Luxman L-550AX

I saw that there is a new release in the Japan and now US market of the integrated class A Luxman L-550.

Anyone knows whether, apart from the specs., is there any sonic difference between the old L-550AII and the new model L-550AX?.

don't know about the L-550 AII, but I got the L-550 AX a few weeks ago. I moved from EAR 868 / CJ Premier 140 combo to this integrated and haven't looked back. My circumstances may be different than yours, but I like to leave my equipment on much of the time and solid state (class A) fits my lifestyle better than tubes. The Luxman is solid as a rock, oozes class, the loudness control is nice and the phono stage sounds great. Very musical sounding unit. The soundstage might not be quite as deep as the EAR/CJ combo, but I do think the overall sound is at least as nice, and somewhat more fleshed out to my ears.. The 20 watts are just fine with my Gallo Ref 3.5 speakers. Let me know what else I can tell you.

thanks a lot for sharing your experience. My main interest in the 550AII version is that it is much cheaper than the 550AX here in Europe. You are lucky with prices in US, here in Europe taxes make these imports almost no affordable.

Several questions to you:
1) Have you tried the headphone output with sensitive (<100 Ohms) headphones?. This is important to me, cause I used often a Grado RS1 and JH13s.

2) On a rack, what's a prudent vertical separation to avoid heating issues?. If touched the upper part, one get 'burned' quickly?.

Ah yes, I have tried the headphone out with Grado Rs1i's - great synergy). when the lights are low and I want to listen to some Miles and don't want to wake up my neighbors, its
a great solution. I don't see the volume control going up above 50% for any of my uses so far (about 3 weeks). Includes playing a low output moving coil cartridge as well (well that 's maybe a hair over 50 or 60% if I want to crank it.
In terms of heat, well there is some coming mainly out the top but really not too obnoxious.. I thought it would be hotter. I'd say you need a good 6 inches of free space around the top to be safe.
The AX it's a different monster in every respect excellent phono.
I have a new one on the way now. Bought it without ever hearing one. Very anxious for it to arrive. Also ordered a Sumiko Blackbird HO MC to use with it. I've heard very good things about it and it's phono stage.