Audio Research SP11 vs Luxman CL-35 MkIII

Discussion in 'Tube Audio' started by briguy986, Jul 10, 2018.

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What to do?

  1. Recondition & re-tube Luxman, flip SP11

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  2. Keep SP11, sell Luxman

    100.0%
  1. briguy986

    briguy986 New Member

    Messages:
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    Greetings. I am looking for feedback from those that have heard Audio Research and Luxman gear in their experience.

    I recently acquired an SP11 hybrid preamp with stock tubes. Plugged it in to the main system in place of a Luxman CL-35 mkIII, and instantly noticed a difference in imaging and soundstage--something the Luxman (with Matsushita 12ax7 tubes) currently does not hold up to. I am at a slight dilemma, as I did not foresee wanting to keep this SP11!

    Will reconditioning the Luxman with new caps and Telefunken tubes bring up to the ARC's level? Are these two devices in the same class (albeit different vintages)?

    Thank you
     

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    Last edited: Jul 11, 2018

     

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  2. bimasta

    bimasta Super Member

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    2,300
    Years ago I had a CL-35/III for a month-long trial period. It was in perfect shape and even had the original silver-wire SUTs in back. I was comparing it to Audio Research SP6, Luxman CL-34, MFA Magus. The CL-35 was disappointing and I didn't buy it. The price was only $800, and as stated in perfect cosmetic and operational condition, so it was a steal. To buy it just to sell it for 100% profit would make sense today, but back then selling audio online was in its infancy.

    I eventually sold the SP6 and regret it. I still have the CL-34 and Magus. No regrets about the CL-35 — the CL-34 is better in all the ways that matter to me.
     
  3. CohibaJoe

    CohibaJoe AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I have looked about adding a CL-35 MkIII into the Lux gear I have...But this will need a complete Overhaul/Recap and watching the $$'s the past 2 years
    you are in 1G to 1.5G.
     
  4. kirk57

    kirk57 Some guy on the Internet Subscriber

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    The SP11 was *the* state of the art preamp for many years.
    The Luxman, while nice, was never at that level that I know of.
     
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  5. briguy986

    briguy986 New Member

    Messages:
    8
    CohibaJoe, I believe you will you enjoy a CL-35. I was particularly attracted to the step volume and tone controls. Not tubey IMHO.

    I am local in Jersey City, if you want to give it a listen.
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2018
  6. primosounds

    primosounds SE KT120 w/ 6J5G drivers. LCLC ps + 2 x 5ar4 Subscriber

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    I think you should keep both. The Luxman is vintage and state of the art for its era, whereas the sp11 is far more available and similar to the rest of the AR line. I would use the AR on a daily basis and keep the Luxman as a back up for when AR goes down. I don't think the lux has ICs and all the other transistors that the modern preamps use for voltage regulation and buffers, etc.
     

     

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  7. ctjetta

    ctjetta AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Not to be a jerk, sigh, but "short hand" for Audio Research is ARC. AR is, of course, for Acoustic Research.
     
  8. primosounds

    primosounds SE KT120 w/ 6J5G drivers. LCLC ps + 2 x 5ar4 Subscriber

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    Jerk away, it don't bother me. We were talking about Audio Research so there is no confusion.
     
  9. bimasta

    bimasta Super Member

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    If it's done tactfully, as you did Ctjetta, I like being corrected, it increases my knowledge.
     
  10. StuartB

    StuartB AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Not sure what those units would be worth if you sold one or the other, but I would be tempted to keep both. They both have a classic look. Good luck.
     

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