Luxman

Last updated
Luxman Corporation
ラックスマン株式会社
K.K.
Industry Electronics
Founded Osaka, Japan (1925)
Headquarters,
Key people
Kazuyuki Doi - President, Daniel Chang - Managing Director IAG Group
Products Hi-fi equipment
Parent International Audio Group

Luxman is a brand name of Japanese Luxman Corporation (ラックスマン株式会社), a company that manufactures luxury audio components. Luxman produces a variety of high-end hi-fi products which include turntables, amplifiers, receivers, tape decks, CD players and speakers

Contents

History

Lux Corporation was founded in Japan on June 1925, by T. Hayakawa and his brother K. Yoshikawa. The company began as the radio equipment department of Kinsuido Picture Frame Store in Osaka, until then only an importer of picture frames, and was founded just ahead of the first radio 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 for Lux, and passersby often crowded the store to hear the inviting sounds of the radios on display. Lux Corporation later 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, beginning 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, which is reflected in the company's tagline Ultimate Fidelity since 1925.

Luxman pre-amplifier CL-32 with tubes (above in an amp-combination) Luxman CL-32 resized-8092932739.jpg
Luxman pre-amplifier CL-32 with tubes (above in an amp-combination)
Luxman L-210, amp at entry-level 80s, and D-321, CD player 1992/93 Luxman L-210 with D-321.jpg
Luxman L-210, amp at entry-level 80s, and D-321, CD player 1992/93

In the mid 1970s and early 1980s, Luxman rose to prominence in the world hi-fi community, owed to the quality sound produced by its equipment. Luxman were primarily specialists in making vacuum tube amplifiers of the highest caliber. One of the traits of Luxman equipment from this era is the quality and warmth of vacuum tube sound, paired with powerful solid-state electronics and often beautiful, minimalist aesthetic designs. Preamps and power amps such as the Luxman C-05 and M-05, with their champagne gold finish, high-calibre electrical designs (pure copper interconnects, Class A amp design, separately powered channels with dual AC cables, copper-plated chassis), beautiful sound, and superior rock-solid build became the dream of audiophiles worldwide.

An engineer by the name of 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. [3]

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 corporate actions which nearly bankrupted Luxman. The first of these corporate mistakes was getting Luxman involved in a hi-fi market share war with rival consumer electronics brand Yamaha. Up to the point of the merge, Luxman was revered as a prestigious audio brand; one that sold its equipment in specialist independent hi-fi shops. Post-merge, Luxman looked to sell their products to companies such as Costco (United States) and Richer Sounds (UK) in order to compete with Yamaha. This plan resulted in much confusion amongst consumers, as well as their perception of the brand's values. Where Luxman's reputation was in high-end and the often expensive markets, its new distributors had reputations for selling in budget and low-value markets, causing problems for existing dealers and consumers loyal to Luxman's values. The second corporate mistake by Alpine was problems with product branding and poor product planning. While Alpine equipment was seen as "okay" and "acceptable" in most consumers' eyes, Luxman was seen as a perfectionist and even elitist brand. The co-branding of cheap and inferior plastic Alpine products with expensive Luxman gear (Luxman equipment was badged Alpine/Luxman) in both Alpine and Luxman factories caused further confusion amongst consumers. This move totally destroyed the image and, ultimately, the 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 with the Luxman brand, sold it off in 1994. Since that time, the Luxman Corporation has been able to again indulge in its founding objectives, which is simply to create the best audiophile equipment in the world. Today the company still produces vacuum tube equipment, as well as SACD/DVD players, and 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 to the United Kingdom, Germany and Czech Republic, and Slovakia, since 2005 and currently has a distribution network which includes the United States, France, Poland, Romania, Italy, Denmark, and Sweden.

In 2009, Luxman Corporation was acquired by the International Audio Group Ltd. IAG.

Company milestones

-World's first DC-configured amp and synthesized tuner -Computer-controlled cassette deck -Construction chassis allowing stacking of components

At Japan's Tokyo Audio Fair in October, Luxman showed prototypes of the X-3K [6] Cassette deck, X-2A PCM encoder/decoder [7] and X-1D [8] vertical loading CD player also rebadged in Alpine brand-form. These were never put into production.

Luxman's first CD player was the DX-104 [10] launched in 1983. This was a design based on the Alpine Electronics AD-7100 and featured a vertical loading tray.

See also

Related Research Articles

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References

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  7. "Luxman X-2A PCM encoder/decoder prototype". 2007. Retrieved 2007-02-21.
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