I think that this Luxman L-590AXII and the Accuphase E-650 thing we have going on here is going to be one hell of a battle. I have looked at the Accuphase E-650 a few times before and have been very impressed with it. Actually, until the Accuphase E-800 was released, it was the flagship integrated amplifier that they offered. The Luxman L-590AXII has that Luxman quality all throughout it and I have looked at more than a few Luxman products on the site recently and this is one of the best that they currently offer. So, get ready as we see which one of these titans is the best.
When you are looking at an integrated amplifier from either Luxman or Accuphase, you know going in that you are looking at thousands and thousands of dollars. These are two very expensive products so please keep that in mind going forward.
The Luxman L-590AXII had an asking price of around 10 grand which put it very close to what the Accuphase E-650 was going for. One thing I do have to say though is that there are some cracking deals for this to be had online. I have seen this go for under five grand which is still very expensive, but for an amplifier of this quality, is a fantastic price. You can easily save a couple of grand over what the Accuphase is going for if you are willing to shop around. This is one product you have to be patient and shop around for as there are deals popping up on eBay all the time for this.
We have the Accuphase E-800 to thank for the “lower price” that you can find the Accuphase E-650 for these days. This used to be sold regularly for around the 9 thousand dollars mark and it can be had for that still. However, If you do look around on eBay, you can find this for around the 7 grand range usually. I think that the price may continue to drop a few hundred, maybe even a thousand or so more as the E-800 becomes more prevalent. You do not want to rush in here, take your time and get the best deal you can.
From what I have seen in my research, I have to give the win to the Luxman L-590AXIII. I just found more deals for that online and anytime you can save sometimes as much as two and a half thousand dollars, you cannot ignore that kind of saving. Just think of what you could do with an extra $2,500!
I am pretty excited about diving into the design category in this comparison showdown. These have a kind of similar vibe going on that is retro and that is something I am very high on. I actually think this is going to be one of the harder design categories for me to pick a winner for!
Some of you may get some real Deja Vue thing going on when you look at the Luxman L-590AXII. It has a very similar style to the previous models of integrated amplifiers that Luxman has made over the last few years. It comes in at 17.32” x 7.59” x 18.22” and a hefty 28.4KG. It has a very premium feel to it and you can tell as soon as you take it out of the box, it is a very high-quality product. Check out this Luxman L-590AXII: The perfect class A integrated amplifier? video and you will get a better look at it. The silver body gives this a real retro look which I am a huge fan of. You have your two displays in the middle and then a volume and source select dial on each side of the display. It is a style that many amps like these go for and I like it. Below this, we have a selection of dials to give you control over the various features of the amp. These are ok and they do help give the unit its retro charm.
Around the back of the Luxman L-590AXII, we have a nice selection of ports that are all clearly labeled so when you are hooking your turntable or whatever to this, you will have no trouble at all. I liked how the top has the connection ports and the bottom has your speaker connections. It keeps things nice, clean, and organized around the back which is something I do appreciate. The remote control that comes with this is pretty interesting, it has a very late 70s and early 80s look to it with very small buttons. I appreciate how it is built like a tank and the design of it certainly goes great with the actual amp. Also, it gives you complete control over the various features of the Luxman L-590AXIII.
I think that elegant is probably the best way to describe the design of the Accuphase E-650. I love how instead of going for the usual silver or black design, Accuphase has gone for this kind of champaign look and it is certainly very eye catching. It is kind of similar in size and weight coming in at 18.03” x 7.2” x 16.85 and 26 KG. I really do like this thing, it is something that I could have imagined my grandparents having in their house back in the 80s and that is meant in a very complimentary way. On the front, you have your classic style display which has a very stylish Accuphase logo above it which I love. To the sides of this, you have your larger dials for volume and input selection. Instead of the other controls being out on display, they are hidden behind a little door which is something I love as it gives the front of the amp a much more stylish and “clean” look.
