Two Speed Direct Drive Turntable
The Pioneer PL-518 is a 2-speed, direct-drive turntable fitted with a static balance type, S-shaped tonearm.
Although the PL-518 is technically a manual, single-play turntable, the kind traditionally preferred by audiophiles and professionals alike, it offers two welcome conveniences.
One is the Quick-Start function. The other is the Auto-Return function, which works like this: when the stylus enters the lead-out groove of your record, a special Pioneer-developed device detects the increased lateral speed of the tone arm and triggers the auto-return mechanism. This lifts the tone arm gently, returns it to its rest, and shuts off all power to the turntable. The mechanism is one that Pioneer has tested successfully for over 100,000 continuous operations, and one guaranteed to perform with minimum noise and maximum reliability.
The PL-518's platter does not begin to rotate until you lift the tone arm and move it toward the outer edge of the platter. This convenience is appreciated all the more when you use it in combination with the oil-damped Cue Lever which lets you lower the stylus to the record surface (at the point of your choice) without risk of dropping the arm or nicking the record.
All controls on the Pioneer PL-518 are grouped on the righthand side of the platter to make handling easier still. In addition to the adjustment controls for the tone arm there is the Cue Lever, the Speed Select Button, and the Fine Pitch Control. Also on the right is the built-in strobe with an attractively illuminated light/calibration arrangement so that you may keep a visual check on the platter's accurate speed.
Pioneer has developed a 16-pole, 24-slot DC servomotor for the PL-518, one that provides exactly the same high signal-to-noise ratio and low wow/flutter as that used in the more expensive PL-520 model. This motor's magnetic circuit is twice as strong as conventional direct-drive types, a fact which contributes greatly to its improved resistance to torque ripple caused by uneven magnetic force.
Its switching frequency is also doubled, to 13.3Hz. Together these mean improved load characteristics, more accurate platter speeds at all times and, ultimately, better tonal quality results from your records.
You will find that few if any turntables in this price range offer such outstanding performance specifications: the signal-to-noise ratio achieved by the super-silent DC servo direct-drive motor is a high 73dB or less, while wow/flutter is an excellent 0.03% or less, and will stay that good over long years
Type: direct drive
Motor: 16-pole, 24-slot, DC servo motor
Platter: 320mm aluminium alloy diecast
Speeds: 33 and 45rpm
Speed control range: +-2%
Wow and flutter: 0.03%
Tonearm: static-balanced type, s-shaped pipe arm
Effective length: 221mm
Cartridge weight range: 4 to 10g
Dimensions: 440 x 145 x 365mm
brochure (en) - soundbug1
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Pioneer Direct Drive Turntables
Pioneer PL-518 / PL518 owners manual, service manuals and schematics are for reference only and the Vinyl Engine bears no responsibility for errors or other inaccuracies. The PDF files are provided under strict licence. Reproduction for financial gain is strictly prohibited. This website is not affiliated with or sponsored by Pioneer.
a fantastic deck after a couple of decades still rocking
10/10 by antero
excellent turntable !
10/10 by czmer1
This is an excellent TT. I used to have a Pl-115D. This is a huge step up.After going almost 3 years without my PL-115D. I needed something better than an ION TT... Don't ever get the ION TTs... This Pioneer PL-518 is outstanding!!! I broke down and bought this table for $190.00 I think every penny was well spent. I am not familiar with the cartridge that the previous owner installed, but I will be using a Shure M97xE. Unfortunately there are no feet... So any little bump=bad things. So I have a set of four on the way from Ebay. An extra $35.00 but I think it will be worth it. This is a very weighted table as well. About a good 20 Lbs.
All in all I highly recommend this to anyone who is looking for an inexpensive TT. I have always stuck with Pioneer for a legit TT. The older Pioneers at least.
10/10 by dunca123
Awesome turntable that will last decades. Direct drive means no belts to replace- just keep slapping on styluses. Still spinning after 30+ years!
10/10 by soundvision
9/10 by tr23
Got a PL518 in 1978 to replace a low-end Dual. Big jump in audio quality.. plus lots of bling and heft. Eventually the rubber in the foot pads disintegrated (who worried about ozone?) Unfortunately I sold it after things went digital.
I haven't found one used and am now considering an AT-LP120, having slightly inferior specs and no auto return.
9/10 by pvaudo
I've been gathering new gear like a madman as I try to lock down THE system for my house. I have a Technics SL-1400 that was my first TT and I thought would be my last. Last weekend I happened to go by Goodwill and much to my surprise, since I never see TT's there, was the PL-518 at a $19.91(I ended up getting it for half that 'cause I'm cute I guess). It was very dirty and had no cartridge, but using my iPhone to check up on it, I knew it was at worst a table that I could sell and make a few bucks if I didn't like it. Once home, I gave her a thorough cleaning and put on my daily driver cartridge and wow, this sounds better than my Technics SL-1400 and makes my LP's sound like music! I'm going to sell my 1400 and put the money towards a long-tem cartridge and call it a day. My only beef is with Goodwill or the donor for not including the dustcover. However, all the feet are solid and original, which I understand is a rarity and boy do they make a difference. I could probably jump rope and not skip the record. This is a beefy TT and weighs around 20lbs. The platter and mat are solid and the body is built to last. If you can get one of these at a reasonable price or when comparing a Technics 1x00, go for this guy. I really dig it and I think you will too.
8/10 by ofrayray
Most reliable, accurate, easy to operate and adjustable turntable for the money - then and now. Out performs a thousand dollar system. Used in my studio an on air Jazz Shows for over twenty years. Have four and all are Still Ticking.
5/10 by studio57a