Luxman PD555

Luxman PD555LSE

1 9 8 0 march 1980
1 9 8 3 1983

Luxman's biggest, most lavish, wide and beautiful LP turntable, inaugurating the VDS system (Vacuum Disc Stabilizer) that would be carried on to a few more lodgeable models until the mid 1980s.

Like most other "ultra" turntables launched when the background noise about DAD was becoming quite loud and persistant, the PD555 made more of a lasting impression outside its homeland.

The PD555 sold rather poorly in Japan and wasn't even advertised at all - a fate very different from the earlier PD444 and its PD441 single-tonearm version which sold very well and with minimal advertising, too.

Kenwood L-07D, Lo-D TU-1000, Marantz Tt 1000, Onkyo PX-100M, Nakamichi Dragon CT and TX-1000 are some of those ultimate 1979-1981 super-spinners which made an appearance or two and... vanished.

Pioneer in Japan had cornered the market with its Exclusive P3 and PL-70L series much before PCM & DAD really came center stage. And since almost everybody else seemed to have a Technics SP-10MK2... out went the PD555, barely noticed.

Also, and that might have something to do with it, previsibly, this was mostly Micro Seiki engineering - something which was far more obvious to japanese audiophiles than us. They after all had the Micro lineups available in enormous quantities and with the knowledge this brings : too close to Micro to be worth not buying... Micro.

The 555 and 555LSE all bear in one way or another their part-Micro origins on their T-tags which are either MITO or MTC - with a LUX T-tag sometimes added to keep the traditional Lux confusion state.

For the PD-555, however, the main brushless DC motor came from Matsushita ; the very same motor was also powering the Micro SX-111FV : DAX-10A1PM.
For the later PD-300, some came from Pioneer (the main DC motor, again) - hi-fi in Japan was a big happy family :)

Anyway -
Unlike the earlier PD444, the PD555 is a belt drive turntable - 4 seconds are necessary for the 8,5kg platter to reach its full speed ahead... But you can play your old 78 rpm, too, on a 555 !

The VDS feature works with the VS555 pump which sucks the air off through the platter and under the record ; an "auto-VDS" function allows to start the pump automatically when the PD555 is switched on.

As the air chambers have to be continuous from sub-platter to platter, the main bearing is displaced to the top of the sub-platter ; the main air intake is where the bearing would normally be : at the bottom of the shaft.
The 555 can however be used sans VS-555 pump, in which case the built-in manometer remains useless and a special PM-2 mat could be gotten, sans slits for the air to pass through.

The zinc armboards are fastened by a single clutch, allowing to swap arms in a jiffy and without headaches ; overhang rulers are engraved next to them, too.
The base is a mix of diecast and extruded aluminium, an iron plate and a thick laminated wood slab. The tall and all-metal isolation feet mix silicon grease, neoprene rubber and a spring.

Pitch controls for each of the three speeds are located in a box under the main base ; these controls however have no fixed detent positions so the stroboscope is there to help Elizabeth Schwarzkopf sing exactly like Elizabeth Schwarzkopf. They also act on a very narrow range of ± 2,5% only.

Alongwith the normal PD555, Luxman produced fifty-five champagne colored PD555 Limited Special Edition (LSE) for its 55th anniversary. Fifteen of those were delivered in Germany - where are they now ?

Serial numbers are "G0900xxx" for the 555 and "D1920xxx" (JP) or "C1920xxx" (EU) for the 555LSE ; the respective VS555 serials follow the same scheme.

Luxman PD555, image 1 Luxman PD555, image 2 Luxman PD555, image 3
Luxman PD555 specifications
Title Value
Drive system : belt
Motor : Brushless DC-Servo
Main platter : diecast aluminium
30cm / 8,5kg
Speeds : 33 1/3 / 45 / 78rpm
S/N ratio : > 82dB
(Thorens Messkopler)
Wow & flutter : < 0,03%
Inertia moment : 1,2t / cm2
Torque : ?
Temperature drift : ?
Turning accuracy : ?
Pitch control : ± 2,5% (each speed separately)
Full speed ahead : < 4 seconds (33 1/3rpm)
Full stop : < 18 seconds (33 1/3 rm)
Arm bases : 2 detachable, zinc diecast
Tonearm switch : T1 & T2, interchangeable
PC : 20W (PD555)
70W (VS555)
Dimensions : 66,4 x 39,2 x 17,5cm (PD555)
10,2 x 51,2 x 15,4cm (VS555)
Weight : 26,5kg (PD555)
7,0kg (VS555)
List price : 7500DM (PD555 + VS555, DE'80)
330,000¥ (PD555, JP'80)
120,000¥ (VS555, JP'80)
Optional : DP-3 disc pad
Armboards Armboards
TP-X blank board (3,000¥)
TP-SG (2,000¥), for :
Grace G545F / G840F / G707 / G709F
Grace G860F / G860FB / G960 / G565F
Denon DA-305 / DA-307 / DA309 / DA-308 / DA-401
Audio Craft AC300C / AC400C / AC300A / AC400A
AudioTechnica AT1005II
TP-MT (2,000¥), for :
Grace G704 / G714
Micro MA505 / MA505LX / MA707X
Micro MA77mkII / MA101mkII / MA303
Fidelity-Research FR64 / FR64S
Fidelity-Research FR66 / FR14 / FR12
AudioCraft AC300mkII / AC400mkII
SAEC WE308 / WE308SX
Stax UA7 / UA70 / UA3
Ortofon RMG212 / RMG309 / RF297
TP-LH (2,000¥), for :
Fidelity-Research FR-66S
AudioCraft AC-3000MC / AC4000MC
Technics EPA-100
TP-LS (2,000¥), for :
SME 3009SII / 3009SIII / 3012
Luxman PD555 : 1 topic
(last updated topic shows up first)
  • Luxman PD121                             (2)last updated by Shaggy_NL - 13/04/2014, 14H47
page online since : august 2005
page updated : march 2010
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