As we move around to the back of the Accuphase E-650, you can see that this thing is stacked when it comes to connectivity options. They have made it nice and easy to see what each port is so when you do come to hook your stuff up to it, you will find it as easy as possible. You do also have the two slots on the back if you decide to add one of the modules to it. The remote control that they give you with this has that same champaign style as the actual amp and it has a large and hefty feel to it which is something I really do like. I am a huge fan of this remote and am surprised it does not get the same attention as the design of the amp does.
I really do like the design of both of these amplifiers. They both look great in their own way, but for my personal taste, I just think that the Accuphase E-650 has more going on in terms of the style. It has a more unique kind of look to it and while they are both going for a kind of retro design, I think the Accuphase just stands out more than the Luxman L-590AXII.
The final round in this comparison showdown really is the main event as we are looking at the sound. Sound is the main thing when it comes to an integrated amplifier and both of these sound amazing! However, I have to pick a winner and I have well and truly put these through their paces to see which one I liked the best.
I think that the Luxman L-590AXII really does sound amazing. At the time I used this, this was the best sounding Luxman amp that I have had the pleasure to play around with. The first album I actually tested with this was Bloodsport The Soundtrack which I cannot believe actually exists. However, it is my favorite Van Damme movie and it features an epic track called “Kumite” by Stan Bush which is epic. Even without breaking it in, this sounded real, raw, and just awesome. All of the notes really felt like they were hitting me and I had a lot of fun creeping the volume dial up just a tad more and then a tad more to see how it handled at higher volumes and it handled it flawlessly.
I think that even stuff that is more vocal centric like if you take an 80s classic like the Very Best Of Billy Ocean. You can truly appreciate how good this makes vocals sound. I threw so many different types of music at this thing and every one sounded great, some even sounded better than I have ever heard them before. I know we are putting this up against the Accuphase E-650, but in comparison to the Luxman models that are from this same series, this is a clear step up and I can see why some people would want to upgrade to this.
If you do want to get a better look at the Accuphase E-650, check out this EP.1 Unboxing Accuphase E-650 Integrated Amplifier class A (Thai) video. Anyway, the sound quality that the Accuphase E-650 offers is truly amazing. I have played around with this many times and never once have I been let down. One album that I love and know very well is Anthem by Less Than Jake. Some people did not like this album, hot take here, but it is my personal favorite Less Than Jake album. Anyway, this sounded great when played with the E-650, you get those scratchy vocals from Roger Lima which I love, but the saxophone and other “ska” type musical elements really do pop thanks to this.
The day I was messing around with this my wife was home so she got in on the action.. which can sometimes be a worrying thing as my wife and I do not always share the same musical taste. Anyway, the record that she went and got off the shelf was the Dirty Dancing Original Soundtrack which I was cool with as there are some great tracks in this movie (and I secretly like the movie too). Anyway, it sounded fantastic and I got the settings just in the right sweet spot as she claimed that it was the best she had ever heard (I’ve Had) The Time Of My Life. Which given how many thousands of times she has probably heard that was quite the compliment.
I have to say that there was not much between these two at all. Playing around with the different settings gave me a very similar kind of sound out of both of these so much so that I am having a really hard time picking a winner here. I have heard some people say that the Accuphase has a slightly better sound and I guess I can see that argument, but it is not a whole lot better. I hate to do this, but I think I may have to call this round a tie as there is just not enough in it to make me pick a clear winner.
What Is The Best?
I have had a lot of fun putting this comparison of the two amplifiers article together. I know that some people will argue until they are blue in the face that the Luxman L-590AXII offers a better sound than the Accuphase E-650. Like I said in the sound category, I can see why some people would be of that opinion, but for me, there was just not enough in it to make a clear-cut decision. Still, with that being said, right now, if I had the money and I could pick between either of these I would probably go for the Luxman L-590AXII. I just feel that there are more deals to be had for that and while I liked the design of the Accuphase E-650 better, the higher price it tends to go for is not really worth it in my humble opinion.