Luxman PD121

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Luxman PD121

Postby Axel » Sun Apr 06, 2014 8:13 am

Vintage japanese audio remains full of surprises, even fourty years after the fact(s).

When doing the PD121 page a long long while ago (2007...), I always felt none too comfy linking directly the 121 with the Micro DD-10. But I had no info to be more specific or detailed. That is also why I never brought online the Yam' YP-1000 series as there was a piece of the puzzle I was missing.
Now I have that piece and the result is quite shocking, although, in the end, fairly normal if studying closely both Micro's and Luxman's contemporary output.

In 1974, Micro was at the dawn of its huge direct-drive program, huge in size, development and ambitions. Lux had so far sold (or rebadged) no turntables but wanted to.
Micro wasn't yet ready to develop high-end drives on its own and, so, in the meantime, called on Matushita to provide SP-10 motors for the DD-10 - the names even match (or match evenly).
It is when that was done that Lux called on Micro for the first time to develop something for them ; enter the PD121 which is based on the DD-10 and therefore inherits... the SP-10 motor.

Later on, given the success of the PD121, sales-wise, Lux demands a reengineering (the "Load-Free Spindle" system) ; Micro, the developer, provides that with a Nihon servo/PLL for the upcoming PD441 and PD444 and will adapt it as well later on the revised PD121A.

Later on, Micro goes on its own and makes the DD-100 / DDL-150 series - no need for Matsushita anymore !
However, as found through the years, Micro often used Matsushita motors which also found their way into the Kyocera turntables and it is no wonder since Kyocera was mainly developed by... ex-Luxman engineers.
The DAX-10A1PM / DAX-10A1CL set was used in the Lux PD555, the Micro SX-111FV, SX-777FV, the Ky PL-901 and the Ky PL-910 - and many others.
Hi-fi in japan was a small family :)

To come back to the PD121 and its SP-10 drive, it was also "imported" by Teac for its TN-400 (1973) and Yamaha for the YP-1000 (1975) and YP-1000II (1977).
This doesn't mean these DD TTs are all mere SP-10s in disguise, just that they use something their respective manufacturers couldn't or wouldn't develop on their own. And there are naturally variations in specifications, assembly, details, platters, associated circuits etc.

As always, it is a more simple yet more complex, almost tortuous a way to make components.... However, II, it worked, because by 1975, Japanese hi-fi had definitely taken over the EU and US markets.

See here :
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Re: Luxman PD121

Postby Shaggy_NL » Sun Apr 13, 2014 12:47 pm

I do play some years now happily with my PD121S, the original version that was delivered to The Netherlands and probably the whole of Europe. I never seen the 121A-version anywhere in the wild. The 441 is also quite rare, but that will be my only chance to get that Load-free Spindle in my reach.

Time to give mine a new MC cartridge soon and see what it does.
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