Luxman 590AX II Break-In

Hello all, and happy holidays,

To those with experience, how many hours of a break-in are necessary to make the Luxman sing? I have about 175 hours, and my bass is less than stellar. Also, there is not a luscious midrange (yet). I have read epic reviews but have not experienced that thus far. What should I expect over time? Getting a little worried!



Kef Reference 1 Meta speakers, Aries Cerat Helene DAC, Einstein Last Record Player CD player feeding DAC. I'm awaiting an Innuos Pulsar. Room is a converted mill building with drywall and exposed wood ceiling 16x18. Music is lifeless right now.

You need to deal wiht your room, in general.  How big is the room and where are the speakers??

Sadly I was not able to find frequency charts, but my impression of other similar KEF models is it’s very neutral, with good tonal balance and extension. meaning, the bass peaks at the right place and the rest drops correctly.

However! It may be too hard on-axis, and in an untreated, reflective room may put out too much treble energy relative to the bass.

So, experiment with these things:

  • Put it closer to the rear wall
  • Keep it away from side walls
  • Minimize toe-in (keep speakers flat to rear wall)
  • Turn down the treble on the Luxman. It has excellent tone controls.

If you find the tone controls work, it’s a great sign you may have too many reflections.

Another experiment, bring the speakers out to the room and sit very close to them. That’s what the speaker / amp sounds like without the room. The difference between that and listening normally is all in the room.


Thanks, great advice. I am currently 1ft. from the rear walls with a slight toe-in. I am still questioning the break-in time. Many have stated at least 300 hrs. Also, the KEFs are brand new and need some time. Right now, this is not an involving system by any means. I question whether a 509X would have been a better match.


This is a brand-new system, so I do not have a reference.

Make sure you have plenty of space to the side walls. I should have stated, I have the 507ux which is not class A, but it was always a stellar performer from end to end.

I am really concerned you have too much treble in your mix.  The tone controls on the Luxman pre-amp section really are superb, don't miss out.  Try them!

It is not unusual for a couple hundred hours to be required to get in the ball park of what you will hear in the future. But, to be honest, your speakers require a lot of power, 85db efficiency, and the Luxman you have chosen is outstanding, but of very low power. Not a match made in Heaven. 

The 590 isn't low power. It will put out 90w/channel into 8 ohms, and 160w into 4 ohms. It's not a monster amp, but it's more powerful than Luxman's specs would suggest. Wish I had anything else to offer.

Wow!  A 40 kilo DAC.  Cool.  I run the Luxman 509X on some demanding ATC 20s and it is still breaking in after 100 hours.  I can read, you are beyond that.  

Your pieces are in order.  Cabling and power conditioning not mentioned.  One can only assume all of that is commensurate quality.  That leaves more break in and room treatment.

Hope you successfully resolve all issues.

My 590II took only about 200 hours to really fill out. I love the way it sounds. I agree with others to play around with speaker placement, room treatment. I also found that music that has been compressed or poorly recorded sounds even worse with a revealing system such as yours. 

My 590II took only about 200 hours to really fill out. I love the way it sounds. I agree with others to play around with speaker placement, room treatment. I also found that music that has been compressed or poorly recorded sounds even worse with a revealing system such as yours. 

I have about 175 hours, and my bass is less than stellar. Also, there is not a luscious midrange (yet). I have read epic reviews but have not experienced that thus far. What should I expect over time? Getting a little worried!


The L-590AXII although a Class A amp sounds very close to neutral. In other words, it won’t give you an overly luscious, syrupy or glowing midrange that some tube amps are capable of. The midrange of the L-590AXII sounds smooth without any grain if compared to other solid-state amps but it won’t sound like a tube amp with glowing, warm or lit midrange.

The bass of the amp will be dependent on the type of speakers and room. The bass is lean, defined, layered, detailed and taut as opposed to loose or full. To me it's quality bass. 

Kef Reference 1 Meta speakers,


These speakers have a low sensitivity and impedance. I6 x 18 room is rather large and that might have contributed to the less than stellar result you are currently getting with the speakers.



I use the L-590AXII with speakers that have a sensitivity ranging from 87 to 88dB, impedance 4 and 8 ohms. Room is 10.5 x 18.

If the entire system is new, how do you know the amp is causing your dissatisfaction?  It could be anything. 

