fsmithjackI have a query- by possibly trading up to the Luxman, what are you attempting to achieve? Pass Labs is a top tier brand, as is, ARC and Simaudio Moon. I am sure that you are excited to receive the S5 MkII loudspeakers this week. Staying tuned. Happy Listening!
Hey Guys - so I like my gear but always like to play around and try new stuff. I do like my Pass Labs X250.8 and thought the X350.8 would have more power? Not sure it is needed but got a strong trade offer on it so was thinking about getting more power for new speakers.
That said - my dealer made me a nice offer also on a ARC Ref 6 - while I was considering these he told me to consider the Luxman flag ship combo. I trust his opinion as he as never led me wrong in the past and he told me the Lux combo is incredible and way better and is in the class the Vitus -Solution, Channel Precision league and just a higher resolution and overall much better combo than the Pass Arc combo and was hoping maybe someone had some experience with these and could give me some input. He told me the Lux combo is way better at everything? Thought ask for some thought....
OP that is a good question, pesonally we were Luxman dealers when Philip O Hannlon was representing the line, we had the Luxman CD player and the $5k integrated 20 watt Class A amplifier on the floor.
We did prefer the Luxman over the Hegel, we did not prefer the Luxman over the more expensive Norma Revo 140, and we felt the Unison Reserach hybrid Unico 50 was also better sounding although not as cool looking and way more spartan also felt the Coda CS ib was better than the Luxman.
We also has a demo of their C800 preamp vs a Chord and CJ preamp and again the Luxman was good it wasn't as good as the other two preamps.
We have not heard the newest Luxman gear that is reported to be very good, however, is it as good or better than any of the other gear in that price point it is about to you to decide.
The Pass Labs amplifiers are definatly on the wamer side of things and yes you generally get greater clarity and speed with the Ch Precison, Vitus class, Soution products, again not hearing these particular Luxman pieces we have no idea, people do really seem to like them.
You should get a home demo of the Luxman gear to see for yourself.
i have a C-900u preamp that I adore. It replaced and exceeded the following; latest dartzeel pre, ml 523 and jrdg corus. simply more refined and musical. joy to use as well. not at all dark and without coloration. i surprisingly liked the ml very much. less depth i thought but still a winner i could easily live with it. purchase of an m-900u amp in near future too.
4425 Those are some serious other pre's you tried. That buttresses what other have told me. They have said it is a legit reference level product that competes with the real big money crowd? Your feedback is appreciated. How is the resolution and transparency? I am looking for next level stuff in this regard. Thanks
IMHO the Lux pre is utterly transparent with excellent fine detail and fully extended on top and bottom. It’s also very smooth which doesn’t always go with ‘detail’. Very spacious sounding as well. I will say that although highly musical and sweet it’s not soft and warm as some might think. I’m no reviewer but i definitely know good when i hear it.
I have owned the 509x and now own the C900 U, M900 U (pair in Mono Config). I originally paired the 509x with Focal Sopra N. 2 and it was okay. I like to listen on the loud side and I didn't feel that I could really push it and feel the music move in the room. It was crystal clear but just no weight. I then went to the C and M combo and the Sopra N. 2 became a whole new animal. I don't think you can go wrong with either one depending on your listening style and room size. Both play music beautifully. I do think the 509x is one of the best looking products on the market to boot.
How is that XP22? I see one popped on the gon yesterday but sort of pricey at $7700? Is that a good price? I was thinking $6k more in line but not sure. I am leaning toward the Lux combo but the X250.8 and XP22 might be a cool and much cheaper option :)
Had the 350.8 and liked it enormously but it was kind of a monster for my small listening room. Would I do just as well with a 250.8 with an Arc Ref 10 and speakers at 89db? What are the differences people hear between the 250.8 and the 350.8?
