The Luxman 595 ASE Review. The Last Class A?
By Steve Huff
So as we leave October of 2022 behind and enter November the chill in the air is starting to arrive. Living out here in the woods brings the noise of the trees rustling in the wind, the owls projecting their deep and loud hoots in the night and daily visits from the deer who roam the area.
The chill in the air also means it is my favorite time to listen to some good old fashioned CLASS A Amplification! Yes it is true that Class A amps can not only warm the heart and soul, but they can also warm your room up with some heat!
Anyone who has read my reviews over the years knows I love me some Class A amplification. For me and my tastes, there is no equal when it comes to the sounds a class A amp can bring forth. I have had a pair of Pass Labs XA 60.8 amps here for almost two years now and they have provided many nights of warmth while the air outside reached bone chilling levels. Of course, having a small room means I will benefit from these “room heaters” when I need it most.
BTW, I adore these XA60.8 amplifiers. They are the best amps I have ever heard in my system but they are big, unruly and there are TWO of them! It’s why I like to keep am integrated amp on hand for when I want a change of pace in sound, and in ease of use and setup.
Class A comes in many flavors. Single Ended Triode tube amps, push pull, etc. While something like the all tube Inspire 300B amp will deliver a different kind of sound than a solid state amp using class A, both can be absolutely glorious. I have been able to listen to all flavors of Class A, Class B, Class A/B and D when it comes to amplification. I have heard Class A/B amps that sound better than some Class A amps and vice versa. It’s all in the implementation, the quality of parts used and the voicing of the amp.
This Luxman 595 ASE though, it’s something very special in the sound department, especially for an integrated amplifier. Sadly only 300 were made for the entire world and all have been sold out. I believe I may have purchased the last one that was available in the USA, new in box at a dealer (Dedicated Audio in Scottsdale AZ).
This is the Best Class A I Have Heard from an Integrated Amp
Tonight, as I write these words I am sitting in my listening room with what I feel is the some of the most beautiful Class A sound I have heard to date from an integrated amplifier. This is in the form of The Luxman 595 ASE integrated amp. This is an amp that celebrates the 95th Anniversary of Luxman so it is a big deal for Luxman and Luxman aficionados, though I am sure that whatever they cook up for the 100th anniversary will be amazing as well. Luxman has been around for a long time, and they are known for their audio gear that is always classy, gorgeous and built to a high standard.
I guess the fact that I am loving this amp should be of no surprise considering how much I enjoyed The Luxman 590 AXII.
Luxman is also known for these kind of “end game” pieces like the 595, 509 and 590 AXII. There are many an audio fan who have had their Luxman gear for decades.
The 595 ASE is indeed one of those end game pieces and in fact, it will be going into part time duty here in my listening room as it has synergized so well with my speakers (Fleetwood Deville SQ, Dynaudio S40 Bookshelf Speakers, Falcon LS3/5a Gold Badge, and even inexpensive $899 Emotiva towers that punch well above their price point) that I have on hand right now for review.
It is after all the synergy we seek when system building and when you get it right, your ears will never lie to you.
My old fave the Luxman 590 AXII
The 595ASE seems to be loosely based around the now legendary Luxman 590 AXII, which has now been sadly discontinued by Luxman (with from what I understand, no replacement for it to come, but who knows). Even though the 595 is based around the lovely 590 AXII, there have been 120 changes made according to Luxman and I noticed these changes as soon as I plugged this nearly 70lb beast of an amp into my system.
I had no idea it would be as good as it is, as I expected an exact replica of the 590 AXII sound (which is already fanatstic). For starters, this 595 weighs a few lbs more than the 590 AXII and puts out more heat as well in this system so it is a little more toasty (perfect for winter)!
Some of these changes that were made to the 595 from the 590 AXII include:
*Different main power transformer, with special attention paid to noise entering the circuits. And with special vibration control of the transformer itself.
* New, special power supply capacitors. Also installed with special vibration control mounting.
* Anti-resonance chassis design elements implemented in the extreme.
* Peel coat PCB’s implemented where it can make a difference.
