Luxman PD-264 Direct-Drive Turntable Service and Repair

The beautiful and elegant Luxman PD-264 direct-drive turntable is delightfully different, in the way Luxman gear often is. This deck would make a wonderful turntable for someone looking to upgrade from a belt-drive or cheaper direct-drive machine.

The Luxman PD-264 is a deck you see often here in Ausytralia. It was sold at an affordable price, when the market was very competative and Luxman were a heavy hitter. There is much to love about this elegant, understated machine.

The Deck:

The Luxman PD-264 comes with a really nice low-mass tonearm, quality direct-drive motor and balanced platter, in a slimline chassis, with a hint of wood trim and great vintage look. The platter is heavy, meaning high inertia, which is a good thing. With much of the platter weight distributed around the outer section, excellent wow & flutter characteristics and stable rotation are the result.

The tonearm is a straight design to reduce resonance, something which tends to be found on tonearms designed for high-compliance type cartridges. The root section of the tonearm is of double-pipe structure, to further reduce resonance. A knife-edge bearing is employed for the pivot and the head-shell is integrated into the tonearm, further suppressing resonance.

Speed control is via a toggle switch and a strobe is provided, for trimming the speed to precisely 33.3 or 45 RPM. The PD-264 is generally a very reliable deck and requires little maintenance, other than lubrication, cleaning and tweaking of tonearm and cartridge alignment.

A key feature of the PD-264 is the automatic end of disc arm lift function. When disc playback finishes, the tonearm automatically lifts and the platter comes to a stop. This function helps prevent unnecessary stylus wear. The strobe on this deck is provided by LEDs which enable a clearer strobe indication than is common at this pricepoint.

This particular PD-264 had a problem with the mechanical tonearm lift switch, which was sticking and not stopping the player at the end of a record. These mechanical switches can become sticky over time because the lubricant inside them dries out. I usually find them easy to repair with careful cleaning and lubrication. Other than that, this great little deck needed nothing more than a service, clean and for the cartridge and tonearm to be set-up correctly.

For those interested, here are a few specifications:

Type: auto-lift record player
Drive method: direct drive
Motor: DC servo brushless
Platter: 1.8kg, 300mm aluminium die-cast
Speeds: 33 and 45rpm
Signal to noise ratio: 60dB
Wow and flutter: 0.035% wrms
Tonearm: static balance type
Effective length: 240mm
Overhang: 15mm
Cartridge weight range: 4 to 11g
Dimensions: 438 x 125 x 365mm
Weight: 8kg

You can read a little more about the Luxman PD-264 here, at the Vinyl Engine.

_DSC6179
Chassis, with platter removed, showing strobe and speed controls to the lower left.

 

_DSC6180
Close-up of the knife-edge tonearm bearings and mechanically actuated stop switch, with wire actuator sticking out if you look carefully to the left.

 

_DSC6186
More detail on the tonearm, the wire actuator is where I spent a little time, working some lubricant into the mechanism there, to free it up and then slightly adjusting the angle of the wire piece, to cause the arm to lift at the correct point.

 

_DSC6181
Minimalist head-shell, here with Ortofon OM series cart fitted.

 

_DSC6182
LED strobe illumination and mirror

 

_DSC6183
Rotor, to the top, and stator, with windings

 

_DSC6184
Vinyl covered chipboard chassis reveals the pricing of the deck, but this machine is very nicely made. Compared to cheaper Regas, Duals, etc, there is nothing to discuss, the PD-264 wins, period.

 

_DSC6187
Final alignment and she is good to go!

 

_DSC6188
Love the thick, heavy platter

13 thoughts on “Luxman PD-264 Direct-Drive Turntable Service and Repair”

    1. No idea mate. I do know that there are only a couple of us in the whole country doing this stuff properly, sorry it’s not much help over there in Brisbane!

  1. Hi Mike, my PD-264 seems to be slowing down. Even when I turn the speed adjustment to the highest setting it sounds slow, and the strobe indicator doesn’t make any sense – the deck is way too slow when the 50Hz light is stable. I’m hoping there is an easy fix, like lubrication?

