LUXMAN UNVEILS REVAMPED NEOCLASSICO AMP AND CD PLAYER
Luxman released its exquisite A4-sized SQ-N100 integrated valve amp and matching D-N100 CD player in 2007. It has now released a revamped series comprising the A4 sized SQ-N150 integrated amp and its companion CD player, the D-N150.
The original pair was so beautifully made, many a lusting audiophile described them as “high-status audio jewellery”. Sonically these two components sounded as slinky as their Porsche fit and finish implied.
The only downside to this unique NeoClassico series components was availability. Global demand went ballistic and not long after, the NeoClassico well dried up much to the dismay of anyone who had missed out on buying these two audio keepers.
To alleviate the pain of all those who missed out on the first coming of these components, Luxman went back to the company drawing board with a plan to rerelease updated versions of the NeoClassico series.
The net result is spectacular. It arrives as the compact SQ-N150 integrated valve amplifier that measures just 297 mm wide, 188 mm high and 251 mm deep. The matching CD is also diminutive with a footprint of 297 mm wide, 98 mm high and 222 mm deep.
When Luxman says the two components make an ideal pairing, it’s saying it like it is. Both player and amp have the same width, and the CD player’s height is the same as the amp’s main chassis.
The new amp stays close to the spirit of the inaugural SQ-N100: both have a power rating of 10 watts per channel into a 6-ohm load, and both amps run a pair of ECC83 input and four EL84 tubes.
The EL84 tube is one of the sweetest and most transparent tubes ever made. It was used in high-quality Mullard valve amplifiers in the 50s and 60s. The ECC83 tube or its equivalent 12AX7 tube is also an intelligent choice. Moreover, Luxman has sourced all of these tubes from the Slovakian brand, JJ.
Rather than being a rehash of the original SQ-N100, the new model has some genuinely new features. The first series amp had a built-in moving magnet phono stage. The new one also caters for low output moving coil cartridges.
Also new and very desirable on the new amp is the inclusion of two output level meters. Both have orange lighting that stylistically blends beautifully with the blasted white finish of the amp and the CD player.
Connections comprise three line inputs, one MC/MM phono input and a headphone jack located on the front fascia. A single pair of speaker terminals completes the connections on the rear of the amp.
Like the SQ-N100, the SQ-N150's fascia carries independent bass and treble controls plus a newly added balance control. Bypassing bass and treble controls is as easy as flicking on the “Line Straight” switch.
The amp’s frequency response is 20Hz to 50 kHz, and the signal to noise figure is greater than 90dB.
Luxman makes an optional remote for the SQ-N150 called the RA-25, but please note, the one supplied with the D-N150 CD player can also operate the amp’s volume control.
The new D-N150 CD player is a front loading model fitted with a Luxman transport mechanism also used in the brand’s D-380 player, and one that Luxman says is highly reliable, stable and an accurate disc reader.
Internally, the new player uses Texas instruments PCM 5102A DAC chips that are 192kHz/32 bit capable.
Connections include coax and optical inputs, USB terminal for digital input from a PC to handle audio files up to 192kHz/32-bit encoding. Outputs comprise one pair of RCA and one optical digital output.
The SQ-N150 has an AUD RRP of $4,899, and the D-N150 will sell for $4,499. Both arrive at the end of June 2019. New Zealand pricing and availability has not been confirmed.
For more information or to find your nearest dealer, visit Luxman.
One of the veterans of the Australian HiFi industry, Peter was formerly the Audio-Video Editor of the Herald Sun for over two decades. One of the most-respected audio journalists in Australia, Peter brings his unparalleled experience and a unique story-telling ability to StereoNET.