Luxman tube integrated amplifiers SQ-N150 and LX-380 arrive
We've been excited!
We've been waiting!
They are here!
Pearl Audio now has both of Luxman's tube integrated amplifiers on display.
We have the classic Luxman wood cased 6L6GC tubed LX-380 and the new small form factor EL84 tubed SQ-N150 in-store for audition. Come hear these with the fabulous new Dynaudio Heritage Special stand mount speakers!
The mid-sized EL84 and 6L6GC power tubes have a more intimate sound which cedes some of the dynamics and gust of the power output of the KT88 but rewards with exquisite midrange, subtlety, and deeply layered soundstaging. I've heard a good number of EL84 small form factor tubes amps in my day and have always been a great fan. Why didn't we carry any before? Well, simply there were a few small companies making them, but nothing from a major company with the long-term ownership and support that we like to offer our customers. That's changed - Now we have the unrivaled build quality and stature of 94-year-old Luxman, the king of Japanese luxury audio, combined with this amazing type of EL84/6L6GC tube amplifier.
Reviews for the Luxman SQ-N150 and LX-380
"one of the most transparent components I've had in my system," with a "sweet" tonality and the ability to throw a wide, deep soundstage.'
The April 2021 Stereophile Recommended Components includes Luxman
- SQ-N150 vacuum tube integrated amplifier (on display at pearl audio)
- L-509x reference integrated (on display at pearl audio)
- EQ-500 class A vacuum tube phono stage (on display at pearl audio)
- CL-1000 vacuum tube preamplifier
- MQ-88uSE tube amplifier (on order for stock and display ~ 2 months)
"LX-380 was something special: an amplifier with a sound that was intrinsically believable, wholly natural, realistically textured, and eminently colorful"
The Luxman LX-380 received the Soundstage Reviewer's Choice award. There is also a nice Soundstage Network Luxman LX-380 Video Review.
How are the SQ-N150 and LX-380 different?
The SQ-N150 is a sleek thick metal ultra-compact high end integrated while the LX-380 harkens to the golden age vintage tube integrated amps with hardwood case and full set features coupled to Luxman's more reference level volume and amplification circuits. They use different power tubes with different sound profiles, but they are both spectacular sounding.
Measuring 11.7" Wide x 9.9" Deep x 7.4" High 27 lb, SQ-N150 is about half the size of the full width 17.3 x 15.9 x 7.8, 39 lb LX-380, and because of this depth, is one of the few high performance amplifiers that can sit comfortably on a regular bookshelf rather than a console or dedicated audio rack. I'd get the SQ-N150 for an office or cozy small listening space while the large wood cabinet LX-380 is terrific for a full sized living room system, especially if your going for a vintage hifi look and sound or have larger speakers.
The $2795 SQ-N150 is lower powered at 10 W / 6 Ohms from EL-84 tubes and also has a lighter feature set while the $7995 LX-380 has 20 W / 6 Ohms from 6L6 tubes and is full featured with many vintage features including a 67 db gain MC phono stage (good to .38 mV) and Luxman's LECUA volume control, the same circuit as the Luxman L-509x reference integrated. If these wattages sound small, come in for a listen - the LX-380 in particular is quite powerful sounding with wonderful deep textured bass, honestly some of the most satisfying bass from any integrated amplifier we've heard. We played the LX-380 a few days in our smaller sound room, randomly auditioning speakers for ourselves and walk-in customers, and frankly it played all of them well.
Some great LX-380 and SQ-N150 match speakers we have in-store include the Bowers & Wilkins 705 Signature, 805 Prestige, Dynaudio Special 40 and Heritage Special, and the Sonus faber Electa Amator. All of these speakers are high end high resolution standmount designs which do extraordinarily well at bringing out the breathy vocals nuanced natural instrument timbres of smaller tube amplifiers. We don't have one in-store but I'll bet the Sonus faber Maxima Amator two-way floor stander would be wonderful - it's basically the two-way Electa Amator with a full-sized cabinet for bigger bass and higher efficiency. The Heritage Special and Electa Amator possess burnished romantic voicing that builds upon the LX-380 and SQ-N150 lush yet revealing tube voicing. These two speakers also have high end two-way crossovers, drivers and cabinets so you get the resolution these two Luxman's can produce as well.
If you like your tube amps to sound like tubes, these are a must audition. Along with the layering and the holographic presence these also bring classic tube lushness and a bit of dare I say romance to the sound. These are some of the most alive sounding tube integrated amplifiers that we have heard and we invite you to come and hear what we are so excited about.
We have a few SQ-N150s in-stock and more LX-380s on the way. These are selling pretty fast and the SQ-N150 in particular can take awhile to get more.