Luxman


Luxman

Infobox_Company
company_name = Luxman Corporation
ラックスマン
company_logo =
240px|Luxman logo
company_type = Corporation
company_slogan = Ultimate Fidelity Since 1925
foundation = Osaka, Japan (1925)
location_city = Yokohama
location_country = Japan
key_people = Kazuyuki Doi, President
industry = Electronics
products = Hi-fi equipment
revenue = unknown
homepage = [http://www.luxman.co.jp/ www.luxman.co.jp]

Luxman is a brand name of Japanese Nihongo|Luxman Corporation|ラックスマン, a company that produces a variety of audio electronic products. The company produces a variety of high-end hi-fi products, such as turntables, amplifiers, receivers, tape decks, CD players and speakers.

History

Lux Corporation was founded in Japan on June 1925, by T. Hayakawa & his brother K. Yoshikawa. It began life as the radio equipment department of Kinsuido Picture Frame Store in Osaka, until then an importer of picture frames, and was founded just ahead of the time when radio was first broadcast that year.

At the time, Japanese radio listeners were dependent on technology originating in the United States and Europe. Importing radio equipment and parts was a very forward-looking enterprise (much today's cutting-edge businesses) for Lux, and passersby often crowded the store to hear the inviting sounds of the radios on display.

However Lux Corp. decided that in order to compete effectively as a supplier it had to not only sell equipment but manufacture parts in-house to reduce the costs of importing. So began the creation of the Luxman brand. As a result of this pursuit, Luxman became famous for the output of various quality transformers and switches in Japan, and today is one of the oldest manufacturers in Japan of electronic components. This is reflected in the company's motto "Ultimate Fidelity since 1925".

In the mid 1970s and early 1980s Luxman came to prominence of the world hi-fi community due to the quality of sound of their equipment. Luxman were primarily specialists in making vacuum tube amplifiers of the highest calibre. In most cases Luxman designed equipment combined the quality and warmth of vacuum tube sound with powerful electronics and often beautiful aesthetic designs. Pre and Power amps such as the Luxman C-05 and M-05 with their champagne gold finish, highest-calibre electrical designs (pure copper interconnects, Class A amp design, separately powered channels with "dual" AC cables, copper-plated chassis), beautiful sound and rock solid build became the dreams of audiophiles everywhere.

In 1984 Luxman became part of Alpine Electronics, another Japanese electronics brand. Alpine, wishing to merge their home hi-fi divisions and Alpage brand with Luxman gear, took actions that nearly bankrupted the company. The first was it got into a hi-fi market share war with rival Yamaha. Up to the point of the merger Luxman was seen as a prestigious audio brand, and sold its equipment in specialist independent hi-fi shops. After the merger, Luxman looked to sell their products to companies such as Costco in the US and Richer Sounds in the UK in order to compete with Yamaha. But the plan backfired. Where Luxman's reputation was in high end and the often expensive, the new distributors' reputations had been in selling budget and low value goods. This caused much problems for existing dealers and consumers. The second was problems with product branding and poor product planning. While Alpine equipment was seen as alright in most circles, Luxman was seen as a perfectionist or elitist brand. The co-branding of cheap plastic Alpine products with expensive Luxman gear (Luxman equipment was badged Alpine/Luxman) in "both" Alpine and Luxman factories confused the consumer marketplace. This totally destroyed the image and ultimately sales of Luxman equipment, and the company ended up retreating from all its sales network worldwide except Japan.

Alpine, due to all the troubles it experienced later sold off Luxman in the early 2000s. In recent times this had enabled the renamed Luxman Corporation to restart its founding objectives, which was to create the best audiophile equipment in the world. Today the company still produces vacuum tube equipment as well as SACD/DVD players and the usual home stereo equipment.

The company closed the last of the Alpine home hi-fi factories in Hong Kong in 2000 and currently sells mostly to Japan and parts of Asia, outside of Asia in Romania and the United States and since 2006 in Germany.

Company milestones

*1925 - Lux Corporation founded in Kinsuido Picture Frame Store. Kinsuido Radio Book published - "Read it once and you're a radio expert," runs the blurb to the book that eventually went through 14 editions, helping to promote radios and phonographs in early days.

*1928 LUX-735 Radio Set with Magnetic Speaker. Lux markets the LUX-1730 Electric Phonograph

*1931 - Magnetic Pickup developed

*1952 OY-15 Output Transformer - Lux markets OY-Type transformers, high-regulation power-supply transformers, and many others. All received popular acclaim for delivering the highest performance on the market.

*1955 - Crossover Negative Feedback Circuitry developed

*1958 The 45/45 stereo record makes its debut.

*1958 MA-7A Mono Vacuum-Tube Amplifier. The MA-7A becomes the first fully assembled mono hi-fi power amp marketed by Lux after the war. It featured crossover NFB(Negative Feedback), Lux's worldwide patent.

