Luxman L-590AXII vs Pass Labs INT-60


Folks, I was just wondering if any of you guys managed to compare both Luxman and Pass Labs amps in your system or at the dealers. Some brief description on the differences between both amps would be great.

Personally I own the L-590AXII but am curious about the house sound of the INT-60. FWIW I find the Luxman to be very balanced. Although it's a Class A, it does not sound overly warm. The L-590AXII is fairly detailed, refined and nuanced while showing a very slight hint of warmth in the midrange. Bass goes deep and is defined and controlled while the treble is sweet and extended without showing any sibilance or brightness.

In short, I find the Luxman L-590AXII to sound rather neutral, tilting slightly to warmth on the scale. Although it's tuned to sound delicate and refined, the Luxman can rock too and is capable of sounding dynamic and lively when the music calls for it. On the other hand, the same cannot be said about the Accuphase as I read that it sounds quite a bit warmer than the Luxman, sacrificing a little on punch, slam and dynamics. In other words, the Accuphase sounds too smooth with rock or dynamic music.
ryder
@ryder -- I'm in the same boat as you. When I was in the process of auditioning amps, Luxman 590AXII and Pass Labs INT-60 were the top contenders. I ended up going with the Luxman because of all the amps I was able to audition, the 590AXII ticked all the boxes. It seems to me that unless you live in Reno, Nevada, it's pretty much impossible to audition Pass Labs prior to purchasing. But I, too, wonder about the house sound of Pass Labs. I don't understand why there's such a dearth of Pass Labs dealers in the US.

The problem is that you won't find any objective comparisons on the internet. There are a few threads on this topic, but the answers are invariably from fan boys who own one or the other but not both. And we know how that works :)

Realistically, the only option is to buy an INT-60 in the used market, compare the two side by side for a month or two and keep the one you like more. That's what I plan to do next year. In the meantime, I will continue to enjoy my Luxman! I do know that other than Pass Labs, there's nothing else that I would ever consider replacing the Luxman with.
Lux has complimentary push pull Bipolar output devices
Pas has complimentary push pull Mosfets output devices.

All else being equal for current delivery into low impedances (power supply etc), I would go the Luxman for bipolar outputs as they aren’t phased by low impedance speakers and current delivery as much as mosfets are.

Cheers George
Fwiw, whitecamaross in his long thread and YT channel compared L590AXii to pass labs int250 (a higher integrated in PL lineup (12k vs 9k for int60) and declared the Luxman better. Speakers were Wilson Sasha DAW. He didn’t compare them directly head2head but owned both within couple months on same speakers. Again fwiw. Ymmv




The Sasha DAW have a "similar" looking impedance/phase-angle curve, not quite as bad phase.
https://www.stereophile.com/images/1219Wilsonfig1.jpg
To the Sabrina X https://www.stereophile.com/images/221Wilsonfig1.jpg

Stereophile said this about the SabrinaX:
The SabrinaX has an EPDR of less than 2 ohms between 65Hz and 275Hz, with a minimum value of 1.1 ohms at 90Hz, where music can have high energy. The partnering amplifier needs to be capable of driving 2 ohms without stress.
Probably why the Lux with bipolar output stage is more comfortable pushing current before limiting into that low EPDR impedance than a mosfet amp will, even though the Pass has higher 8ohm wattage.60w v 30w.

Cheers George


Then next level up from the Lux if you have more funds, I’d look at the Gryphon Diablo 120!!

Cheers George
Yes, Gryphon and D'Agustino and maybe Soulution as well.
There is Diablo 300 here for $11k with phono stage. No one is buying. Sad.
In truth the Coda ScIB integrated amp is probably the best integrated made in USA  most younger Audiophiles donot even know of ,but is at least as good if not betterThen the pass labs int60 as well as the Luxman 590 ax-2 and is $3500 less.
One more thing I  forgot to mention ,just match parts quality and size 
coda a 3,000 va potted transformer and 80 k in capacitance just the amp section
and produce  120 amps if needed, dedicated pure class A mosfet preamp section , 10 year warranty ,5 year Transferrable . The others  not even close in those departments, 
and sound Very dynamic and natural ad 3 power options in output and amount of 1st watt in pure class A.Stereo times has a great review coming out in a few weeks ,Coda refuses to get into the politics of paid for  reviews 
which most are by committing to a year of advertising , the Luxman, and pass Labs both are very good , if you can save  several grand why not check it out , just keep an open mind.
The new Krell K-300i is also in the Class of the CODA CSiB. I have both. I like them more then the Luxman 509x (the Class AB amp).
Coda needs a big volume knob. I hate push button volume controls. 
yy how do you see the strengths and weaknesses of the coda and krell and which is better?
I have a CODA No 8 and agree CODA is the way to go, but the OP is asking specifically Pass 60 vs Luxman 590. For my ears Pass all the way, the only Luxman amps I have liked are the 509 and 900. Also, current measured in amperes is a measureble variable that you can use to objectively compare how these amps will drive a 2 ohm load rather than the type of transistor... not sure how one could measure how differing transistor types affect their respective abilites to channel current.
@kren006 I have not listened to the Krell on my floor standers yet. I was just using them on my RAAL SR1a headphones. However, I am going to be rearranging gear again this week which will give me the opportunity take the Krell out of the rack and listen on my Thiel CS3.7. The Krell is so good that I am going to go to the trouble of doing this.

