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Which amp to get Luxman p1u or Headamp GS-X? Is the Luxman p1u a balanced amp?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

I was reading the specs for the luxman p1u and it doesn't have output for balance headphones.  Does that mean that the luxman p1u is not a balance amp?  Not sure why the luxman cost so much, is it that really good even without output for balance headphones? Which amps is better between the two?  Anyone else have recommendation for a amp within those price range? Thank you.  Sorry for all the newb questions.  Just want to buy my first amp and want to get one that will fit all my future needs.

 

Also, I plan to use the HD800 for these amps.


Edited by buffguy - 10/12/10 at 10:25am
post #2 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by buffguy View Post

I was reading the specs for the luxman p1u and it doesn't have output for balance headphones.  Does that mean that the luxman p1u is not a balance amp?  Not sure why the luxman cost so much, is it that really good even without output for balance headphones? Which amps is better between the two?  Anyone else have recommendation for a amp within those price range? Thank you.  Sorry for all the newb questions.  Just want to buy my first amp and want to get one that will fit all my future needs.

 

Also, I plan to use the HD800 for these amps.


Are you really sure that you want to drop $3k on your first amplifier purchase? I mean, I can understand not wanting to have to go up the ladder of equipment, but it's really worth learning your way around a few cheaper and different sounding amplifiers before you go dropping that much on something you might not even like. What's your source? Do you have a DAC/CD player of a sufficient level to warrant pairing with this kind of equipment? Not to demean you if you do, but you should make sure that your rig isn't being let down by one component.

 

I know it seems boring and vastly cheap by comparison, but the Matrix M-Stage purportedly sounds almost as good as the Luxman (scroll to 'comparisons') when paired with the HD 800. If it makes you feel better you could go for the more expensive Lehmann Black Cube Linear (which the M-Stage is a clone of). The BCL was the amp Sennheiser actually used whilst developing the HD 800, so go figure.

 

If you're totally set on getting one of the $3000 ones, I can't really help. As for balanced output, it doesn't necessarily make an amp 'better'. It's just a different approach. For similar prices you have one SE amazingly awesome amp, or two slightly less good amps rigged in balanced configuration. If you really, REALLY wanted a balanced Luxman you could just buy two of them and use them together...

post #3 of 14


for the HD800, i would look at this amp - the HeadRoom Balanced Max. you will be very happy. don't know the seller though and he has no feedback but assuming things check out and you could get him down to around $2400, i think it would be a great choice.

 

http://www.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/cls.pl?ampstran&1290080783&/Headroom-Max-Balanced-headphon

Quote:
Originally Posted by buffguy View Post

I was reading the specs for the luxman p1u and it doesn't have output for balance headphones.  Does that mean that the luxman p1u is not a balance amp?  Not sure why the luxman cost so much, is it that really good even without output for balance headphones? Which amps is better between the two?  Anyone else have recommendation for a amp within those price range? Thank you.  Sorry for all the newb questions.  Just want to buy my first amp and want to get one that will fit all my future needs.

 

Also, I plan to use the HD800 for these amps.

post #4 of 14
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the replies.  The Matrix looks like a good amps for the price. I might just get that. Two luxman would be too crazy for me since that would be $6000.  Right now I have my interest on the the Apache and GS-X. I heard the apaches is opamp base while the GS-x is discrete.  Not sure which one to get.  I still have interest in the Luxman also, but is it worth it's price?

post #5 of 14

I have the Lovely Cube, which some say is better than the Matrix M-Stage (which in turn someone else says is close to the Luxman) and I've heard the Luxman before. Even with the mods I've done (which greatly improves the stock unit), I still feel that the Luxman is a head above my amp.

 

And the Luxman P-1u looks so uber sexy. mmmmmmm....

 

I don't care if it's not balanced. I can't tell the difference really and I wouldn't want to get rid of my woody headphone plug anyways. Whether it's what you want or not, it'd still be best to audition it if possible.

 

Edit: The M-Stage is not a clone of the Lehmann BCL as mentioned earlier. The Lovely Cube is. The M-Stage is "inspired" by the BCL, for lack of a better word.


Edited by aspenx - 10/14/10 at 2:49am
post #6 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoetheArachnid View Post


Are you really sure that you want to drop $3k on your first amplifier purchase? I mean, I can understand not wanting to have to go up the ladder of equipment, but it's really worth learning your way around a few cheaper and different sounding amplifiers before you go dropping that much on something you might not even like. What's your source? Do you have a DAC/CD player of a sufficient level to warrant pairing with this kind of equipment? Not to demean you if you do, but you should make sure that your rig isn't being let down by one component.

 

I know it seems boring and vastly cheap by comparison, but the Matrix M-Stage purportedly sounds almost as good as the Luxman (scroll to 'comparisons') when paired with the HD 800. If it makes you feel better you could go for the more expensive Lehmann Black Cube Linear (which the M-Stage is a clone of). The BCL was the amp Sennheiser actually used whilst developing the HD 800, so go figure.

 

If you're totally set on getting one of the $3000 ones, I can't really help. As for balanced output, it doesn't necessarily make an amp 'better'. It's just a different approach. For similar prices you have one SE amazingly awesome amp, or two slightly less good amps rigged in balanced configuration. If you really, REALLY wanted a balanced Luxman you could just buy two of them and use them together...