* Special copper clad critical signal path shielding.
* Special “Line-1 gold direct onto copper (KAPPA) alloy” RCA style input jacks. (For best sound quality)
* Special selected Nichicon and Nippon Chemi-Con capacitors used throughout.
* First introduction of Luxman’s proprietary “ODNF-u” (Only Distortion Negative Feedback – Ultimate) in an integrated amplifier application. (An advancement over ODNF 4.0)
* Special, very low -impedance speaker relays. (Higher damping factor= 370)
It is like a 590AXII on steroids, this 595. You can hear it as soon as you hook it up. It’s more energetic, more detailed, more alive yet retains that velvety rich Luxman sound across the entire frequency band.
The 595 is limited to 300 pieces for the world. Only 100 were released in the USA and as far as I know, all have been sold or accounted for. I was told by on of my long time dealers where I acquired mine (Dedicated Audio in Scottsdale AZ) that he had brought in the last few from Luxman and the one I was able to acquire was indeed his last 595 ASE. I am not sure if he was able to get any more from Luxman.
My # is 297 of 300 and I feel like I struck gold with this one.
As for the looks I was not sure when I first saw the 595 in images. I missed the meters initially and thought it was a bad choice by Luxman to remove those iconic gorgeous meters. After much more thought and looking at even more images, I started to really admire the looks and knowing the quality of Luxman gear I figured it would really be gorgeous in the flesh.
After I started to think more and more about it, and then learned there will possibly be no more class A amps produced by Luxman, well, I knew I had to have this amp. Especially since the 590 AXII is my #2 fave integrated of all time. To have a better version of the 590 and for it to possibly be the last Luxman Class A amp they release, well…it was something I had to do and I did.
It’s so Beautiful!
The Luxman 595 ASE is such a gorgeous piece in the flesh. In fact, it is one of the nicest looking integrated amps I have ever owned or tested. The workmanship is just sublime. Made in Japan, this looks a little bit retro and a whole lotta cool. The quality and attention to fine details is absolutely stunning. The finish of the brushed metal is also luxurious in looks. Each dial and button is solid and appears that they could last for 100 years. I raved about the build of the HiFi Rose RS180 recently but The Luxman is even higher up that ladder.
It’s drop dead gorgeous to these eyes, but I am a fan of “retro”.
I have owned (or still own) flasgship integrated amps from McIntosh, Vinnie Rossi, Naim, Pass Labs and many others but none were or are as gorgeous as this amp is in the flesh to my old eyes. Your views and your eyes may vary. Not everyone will enjoy the 80’s styling but for someone like me who grew up in the 80’s, I can dig it.
As for the specs, it has the same power output as the 590 AXII which is 30 watts of class A into 8ohms, 60 into 4 ohms. Even so, there is plenty more power on tap as it will go into Class A/B for much more than those 30 watts (though Luxman does not post these specs). I believe the 590 AXII was measured to almost hit 90 WPC after leaving Class A.
To be clear, this amp will drive most speakers in a small to medium sized room without issue.
The looks, feel, fit and finish are astonishing. Now that we have that out of the way, what about the features?
This integrated also includes a super nice MM/MC phono stage which sounds incredible if I must say with either a budget Fluance TT, a snazzy Technics 1200G or even a Luxman PD-151 which I recently acquired used. It also has a bass and treble control as well as a “direct” mode that defeats all tone controls. I will say that as good as the internal phono stage is, the Pass Labs XP-17 I have here bested it without breaking a sweat.
There is also a loudness button which for some, can be a life saver. If listening at late night at low volume and your speakers sound a bit thin, one click from the unit or the remote will add some bass heft to the music while retaining all of the gorgeous details that this amp provides. I have not needed this loudness control on the 595 but did use it sometimes on the 590 AXII. This will be speaker dependent really. It ups the bass in the mids and slightly elevates the treble as well.
When I tested the Loudness button it did indeed fill out the mids but I would use this only at low volume and if your speakers sound thin. That is what it is there for. If used when playing at normal or louder levels it may get bloated or funky with the loudness button engaged. I do not use it at all as the Fleetwood Devilles do very well at low volume level listening.