    1. Hi Hamish, could be an easy fix or something that takes a little longer to troubleshoot. There’s no way to tell without looking at the deck unfortunately, but a thorough service should sort her out. If you do decide to lubricate or clean anything, be very careful what you use. Almost nothing that is readily available in retail world is of any use, most causing more problems than they solve. If you have the right products and technical skill then go for it, otherwise I strongly suggest you take her to someone who specializes in this sort of work!

  2. Hi, not sure if this is the appropriate place, however, any idea where I can source a spare part for my PD264 tone arm?

    1. Hi John, there are no new spares available, only secondhand parts. Often best to pick up a spare deck or non-functional unit for spares. I have some parts but I keep these for decks I repair. Cheers, Mike

  3. Thanks for the post and pics. I have this turntable and like it a lot but have mixed feelings about the tone arm. The mechanism feels very light/sensitive and kind of unstable. Just doesn’t feel as solid as other tonearms I’ve own, including light weight carbon arms. I find myself losing control of it and dropping the stylus on records more than I wold like. Do you know if the tonearm is replaceable with other Luxman or aftermarket models? If so, would this provide any appreciable benefit?

    Also, do you know if the head shell is interchangeable? If so, mine is difficult to remove and it’s kind of a hassle to change out carts.

    One other thing I notice about my Luxman is that it’s not very tolerant of foot traffic (I have a son with a heavy walk) and the stylus skips while playing. My Rega RP3 doesn’t do that 🙂 .Any suggestions to remedy this? Thanks in advance for your time.

    1. Hi Bruce, it sounds like the arm may not be correctly set-up, as it is actually a really nice, though low mass, tonearm. By nature and because of the cartridges that were meant to be matched with it, it is light and must be carefully dialed in. You definitely should not mess with a classic deck like this by changing arms. This would not be easy to do and would almost certainly ruin the value of the deck and possibly also its performance. From memory the headshell is fixed, again, for good technical reasons. The deck deserves a really nice high compliance cart, so perhaps try to find something suitable and leave it in place!

      The 264 is an unsprung DD deck, with a low-mass, light-tracking tonearm, so it will be sensitive to bumps and shock. You need a good solid platform, preferably attached to a wall, decoupled from the floor. This is the best way to avoid problems related to noise transmission. There are dedicated platforms you can buy for this purpose. You might also try sorbothane or something similar under the deck, to absorb shock.

      Cheers, Mike!

      1. Thanks for your feedback and suggestions, Mike. Do you know of any online tips or videos to help dial in this tone arm? Or, should I just follow standard set up procedures with more attention to detail? Also, have any suggestions on which carts might pair up with this TT nicely?

        Best,

        Bruce

      2. Hi Bruce, I don’t but suggest you download the owners manual if you don’t already own it. You need precise tools to set up a tonearm so I am assuming you have a good stylus pressure gauge and also know to adjust the headshell tilt when looking front on to ensure the correct azimuth. Follow Luxman’s instructions and you can’t go too far wrong. Have a search for high compliance cartridges – there are many, most of them moving magnet designs from Shure, Ortofon and others. Have a look at the Vinyl Engine for more information on how to set up arm, manuals, comments and feedback from owners about cartridges they have used. I suggest an Ortofon OM20 or OM30 as a good starting point!

      3. Thanks Mike. How repairable is the motor on the Luxman PD 264? A local tech told me that the capacitors on the direct drive turntables wear out and often very difficult to replace due to their small size or design of the motor. What’s your take on this for the Luxman or the DD’s in general?

      4. Hi Mike, another question for your about the Luxman. Do you think it’s possible to replace the tonearm base on the PD 264 with one from a PD-284? I cam across one. It looks nicer and has the optical lift. Thanks for your feedback.

      5. Hi Bruce, it may be possible, but as I’ve said, you kill the value and collectability of these lovely decks by swapping parts like that. I would suggest simply getting a PD-284 if you prefer the arm arrangement on that deck and keeping both completely intact!

Comments are closed.