New Line Magnetic 508ia Integrated Amp

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by GoldprintAudio, May 20, 2016.

  1. freesole

    freesole Forum Resident

    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    The past 2 weeks, I have had the opportunity to audition the Luxman 509X and 590AXII integrated amps at home on my system. One is a pure class AB and the other is a Class A, respectively. Both Luxman products have received nothing but rave reviews. I was very grateful to be able to try these two out as I had a bar in my mind that had been set by my Line Magnetic 805ia. That bar was very high as I am of the opinion that it is clearly better (to my ears) than other amps that I have heard previously. That includes the Primaluna Dialogue Premium HP, Hegel 360, McIntosh MA (forget which one I had heard), Naim Supernait 2 and XS 2.

    The 509X has all the power to handle just about any speaker you throw at it. The sound was very smooth and effortless to my ears without sounding too dry/analytical. While I wouldn't call it overly analytical, I would say that the music reproduction was very detailed, fast, and it had great controlled bass. I would also describe the amp as being very dynamic and exciting to listen to. I suspect most people would be more than happy to call this their end game integrated amp.

    The 590AXII is Class A up to 30W and then extends further into Class AB up to about 90W per channel. If you have decently efficient speakers, you would be able to hear the difference between the 590AXII and the 509X. Class A just has a sweeter and slightly warmer, rounded sound signature to it that makes the music sound just that little bit more engaging and enjoyable. To my ears, it has all the great qualities of the 509X but more of that euphonic quality that is so hard to describe. It does get hotter than the 509X, being Class A, but it is by no means anywhere near tube heat.

    I sometimes switch back to the 805ia to see if I can hear a big difference. Last night, I swapped the 590AXII for the LM and the difference is still fairly evident. The LM sound is just so sweet, engaging and reaches you at a level that can't be described. Maybe it is an extension thing or maybe it's a tube ephonic/holographic quality but the difference is there. The Luxman amps have LOTS of fantastic qualities though as it is built to last forever (seriously, the build quality makes you proud to display this amp), sounds amazing, has a headphone amp, has phono and balanced inputs, does not produce as much heat as a tube amp and you don't have to worry about tube life/maintenance. Seriously a hard decision if one were to decide between the LM and a Luxman. Is the Luxman better than the LM (with rolled tubes)? No - if anything, from a pure musical enjoyment perspective, I might enjoy the LM just slightly more. But when you consider the whole package value proposition, the gap closes and may put the Luxman ahead.
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2019
  2. SandAndGlass

    SandAndGlass Twilight Forum Resident

    The clear advantage with the Luxman, other than not having the expense and hassle of tubes, is that it has the power necessary to drive most any speaker.

    I have the 518iA and it has a sound signature that I just don't think you will get with any SS amp.

    I don't think that you are going to beat a pure class "A" SET, doing what it does.

    Even then, the lower powered SET's can get even more magical, but only with a limited number of speaker's.

    If you don't one one of these very highly sensitive speaker's, then it does not matter at all.

    I think that magic of LM SET amps like the 518iA and the 508iA, is that they bring more speaker's into the fold. Powerful SS amps will bring in even more.
     
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  3. freesole

    freesole Forum Resident

    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    Through this exercise I have come to realize that even the best solid state will not have that magical quality of the Line Magnetic SET amp. Class A can sound very, very good, mind you but the sound signature is just a bit different.
     
    abd1, taokf, IanL and 1 other person like this.
  4. adamaley

    adamaley Forum Resident

    IMO, you'd have to get all the way up to the heavy hitter SS amps like the higher level Pass, CH Precision, and Dartzeels before you start hearing the timbre + holography + conitnuousness of SET amps. I've only heard these at shows, but they surely made me sit up and accept that I could go back to SS albeit at a higher price point than I'm comfortable with. My last 3 (headphone)amps have all been SET.
     
