Does Pioneer PL12D sound good?

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vanakaru
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Does Pioneer PL12D sound good?

Post by vanakaru » 04 Apr 2019 09:02

I have many turntables. Most of the time I use Lenco L78SE that has S-arm supposedly made by Jelco. It sounds really good with B&O SP10-12.
Now out of curiosity(and the price was tempting) I got Pioneer PL12D as well. It came with Ortofon VMS20 with good stylus. After good overhaul and adjustments it sounds surprisingly good - better? or at least different than my Lenco. Is it due to cartridge(and arm match) or this table is really good over all? Or it is just fresh to my ears that are used to B&O Lenco sound?
So I wonder about your thoughts if you have experienced and compared this Pioneer to others. I have too many TTs already so I try to decide if I should keep it and get rid of some others.
Lenco L78SE
Lenco L78
Lenco B52 with Pritchard ADC40 arm
Garrard LAB80 MkI and MkII
Elac Miraphon 20
Dual 1257; 1224
Hitachi HT-324
and few more that I do not remember the exact model

Pauw
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Re: Does Pioneer PL12D sound good?

Post by Pauw » 04 Apr 2019 09:14

The Pioneer PL 12D was a game changer, when it appeared on the market......It was an affordable, partially suspended chassis table with a decent arm......Now, in the UK, it took off because, it allowed a good progression from a Garrard Sp 25 or BSR or maybe a Dual or whatever......when set up well, with a cartridge like an Ortofon VMS 20, it will sing and sing well.. However, you are close to its limit. It isn't a super table, but it is at the point in the market when, you have to spend good money to better it. If, you put it on a good sympathetic surface, not close to speakers or electrics, pair it with some good amplification and speakers it will provide the vinyl end of a good system. It is durable, and there is plenty of advice as to how to keep it in tip top condition on this forum. :D

royal_mile
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Re: Does Pioneer PL12D sound good?

Post by royal_mile » 04 Apr 2019 12:04

The PL12D was the best entry-level turntables when it was introduced in the mid-1970s and is still highly regarded today. You'll need a good quality replacement belt at some point but other than that, they're low maintenance.

If the cartridge is the popular VMS20E MkII version, it is very nice but ideally suited to a low mass tonearm. It will perform just fine in the 12D but you need to keep the tracking force in the range 0.75-1.5g for the best sound and stylus life.

Steve

abril
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Re: Does Pioneer PL12D sound good?

Post by abril » 04 Apr 2019 12:25

Was a great reasonably priced turntable in it's time - but a problem that rears it's head regularly is collapsing or hardening of the motor mount bushes - which allows a lot of motor drone to get through to the cartridge.
Had one in the mid seventies used with an ADC VLM.

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Re: Does Pioneer PL12D sound good?

Post by audioorigami » 04 Apr 2019 12:32

yep great little turntable ...was great value for money
still sounds good today if you get a good example
...and the arm can be serviced or even rewired if needed

vanakaru
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Re: Does Pioneer PL12D sound good?

Post by vanakaru » 04 Apr 2019 16:42

Thanks! I used 1,5g force - shall try lesser soon. So this arm is kind of low mass?
I have plenty of different carts to try. What would be recommendations to try first?
Maybe Shure V15III, AT12Sa, Nagaoka MP11Boron, Grado F1....

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Re: Does Pioneer PL12D sound good?

Post by Pauw » 04 Apr 2019 17:46

I would be cautious with a V15.....the kind of level a Pl 12D usually was paired with in its day was a Shure 75 ED ...I have seen a few 95Eds that were OK but a V15 might be pushing it a bit .....

maxwellite
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Re: Does Pioneer PL12D sound good?

Post by maxwellite » 05 Apr 2019 03:33

I got a PL-12D in the early 90's as my first real turntable, and enjoyed it for the next 20 years until I upgraded. I even acquired a spare. To me, the PL12D sets the bar for a hi-fi turntable---a turntable that doesn't meet it's specifications and features is not hi-fi in my book. Unfortunately, some "entry-level" tables of today fail that test.

When I bough the PL-12D it needed a new belt so I visited a hi-fi shop to buy one. The guy there said I needed to bring in the old belt to measure. I replied that it had disintegrated and couldn't he look up PL-12d in his book? No book, but he remembered what was needed and sold it to me. (I later found out that almost all Pioneers of the 70's need a 60 cm belt).

I think I used AT-95E and Shure M92E cartridges before settling on an M97xE. The manual refers to a Pioneer PC-30 cartridge, which I think was a conical.

The tonearm is described as "light-weight and light-tracking" but no numbers are given. I'd guess it's similar to a Technics S-shaped arm which is listed as12g effective mass without a cartridge.

vanakaru
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Re: Does Pioneer PL12D sound good?

Post by vanakaru » 05 Apr 2019 07:12

So I need to dig out my M97xE. I haven't had good luck with it so far and I gave up trying some years ago.

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Re: Does Pioneer PL12D sound good?

Post by cello » 30 Apr 2019 13:45

I purchased one along with a QX646 Quad Receiver back in the early 70's I still have them both Plpd12 along with the channel disc. Wanting to restore it before using it after a couple of decades of storage still have several Quad albums that I'm wishing to pull out and enjoy without kids jumping around. Where can I get the best quality parts and what are the most needed parts ?

vinyl master
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Re: Does Pioneer PL12D sound good?

Post by vinyl master » 30 Apr 2019 16:16

cello wrote:
30 Apr 2019 13:45
I purchased one along with a QX646 Quad Receiver back in the early 70's I still have them both Plpd12 along with the channel disc. Wanting to restore it before using it after a couple of decades of storage still have several Quad albums that I'm wishing to pull out and enjoy without kids jumping around. Where can I get the best quality parts and what are the most needed parts ?
If you're looking for parts, I can wholeheartedly suggest the fine folks at organdonorparts.com...

https://organdonorparts.com/Pioneer-PL- ... s_c218.htm

Even if they don't have your specific part listed, they may still have it in stock...I ordered a better dust cover for my PL-12D II from them, even though they didn't have one listed online (My original had a bad crack in it...)...You can e-mail them at sales@organdonorparts.com for more info!

One thing I might recommend is to look for a spare headshell, so you could mount a different cartridge, if you prefer...I personally like my Shure M91ED on the Pioneer, but say I want to switch to an AT or an Ortofon...The extra headshell allows for that...You could look for an original one like this one...

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Rare-Vintage-P ... SwPEtcrRla

...but there are also aftermarket shells out there like this one for less to get you playing records sooner and cheaper...

https://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-SILVER-Rec ... Sw9mFWHUNn

Since the PL 12D is old, I would suggest getting a proper belt replacement and a new stylus for whatever cartridge you have on it now...Our friend Gary Stork at thevoiceofmusic.com is the guy I go to for all my stylus and belt needs...He is HIGHLY recommended here and you can reach him at info@thevoiceofmusic.com. He's never steered me wrong and I'm sure he won't steer you wrong, either! :D

Hopefully, that'll get you started resurrecting your fine machine! I have one in my back-up system and love it! Plus, our own jives11 wrote this great blog on how to restore a PL 12D to it's former glory! 8)

http://mr-ives.blogspot.com/2013/07/res ... table.html

Well worth checking out if any of you out there have this model! =D>

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