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If you can afford it, Accuphase. Otherwise, Luxman. If you like SS class A, get an Accuphase E-650 or Luxman L-590axii. If you want to stay with tubes get a Luxman LX-380. All these models have tone control. I had the pleasure of listening to the 380 with Devore Orangutans at my neighbor’s and was quite taken with the sound.
I’m remiss in saying that I prefer a warmer, more "tubelike" presentation. And I neglected to mention my speakers: I have Sonus Faber stand mounts and Maggie .7’s but if I had to choose between them, I’d go with SF’s and sell the Maggies since they present a bigger challenge to drive properly.
Luxman has been suggested by a trusted prominent audio reviewer who must remain anonymous. I may very well go with his advice. I keep thinking how elegantly simple my rig would be with a lovely integrated, a turntable, and a music server, instead of the array of mostly black boxes I know have. :). Posting in this forum is a good way to get some fine suggestions and also to "work things out" for myself. Thanks, guys (gals are more than welcome, too)
Thanks, all. I'm going to try to get some sense of what various Luxman units sound like through research. Yes, of course, nothing beats an in-house audition but home auditions, especially of multiple units are impossible for obvious reasons. So, if anyone can write some descriptive words that address those differences, I'd greatly appreciate it.
I'm a big fan of Vincent Audio, not only because they have some really good sounding gear, but also because they buck the "no tone controls" trend on almost all their integrated amps and pre amps. Their hybrid SV-237MK, which I own, even has a "loudness" switch, a real rare option now a days. None that I know of have balance controls, but that alone shouldn't be a deal breaker. Check them out on Audio Advisor and Upscale Audio.
"I keep thinking how elegantly simple my rig would be with a lovely integrated, a turntable, and a music server, instead of the array of mostly black boxes..."
It is refreshing, indeed. I am there.
For whatever reason, Luxman has not released server/streamer. That would make it even simpler.
I have heard rumors that Luxman amplifiers have been hard to locate lately. I am not sure if that is correct, or not.
You, sir, are tuned into where I am now at. Yes, I still use and love my MFA gear. And to be clear it's not only Bruce Moore but Scott Frankland. Scott has been the one who has maintained and upgraded my Lumi and M120 mono amps for many years. I may very well decide to get the Loki, roll a few tubes, and declare "Winner!"
I must remind myself that sometimes idle Covid lockdown thoughts can make for idle minds. :)
arafiq491 posts02-16-2021 10:38pm..... I’m using the ‘loudness’ control since everyone else is asleep.Then you should be using the ’quietness’ control, silly wabbit.
Another vote for the Luxman L-590AX.
I had Mcintosh separates for years, I switched to the Luxman 590AXII last year and have never looked back. Loudness/tone controls work very well when needed, but they can also be by-passed. You can also use the 590 as a pre, although that defeats your overall purpose, it is a nice feature. Not sure what your power needs are with those speakers, but it drives my Harbeth 30.2 with no problem. Plus, it has METERS!
Covid is driving me a tad nuts, even though I’ve been antisocial for many years now...
However, I’ve witnessed the massive affect it has had on others (who are my polar opposite).
Anyway, just thought it might be fun/safe to try as I have no experience with contemporary high powered integrated amps, but have read good things about the EQ unit.
I just ordered a complete engine rebuild on a 2003 Honda because I didn’t wan’t to risk visiting dealers in Santa Monica and Culver City, CA to purchase a new one (wouldn’t touch our local/walk to dealer with a 10 foot pole).
If the car works out (same mechanic for the past 30 years-:) I will have saved $25K-$30K easily.
Times have changed, but hopefully they will inprove greatly within the next 12 months, or so.
My current "front burner’s" are a bidet toilet for the main bath, a basic printer/that lasts longer than 12 months for the computer and some type of headphones for the TV in our bedroom.
My most recent accomplishment was the purchase of hair clippers (to cut my hair) as I have not visited my barber in over a year now.