Depending on the state of his rig, I don't think that getting a balanced amp, however expensive, is necessarily a bad thing.  I agree that it would be in general better to hear more stuff, but if he really likes either of the 2 amps (which are very good, regardless), then putzing around with something cheaper is a waste of time and money.  After having owned a fair amount of stuff and heard even more, I really don't think that much of the try everything approach if you have a defined target/destination.

post #7 of 14

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by buffguy View Post

I was reading the specs for the luxman p1u and it doesn't have output for balance headphones.  Does that mean that the luxman p1u is not a balance amp?  Not sure why the luxman cost so much, is it that really good even without output for balance headphones? Which amps is better between the two?  Anyone else have recommendation for a amp within those price range? Thank you.  Sorry for all the newb questions.  Just want to buy my first amp and want to get one that will fit all my future needs.

 

Also, I plan to use the HD800 for these amps.

 

 

What are you running as a source? Does your source sound thin, neutral, or warm? Does it have certain weaknesses that need to be compensated for? Are there some strengths that can be traded off a little bit to make up for weaknesses? Or are you planning on looking for a source after you select a headphone/amp combo to build off of? System / component synergy is 70% of the resultant sound quality - this is something that is so rarely talked about.

 

As for the Luxman P-1u, no - it's not balanced. I don't have a P1u, but supposedly it sounds more on the euphonic and warm side. The Headamp stuff sounds like wire-with-gain, that is neutral. So does the Headroom stuff. Those are their "house" sounds.

 

Since you are aiming pretty high up, you should definitely consider balanced. The HD800s (and other Senns) tend respond very well to being balanced. Of course you will need a balanced source. Here are some other options around that price range that are balanced amps (note both are tube amps in contrast to Headamp, Headroom, and Luxman): 

 

http://www.eddiecurrent.com/ZDT.html

http://www.wooaudio.com/products/wa22.html

 

Finally, I have the M-Stage Matrix myself. It's a nice amp for the price, does certain things very well, but it's hardly in the league of these top-flight amps being mentioned here. It's all relative anyways.


Edited by purrin - 10/18/10 at 4:07pm
post #8 of 14

You can get a Luxman on PriceJapan for $2200. Only problem is that you have to get a voltage converter. Which cost $30.

 

You can get the voltage converter at voltageconverters.com.

 

I had a headroom max, the older version back in 2005 before they upgraded their modules and chassis.

 

The headroom max, in my opinion has a slight warmer tone, I got tired of it and sold it off.

 

Never listened to either the GS-X or Luxman, but I would definitely pick the Luxman.

 

Why the Luxman, because they have been around for 50 years and their integrated amps and CD players are consistently

getting rated as top audiophile gear. So, just on reputation.

post #9 of 14

what do yu guys think bout using integrated amp like luxman l509u or accuphase e560 for headamp..?

post #10 of 14

Beta 22 can be set up as a balanced amp, hard to beat a Beta 22 for sound quality.  Of course you have to build it yourself or pay someone to build it, but even so it would cost less than some of these amps. 

post #11 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by winzzz View Post

what do yu guys think bout using integrated amp like luxman l509u or accuphase e560 for headamp..?


I read on Stereophile the headphone outpurt on the luxman 505u was mediocre. Just assuming it is similar to the 509. Haven't seen the accuphase.
 

post #12 of 14
Beta 22 4 channel balance (Can be operated in SE as well) cost about the same as Luxman P-1u, I wonder which will win in a blind test?
post #13 of 14

I own a gilmore balanced reference which is essentially the GSX with slightly better parts, and I highly recommended this amplifier.  I also used to own the Headroom Max (circa 2004 or 2005) and there is no comparison.  The old HR Max is a very sounding amp but GSX paints much cleaner and clearer picture.  Bass is much more robust with deeper lower end.  Similar improvements can be said on soundstaging and details.  IMO, a maxed out PPA sounds better than the 2004/2005 HR Max.

 

The GSX is also also a true balanced amplifier that should work well with just about any headphone out there including the HD650, HD800, Qualia, and R10.  I've not auditioned the P1u, but the GSX gets my vote.  

post #14 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoetheArachnid View Post


Are you really sure that you want to drop $3k on your first amplifier purchase? I mean, I can understand not wanting to have to go up the ladder of equipment, but it's really worth learning your way around a few cheaper and different sounding amplifiers before you go dropping that much on something you might not even like. What's your source? Do you have a DAC/CD player of a sufficient level to warrant pairing with this kind of equipment? Not to demean you if you do, but you should make sure that your rig isn't being let down by one component.

 

I know it seems boring and vastly cheap by comparison, but the Matrix M-Stage purportedly sounds almost as good as the Luxman (scroll to 'comparisons') when paired with the HD 800. If it makes you feel better you could go for the more expensive Lehmann Black Cube Linear (which the M-Stage is a clone of). The BCL was the amp Sennheiser actually used whilst developing the HD 800, so go figure.

 

If you're totally set on getting one of the $3000 ones, I can't really help. As for balanced output, it doesn't necessarily make an amp 'better'. It's just a different approach. For similar prices you have one SE amazingly awesome amp, or two slightly less good amps rigged in balanced configuration. If you really, REALLY wanted a balanced Luxman you could just buy two of them and use them together...


Hey, I know this thread is getting old but I feel the urge to thank Joe the A. I think I know what my birthday present is going to be... darthsmile.gif

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