I have owned the c-900 and m-900 combo and they are utterly refined. I had them paired with Vivid Giya 2s. The top end and overall airy and liquid neutrality is beyond worth the price of entry. If you do get them, I highly recommend the two lesser known cables I discovered after long trial of many brands.... a very pricey Echole Omnia cable for the C-900u (I swear it doubled it’s already formidable performance in every positive aspect with zero drawbacks) and for the m-900u a very affordable orange Luna Cable (the Echole cable that worked so well on the pre, didn’t work at all on the m-900u, nor did any other top flight PCs from other major brands such as Nordost, Transparent, Audioquest. All these cables improved some quality while destroying others.Then along came the humble Luna cable that left everything in its right place and just added a slight up tick in organic flow and clarity. Subtle but noticeable improvement, but more importantly did not take away anything away from the m-900s performance.)
Be careful with that huge WCSS thread. Dude tries a lot of gear, but flips it so fast and has no frame of reference as he has had different rooms, speakers, yet compares past gear to new gear in completely different systems. Plus, he looks to sell much as fast as he can get it. Oh yeah, and FOLLOW the THREAD, closely. Pretty clear to me at least ONE burner account used to pump his own thread up. Not the first or last on this website.
Plus, some Top Gun Fan, Viper6 blows so much smoke in there he really hoses stuff up. I can respect WCSS, guy has a blast trying new gear and posting it, yet needs to sell it. The Viper dude comes off as a pompous know-it-all ass that gives opinion on gear he hasn't owned.
But, looking at his current room he has those massive Logans in a tiny room, with no dampening at all and a thermonuclear reactors worth of power to drive them.
Suppose if I had new high dollar speakers being delivered - I would start with the gear I know and ask myself - what would I like to change, and consider using gear that is tailored to do so.
Come on, a 10k amp vs 70k amp... are the parts, engineering, machining worth 60k more? (not that you are looking at that expensive of stuff)
Pass labs make a darn fine, musical, powerful amp. It's not some soft-ass warmed up thing. I would say leans towards the midrange, and maybe a bit of pleasing distortion voiced in. But it's not some rolled off conrad johnson or older Mac gear.
The Sim you have - that is about as neutral as a pre-amp can be.
Good luck. I have viewing that huge thread for entertainment, but as a hard core review tool - I'll trust my ears.
I own 2 Pass Lab amps X250 and X 260.5 Mono blocks,sound and build quality exceptionally. Also service from Pass Labs is great. Have not heard many people say anything about Luxman build quality or service. I have heard horror stories about Macintosh certified repair centers.To the point of the unit being sent back in worse shape than it was sent out
I had a C900f and now have an ARC Ref 6. I would never go back to Luxman. It is refined but way too soft and dull IMHO. I know it's all system dependent and YMMV but I find Pass (had 250.5 amp) and ARC much more transparent and 'accurate'. In term of resell value, I had a hard time selling it on used market and had to swallow a big drop in price. I have been very disappointed since prior to buying my Luxman preamp I had heard only good things about them. My dealer is no longer selling their products.
From a support standpoint, I had to contact Luxman for technical questions and despite many attempts to talk to them, I never got an answer. I heard similar complaints from dealers selling Luxman products. So it's only my -poor- experience dealing with them and others may have better stories to share but clearly I doubt it's the level of service you get from brands like Bryston or Pass Labs.
Guyl, thank you for informative and honest post. Based on the hype I bought Luxman 509x and it sounded like hifi device in my system, yes refined, but dull and strained at higher volumes. I went back to pass (pass int-250) and now I hear music. I think some people on different forums pushing Luxman a lot. Granted I did not hear their separates but will not buy at this level anything without audition in my system or trusted dealer.
So my new Magico S5 MK II Speakers that I ordered on November 11, 2018 were delivered and installed in my room 3 days ago and I am psyched.
I never ordered speakers brand new and had them made for me before this way just like I want them so the wait was not fun but the idea and process sure was.
They sound totally different then original S5 which is kind of odd. They look similar but sound nothing like the originals. They have totally different drivers, cables, crossovers and the cabinet looks similar but is totally different so I guess it makes sense but I was thinking more of a evolutionary sound then a totally different sound but they are nothing like the old ones. Still burning them in and will be for the next month or so but they are awesome and I am psyched.
