Luxman SQ-N100 amp with built-in MM phono stage


I’ve been looking for headphone amp, but Luxman SQ-N100 has it all in one including MM phono stage.

Here is a nice review from the guy who used high efficiency speakers (101db) from the same brand as mine (Zu Audio). I already have WLM Minueta amp very well made by Trafomatic Audio and mentined in this review as a brother from the same mother, but the Luxman has MM Phono stage and Headphone Amp, it looks like state of the art build quality (Made in Japan): http://www.6moons.com/audioreviews/luxman3/100.html
6 Moons gave the NeoClassico a “Blue Moon” award as a headphone amp.

Has anyone tried this little beauty ???
https://onahighernote.com/oahn/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/SQ-N100_front.jpg


Rated Output: 12W + 12W /6Ω,
Inputs: 3 line and one 1 MM phono
Input Sensitivity/ Impedance: 150mV / 47KΩ line, 2.2mV / 47KΩ phono
Output Impedance: 1V / 210Ω, maximum 4.5V RCA
Harmonic Distortion: 0.009% (1KHz) Balanced
Frequency Response: 20 – 50KHz (+0, -3 dB)
Signal-to-Noise Ratio: >90dB (1KHz {IHF-A})
Vacuum Tube Compliment: ECC83 × 1, ECC82 × 2 and EL84 × 4
Power Consumption: 95W (rated power) 71W (idle)
Dimensions WHD: 11.7x 4x 10.2”
Weight: 25 lbs

"The SQ-N100 is an autobiasing integrated amp, a set-it and forget-it design. Just plug in the power tubes and the amp automatically takes care of biasing. Tone controls are completely by-passable, we find them to come in really handy from time to time. Unlike many other integrated amps, the built-in MM phono stage in the SQ-N100 is no afterthought. Even the dedicated headphone output sounds stunning."

Since 1925, Luxman has crafted audio products for the most demanding of listeners. Luxman products are built and designed in Japan; each device carefully tested and evaluated. Luxman designs unique, special and one of a kind. Luxman amplifier designs are usually dual mono. The transformers are made in Japan to Luxman specifications. Luxman even hand selects the color paint used on the resistors to identify value and tolerance based on extensive listening tests. The chassis are carefully tuned to control vibration and resonance, making Luxman products perform like a musical instrument. Finally assembly and testing are carried out in Japan. Luxman’s attention to detail is second to none.


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Well, i just bought this SQ-N100 amp with built-in MM phono stage and Headphone amp., it was hard to resist. You know me as a fan of the Luxman PD-444 turntables, we will see how is the amp. My sample was Made in Japan.

From the history of Luxman:

Lux Corporation was founded in Japan on June 1925, by T. Hayakawa and his brother K. Yoshikawa. The company began as the radio equipment department of Kinsuido Picture Frame Store in Osaka, until then only an importer of picture frames, and was founded just ahead of the first radio broadcast that year.

In the mid 1970s and early 1980s, Luxman rose to prominence in the world hi-fi community, owed to the quality sound produced by its equipment. Luxman were primarily specialists in making vacuum tube amplifiers of the highest caliber. One of the traits of Luxman equipment from this era is the quality and warmth of vacuum tube sound, paired with powerful solid-state electronics and often beautiful, minimalist aesthetic designs. Preamps and power amps such as the Luxman C-05 and M-05, with their champagne gold finish, high-calibre electrical designs (pure copper interconnects, Class A amp design, separately powered channels with dual AC cables, copper-plated chassis), beautiful sound, and superior rock-solid build became the dream of audiophiles worldwide.

Sadly, the 80s saw Luxman being sold off to the Alpine brand and as a result seemed to find their way out of high-end into mainstream big box retailer gear. Another ownership change occurred in 1994. This resulted in Luxman returning to the capable hands of a Japanese private ownership in 2000 that has since restored the former audiophile brand’s glory and direction.

http://www.luxman.com/company-history.php
Congrats on the amp! I owned the Luxman SQ-N10 (American distributed version of the SQ-N100) for a few years until I sold it last May. It's a fantastic little beast and was my first step into 'real' audiophilia. I suggest that you swap out the tubes and experiment. I replaced the center driver tube (12AX7) with a psvane T-II and replaced the power tubes also with psvane EL84 tubes, and the punch and resolution improved dramatically. I also tried a few other types of tubes, like Telefunken and Gold Lions, but the psvanes just rocked them all.


@thiefoflight do you know who is the manufacturer of those Luxman branded tubes? I think they are made in Russia (Sovtek) or they are Mullard re-issue (made in Russia)?

Over the years i’ve been looking for best NOS tubes and when i ordered Luxman i was sceptical about the stock tubes, but i was shocked by the high quality of those tubes. I already have another tube amp i use for years (The WLM Minueta) made by Trafomatic Audio (OEM) for Austrian WLM. Actually it was made in Serbia. Those amps reviewed in the same article on 6moons. The reviewer said thy are "brothers from the same mother", but in my experience they are totally different. Maybe because i use NOS Military Telefunken E84L (the rarest) along with Sylvania Gold Brand (Gold Pins) 6bq5 and Telefunken ECC801s (also the rarest) in my WLM Minueta arm. The WLM in TRIOD mode sounds way different from the Luxman’s Ultra Liner. The WLM is psychedelic experience with holographic images and deep sound stage in triod mode (with those vintage Telefunken tubes).

But the Luxman is louder, punchier, heavier in low register in its stock form, i like this amp. The phono stage is not bad, i can connect my ZYX Headamp for LOMC to Luxman MM stage. Headphone amp is also great.

I have unused, still sealed (NOS) japanese NEC EL84 tubes, green series made especially for audio. I’m gonna try them later on.

If the Luxman stock bubes are Russian then i will definitely look for NOS Military Soviet EL84 from the 60s or 70s. They are so cheap locally, i neved paid attention to them.


BTW which amp do you have now ? Just curious.