Observations on my new Luxman PD-171 A Turntable - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 21 Old 03-03-2019, 05:29 PM - Thread Starter
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Thumbs up Observations on my new Luxman PD-171 A Turntable

I've had this TT for over a week and it was all I thought it was. I ordered it on a Sunday and it came in on Tuesday. I'd say very quick service. The TT came in a triple box. You could put an Elephant on top and it wouldn't crush it. I wasn't able to pick up the TT till Friday due to work so the dealer prepped it for me. To save some money I swapped out my Dynavector 20XL2 L from my Linn to my Luxman. Unlike the Linn where you have to remove the arm to change the cart the Luxman has a removable head shell. Much easier. Instead of an outboard Lingo for speed accuracy Luxman has a strobe in a window that fine tunes the speed for both 33 and 45. Eliminates a box. The TT platter is around 15 lbs. But they have a great design. On either side of the platte are two screw in handles that help you lift the platter on the TT. Makes it very easy. By the way unlike many high end TT's you get a very nice dust cover and a light pole to line up your record. Has a cool factor w/the lights out. This is one solid well made TT. Weighs around 55 lbs when put together. Had to adjust my sub as the bottom was more pronounced. More detail in the strings excellent soundstage. Yeah I know It's $6900 but the fit and finish on this TT is incredible. They could have charged more and no one would have said a thing. I have officially left the Linn camp. I'll probably be excommunicated. This TT for me pushes all the right buttons. By the way Luxman is releasing a PD-151 for about $3800. One more plus no more felt record mat but a very thick rubber mat.

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post #2 of 21 Old 03-03-2019, 11:29 PM
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^^ I have a large problem with this post; It's far too short, needing at least 2000 more fluffy descriptive words and including 2 mentions of 'veils being lifted' and at least one of your SO rushing into the room exclaiming, 'my goodness, what heave you done to the system? It sounds incredible....'. No audiophile credibility at all otherwise.




<whispers conspiratorially> I'm glad you're enjoying it.

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post #3 of 21 Old 03-04-2019, 03:07 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by A9X-308 View Post
^^ I have a large problem with this post; It's far too short, needing at least 2000 more fluffy descriptive words and including 2 mentions of 'veils being lifted' and at least one of your SO rushing into the room exclaiming, 'my goodness, what heave you done to the system? It sounds incredible....'. No audiophile credibility at all otherwise.




<whispers conspiratorially> I'm glad you're enjoying it.
I'm a meat and potatoes guy. John Atkinson is retiring. Maybe I can get him to add a few fluffy descriptions.
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post #4 of 21 Old 03-04-2019, 07:11 AM
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The only thing I take exception to in the review, is the bold assertion that an elephant could stand on the box without crushing it.
I would have to see that demonstrated to believe in its veracity. Enjoy the new table.
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post #5 of 21 Old 03-04-2019, 09:52 AM - Thread Starter
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The only thing I take exception to in the review, is the bold assertion that an elephant could stand on the box without crushing it.
I would have to see that demonstrated to believe in its veracity. Enjoy the new table.
Well maybe a small replica of an Elephant. Also the new TT has improved my Air Guitar. I can now play note for note w/ Stevie Ray on my pretend guitar.
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post #6 of 21 Old 03-04-2019, 10:51 AM
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That turntable is beautiful. Maybe elegant is a better word. More importantly, I am delighted that it sounds as good as it looks, which is not surprising for a Luxman product.

You are going to be spoiled having a tonearm that utilizes a universal headshell. I like to switch phono cartridges as the mood dictates--I have six favorites at present--and a universal headshell with a pre-aligned cartridge installed makes substitutions a 1-2 minute process.

Enjoy!
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Music room: Cary SLI-80 tube integrated amplifier, McIntosh MA6500 integrated amplifier, Quad 99 preamp, Quad 909 power amp, Acoustic Research AR9 loudspeakers, Yamaha CD-N500 CD player, Teac UD-503 DSD DAC, Phase Linear 8000II linear-tracking turntable.
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post #7 of 21 Old 03-04-2019, 11:14 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Alex F. View Post
That turntable is beautiful. Maybe elegant is a better word. More importantly, I am delighted that it sounds as good as it looks, which is not surprising for a Luxman product.

You are going to be spoiled having a tonearm that utilizes a universal headshell. I like to switch phono cartridges as the mood dictates--I have six favorites at present--and a universal headshell with a pre-aligned cartridge installed makes substitutions a 1-2 minute process.

