When I first heard the name Luxman, I thought it was a resurrection or at least a branch of that famous, European brand that sold home cleaning appliances by knocking on people’s doors and by knocking on their windows to. Turns out, I was wrong and I am happy that I am wrong.
The Luxman KX-100 stereo cassette deck is a svelte looking piece of stereo equipment that can easily fit at any luxurious man cave. The buttons look like and has the clean finish of glass. When these buttons light up, one can see how the Luxman company put in some serious thoughts into the aesthetic look and feel of the KX-100. Sadly, though, I was unable to find on the Interweb the full specifications of the LX-100 but it didn’t matter. It looks good and it sounded good. Well, not the first time playing it, that is.
When I put in the Eagles tape that I used on two, previous reviews, the audio sounded muddy. That was kind of puzzling for me because when I intended to review the KX-100 a few weeks back, it didn’t sound the way it did as I played. Turns out that the tape head was dirty. A bit of alcohol (scotch, er, no) did the trick.
The audio quality is quite good. Compared to the Technics RS-M45 and BIC T-2 that I had reviewed earlier, the KX-100 is a bit bass heavy. The first notes of the Hotel California track have a trumpet and some duet guitar intros, with a cool bass line at the background. With the RS-M45 and T-2, the trumpet and guitar were more pronounced than the bass line. With the LX-100, the warming “dinnggg” of the bass line really stood out more. Further down the track, Don Henley’s drum playing was quite prominent and it was really cool. I wanted to try playing some hip hop cassette tapes to really test the bass on this thing but I wasn’t able to find any. H hip hop fans, metal fans and rock fans will get a treat playing their head banging, bass thumping cassette tapes using this unit.
Operating the KX-100 was quite easy. All the dials roll in and out smoothly. The buttons click in and out without a hitch. The eject mechanism, while silky as that of the Technics RS-M45, did its thing without a hitch and not really much noise. If you had read my review of the BIC T-2, I said I am a sucker for analog VU meters. Well, the inverted VU meters of this Luxman had me drooling once it started going back and forth to the music.
The KX-100 had a feature called a suck face, where the right of the face gets sucked in once the unit is powered on. I said “had” because the previous owner of this bad boy decided to disable this function and leave the dials exposed. While one might think that doing that is a bad idea, it is actually not from a preservation standpoint. I did some research on the suck face and it is apparently the hardest to near impossible thing to repair if something goes wrong with it. Further, the belt it uses is so thin and is not in a diameter nor dimension that may be considered normal, therefore pretty difficult to look for. Not unless you have a rubber stamping plant that can do all sorts of tape deck belts (Pssst, if you do, call me).
The KX-100 is a solid performer. Are there better decks that this one? Yes, but it doesn’t mean this Luxman is a slouch. Far from it. It’s svelte looks alone are worth owning this magnetic machine, most especially if the collector is into music that has pronounced or heavy bass lines. Want to add more “wow!” to it and impress a visitor to your man cave? Enable the suck face mechanism and see their face light up.
Interested in getting your hands on this thing? If you are, head on to Plaka Express #50 Palawan St., Bagong Pag Asa, Quezon City and look for Sam. For a marked down price of PhP 9,000.00 (it used to be PhP 14,000), this baby can be yours.