*1961 SQ-5A Vacuum Tube Integrated Amplifier. One of the earliest stereo integrated amplifiers, the SQ-5A proved a hit because of its unique design incorporating a metre and also because of the high-quality sound it delivers. It featured the Lux's unique tone control circuit, still found in current models.

*1962 SQ-65 Vacuum Tube Integrated Amplifier. The SQ-65 featured a motional feedback (MFB) circuit, a patented development by Lux that incorporates the motion of the speaker cone into its feedback control system.

*1962 PZ-11 Phono Amplifier. The very first phono equaliser amp made in Japan to feature germanium transistors, the PZ-11 was popular for its slim design.

*1964 SQ-38D Vacuum Tube Integrated Amplifier. The SQ-38D is one of the first models to feature triodes and also the very first of the "38Series" that eventually includes the SQ-38F, SQ-38FD and the current SQ-38S.

*1966 MQ-36 Vacuum Tube OTL Power Amplifier. The MQ-36 is an OTL (Output Transformer-Less) vacuum tube amplifier. It became a long-term seller for its high-quality sound.

*1968 SQ-505/507 Integrated Amplifiers. The SQ-505 and SQ-507 are the first of the "500 Series" and the predecessors of Luxman's current L-505s and L-507s.

*1971-1980 Luxkit Brand. The LuxKit brand was developed to satisfy the demand of do-it-yourself audiophiles. Lux marketed a total of about 70 kit models, vacuum tube amps, transistor amps, turntables, measuring tools, etc.

*1972 Lux establishes L&G. Lux established new audio brand "L&G" to promote a line of colourful high-quality stereo systems designed to fit new lifestyles and created a new dimension in audio enjoyment.

*1973 - All-stage Parallel Push System developed.

*1975 M-6000 Power Amplifier/C-1000/T110. A product to celebrate Lux's 50th anniversary, the M-6000 represented the company's first serious effort to break into the high-end market. A power amp boasting 300 W x 2 high power and excellent sound, the M-6000 was well received.

*1977 Laboratory Reference Series launched. The Lux Laboratory Reference Series makes its debut:highlights are the world's first DC-configured amp and synthesized tuner. Each product's functionality, performance and innovative design differentiate the series.-World's first DC-configured amp and synthesized tuner-Computer-controlled cassette deck-Construction chassis allowing stacking of components

*1980 PD-300 Vacuum Suction Turntable. Lux introduces an innovative turntable that uses a vacuum suction system to prevent record warpage and resonance, factors that cause degradation of sound quality.

*1981 - CAT - Computer Analysed Tuning System

*1981 - Duo Beta circuitry

*1982 D-05 Omega-Loading Cassette Deck. The D-05 appears at the time when the market was moving away from the open-reel format toward the cassette. It boasted the hi-fi performance of an open-reel deck and the ease of use of a cassette deck.

*1983 - K-05 Computer tuning cassette deck launched.

*1985 - C-05 Pre-amplifier, M-05 Power amplifier launched.

*1987 DA-07 Fluency DAC and DP-07 separate CD Transport. Fluency DAC is an application of the function interpolation theory developed by Dr. Toraichi, a professor at Tsukuba University, Japan. The DA-07 became a sensation because its high-speed DSP permitted recreation of the frequency range not recorded on a CD. KD-117 Digital Audio Tape recorder launched.

*1990 - D-500 Top loading CD player launched.

*2004 - CU-80 Multi Channel Control Amplifier launched.

*2005 - B1000 Monaural Power Amplifer and C1000F Digital Control Amplifiers, 80th Anniversary Commemoration Models launched.

*2006 - DU-50 and DU-80 Digital Universal players launched.

*2007 - M-800A, L-550A II and L-590A II launched.

Trivia

*In a case of trademark infringement, the Luxman brand name has been used on a clothing line from China since 2002. [cite web
url = http://www.luxman.net
title = Luxman Clothing
language =
accessdate = 2007-02-17
year = 2007
] The logo uses typography similar to the Luxman hi-fi range as well as a logo with a slant on the familiar 'L'. The company sells clothing with the motto 'designed in Italy, made in Shanghai'.

*One of Luxman's oldest engineers was Chief Engineer Mr Susumu Uehara. He worked on a lot of equipment and produced amplifiers such as the MB-88 limited edition amp (run of 200) produced in 1982, which was one of his last pieces of work.

*During the 1980s, Howland West International was the appointed distributor for Luxman in the UK and was situated near Holloway Road in London. They were also the UK distributor for Shure audio equipment at that time. After the change of ownership within Luxman around 1993 [cite web
url = http://www.thevintageknob.org/LUXMAN/C06A/C06A.html
title = Ownership Change
language =
accessdate = 2007-03-15
year = 2007
] Swisstone Electronics owner of the Rogers and Chartwell speaker brands took over distribution in the UK. Due to the high price of equipment sold (often costing thousands), and the unavailability of spare parts from Japan, the company dropped support for the Luxman brand in the UK.

