Luxman leaves me wanting

My current system is a Luxman L590-AXII driving DeVore Gibbon Super Nines. My source is Lumin U1-Mini (w/Sboosterj and Denafrips Venus II. Also a Rega P3. Speaker and interconnect cables are circa late 90s Cardis Cross There is a lot that is right about the sound of my set up, but I feel it’s lacking fullness in the midrange. When I turn on the loudness on the Luxman, I get the meaty weight in the mids I’m missing, but at anything but low volume, it alters the sound in a negative way. 
I had considered a tube Integrated before I got the Luxman, but liked the L590 when I heard it. Now I’m wondering if I should have gone with tubes. (At one point I had a BAT Pre w/ a Classe amp and loved the bloom in the mids and vocals).               I’m attracted to the LTA 40+ from the good reviews and long tube life. I’d be interested in hearing one with my speakers, but there are no dealers, so I could buy and return if I’m not thrilled, but wanted to know anyone has heard the 40+ with Super 9s. Also interested in other options to get a richer sound. Budget is around 8k.

Post removed 

Are you streaming with Roon? If so try applying some eq using the DSP functionality. If you are not, give Roon a try just for that. Easy fix once you get it right compared to the hifi merry go round especially once you already have good stuff that maybe just needs a little tweaking to get right.

If you want to be really brave you can also do Room correction with Roon + Room Eq Wizard freeware and a good quality usb mic to a laptop computer. That will really help set things right.


All rooms affect the sound greatly and you don’t know how good fixing that can be until you actually do it. Practically, I would always recommend do Room Correction first to set the table straight then decide if any changes or upgrades are still needed. Chances are you will be very pleasantly surprised what any good quality system can do once room acoustics are addressed properly. 

If you want richer, I recommend Pass Labs.  I have both L590-AX and INT-25 and I get what you mean about the Luxman.  The Pass definitely has a meatier sound with more "in the room" imaging and presence.  I had an LTA Z10 and found it comparatively thin sounding in the end, though I liked the transparency and overall sound.

Devore and Luxman is not a synergistic combination.  
IMO Luxman does well with hard to drive, warm sounding speakers that are midrange focused. With Devore speakers, tubes are the better choice. 

As I understand it LTA does not have the meat on the bone tube sound you are seeking.

Based on you liking what you hear when you switch on "Loudness" you're not missing the mid range, you're missing probably a fuller bottom end and possibly some crisp highs. The Loudness button accentuates bass and highs (and as a result it actually makes the mid range less prominent to our ears). So you might want to use the digital EQ function in Roon if you use Roon, or get an EQ of some sort, add a sub, experiment with moving your speakers around etc. OR, change the speakers to Klipsch, Vu, Tekton, Volti or other models of DeVore all of which will be probably more to your liking. 

The LTA gear is voiced on the thinner side for tube gear.  They make good gear, but it is probably not the sound you seek.  My personal favorite integrated amp that can run your speakers is the Synthesis A40 (40 wpc) or the A100 (100wpc).  I think 40 watts would be plenty for your speakers.  The tubes they run are KT66.  These are warm and "beefy" sounding amps--the sound is full, but not sluggish or lumpy sounding; it delivers a lot of punch.  They come with a built in DAC that is no slouch.  At a local shop, I have seen customers trade in some very expensive Jadis, VAC, McIntosh, and other pricey gear that cost much more than these Synthesis models.  

Hi OP:

I think that swapping amps for a tonal imbalance problem is the second worst way to do so. The first is to buy new cables.

Your description sounds like you are missing bass, not mids per se. There’s a couple of things I think you should try. First, use the Luxman tone controls, they are really good. I’d start by reducing the treble a couple of notches. Next, consider your listening location. Your ear should be at or below the tweeter’s axis. You may need to tilt the speaker back or lower your seat or separate your seat and speaker somewhat. The pooint is, you may need to be much lower than you are, and don't be afraid to listen at the mid woofer's axis, some speakers just sound better there.

Next of course is the room. An overly reflective room with solid windows and drywall will sound much brighter for all speakers.