My Luxman 590 took about 500 hours BUT a few tips….PLUG IT DIRECTLY INTO A WALL SOCKET! It hates any power strips or conditioners. You also need a bigger power power cable for it like a Kubla Sosna Elation! Mine was $2500 at GTT Audio. 
I tried 5 power cables on mine from Shunyata Delta and Alpha and Voodoo, DH Labs Red River, the crappy stock cable and an Ansuz D that was about 8-9k! 
The Kubala Sosna had the best synergy full stop!

The bass is lean, defined, layered, detailed and taut as opposed to loose or full. To me it's quality bass. 

@ryder I agree. A loose and full bass can sound as there is more bass but it’s not quality bass.

I don’t have luxman, but have some experience with a class a Japanese amp and speaker interaction.  I purchased an esoteric class a amp 30 wpc, combined with Fyne 702 speakers.  It was combined deal with a trade in allowance for my Paradigm speakers and assorted electronics.  The amplifier was immediately available, and the speakers would take 6 months.   Though the Fynes and the paradigms and Fynes had the same efficiency and resistance.  The esoteric/paradigm combination was so bass shy it was unlistenable.  Shattered my concept that a solid state amp of more than 15 watts should drive any speaker.   I suspect the small bass drivers were the culprit and put my nad 80wpc back in until my Fynes finished its ocean crossing.  Had heard luxman driving MAGICO speakers at the Tampa hi fi show and was quite impressed.  Hearing them driving the kef blade was quite flat and uninvolving . Bottom line is that any breakin of your amp was done during final qc at the factory   Since you like the concentric driver concept, give Fyne and Tannoy a listen, or a highly efficient horn type 

Any component, signal running thru it is what counts. Not just keeping it on. At least 200hrs has been my experience with new components and between 24-72 hours with used. 



The Luxman site says 30 wpc @ 8 ohms:

(Rated output:

30W + 30W (8Ω), 60W + 60W (4Ω))

That is low power… while it doubles into 4ohms… we usually compare at 8 ohms. Since the speakers specify needing 50 wpc. Typically I found that amps at or larger that the max for the speakers to reach their full potential. I would feed speakers like this with no less that 200 wpc from a high current amp.

As a basic test, and to get a base point for positioning your speakers, go to the Cardas site and put the room specs into the calculator and try repositioning the speakers using that first.

Its by no means a perfect solution, as there are so many variables in a room, but it will get you close to a decent set up.


just a thought.

What speaker cables?  I ask because my Class A 30wpc Sugden A21SE (older version) is very cable dependent.  It took some real experimenting to get something right.  Finally settled on Decware Silver Stix.  Duelund also worked.  All others lacked bass and the midrange was thin.  Kind of lifeless.  Best of luck.


I actually own the Luxman L-590AX (not the newer MkII version). Early on, I read everything I could find on the amp, which isn’t a lot.

Here’s just one item

For whatever reason, Luxman seems to only publish the Class A output specs. It’s easily more powerful than that, and driving the OP’s 4ohm speakers should be capable of putting out over 160w/channel, and well over 200 when the impedance dips down to 3.2 ohms.


I think I am experiencing the same thing you have! I know many have stated that room size has an effect, but I heard a pair of KEF LS 50's on the Luxman 20 W Class A in the same size room as mine, and the bass was jaw-dropping for a speaker of that size.


if the speakers are fairly new you can expect better bass from them as they accumulate hours- ~ 200 + or so and the bass will peak. also if new try playing some music with powerful bass for 24 hours continuously to help break them in much like REL recommends for subwoofer break in.

also- are you following the manual for speaker positioning? this includes maximum stand height of 24" so that the bass is reinforced by the floor and the treble becomes smoother when the tweeters are lower than ear level- this is by design and they need to be closer to the floor than usual.

the distance from rear wall, and port plug options are also important-. try to give them some distance to the rear wall and remove any port plugs - again according to the manual for distance from the wall and port plug options.

another thing to adjust is toe angle.  the LS50s like to be aimed straight ahead, not aimed at your ears.

finally the quality of the stands, feet and interface to the speakers are all important.  good quality solid, mass filled (e.g. Skylan, Sound Anchors) firmly spiked to the floor and using the KEF supplied rubber "feet" on the speakers help to make the bass more solid.  the effect that a quality stand has on the bass is often overlooked until you hear it, then you are convinced.  

peace and good luck.


I am using the kef stands with Iso Acoustics Gaias. Been experimenting with speaker placement and have made slight improvements.