For the amp choice I decided to go with Pass Labs XA160.8 Mono-blocks because I love the Pass sound and the company so hopefully they are just a nice upgrade from Pass X250.8.
Thanks jafant, I love my new Magico's and LOVE my new Pass Labs XA-160.8 Monoblocks.
Pass just works for me. I know there are better this and that I just have always like Pass Labs.
This is my 6th or 7th Pass amp when counting my First Watt amps. I thought about others but glad I stuck with my gut. I love these amps or maybe it is my new speakers that I love or maybe both but either way I am psyched.
Now I am thinking about try another preamp.
Thinking about trying a non tubey modern tube amp?
Was thinking about maybe ARC 40th Anniversary preamp?
Not sure just one of the ones I am thinking about.
I have Simaudio Moon Evolution P-8 pre and really like it but want try something else.
Have not had any tubes in a long time so thinking about trying one.
three things i know for sure. 1. you have a serious system problem if one thinks the luxman amp is dull. in fact a serious problem. it extends into the stratosphere w very refined detail. 2. the service is over the top. one of the best i’ve ever had. Jeff Sigmund the distributor is awesome. He always answers the phone and his emails. 3. the build quality is second to none. inspect a C-900u and M-900u and draw your own conclusion.
Actually Luxman had all kinds of problems with the former Distributor and that was why they made a change and took it back in house.
Now they have a new person in the US that works for them or is contracted to work for them or the like hence the Luxman US division.
The former Distributor was marking up the products up way too much as well as providing poor service and the wait times were poor as the stock carried in the us was way too low for the demand.
That is why the M/C900u are now $15k where they were asking another $4k-$5k more. Those issues were real and legit.
Now they do have a new person in the US the Luxman brand with all their great new products is flourishing under. I’m sure he is doing great and great to deal with but those former issues were legit issues that Luxman has a carry in their bag.
I heard many good things about the M-900u - C-900u and the only reason I didn’t go that route was I would have needed 2 of the 900 amps and just didn’t have the money for them but everyone raved about them.
That said they are proported to be smooth and refined amps and I can easily see in some systems with the ill or the wrong matching warmer or thicker cabling cables and/or speakers they could be interpreted as being boring to thier taste and/or preference in relation to say a brighter or hotter combo that would work better with those matching components the persons preference. I mean two other, different members had both just stated the same thing.
It what it is but those two felt that way and we all hear and like different things so not sure it means their systems have a serious problem just because their like and or dislikes are different then yours? To each their own I say. Rooms play such a big part in the sound as well. So many variables bearing down on the final product never mind the difference in hearing and preferences.
if you use natural sounding but linear electronics and the sound is boring you’ve put a system together the wrong way. might be cables but more likely the speakers. there’s nothing inherently ‘warm’ or ‘euphonic’ about this luxman pair. that’s an industry wide issue where we audiophiles think something is going to sound a particular way without actually hearing it in our own setup. Anyone that thinks these units are colored(as we used to say) haven’t heard them in a good set up.
I had a C900f and now have an ARC Ref 6. I would never go back to
Luxman. It is refined but way too soft and dull IMHO. I know it's all
system dependent and YMMV but I find Pass (had 250.5 amp) and ARC much
more transparent and 'accurate'. In term of resell value, I had a hard
time selling it on used market and had to swallow a big drop in price. I
have been very disappointed since prior to buying my Luxman preamp I
had heard only good things about them. My dealer is no longer selling
From a support standpoint, I had to contact
Luxman for technical questions and despite many attempts to talk to
them, I never got an answer. I heard similar complaints from dealers
selling Luxman products. So it's only my -poor- experience dealing with
them and others may have better stories to share but clearly I doubt
it's the level of service you get from brands like Bryston or Pass Labs.
I had similar experience with L505Ux, it was too soft for my liking and the vocal were suppressed, I used with Totem Model 1 and tried with Scansonic MB2.5 at dealer(during trade in).. I did asked tried contact Luxman Japan and no response. However I am using their Tube Power Tube amp MQ-88 which is far better than Solid state counterpart in terms of Vocal and clarity