Enjoy!
My previous TT was a Linn Sondek and you had to remove the arm to put on a new cart. I also have one less box. I had a Lingo3 for 45 and 33 speed. The Luxman has a built in strobe w/speed dials to fine tune the rotation. Makes things easier. It's what I call smart design. Also there are quite a few TT's in this price range that don't come w/a quality dust cover.
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post #8 of 21 Old 03-04-2019, 12:27 PM
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Wow, $6900 for a turntable.
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Save your money.
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post #9 of 21 Old 03-04-2019, 01:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Out-Of-Phase View Post
Wow, $6900 for a turntable.
Got a good price for my Linn Sondek w/Lingo 3 power supply. Plus discount and no Sales tax in NH. Hey life is short and I went for the Brass Ring. Felt I deserved it.
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post #10 of 21 Old 03-04-2019, 02:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Out-Of-Phase View Post
Wow, $6900 for a turntable.
Yeah, but you do/don't get what you do/don't pay for with these. I would love to own this Luxman, but I don't see myself joining the "do pay for" ranks at this level any time soon. If I had the budget for it, this would probably be the first model I tried.
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post #11 of 21 Old 03-04-2019, 02:28 PM - Thread Starter
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Yeah, but you do/don't get what you do/don't pay for with these. I would love to own this Luxman, but I don't see myself joining the "do pay for" ranks at this level any time soon. If I had the budget for it, this would probably be the first model I tried.
I saved also had a rather large IRS return. Paid cash. It's nice when you can save and have no credit card debt. I am now at the point if I can't afford it I'll plan and save. At one time in my youth I had to have things right away. As a result I was around $15000 in credit card debt. Learned my lesson slowly paid it off and I've been debt free for a number of years. There was also was an emotional aspect to this as I was diagnosed as Cancer free after fighting it for two years. This was my victory prize.
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post #12 of 21 Old 03-06-2019, 02:10 PM
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Congrats!

Ooh, that's pretty:
http://www.luxman.com/product/detail.php?id=25

I hadn't heard much of Luxman, but I found a vintage one a couple of months ago.

FWIW, mine's a Luxman P-405...
https://www.vinylengine.com/library/luxman/p-405.shtml

Nowhere near as nice as yours, with 30 years of wear and scratches. I almost forgot about it until I saw this thread. But even though it cost 99% less than yours, I'm still excited to give it a spin.

EDIT: Well dang. I don't want to hijack your thread, but the headshell I need for the Luxman is completely different than the headshells I have. It's very close to my harman/kardon headshell (a center hole surrounded by a circle of 6 more holes, with visible connections for the cartridge wires in the top 2 and bottom 2 holes, and a flat spot on the top outer edge)... BUT, the h/k headshell and the Luxman tonearm are both females...


Yikes... a quick ebay search shows 6 Luxman head shells, all outside US and between $130-$174. Oh well, obviously some more research is due. But that's half the fun.
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post #13 of 21 Old 03-06-2019, 05:30 PM - Thread Starter
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Congrats!

Ooh, that's pretty:
http://www.luxman.com/product/detail.php?id=25

I hadn't heard much of Luxman, but I found a vintage one a couple of months ago.

FWIW, mine's a Luxman P-405...
https://www.vinylengine.com/library/luxman/p-405.shtml

Nowhere near as nice as yours, with 30 years of wear and scratches. I almost forgot about it until I saw this thread. But even though it cost 99% less than yours, I'm still excited to give it a spin.

EDIT: Well dang. I don't want to hijack your thread, but the headshell I need for the Luxman is completely different than the headshells I have. It's very close to my harman/kardon headshell (a center hole surrounded by a circle of 6 more holes, with visible connections for the cartridge wires in the top 2 and bottom 2 holes, and a flat spot on the top outer edge)... BUT, the h/k headshell and the Luxman tonearm are both females...


Yikes... a quick ebay search shows 6 Luxman head shells, all outside US and between $130-$174. Oh well, obviously some more research is due. But that's half the fun.
Thanks for posting a picture of my TT. I'm a real computer geek and don't know how to do that function. Looking at your Luxman it has some resemblance to mine. Their gear is well made and on the expensive side but not crazy expensive. Hope you get a new cart on your TT. I'm curious for you to tell us how it sounds. I have a Luxman CL38U-SE tube preamp hooked up to this TT. Looks like the old Marantz 7. The internal preamp has 3 12ax tubes w/4 step up transformers 2 for MC High and 2 for MC Low. Very quiet.
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post #14 of 21 Old 03-22-2019, 02:23 PM
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Hope you get a new cart on your TT. I'm curious for you to tell us how it sounds.
I finally found a headshell for my vintage Luxman so I installed a cartridge and swapped out my turntable today:


I'm not an equipment connoisseur, I just enjoy listening. I appreciate the sound that comes from what I have and I welcome opportunities to try something that might sound even better.
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post #15 of 21 Old 03-22-2019, 04:11 PM - Thread Starter
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I finally found a headshell for my vintage Luxman so I installed a cartridge and swapped out my turntable today:


