Luxman - Shindo - Mcintosh ?

I am starting my research on a new (used) tube amplifier, and my budget is around $2.5K to $3.5K. I have a PS Audio BHK Pre, a pair of Altec Lansing Valencias (16 ohm), a Linn LP 12 turntable with Pass Labs XP15 Phono Stage which would make up the rest of the system. Kind of a new / vintage hybrid set up. I have a bunch of other gear, and will need to sell some off for this purchase.

Tube Amps that initially jump out at me are...
Mcintosh MC240 (serviced)
Luxman MQ 3600
Shindo Montille EL84
Any thoughts or recommendations would be welcome

2817c587 7eb5 44ea a63b e91a513f4056marktheshark
Hi Mark, 
Fun quest!
As you are just starting your journey I suggest you take a look the "Preamp Deal of the Century" thread to learn about the Supratek preamp and also do a search on Don Sachs. When new these are very high value options and you also might find one used. 
At an asking price of $3,650, this used Luxman MQ-88uC would pique my interest.  You could probably get it in your price range.
I would listen to a McIntosh MA252.
Thanks Niamnut, I will take at the Suprateks
THREEEASYPAYMENTS, how would compare the Luxman MQ-88uC to Mcintosh, Premaluna, Shido etc. ?
The amps you listed use different power tubes and sound quite different.  If I were looking for a tube power amp for this system it would be a mac MC225.  Sounds sweeter than the MC240 IMO.  New Tung Sol 7591A power tubes are relatively inexpensive and sound great.

My next choice would be an EL84 amp.  The Shindo Montille is superb but there are other, less expensive options.
JAMES, is the MC252 Solid State, I was thinking something more tubey.
Thanks BR3098, so similar to the MC225 would be the MC240, MC275, a pair of MC30s .... They all can be had for around $3K, do you think the MC225 would be the best value ?
I owned an MC275 and went to Coincident Frankensteins.  I will never sell these amps.  Simply amazing.  I am running Zu Soul Supremes which are 16 ohm as well.


As tswista says the Coincident Frankenstein is a superb sounding SET amplifier that would IMO work well with your 97 db sensitivity 16 ohm (very easy load speakers). . If a used Frankenstein is not available in your price range consider the Coincident Dynamo latest version the MK III. Ii is  a singled ended class A circuit so a different approach compared to the push pull amps suggested above. It is available as an el 34 or as a 300b based SEP 8 watt amplifier.

.I believe this type of
pure class A single ended amp would mate wonderfully with your Altec speakers. Good luck to you. Two different pathways , no NFB class A or + NFB class AB circuit. Either can be very good but different.


I have 2 of the Luxman MQ88uSEs (basically the same as that listing from US Audio Mart). I'm running them in mono configuration from a Backert Labs Rhumba Extreme preamp. The sound is incredible, and I'd recommend you jump on that listing if you have the budget. The uC version has 16 ohm speaker taps. There is a transparency and shimmer to the Luxman sound that is magical - but with the KT88 power tubes there is plenty of tight, dynamic bass as well. I don't know much about the other amps you listed but I cannot imagine anyone in the market for a tube power amplifier would be disappointed with the MQ-88uC. 
Whoops. My bad.

Sorry, I was under the mistaken impression that you were shopping for a preamp.

Never mind. However, if you're considering a tube power amp you might find it enjoyable and educational to read Roger Sanders' "transistors vs. tubes" white paper. IMHO very helpful.
The Luxman would be a good choice for the Altecs, the Shindo not a great match up. I heard this combination at a friends and other amps worked better with the Altecs you think the MC225 would be the best value ?
Best value?  Dunno.  They go for about the same as the MC240.  But the amp only has 2 gain stages (as opposed to 3 on the MC240) and the 7591A tubes make for a very sweet sound.  I've owned lots of tube amps but this one is my all round favorite.

All the amps you listed and are being recommended are wonderful.  I think the MC225 is special but you really need to hear a few so that you can judge for yourself.  If you but a good amp at a fair price you will always be able to sell it for at (or near) what you paid.

Thank you, I am continuing my research based on all your great comments and advice.
Just wanted to thank you guys for your advice. I ended up purchasing the Luxman MQ-88uC and it’s awesome. been switching back and forth between the Altec lansing Velecias and a pair of Spatial Audio M3s. I’m still swapping other gear around, but the Luxman tube amp is killer.