State of the System | Luxman joins the fray

It’s not often these days that I hear (or see) an electronic component whose sound characteristics blow me away on first listen. And when they do, it’s usually a vacuum tube component like the Luxman SQ-N150. Whether or not that says something about solid state components is yet to be determined. I have an appreciation for solid state, but I’d be hard pressed to say that there’s much more technical innovation to be had.

That is not the topic of today’s piece though. As my three year old would say, “not today”.

Why Tubes Again?

The sextet of vacuum tubes work in harmony to provide 12 watts per channel

For those who have frequented my blog, it should be no surprise that the EL84 is my favorite vacuum tube. As a quick recap, the EL84 encapsulates everything I love about vacuum tubes. It’s quick on the attack and decay, adds a touch of emphasis on female vocals, and most importantly, they last a long time while being fairly cheap to buy NOS.

My reference tube amplifier, the Triode Lab EL84M-FFX uses four per channel to produce a cool 26 watts. Speaking of, quick shout out to Frank at Triode Lab. He is passionate about what he makes and it shows in the end product. I fully intend to write about the monoblocks at some point in the near future, but it always takes a back-seat to my dozen other hobbies.

Okay, let’s get back on track.

A Quick Intro

In addition to the music, you get to gaze upon this beautiful glow

If I had to quickly describe the SQ-N150, it would be as a “statement desktop amplifier”. Okay, that’s a wrap on the preview. Okay, really, the SQ-N150 has been a pleasure to have in my system(s) so far and I’m excited to spend more time with it as I write a full review.

It’s quite the svelte package and wouldn’t be out of place anywhere that you place it. Thus far, I haven’t found the power output to be limiting, even playing music up to the limits of its 12 watts output. That said, I’ve found music to sound its best when not pushing it much beyond 6 watts. I will get into more detail as to why in the full review.

What else is happening?

I’m so glad you asked. My life has become even busier in the last two months as I’ve taken on additional work outside of my normal job to work on a project that really has me excited. I can’t talk about it here other than saying it means posts here will be a little slower than usual. There’s only so much time in the day and it’s hard to devote time to everything I’d like to.

This must be the literal definition of raising a family.

Anyways. With that said, I have a difficult choice to make. Do I keep the same quality of content (in my opinion…) with less frequent updates, or do I shorten the content length so I can get out and write more often? I’m sure the result will meet somewhere in the middle, but who knows!

Anyways. As always, thanks for reading and I can’t wait to post the full review of this lovely little Luxman SQ-N150!


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