Audio Research or Luxman?

I recently acquired a 1973 Luxman L-507 integrated amp only to learn that the volume/balance control pots are bad and can't be replaced, but I was able to bypass the pre-amp section and run it with the amp section only, and oh my, did it sound good.

I was very surprsed to find that its sound quality came too close in sound quality to my ARC separates: a Reference 3 preamp and Ref 75SE amp. So now I'm wondering how a modern Luxman like a l-505uXii or 507uXii would compare with my ARC separates. 

Any thoughts anyone?



I don't know specifically, but after years of a Luxman CL-32, I put an Audio Research SP-6B in my system and it woke-up.

I always wanted an Audio Research pre-amp, but could not afford one.  The old one I got used was in perfect condition and sounds 10x better (more accurate) than the Luxman ever did.

Not sure if that is true with the 2 items you are auditioning, but BUY WHAT SOUNDS BEST IN YOUR ROOM and forget all the "opinions" we have.



It depends on what level of Audio Research you are talking about.  For example, within the last month I had a one hour audition of Wilson SabrinaX speakers both with the Luxman L509x integrated amp ($10k) and also with the ARC separates LS28 and VT80 stack (about $20k).  I preferred the Luxman as being more dynamic with better grip on the bass and just a better presentation.  DAC was a Chord dac.  So it depends.

Personality I didn’t have chance to compare, but close friend of mine was using his  Luxman 507ux as a preamp with his tube monoblocks for years and was pretty happy with SQ until he tried Bespoke passive preamp instead. He was really shocked with the SQ improvement at all points. I understand that every setup is different and his experience couldn’t be dogmatic for everyone but the outcome was pretty interested. 

Based on the sound of my one and only Luxman, and what you describe, I would definitely keep/use the Luxman.

I agree, a good tech can get you volume controls inside.

Anywhere near NJ? I am sure Steve Leung at VAS can get some very nice volume controls in it.


Another option, is to use something like this Chase RLC-1 Remote Line Controller, for some or all of it’s features. NEEDS the remote, no on-board buttons.


Try as I may, or my friends may, we cannot tell if it is in/out of the system. it’s 120 S/N ratio makes it invisible

. Office, I use it only for remote power of my Luxman (leave it’s manual power switch on). Then use the Luxman’s inputs and remote volume. I/you could just use the Chase remote volume. Main system, out now, currently evaluating new to me CD players hooked up directly to the Cayin and alternately thru the McIntosh mx110z preamp. It will go back in, I expect un-noticeably, except features. I love having remote balance. I find many tracks benefit a lot from a small balance tweak. I use my preamps inputs, Cayin’s remote volume, I will switch to Chase volume, and use the Cayin’s pre-in. Now, Furman controls power. I may run the power 1st thru the Chase, then leave the Furman’s power switch on, use Chase for remote power, volume, balance, loudness. RLC-1 also has built-in automatic/progressive Loudness for low volume listening, infrequent use, but important when I do, primarily keep Jazz Bassist present.. Most people misunderstand how to set Loudness up, when done right, it maintains involvement at low volumes.