard that either.

Best,
E
@builder3 Thanks so much for the review!

Soundstage is one of the items that consistently comes up as being an important differentiator. A good thing. :)
erik, unfortunately for you, I'm not a guy that has had a lot of gear. I bought my amp blind, essentially, which obviously is far from ideal. That being said, I think it's stunning. The gentleman that owned it previously went thru a number of integrateds after that, nearly full circle back to Luxman. My system would be very nondescript compared to most here. Speakers are Paradigm S6's, turntable is MoFi Ultradeck, DH Lab cabling. Detail is superb. I particularly like what I hear in female vocals, guitar, and percussion. I'd also say that the bass control is very crisp. Hope this helps.
Anyone using any version of the 505UX?
hi @builder3

That's what I am finding, the Luxman ecosystem of users is kind of a closed community. The listeners haven't heard a lot of other gear that is in circulation among what we call High End Audio.

Do you get to listen to other gear very often?

Your system sounds perfectly reasonable by the way.

Best,
E
Erik, I don't really ever hear anything to speak of, other than the occasional trip to the audio store. I've had a system running since my late teens, and when I put it together I was pretty proud of it. Pioneer late 70's receiver, etc. That Pioneer is still sitting here, but I got tired of fiddling with it, and it didn't do the new speakers justice. So I sort of took the plunge and put together a new set-up, which I love. Small room, near-field listening, very enjoyable.
I think I'm in the minority, and I suspect most Luxman owners have heard a fair amount of comparable gear. I think the main issue is that Luxman seems to not bother with much in the way of promotion of any kind. Another issue for them, which probably has been mostly overcome at this point, is the large amount of mediocre gear they sold in the recent past under previous ownership.
Good luck,
I had own many Luxman amps. Since 2009.
Now i have the 900u monos.
Before i had 509X and 590AXII.
I like their class A amps and the 900u. The new 507UXII excellent as well.
I found for harbeth owners look out for luxman gear. Best match so far in my experience. I had owned most harbeth 40.2 anniversary now.
Regards
I found for harbeth owners look out for luxman gear. Best match so far in my experience. I had owned most harbeth 40.2 anniversary now.

This really is too funny. I mean, I appreciate everyone who loves Luxman, but it's kind of interesting few can really describe the sound quality and compare them to something else except in very vague terms. Maybe there's' a certain audio magic which makes Luxman owners forget to diagnose the sound?

Best,
E
@erik_squires   Methinks you just won BINGO.  I have the Luxman E-250 phono amp. and it doesn't really have an identifiable sonic signature.  Well engineered albums sound beautiful.  Poorly recorded material sounds much less so.  The only adjective I might ascribe to it is a textural smoothness.  The biggest surprise for me was how it seems to minimize the sound of vinyl surface imperfections. An "honest" piece of kit.
I owned an older version of those amps the L560 Japanese version. for about a year and I can tell you what I liked about it. The L560 was a 50wpch pure class A amp made in 1985. I ran it on my Living Voice speakers.

The L560 was a surprise to be honest I didn’t think it was going to be as good as it was being a little older. It was a very powerful sounding 50wpc with excellent extension top and bottom with very good base control (to 35hz of my speakers anyway). I say yes a little warmer sounding but not tube like warm just maybe musical warm sounding. quite detailed through out especially in the top end (which surprised me). It also had excellent decay in notes and quite good instrument separation. It liked to rock too. one of the things that surprised me was how fun it was to listen just very involving. I came from Tubes to that and didn’t miss much of the tube sound with the Class A amp.

 Ultimately the very top extension was a little less then newer amps that’s about all I missed with it. I also really liked the tone control system on it. It  was actually really nice to have for lower listening levels or movies. Had a rather nice phono stage too just lacked some settings for MC only 100ohm but two gain settings, so I didn't use it much.

Yeah it ran hot class A and all.  Back then Luxman used heat pipes for cooling instead of all the aluminum fins. wonder why they don't anymore?  It was wrapped in wood. I miss the wood cases so beautiful to look at and touch. 

I still regret selling it too be honest but needed the money for my current amp 8wpch 300b SET.

