New from Japanese high-end audio specialist Luxman is a top-of-the-range turntable. According to the manufacturer, the PD-191A blends timeless style, build quality, exemplary engineering, effortless operation “and a sound that cuts to the heart of the music like a legendary samurai swordsman”.

The PD-191A’s newly developed, original tonearm, with high initial sensitivity, uses a knife-edge vertical bearing system to realise those sensitive movements that make up the finest nuances of a musical moment. Combining a silent and refined DC motor belt-drive system supported by a robust power supply; PD-191A offers a high-fidelity listening experience.

Specially developed for the PD-191A is our LTA-710 static balanced tonearm which employs knife-edge bearing technology for initial movement sensitivity. A joint development with the audio brand SAEC, who have been designing tonearms for more than 40 years, the LTA-710 brings many highly regarded technologies to the Luxman turntable family. 

A fully-fledged original arm design that required two and half years to develop. By setting the effective arm length to 10 inches, tracking errors are further suppressed and resistance to vinyl surface vibration effects is enhanced. Even the gentlest of musical signals picked up by the phono cartridge from the grooves on the record are reproduced faithfully. 

In addition, the LTA-710 supports detailed settings such as stylus pressure, anti-skating, height adjustment according to the cartridge to be installed, etc., which is possible only because the tone arm is assembled with high mechanical precision to thoroughly maintain playback fidelity.

The drive motor is one fundamental component of a belt-drive analogue player where powerful and stable platter rotation is of paramount importance. The PD-191A features an original, high-precision, high-torque, brushless DC motor supported by a float-mounted, highly stable and fully regulated large-capacity power transformer that has been upgraded to higher specifications for today’s favoured high-mass platters. 

The manufacturer’s sine wave PWM/PID rotation speed control programming achieves constant and accurate rotation control under various demands and a high-performance reference clock for speed correction, using a MEMS oscillator with excellent temperature characteristics, is deployed. As a result, precise speeds and quiet platter drive are assured.

The platter chosen for the PD-191A is a 35mm-thick, 5.2kg heavyweight disk, machined from a single, extremely thick aluminium billet, precisely diamond cut and finished to exact surfaces which beautifully reflect light. 

The platter acts as a flywheel with a huge moment of inertia of 0.7t·cm2 , delivering smooth and confident rotation. The spindle supporting the platter boasts high-rigidity specifications with its high-tensile strength stainless steel shaft (diameter 16mm) and a customised bearing support system. 

This structure combines a PEEK thrust bearing, with heat resistance and wear resilience to a matched brass radial bearing filled with organic molybdenum oil that maintains stable lubrication even under high loads while firmly supporting the platter. The motor’s energy is transferred to the platter via an EPDM drive belt that is resistant to ageing and accurately supports the high-torque brushless DC motor output without loss.

The PD-191A sports a rosewood-stained, solid natural wood front panel with a glossy finish, contrasting with the finely hairline-treated aluminium top panel. In addition, by offsetting the mounting of the motor inside the lower chassis, the manufacturer realised a stylish, low centre of gravity form with a total height 12mm lower than the earlier PD-171A. 

Sold separately is an available and highly recommended purpose-built 4mm thick acrylic dust cover equipped with cam/spring supporting hinges for easy opening and smooth closure.

The underslung suspension structure, in which the main components are attached to a 15mm thick aluminium plate, achieves both high rigidity and damping performance. Also, by mounting the motor drive system and power transformer on an extra thick bottom plate, insulated with damping rubber, delicate signal pickup is protected from external vibrations, greatly improving the mechanical S/N ratio (rumble) and feedback resistance.

The PD-191A supports three rotation speeds, 33 1/3, 45 and 78 RPM. To visualise the rotation speed, Luxman has adopted a reflected LED stroboscope, which was well received with the earlier PD-171 series. The new strobe reflecting strip pattern has enhanced visibility and, by utilising a dedicated control for each individual rotation speed, more reliable and precise rotation speed adjustments are possible.

In order to maintain horizontal alignment, the PD-191A incorporates special damping rubber with impressive temperature characteristics and resistance to long-term deterioration into Luxman’s originally designed, large-diameter insulator legs that can each be level adjusted up to 5mm in height to prevent the transmission of feedback and external vibrations.

Luxman’s original lightweight aluminium headshell bearing the Luxman logo has unique specifications and features D.U.C.C. conductors for the lead wires. An aluminium EP adapter and a standard 5Pin (DIN type) to RCA phono cable using audio grade OFC wire are also included. Aftermarket cable replacement upgrades are possible.

The AC inlet is gold-plated to reduce contact resistance and the entire terminal has been improved and reverse mounted in order to support a heavyweight AC cable.

By making the arm base independent, it is easy to install various tonearms (9 to 10 inches) from different manufacturers (separately sold tone arm bases are common for the PD-171A/AL). At the rear of the main unit, an external arm base that supports a 12-inch tonearm (initially designed for the SME 3012) is also available (sold separately) to expand your enjoyment of vinyl record playback.

The Luxman PD-191A turntable is available now at an RRP of £11,000 including tonearm and dust cover. 

Luxman’s LMC-5 cartridge can be included for an additional £1,500 – a saving of £500.

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