I have just finished repairing and setting up a Luxman PD444 direct drive turntable, plus Dynavector DV-505 and Audio Technica At-1100 tone-arms.
The Luxman PD444 is a classic direct-drive deck that is beautifully built and deserving of some real care and attention, especially with the set-up. More information on the PD444, along with owners and service manuals, can be found here.
There were several aspects to the work I performed on this Luxman PD444. I repaired the speed lock indicator which contained two blown incandescent globes. I thoroughly cleaned the deck inside and out, adjusted some parameters on the main speed control board, cleaned controls. Finally, I commenced the biggest part of the job which was to install and set-up two tonearms and mount two lovely moving coil cartridges for my customer.
I fitted the Audio Technica AT-1100 arm with a gorgeous Highphonic low output moving coil cartridge, with very high compliance, which perfectly matched the AT arm. The Audio Technica arm is a gem, very low mass which was all the rage at the time, and gorgeous to work on.
The Dynavector DV-505 tonearm received a lovely Denon DL103, rebuilt with a new cantilever and diamond, and which looked a million bucks under the ‘scope. The Dynavector arm is a considerable challenge to set up correctly as there are many adjustments the user must get right, and the arm is quite different from standard tonearms in its engineering and design. The Dynavector arm really came up beautifully though and just works wonderfully with this deck and cartridge.
After a clean-up, check-up, globe repair, tightening of all chassis fasteners and carefully setting up both arm/cart combinations, I proceeded to test the deck, using a combination of test records, and performed some tweaking of tracking force, anti-skate, ride height and cartridge azimuth. Both arms sounded great, with my pick being the DV-505/DL103 combination for its added weight and air. The AT-1100 also performed very well however, and given its very different weight and cartridge suspension, managed to track some tough test tracks with equal ease.
So this ended up being a very successful and worthwhile piece of turntable maintenance, my client is thrilled with his PD444 and I think it’s fair to say that we have kept another awesome deck in use, hopefully supplying beautiful, high-resolution analog audio for many years to come.