There's a reason Luxman branded PD-151 an "analog player" rather than a turntable. The name reflects the extreme lengths the famed audiophile company went to ensure this premium Japanese-made component addresses the shortcomings that plague even high-end turntables – an approach that effectively places PD-151 in a category of its own. Devised to preserve all the delicate beauty inherent to vinyl playback while offering 33, 45, and 78RPM options, the belt-drive analog player acts to prevent the slight variations in speed that blur pitch and cause veiling; defeat the vibrations that stem from turning up the volume and cause cartridges and other internal parts to transmit ruinous resonance; and ensure optimally smooth rotation, stability, and damping.
You could say that such obsessiveness is overkill – unnecessary, even. But then, when you place an LP on PD-151, lower the tonearm, and listen to the level of heightened clarity, detail, tonality, balance, dynamics, and solidity that immediately becomes apparent, you realize the logic and practicality of Luxman's pursuits. The rationale can also be seen in the ‘table's elegantly Spartan exterior architecture. Bundled with a virtually indestructible and 4mm-thick dust cover to afford priceless protection, PD-151 keeps indicator lights and buttons down to a minimum, with the front panel displaying controls only for power, on/off, and speed. Three recessed set-screws enable independent pitch fine-tuning for each speed while guarding against accidental mis-adjustment.
Indeed, each and every part of PD-151 is hand-selected to work towards one goal: Astonishingly transparent music reproduction. For starters, there's the ravishing drive system. A sine wave/Pulse Width Modulation power supply provides ultra-stable direct current to a DC brushless motor, a high-torque design that continually monitors and maintains speed with a Proportional-Integrated-Drive feedback control loop. Not to be outdone, an 8.8-pound machined aluminum platter serves as a flywheel replete with very high moment of inertia. Luxman-specified polyether ether ketone (PEEK) thrust bearings and brass radial bearings promise steadiness and longevity – as well as phenomenal stability and a wow and flutter rating of less than 0.04%.
To rid microphonics and suppress unwanted noise, an anti-resonant chassis complete with large, rubber isolation feet that supply 0.375-inch of independent height adjustment work with a nearly half-inch-thick machined aluminum top plate that itself suspends an underslung chassis for more weight and absorption. Inside PD-151, more rubber damping mounts isolate the chassis from the motor and power transformer.
Add to the aforementioned features a seven-inch, S-shaped Jelco tonearm with one-point-cross suspension, oxygen-free copper wiring, anti-skate adjustment, counterweight, cuing lever, and lightweight magnesium alloy headshell – as well as a high-precision stainless-steel center spindle, EP adaptor, inert turntable slip-sheet, and detachable output and IEC power cables – and PD-151 aces all analog parameters from top to bottom, back to front. Luxman's superior craftsmanship and three-year warranty and our 100% Music Direct Satisfaction Guarantee put it over the top.
"A word that you rarely hear in high-end audio is 'fun.' But that's exactly what the PD-151 offers instead of audiophile angst. It does exactly what it promises, so painlessly that it will make you question the hoops through which most hardware makes us leap."
– Ken Kessler, Hi-Fi News, Highly Commended review
Proprietary Brushless DC Motor
The purity of musical pitch depends entirely on the stability of platter rotation. That's why Luxman engineers went to extraordinary lengths. It starts with a unique sine wave/Pulse Width Modulation power supply, which provides ultra-stable direct current to the proprietary DC brushless motor. The result of years of development, the high-torque motor incorporates low-noise acoustic bearings and an optimized number of coil turns. The drive system monitors and maintains speed with a Proportional-Integral-Derivative (PID) feedback control loop. Proportional means quick achievement of target speed. Integral means fast correction of minor errors. And differential means control over rapid fluctuations. For added precision, the motor drives the outside flange of the platter through an uncommonly wide belt.
Machined Aluminum Platter and Stainless-Steel Spindle
After going to extremes on the power supply, drive motor, and belt, Luxman engineers were determined to optimize the last guarantor of stable speed: the platter itself. The 4.0kg platter acts as a flywheel with extremely high moment of inertia, 21.9N-cm2, to suppress even minuscule speed variations. A platter this heavy requires bearings capable of sustaining extremely high pressure. Enter Luxman-specified polyether ether ketone (PEEK) thrust bearings and a brass radial bearing filled with organic molybdenum oil for effortlessly smooth rotation and long life. These exhaustive measures require time, attention, and cost. But they pay off in exceptionally stable platter rotation. Conservatively rated, wow and flutter is less than 0.04%, weighted RMS. In this way, PD-151 delivers music with uncommon clarity.