A vacuum tube power amplifier with ambition
The MQ-88uC has an elegant dark brown finish, realizing a modern classical appearance reminiscent of Luxman’s finest legacy products. This model’s improved clarity and warm, accurate audio reproduction, unique to vacuum tube products, and the quality of the components and engineering shine through. Luxman strongly feel that the introduction of new technology and added customization will prove integral to this model’s appeal as a modern day vacuum tube amplifier.
Since the launch of Luxman’s SQ-5A vacuum tube integrated amplifier in 1961, they have continued making vacuum tube amps without a break. They 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.
Due to their relatively simple circuitry, vacuum tube amplifiers are greatly affected by the quality of individual components, hence they 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.
Each MQ-88uC power amplifier undergoes a final performance check after a 48 hour aging process following assembly. Luxman 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.
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, Luxman 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.
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 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 aluminium 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.
The main chassis of the MQ-88uC has a dark brown finish, different to the black finish of the MQ-88u. Luxman feel this finish better matches their products with wooden exterior cases. The hairline finished aluminium top panel and matt black aluminium die-cast power transformer housings make for a harmonious match, fine quality and beauty being important to their designs.