I would like to say something here about people saying class A wont last that amp was build in 1985 and was running perfectly only thing I needed to do to it was get the bias checked-adjusted and a cold solder joint re-soldered not bad for 33 years. 

this is the amp
http://www.thevintageknob.org/luxman-L-560.html


ericsch,

I have 505 UX. If I had to describe the sound, as futile as that may be, I would say it is not noticeable. Of course, it does make sounds. It may be what people would call "neutral". Nothing sticks out while everything is there. Nothing that would make me think about an amplifier. It simply amplifies and does not make me think about it. That may be the answer to...

"Maybe there’s’ a certain audio magic which makes Luxman owners forget to diagnose the sound?"

Maybe the answer is not about magic but about the priorities and personalities of Luxman owners. Luxman marketing department may have answers.

Comparing it with anything else may not be easy on the Internet. Auditioning would go much further.
Comparing it with anything else may not be easy on the Internet. Auditioning would go much further.



I think I'm pretty much going to have to. :)


Best,
E

Erik I have a brand new Luxman 507UXII, purchased to power my new Magico A3's. The Magico's have been on back order since October 12 and are due for delivery sometime in February. I'll report my findings to you soon as they arrive and things are hooked up.

The only thing I can tell you now is that  the Luxman 507UXII Integrated is very heavy and looks like it's built solid as a rock. I like that. At the time of purchase I incidentally discovered Magico was using the Luxman 509AXII, one step up from the 507UXII, to demo their A3 speakers at shows. For now that's all I have.  February cannot get here fast enough. 

Mike
Surely you’re not going to make a $6-10k purchase based on what others on the internet "hear" out of their Luxmans compared to other amps...

Barring the positive reviews and other feedback here on AG and other forums from Luxman owners, only YOU will be able to make a comparison between what you’ve heard in the past and what your listening impressions of the Luxman integrated will be.

You need to get out to a dealer and hear them for yourself and see what your ears tell you.

Personally I moved from some very decent AVRs (Denon, Anthem) to vintage Luxman separates (tube and solid state) finally to the 509X integrated.

I have the feeling that Luxman is very much an "enthusiast" brand, where people like myself fall in love as much with the history, aesthetic, and build quality of the brand and are very happy with the sound the brand produces. So to some extent, you’re going to have that baked into the feedback you get from Luxman owners & enthusiasts.

They obviously are doing something right, so get out there and listen to what your ears tell you.

I owned a 505ux and it matched beautifully with my Harbeth SHL5s. I would describe the combination as warm and organic. I tried other amps with the Harbeths including Bryston (very good), Ayre (not a good match) and demoed a Prima Luna integrated (good but not better). The 505ux drives medium to high efficiency speakers very well and has a great esthetic and, wait for it, a loudness button. I like that. 
The only things that 505UX does not have are a mono button and a coffee-maker. Everything else is there. 507UX adds a mono button, I think.
https://forum.audiogon.com/discussions/my-long-list-of-amplifiers-and-my-personal-review-of-each/post?postid=1654424#1654424

Good topic to check. I bought Luxman L 509x couple of weeks ago. Blown away. So good. Bass is amazing. I sold my speakers to get a something better to match with Luxman now.
Surely you’re not going to make a $6-10k purchase based on what others on the internet "hear" out of their Luxmans compared to other amps...

Surely you aren't saying it is wrong to ask.
My amp is a Luxman L-550AXII, but sadly I’m unsure how to explain the differences between it and the many other amps I’ve owned. Fortunately there’s no shortage of reviews to be had by googling, all of which are pretty much raves.

Suffice it to say that it’s the best amp I’ve owned, including gear that cost between two and 3 times as much. Being a Class A device with only 20W (in Class A; it does of course transition into Class A/B when pushed hard) speaker matching is something to keep in mind and you wouldn’t want to pair it with, say, 83dB/4Ohm speakers.
Surely you aren't saying it is wrong to ask.
You can ask all you want, I'm just saying I'm not sure it's really going to tell you anything... You asked Luxman owners to describe how their integrateds sound compared to other amps "I might have heard." I just don't know if that's actually possible to do. 

I do apologize for saying you should go listen to one yourself, as it occurred to me that I bought my 509X without hearing one first. But I had already owned 3 other Luxman components and had a lot of trust in the brand. That combined with the positive reviews from Pursuit Perfect System and Ken Micallef's Stereophile review was enough for me to pull the trigger. 

Have you owned other Luxman equipment before?

