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Cartridge to tonearm color-coded wire assignments

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Cartridge to tonearm color-coded wire assignments

Postby ProgBogey » 01 Mar 2009 03:43

I replaced an old non-working phono cartridge on my Pioneer PL-12X table with a Shure SC35C ($40 at Sam Ash). I replaced the cartridge-to-tonearm wires with the new wires in the Shure replacement package. Seeing the color codings on the new Shure, I pulled all the wires from the tonearm and the old cartridge. Alas, the tonearm pins are not color coded nor do they have any markings. uh-oh. :shock: I took a guess at the tonearm connections based on the Shure cartridge color coded pin positions. That is, upper left cartridge pin to upper left tonearm pin, lower left cartridge to lower left tonearm pin, etc.

Playing an album resulted in a good sound from right and left speakers. However, I don't know if the right, left channels are correct. I also don't know if it matters whether the signal, ground (+,-) polarity really matters.

Does anyone have any thoughts as to proper tonearm pin assignments for right,left channels and +,- polarity for this Pioneer turntable?
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Re: Cartridge to tonearm color-coded wire assignments

Postby jazzbeq » 01 Mar 2009 04:13

Well check with a calibrated record, for in phase or out of phase, if you have sound on each side, it mean you have put it right but only problem you could have is you have put it in out of phase. happen sometime with denon 103 and poor labelling french/anglish who said white is green in french? strange?

Enjoy

ProgBogey wrote:I replaced an old non-working phono cartridge on my Pioneer PL-12X table with a Shure SC35C ($40 at Sam Ash). I replaced the cartridge-to-tonearm wires with the new wires in the Shure replacement package. Seeing the color codings on the new Shure, I pulled all the wires from the tonearm and the old cartridge. Alas, the tonearm pins are not color coded nor do they have any markings. uh-oh. :shock: I took a guess at the tonearm connections based on the Shure cartridge color coded pin positions. That is, upper left cartridge pin to upper left tonearm pin, lower left cartridge to lower left tonearm pin, etc.

Playing an album resulted in a good sound from right and left speakers. However, I don't know if the right, left channels are correct. I also don't know if it matters whether the signal, ground (+,-) polarity really matters.

Does anyone have any thoughts as to proper tonearm pin assignments for right,left channels and +,- polarity for this Pioneer turntable?
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Postby ProgBogey » 01 Mar 2009 04:28

Thanks for your thoughts, Jazzbeq. How does one get a a calibrated record?
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cartridge and pin coding

Postby josephazannieri » 01 Mar 2009 04:34

You can figure this out if you have an ohmmeter. First, pull the RCA plugs out of the amp. Then, disconnect the wires from the cartridge at the cartridge end. Pick the RCA plug that is marked right. It may be marked right with an R, or it may be coded red, or it just may be marked one way or another, like with a black plug instead of silver. If there is no marking, just pick one RCA plug and call it "right," and call the other one "left." Put one of the ohmmeter leads on the center pin of this (right) RCA plug. Then try each of the cartridge wires until you find the one that is continuous with the center pin of the right channel. This cartridge wire should be red. If it isn't, you should change it with the red wire. Then put the first ohmmeter lead on the outside shield of the right RCA plug. Once again, measure cartridge wires until you find the one that is continuous with the right shield. This one should be green. If it isn't, change it. Then go to the left plug. Put one ohmmeter lead on the center connector, and find the cartridge lead that is continuous. This one should be white. If it isn't, change it. Put an ohmmeter lead on the shield of the left RCA plug, and find the cartridge wire that is continuous with it. This should be the last one. This should be blue. If it isn't, change it. Now you have the cartridge wires properly coded, and you just hook them up according to the color code on the cartridge.

If you don't want to move the cartridge wires around, just make a list of the wires by color as they come up. The standard code is right signal = red, right ground = green, left signal = white, left ground = blue, but you can write it however it comes up for you. Then you know which leads should go to which cartridge pins. Hook the cartridge up this way, and all will be cool.

As far as I know, there is no particular "official" wire assignment, other than the standard color code that I have described. I am sure that all the Pioneers are probably uniform, but this way you will figure it out without any specialized Pioneer knowledge. I have made many similar mistakes, and the ohmmeter has saved me over and over again. If you don't have one, get one. You can pick one up at Radio Shack or Lowe's for less than $30.00, and you will use it over and over again.

Hope this helps! Good luck from the old constructor.

Joe Z.
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Postby ProgBogey » 01 Mar 2009 05:25

Well, the old ohmmeter-on-the-pin-to-right-left-RCA-jack-continuity trick. An excellent suggestion, Joseph. I'll check it out tomorrow and see if I got lucky and guessed correctly. And then I'll check my PowerBall numbers to see if I'm really lucky.
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continuity check

Postby josephazannieri » 01 Mar 2009 05:51

I'd suggest you follow the plan that I set up and actually disconnect the head wires from the cartridge. The reason is that the cartridge coils can come in with relatively low resistance, as low as 100 ohms, depending on the cartridge. Don't know what that Shure measures. This can fool you if you leave the cartridge connected at the head wires. You will get apparent continuity between the cartridge wires because of the coils in the cartridge. Seems like a pain, but it makes the measurements easier.

From your initial response, you may already be aware of this. Just want to make it easy. Good luck again!

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Postby jazzbeq » 01 Mar 2009 05:53

ProgBogey wrote:Thanks for your thoughts, Jazzbeq. How does one get a a calibrated record?


Cardas, is a good one, but, there are plenty and you could also adjust VTA and VTF with it, in other word, best tracking/antiskating and angle of the needle and also play with the weight to fine tune the sound, with those kind of record.

They called it test record sometimes, i am sure others could help me throw some name here.

Personaly, i had bought the cardas, caus, it is the first that i had found ;)

Enjoy
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Postby bauzace50 » 01 Mar 2009 06:49

Hi,
another "test record" with calibrated "in phase and out of phase" signal is the HiFiNews Test Record, available at most equipment dealers in the Net, or directly from Hi Fi News magazine.
Good luck,
bauzace50
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Postby ProgBogey » 01 Mar 2009 13:59

Thank you for all the suggestions. This has been most enlightening. Using the ohmmeter to check for continuity from headshell to the RCA jacks, I sucessfully identified the left and right channels, and, each channel's signal (+) and signal return (-). Results are documented in the following figure.

[headshellpins]8681[/headshellpins]

This is my first attempt at posting an image ... hope it works.

Incidently, the measured resistance through the Shure cartridge +R to -R is 970 mOhms. I took Joe's advice and disconnected the four cartridge leads when measuring for continuity. Thanks again!

Yo from Philly,

Roger H.
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Postby michaelevans60 » 01 Mar 2009 14:10

bauzace50 wrote:Hi,
another "test record" with calibrated "in phase and out of phase" signal is the HiFiNews Test Record, available at most equipment dealers in the Net, or directly from Hi Fi News magazine.
Good luck,
bauzace50


This is invaluable in setting up your system properly. They can be quite expensive but they are worth every penny. Takes a load of the guesswork out.
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Postby ProgBogey » 07 Mar 2009 19:30

Pioneer PL-12X headshell pin assignments. Click on image to see full size picture.

8681
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