Luxman vs Pass Labs


Good morning guys, I need some advice. Today in my system I have a Pass Labs XP10 preamp and a Pass Labs XA 30.5 amplify. I could replace them with a Luxman 590 AXII.
I'm very attracted by the charm of Luxman, do you think it's worth it? My speakers are Audio Physic Scorpio 2.
Thanks for your suggestions.
03a25dbc bc27 4101 b24a 1f66c1c0c962mizioa
Haven't heard this piece, but have listened to many other Luxmans, and for whatever reason I've never heard one that I would buy. What I've heard is a lack of smoothness, or maybe a bit of graininess (don't know what else to call it), on some there was a lack of midrange presence. Never could get emotionally connected. I do own Pass and am not making a comparison, some of the Luxman issues I heard before I got the Pass stuff. But where Luxman makes so many different models, I can not say they all have the issues I mention.


 I think that you are comparing apples to oranges. I would look at these two Pass pieces individually. The Pass  XA 30.5 is an excellent sounding amplifier. I was not impressed with the XP10. The 2 people I know that have Pass amps don't have Pass preamps. That is where I would start. Borrow a few different preamps from your dealer to compare. You might even want to try a tube preamp to see how that sounds.


Post removed 
Good advice.  Either add a tube preamp or Int-60.
Hi mizioa,
You probably know this but I will state it nonetheless, you have to hear the Luxman and then decide. An Audiogon friend (with discriminating  taste/good ears) has the Pass Labs XP 20 and XA 30.8. He has been very happy with this pairing. He recently auditioned three integrated amplifiers in his system which he felt bettered the Pass separates.

Lyric Ti140 - German push pull tubes
Mastersound EVO PSET 845- Italian PSET tubes
T+A 3100 HV - German solid state

You just don’t know until you’ve actually listened to the various components. As mentioned above Luxman has numerous choices at different performance levels/price points.
Charles
I have a Pass amp (X250.8) and a Pass XP-20 preamp. The XP-20 is the finest pre I've ever owned and that list includes a CJ Premier pre. I used to own an XP-10 but the 20 is definitely a cut above.
Do yourself a major favor and audition the Luxman L-590 AX II.  
Nice thing about Luxman integrated is the Separate function. It's an easy way to have two systems in one. I simply run Ifi iTube 2 buffer between the amp and preamp and can switch on/off for a little tube goodness. 
+1 for the Luxman L-590 AX II.  

I owned two Luxman receivers back in the '80's prior to Luxman leaving the U.S. audio market.  The first was a R-1120 the last was the R-117
by far the better of the two in all respects was the R-1120. 

Gifted it to my father-in-law. Big mistake. Should have held onto it.
@mizioa
Among the Luxman integrateds, I've heard three of them in the last six months. First heard the  L-590 AX II (two or three times), L-509X (two times), and the L-507uXII. The  L-590 AX II is very smooth and has lots of bloom for an SS product. The L-507uXII is pretty new and I have a buddy who has one; very clean and enjoyable sound. For me, it is more lively with that sense of sparkle I like, just a more inviting sound. The  L-509X, at least for me, is the best of the three. Just more of everything and quite a bargain in the under $10k integrateds category. I really think they nail the looks/aesthetics as well.

I've also heard the Luxman 900 M/C amp/pre combo and it is again even better, though it is around $30k.

I've heard the Pass INT250 and INT60. To me, they are both very smooth and clean but they lack that aliveness and sparkle that makes my foot tap.

Both of these brands make excellent gear. You just need to know what type of sound you like to make an educated decision. If you could get a dealer to demo for you, that'd be the way to go.

@charles1dad  mentioned the T+A 3100 HV integrated amp. I recently auditioned it with the matching 3100 SACD player and Wilson Sabrina speakers. It was really really good. It is one of the best integrateds I've heard but it is $22k. I've also heard the Burmester 032 and it is also a very good integrated and like the T+A, is an expensive spend at $25k. I have not heard the T+A and Burmester on the same speakers but did hear the L-509X and the Burmester on TAD E1s and though the Luxman is very nice, the Burmester is quite a bit better, at least for me. And so you do get what you pay for. YMMV and hope this helped.
Awesome feedback Pokey77. You saved me a trip down to Newport.