I have a friend with a Luxman 509x. Luxman integrated amps can usually be used as a stand alone amp or a stand alone preamp. I own a Luxman stereo amp paired with an Audio Research Ref 5 SE. the SE is important. It pairs better with SS amps. It sounds amazing. More importantly I have the friend with the Luxman integrated that he uses with a tube preamp and it also sounds amazing. If you really want that warm sound I would go with VAC or CAT. When paired with a solid state amp it is the best of both worlds depending on your speakers. I tell people all the time to get your foundation right. That way any source can be hooked up to it and sound amazing. I demoed the Luxman preamp and compared it to my Audio Research preamp. It was cool to have all those tone controls and extra features. In the end when your preamp is right you don’t need any extra features. A really good used tube preamp is about $5k to $6k. I would count on you replacing the tubes. Sorry but it’s hard to trust that the tubes were replaced and tube hour clocks can be reset in seconds. In an Audio Research you are looking at about $500 to $700 with the 6550 tube. Do not buy them from the factory. Way too expensive and they started swapping out the original Sovtek 6550 for the cheaper and not as good EH 6550. I hope this helps and I know this works. 

Seeing the title of your post I immediately thought of the Synthesis A40 like @Larryi above.  I had the A40 powering a pair of Audio Note speakers whose specs are not far off from the Devores you are currently powering and it made them sing.  The internal DAC in the A40 is outstanding and you may find it an upgrade from Venus II with the right cable.  I regret selling the A40, I upgraded to the Synthesis 98 DC mono blocks, as I will be purchasing another for my family room system.  



@dweller  Schiit does make a 4 band tone control/EQ, and with a Luxman you can put it between the preamp and the amp sections, but Luxman's own tone controls are not bad either.  I think the OP should experiment a little more with them first.

One option not mentioned yet is to get a basic equalizer like a Schiit Loki Mini (4 band) or Lokius (6 band).  They are inexpensive ($150/$300 respectively) and can be switched in or out of the circuit without twisting the knobs. You could then experiment as much as you want to better tune your Luxman to your liking. The loudness button on your amp only gives you a single fixed version of what they think should happen and it sounds like that doesn't match very well with your expectations. And, there is always the digital option with Room or other devices, but that's a bigger change to your source than just inserting a Schiit equalizer.

Just another option for you before you throw some big dollars around.

I have the Super Nines and two Luxmans: the 550axII and the LX-380. Before I bought the SN's from a dealer in Dallas (who btw demos the Lux-Devore amp-speaker combination) I sent John Devore an email and asked about the Luxman- Devore match up and received a positive recommendation from him. Personally I prefer the 550axII over the LS-380 with the SN's. I have recently added a Musical Fidelity 6si and so far am really enjoying this..but I'm not a super critical listener.. just loving the music. For about $150 the 4 band Schitt equalizer does a very good job but I with the tone controls on the Luxman I don't know why you would need it. There is a Devore YouTube video where he shows the various amplifiers he uses with his speakers. Worth a view. If you get another amp to your liking I'd really like to know what you get!

Here's another recommendation for the Synthesis A40 or A100. After a very lengthy amp search that involved at least half a dozen highly regarded integrated amps, my search ended when I tried the Synthesis A100 about a year ago. Not only does it have the sound you describe, but its onboard DAC is truly excellent. 

Additionally, the Synthesis was considerably cheaper than a few of the amps I had in for extended auditions, and yet I much preferred it. I never feel like I am "missing" anything when I listen to my system now. It's a great amp.


Best recommendation with Devores is Leben. Since your budget allows is do yourself a favor and go for Leben CS600X. You will never look back.

Enjoy the music...

  synthesis dealer walter is corect just amazing gear


Dave and Troy

audio intellect NJ

synthesis dealer

you've described the DeVore Gibbon sound. From my experience / room anyway. 

I went from a Luxman 550 to a Luxman M10X and now have both the M10X and an @aricaudio 300B pset. I’m chose it the 300b almost every time for just that better midrange vocals. I could not believe the M10X could be approved on but I’m leaning on even selling it.


You are describing the sound of Luxman solid state gear. It has that “high end” sound of emphasized treble and bass. But the sound lacks the midrange, natural balance and rhythm / pace. You can’t really equalize it away. 

I would consider two possible alternatives Pass INT 60 or Audio Research. These three form a continuum from the sparkly Luxman, to well balanced with good rhythm and pace Pass to detailed / natural presentation and deeply emotional Audio Research I-50. 

I recommend you have a listen to these. One will definitely put you in the right category of sound quality.

Post removed 

LTA is wonderful stuff because it is very neutral as tube gear goes.

These days, in the land of digital processing and streaming, Neutral hardware is always the best place to start, like a sheet of white paper. Then add some color separately as needed via Roon DSP or any other means you see fit.

Things were different back in 20th century analog olden days when hardware did it all. Nowadays you want neutral hardware then let the software paint the picture your way. Being stuck in the past can be a big and fairly expensive handicap. 


