McIntosh to Luxman?

Hey everybody. I need some advice.  It's fair to say I've lusted over Luxman equipment for a few years now.  Something about Japanese hifi that just gets me. Anyway, one of the online retailers of new and used equipment has a Luxman L-507uX (not the mark ii) for sale.  I do really like the sound from my hybrid MA252 integrated, and it drives my Maggie 1.7s with ease.  Most of my listening is of the streaming variety (Bludesound Node/Qobuz), and some vinyl (Music Hall MMF-5). 

Here's my question: what will the Luxman bring me that the McIntosh isn't providing?   More refinement?  More authoritative bass? Better soundstaging?  If the answer is yes, then I may pull the trigger on the Luxman.  By the way, I can get a nice trade-in on my McIntosh, so my out-of-pocket won't be too bad.    Please weigh-in if you've had both McIntosh and Luxman gear and what your experience with both brands has been.   Thanks in advance!   ~ Jerry


a few comments to add to this conversation

1. i concur 100% with @ghdprentice on mac vs luxman solid state -- luxman will be leaner cleaner sounding, more linear top to bottom, whereas mac is voiced to me warmer fuller in mids and midbass with notable obscuring of treble detail and air in comparison

2. mac makes ss amps models with and without autoformers, they sound different, autoformers at the output stage gives further warmth, while mac models without will sound more ’typically’ solid state, with better transient response but a leaner presentation - still even non autoformer ss mac amps will be voiced richer warmer than commensurate luxman model

3. the comparison is further complicated by the fact that the op has the mac252 which is a non autoformer HYBRID integrated amp model, with 12au7/at7 tube pre section... thus even more notable tubey presentation, very much apples to oranges vs luxman 507 straight ss class ab

4. as for the bluesound node, if the op has the n130 (latest model, much improved over the older 2 and 2i sonically) the dac analog output will be pretty good, but can be improved with a power supply upgrade (there are several vendors)... i bought one for fun with the pd creative lps mod and using a proper lps the sound is definitely improved (cleaner transients, improved tonality and timbre), the internal smps definitely holds the unit back, slurs the sound and diminishes soundstage

5. even though the bs node with power supply upgrade is very good sounding at under $1000 (with mods and lps) there are many other as good or slightly better sounding dac/streamers on the market in the $1000-1500 price range - which would allow the op to enjoy the purer sound of the luxman more effortlessly


Not sure how helpful this will be. However, FWIW, several years ago, I spent a couple hours critically listening to a MAC MA5200 and the Luxman in a head-to-head demo, using a Rega P3 equipped with an Ortofon Blue, Focal Aria 936 and a Rega Apollo CD player with well-engineered CD recordings and very good, very clean vinyl pressings. The CDs were my own; so, music I was very familiar with. Of course, this was a SS-to-SS shoot-out. What you have in mind is hybrid to SS, a different ballgame. My ears thought the MA5200 and the Luxman sounded virtually identical.

I've never spent any time with an MA252 and haven't spent much time with those Maggies. So, can't say what the A/B matchup you have in mind would be like. Going on specs, alone, I would say your ears will likely prefer the amp with the most robust power supply for those Maggies (i.e.  not WATTS; power supply). Regardless, as with all things audiophile, let your ears be the judge.

BTW: Having critically listened to many MAC amps, over the years (more than Luxies); my ears would most definitely not agree that MAC's general sound signature is "very heavy (on) midrange and bass"; "rolled off in the upper treble range (veiling) upper-octave detail and the openness of the overall soundstage", that "Luxman ... has better dimensionality, textures and image specificity compared to comparably priced Mac(s)", that the "music would sound more dimensional with better instrumental/voice textures and imaging with the Luxman", that "Mac slightly lacks the last bits of details, resolution, texture and dimensionality in comparison to Luxman", that Luxman is "more musical and provided much more depth and detail than the McIntosh", etc.

I would agree, however, that this definitely depends upon the speakers used and likely would be a matter of preference, given equitably matched amps in a head-to-head shoot-out. Speakers are always the business end of any sound system.

I recently traded my Mac MA5300 for a Luxman L-550AX ll. New, out of the box, the Luxman was a great disappointment. After two days, I put it back in the box. Two days later, I tried it again. It started to morph into a revealing, open soundstage approaching holography. It's the most expensive integrated I've ever bought. I do not regret the purchase, and I'm digging it. As previously posted, the Bluesound Node, IMO is your gate.

I owed Mcintosh separates for a long time, once I could afford them. I agree with most of the posts here, it's a bit light at the top end, and to me a bit dark, now that I own the Luxman 590AXII, the Luxman sound could not be more different, and to me much better. I would not go back to Mcintosh, old or new. By the way, I have received a lot of nasty responses any time that I talked down about Mcintosh, but I am  simply telling my experience, the Luxman sounds better to me then the Mcintosh I owned. I would suggest to try it out, with a return policy as it will sound much different then the Mcintosh, and yes, give it a little time it to open up and for you to get use to it.

I also owned the Bluesound (I have since upgraded to Aurender) and would agree with the others that it's a great little streamer, but you could easily do much better. 

I’d put the new Innuos Pulse Mini on your radar for a streamer, and as @jjss49 recommended above an upgraded linear power supply (not necessarily Innuos’ own LPS) should be included in your budget to get the best performance out of it.  Best of luck with all this, and please do share your impressions if you could.  Curious minds wanna know.  BTW, I’ve got 100 bucks the OP chooses the Luxman if anyone wants to take the other side.  Heh heh.