Luxman LMC-5 MC Is The Company's First New Cartridge In 40 Years

Luxman today announced the introduction of the new LMC-5 moving coil the company's first new cartridge in 40 years.

“This new reference class MC cartridge is the result of two years of research into every aspect of cartridge design,” says Jeff Sigmund, president of Luxman America. “Our LMC-5 is designed and intended to satisfy demanding music listeners with a unique purity of reproduction; the result of painstaking materials evaluations, repeated prototyping and extensive listening tests. The resulting sound quality must be heard to be appreciated.”

The new cartridge with a list price of $2695 features a solid nude square shank Shibata stylus fitted to a low mass 0.5mm aluminum pipe cantilever. In addition, according to the press release:

"The MC generator incorporates a cross-mounted iron core with the left and right coils wound symmetrically for superior channel separation. To achieve optimally consistent coil windings with minimum moving mass, the coils themselves are even thinner than the piano wire. Luxman chose the thinnest available Urethane Enameled Wire (UEW), 30 micrometers in diameter. Because the coil and magnetic field are uncommonly compact, the cartridge is highly resistant to external noise."

Also: "The precision machined aluminum body is anodized to a deep red, Luxman’s corporate color, with a laser etched Luxman “L” in front. In the best tradition of Japanese cartridge manufacture, each cartridge is carefully assembled by Luxman’s craftspeople and delivered to music lovers worldwide."

Other features will be included in an upcoming review. The press release does not provide the output voltage, or other specifications but a reader got them from the Luxman website and they are below so thank you.

Bskeane's picture

Internal impedance 4.7Ω (1kHz)
Tracking force 2.1 to 2.3g (2.2g as standard)
Output voltage 0.4mV (1kHz, 3.54cm / sec.)
Frequency response 10Hz to 35kHz
Channel separation / balance 28dB (1kHz) / 0.5dB (1kHz)
Recommended load impedance
(when head amplifier is connected) 40Ω or more
Recommended load impedance
(When step-up transformer is connected) 2.5 to 10Ω
Dynamic compliance 8 x 10-6cm / dyne (100Hz)
Stylus Solid diamond / SHIBATA stylus
Cantilever Φ0.5mm aluminum
Vertical tracking angle 25°
Magnet Samarium-cobalt magnet BH20
Coil 30μm UEW
Material of magnetic circuit Pure iron
Terminals Φ1.2mm, White (L+) , Blue (L−) , Red (R+) , Green (R-)
Body Aluminum A6063
Dimensions, Threaded holes 17.0 (W) x 18.3 (H) x 21.3 (D)mm (excluding terminals),
M2.6mm x 2
Weight 8.5g
Accessories Manual, Washer x 2, Screws M2.6 (5mm x 2, 8mm x 2, 10mm x 2),
Hex wrench and stylus cover
* Specifications and appearance are subject to change without notice.

* The products listed in this catalog do not include line cables. Please purchase cables separately.

Michael Fremer's picture
Where did you find that please?
MalachiLui's picture

is literally on the luxman website under this cartridge listing

Michael Fremer's picture
From the publicist who accidentally left off the second page.
Ortofan's picture

... check the dates of the post on the hifipig site and for the linked pdf file announcement.

Ortofan's picture

Check the dates for the news release on the hifipig site and for the pdf file brochure from Luxman:

Michael Fremer's picture
When the publicist sent the press blurb dated March 2022.
Michael Fremer's picture
"Each territory controls its own introductions as Japan often releases product/info ahead of products being available in North America. Luxman America only recently had enough inventory to introduce to the market."
mraudioguru's picture
volvic's picture

I believe they have also discountinued their turntables the PD-171's and 151. I am curious to see what they will come up with. They were magnificent tables.

arcman67's picture

I could see Luxman producing Direct Drive turntables again.

Glotz's picture

A bit surprising but Luxman would know best after 2 years of intense development. I won't even suggest that Luxman is cutting corners here.

hi-fivinyljunkie's picture

Out specified by an Audio Technica at a fraction of the cost.

Michael Fremer's picture
Don't listen to specifications. I read them, yes.
Jonti's picture

The Luxman carts of yore were actually rebadged Audio Technica carts, in the same way that old Luxman turntables were produced by Micro Seiki.

SeagoatLeo's picture

Besides the compliance, stylus type, etc. the one spec I want to see is the frequency response from 20Hz to 20Khz. I tend not to like MCs with irregular, unflat, frequency responses. Rising high ends create sparkle but also usually are accompanied with a lower mid suckout, ala Lyra cartridges. Since my audio system aims for neutrality of frequency response (not a dry sound, just even), I preferred my Dynavectors and Benz Ruby 3 which have/had a frequency response graph with each cartridge.

Anton D's picture

Knowing which cartridge has the best specifications would save me a lot of shopping time!