How would you rate the Luxman 900 M/C amp/pre combo vs the best integrated boxes you have heard?
I own the Luxman L-590AX, which is the predecessor to the current AXII. This is Luxman’s TOTL integrated, you should give one a listen. None of the short-comings that jaybe lists apply to this amp, in my opinion. I can’t comment on the Pass Labs gear.L.
http://www.navratilaudio.cz/novinky/Luxman_L590AXII_HFW.pdf
@yyzsantabarbara 

I have heard the Luxman 900 M/C amp/pre combo on the same speakers as the integrateds but not on the same day. My thought is it is very smooth but may lack snap and sparkle. I really couldn't say anymore than that. Read @whitecamaross thread for much more experienced comments.
Why are you not happy with the Pass Labs?  There comes a point where such choices are a matter of switching things to try. But, its because something else in your system is the unknown problem.
Sometimes we need to listen to attractive alternatives to confirm or reconfirm our primary choice.
Its known as cognitive dissonance.
These alternatives remind us again the reasons we made our first choice.  
genez hints at a key question.  In my experience audiophiles spend freely for things such as $5k power cords hooked into a cheap socket in a house with old O2 polluted copper or worse aluminum.
Or they keep a huge equipment rack between the speakers wrecking center fill, with turntables with the cover on getting hit by heavy bass waves.  Choose speaker locations based on ease and looks and not sonics. 

I recently moved from a great room set up with ASC traps, fabric wall hangings and small oriental carpets to balance reflection and absorption.  My 2k Triangle Celius 202's with fully redone x-over and Fountek ribbons sounded like they were $5k speakers.  New room compromised by WAF, lack of ASC traps, sound like $700 speakers.  Half hour of listening was enough for me to decide to pack them away and buy another high end can - this time Audeze to go with my HFM, Senn etc.
All my Amps are Pass Labs don’t think Luxman’s build quality is what it used to be in the old days. Just like Mac’s you have the name but not the build quality ( have Read they are now produced in another country not 100% sure of this fact) Also Pass Labs stands behind anything they sell regardless of when they built it. Had an issue with my X5 I am the second owner not even sure when it was manufactured called them on the phone and they fixed the problem. Do you think at your price point it’s that much of a significant difference to switch to gear just because you can. I think your at the point of diminishing returns. Like the person who says he can hear the difference in a $2,500 speaker cable compared to a $3,500 cable.

I would like to hear your response good luck
You need a home demo with your system! 
I had a recapped vintage Luxman M-02 a few years back.   I was expecting to wind up with it pretty much as a permanent fixture at least for a couple of years or more as I appreciated the quality of construction and always had and have an appreciation for Japan made gear.    I Also have an XA30.5.    The Lux is long gone and Im still using the Pass.  At least as soon  as I can get it out of the box after making a big move.    It's been quite awhile and cant really expound on it but suffice to say there was nothing that caught my attention about its performance.     
I'd put the build quality of my Luxman L-590AX up against anything made. It's made in Japan, which is also where the MkII's are made. There were a lot of years where they were owned by folks that weren't too concerned about the gear they produced. That's no longer the case.L.
Luxman makes all their gear in Japan. Very high quality. 4 months ago I replaced a CJ ET3 SE w/a Luxman CL38U-SE all tube preamp.A big jump in SQ and dynamics. The internal phono also all tube has 4 SUT's. Two for MC High and two for MC Low. Dead quiet phono. 
I try to keep my audio all
American  Made 
 let's get that right ......
luxman built to the very highest standards comparable to the highest of the high end . some company’s investment on the outside is shameful given uber pricing. the argument that this is to facilitate more on the inside irritates me because a purchaser should have both. i think it’s more likely that more on the outside means more on the inside. i love my arc amp but they didn’t spend jack on the box. the inside ain’t loaded either but it does sound great. rowland is a good example that loads it up in and out. i can think of many. imo
Anyone using just the amp section of their 590axII (main in on Luxman to a tube pre) ?? Wow--pretty good on my end--
Pass is great stuff with wonderful sound do not waste your money on Luxman which is overpriced.
Anyone using just the amp section of their 590axII (main in on Luxman to a tube pre) ??
I happen to be in auditions these last days and to divide myself between a Luxman L-590axII and a Pass Labs Int-25, both class A, both with a sound that I identify my self a lot and like it very much. A full, sweet and very musical sound. I haven't made a decision yet, but I know I'll be happy with either one. Cheers
I believe I would rather have the Pass.
Icarpedium please post your opinions on the comparisons you do between those two amps. 
I happen to be in auditions these last days and to divide myself between a Luxman L-590axII and a Pass Labs Int-25, both class A, both with a sound that I identify my self a lot and like it very much. A full, sweet and very musical sound. I haven't made a decision yet, but I know I'll be happy with either one. Cheers
I have the same doubt right now! Can't make auditions in my city, please share opinions, Icarpediem.
Haven't heard this piece, but have listened to many other Luxmans, and for whatever reason I've never heard one that I would buy. What I've heard is a lack of smoothness, or maybe a bit of graininess (don't know what else to call it), on some there was a lack of midrange presence. Never could get emotionally connected. I do own Pass and am not making a comparison, some of the Luxman issues I heard before I got the Pass stuff. But where Luxman makes so many different models, I can not say they all have the issues I mention.
Jaybe, which Luxman amp was it? This is not my experience as the L-590AXII does not exhibit any grain at all when compared to other solid-state amps out there. It's one of the smoothest, liquid and neutral amps out there. It's Class A by the way. 
The 590AXII is interesting because its 30 watts pure class A kind of like the 30.8.

