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Luxman, Marantz, or McIntosh?

Discussion in 'New Gear - Performance' started by crn3371, Nov 4, 2017.

  1. crn3371

    crn3371 AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    376
    Location:
    Glendora, CA
    In my quest to upgrade my NAD375BEE (driving LS50’s) I thought that the answer was going to be a McIntosh integrated, either the MA6300 or the MA5200/5300. Now, my McIntosh decision was mostly emotional, having lusted after the blue meters since I got into this “hobby” back in the 70’s. In my perusing of the Audio Classics site I stumbled upon a b-stock Marantz PM-11s3, their previous generation reference integrated. Researching the Marantz led me to a new Luxman L-505ux at Music Direct. I know that there’s a myriad of good/great integrateds in this price range, but I’m limited to buying online, preferably from a vendor with a decent return policy. I haven’t listened to any of these amps, rather, I’m going strictly on reputation and the fact that 1 is made in the USA, and the other 2 are made in Japan. This is going to be my last amp, the speakers “may” change, but this is it for the amp department. Any thoughts or impressions on these 3 would be greatly appreciated. I am open to other suggestions (integrated only), but it has to be no more than $5k and from an online vendor with a good return policy (think Crutchfield or Music Direct). Thanks.
     

     

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  2. sanford12

    sanford12 Old Stuff New Stuff As long as it's Good Stuff Subscriber

    Messages:
    3,508
    Location:
    Blue grass country
    If I was going to make this choice it would be the Luxman. Mostly because I've never met one I didn't like and it looks like the Luxman has blue meters so there you go.
     
    armyslowrdr likes this.
  3. musichal

    musichal poet emeritus Subscriber

    Messages:
    10,775
    Location:
    Norman OK
    I just made a main-system last amp purchase of an integrated amp, too. My choice was a little beyond your budget requirement, but not very far, for a slightly used Levinson 585. So, I've recently been through the selection process, too. Furthermore, I also considered new McIntosh models for the same reasons you cite. I found making the choice really required me to focus more on the direction my sources are taking vs where I am now.

    Since I don't spin vinyl, I didn't necessarily want to pay for a phono input I'd never use - the amp I bought doesn't have one, which was a plus for me. At this level, I guess some companies figure you are using an outboard, anyway. Another big consideration for me was the ergonomics of needing remote with a display legible across the room. I didn't want a DAC included, at first. But digital includes my primary sources, and my plan is to be all digital (with the exception of FM, but my little Sony does have HD) so I realized I needed a DAC, and the amp I chose has a very good one.

    I don't write this to recommend what I bought, but to encourage you to look at a lot of models, develop your own hit-list of features, ergonomics, size and appearance, or whatever factors are most important for your use. Have fun buying your last amp, and good hunting!
     
  4. crn3371

    crn3371 AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    376
    Location:
    Glendora, CA
    Thanks musichal. I’m pretty much in the same boat as you, basically housebound, with audio the last of my hobbies I can participate in. Living in SoCal, where there’s no shortage of high end dealers, and being unable to play with things in person, makes the decision process that much harder. Bought the LS50’s solely on the overwhelming amount of positive press, shopping for an integrated seems way more difficult due to the smaller review samples, hence needing the ability to return. Seems that the more I research the more options I uncover, muddying the waters even more. The quest continues.
     
    ajward549 and musichal like this.
  5. sqlsavior

    sqlsavior AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    5,703
    Location:
    Española NM
    I have the L-505ux's predecessor, the L-505u. For a sane, rational audiophile, it's as good a last amplifier as any, IMO.

    Music Direct is a good outfit with their satisfaction guarantee.
     
    armyslowrdr likes this.
  6. crn3371

    crn3371 AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    376
    Location:
    Glendora, CA
    Have to admit I’m drawn to the Luxman due to its simple analog nature. No firmware to worry about updating, or bricking the unit if something goes awry, just knobs and switches.
     
    armyslowrdr likes this.

     

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  7. SpicySammich

    SpicySammich Active Member

    Messages:
    317
    I can’t help you in terms of amplification. I bought a Marantz that’s 1/10th of your budget. But I can recommend MusicDirect.com

    I bought and sent back a couple amps before keeping this one. They were very accommodating.
     
    musichal likes this.
  8. KentTeffeteller

    KentTeffeteller Gimpus Stereophilus!

