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Pioneer PL-12D

2-Speed Belt-Drive Turntable (1972-1976)

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pioneer pl-12d belt-drive turntable
Pioneer PL-12D


The PL-12D motor drives the platter not via a system of trouble prone idlers but via the tried and true Pioneer belt transmission, shutting out motor vibrations and rumble while improving the overall signal to noise ratio.

The belt, made of a durable polyurethane, resists temperature changes as well as ageing remarkably well.

The 4-pole synchronous motor features highly accurate and stable speed and revolves with practically no vibrations.

Stability is further improved by the fine machining of the zinc-alloy platter.

To keep the stylus tracking perfectly along the centre of the record groove, a specially developed spring activated anti-skating device is provided - it's effect is to guarantee fine channel separation when playing stereo records.

The lightweight and light tracking tonearm is shaped for almost perfect geometry and minimum tracking error.

What's more, it is equipped with an absolute lateral balance weight so that vertical stylus movement will not lead to lateral unbalances.

With it's dark brown, walnut finished base and balanced black-silver colours, the PL-12D looks like the precision instrument it is.


Motor: 4-pole synchronous motor

Drive: belt driven

Speeds: 33 and 45rpm

Speed accuracy: 1.0% or less

Wow and flutter: 0.1% WRMS

Rumble: 47dB

Platter: 30cm aluminium alloy

Tonearm: s-shaped pipe

Effective length: 221mm

Dimensions: 430 x 160.5 x 349mm

Weight: 7.5kg


flyer  English - LarryM

instruction/owners manual  Deutsch - pehajope

instruction/owners manual  English

II instruction/owners manual (YPT/NBT/HVT)  English

II instruction/owners manual (KCT/KUT)  English - jwscott

II service manual  English

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Pioneer PL-12D 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 without prior permission or for financial gain is strictly prohibited. This website is not affiliated with or sponsored by Pioneer.


My pioneer will not send any

My pioneer will not send any signal to my speaker. Any suggestions?

Hum Problem

Hi Everyone,
My son has just acquired a PL12D and reported that it faintly hums when playing. Before we risk causing more damage than we cure, does anyone have a suggestion as to what might be the cause?

Many thanks in advance for any responses.

Hum Problem

If there is a spot for a grounding cable make sure that it is connected. There is always grounding terminal on the back of your amp/receiver, usually right next to the phono input. The turntable itself might have a single wire coming off of it, or it might just have a screw terminal post next to RCA outlets. Also, make sure the barrel screw that holds the head shell on is completely tightened. A loose connection here will also cause problems.

overhang adjustment

Hi has anybody installed a shure m95ed cartridge? I'm having a problem adjusting the overhang.
I tried using the protractor that came with my shure m97xe but I'm not sure if that's accurate. So
I've tried the geo disc cartridge alignment tool. I'm not sure which tool is giving me accurate readings.
Also how do you use the overhang checker but when I try to use it the tonearm rest is in the way.


The Shure protractor and GeoDisc use Baerwald alignment so you'll need to push the cartridge well forward in the headshell and twist the cartridge in the headshell to align to them. FWIW used properly they will result in identical alignment to each other, but not to the Pioneer gauge.

The Pioneer overhang checker uses their choice of alignment (don't try to compare this with the other tools) and you should keep the cartridge perfectly square in the headshell when using it. I'm not sure what problem you're having with the built-in overhang checker? On my old PL12 you placed the arm in the arm rest then pulled up the overhang gauge to check the the stylus followed the groove (how easy this is depends on how tall your cartridge is). It wasn't terribly accurate but it sort of worked.



I'm a little confused so if I use the shure protractor the cartridge should
align on both points?

Shure Protractor

Yes, the idea of a two point protractor is to get the cantilever aligned with the grooves at the two null points (the two points of null error). The Shure protractor and the Geodisc use Baerwald points which give the lowest peak error across the playing surface of an average 12" record.