Can you tell us some other amps you have heard and maybe some of the other Luxman owners will have heard those amps and could give you more specific feedback.
You can ask all you want, I'm just saying I'm not sure it's really going to tell you anything... You asked Luxman owners to describe how their integrateds sound compared to other amps "I might have heard." I just don't know if that's actually possible to do.


People do this all the time. I do it when I describe amps I recommend.

Have you owned other Luxman equipment before?

Never even seen one in person. That's why I'm asking.



Can you tell us some other amps you have heard and maybe some of the other Luxman owners will have heard those amps and could give you more specific feedback.

Ayre, Pass, Conrad Johnson tubed, Audio Research old and new. Parasound Halo.
I have owned a PrimaLuna ProLogue 4 tube amp, and wouldn't feel comfortable comparing it to the 509X... I mean, it's an $800 tube amp vs a $9500 integrated, so they don't have much in common, but I'll try...

The PL 4 was very smooth sounding and a little rolled off on the highs. It did sound a little chesty in the lower mid-range, compared to the 509X, which absolutely shines in the mid-range (lots of rich, realistic detail in vocals and higher octave bass, plus a lot of grip and control).

But the PL 4 (to me) had much less control over the bass. It was pretty flabby/tube-y and diffuse, if that makes sense. The 509X retains its sonic character pretty much at any volume as well. 

Before I bought the 509X, my local dealer is a Parasound and PrimaLuna dealer, so I listened to both the Halo integrated and Dialogue Premium integrateds there for probably 30 minutes each.

Compared to both I prefer the 509X... To me, the Halo integrated didn't sound like anything special. It sounded like a very good stereo system, like something that wouldn't draw me in very much to the music but would be perfectly acceptable to listen to as background or even to show off to friends, etc.

The Dialogue Premium is a very good integrated. In contrast to the Halo, it was very engaging, and did have exceptionally smooth mids, soundfield, depth, and "sparkle" to the high end. But to compare it to the 509X, the Luxman has more dynamics and control. It has better placement in the stereo field of the instruments. More expansive both front and back.

But the biggest thing, above either of the PrimaLunas or Parasound that I compared it to, is the dynamics of the Luxman, especially with my La Scala II speakers. With the 509X, I get a real sense of movement to the music. The dynamics are just stirring, it seems to control the music so well. Certain passages almost seem to be in motion, and it is quiet and delicate and detailed, or massive and almost startling when it needs to be. 

All of that combined with the Luxman build quality, brand integrity, and aesthetic of the 509X is why I went with the 509X integrated. 

Hope that may have helped some!
Hope that may have helped some!



It does! That was totally on point, thank you.

E

erik, sounds like you’re getting some info, anyway. As to the Luxman sound (or the L-590AX, anyway), I’d have to agree with the description in the article I linked up above, wholeheartedly.
I also want to add, there’s no such piece as a L509AX, those are typos. Luxman’s two top integrateds at this time are the new L509X, and the L-590AXII (which they tout as Class A).
Another thing, maybe important, maybe not. The build quality on these is nothing short of amazing.
I'll post this for your amusement, Erik.
https://www.stereophile.com/content/luxman-b-1000f-monoblock-power-amplifier
Obviously not what you're interested in purchasing, but perhaps a bit of insight into the company, what they're capable of, and some of what will be "trickling down" into their $10,000 offerings.
Oh to be the head of a Japanese car company ... :)

Best,
E
@builder3  I have actually heard that amp with Vivid Giya Spirit 2. Sounded great but I have some suspicion that the m900u is the best Luxman today. I think I read it somewhere on the internet, so it must be true. I have been interested in this m900u for a while now so I have been reading whatever popped up.

I believe Luxman is a good candidate for brighter speakers. So I am considering the following:

Paradigm Persona 3F
Linn Selekt DSM (digital preamp with DSP)
Luxman m900u  (not heard it yet)

I have a feeling the Luxman and Persona will go great together.

BTW - as mentioned earlier by @karurravi on the best amp thread. Whitecamereocross has indicated that there will be new Luxman mono blocks with the m9000u technology. You need to read his massively long thread to find that nugget.
yyz, I'd like to hear my amp with the Persona 3F's, too.  I have their now discontinued S6's, and love the combination.
Wanted to give my piece to this. I just brought home the 509X for an in home audition with my Spendor D9's. The amps that I have heard for a reasonable amount of time include my own Line Magnetic 805ia (with NOS and fairly pricey new issue tubes), Hegel 360, Primaluna Dialogue Premium HP Integrated (which I had for about 2 weeks at home). 

