Upgrade? Luxman M-900u and C-900u from Pass X250.8 - Simaudio Evolution P-8


I am thinking about trading my Pass Labs X250.8 amp and Simaudio Moon Evolution P-8 Preamp

Luxman M-900u and C-900u

I was looking at new ARC REF 6 and used Pass Labs X350.8 but the dealer swears for same money he can get me this Luxman combo brand new and it will be much better? He has never mislead me in the past.

What do you guys think?

I will be using with brand new Magico S5 MK II that are being delivered this week. I don't listen real loud and also use Bricasti M1SE DAC and Kubala-Sosna Emotion/Elation Full Cable Loom.

Please anyone that knows or has an option please let me know your thoughts.


1528a8b5 9c9b 446d 85c5 0d31e7947394Ag insider logo xs@2xfsmithjack
Do yourself a favor....save some bucks........buy a Vac 200iq and a nice preamp.
The synergy between Magicos and Vac is destination sound.  My search ended when I paired my S3MK2 with them. 
it seems many/most agree that the X350.8 sounds different, not better than the X250.8...will your dealer let you listen before you commit to buy? 

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.... 
Send a message to @whitecamaross He can fill you in on the Luxman vs. Pass issue.
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.

Here is a picture of our showroom at the time you can see the Luxman
https://www.google.com/search?q=audio%20doctor%20chic%20pea&newwindow=1&client=aff-maxthon-
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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.

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ





Well I have the luxman combo (actually a pair of m900's now) and have owned both the Ref 6 and Pass 250.8 - we probably have the same dealer. PM me if you want my two cents worth.
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.
I’ve had multiple people tell me how great the Lux 900 gear is which is great and makes me want to buy it. Thank you and please any and all feedback is really appreciated 
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. 
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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?

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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.

My 2 cents

 
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.

trudat

Great info.
Thank you

UPDATE:

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.

I appreciate the info and help on this thread. 
fsmithjack

Keep us posted as you massage these new Magico speakers into your room/space.  Happy Listening!