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  5. adamaley

    adamaley Forum Resident

    Thanks for the information. I have since gone back to reassessing my system with zero negative feedback thanks to you. It's required switching around a lot of things, but I definitely like how things sound.
     
    JMAC likes this.
  6. freesole

    freesole Forum Resident

    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    It is what I am slowly grasping as well. Not to take this off-topic but which SET headphone amps have you used?
     
  7. adamaley

    adamaley Forum Resident

    I had a Bottlehead S.E.X and then the DNA Stratus amps.
     
    freesole likes this.
  8. thomaskong

    thomaskong Forum Resident

    Location:
    Washington State
    I also had listened to SS amplifier which cost more than 30k$ but they fall short of SET tube magic in midrange and palpability.

    Tube rolling is also lot of fun,

    Sylvania 1944 6sn7 tube is the best 100$ that I spent on my audio to most effect.
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2019
    SandAndGlass likes this.
  9. adamaley

    adamaley Forum Resident

    Can you link to this Sylvania tube somewhere, or provide the seller info on eBay? Thanks in advance.
     
  10. thomaskong

    thomaskong Forum Resident

    Location:
    Washington State
  11. freesole

    freesole Forum Resident

    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    Took a look at my stock fuse and it looks like it uses a T10L250V so I went ahead and purchased a Synergistic Research Blue Fuse (5x20mm, Slow, 250V/10A) from Cableco. Looking forward to hearing the difference here.
     
    taokf likes this.
  12. Strat-Mangler

    Strat-Mangler Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto
    Has anyone tried using ECC31 tubes in the 6SN7 slots with an adapter?
     
  13. Strat-Mangler

    Strat-Mangler Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto
    Oh boy! Just bought a set of matched NOS-reading Mullard ECC33 tubes for the 6SN7 slots. Super expensive at $500/pair but they're rumored to be just as amazing as the ECC35 I currently have in the 6SL7 slot. Anything giving me terrific musicality and smooth presentation is fine by me. Hoping the pair will be heavenly.

    Can't wait to compare them to the almost equally expensive Tung-Sol 6SN7GT with round plates I'm currently running! It'll be a nail-biting wait so I'm hoping the Mullards will prove me right to have spent that much!
     
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  14. freesole

    freesole Forum Resident

    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    Wow! More expensive than the Tung-Sols! Looking forward to hearing your thoughts here. Where did you get them if you don't mind me asking?
     
  15. Strat-Mangler

    Strat-Mangler Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto
    USAM.

    There's another pair on eBay from a seller located in New Zealand but shipping would cost $40 and they're the later version of that tube with the dark base, as shown as a 1962 below (Pope-branded). I got a brown base Valvo-branded one identical to 2nd one from the left.

    [​IMG]

    Here's the eBay ad if anyone's interested in getting the Pope-branded ones.

    Pope Philips Mullard ECC33 NOS IN BOX VALVE TUBE PAIR | eBay
     
  16. Lee Seungwoo

    Lee Seungwoo Member

    Location:
    Seoul
    Is there anyone who pre-ordered WE 300B in USA? Outside USA, the pre order is said to begin on 15th, February. I am considering to take part in pre order. I wonder what the process is like after the pre order.
     
  17. freesole

    freesole Forum Resident

    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    Tried a little tweak to make the cage fit in spite of the bigger and taller Psvane Acme 805 tubes. Works perfectly and looks OK. Could be shortened a tad but this works.
    Also added some Isoacoustics Orea Bordeaux's under the 805ia. Immediately I noted sharper imaging and more focused soundstage. It's not by a huge margin but it has definitely had a positive impact.

    [​IMG]
     
  18. thomaskong

    thomaskong Forum Resident

    Location:
    Washington State
    Come on, you let me spend 240$ more

    I ordered three of them and expect to get it next Thursday.
     
    freesole likes this.
  19. freesole

    freesole Forum Resident

    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    Would be great to hear your thoughts on these as well. The LM is very heavy as you know so the Bordeaux's were required in this case. The Gaia's made more of an impact when I placed them under my speakers but I definitely noticed a difference with these Orea's - just not as obvious.
     
