Luxman L-550AX's Phono Stage?

To Hans Wetzel,

I have just read your review of the Luxman L-550AX, and I was very impressed by the test. As Luxman's integrated amplifiers are at the top of my future wish list -- particularly the L-507UX -- I`d like to know if you tried the RIAA part in the amplifier during the test. There is no mention of the RIAA in the test. It would be interesting to know if Luxman has continued their tradition of making extremely good sounding RIAA parts in their integrated amplifiers, as well as in their preamplifiers. Many years ago, I was the happy owner of the Luxman C-02/M-02 combo, and the RIAA in this combo was extremely impressive! Do you have some experiences with the Luxman's built-in RIAAs, compared to built-in RIAAs in other amplifier brands, where sound quality is concerned?

My current amplifier is the Hegel Music Systems H200; RIAA is Aqvox Phono 2 Ci; record player is a heavily modified Rega P3-24 (Groovetracer Delrin platter and subplatter, Michael Lim double pulley, Audiomods Series V tonearm, and, finally, the Ortofon Cadenza Black). My speakers are Amphion Argon3Ls.

This setup delivers wonderful dynamics, and a soundstage that is very wide and deep. But the overall sound is tending to be analytic and a little on the bright side.

Best regards,

Unfortunately, I am not a vinyl guy, so I was unable to test the Luxman's phono section. What I do know is that, being mindful of its power limitations, the L-550AX is exceptional for the price. I don't know how the L-507UX will compare to it, as that is a class-AB design, so I assume it won't sound quite the same, though certainly you get quite a bit more power. You mention your system sounding wonderfully dynamic, but a bit bright and analytic. I am betting the Hegel and the Amphions, as a tandem, are responsible for that. I bet matching the Luxman with the Amphions would be a really solid combination. . . . Hans Wetzel