I'm not an equipment connoisseur, I just enjoy listening. I appreciate the sound that comes from what I have and I welcome opportunities to try something that might sound even better.
Fantastic enjoy the tunes.
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post #16 of 21 Old 03-22-2019, 07:34 PM
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Congrats on your new spinner.
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post #17 of 21 Old 03-23-2019, 02:29 PM
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A heads up for people looking for extra headshells at a good price: Sometimes you''ll find if you have an upscale model there are lower tier units which use the same headshell. Then look for those TTs on ebay, etc., being sold for dirt cheap "as -is/ for parts only" because, for one common example with TTs, they have smashed/scratched dust covers or other serious flaws so the seller has to let them go for cheap. Even though you only need the head shell it may still cost less plus you have other parts (belt, etc.) should you need 'em down the line.

Sorry, I don't know much about Luxman [I sold the related company Alpine decades ago though] so this may not apply if there are no lower end units.

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post #18 of 21 Old 03-24-2019, 05:26 AM - Thread Starter
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A heads up for people looking for extra headshells at a good price: Sometimes you''ll find if you have an upscale model there are lower tier units which use the same headshell. Then look for those TTs on ebay, etc., being sold for dirt cheap "as -is/ for parts only" because, for one common example with TTs, they have smashed/scratched dust covers or other serious flaws so the seller has to let them go for cheap. Even though you only need the head shell it may still cost less plus you have other parts (belt, etc.) should you need 'em down the line.

Sorry, I don't know much about Luxman [I sold the related company Alpine decades ago though] so this may not apply if there are no lower end units.
Description of the tonearm is a static balance. What does that mean? The Headshell on this arm is made of very light magnesium metal. Very easy to work with.
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post #19 of 21 Old 03-24-2019, 10:59 AM
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Description of the tonearm is a static balance. What does that mean? The Headshell on this arm is made of very light magnesium metal. Very easy to work with.
A good headshell should be super rigid and inflexible yet super light weight. Its job is to hold the stylus in the exact correct position, so it can do its job accurately, rather than bend or contort when lateral or vertical forces are applied to it such as record warps or other anomalies. Even tiny microscopic flexes or bends can cause audible distortions in the playback. The actual material they use is less important than how well they designed it.

First a quick refresher course on levers, which is what a tonearm is:

I can't guarantee what they mean by "static", because some companies vary, but generally speaking the tracking force, the downward push into the grooves, is applied with one of the following:

A. electromagnetic force (an electromagnet)
B. a spring
C. a slightly skewed balance where rather than placing the fulcrum (the pivot point) where there is neither an upwards nor downwards force [so the arm sort of floats around freely as if it is in outer space and experiencing zero gravity] instead one side has more weight than the other, so that heavier side pushes downward into the grooves.

"C" is generally the most common.

Static balance (usually) means C, and that by moving the counter weight forwards or backward you can achieve a point where there is no downwards force nor upwards force. Sort of like having two identical twins [of identical weight] on a child's seesaw. But if you give one of the twins a bowling ball to hold they will then swing the seesaw so they push towards the ground. [The ground in this scenario is the record grooves, of course.] This is the "tracking force" used by most companies.

Here's a visual slide from my AR-XA turntable video (which got slightly modified once it hit the video), explaining why the best kind of static balance is not "unstable", nor "stable" (common in tonearms), but rather neutral :


What makes starting off with a neutral balance arm better [before the tracking force is then applied to one side so it sinks into the grooves] is if the arm rises or falls due to a surface warp (bumps/dips) the tracking force does not vary at all, whereas with the more common "stable" balance method used by others it will alter the force depending on where the lever is, up high off the record surface or down closer to it.

A side benefit of neutral balanced tonearms is the tracking force also does not vary if you move the turntable to a new shelf which is on a tilted surface, whereas with the more common stable balance variety you need to re-calibrate the tone arm tacking force every time you move your turntable to a new, less than perfectly level shelf.
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post #20 of 21 Old 03-24-2019, 11:21 AM
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P.S. I have not seen one up close but from what images I have found on the web it would appear that the designers of the Luxman arm were also going for "neutral", so that's good, but this whole concept is not super duper critical.

For people without any warped records and who never plan on moving their turntable to a new shelf that's not level, without having to re-do the whole tracking force procedure, it doesn't much matter at all.
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post #21 of 21 Old 03-24-2019, 12:17 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by m. zillch View Post
P.S. I have not seen one up close but from what images I have found on the web it would appear that the designers of the Luxman arm were also going for "neutral", so that's good, but this whole concept is not super duper critical.

For people without any warped records and who never plan on moving their turntable to a new shelf that's not level, without having to re-do the whole tracking force procedure, it doesn't much matter at all.
Thanks for the info. My impression so far this is a well designed TT. Nothing exotic. Just a well thought out build w/quality parts.
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