The Luxman's build quality is easily the best that I have tested at home. It looks like it was meant to last a life time and I would expect it to given how well built it is. It is also very nice to look at. The sound is what is more important though and I think this is worth delving into a bit more. In my system, with my components and speakers, I enjoy it as much as I do my Line Magnetic save for some of that magical tube quality that I can't quite pinpoint. It is above the Hegel I heard with Magico A3's and the Primaluna Dialogue Premium HP which I had at home for a few weeks. Dynamics, strength, effortlessness are all words that I would use to describe this amp. Great extension at both the high and low range. The midrange is so smooth and yet accurate at the same time. Tight low end bass control was evident upon connecting this amp to my system. I could be perfectly happy with this amp for a long, long time. I am curious about the Class A 590AX II however and would like to try that out before making a decision but it is likely that I will be getting a Luxman soon. 
Hello Erik, I home demoed the Luxman pre/power combo (C-700U and M-700U) which apparently has a very similar sound signature to the integrated. I wrote a review comparing it to other amps I demoed and below is a link to the review:
(https://pinkfishmedia.net/forum/threads/a-review-of-some-amps-on-home-demo-naim-v-luxman-v-devialet-...

In summary the Luxman had the most valve-like sound to me, a very rounded smooth sound compared to the other amps I was testing. It lacked a little in fine detail compared to the others. It was very easy to listen to and created no fatigue at all, whatever I threw at it. It was the most forgiving of poor harsh recordings. On well-recorded 50s/60s vocal music (think Sinatra etc) it was absolutely sublime, just amazing. The sound wrapped itself around you. On complex classical music it was a little more muddled than the others. On rock it was good on 70s rock (Pink Floyd in particular), and good enough on live recordings. On electronica/dance music (Daft Punk, Kraftwerk etc) the reduced detail meant the music lost a lot compared to the other amps I was testing (Naim, Vitus and Devialet).
I have the 509x. it replaced a Parasound Halo "Hint". I can only compare it to the HINT.  Caveat: I am not an analytical listener and haven't owned many high end amps.

In my room, with my ears it was an improvement. I hear better bass, improved soundstage and  it makes music more enjoyable for me. I'd say it has compelling dynamics while imparting more of a mellow flow to the music (if that makes sense).


In days of old, they made a real cool hybrid unit.  
The comparisons to Parasound are a big help. I owned A23s for a while (2 amps) and I can't hear a difference between that and my current amps (ICEpower 250 ASP).


Listened for an hour to HD-streamed/DAC at the NY show and was impressed. Detailed, sweet, delicate and very musical. 
https://twitteringmachines.com/ny-audio-show-2018-the-rooms-part-1/
I’ll give this a try after owning a 590AII with Verity speakers and a 550AX with Devore speakers.
Warm side of neutral, bit of golden hue to the music.
Very clean and clear at low and mid volumes but not the best at higher volumes. I always detected a bit of energy at high levels that made things a bit bright. Some would say grand and welcomed but I think a little harsh. Not the case with the 600a or 800a.
Not the black background you would get from Pass or SPEC amp but again this was a higher volume issue for me. Wasn’t room feedback because it wasn’t there with other amps. They got a little flat at high volume (les dynamic).
More body than Ayre AX7e, less dynamic, smoother, a little less black background that Ayre is known for. Less etched than Simaudio intergrated I owned I5.3. Not dull or too full sounding like Plinius 9200. More vibrant and musical than Mac 6300 and 6500.
Closer to a tube character than any of the above mentioned. Soundstage more "live" than above.
Great build quality and loads of features.
Not too hot running. Great WAF.
I've heard a number of Luxman pieces.

590AXII is 30W Class @ 8 ohms. Has the classic Class A sound with a nice midrange bloom. Just note it runs out of steam pretty quickly so a fairly efficient speaker is a must IMHO.

I like the 507/509 sound better and they can drive a wider range of speakers. I've heard both a number of times but never compared the 507 to the 509; that being said they both have good overall bandwidth/resolution and are not sterile but they do have nice detail retrieval. I'd think the 509X is the better, probably a little sweeter sounding but nearly twice the cost. It is supposed to have the first 2W in Class A.

