Sep 182010

I was just thumbing through my copy of the October 2010 edition of Stereophile magazine – which is the Recommended Components issue – and noticed that the Leben CS600 integrated amplifier has been awarded Stereophile’s highest rating of ‘A’ in the integrated amplifiers section.  For those who aren’t familiar with it, Stereophile is one of the oldest and most respected audio magazines in the USA, and I’m really pleased to see that word is getting out more and more about the Leben electronics. Congratulations Leben!

 Posted by at 7:54 pm

  16 Responses to “Leben CS600 Integrated Amplifier Gets an ‘A’”

  1. Hi again Jeff,
    Have u heard AYON Triton?

    I was getting pulled into by class-A 100w each. Any possible comparison from you or anyone in your circle of friends, who may have done A/B with both components.

    Shall really appreciate.

    Thanks a load
    Gd day dear

    • Hi Sid,

      Sorry, but I’ve no experience with the Ayon gear. I’ve seen Ayon at Hi-Fi shows, but the conditions weren’t conducive to getting any listening impressions. Looks like nice equipment though.



    • Hello.
      I owned a Ayon Spirit II for approx. one week. The reason for the “short” owner period was the sound of Ayon. In general Ayon sound is too bright/analytic to my preferences. I changed the pre-tubes to NOS GE5814-3mica, and then got it to sound almost “magic” from the upper mid-range to the top. Still a bit too bright – but with maybe the biggest “soundstage” I´ve ever heard . Unfortunately – from the lower mid-range to the (not so) deep bass, it dosn´t sound as a tube amp at all.
      Ayon suites those who like the sound of modern transistor amps, but want a tube amp :-).

      I now own a Leben CS600, and this amp sounds totally different from Ayon.

      • Hi,

        Thank you for your comments. The Ayon Spirit looks really nice and the reviews are great. However, I really value your opinion, you seem to love music and high end equipment. Please give me more details about your total system with the Leben (speakers, etc.).

        Thank you in advance.


  2. Hi Jeff,
    I have had so many mixed impressions from friends that holding on to just one seems tough. May end up picking both sometime. Yet whichever is first available will be the way to go for now, it seems.

    Trust the day & the weekend ahead be good for you

    Cheers bro

  3. Hey Jeff,

    Great work on the site and your reporting on Leben. Do you have any opinions on what to expect when using the cs600 as a power amplifier? It would be interesting to know what happens when the cs600 is driven by the rc28… maybe you could run a quick experiment for us? 🙂


  4. Hi Jeff,
    I have been offered a used 300XS. Before I make a decision on it, might I ask if the 600 images better? I will be using the amp with a pair of Devore Super 8

  5. Hello Everyone,
    I own a Eico HF-81 and am looking into a Leben 300.
    Anyone have any opinions on how they compare?

    • Howdy Joe,

      I know that the Eico is highly regarded in some circles, but I haven’t heard it myself, so I really can’t provide any useful information for you – sorry about that.

      Does anyone who has heard both have some impressions they could share with Joe?

      Kind regards,


  6. Thanks for the update Jeff.

  7. Hi Jeff pleasure!
    I commented that a year ago I have the Leben CS600 and am very happy indeed. I have it connected to a Proac Response 2D and music really has a lot of sweetness and body.
    Specifically my question now is do you know if the valve panno 5881 has the same sound as the 5881 electron tube? Why buy the panno with shipping and seller cheat the electron tube sent me saying they were from the same factory and only differed in five years of manufacture and not the wanted change me!
    if you know the 5881 electron tube appreciate your response. A big hello

    • Hi Otto,

      That’s a nice combination of Leben CS-600 with your Proacs!

      I’m not familiar with the Pano 5881, so I’m afraid I’m not much help on that one.

      I’m using KT-90 tubes in my Leben CS-600 these days and have been very happy with the results. I’d also like to try the KT-120 but I haven’t had the opportunity yet.

      If you decide to try the Pano 5881 please let me know you like them.

      Kind regards,


      • Dear Jeff: When I said 5881 I meant really 6n3cE haha. The point is that I bought the box which says Paano 6n3cE (equal to your eulogies) and sent me 6n3cE Electron Tube belonging to another year of manufacture and I have understood that the various sound different manufacturing batches. Have you had experience with other 6n3cE Electron tube?
        What you describe sonic differences between 6n3cE and KT90?
        The 6n3cE are very liquid and velvety sound with excellent bass and treble, thanks for recommending! Best Regards

        • Hi Otto,

          I have only tried the Panno 6n3cE and not the others, so I can’t offer any sort of comparison – sorry about that. I’d just give the ones you got a listen and see how you like them. If you like what you hear then hang onto them! 🙂 Who knows, they might be even better than than Panno!

          The Panno 6n3cE I have are very clean and clear sounding, with a nice level of detail, and are still natural sounding overall. The KT90 is warmer and more robust sounding. If you’re wanting to warm things up a bit or get a more ‘meaty’ overall balance the KT90 is a nice choice. I’m using the Electro Harmonix KT90 with nice results. I still use the Panno 6n3cE as well, but sometimes it’s kind of fun just to experiment and swap tubes out for a while.

          Kind regards,


          • True, Leben to change the valves and pleasantly surprised at the unexpected appearance of differences in sound very nice. Leben CS600 really is a great amp with great potential for runs audiophiles to the search for our Holy Grail sound !
            I can assure you that no sooner will incorporate the 300 to the collection, Best Regards

  8. …to live and let live…

    Leben und Leben lassen!


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