Luxman Japan offers a family of components that work together as a full solution and a common preview is appropriate before we dive into each product’s features and attributes:

  • CL-88 Control Amplifier
  • EQ-88 Moving Magnet Phono Stage
  • MQ-88 Stereo Amplifier
  • MT-88 Moving Coil Transformer
  • OPEQ-88 Outboard Power Supply

The CL-88, the Control Amplifier with line stage can supply power to the matching EQ-88 Moving Magnet Phono Stage for use with a moving coil cartridge. However, you will need to pair that up with the MT-88 Moving Coil Transformer. An outboard power supply, the OPEQ-88 is also available for use with this combination. The MQ-88 Stereo Amplifier have both fixed and variable inputs and can be used as integrated amplifier with a single input with a volume control in the front panel.

Since inception in 1925, Luxman has never been about mass produced products. In the similar vein, these Luxman products are designed in Japan, with each part carefully tested/evaluated, including many custom-made parts, preserving the functionality and special-designed features, making each Luxman component worthy of its pedigree.

Apart from the shared Power Supply, the amplifier designs are usually dual mono. Not only are the transformers made in Japan to their specification, Luxman selects the color paint used on the resistors (to identify value & tolerance) based on extensive listening tests. The chassis are carefully tuned with carefully controlled vibration and resonance, performing much like a musical instrument.

This family of Luxman products come with signature attention to detail most only found in Japanese assembly and testing. The amplifiers come wrapped in a cloth shroud with elastic underneath with all of the RCA & XLR sockets being protected from oxidation by individual plastic sleeves. Even the power cord is a cut above the normal give-away with good sound abound to achieve the superior Luxman sound that so many revere, love, and lust after.

Luxman’s stereo vacuum tube control amplifier, with an ALPS precision brass, four gang volume control, featuring an in-built mute function. By touching the centre of the volume control, the sound mutes at once. Signal switching is performed by a golden switch immersed in a nitrogen container, located near the input terminals in order to maintain a low S/N Ratio. Also available, the MT-88 moving coil step-up transformer.

Kappa Alloy RCA Jacks

This custom RCA socket was developed for the universal music player DU-80, it is a unique blend of copper and brass, chosen for its conductance properties, This new kappa alloy material is used for both the RCA input/output terminals, holds a secure connection and ensures that any sound quality deterioration is kept to a minimum.

Volume Control

The volume control on this is the same as their L-509u.  Solid brass, four gang ALPs potentiometer, too heavy to be motorized, hence the lack of a remote control, it does however provide a linear attenuation and gain throughout the range, holding both channels perfectly in balance even at low amplitude.

Mechanical Grounding

Throughout the 88 vacuum tube series, a 15mm thick top panel and solid brass supports are used as a suspension structure. By cleverly hanging the electronics from the top plate, the mechanical vibrations are isolated from the delicate low level music signal.

The gradation cast-iron legs are provided to protect the tiny delicate sound signals from unwanted vibration.

Input sensitivity/input impedance 100mV/90KΩ
Output/output impedance 1V/1KΩ
Total harmonic distortion 1KHz 0.013%
Frequency response 5Hz~100KHz) +0, – 3dB
Signal-to-Noise Ratio 90dB Above 93dB
Input 4 stereo pairs
Output 1 stereo pair
Controls Power switch, power source indicator, input selector, volume includes touch mute, mute indicator, line phase sensor, EQ-88 power output terminal, AC inlet
Vacuum tube compliment ECC83S/ECC82
Circuitry 2 step expansion NF types
High quality parts Gold-plated 4N oxygen free copper cable, vitamin Q oil impregnated tubular type condensers and metal film block capacitors, custom gold-plated RCA sockets, nitrogen gas sealed contact relays and mechanically isolated structure, suspended from a 15mm thick aluminum top panel
Electric power consumption 12W
External size 10” (W) x 3.75” (H) x 15.2 (D)
Weight 19 lbs

Product Documentation

eq-88_cl-88_mq-88_brochureLuxman CL-88, EQ-88 and MQ-88 Brochure

Frequently Asked Questions

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Press Reviews

“The ability of the CL-88 to extend both in front of and behind the loudspeakers was a much welcomed and quite unusual surprise. Not only did the music have a nice sense of space to it but vocals displayed a correct timbre to them reminding me of a more true to life presentation.

“Whether played loud or soft the CL-88 brought great joy to what was being played, more so than with many other preamplifiers that have trotted in and out of my home in the past.

“The CL-88 was able to retrieve a good amount of information from my CDs, some of which had previously been obscured within the background of the music’s soundscape. While good at uncovering details, within a song’s instruments and vocals, detail alone was not where its magic lies. No the CL-88 was much more than that. Add to this a truer sense of space with a deep front to back soundscape, an alive type of presence that renewed the spirit of previously heard performances and a strong foundation in the lower registers of bass notes, then you will begin to understand its effect on ones system. Give the CL-88 the best associated equipment you can, like the MQ-88, add to that some exceptional recordings and sit back to enjoy this truly magnificent tube preamplifier from Japan.”

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