There are outputs for two sets of speakers and a button to go from speakers A to B. This is nice for those who want to hook up two sets of speakers and switch between them on the fly. For me that would be my Fleetwood Deville’s for main listening and maybe a set of Falcon Gold Badge LS3/5a speakers for those super near field spooky vocal listening sessions. Yes, this amp powers both of these speakers with ease and grace. There is also a MONO button when listening to mono recordings.
Switch off all speakers and you can use the Headphone output which I tested with so so results. I would not say that the 595 ASE has a top notch headphone output, and it would not be my preference if I had high end cans. It seems to be an afterthought.
This 595 ASE can also be used as a pre-amp or power amp! I tested the pre-amp with my Inspire 300B and the results were wonderful. Slightly better than a dedicated pre I was just testing (that cost more than the 595 itself) with the 300B. This surprised me but it should not have as this amp is a statement piece from Luxman that celebrates their 95th anniversary and it seems they really pulled out all of the stops for this one. I feel this is the absolute best they can do for a Class A integrated amp.
There are also balanced inputs. I am using RCA.
The sound is very good. As in, refined top to bottom. Smooth, velvet like mids but there is density, richness and weight as well as a stunning “just right” treble performance that seems more extended vs the 590 AXII. The amp is also fairly transparent and slams with impactful dynamics. It’s startling at times.
This doesn’t sound like the little dynamic dynamo Enleum AMP 23-R which is also big in sound, exciting and with great treble extension. Rather the Luxman does similar things but with weight down below, density in the mids and an immense feeling of power even if the power is not that immense on paper. There is a slight warmth in the midrange and this is what makes it so magical. The Enleum’s weakness is only in its ability to go down in to the depths and the Luxman has no problem with that. This makes the Enleum sound a touch lean compared to the Luxman.
We get details and micro details with the 595 ASE yet we also have a fully fleshed out mid and bottom end. The Enleum 23-R excels in the top end and dynamics. The Naim SN3 excels with weight and density but not spatial presentations and the Pass Labs INT-250 excels in creating a magical soundstage with a more human touch sound vs the Luxman.
Depending on your speakers, wether they are warm or bright, will determine which amps sounds best to you. My Deville’s lean warm and offer up a more mellow top and with a big full throated midrange and big “just right” solid low end. Some amps deliver more warmth and the speakers can then sound duller. Some amps like the Enleum bring the Deville’s treble out much more but the lower mid bass becomes more lean. The Naim sounds lovely with the Deville’s but The Luxman sounds quite a bit more refined, smooth and has a more beautiful treble that is just as extended. The Luxman is also dead quiet in operation. No noises from the amp or the speakers.
The big Pass XP-22 and 60.8 Monos sound the most refined and magical but do lean warm vs The Luxman. Sometimes I prefer that exciting sound and other times I enjoy the big warm hug from the Pass Labs.
With the Falcon Gold Badge the Luxman is bringing forth more treble energy than the Pass XA60.8’s and this brings forth a punch and snap from these tiny wonders that I am not used to. These speakers excel with the voice, the mids. The Pass powers them with more smoothness and grace, which is nice. The Luxman 595 livens them up more and brings forth more information in the details. While it does this it retains the beauty that Luxman is known for. There is actually punch with the Falcons!
This 595 is bringing my Deville’s to life better than the best integrated amps I have had in here. Better than the Naim Supernait 3, better than the Pass Labs INT-250, better than the Enleum AMP-23R and yes it is indeed a more punchy and energetic sound vs the older 590 AXII. Notice I say that this is with my Deville SQ Speakers. Your milage may vary.
It’s really tough to put into words but the 595ASE just has such a rightness about it. It has punch, drive and dynamics while staying sweet, organic and throwing a perfectly sized soundstage with superb bass performance. The Bass goes low and stays tight and controlled. No slop or bloat here at all.
Running the 595 ASE as a pre-amp into the Dennis Had 300Bv was a treat!
SWEET may be the key word in all of this.