With the Pioneer overhang gauge you can keep the cartridge square while you set the overhang as the standard offset angle is set by the headshell angle. If you are using a two-point protractor you set the new offset angle at the second point. With the Geodisc you need to accurately point the sight line at the pivot point (not always easy) then adjust the cartridge overhang and angle to match the grid lines

The correct way to use a two point protractor is as follows:

(1) Rotate the protractor and place the stylus on the outer point, then adjust the overhang until the cartridge is parallel with the grid lines with the stylus on the point
(2) Rotate the protractor until you can place the stylus on the inner point then check alignment with the inner grid. If the cartridge isn't parallel here, twist the cartridge in the headshell while trying to keep the overhang set in step 1
(3) Repeat the steps 1 and 2 until the cartridge is parallel with the grids with the stylus placed on either point

It gets easier with practice :)



Hi I appreciate your help, I thought I try and use the geodisc and I've posted
two pictures in the gallery. In the first picture I'm not sure if I found the pivot
point. The second picture shows the headshell in the grid.I'm not sure if I'm doing
it right but I thought I'd check with the shure gauge and it seems it aligns with
point b and it's a little bit off with point a.

Sight Line

That's one of the problems with sight line tools like the Geodisc, if the line isn't perfectly aligned with the pivot point the alignment shifts. Checking with a two-point protractor is a good idea. If it's OK at one point you could try adjusting the angle a little at the second to improve things? You may find the alignment is close enough as is.


Headshell connections for Pioneer PL 12 turntable

I bought a Pl 12 recently, and decided to replace the cartridge (an old and probably damaged
Pickering V 15, not original) by a Shure N 97.

I'm a little confused with the cable connections between the cartridge and the headshell.

The manuals I could find are B+W, so there's no information concerning the connecting
cable colors.

Any help in this matter would be welcome.

Many thanks in advance.

Regards / Ingo


Do you still have the wires attached to the headshell? If so, the colour coding for attaching them to the cartridge are usually the same as this:


pioneer pl12d

Dusted off the old turntable and replaced belt but its revolving very slooow--what type of oil can I use to see if it's just lubrication it needs??
Any advice gratefully received

Whay kind of oil?

Hey seand. I believe the best oil for turntables is sewing machine oil. It only costs a couple of dollars from a fabric or craft shop.

The link below has some info on recovering and restoring vintage turntables. Lots of it is prob irrelevant but you can scan it and find some useful info on what and where to look into to clean the TT up.


Hi David-sorry for

Hi David-sorry for delay(forgot password)just to say thanks for comments and the link-very useful.Having pulled it apart I've realised the sponge "dampers" have disintegrated so replaced with new sponge.

Hi, where can i buy/order


where can i buy/order this FRX 23.6 - belt? I recently got a pl 12d for free and in perfect state, but only the belt is missing...


PL12 runs too fast

You probably have the wrong belt. You need the FRX23.6 belt which is .185 wide. MCM and others sell a belt which they say is for the Pioneer-it is also 23.6 but it is .250 wide. The wider belt contacts the entire pulley and causes the turntable to run too fast. Get the FRX23.6 and the speed should be fine.

Speed issue?

I recently got this model from my dad, and although it sounds great, it is running a bit fast. Very little wow & flutter (checked with a strobe disc), but the speed is consistently higher.

With no pitch adjustment, are there any ideas or thoughts on how I can adjust it, or is this a bigger issue? I'm wondering (hoping) if the belt (which is at least 17 years old, but wasn't left on the turntable during that time) might be causing this?

I've cleaned the pulley, oiled it (in the provided hole), cleaned the platter and belt, but no change.

dust cover

hello everybody, the dustcover of my 12d broke and i am looking for a second hand one. any suggestions?
greetings from palma.


hi all i was lucky enough to be give this aong with the rest of the originial stereo, it was working fine till one day it doesnt work properly griding noise an very slow movement...any ideas? thanks alot

Pioneer PL12D turntable


My PL12D is missing the lateral weight. Anyone can help find the little thing? my emial:

Many thanks


lateral weight

Hi Beanwong,

you do not need it.
Set the arm, tracking force and anti-skating. That's it.


PL12-D lateral weight

When I got my PL12D back in 1974, the hi fi mags of the time noted that performance was better without the lateral weight, particularly with the Shure M75 ED and V15 cartridges. I could not hear any difference with or without. Did you take the end weight out? You need to do this with a low weight high performance cartridge.

lateral weight

i am pulling my turntable out of mothballs and cannot find the lateral weight---it worked like a charm for me. any idea on how much that thing weighed? i'm quite handy and can make one if i have the correct weight that it has to be.

any ideas??

Lateral weight actual weight.

Thought I would share this in case someone still need to know.
Just weighed my lateral weight on a digital scale and

the result was almost precisely 18 grams. (~0.6349oz)

Much love.

Pioneer PL-12D Manual

Just what I've been looking for!

Mega-thanks to all concerned.


Thanks for the user manuel for the Pioneer, Got one of these a few weeks ago and needed this.