    Messages:
    25,779
    Location:
    Athens, TN
    McIntosh if you must live with it a long time. McIntosh is a lot better about supporting their oldies, a lot better stability as a company. Marantz today is owned by the same people as Denon, and just as cost cut and just as long lived. Luxman needs to prove some stability and support of their gear before I'd spend that money. I get better support out of McIntosh over 50 year old gear, than Marantz or Luxman ever gave me on recent newish anything.
     
    John James and musichal like this.
  9. crn3371

    crn3371 AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    376
    Location:
    Glendora, CA
    Is Luxman’s support not good? I have no worries about either the Marantz or Mcintosh as they most likely are coming from Audio Classics.
     
  10. freQ(*)Oddio

    freQ(*)Oddio Super Member

    Messages:
    2,900
    Location:
    Adirondacks
    Audio Advisor, Parasound Halo and Krell Vanguard integrateds just something to look at
     
  11. crn3371

    crn3371 AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    376
    Location:
    Glendora, CA
    Did some research on the Krell Vanguard integrated, looks VERY promising. Plus, having D’Agostino in your bloodline certainly doesn’t hurt.
     

     

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  12. crn3371

    crn3371 AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    376
    Location:
    Glendora, CA
    Well, how about none of the above! Just placed order for the new Anthem STR integrated. Built in room correction, 200w @ 8ohms.
     
    nyhifihead likes this.
  13. bimasta

    bimasta Super Member

    Messages:
    2,645
    I just image-searched your Anthem. I can't comment on its sound of course, but I want one just for the display! Clear and legible from across the room — and verstatile — it can even switch to big ole VU meters for a '70s nostalgia rush. Simply by adding that one anachronistic analogue feature, Anthem showed creative imagination, which I assume extends to other, less visible features.

    I hope you'll be writing a review after it arrives and you get to know it. It could end up being my "last amplifier" too. I hope you still use a turntable; the Phono Stage is a dealmaker/breaker for me.

    images.jpeg

    BTW, I'm also in SoCal, West Hollywood area. If I may ask, whereabouts are you located?
     
  14. crn3371

    crn3371 AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    376
    Location:
    Glendora, CA
    The pic you posted is the Anthem power amp. I’m getting the integrated version. Same basic design, but as far as I know, no meter option. It’s a monster of an integrated amp with 200/400/550w @ 8/4/2 ohms, with dual cooling fans to tame the class A generated heat. The built in Anthem room correction is icing on the cake. This amp tics all my boxes, mm/mc preamp, dac, dual sub outs, plenty of power, remote control. Let’s hope it meets my expectations, as $4.5k is a lot of money.
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2017
  15. bimasta

    bimasta Super Member

    Messages:
    2,645
    Sorry for the mistake; the model wasn't identified on Google Images. But it was just one cool feature, not important. The other features tick my boxes too.
     
  16. TOM1040

    TOM1040 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    582
    Location:
    Coast of Maine
    I have not heard Luxman. However, I do have Marantz MA9S2 (monoblocks) AND McIntosh MC601 (monoblocks). If I were to buy an integrated amp it would be from the Marantz camp. I believe the PM-11S3 was in their reference category. As a matter of fact, I have the 'stablemate' SACD player-the Marantz SA-11S3 and really like it.......
     

     

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  17. crn3371

    crn3371 AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    376
    Location:
    Glendora, CA
    Look what came! Unfortunately, not getting off to a good start.

    A36C2418-2A35-464B-B818-F313532596C9.jpeg F495DADD-FFD4-43D8-8352-ECAFA2172295.jpeg
     
  18. sanford12

    sanford12 Old Stuff New Stuff As long as it's Good Stuff Subscriber

    Messages:
    3,508
    Location:
    Blue grass country
    That's too bad. Is the amp harmed other than the outer part of the knob fell off? Easy fix?
     
  19. crn3371

    crn3371 AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    376
    Location:
    Glendora, CA
    Easy fix. Billet knob poorly glued to plastic insert. Anthem tech support (great btw!) guided me on how to fix, plus they’re sending me a new knob. Could of exchanged entire unit but this was last one, with more stock not until end of year.
     
  20. sanford12

    sanford12 Old Stuff New Stuff As long as it's Good Stuff Subscriber

    Messages:
    3,508
    Location:
    Blue grass country
    I wouldn't be happy about it but if no real damage and they were good about it I'd keep it.
     

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