This amp does layering very well with superb recordings. In my reference system I hear instruments in various layers of the soundstage with just the right amount of heft, body and super sweet treble. It’s also somewhat holographic with the right recordings (though not as holographic as the Inspire 300b or even Pass Labs INT-250) and no matter what I play, beautiful music emerges.
As I write this a song came up at random from one of my playlists, streaming through the DCS Lina DAC and Clock. The track called “Default” by Atoms For Peace is one of those songs that have sounds jetting out from the left and right at a maddening pace. The vocals are dead center with some reverb trails heard on them and the presentation with The Luxman is big, bold, dynamic and a touch forward into the room. The song has clarity and transparency but there is a solidity as well to the sound.
I have heard this on other amps where the song sounded thin and hard to listen to but not here. I hear every sound, ring, bell, click and clank with clarity and these sounds are placed in the soundstage correctly.
Compared to the 590 AXII this 595 is a little bit more energetic, more alive, and even a touch more refined. It seems that almost everyone who has had both say the same thing here. It has more body and drive and this just makes the amp sound so clear, so real and precise. If you own a 590 AXII there is no need to seek out a 595 unless you want that extra bit of performance, or unless you just adore the design. Sound is in the same vein, you just get more of what is good from the 590 AXII it with the 595.
With my Fleetwood Deville SQ this amp is like winning the Willy Wonka Golden Ticket.
I have heard many amps with these speakers and my faves have been the Naim Supernait 3, Enleum Amp 23R and the Pass Labs when it comes to powering them. As good as those are and were, the Luxman powers these speakers in a way I have not yet heard them and I feel that they can not in any way get any better sounding. I have heard these with Class A, B, A/B and D as well as tubes.
If you own Fleetwood Deville’s I can state that Luxman class A amplification is a great match as is Pass, Naim and well, Tubes. They seem to have a thing for Class A amps.
Back to the 595. The midrange is real and present. Imaging is spot on and while this does not deliver the widest soundstage, what it does do sounds more realistic than some of these amps that create a cavernous stage. The Enleum has a very impressive wide soundstage but at times it almost can sound “Ultra HiFi” when compared to the Luxman.
This is goosebump stuff here and the more I listen the more I want to listen. This is an amp that will never fatigue but is also one that will never bore. That is a good thing : )
In my review from 2018 for the 590 AXII I said it could be my last amp ever if I let it be. Well, back then I did not let it be as I let it go (sold it) to try the next big thing, as I often do. I am after all an audio addict! In reality, I have missed that 590 AXII ever since I sold it and almost bought it again on two occasions, but told myself no as I sold it when I did have it. I blew it.
That 590 AXII integrated gets rave after rave in reviews and is known by many as one of the best integrated amps made when it comes to quality and sound. Of course, if you enjoy the Luxman sound. Some may prefer or ask about Accuphase which has a more plump midrange and softer treble but sounds just as gorgeous. Again, will depend on your speaker choices and tastes in sound.
The much loved Luxman 590 AXII
It’s got the HEAT!
This 595 keeps the same character and it does run a little warmer than the 590. It gets about as hot as the Pass Labs XA60.8 amps I have here. With the cold weather coming, this will be fun to listen to. Ill swap out to the Pass Labs on some nights when I want extra warmth (in the music and in the room).
Speaking of the Pass XA60.8’s, I have them here with an XP22 preamp. This is almost $30k worth of audio. How do the Pass amps compare to The Luxman in sound alone? Different. The Luxman is more alive, the pass more laid back. The Luxman has more punch, the Pass is more ethereal, big and smooth. The Luxman highs are more extended (it seems) and the Pass more subdued and gentle with an ethereal touch.
The Pass offers up an even larger soundstage and is a bit more holographic but I can say I enjoy both presentations equally. The $30k+ separates are more refined as one would expect them to be but that doesn’t take anything away from the 595 as it competes very well with those separates for 1/3 the cost. If I am being picky I can say that The Luxman sounds a hair harder than the Pass due to the extended treble energy but this is only noticeable when I compare them.
