The beautiful and elegant Luxman PD-264 direct-drive turntable is delightfully different, in the way Luxman gear often is and would make a wonderful first ‘proper’ turntable.
The Luxman PD-264 is a deck you see often here in Australia. Sold at an affordable price, in a competitive market and when Luxman was a heavy hitter, there is much to love about this elegant, understated machine.
The Luxman PD-264 comes with a decent, low-mass tonearm, direct-drive motor and balanced platter, in a slimline chassis. There’s a hint of wood trim and the deck has a cool vintage look. The platter is heavy, which is a good thing. With much of the platter weight distributed around the edge, excellent wow & flutter characteristics and stable rotation are the results.
The tonearm is a straight design to increase stiffness and 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 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 the 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 price point.
This particular PD-264 had a problem with the mechanical tonearm lift actuator and switch. It was sticking and therefore not stopping the player at the end of a record. Having worked on many of these machines over the years, I’ve found that these mechanical switches can sometimes be sticky, causing arm lift operational problems.
There are a couple of reasons this might occur. Perhaps lubricant was used at some point, despite the service manual stating that the mechanism is oil-less. Maybe this happened for a certain batch of decks. Perhaps someone used mineral oil on this one back in the day, the volatile components of mineral-based lubricants evaporate over time, leaving a residue. Whatever the cause, the issue needs to be fixed.
These days, when presented with a sticky arm lift actuator like this one, I use a solvent to remove any residue and then try to run the mechanism without oil as designed. Sometimes though, I find a drop of special thin synthetic oil can be helpful and that was the case with this machine.
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.
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
Cartridge weight range: 4 to 11g
Dimensions: 438 x 125 x 365mm
You can read a little more about the Luxman PD-264 here, at the Vinyl Engine.