I have already heard the CODA on the Thiel CS3.7. I had sold the CODA a few days ago but the deal fell through so I have the CODA again. I only sold to raise some cash not because I thought the CODA was worse than the Krell (matter of delivery timing). I am now keeping the CODA and will be cash poor for a while.

Sorry for the thread divergence.

Reno Hifi allows home demos of the PASS gear.
MusicDirect has home demos for Luxman.
What YYZ said regarding the demos. That is the best bet. OP didn’t mention anything about speakers or room... so the bipolar vs mosfet discussion has nothing to do with the original question.

Get a demo from Reno... make a direct comparison. It is really difficult to tell you how amp ‘a’ sounds  because it is different in every room with every system. Having said that, Pass gear tends to be very dynamic, but not particularly colored in any way. Keep in mind, the Int 60 is essentially the XA60.8 with a volume and more inputs...
Ryder, it’s a little off topic, but did you ever have a chance to compare the Luxmann 507 integrated to the 509?. I would have liked to have been able to afford the 509AXII, rather than the 507MKII that I did purchase, but I still sometimes wonder what I’ve missed out on by staying financially responsible.. Nice choice you did make with the 509. My final choice came down to Luxmann or Accuphase too.

Mike
Mike,
I know you are not asking me, but I got to hear the 509 at the dealer. Blindfolded and level matched with a normal speaker I doubt I could tell them apart. The 509 just has more current drive. A slightly beefier power supply and an extra set of output transistors.

I think to be able to really hear a difference you’d need relatively punishing speakers.
I purchased the  the Krell, the Luxman, Pass INT 60 and the Coda csib. After a couple of weeks of listening to these units using my Legacy Focus. With a few of my friends surprisingly everyone picked the coda csib... with that type of warranty and the fact that you have an extra welder in the house in case you have a project in the garage I think I’ll stick with the coda...
By the way does the Griffin Diablo 300 have a volume knob?
Do not know if the CODA has any chance for in home demo.
Resale of that brand will not be a simple as Luxman or Pass.

That said I am told the CODA sound is the best of that group.
The higher cap and voltage works.
I own a Pass INT25. 
@georghifi --
All else being equal for current delivery into low impedances (power supply etc), I would go the Luxman for bipolar outputs as they aren’t phased by low impedance speakers and current delivery as much as mosfets are.
I don’t know about Pass Labs, but I agree with you that the Luxman has no problem driving my Sonus Faber Olympica II’s which are 88db and 4 ohms. It doesn’t even break a sweat and never sounds as if it’s trying hard. But I guess the real question is does bipolar sound better than mosfets at reasonable volumes?

Also, I see people comparing the Luxman 509 with Coda and Pass Labs. IMO, the right comparison should be between the 590AXII and Coda or Pass Labs. When I first heard the 509 and 590 side by side, I couldn’t tell much of a difference, but after living with the 590 for a few months, I went back to the dealer this morning (trying to sell some stuff on consignment due to unexpected expenses) and asked him to play the 509 for me again. The difference is very obvious now. The 509 is more dynamic and the bass is tighter, but it lacks the sweetness and effortlessness of the 590. I could immediately tell that piano, saxophone, and horns sound more natural and fleshed out on the 590. Also, there is more immediacy when it comes to vocals.

Anyways, as you can see here, no one is offering their opinions based on actual ownership experience between the two specific models the OP asked about.



But I guess the real question is does bipolar sound better than mosfets at reasonable volumes
It does to me, when driving difficult speaker loads.
And also I'm one that hears that "Mosfet Mist" they talk about, it like there's a very transparent sheer veil between me and the speakers, not objectionable, like a "mist" and not immediately recognizable. 

Cheers George 
Thanks Eric, and sorry OP about mixing up the 509 and the 590. Blame it on a sudden onset of dyslexia. 

Mike
I have an accuphase and i can tell you that it is a very great amplifier for all kinds of music but you need to use a fairly efficient speaker for it and the luxman is a great amplifier too but with the pass labs you would need to have a more vintage type high efficiency system due to its limited power.
Ryder, it’s a little off topic, but did you ever have a chance to compare the Luxmann 507 integrated to the 509?.

Skyscraper(Mike), sorry I didn't compare the 507 or 509 to the 590AXII. I only compared the Naim 282/250DR to the Luxman as I own both amps.
You can audition Pass Labs gear.  Call reno hifi...talk to mark.  Buy a INT-60.  Use it for a couple weeks and if you don't like it send it back for a refund with no restocking fees.  It will cost you shipping and that's it but if want to be sure a 10k integrated is going to work in your system that seems like a small price to pay.
Neither, get a Sugden asap.😝
Interesting, two of my more recently owned integrated sand I think of both longingly, like ex-girlfriends of yore.  I won’t go into great detail, but instead get down to the highlights.   What I liked about the Luxman - tone controls, built-in phono preamp and headphone amp, and those damn meters.  What I like about the Pass Labs - that tone!  Had that nice deep, thunk when you turned it on.  Both integrateds were matched with Zu Audio Definition IV’s and then Volti Audio Rivals, each high efficient speakers, though they get there differently.  Same preference regardless of speaker.  
Eventually, I ended up with Linear Tube Audio Ultralinear integrated, which I won’t be parting with soon.  But, in certain moments, I think back on the Pass Labs INT-60, never missing the Luxman.