Sixty five years in development; the SQ-38u is an heirloom to be passed down to the next generation of music lovers.

Timelessness, meticulous craftsmanship, high aesthetic standards….

A first-class work possesses these and many other rare qualities. And when such a product is yours, ownership is nothing less than an exquisite pleasure.


The year 1963 was a watershed for audio equipment manufacturers. Vacuum tubes in TVs and other home electronic products began to be replaced with transistors. Meanwhile, many consumers sought out higher powered amplifiers. Lux defied contemporary audio trends by releasing a high-quality integrated amplifier with 10W@ channel output that combined miniature triode tubes and OY output transformers. It didn’t deliver a great deal of power, but its sound quality was so outstanding that it became a best seller.

That’s how the legendary SQ-38 came into being. It’s now in its 11th generation and retains the original’s aluminum front panel and wooden enclosure. Twenty & thirty year old models sell in Japan today for a higher price than their original retail price. This is truly an heirloom product.


SQ-38 – release date 1963 Output tubes: 6RA8, transformer: OY-14, 10 W +10 W
SQ-38Ds – release date 1965
SQ-38F – release date 1968 (output tubes: 50C-A10, transformer: OY-15, 30 W +30 W
SQ-38FD – release date 1970
SQ-38FD II – release date 1974
LX-38 – release date 1978
LX-38u – release date 1983
SQ-38 signature – release date 1995,
SQ-38D limited edition – 1998, Output Tubes 6BQ5, transformer OY-14, 12 W + 12 W
SQ-38u – release date 2008

For 2009 the eleventh generation SQ-38 is a wonderful blend of old and new; the SQ-38u incorporates many modern features in a classic design that exudes luxury & class. Another remarkable design from Kazuyuki Doi – who brought us the MQ-88 / CL-88 as well more recently the NeoClassico. Conservatively rated @ 30 watts per channel, gives a linear output as well as reliable performance for many years to come. Here is an amplifier that can be inherited by the next generation.

Note: Remote controlled volume control, photo is misleading as the RC is only 1 3/4″ x 3½”.

Note: Separate switch on the front panel, allows the SQ-38u to be easily integrated into a home theater system. This separates the preamplifier section from the amplifier. Allowing one to take the output of a Home Theater Processor directly to the amplifier, bypassing the on-board preamplifier completely. Could also be used with a room correction device.


  • Phono stage with selectable MM, MC low output or MC high output. MC duties are handled by an on-board step-up transformer. With up to 63dB of gain available, should easily handle low output MC cartridges.
  • Mono switch.
  • Subsonic Filter, to remove rumble from LP playback.
  • Tone Controls, easily engaged or defeated at the press of a switch.
  • High quality headphone output on the front panel.
  • Five inputs as well as a Tape Loop.
  • Two pairs of selectable speaker outputs.
  • Conservatively rated at 30 wpc x 2, using Electro Harmonix EL34 output tubes.
  • Illuminated volume control, so that its setting can easily be seen across the room.
Item Value
Continuous power output 30W+30W (6Ω)/25W+25W (8Ω, 4Ω)
Vacuum tube used EL34 x 4 pieces, ECC83S x 5 pieces, ECC82 x 2 pieces
Power consumption 185W (Electrical Appliance and Material Safety Law)
Outside dimensions 440 (W) x 196 (H) x 310 (D) mm
Weight 20.0kg

Product Documentation

luxman_manual_coverLuxman SQ-38u Owner’s Manual

Frequently Asked Questions


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Press Reviews

“From record to record, the Luxman SQ-38u was a big-sounding and altogether musically agreeable amplifier—yet one whose overall tonal signature wasn’t egregiously tube-like. Tonally, the Luxman was nicely balanced from its bass through its trebles, with well-defined sonic contrasts. Musical sounds all had weight and force—even in the trebles, where higher notes had timbral body and, when called for, lots of impact.”

“Considering Japanese manufacture, the SQ-38u’s comprehensive features and impeccable build quality—a full-on MM/MC tube phono stage alone could readily command $1,000 if not more—the asking price is super attractive and fair. If precursors of this amp and how well regarded they remain are anything to go by, the SQ-38u has heirloom factor written all over it. While the company’s portfolio has adapted to modernity, this particular model was clearly meant as a record of past glories. For what it is and wants to be, it’s a real winner.”

“The overall sound of the amplifier section, which is the best thing about the SQ-38u, was pretty amazing for a traditional Ultralinear output stage. It had much better frequency extension, lower distortion, and much lower noise levels than any Dynaco, Heath, Eico or Scott piece I’ve used…Do you like good music? If so, put the Luxman on your list.”



Stereophile Highly Recommended Component 2012