While the 4 box Pass is the nicer sound in my room it should be seeing that it costs more than double of the one box Luxman. : ) Even so, the Luxman hangs in there with the big Pass.
The Luxman is more of a rocker than the Pass. The Pass puts out a little more beauty and romance in the sound, the Luxman sounds more powerful and dimensional. There are more details heard with the Luxman as well.
This special edition Luxman sold for $12,500 and is worth every cent if you intend to keep it for the long term. I feel this amp and the 590 AXII will become sought after in the years to come. Since these are supposedly the last big Class A integrated amps from Luxman people will want them, and rightly so. Even if that turns out to be a rumor, these amps will still be desirable amps in the future as they are two of Luxman’s greatest integrated amps.
While many praise the absolutely gorgeous Class A/B Luxman 509X I prefer the sound of the 590 and 595, the Class A implementations. Your tastes may vary as the 509X is a stunner indeed, and this 595 sounds a bit like a 509X and 590 AXII had a baby and that baby is the 595. Luxman doesn’t make bad gear. If you own a Luxman, you own something special indeed.
The 595 sounds mature, like Class A has evolved to this point. It’s got the Mojo and the Magic.
This is what you should see when you open your 595 ASE package!
How to get one?
To those who want one of these I suggest keeping an eye on the used market. I have seen 2 or 3 being sold over the last few months between $8-11k. Sites like Audiogon, US Audio Mart are great for finding pieces like this. Also, check out the Music Room’s used page every day (Fresh Arrivals) as you never know when one will pop up there.
BTW for this review I used four DACs. The DCS Lina DAC & Clock, The affordable iFi Neo Stream, a Denafrips Terminator PLUS 12th Anniversary edition and a Weiss 501. All were able to show me the character of the Luxman. I also used a turntable to spin some vinyl, with the internal phono pre and with an external.
With the DACS, the DCS has the most presence and life, the iFi is more subdued in the details but also quite nice and the Weiss does that studio sound thing better than the others. The 12th Anniversary Denafrips was sounding absolutely magical with the Luxman. Depth for days and a sweet holographic soundstage without any hint of forwardness. Not as present and up front as the DCS but a more “wow dude” kind of sound.
To date, my fave DAC is still the DCS Lina with the Clock but it does come with a crazy price tag. The price you pay for a name brand, longevity of said brand and the bespoke nature of a Ring DAC. : )
I fell so hard for the Luxman 595 ASE that I went in search of a PD-151 Turntable and Luxman Cartridge, used. I found one and it is beautiful.
The Luxman Sound
The Class A sound of Luxman amps wether it is in an integrated or separates is very refined. It is detailed with a velvet grip and impact. It is dynamic but has that visceral vibe with a juiciness, a clarity, a velvet like transparency that is done just right. Nothing is overdone here and the midrange is clean and rich. Full, warm voices emerge from the speakers, dead center between them in a well setup system.
A video showing The Luxman gear and some music I have been enjoying lately on Vinyl.
It’s beautiful, sparkly, layered, rich and gets a grade A in imaging and drive/impact.
Another stunning Integrated is the Accuphase E-650. Hard to find, and very pricey.
I have heard an Accuphase E-650 integrated. This is a gorgeous integrated as well, also made in Japan. The sound differences are easily heard between it and the Luxman. The Accuphase is warmer, a bit fuller in the mids yet also has impact. It has a purity to the sound that is gorgeous and again, depending on your speakers one of these brands may sound better than the other to you. Speakers that lean bright, you may prefer the richness of the Accuphase. Neutral to warm speakers? You may enjoy the life that The Luxman injects into them. As for looks, they are both gorgeous brand known for their quality and looks. If you own either of these brands you should feel blessed indeed.
The new Luxman PD151 MKII Turntable would pair VERY well with the 595 ASE in looks and sound. It’s built just as well as the integrated. I bought an older version (The MKI) with the Luxman LMC-5 Cart and it’s a gorgeous table. The MKII has a different Arm, that is all.
