Luxman MQ-88uC
Luxman MQ-88uC
Luxman MQ-88uC

Luxman MQ-88uC: Stylish tube amplifier

The Luxman MQ-88u amplifier is assembled with pinpoint precision and scrupulous attention to every detail. The supporting part of the body is made of aluminum and is a rigid structure mounted on neat legs. The stylish design of the front panel can be called laconic and elegant. There is a miniature power button with an indicator, as well as a volume knob, the use of which is more than justified, since in this case you can do without a preamplifier if only one signal source is used in the path. The amplifier is equipped with adjustable and fixed inputs (RCA). You can connect, for example, a regular external DAC or CD player to the first and control the volume directly from the front panel of the MQ-88u, while the second is quite suitable for connecting a separate pre-amplifier.

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On the back of the device there is a switch between these inputs. The upper area of ​​the case is evenly filled with elements, among which there are two ECC83 input tubes, as well as a pair of dual ECC82 triodes responsible for the driver section. Output transformers are represented by two Luxman OY-15 models in aluminum cases. High-quality power is provided by a solid W-shaped transformer. Four KT88 beam tetrodes are installed at the output – two per channel. Next to them are trimming resistors for adjusting the quiescent currents. The model uses a slightly modernized Mullard push-pull circuit. Instead of printed circuit boards, it uses wall-mounted mounting, which is made with the utmost care. The element base consists of selected components.

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A companion for the Luxman MQ-88u will be the branded preamplifier Luxman CL-38u, ideally matched with it . However, for the connection you can choose a model from a third-party manufacturer, including a transistor one, which should be as neutral as possible. The device develops a power of 25 W per channel into a 6 ohm load and weighs almost 16 kg. Its sound is distinguished by detail, clarity and even a tendency towards some analyticity, but at the same time it does not lose its musicality and naturalness. The tube character here coexists perfectly with excellent dynamics and transparency. The model captivates and literally provokes long listening sessions, distinguished by its enviable genre omnivorousness.

The German magazine “STEREO” (Issue 22, 2019) published a test of the Luxman CL-38uC preamplifier and MQ-88uC power amplifier. In an article entitled “Charming Duo”, author Matthias Böde spoke about the history of the Luxman company and the traditions of creating tube amplifiers, revealed the main advantages of the pair he listened to, and gave high marks for sound quality – 87 out of 100 for the Luxman CL-38uC and 88 out of 100 for the MQ-88uC and awarded them together the title “Excelent” – “Excellent” for price/quality ratio!

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