My most recent unaccomplishment is that my wife likes my hair longer and now it "sticks up" on top after a recent home haircut.
I use a Schiit Loki between my Audio Research SP6b preamp and my C-J tube amp or GAS Ampzilla. Works great, just lose a bit of deep ness in the image when in use, but sure tames old, hard recordings. First tone control for me in almost 40 years since I subbed out my Marantz 7 c preamp. No shame here.
Try the new NAD M33 (if you can find it), it’s got a revolutionary 200 wpc integrated amp by Purifi, and includes streaming, Bluetooth AptX HD, Dirac Live room correction, as well as other features. The amp’s distortion is so low as to be almost immeasurable. And yes, it has balance and tone controls, too. I’ve got one and love it, sound is amazing in my small bedroom system, but with 200 watts on tap it can power the big boys, too. Oh, and if you’re a phono guy its got everything you need. For $5k its a steal.
I keep thinking how elegantly simple my rig would be with a lovely integrated, a turntable, and a music server, instead of the array of mostly black boxes I know have. :)This is what I did - I have efficient Tannoy 95db so went dor smaller luxman A class 550AXII - absolutely sublime and a hint of warmth
Maybe locate a nice Marantz pm15s1 or pm14s1. I own the 14s1, has tone controls and balance (via remote menu). Personally I never use the tone controls, but defeat them. These were two excellent class a/b amps from Marantz, before they went with class d amplification on the amps following, such as the ruby and the model 30. Alternatively, a great choice would be the Marantz pm8006. It has bass, mid, treble, and balance controls.
A less well-known suggestion... Gold Note IS-1000 (I have the Deluxe model). Well-reviewed all-in-one. Includes an excellent DAC and streamer, phono stage, and integrated amp. I can’t speak for the other pieces suggested here, but the Gold Note is great in my opinion. Has Loudness, balance, and filter controls. Roon-ready. Excellent software app. Beautiful appearance and solid build quality. Made in Italy and I would wager highly simpatico with your SF speakers...
Surprised to see no mention of Belles. A couple integrated amps are now available, and his gear is very well regarded. I have the Aria integrated and love it. I also use the Schiit Loki. On some recordings it works wonders, and fiddling around it can make it work almost like a loudness button, which I had on my older Luxman.
Just want to let y’all know how much I appreciate your ongoing contributions.
Now, here’s a thought from Audio Planet X:
I’ve been reading about a gizmo called DSPeaker AntiMode. If this device works as claimed, I may have found the answer to my question. Yes, it would still leave me with all my tube gear but for an integrated, I do have a very nice Wells Audio Majestic II which might work fine. I’ve been using the Wells during warm weather. The Wells, of course, does not have balance nor tone controls.
I think in the interest of avoiding confusion, I may start another thread about the DSPeaker.
Depending on your hearing loss, you may need more than simple treble and bass controls. For instance, the high end Marantz integrateds have a treble control centered at 20khz. If you can only hear up to 10khz, then boosting the treble on the Marantz will be of no help. I like the idea of the DSpeaker Antimode even though I’ve never heard one. Good luck!
arafiq501 posts02-18-2021 10:31am@builder3My Pioneer SX-750 dates to about 1978, and it has a Loudness switch, I don't have any idea how far back that goes, to be honest.Then you should be using the ’quietness’ control, silly wabbit.
Vinyl, Qobuz, and CD in order of preference.
After considerable, ongoing research, for now, at least, I may just put a couple of quads of KT150’s into my mono tube amps, get the Schitt Loki, and call it done. Yes, some of the suggestions you guys have made here are quite appealing, and again, greatly appreciated. And I don’t rule out making a major change eventually, but before I do, some serious due diligence is in order. Call it "rational restraint." :). Or "love the one you’re with."
Or simply prudence and ongoing audio education. Thanks again, amigos. Please keep the helpful comments coming.