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Luxman PD-191A Turntable

Luxman PD-191A Turntable

hfnoutstandingFew manufacturers can match Luxman on the subject of mixing conventional engineering values with timeless class, and the brand new PD-191A flagship is an exemplar of the artwork

There is a coterie of Japanese manufacturers whose merchandise by no means fail to thrill. Along with Air Tight, Denon, SAEC, Stax and a smattering of different high-end producers, Luxman has supplied gem after gem, from valve amps of simple desirability to nice turntables. Luxman’s newest flagship deck, the PD-191A, honours the model’s conventional mixture of beguiling sound, superior construct high quality and beautiful seems to be.

At £11,000, it must be simply that: beguiling. In the UK, that worth consists of the mud cowl, an elective additional elsewhere. I do not know the way far more they cost, say, the French, however as a UK spokesperson advised me, ‘UK prospects anticipate a lid’. If you want to full the ensemble with Luxman’s £2000 LMC-5 MC cartridge then there is a additional £500 saving available. Our deck was equipped sans pick-up…

Open Arms

Luxman is not absolutist about these choices or, certainly, the reasonably pleasant arm, because the literature reveals arm boards for Ikeda, SME, Fidelity Research, SAEC and Ortofon tonearms, a clean for drilling for different mounts, and even a plate for 12in SME arms. I’m unsure what number of prospects would go for others, although, as Luxman’s new LTA-710 arm – co-developed with SAEC – is a dream to make use of if, like me, you don’t have any beef with removable headshells.

This arm is a knife-edge bearing design that appears like a twenty first century restyling of EMT/Thorens arms of yore with a cylindrical hub. Its efficient size is 10in, and it comes with an overhang gauge that is a doddle to make use of. You place it over the spindle, pointing towards the pivot level, and a spot within the grid on the gauge reveals you the place the stylus must be.

Anti-skating and stylus stress are each of tried-and-tested strategies. The former makes use of a dangling weight on a nylon thread, the latter is balanced by setting the arm to drift. Position the freely rotating scale to 0, after which dial within the monitoring drive with the counterweight.

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Top-down view highlights the rotary and begin/cease controls plus SAEC-built tonearm, with vertical knife-edge bearing and removable alloy headshell. DC motor and PSU are mounted on the turntable’s rubber-damped base plate

Luxman doesn’t observe present observe by becoming phono sockets in the back of the PD-191A, à la Thorens, Pro-Ject, and so on, as a result of it makes use of a DIN-type connector straight into the arm base. Cable fetishists might, I suppose, play with different cables, however the different motive is to facilitate third-party arms with their very own captive or plug-in cables.

If you are questioning the place the remainder of the £11k is available in then excessive mass supplies a part of the reply. The deck weighs 26.4kg together with mud cowl, and has a 491x393mm (wd) footprint. The platter alone is 5kg, so Luxman provides ‘keys’ that screw in for becoming or eradicating. Fortunately, the belt goes across the circumference, so that you’re spared the trial of fidgeting with a belt below the platter – and the standard bathe of curses.

Simple Setup

Protecting the pulley is a plate on 4 legs that merely presses into place as soon as the belt is fitted. The solely different factor of setup for the PD-191A is including the rubber mat and levelling the chassis through its 4 adjustable toes. AC mains enters through an IEC socket on the again, one other alternative for cable devotees to experiment. One may additionally mess around with headshells that use the Ortofon/SME bayonet, however the one Luxman provides is a fantastic factor product of aluminium, with OFC wires.

Operation, too, is simple, such that seasoned audiophiles will solely actually need to look at the proprietor’s guide – the most effective I’ve seen, by the best way – for the arm’s specifics. A major on/off button on the excessive left supplies energy, whereas the bigger press button to its proper begins and stops the turntable.

Next to it’s the rotary, which selects 33, 45 or 78rpm. Then comes a window for viewing the strobe, which is used along side the three rotary controls to its proper to offer fantastic adjustment for every of the three speeds. The velocity accuracy was spectacular, confirming PM‘s statement that the deck supplies ‘direct-drive customary’ low-rate velocity stability.

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Any terror related to organising high-end turntables has been obviated by the clear, coherent and smart design of the PD-191A. I had it up and operating in quarter-hour, and most of that was coping with the cartridges, together with the aged Tsurugi, Kiseki Blue NS [HFN Jul ’18] and Koetsu Urushi Vermillion [HFN Nov ’19] MCs. What all three exhibited through this Luxman deck was a heightened sense of precision that by some means managed to not strip these cartridges of their inherent heat.

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March 25, 2024 at 11:26PM

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