View Full Version : Luxman 264 DD turntable vs. Denon DP-790


James_Dean
02-23-2012, 06:13 PM
Hello all,

I currently am using a Denon DP790 direct drive turntable with an ADC ZLM cart. I now have an opportunity to buy a Luxman 264 direct drive turntable with some other components in a package deal. Which turntable do you all believe will yield better results? I am unsure of the cart currently on the Luxman.

As a side note, although the ADC cart appears to be functioning OK, I am soon going to have the stylus inspected. If the stylus or suspension are worn out on the cart, I may go with a Ortofon 2Mred as this is the only new cart within my price range. I would put this cart on whichever turntable is better, either the Luxman or the Denon. Would the 2Mred be a significant downgrade from the ZLM?

Thanks in advance!

ETI_5000
02-23-2012, 08:02 PM
Denon
Wow and flutter: less than 0.018% WRMS (measured by Denon method using magnetic pulse wheel)
S/N ratio: more than 75dB weighted DIN-B
Weight: 10.7kg
Luxman
Wow and flutter: 0.035% WRMS (measured with test record, so the figures can't be compared - the test record method always gives "worse" figures for the same turntables)
S/N ratio: better than 60dB (IEC-B) (Note that this is a different method to the DIN-B method used by Denon, and yields smaller figures, which donít look as good.)
Weight: 5.8kg

Luxman were always extremely conservative with their figures compared to other makers, including Denon, so in independent testing using the same test method, would probably be extremely similar to the Denon. Thatís based on the reviews I have of turntables from both makers. In other words, Luxman were more likely to meet or exceed the makerís specs when tested independently!

The signal to noise figure for the Luxman was taken from the service manual, and was the only figure given for rumble in that. However, based on my own Lux PD-288 turntable, which gave the DIN-B figure in one of the languages in the ownerís manual, and which had the same IEC-B figure, -60dB, itís probably around -75dB DIN-B, the same as the Denon.

Advantages:
Denon
ē Heavier (higher resistance to acoustic feedback)
ē Uses high quality Denon s-shaped tonearm Ė medium weight, and uses standard universal plug-in headshell, for easy cartridge changes
Luxman
ē Uses excellent Micro-Seiki made lightweight tonearm, with fixed headshell and double pipe structure near the pivot, both of which give a more rigid tonearm with lower effective mass. In other words, it has a superior tonearm, but itís not as user friendly due to the fixed headshell.

Canít compare rumble or wow and flutter figures, as Luxman uses different ways of measuring, and a different specification standard for rumble. Iíd be surprised if the figures between the two turntables were much different. Because they were measured by different people, they are at best a rough guide Ė only a test in the same conditions, using the same meter, would tell which was better.

So the only thing you can positively say is that the Luxman has a better tonearm, and the Denon has heavier weight. One win for each, in other words. However, the light weight points to the fact that this was one of Luxmanís lower spec models Ė it was the cheapest Lux turntable in my 1982 Stereo Buyerís Guide list, at AUD$248. The Denon was a mid-70ís turntable (1975), while the Luxman was made from 1980 to 1982, right at the height of the turntable boom period. This is reflected mainly in the better tonearm Luxman used - Denon themselves changed to similar tonearms in the 80's.

The Denon, due to its increased weight in the turntable base, will be less sensitive to acoustic feedback. The equivalent Luxman from the early 1980ís for your Denon was probably the PD-277 (1982 price AUD$398), which was two models up, and a similar weight to your Denon (the PD-272, $348 was in between).

The Ortofon 2M Red wonít be in the same class as the ADC ZLM Ė you need to move at least a step or two up the 2M ladder to match it. Remember, the ZLM was ADCís best cartridge for a while (late-70ís?), until the ADC Astrion was introduced. The Ortofon will be better suited to the Denon tonearm, while the ADC will be a better match for the Luxman tonearm.

Balifly
02-23-2012, 10:01 PM
Don,

Excellent review and comparison !!! :thmbsp: :thmbsp:

Gave me a much better understanding of both Denon and Luxman turntables.

ETI_5000
02-23-2012, 11:53 PM
Don,

Excellent review and comparison !!! :thmbsp: :thmbsp:

Gave me a much better understanding of both Denon and Luxman turntables.

Thanks, Earl.:D

budgophille
02-24-2012, 12:13 AM
I don't have anything close to the tech specs that Don laid out for you, but I've a Denon DP-30L, which I recently re-acquired 2 owners after I sold it 3yrs ago. I love the slightly automated lift and "dangle" as I like to call it. I also have a Luxman PD 441, with a Micro Seiki Ma-505 tonearm. While the Luxman has the beauty and heft, I prefer the Denon as my "daily driver", simply because of it's slight automation compared to the Luxman's minimalist manual operation. Acoustically, the Luxman is better than my Denon, but my DP 30 is several rungs down the ladder from your Denon. I just wanted to point out the user convenience end of things. I hope this helps.

ETI_5000
02-24-2012, 12:50 AM
Yes, I suppose I should have mentioned that - the Luxman has an auto-lift function at the end of records, while the Denon is completely manual.

James_Dean
02-24-2012, 11:49 AM
I'm pretty satisfied with my completely manual Denon DP790, it has the ADC ZLM cart currently mounted, and I can't really complain about the results. That said, if I do get the Luxman, I may switch to using that because I do prefer the autolift to my Denon's fully manual operation. Moreover, the turntable is part of a Luxman tuner and integrated amp set, so aesthetically it would be nice to have everything match. I don't know what cart is currently on the Luxman; I'm still waiting for the seller to get back to me. I have a feeling the suspension may be worn on my ZLM cart because, while it sounds ok, it seems to ride awfully close to the record. I know this is a low riding cart, but the clearance is so small I sometimes swear the body of the cart is touching the record. I'll probably have to look into purchasing a new cart in the near future.

Thanks for all your replies! :music:

James_Dean
02-24-2012, 12:12 PM
I should also mention, with the Denon/ZLM, there is a sort of tiny sound during quiet passages/ when the stylus hits the run-out groove and spins there. It seems to originate from the original Denon headshell which is made of some sort of lightweight metal (perhaps magnesium). Has anyone else experienced this before? Could this be from the cart's suspension being worn out? On an otherwise good setup I find this tin noise pretty annoying.