The 595 ASE is also a fantastic pre-amp. You can hook up any amp to the RCA preamp outs and use this integrated as a fully featured pre. While it may not be as good as the dedicated pre-amps from Luxman (that cost as much or more as this integrated amp does) it’s mighty good indeed. It has bested the Pass Labs XP-12 I have here for drive, gain and kick but loses to the Pass XP-22 in all areas.
I tried both into my Dennis Had Inspire 300B amp and it was indeed a magical sound. My wife Debby said it was her favorite between The Luxman on its own, the Pass Labs seperates and the 300B on its own being fed from the DAC.
That 300B is truly a romantic.
This 300B sound with the 595 doing the pre-amp duties, according to her, was “ethereal, euphoric, and angelic”. It was sweet, expansive and wide. This combo only worked its magic well with the Fleetwood Deville’s as they are 94 DB efficient and are also 8 ohm speakers. Easy to drive no matter the amp. The 300Bv puts out 6-8 watts but its focus is on the voice and what a voice it is. For vocals, jazz, ambient…this amp is gorgeous. I miss the kick of The Luxman on its own at times but when I do, I can go back to the internal amp of The Luxman.
At the end of the day, the $12500 that this amp cost new is super expensive but not overpriced for what you get as it can be with you for life (if you let it). I can name a few integrated amps that are overpriced and do not sound any better than the 595 ASE. They are also not limited editions, nor do they have a super internal phono preamp. Nor can they be used as a pre-amp. Nor do they look as nice. This amp will appreciate over time, at least I believe that. In ten years it may be worth more than what it sold for new.
It may be the last Class A integrated amp from Luxman (or so said one large dealer online). The 590 AXII has been discontinued. The 595 ASE is sold out in the USA. They are all gone. This is a special piece by one of my fave brands in audio. I can’t wait to see what they do for their 100th anniversary!
SUNSET IN THE BLUE – MEOLDY GARDOT – Tidal Stream
This is a great vocal track. One to sit back and soak in with the lights out as Melody’s voice swoons you with her close and intimate performance. With some systems I hear this track sound eery and real and with others it can sound a bit bland or boring. It’s a wonderfully recorded album and track that has presence, beauty and warmth.
If you want to hear the instruments surround you left and right while her voice comes alive between the speakers, the Luxman is doing just this with any speaker I throw at it. The Deville’s are huge sounding, expansive and wide…delicate and with a warm welcoming tonality. With Emotiva T1+ towers the sound gets more direct and clearer with the folded ribbon tweeters but they lose refinement. These are only $800 but sound damn good here with The Luxman. A smaller sound VS the Deville’s, and a soundstage that is not as tall or deep but even so..wow. Bass is elevated if not a bit loose with the Emotiva but holy heck, these are bloody fantastic for $800.
With the Dynaudio Special 40’s I have here once again the sound is bolder with more energy all the way around. Not as large as the Deville’s in sound, nor as warm, the Special 40’s bring Melody’s voice a little more into the room. It’s a little bit thinner of a presentation vs the Deville’s in the midband. Even so, for their size these are dynamos and sound fantastic with The Luxman.
The most intimate portrayal of all though goes to the Falcon LS3/5A Gold Badge. While bringing forth a much smaller sound than the others it is also the most pure sound. Listening at 1AM to Melody Gardot on the Falcons and The Luxman is a treat indeed. So clean, crisp and sweet.
I am using Nordost Blue Heaven and Red Dawn LS speaker cables and interconnects for this evaluation as I found them to be a nice match with The Luxman. I also used the DCS Lina DAC and the iFi Stream. The iFi brought a more relaxed warmer presentation vs the Lina which is in no way bright or lean. The DCS brought forth more details that I could not hear with the iFi (though I would hear then now that I know they are there). The iFi is a stunner for the money.
I switched over to Nordost Red Dawn LS and it was even better. Fuller sounding yet and with an expanse in the soundstage and air. I am replacing my years old Blue Heaven with Red Dawn all the way around. IC’s, Speaker and Power.