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  20. captwillard

    captwillard Forum Resident

    Location:
    Nashville
    it looks like it is blocking your tv view.
     
  21. freesole

    freesole Forum Resident

    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    No that's just the angle of the photo.
     
  22. thomaskong

    thomaskong Forum Resident

    Location:
    Washington State
    Oh you are using Sony A7m3.

    I am using Sony A7R3 and a7R2.
     
    freesole likes this.
  23. freesole

    freesole Forum Resident

    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    Yup, love my A7III. I previously had the A7RIII before I traded it in for this one.
     
  24. thomaskong

    thomaskong Forum Resident

    Location:
    Washington State
    I have had WE 300B made in 1930's for 18 years.

    I had run more than 10K hours on it but it still sound excellent.

    Many replica of WE 300B had been made for the last 20 years but none of them came close to NOS WE 300B.

    I recommend you to wait until reliable review come out for new replica.

    In the meantime, I recommend you to try this.

    Shuguang Treasure 300B-Z vacuum tubes Best Matched

    I am using this tube for LM508 and it is quite good for the price.

    I also consider ordering Acme 300B since I had been impressed with Acme 805.

    I had run more than 100 hours on Acme 805 now.

    It is really good with natural details and transparency.

    Acme 805 is the best new production tube that I had experienced so far.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2019
  25. taokf

    taokf Active Member

    Location:
    Serris
    [​IMG]

    Hello everyone,

    (I use a translator, my English is bad)

    I am French and equipped since September 2018 of an integrated LM508ia (purchase of occasion) ...

    I am amazed at the fantastic performance and incredible musicality of this amp and I follow your forum with interest because it has already given me a lot of information about the LM508IA.

    on the French forums, it is often referred to because there is no thread precisely on this beautiful integrated 508ia.

    In 5 months I rediscovered my hifi and the desire to listen to good sound! This is wonderful with my hp jmr offrande V4 and the cd xindak muse deluxe.
    But, here, .... I also put the finger in .. The tube .. After a few mishaps in NOS of occasion, (I preserved Tung-Sol 6SN7WGT and GE / Kenrad in 6SN7GTB and Sylvania vt 229, National Union 6SL7) I finally sold at a loss Sylvania 6sn7wgt and Kenrad vt229 ... And 10 others that I had bought a little quickly on eBay with very worn tubes.
    (lack of information, I should have bought new NOS)

    Finally the Shuguang CV181-T and WE6SL7 plus, in break-in, suit me perfectly. (I have occasionally a little microphony ... Crumpled paper noise ... Crachin, in the hp) ...
    I think to study again, later NOS solutions (especially the 6SU7GTY)

    I am currently studying solutions to change my 300B and 805 of origin and I would like to exchange my information on this subject ...

    Because on the French forums I had contradictory information, especially on the 300B, which, being 805 driver, would have a "limited" impact on the overall musicality.
    So, for example, psvane 300B hifi series has $ 130 will give almost the same rendering as emission 300B labs, or 300B mesh has $ 650 ... or other high-end.the difference would be virtually non-existent and not audible!

    a good 300B will do the job because driver 805 power tubes.
    The important thing is to consider all and especially the 6SN7, 6SL7 input tubes.
    For the 805 is less complicated because there are few references unlike the 300B or I have the impression that we are being had (although sometimes some are better built, a 300B is a 300B ), I can not see much difference between the 15 or 20 models offered by PSVANE and shuguang with prices from very low to very high!

    Others tell me that the 300B, even in driver will be very important .... Well, I really would like to collect your opinions and experiences on this subject .....

    Sorry if my presentation is a bit long ..

    thank you for your welcome

    Best regards
    Luc
     
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