LUXMAN’s vacuum tube amplifier legacy
Since the launch of our SQ-5A vacuum tube integrated amplifier in 1961, we have continued making vacuum tube amps without a break. We have produced many models that are highly valued as signature models and satisfied music lovers are enjoying them to this day, even several decades after their release. The CL-38uC and MQ-88uC combine LUXMAN’s history of producing fine vacuum tube products and the traditional wisdom and skills gained along the way.
The essence of high-end products:
selected high quality components
Due to their relatively simple circuitry, vacuum tube amplifiers are greatly affected by the quality of individual components, hence we utilize LUXMAN’s own high-quality transformers and blocking capacitors. Further customization comes in the form of Nichicon made, high voltage, metalized polypropylene film coupling capacitors, which have been introduced for their supple, natural tone. Improved audio quality has been realized by shortening the internal wiring.
Reviving designs from the golden era of vacuum tube amplifiers
The CL-38uC control amplifier and the MQ-88uC power amplifier are based on the latest technology and design, but the exterior styling evokes a classic image from the heyday of vacuum tube audio products. The CL-38uC is modeled on the CL-35, released in 1970, and the MQ-88uC is modeled on the MQ-60, released in 1969. A classic front panel design should be functional, but also beautiful, achieved by careful selection of knobs and lever switches. Listeners can appreciate such traditional design features, with their nostalgic flavor, whilst enjoying these contemporary, high performance audio products.
Long life and reliable design
Each CL-38uC control amplifier and MQ-88uC power amplifier undergoes a final performance check after a 48 hour aging process following assembly. We have selected JJ Electronic (Slovakia) vacuum tubes for these models as they are renowned for their reliability, long life and the ease with which they operate at vacuum tube amplifier voltages and heat dissipation conditions.
JJ Electronic KT88 output tubes
The KT-88 output tubes used in the MQ-88uC, made by JJ Electronic, are known for their power and rich sound quality. The triode configuration employed achieves longer vacuum tube life and a highly transparent timbre that vacuum tube amps are known for. The paralleled first stage feeds a driver stage featuring performance proven Mullard circuitry. For the final stage, we have adopted a Mullard compatible push pull configuration to achieve an output power of 25 Watts per channel at 4, 8 and 16 ohm with very low distortion.
Independent speaker terminals for 4, 8 and 16 ohm speakers
The MQ-88uC has independent 4, 8 and 16 ohm speaker terminals to better match with and bring out the best abilities of any kind of speakers, allowing powerful music reproduction with very low distortion. The unit features a variable input (volume adjustable) mode in which the signal bypasses the input section, connecting a source device, such as a CD player, directly to the output section.
Output transformers and power supply
Output transformers play an important role in determining the sound quality and performance of a vacuum tube amp. LUXMAN’s classic amplifier products featured OY15 type output transformers with die-cast aluminum housings. These have been redesigned and reproduced with the original shape. The power supply section features a highly stable El type power transformer in tandem with custom designed blocking capacitors yielding steadfast sound quality and excellent drivability.
New exterior finish
The main chassis of the MQ-88uC has a dark brown finish, different to the black finish of the MQ-88u. We feel this finish better matches our products with wooden exterior cases. The hairline finished aluminum top panel and matt black aluminum die-cast power transformer housings make for a harmonious match, fine quality and beauty being important to our designs.