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Pioneer PL-50 Turntable

post #1 of 66
Thread Starter 
I picked one of these up at goodwill. can anyone tell me anything about it? seems pretty solid, and its in good shape.
post #2 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Keithpgdrb View Post
I picked one of these up at goodwill.
Very cool score. Top of the range model from around the time of the PL-11 (mid '70s) with a similar simple belt drive mechanism but more massively engineered with a heavy plinth.
Get a new belt from Turntablebasics.com, clean the bearing and recharge the oil with something like redline and it should sound very nice.
What cart is on it? you really want something of at least the quality of a Denon DL-110, assuming the tonearm is free from slack, to get the most out of something like this.
post #3 of 66
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by memepool View Post
Very cool score. Top of the range model from around the time of the PL-11 (mid '70s) with a similar simple belt drive mechanism but more massively engineered with a heavy plinth.
Get a new belt from Turntablebasics.com, clean the bearing and recharge the oil with something like redline and it should sound very nice.
What cart is on it? you really want something of at least the quality of a Denon DL-110, assuming the tonearm is free from slack, to get the most out of something like this.
Hey Memepool,
thanks for your response. its good to know I didn't pick up a piece of crap. I cant figure out what cart is on it, as I havent had time to take it off. the name or number is not in an easy to spot place. I'll get back to you on that. what do you mean by the tonearm being free from slack. right now, with whatever is on there, it keeps pointing up. its like the weight on the back of the tonarm is too much, but I cant figure out how to lessen it. maybe a cart that was too light was put on? more to come.

I downloaded the instruction manuel for the table. there is a section saying that you need to plug the deck into a PHONO MAG input with an induced magnet type cart. Is this what I'm going to have to get, as I do not have a vintage amp with a phono mag input? it says I would need a preamp if I dont have that input, with that cart. help?
post #4 of 66
Phono Mag = phonostage / phono pre-amp with a magnetic i.e Moving Magnet as opposed to Ceramic or Moving coil sensitivity setting which was the most common cart used when it came out.
MM is still the most common type of cart so any phono-preamp should be fine. If you can't identify the original cart chances are it's not upto much and should be replaced. It's always wise to replace the stylus (which usually plugs into the front of the cart) anyway.
As far as play in the tonearm bearings is concerned, if you just very very gently try to rattle the rear portion of the arm where it's attached to the pivot point, there are bearings in this part which should be tight and not allow any side to side movement other than the whole base rotating and the arm wand should move up and down freely.
To balance the arm you usually rotate the counterweight at the rear until the whole thing is balanced and floats feely. Then set the calibration dial at the front portion of the counterweight to zero and then rotate it to the amount of downforce recommended by the cartridge manufacturer.

Looking at another recent thread about a Pioneer PL-50 it's clear there are a few models with this number so a photo would help work out whats going on.
post #5 of 66
Thread Starter 
ok, snapped some pics. I can take more if that would be helpful. the side view of the tonearm is how it sits when I release it from the holder. it just goes up like the back is too heavy. I have tried pushing the weight up the arm, but it doesnt do anything. still too heavy.

the shot of the tone arm settings is where they are at right now, up in the air.

the cart is a pioneer pc-35. looks like there are some stylus' that will fit and are pretty cheap. I dont know if the cart is good yet. cross that bridge later.

I did not notice any "play" in the tonearm. its seems solid. also, the distortion you see at the middle of the tonearm is not a dent. it is silver tape. I guess they put it there to avoid scratching the arm?...

OK, what now? I know I'm asking a lot here, any help or suggestions are appreciated.
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post #6 of 66
Does your arm's counterweight (the round attachment at the back of the arm) have a set screw or two on the side?
post #7 of 66
Yeah that's the deck I was thinking of. Very nice.

Here is the manual Pioneer PL-50 Owners Manual, Service Manual, Schematics, Free Download | Vinyl Engine

It seems pretty standard. If the counterweight is seized up a bit try some WD-40.

I wouldn't bother shelling out 30 USD for a new stylus for this cart as it's really ancient. Get an Audio Technica AT95E for 50USD, it's far superior. The best would be a Denon DL110 though.
post #8 of 66
Wow very good find. One note about the DL-110: it's fairly low-output (1.6 mV), meaning that a standard moving magnet phono stage may not be good enough. If all you have is a MM stage, you'll want to be at least around 2.5 mV and up.

This almost makes me want to hunt around at these second hand shops for a vintage table, just to hear how they sound.
post #9 of 66
Thread Starter 
It really is a nice looking deck, hopefully I can get it sounding good.

I got the owners manual a day or so ago. a bit daunting, as I have not had to deal with one of these larger tone arms. you think the weight is seized up huh? that would make sense, as it doesnt seem to move the bottom portion of the weight. I'll check that out.