City Morning Views by Carrie Carlton Quartet – Spotify Stream
This instrumental is gorgeous with the Fleetwood Deville’s and The Luxman. Wether I used the iFi DAC, Denafrips or the others the sound was rich, beautiful, spatial and with stunning bass performance. The weight that The Luxman brings is quite nice indeed and I am able to hear every detail on the song without issue. The musicality is also stunning and this song was absolutely gorgeous with these Deville SQ speakers.
With the Emotiva towers the sound shrunk a bit, sounded thinner in the mids and more plump in the lower registers. The Emotiva are budget speakers for audio lovers, and while they do not sound budget they are not nearly as refined as the big buck speakers. Even so, doesn’t stop me from swaying slowly to the music here nor does it make me think “wow, it sounded so much better with the Deville’s”. I just enjoy the tune.
Dream A Little Dream of Me – Spotify Stream – Louis Armstrong
An oldie but boy does this sound fantastic even today. The Luxman brings forth Louis’s voice in such a huge realistic way. It’s large, throaty and full. It has detail and when his solo kicks in look out! The DCS Lina is bringing forth his trumpet in such a clear and separated way. What I mean is the imaging is top notch. Each instrument can be heard in the stage, in the correct placement. The soundstage is smaller than what the Pass Labs and even Enleum AMP 23-R brings but it sounds very correct to these ears. This song is lively with the Luxman and has that kick with the drums that I find lacking in many other amps.
Miles Davis – Time After Time LIVE (Live Around the World Album) – Spotify Stream
I have to say that the DCS Lina DAC does incredible things for Spotify streams. I have Tidal, Qobuz and Spotify and many times the Spotify streams sound better to me, more musical. I listen to thousands of songs in many playlists on Spotify and just because these songs are not big resolution doesn’t mean they sound bad. In fact, I usually prefer Spotify to the others for sound quality. This track is no exception.
With The Luxman 595 ASE and Deville’s I am taken to the venue and I am in the audience. The trumpet swells here from quiet to crazy in the room that shook me from my seat on two occasions! With the Falcons I am treated to a smaller more personal experience when listening near field. I can almost feel the sweat.
It seems no matter what I play The Luxman makes it musical and sweet, but not with a syrupy warm presentation as there is none of that here. The 595 will not be mistaken for tubes but rather a highly impactful detailed yet dense sound with amazing imaging and clarity. It’s another one of those addictive amps and this track shows me why.
EVA CASSIDY – SONGBIRD VINYL – Luxman PD-151 and LMC-5 Cartridge into the 595 MC Phono Stage
Firing up the Luxman PD-151 I acquired used with a Luxman LMC-5 MC Cartridge was a lovely treat. Even though this setup uses a low output moving coil cartridge the internal phono stage handled it without an issue. Could it be better into a $6k Luxman phono preamp? Sure, I bet. As it is though this integrated’s built in MC phono stage is phenomenal for an internal job. The sound was big, clear, detailed and with that warmth throughout the range. Eva’s voice was in the room better than ever.
The Luxman LMC-5 does a fantastic job of quelling the surface noise of my LP’s as well. It’s a fantastic tracker and has a silken quality to the music that plays through it. Best cart I have owned in life. Silky, sweet, detailed, with a splash of warmth and life.
Listening to “Fields of Gold” which is the opening track, I am rewarded with a room filling sunny day kind of vibe with Eva’s silky voice coming out right between the speakers as large as life.
Vinyl still has its charms indeed as the stream of this does not have the same life as the vinyl.
I did attach the Pass Labs XP17 I have here and WOW!! Yes, it got much better. As good as the internal stage is, a nice external phono preamp will take a cartridge like the Luxman up a few notches. This setup surpasses my old Koetsu Black Cartridge I loved so much. Silky sweet with fantastic instrument separation.
THE LAST CLASS A?
For weeks I have read online in forums that Luxman is no longer going to make new Class A designs when it comes to amps. A dealer has posted publicly that Luxman are getting out of the Class A game due to environmental reasons. When I asked Geoff Poor over at Glenn Poors audio in Champaign IL (who is also a Luxman dealer) he said he spoke with a very high up at Luxman who said that was not true. So we shall see if this is really the last Class A amp from Luxman. If not, that is fantastic news. If so, I’d suggest hanging onto yours if you have one!
