Line Magnetic Audio LM-518IA integrated amplifier Associated Equipment

Sidebar 3: Associated Equipment

Analog Sources: Technics SL-1200MK2, Thorens TD 124 turntables; Abis SA 1.2 tonearm; Ortofon 2M Black & CG 25 DI II, Shure SC35C, Soundsmith Carmen, Zu Audio DL-103 cartridges.
Digital Sources: Puresound A8000 CD player, Line Magnetic LM-502CA DAC.
Preamplification: April Sound GB-1, Blue Horizon Ideas Profono, Schiit Audio Mani phono stages; Simaudio Moon 350P preamplifier.
Power & Integrated Amplifiers: Hegel Music Systems H160, Simaudio Moon 330A.
Loudspeakers: DeVore Fidelity Orangutan O/93, Falcon Acoustics LS3/5a, KEF LS50, GoldenEar Technology Triton Five.
Cables: Interconnect: AudioQuest Cinnamon & Big Sur & Golden Gate, Auditorium 23, Kimber Kable Silver Streak. Speaker: AudioQuest Type 4, Auditorium 23.
Accessories: Sound Anchor stands, Dr. Feickert Analogue cartridge-alignment protractor.—Herb Reichert

Line Magnetic Audio Co. Ltd.
US distributor: Tone Imports

RobertSlavin's picture

This amplifier may sound very good but, personally, I wouldn't want glass tubes whose contents were 3140 degrees fahrenheit in my living room. It sounds too dangerous to me, setting aside how much heat they would generate.

Even if the amplifier had tube cages (it would have been nice to have seen them in this review), I suspect the cages themselves may get so hot to be dangerous to the touch.


John Atkinson's picture
RobertSlavin wrote:
This amplifier may sound very good but, personally, I wouldn't want glass tubes whose contents were 3140 degrees fahrenheit in my living room.

When I tested the amplifier, it was sitting on my test bench just 2 feet away from me. I got a tan!

John Atkinson
Editor, Stereophile

Bogolu Haranath's picture

I thought you would be 'glowing' :-) ........

SET Man's picture


Beside making a nice space heater in winter and turn your room in to sauna in summer! A pair of 845 tubes are also make a great night light! Very pretty brightly warm glow.

On a serious note, I like 845 tubes. A well designed and executed one can sound amazing with power to drive more than horn speakers.

Metalhead's picture

I heard this at pitchperfect in LA with Devore speakers. Unlike Herb I have a small speaker=small sound bias. I fell in love with big horns and stats decades ago. Having said that it was a fantastic combo and I was certainly impressed with the demo. Enough so that I am going to to try to get chair time in front of it again and perhaps spring for it.

Heat is welcome here in Alaska so no worries on that front.

Wonderful review that captures what this integrated can do.

lo fi's picture

What a beautiful amp.

iosiP's picture

I currently read most ampilfier reviews in Stereophile (well, less the digital stuff) and most of the time I give more attention to JA's measurements. Now I've read many conclusions like (quoting from memory) "This amplifier behaves quite well for a low-powered SET design", "Yes, as it's a single-ended-triode design, its bent transfer function leads to a nonlinear signature dominated by second-harmonic distortion. And it's noisier than I like to see. But for such a design, it offers high power." and other similar qualifications.
Now do I have to remind you the underpowered Audio Note Jinro or the similarly grossly underpower Wavac SH-833?

So here comes my question: why would I opt for a tubed amplifier that sounds good "for it's class", i.e. with qualifications (or even does not deliver a shade of what it promises), generates heat, is a danger for kids and pets and uses... well, consumable output devices when the same amount of money can get me a decent - even class A - SS amp that would reproduce faitfully the signal that is fed in?

Milesian's picture

Having run the LM518-IA for close to a year in a house with three cats a dog and occasional grandchildren, I can attest that no creatures were harmed during the playing of my music. Nor was my listening room overbearingly hot during the sweltering Ontario Summer. Come on folks get serious, you do realize you can turn it off when you're not listening right? I'm more afraid of the electric stove and light bulbs in my house.

Marc210's picture

In the past, I've listened extensively to two tube amps, ARC Classic 30 and Yves Cochet ALP2, and many others briefly.
And it's no surprise I prefer ss even as pre and of course digital to analog.

james's picture

but the filaments get to 3140°F, not the glass itself. I could be wrong. I have one of these and it puts out some heat, but I don't feel it until I'm flipping a record.

I agree with Herb's review of this amp. It is fantastic

doak's picture


jmsent's picture

depends on the current in the filament. In this case about 3.25 amps. That's the same as a pair of KT 88's so the overall heat output of a push pull amp using those tubes would be about the same. The worst burn I've ever gotten from a tube was when I inadvertently grabbed onto a 6CW4 nuvistor in a tv tuner. Those tubes may be tiny, but they get hot as blazes because there's no surface area for heat dissipation.. At least the 845 has a huge glass envelope and has a filament with a large surface area.

james's picture

Hey, Line Magnetic...please make a phono stage to match the 518 and the gold series DAC!

MusicT's picture

Been running one of these for 18 months. I've not found the heat to be any issue at all - wondering if the reviewers are making good humor at the expense of accuracy. (i.e. I'm got a tan. ??) It does get warm but even in a small room, I've not found it bothersome.

Wonderful amp indeed. I picked this over PrimaLuna which I see you have rated as Class A in your annual roundup.

Patrick Raffin's picture

would you recommand an adress un Europe, in China, in America ?

piebia's picture

Dear All
I know that the new 508 has been released. did you have listened it?
How abaout the comparison with the 518 one matching with devore gibbon 3xl.

Thank you