@jeffreyw I owned the Luxman 590AXII for about a year. I would definitely rank it as my top 5 all-time best amps I have owned. I tried it with three brands of speakers -- Sonus Faber Olympica II, Kef Reference 1, and Harbeth SHL5+. Out of the three, the KEF was my least favorite pairing. It was sterile, boring, and lacked the midrange warmth which was, and is, very important to me. I was smiling when I read your OP because I could totally relate.

Speaking from experience, it was the lack of midrange warmth (you can call it luscious) that eventually made me sell my Luxman. To be honest, if you don’t hear it after 175 hours, I don’t think there will be a drastic improvement as you rack up more hours. As someone mentioned, the amp is very neutral with just a hint of sweetness at the top end. Many people love this aspect of the 590AXII but it’s not everyone’s cup of tea if you ask me.

I sold my Luxman and bought an Audio Hungary Qualiton a50i which provided that beautiful, holographic, and lush midrange that good tubes can provide. For me, the Qualiton was a better match for my sonic preferences. I did lose a bit of bass slam but the Qualiton made up for this slight deficiency by doing almost everything else better than the Luxman.

I recently sold the Qualiton and bought an Aavik U-280. I was very skeptical of class D, but this amp IMO took the best attributes of the Luxman and Qualiton and combined them into a single package. It has the lush, holographic, warm midrange of the Qualiton, but it exceeds the Luxman in terms of detail retrieval, pitch black background, instrument separation, and, most importantly, has bass to die for. For the first time in my audio journey, I don’t miss having tubes in my system.


You are describing exactly what I am hearing! It pains me to admit, but the Luxman/KEF combo does not play well in the sandbox! There is absolutely no body to the music. The bass is improving slightly but not even close to what I desire. 

I refuse to give up on the Luxman.  I know it's not rational, but I've never owned a Luxman I didn't like.   I run the 509X and the system (with new monitors) is coming along.  Just assembled a Quadraspire SVT2 equipment stand this afternoon, placed everything on it and wham!!  Not subtle.  I mean wham!!

All of what you describe is's there.  Just my experience.  Your mileage may vary.  Best wishes on your quest.

Whatever the OP’s issues are, it’s not the Luxman unless it’s broken, of this I’m 100% sure. @celtic66 - You aren’t being irrational. Your experience, and mine tells us that the Luxman integrateds are stellar with plenty of bass.

I’ve suggested a couple of things for the OP to try to help him understand the nature of the problem, ESPECIALLY HIS ROOM. If you have a bad room but won’t consider it or use a tone control to compensate, but instead want to start swapping amps, that’s irrational.

The issue isn’t lack of bass, the issue is his speakers and room combination are ending up with too much treble energy.  Which makes me think of a new post about tweeters before and now.  :) I'lll put that elsewhere.


I have followed your advice regarding tone controls. Reducing the treble and increasing the bass makes a slight improvement. I have been positioning with small improvements. Interestingly, the loudness button does give me more body and is more pleasurable. But I don't think loudness should be engaged at all power levels to provide listening enjoyment. I have contacted a dealer who is both very knowledgeable about KEF and Luxman, and they stated that the 590 might not be the best combination with the KEFs. The KEFs are power pigs and require tremendous power to bloom. I will certainly give it some more break-in time, but my only option after that is more power. I know many state the prowess of the power output of the mighty 590AXII, but the amp still has limitations. All in all, I greatly appreciate your guidance on how to troubleshoot!!!

Happy holidays to all!

So that's a 30 Watt Class A amp inside a 120 W AB amplifier.  It is essentially a 507 (which I have) with more heat and bigger power supply. 

I don't think the amp is the problem.

I just realized these have 5" bass units. I’ve never seen a speaker with a 5" bass unit that did well.

I’m listening to 2 ways with 6.5" bass drivers with my Luxman 507ux and having a very good time. Maybe you need Fritz speakers instead. Call him, last I heard he had a Luxman integrated as one of his test amps. Worked great.

Note that I am output limited here.  If I want high bass I simply need to add a sub, but the bass is still tremendous for the size.

Echo Audio Portland, OR is big into the KEF line AND they recently sold me their Luxman 509X and they are really smart.  Surely some valid constructive insight there.  Phone 888.248.ECHO (3246) or 503.223.2292  /  Email


Interestingly, about a year ago, I listened to a pair of LS 50 Metas powered by a PrimaLuna tube integrated. The room was smaller than mine; however, the bass output of the little KEFs was "jaw-dropping." I do believe my room may be causing some problems, also!