I got a recommendation for a grado or shure cart as well, what do you think?
post #10 of 66
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jsplice View Post
Wow very good find. One note about the DL-110: it's fairly low-output (1.6 mV), meaning that a standard moving magnet phono stage may not be good enough. If all you have is a MM stage, you'll want to be at least around 2.5 mV and up.

This almost makes me want to hunt around at these second hand shops for a vintage table, just to hear how they sound.
what is a dl-110? I dont really understand phono stuff just yet.

I got this deck for $20. I saw the wooden base alone on sale for $80 on ebay. I figure even if it doesnt work, I didnt lose anything.
post #11 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Keithpgdrb View Post
I got a recommendation for a grado or shure cart as well, what do you think?
An older style Shure like the M44 or SC35 would be fine but these won't be that much better than your existing cart. Newer better ones like the M97 will not be an ideal match for the mass of an older style tonearm like this which, I'd reckon to be in the range of 16-18g or more Effective Mass.
The cheaper Grado's will just about work I think but the AT will a better match and the Denon best of all as these are essentially designs which havn't changed much since back in the day and are known to work well with higher mass tonearms.

jsplice is spot on about the lower output of the DL110 but they are high output moving coils and work well enough in most MM stages in my experience, you just need to crank the volume a little more, and they sound really lovely with decks like this.
post #12 of 66
Thread Starter 
boy, you learn a lot from fiddling around and reading the instructions. the tone arm is staying up because the weight on the end is Optional! I finally saw the screw that takes it off. there are actually supposed to be 2 extra weights to accommodate different carts. so, i took it off, now it can be balanced. I'll have to make sure I have the weights for whatever cart I get, which may be the denon, since you highly recommend it.

so NOW. a separate question for you all. in setting this up like I want, it looks like I may need a phono stage preamp. I dont have tons of money to spend on this, and if it has to wait, it will. But... any recommendations for this deck?

Jeez, all this, and I havent even bought a new belt yet!! probably wont even work!!
post #13 of 66
T-Preamp TCC TC754 - 3 inputs preamp with MM phono stage - [English] this is the cheapest decent one I know of but there are DIY kits as well. The best budget favourite at the moment is the Cambridge Audio 640P which is a bit pricier. These things are really expensive in general actually and you might alos want to check out the goodwill or craigslist for an old amp or reciever as anything older than the 1990s will have a phonostage as standard.

A new belt shouldn't cost you much, 15 USD from New Replacement Belts for Pioneer Turntables. Turntable Basics. Parts and Accessories for Record Players. Turntable Belts and Idler Wheels.. It's worth checking the sizes against your existing one just to be sure they have it right.
You should be able to get it going with the existing belt just to make sure the motor isn't burned out before spending any money. Does the platter where the record sits spin freely? Try lifting it off and removing the belt and giving it a spin. You'll want to clean and re-oil the main bearing on a deck this old.
post #14 of 66
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by memepool View Post
T-Preamp TCC TC754 - 3 inputs preamp with MM phono stage - [English] this is the cheapest decent one I know of but there are DIY kits as well. The best budget favourite at the moment is the Cambridge Audio 640P which is a bit pricier. These things are really expensive in general actually and you might alos want to check out the goodwill or craigslist for an old amp or reciever as anything older than the 1990s will have a phonostage as standard.

A new belt shouldn't cost you much, 15 USD from New Replacement Belts for Pioneer Turntables. Turntable Basics. Parts and Accessories for Record Players. Turntable Belts and Idler Wheels.. It's worth checking the sizes against your existing one just to be sure they have it right.
You should be able to get it going with the existing belt just to make sure the motor isn't burned out before spending any money. Does the platter where the record sits spin freely? Try lifting it off and removing the belt and giving it a spin. You'll want to clean and re-oil the main bearing on a deck this old.
I'll read up on that phonostage. thanks a bunch. the belt is broken. it was broken when I got it. thats probably why "whoever" got rid of it!! lol.. I plugged it in at goodwill, and the spindle where the belt goes does move. so I'm hoping that will be ok. I'm gonna try to hook up with a friend of mine who is into vinyl and has a really nice thorens deck. at least thats what he told me. I'm hoping he can oil and tune this thing up for me. we'll see. probably should get to ordering a belt at least though. I'll write more when things are further along. Thanks Everyone so far!!
post #15 of 66
Any MM phono preamp with a 40 db gain should light up a Denon DL-110 just fine. The 640P as mentioned or the slightly cheaper Pro-Ject Phono Box II should work just fine.The Hagerman Bugle is also very good if you are into battery power.
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