What cartridge do you use?

johnnythunder2's picture

The most negativity and trolling comments come from the specification, budget and measurement freaks. They're the ones that think that empirical measurements automatically translate to better SOUND.

Glotz's picture

And very well put- Specs, budget and measurement freaks... ah they all think they have all the answers.

Strangely enough, their systems almost always completely suck.

The culprit is budget. Once they see that they can't afford highly-reviewed gear, they go right to the specs and claim their budget purchases are better because numbers don't lie... but it's really for a lack of ownership.

Anton D's picture

And the cost surprises me, in a good way!

MrRom92's picture

Unimpressed, as I am with most MCs.

Supposedly aiming for the lowest moving mass, and they went with aluminum for the cantilever? Almost any other material would have been preferable. What happened to boron? Significantly lower mass. JICO can do it on a stylus that costs $200. This cartridge is nearly $3000.

Also literally less than half the compliance of the JICO. Or a Shure v15 from 40 years ago.

What have they been doing for the last 40 years? Surely not advancing state of the art

johnnythunder2's picture

In the last 7 years, I've owned two $2k priced cartridges - a Dynavector xx2-mk2 and a Linn Krystal (made by Goldring.) Boron vs. Aluminum cantilevers. The Krystal is the better sounding and tracking cartridge in my system at least (not that the Dyna was bad- it was great for 70s hard rock.). Now I'm not saying that the cantilever is the sole reason why that is the case, all I'm saying is that a cartridge is the sum of its parts and to single out one aspect of it's design for criticism is slightly unfair. A Krystal (or this Luxman) with a Boron c would be probably better but we will never know will we? I don't think MF was a fan of the Dyna XX 2 btw. I think he had issues with its immediacy.

johnnythunder2's picture

In the last 7 years, I've owned two $2k priced cartridges - a Dynavector xx2-mk2 and a Linn Krystal (made by Goldring.) Boron vs. Aluminum cantilevers. The Krystal is the better sounding and tracking cartridge in my system at least (not that the Dyna was bad- it was great for 70s hard rock.). Now I'm not saying that the cantilever is the sole reason why that is the case, all I'm saying is that a cartridge is the sum of its parts and to single out one aspect of it's design for criticism is slightly unfair. A Krystal (or this Luxman) with a Boron c would be probably better but we will never know will we? I don't think MF was a fan of the Dyna XX 2 btw. I think he had issues with its immediacy.

SeagoatLeo's picture

I've owned six Dynavector cartridges including the XX1, D2 and Ruby. My former favorite was a Benz Ruby 3, boron cantilever. I switched to a Dynavector 20X2L Mk2 now with it's "inferior" aluminum cantilever. Plugged into a Zesto Andros Alesso SUT at 22db gain and 100 ohm impedance, I am enjoying superior dynamics, colorful sound, low record noise and a wide soundstage. Sure, there are benefits with my prior cartridges but the overall musicality, on so many of my 28,500 LPs mono and stereo makes me not care about the "quality" of the cantilever. I was about to purchase a Purple Heart or a Sandlewood $2800 to $3600 cartridge but after hearing the 20X2H on several friends systems and shows, I knew I would enjoy this "inferior" cartridge more in my not SOTA but high end system. This Luxman cartridge reminds me of Lyra cartridges. Could that have been the inspiration (possibly some parts and design)?

Michael Fremer's picture
Are in a bad mood..
MrRom92's picture

I wouldn’t dismiss the comments as moody. Just critical, and rightfully so. It comes across like a weak and poorly thought out half-assed return to the market, despite whatever the press release implies. We’re the target demographic for high performance phono cartridges, so if the general opinion within the community is that they aren’t doing enough then they probably aren’t doing enough.

Glotz's picture

You haven't HEARD the cart, but just the specs, and you've jumped to conclusions...

Bad mood indeed.

Here's constructive criticism - Note how above I mentioned the aluminum cantilever and yet still reserved spewing bile before reading a qualified review or hearing it myself.

It's a lesson in bias before the truth is out.

MrRom92's picture

I don’t need to drive a pickup truck to know how it will perform in the Indy 500

Anton D's picture

How come nobody who is into specs mentions how they pick a cartridge or other gear?

If this is the pick up truck, what is the Indy 500 cartridge?

Please be specific!

Y'all have me curious!

Glotz's picture

Chirp... Chirp... (silence)

Anton D's picture

Objectivist spec heads scurry away like roaches when the light comes on when you ask how they audition or buy gear.

Glotz's picture

Anton... You are my favorite bar none!

MrRom92's picture

Simple, I choose based on specs and performance. I would love to see this cartridge put up in a tracking test against a humble Shure v15 Type V-MR from the 80’s. A cartridge that is still used as a reference in basically every mastering studio on the planet, by the way. None are using MC carts, I wonder why that is... When an MC cartridge manufacture has a high compliance design with a boron cantilever, or better yet, thin-wall vapor deposited beryllium, and a reasonably flat frequency response I might be interested.