Heard the C900u/M900u yesterday and it is pretty nice. Very good slam but not great midrange fleshing out; treble is very good and fatigue free. (See "My Long List of Amplifiers...…." here for much more detail) This particular audition was on TAD ME-1s. We played tubes from ARC and that was better. The Ref75 SE with the C900u preamp was pretty good pairing and and the same pre with BAT 56KSE monos was even better. Both of these combos had better more fleshed out midrange and cymbals on the BAT may have been better than the Ref75. 

To sum it up, the SS Luxman gear I've heard, barring the 590AXII, has nice resolution with good midrange and upper registers and yet is not fatiguing or hard sounding. Luxman has a good name because their gear is pretty enjoyable to listen to. Their gear is also very sexy, especially the 509X and the C900u/M900u. Hope this helps Erik.
I'd think the 509X is the better, probably a little sweeter sounding but nearly twice the cost. It is supposed to have the first 2W in Class A.

This beast consumes 150 W while idling!! I doubt its just the first 2W. :)







Thanks @ bjesien  and @pokey77 for your detailed comparisons! I appreciate it.

It really sounds like a brand I might really like. I'll try to make time to go to my local (but not that local) dealer over the next couple of weeks.
PS, I just want to say the Luxman "peel coat" thing is super weird.

You are not required to use solder mask when you order a PCB. You can however order them bare, and with gold plating.

That's what I think Luxman is doing with their high end boards. Of course, the gold coating makes each board a little more expensive.

I just think it's funny they claim they are peeling off the solder mask.
590AXII is 30W Class @ 8 ohms. Has the classic Class A sound with a nice midrange bloom. Just note it runs out of steam pretty quickly so a fairly efficient speaker is a must IMHO.

The L-590AX is 30W/channel Class A into 8 ohms, then switches to A/B. It will actually put out over 90W/channel into 8 ohms, and nearly 160 into 4 ohms.
@builder3

I am basing my comments on user experience. If you have an inefficient speaker, this amp won't shine for you. What this translates to is a lack of finesse and snap & sparkle.
I'm only clarifying what the amp actually puts out, pokey. Nor are all inefficient speakers the same.
@erik_squires

"This beast consumes 150 W while idling!! I doubt its just the first 2W. :) "

I’m pretty sure that is what I read in the literature back when I was considering the 509X. The 509X gets slightly warm but never even moderately warm. The 509X sounds excellent with Harbeth SHL5Plus and Wilson Sabrina’s. Pretty good with TAD ME-1s too if I recall correctly.
As there are a bunch of Luxman owners posting here, I'm curious if anyone has experienced any transformer hum--even mild--from a Luxman integrated.  Over the web there are a few reports, mainly from a few years ago, of this kind of issue.
I've had a L590axII in my system for a month now, it replaced a Yamaha a-s2100. I have run el-34 and 300B tubes with the same main speakers. My thoughts...

I like the Lux better (than the Yamaha) all around. Small things mostly.... it has a better system match. To my ears in my room/system the Lux has better low level detail yet retains some bit of warmth- without going overboard.

 I do like the versatility of Loudness button, tone controls, Mono switch, and all sorts of input/ output choices- along with A and B speaker switching. (the Yamaha does share most of those traits) FWIW I run mostly in line straight unless the media/source needs fine tuning for my room/ear.

My main speakers are quite efficient at 100+- DB and the 'B' speakers are probably around 86 +- DB. I agree with others about the Lux possibly running out of steam on lower efficient speakers, tho I never have.

The 590 while testing to a higher level of output (75 or 90 watts into 8 ohm depending on who you want to believe) I think it would be fair to say just pretend it's a 30 watt SS amp with some good headroom.

If you are running some 90+ efficient speakers in a mid size room, 85+ in a small room or 95+ in a larger room you should be OK with the 590- depending on music choice and expectations.

An example of this: At a distance of 5 feet I find my sound level meter sits at 70DB+- on the small 'B' speakers. I switch to 'A' speakers, walk over to more efficient A speakers at 5 feet the same output setting will show a 84+- DB. This is a huge difference that really determines your system matching. 

The 509x could be better with more versatility going forward in speaker choice, depending on what you want to run. I have not heard the 509x, so don't know it's sonic signature.

I like the 590 amp- it gives some hints of what I like about the tube sound- tho I do miss the spatial quality of the 300B a little. It makes up for that compromise in other ways. My main speakers while having some faults,  show great dynamic character which works very well with the 590axII

Cheers,
RW