Where to insert tubes while running a Luxman SS integrated

I've recently upgraded my integrated amplifier from a Cambridge CXA81 to a Luxman l-507uxii.  The Cambridge is definitely not bad for its price, but the Luxman is a different animal and is making me want to upgrade everything else in my system.  Which brings me to my point of discussion: I'd like to insert tubes somewhere in my system to get some additional warmth and a more holographic soundstage.  Would adding a tube preamp and running the Luxman as only a power amp be best to do this, or would it be better to get a tube dac for my digital, and separately, a tube phono stage for my vinyl?


Hard to say without knowing the rest of your system. You may want to list your components in the Virtual Systems section of your profile or list it out on this thread. 

There are many better preamps than the preamp of your integrated, but the unit is no slouch. It uses Luxman’s famous LECUA 1000 volume control which is the same quality that was found in the better Luxman separates. Going with a new preamp means you’re giving up the other features of your amp, including the phono stage, but it also makes the sound more consistent between your vinyl and digital, if that is important to you. There’s no right or wrong way, but you’ll need to decide based on your priorities and tradeoffs you are most comfortable with. 

Thanks for your input. I’m currently running KEF R3s with a Pro-Ject X2 (Sumiko Moonstone cart) and a Bluesound Node 2i. However, I’d like to keep the Luxman and upgrade the speakers and sources. I’m thinking of moving over to the Tannoy legacy series, so any input based on that system would be appreciated. 

My journey only started a few years ago and have been gradually upgrading. The KEFs are nice compared to what I had before. Their imaging is probably my favorite aspect of them, but they can be harsh with poor recordings, which has become an annoyance. 

I would recommend you to get a DAC with tube output stage.

Either Lab12 DAC1 Reference or Aqua La Scala MKII.