On a side note, I did a comparison between the Gryphon Diablo 300 and the Essence stereo. I had big expectations for the Essence since it is solid Class A with a tremendous amount of capacitance. It outperformed the Diablo in the midrange and top end, but the Diablo smoked the Essence in bass response. Because I particularly enjoy bass, I found the Diablo to be a more enjoyable and fun amp to listen to. 

It was a lesson to me along my audiophile journey that sometimes there is no replacement for power. Similar to an automotive guy saying, "there is no replacement for displacement."

From a number of comments it is starting to sound like a speaker / amp mismatch.

The only other input I can add is I spent a couple hours with a Luxman M10-x and a set of Magico (A3 I think) and I have to say, it struck me like the OP’s comments on his amp. There was no warmth or naturalness to the sound.  

It’s quite possible that the speaker / room/ listening position is manifesting a bass null; I’ve battled this exact symptom for years. If your listening position is near the center of the room this is most likely the culprit.


Perhaps SS Luxman Class A is not their thing.  I've only run Sugden Class A and it was a bit bass shy, but not what you describe, the midrange was in order.  As mentioned before, my Luxman 509X is a beast, but then 120wpc Class A/B.

It drives ATC SCM20PSL monitors which regularly torture amps.  They play well together.  Hope you figure this out to complete satisfaction.

@jeffreyw I was reading a post of yours when I was researching the Luxman M10X amp. I am looking for an amp for the KEF Blade 2 Meta and was thinking of the Rotel Michi M8 mono. It was suggested to me to check out the M10X over the Michi by a former Michi owner. I know the Luxman m900u and did not think it had enough to properly drive the Blades. Though the new M10X is supposed to address that.

The post of yours that piqued my interest was your comment about your dealer preferring the Rotel Michi to the Luxman gear and that that dealer sold both lines. Have you heard the Michi line?

When I auditioned the Luxman gear for a potential KEF Reference 1, I was considering the 509x integrated but the m900u was so much better.

The other amps I am considering for the KEF Blade are the CODA #16, KRELL KSA i400, Luxman M10X, and the Rotel Michi M8 monos.

The KRELL XD lineup is maybe something for you to checkout if the Luxman does not work out. The KRELL Dou 175XD (sold) was great with my KEF LS50, though I suggest the KRELL Duo 300XD for the Reference 1 Meta.

Krell DUO 300 XD For Sale | Audiogon





I don’t think it is your amp. As a comparison, I run a 509x into Dynaudio Contour 60i, and the bass slam will exfoliate your face and cause your bones to vibrate. I’ve heard the littler Luxman class A do similar things with Contour 30i. Your speakers are the problem or, rather, the synergy between speaker and amp is your problem. My bass profile was immediate; and after 200 hours of listening, the sound merely congealed more with treble and midrange. I’m sorry you are having issues and am sure it is frustrating x10. Swap out speakers and see what happens. The 590 is a stump puller and is not your issue. Steller amp.

Sell it and buy the Sugden A21se....and while at it, grab yourself a pair of Tannoys....


I think brother @Arafiq has given you accurate, insightful, and potentially useful information. I’m running a LUX 550AXII and and I do appreciate what it does right- which is a lot. I also appreciate its many functions- which is the primary reason I purchased it. I would say that it took about 200 hours to break-in. I leave it on 24/7.

My primary speakers are vintage Sonus Faber monitors. 86.5 db, 6 Ohms.

Overall I would say that the music has a silky, perhaps "creamy" quality, but of course, not many would mistake the LUX for a tube amp. :) One more thing- I wanted to buy a new unit and had a 590AXII been available I would have gone with that instead.

Best of luck sorting things out- I’d start with your speakers.




Thanks! One thing that I am perplexed over is the fact that all reviews of the Ref 1 Metas are stellar, and the bass is lauded, especially for a stand-mount. The good news is that I will visit a dealer this week to listen to higher-power amps on their Ref 1's. Unfortunately, as many have stated, I think I have a major synergy problem between the Luxman/KEF combo. 

I greatly appreciate the knowledge gained from this OP from the membership! This is a great community!

BTW, the speakers have to stay, the wife is in love with the looks, and that is non-negotiable. Keeping her happy allows me more flexibility with purchases. 😉

When you go listen elsewhere, pay attention to the room acoustics and compare to your own. If the speakers are not malfunctioning, I'm convinced the issue is excess reflections in your space.