*A number of ex-Luxman engineers went onto produce their own hi-fi equipment. Atsushi Miura and Masami Ishiguro went onto produce the Airtight [cite web
url = http://www.quinceton.com/airtight/history.htm
title = Airtight's Luxman History
language =
accessdate = 2007-02-21
year = 2007
] audio brand while Taku Hyodo produced the Leben brand of stereo equipment. [cite web
url = http://www.soundscapehifi.com/leben.htm
title = Leben Hi-fi Stereo Introduction
language =
accessdate = 2007-02-21
year = 2007
] There was also noted engineer Tim de Paravicini, who developed a number of Luxman's tube amps such as the M-3000/M-4000/M-6000 solid state power amps and C-1000 pre-amp. A qualified engineer, after working for Luxman in 1976 he moved to England to start his own company Esoteric Audio Research. [cite web
url = http://www.geocities.com/drquad@pacbell.net/csramps.html
title = Esoteric Audio Research history
language =
accessdate = 2007-03-15
year = 2007
]

*Engineer Atsushi Miura married Mari Yoshikawa, Mr. K Yoshikawa's eldest daughter and became a part of the founding 'Luxman' family.

*Atsushi Miura's father was an audio engineer and was head of Luxman for many years in Japan. In the early 1980s Atsushi took over the reins from his father to run Luxman. Sensing the Japanese audio industry was heading towards cheaper mass produced components and against the founding philosophy of Luxman, Atsushi sold Luxman to Alpine in 1984, before starting the Airtight audio brand. [cite web
url = http://www.tweakshop.com/Air%20Tight.html
title = Airtight Company history by Tweakshop
language =
accessdate = 2007-03-15
year = 2007
]

*Luxman produced a range of Reference Series equipment in the late 1970s which included a tuner, cassette deck and pre and power amp. After initial production, some of the equipment was specially customised by Lux engineers for even better quality sound, and became sought after.

*Luxman's first CD player was the DX-104 [cite web
url = http://www.thevintageknob.org/DAD/DX104/DX104.html
title = Luxman DX-104 CD player
language =
accessdate = 2007-02-21
year = 2007
] launched in 1983. This was a design based on the Alpine Electronics AD-7100 and featured a vertical loading tray.

*Luxman in October 1982 at Japan's Tokyo Audio Fair showed prototypes of the X-3K [cite web
url = http://www.thevintageknob.org/INVISIBILIA/OTHERS/luxman-X3K.html
title = Luxman X3K Cassette deck prototype
language =
accessdate = 2007-02-21
year = 2007
] Cassette deck, X-2A PCM encoder/decoder [cite web
url = http://www.thevintageknob.org/INVISIBILIA/PCM/luxman-X2A.html
title = Luxman X-2A PCM encoder/decoder prototype
language =
accessdate = 2007-02-21
year = 2007
] and X-1D [cite web
url = http://www.thevintageknob.org/INVISIBILIA/DAD/luxman-X1D.html
title = Luxman X-1D CD player prototype
language =
accessdate = 2007-02-21
year = 2007
] vertical loading CD player also rebadged in Alpine brand-form. These were never put into production.

*Some of Luxman's speaker models were not totally designed and made in-house. The MS-10, MS-11, MS-15 and MS-20 were manufactured by Lux, while later models in the mid 1980s were bought from external US manufacturers such as Crown Audio/Amcron.

References

External links

* [http://www.luxman.co.jp/ Luxman Japan website]
* [http://www.luxman.de/ Luxman Germany website]
* [http://www.luxman.us/ Luxman U.S. website]
* [http://www.vintagecassette.com/Luxman Vintage Luxman Cassette Decks]
* [http://vintageaudio.forumup.org/forum-44-vintageaudio.html Luxman Forum] at "Vintage Audio" (includes many brochure and catalog scans)
* [http://www.thevintageknob.org/LUXMAN/LUXMAN-main.html Vintage Luxman Equipment Site]
* [http://www.hilberink.nl/codehans/luxman.htm Luxman Vintage Audio website] (site includes a table of manufacturing dates)
* [http://audiotools.com/l.html Audiotools website on Luxman history]
* [http://www.fmtunerinfo.com/luxmanhistory.html FMTunerInfo site on Luxman tuner history]
* [http://www.audioinvest.no/luxman/index5.htm AudioInvest - site with useful links and information on Luxman]
* [http://www11.plala.or.jp/teikakakucosme/LUXMAN/player/index.html Japanese site with photos of Luxman equipment circa mid 1980s]
* [http://www.hifi-studio.de/hifi-klassiker/luxman.htm Private German Luxman site with lots of classic Hi-Fi pictures & specifications.]


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