More info on The Luxman 595 ASE:
ODNF and LECUA
The L-595A SPECIAL EDITION incorporates the finest of LUXMAN’s latest circuit technologies. Our original ODNF feedback circuit, which achieves the highest initial slew rate, has evolved into the latest ODNF-u version with improved error detection circuitry. The volume control section uses the new LECUA1000 88-step electronically controlled attenuator, which minimizes sound quality deterioration at low levels, and a discrete buffer that increases the driving force of the preamplifier circuit. Copper-clad steel shielding protects the transmission path of delicate signals from external noise. The copper alloy RCA terminals have the conductivity of copper and hardness of brass.
*LECUA : Luxman Electronically Controlled Ultimate Attenuator
*ODNF : Only Distortion Negative Feedback
Commitment to Pure Class A
For irreplaceable musical expression
The L-595A SPECIAL EDITION operates in pure class A mode, eliminating crossover distortion during amplification. A rated output of 30W + 30W (8Ω) is generated by the power amplifier circuits. It’s 3 stage Darlington equipped, triple paralleled push-pull configuration greatly improves S/N ratio and high-frequency distortion characteristics, bestowing a textural clarity and the drivability of a pre and power amplifier combination. The power supply section features a large, highly regulated power transformer with independent left and right channel high-capacity filter capacitors which combine to supply instantaneous power with great stability. And unique, vibration damped constructions are employed throughout. Large speaker relays with very low resistance achieve low impedance at the speaker terminals. All of these technologies contribute to achieve the finest level of musical expression expected from a pure class A product.
Design methods and housing structures are major factors that affect sound quality and timbre. Our goal was to design levels of deep musicality for the L-595A SPECIAL EDITION. The joint input/output circuit board is peel-coated without resistant green film coating which can cause high-frequency noise components. Smooth, rounded trace rounded trace patterns connect points on the custom-made, gold plated peel-coat circuit board.
A substantial and exceptional stereo integrated amplifier
Multi-functionality and convenience
The L-595A SPECIAL EDITION combines the quality of a separate amplifier and preamp with the functionality of integrated amplifiers into a single unit. The built-in phono amplifier, with MM/MC compatibility, allows you to enjoy superb analog record playback. The unit features electronically controlled bass/treble tone controls and a volume-linked loudness function that matches human hearing characteristics. There are also perfect applications for different listening environments, such as a bi-amp configuration with an added power amplifier and the SEPARATE function that enables coexistence with the surround environment of an AV amplifier. In addition, we have included our premium RA-17A aluminum remote controller that can also operate compatible CD/SACD players.
Rated output 30W + 30W (8Ω),
60W + 60W (4Ω)
Input sensitivity /
input impedance PHONO (MM) : 2.5mV / 47kΩ
PHONO (MC) : 0.3mV / 100Ω
LINE : 180mV / 47kΩ
BAL.LINE : 180mV / 55kΩ
MAIN IN : 550mV / 47kΩ
Output voltage / output impedance PRE OUT: 1V / 600kΩ
Frequency response PHONO: 20Hz to 20kHz (±0.5dB)
LINE: 20Hz to 100kHz (within -3.0dB)
Total harmonic distortion 0.007% or less (8Ω, 1kHz)
0.06% or less (8Ω, 20Hz to 20kHz)
S/N ratio (IHF-A) PHONO (MM) : 91dB or more
PHONO (MC) : 75dB or more
LINE : 105dB or more
Volume adjustment New LECUA1000
Amplification circuit ODNF-u
Output configuration Bipolar 3-parallel push-pull
Damping factor 370
Max. amount of tone control BASS: ±8dB at 100Hz
TREBLE: ±8dB at 10kHz
Power supply 230V~(50Hz) / 115V~(60Hz)
Power consumption 330W,
230W (under no signal), 0.4W (at standby)
External dimensions 440 (W) x 193 (H) x 462 (D) mm