I had the same problem! I tried to power a pair of KEF Reference 1 Metas with a 590AXII. I had absolutely no bass and a terrible midrange. It was so bad, I thought the integrated was broken. I brought it to the nearest dealer, and we confirmed that the amp did not have the power to drive the baby KEFs. I upgraded to McIntosh MC611s, and the bass/midrange is jaw-dropping. 

Your Super Nines are not as difficult of a load to drive as my KEFs, but I think you need far more power. Even the Luxman 509x did not have enough juice for the KEFs. The M10x was a different story, though (glorious sound).

If you know someone that can lend you a decent pair of subs, I would try that first. With a budget of 8k its easy to make an expensive mistake. But if you just want some ideas that might work for you, here's a few. BAT, Sugden, Pass, Sim, YBA. Even though they are all very good, I still wouldn't buy anything without trying it in my system first.  

Thanks for all the helpful suggestions. I’m pretty familiar with a lot of gear talked about on this forum, but haven’t heard of Sinthesis. I will look into them.

i do use Roon, but have not tried the EQ filters or room correction - but that’s a great idea. I’ll start there. I have thought of adding a tube pre to my L590AX-II, and am glad to hear that hsounds had good results doing so.


Two years ago I wanted to down size a little by going from separates to an integrated amp. After a couple of months of research, it was down to Luxman and Hegel.  I ended up buying the Hegel H390 to power my KEF Reference 5’s. The Hegel is quiet. The Hegel images well and gave me good separation. The bass is full, the midrange is clean and the high end is actually very pleasant as well. 
Hegel just replaced their flagship H590 with the H600, so they are discounting the H590’s to about the same price as the H390, until inventory is gone.

You should look at the Aesthetix Mimas Integrated amp, which is a hybrid amp. Based on your post it just might fit the bill. Good Luck!

  I am not a tube guy so I cannot offer much assistance other than referring you to the article below where the reviewer indicates a synergy between your DeVores and the LTA you are looking at …and to offer that in my experience the environment impacts tonal balance as much as the electronics. I would also experiment with environmental treatments and speaker placement.  


I think your cables may be part of the problem as well. I found Luxman gear to be quite sensitive to cable choice, but also easily satisfied with the right choice. In the affordable range, I found that the lowest tier of LUNA cables really brought the Luxmans to full glory. They add density and palpability and increase the analogue-y-ness factor.  As you go up the range, you get improvements, but the base power and interconnects work really well.

Try contacting some DeVore dealers and ask their input on what they like with the Super Nines. The Leben is typically a good match. Also, you may want to consider the CODA integrated amp if you don’t want tubes or the Pass Labs as others have mentioned. I believe Audio Archon carries both the DeVore and CODA.

As a Super Nine owner, I found that using a Puritan Audio "Ultimate" power cord to my Puritan PLC added more fullness to the sound. Perhaps the biggest improvement though came when I switched my speaker cables (from Analysis Plus Silver Apex) to ArgentPur 13AWG. Quite the "whoa" moment!. I also use their interconnects which are also quite good. However, it looks like the only speaker cables available now are the AP16’s. The cables are pure silver, without the harsh sound typically associated with lower quality silver cables.

The DeVores now sound quite "full" even at lower volumes and satisfying.


Good luck.



I’m not a fan of trying to shape the tonality of an amp/speaker combo using DSP/EQ. If there’s a specific room anomaly you’re trying to correct then maybe, but if an amp is lean sounding by nature, then trying to change its characteristics digitally doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me. (Disclaimer- I’m old).

I’ll throw in another vote for Synthesis amps. I bought a Titan A100 before the holidays and it’s a fantastic amp. Big, bold, dynamic, full bodied, extremely easy to listen to. I can’t see myself thinking about another amp change for days… weeks even;)


So you've got 30 wpc of Class A Luxman super stable current power.  And you don't like it.  It's okay.  Class A is a taste.  Nothing wrong.  I lived in the tube world for years and left it because my tastes changed and I now like super fast dynamic non-lush romantic tube sounds and now I'm a Class A and A/B active speakers and oh yes, I run a Luxman 509X.

Some of the advice given above may suite well.  Some is to be discarded.  I assume you are here because you thought someone might know more than you.  Well, maybe not.  For 8K, I'd go with Manley used 300B pre and Snappers.  And yes, I've owned plenty of Manley, so it's not the "I heard that...".  Have fun with your choice.  Cheers

That 590 has 30 wpc in Class A, and about 65 more in AB, into 8 ohms.

