Luxman review on SoundStage; wins Reviewers Choice Award

Designed and produced before the Alpine "takeover / collaboration", the original LUXMAN L-550 (1982 -84) did receive a "State of the Art" award in 1982 besides being selected as "Best Product" by Stereo Sound.

L-560 third iteration, after the really upgraded L-550X, the L-560 was more of a cosmetic variation - but it did have better specs.

While the cost-no-object 900 & 1000 series might have the highest drool factor, its the more affordable gear that we ship every week on a regular basis. We have literally shipped hundred & hundreds of the L-505 {class AB} and class A version (the subject of the review) - L-550AX since we started importing Luxman in 2007.


Here are a few excerpts from Hans Wetzel's review:

What the L-550AX possessed was an incredibly lifelike, holographic, reach-out-and-touch-it three-dimensionality. And if its noise floor wasn’t vanishingly low, its transparency was nonetheless excellent. Soundstages were broad and deep, and both the macro- and microdetails contained therein were also quite good. What set the L-550AX’s sound apart from the crowd was its presence -- a natural, thoroughly organic sound that was most notable in the midrange, and made my Hegel H300 sound mechanical by comparison.

Finally, on went the Roots, some of Philadelphia’s finest-ever artists and one of the all-time great hip-hop acts. “Don’t Say Nuthin’,” the Grammy-nominated single from their The Tipping Point (16/44.1 ALAC, Geffen), is, in contrast to the above, a great recording. Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter’s expressive wordplay sounded at once lush and light on its feet. I could practically feel him spitting his lines into my living room, as the KEFs laid on the heavy bass foundation with surprising authority for diminutive bookshelf speakers. Once again, the Luxman was able to render the entire recording with such dimensional color and palpable weight that I struggled to find something worthwhile to write about. I was too interested in cueing up another tune. If that’s not an emphatic endorsement, I don’t know what is.


Again: The Luxman L-550AX is the best-sounding integrated amplifier for under $5000. Its classic design and high-quality materials set it well apart from its peers, and grace it with an inherent coolness and sophistication that smack of gear retailing for far, far more. While its limited power output might prove troublesome for insensitive speakers, I approached but never exceeded the limits of the L-550AX’s capabilities in the several raucous months it stayed with me. Luxman has fashioned one outstanding amplifier.

The full review is on SoundStage -

My only disappointment was that Hans Wetzel never got to hear the phono stage in the L-550AX.

Happy reading !


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