Luxman America has introduced the PD-191A analog player, which incorporates an all-new tonearm, drive system, record mat, and PWM/PID rotation speed controller. Other key features include Luxman’s underslung chassis design with 15mm aluminum top plate and a 5.2 kg aluminum platter. The PD-191A received its Japan-market debut in September and is now available for pre-order in North America at a suggested retail price of $12,495.
New LTA-710 Tonearm
To trace the finest details of the record groove, the new tonearm features a vertical knife-edge bearing that delivers excellent initial sensitivity. An effective length of 10 inches (256 mm) not only minimizes tracking error, but also improves damping against surface vibration. Tracking error is held to +1.07 degrees to –1.52 degrees. In addition, this static balance arm features adjustable anti-skating and up to 22mm of height adjustment, allowing for a wide range of phono cartridges to be utilized. The supplied Luxman universal headshell features D.U.C.C. (Dia Ultra Crystallized Copper) wiring, with long copper grains for superb conductivity.
While the PD-191A offers the convenience of an all-in-one player with integrated tonearm, Luxman anticipates that demanding music lovers may also want to use the turntable with other tonearms. For this reason, the company will introduce accessory bases for third-party 9- to 10-inch tonearms and an external second tonearm base for long 12-inch arms, starting with the classic SME-3012.
Ultra-Stable Drive System
In vinyl playback, even subtle platter speed variations cause musical pitch to waver, undermining clarity. To fight this, the PD-191A goes to extraordinary lengths to maintain constant platter speed. Luxman’s unique sine wave/Pulse Width Modulation power supply provides ultra-stable direct current to the DC brushless motor. This turntable maintains correct speed via sophisticated Proportional-Integral-Differential (PID) control and programming. A high-performance reference clock for speed correction, using a MEMS (micro-electro-mechanical system) oscillator, with excellent temperature characteristics, is deployed. The motor drives the outside flange of the platter through a new belt that is not only uncommonly wide, but also offers long service life thanks to new EPDM belt material.
The final guarantor of rotational stability is the 5.2 kg (11.4 pound) platter itself. The platter acts as a flywheel with extremely high moment of inertia, 0.7 t·cm2, to suppress even minuscule speed variations. A platter this heavy requires bearings capable of sustaining extremely high pressure. Luxman engineers specified polyether ether ketone (PEEK) thrust bearings and brass radial bearings for smooth rotation and long life. As a result of these exhaustive measures, wow & flutter is less than 0.04 percent, weighted RMS.
Because phono cartridges operate by converting motion into voltage, they’re particularly vulnerable to microphonics — voltages caused by the impact of sound waves. The cartridge simply cannot distinguish between the desired motion of tracing the record groove and unwanted microphonic motion. Luxman engineers implemented a rigorous strategy to protect the music from microphonics. It begins with large, rubber isolator feet, carefully selected for damping and excellent temperature characteristics. Each isolator offers independent height adjustment. Next, the PD-191A incorporates an underslung suspension structure in which the main electrical and bearing components are attached to the 15mm thick aluminum alloy top plate, which succeeds in achieving both high rigidity and damping performance. Inside the player, special rubber damping mounts isolate the chassis from two internal sources of potential vibration: the motor and power transformer, which are in turn mounted on a 3.2mm metal bottom panel. To provide a final level of protection, the PD-191A offers a vibration-absorbing special rubber record mat.
Styling and Other Features
The PD-191A embodies Luxman’s signature craftsmanship with exemplary fit and finish. The aluminum platter is precision machined, which results in an elegant diamond-cut visual pattern. The rosewood finished base contrasts with the hairline aluminum top panel, which has a strobe window and separate speed adjustments for 33-1/3, 45, and 78 rpm. Other features include a 16mm, large-diameter center spindle and supplied EP adaptor, plus detachable output and IEC power cables so that owners can substitute or upgrade to aftermarket cables. The gold-plated AC power input is turned 180 degrees to better support extra-heavy cables. An optional acrylic dust cover is 4mm thick and incorporates spring and cam support hinges.
For more information, visit luxman.com.