Luxman K-03

Luxman K-03W

October   1 9 8 4 october 1984
1 9 8 5 1985

Rare later sibling to the famed K-05 and K-04 recorders.
Rare however doesn't mean original so the K-03 also was fully made by Alpine like the bigger ones.

Most of the K-03 is identical to the K-04 but for the CTS automatic tape calibration and the absence of pitch control. It is in fact a K-04 without L/R EQ calibration, without pitch control, but with visual redesigns and reorganizations and added subsonic filter and demagnetizer functions.


The diecast zinc alloy GT Transport holds a closed-loop dual capstan drive ; the casting includes the two pairs of capstan bearings for perfect geometry between pinch-rollers, capstans and chassis (and tape).

Three motors make everything go round but mainly the capstan-dedicated brushless/slotless/coreless DC motor ; the other two deal with reel spooling and movements of the head stack.

Despite Luxman's call on 3-D head-to-tape contact, there is no azimuth control here : Luxman (ie. Alpine) just had the headstack designd, fixed and secured with micron precision so that azimuth, parallelism and contact position would be prerfect and remain unaltered through time and wear.

The record head is a 3-layer sendust laminate, the playback head is HIP (Hot Isostatic Press) ferrite and the erase head a sendust&ferrite combination with assymetric dual gap.


Calibration is entirely manual but aided in its quality with Duo-ß circuitry, dual-FET DC inputs, separate power supplies for each record, playback and Dolby sections, and separate PCBs for the amp and control circuits.

Grounding is fine-tuned with current regulations in each of its parts, and maintained immune from varying signal current.

Added as novelty, even if Luxman made such accessories for MC cartridges in the late 1970s, the demagnetier switch allows to degauss the playback head ; the operation lasts seven seconds.


Added but unseen anywhere is the K-03W : a wood-encased K-03.
If the casing is the same as those of the C-05 and M-05, it must be quite beautiful !

Luxman however seemingly offered the option but didn't actually build it beyond a few pre-production samples - very Sony ;-)

Luxman K-03, image 1 Luxman K-03, image 2 Luxman K-03, image 3
Luxman K-03 specifications
Title Value
Tape speed : 4,75cm/s
Heads : 1x 3-layer laminated sendust for record
1x Hot Isostatic Press ferrite for playback
1x dual-gap sendust & ferrite for erase
Motors : 1x DD-FG Servo core/brush/slotless DC for capstan
1x DC for reel drive
1x DC for head-housing lifter
Wow & flutter : 0,025% (JIS WRMS)
Frequency response : 20Hz...23Khz (Type IV)
20Hz...21Khz (Type IV, ± 3dB)
20Hz...21Khz (Type II)
20Hz...20Khz (Type II, ± 3dB)
20Hz...21Khz (Type I)
20Hz...20Khz (Type I, ± 3dB)
S/N ratio : 73dB / 67dB / 60dB (Type IV, Dolby C / B / off ; IEC-A)
73dB / 66dB / 58dB (Type II, Dolby C / B / off ; IEC-A)
71dB / 64dB / 56dB (Type I, Dolby C / B / off ; IEC-A)
THD : 1,3% (1Khz, 160nwb/m)
Real Analyzed distortion : 0,6% (1Khz, 160nwb/m)
Inputs : 150mV (line in)
Outputs : 540mV (line out)
50mW / 8 Ohm (headphones)
FF/Rew speed : 85s (C-60)
FF/Rew high speed : 50s (C-60)
Dimensions : 45,3 x 16,3 x 36,5cm (K-03)
Weight : 11,1kg (K-03)
11,4kg (K-03W)
List price : 178,000¥ (october 1984)
Luxman K-03 : 1 topic
(last updated topic shows up first)
  • Luxman K-03                             (5)last updated by lukas - 11/12/2010, 14H21
page online since : october 2010
page updated : not yet
page type : LGT / KNB
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