Glotz's picture

So... what are those recording studios doing now? Holding onto NOS copies of the Shure? Doubtful. Your statement there seems suspect, given it's been out of production for years now.

I've had long experience with one and it's a great cart- smooth, impactful... but I'm sure the Luxman will beat it like a red-headed step-child. Luxman doesn't put out junk. The reviews on the rest of their gear are testament to that.

Technology has come a loooooooooong way since the 80's. And for the record, the MC Hana ML has ruler flat response all day long. To suggest that you or I would not appreciate it's adherence to a flat-response is complete folly. What you may read from a graph can defy what is heard in the overall response- in-room or in-head (phone).

I think the argument comes back to little-to-no experience with quality MC's where people can't afford such, and then look to specs to justify their budget allocation. And then of course, dismissing all MC comers straight away - without audition.

Again, using theory to prejudice oneself from high-quality products is akin to sticking your head in the sand, refusing to look for the new and more technologically advanced.

I am not claiming snobbery- I am definitely not a rich audiophile by any means. But investing smartly based on your ears AND by trust-worthy writers who's experience eclipses our own (and 99% of other writers), the truth about quality MC's is evident.

In fact, the lower priced Hana's are testament to that. For $500 or $750, these MC rival MM's or MI's...

Oh and I do own a Soundsmith Carmen MI - the lower mass has much less to do with sound vs. the generally less-specified profile that a Shibata or similar profile stylus has on the sound.

To compare the Carmen with the ML is again an exercise in disappointment. I have the two on identical headshells and can compare all day long... and do. Sadly, the Carmen gets pulled off the tonearm time and again.

You get, you pay.

MrRom92's picture

Technology has come a very long way since the 80’s and brought many advancements to the world of hi-fi. No doubt there. But cartridge design has stagnated, or arguably even regressed. The boutique manufacturers simply don’t have the millions of dollars to pour into R&D like the big names did back then. There is nothing currently on the market that compares to the sophistication in manufacturing as was common place in high end carts back then, and no manufacturer that has demonstrated the technical ability to manufacture anything on a similar level.

Yamaha, JVC, and Denon all used to have pretty incredible MC carts. It is not my preference but I am not fundamentally opposed to MC cartridges. Why is there nothing that can outperform them on paper today? Who’s to say such a design wouldn’t sound better? To say that specs don’t matter is at best a strawman argument, at worst a fundamental ignorance of what those specs actually mean. Occam’s razor would dictate that they can’t do it. Not that they did it and didn’t like the sound, and made technically inferior choices to tune the sound to their preference.

I’ve visited and booked sessions in some of the world’s best mastering facilities. Which have you been to, and which cartridges were they using? If not applicable, many of your favorite engineers are fairly approachable. You can still always ask them what they use in studio.

Anton D's picture

I have one, as well.

I enjoy the various styli JICO puts out.

I do admit to being a compulsive cartridge accumulator. Not too crazy, but I like variety. "Different" can be as much, or more fun, than better!

How did you choose your speakers?

arcman67's picture

or at least hear one at an upcoming audio show. I think the Luxman looks like a fine cartridge. I can't see Luxman putting their name on something unless it sounds fantastic. Plus, it looks like the cartridge is assembled by Luxman themselves in Japan.

Eskisi's picture

…seem to come from the same Japanese parts bin. Like Ferraris of yore — door handles from Fiat, other parts from who knows what mass produced econobox. In fact we know so, from that last MC manufacturer tour — they might have been making “Luxman” cartridges right there and then.

Probably proof that our hobby is now completely in the realm of emperor’s new clothes.

Michael Fremer's picture
You'll claim Ferrari makes its own tires. Or complain that they don't.
PeterPani's picture

the reason for the bad mood of us is not connected to the audiophile world.
At least here in the middle of Europe there are very good reasons for bad mood.

Eskisi's picture

…of the elephant and mouse — if you have a big … you do not need a Ferrari.

Glotz's picture

So you drive to work in a big dick?

Eskisi's picture
Glotz's picture

but otherwise you seem very jaded from audio.

Did that not make sense? Neither did your link.

Eskisi's picture

How could one not be? After 40+ years, we still have ONE “no contact” record player, the ELP, which is not so good. Instead we have to pay astronomical prices for these “vinyl scrapers.”

Can you imagine what kind of extraordinary no-contact players today’s technology could produce? But it will not. Progress in some areas stagnates, creative brains move onto more fruitful fields, we get stuck with the same old chassis in fancier outfits. Like a 1978 Chrysler. Or 2000 Ferrari. Or an Umami MC.

I have around 50 cartridges, from MM to strain gage, to MC…to Deccas. Yes some sound better than others. But they are all on a no-carb, all-vinyl diet. Umami or not.

dial's picture

So... Please no back-room politics here.