I can't offer much advice, maybe borrow or try some different cables, to start.

I have the Luxman L-590AX, which is the version prior to yours. None of the issues you mention describe my experience, but my speakers, etc, are different.

Good luck

I’d suggest upgrading your source components. Your amp and speakers are revealing their limitations. Better sources will fill in the sound and flesh out the tone.

@steverrino,  perhaps the Luxman and your speakers are not an ideal marriage but you should not be hearing what you describe. We know nothing about your room acoustics nor the shape, size or structure. Cables and different amps at this stage will not achieve much, not if your listening position places you in a partial null of which there are many in all untreated rooms.

It is difficult to conceptualise the damage strong early reflections cause, something that can not be solved with EQ

A smart suggestion offered by a poster above is to consider subs, an excellent way of taming peaks and nulls whilst also bringing lots extra to the party. An improvement is gained across the spectrum.

I've heard Devore 0/96 driven by a 300B single ended amp sounding delightful.


i do use Roon, but have not tried the EQ filters or room correction - but that’s a great idea. I’ll start there. I have thought of adding a tube pre to my L590AX-II, and am glad to hear that hsounds had good results doing so.

If you want to leverage the full power of ROON to tailor your sound with DSP (or Convolution filters) give Mitch Barnet a call or email. He has a remote service to do EXACTLY what you are looking to do. The dude is a professional sound engineer and will use very advanced and pricey audio software. To do similar task using built-in DSP in audio hardware is very limiting. This is because a computer is infinitely more powerful (just upgrade computer/server when needed).

Digital Room Calibration Services, Convolvers, Headphone Filtersets (

Mitch setup Convolution filters for my small office setup when I used Thiel CS3.7’s. It was a great result. However, I sold the CS3.7’s and bought Magnepan LRS+ and did not need to use DSP. A better speaker fit for the room.

I have speakers in my Livingroom system that are sound amazing. However, for $750 I will get Mitch to remotely analyze my room (seating position, etc) and create a few Convolution filters for ROON. I am curious if I can get even better sound than what I have naked.

The filters are applied BEFORE the signal hits the DAC.



Also, consider the PrimaLuna EVO 300 integrated from Upscale Audio. They have a 60-day return policy for a full refund, so you really have nothing to lose!

As brother ghdprentice said, and speaking from extensive experience with a Luxman 550AXII, the word "sparkly" is an apt descriptor. The Lux offers a lot for the money, and I enjoyed that amp quite a bit. But ultimately decided to delegate solid state integrated chores to an Accuphase E-280, which I simply find more relaxing, less "hi-fi," warmer.less analytical, and easier to listen to. The one thing I wish the Accuphase had is a loudness control button on the remote.

Now if that isn’t a first world nitpicking, please tell me what is. :)

The "lack of fullness" in the midrange is not the Luxman’s’s that useless speaker known as the Devore ’Gibbon’ that you are running with.

(Surprised some poor lil cable didn't get blamed for the scooped out midrange, 😂)

You have some good gear. the only thing I can think of, is the Amp and speakers are not a good pairing. My sudden Class A amps pair well with Dynaudio and Capriccio Continuo speakers. I have 2 systems, the main floor has always supported Dynaudio speakers. I have never ben able to get Dynaudio to sound great in the basement. before you go replacing gear, try fixing the room.

Look, the suggestions are all over the place. 

Listen to the Loki men.

You will thank them for it

The L590 left me feeling the same way - no real emotion and lacks soundstage depth.  Not my style.

Post removed 

My Luxman C-900u preamp with M-900u power amp also leave me wanting... wanting to listen to more music with their absolutely stunning performance. 😍

My current system is a Luxman L590-AXII driving DeVore Gibbon Super Nines. My source is Lumin U1-Mini (w/Sboosterj and Denafrips Venus II. Also a Rega P3. Speaker and interconnect cables are circa late 90s Cardis Cross There is a lot that is right about the sound of my set up, but I feel it’s lacking fullness in the midrange.


It’s the speakers. I find the Luxman L-590AXII to be very close to neutral with low coloration. The thin and lean sound you are getting is likely from the Devore speakers. Get the speaker-amp match right the L-590AXII is highly capable. The Luxman shows a level of clarity that may be missing with other amps such as Pass Labs which focus on other aspects of sound reproduction such as throwing a large expansive sound. The focus of the Luxman is more toward micro detail and nuance with a more delicate touch.