I was debating between INT60 (for the same 30 watts class A and another 30 watts of AB overhead if needed) or the X150.8 with my audio gd he9 preamp.

Also considering the X250.8 or INT250 vs the M900U or 509X.

Tough choice. But no matter what I will likely go either pass or luxman.
I think the price of the Int 250 is much more than the 509x? 250W vs 120W.
Luxman 590 specs 30w class A but see the reviews independently tested to 90w into 8 ohms so very conservatively spec’d
Haven't heard this piece, but have listened to many other Luxmans, and for whatever reason I've never heard one that I would buy. What I've heard is a lack of smoothness, or maybe a bit of graininess (don't know what else to call it), on some there was a lack of midrange presence.


What???????????? I call nonsense.

I've heard have a dozen different Pass models and I honestly feel this author is deliberately reversing the difference in these amps. He's actually describing Pass as I've heard them. Wonder if he read my prior posts?

I do recommend everyone looking listen to Pass, Luxman and Ayre. Those are a great triad which to me sound very different.

Lack of smoothness?  Compared to Pass?  Hahahahahahahah.

Best,

E
I agree the 30 Watts on Luxman is conservative. I am guessing the Luxman class A integrateds are under-rated due to heat sink restrictions. The 1/3 power preheat testing required may be too much, so they rated at 30 Watts.

Listening here with my 507s I can't tell I ever use more than 5. :)




I am jumping late in discussion, but thought of giving my 2 cents on Luxman 590AXII.. I just purchased and have been using it since a week now and has barely broken yet. All I can say is wow. Very musical and tube like. There is something about Luxman class A, which is very seductive. Again, as others have mentioned, the 30 watts described are very very conservative. They are more than sufficient to drive any speakers with decent sensitivity. This is an end game integrated amplifier. 
I wish luxman would make the a Power Amp only version of the 590AXII so it could be had at a cheaper price...All their SS power amps are class AB.
I talked to a dealer of both luxman and pass labs and he mentioned that a bunch of people were coming in trading their pass in for luxman. One guy apparently traded in his XS300 for 2x m900U ! And one a pair of 260.8s for a single m900U.

I myself heard the 509X on a pair of magico m2s and s7 and it sounded incredible (but it was my first time hearing these speakers so hard to evaluate the amp alone).

Any other impressions comparing luxman and pass?
shahram69 posts07-09-2020 9:24amI wish luxman would make the a Power Amp only version of the 590AXII so it could be had at a cheaper price...All their SS power amps are class AB.
The power amps aren't cheaper than the integrated amps. That being said, Luxman did offer the M-800A amplifier a few years ago, 60 watts, Class A.  But again, not cheap.
https://www.stereophile.com/solidpoweramps/1108lux/index.html

@builder

You are right about that. I guess I should be on the lookout for a used M-800A. I wonder how it compares to the M900u?
M-800 has less detail/punch but more musical/sweet as one might expect of Class A vs A/B. The Prior Importer laid out the differences on his webpage.
I dont like the vintage styling of luxman but appreciate its excellent build quality. Love pass labs build and styling.
For those that compared m900U to pass, what level Pass did you compare it to and what were your thoughts ?
Romney80, I also have the L-590AXII. It is a very good amp. If your DAC can take balanced cables, by all means try a good quality balanced cable. The Luxman is very sensitive to cabling and will perform at a much higher level if you pick the correct one to suit the system and your musical preferences.