Pioneer PL-41 belt-drive turntable ranking

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Nnicola
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Pioneer PL-41 belt-drive turntable ranking

Post by Nnicola » 29 Apr 2019 22:42

I have been looking at vintage belt-drive turntables on eBay and was wondering where the Pioneer PL-41 ranked?

How does it compare to a Thorens TD-165 or an AR-Xa in terms of build quality, and how much is one worth if it is in very good condition?

I have read that they were very well made, but not particularly well suited to high compliance cartridges due to the high mass tonearm.

Anyone ever own one, or still own one now and have an opinion?

Thanks.

katana1100
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Re: Pioneer PL-41 belt-drive turntable ranking

Post by katana1100 » 07 May 2019 00:53

I have seen some reviews calling equal to those two tables. It really is well built. I have 8 tt’s and not one has a motor nearly as big as the pl41; it looks big enough to be in a garbage disposal!
And that tone arm... that it’s high mass shouldn’t be held as a flaw, it’s what it is. Even without antiskate , it’s a classy precision piece. I think it was made by jelco.
My best tt is a biotracer with a signet cart with 540 stylus and also a Denon 110 with shibata upgrade. Still, that pioneer pl41 ( with oem cart) is my go to table for jazz.
I also have the “newer” pl50 which looks like a pl41 with auto return. That’s nice too, but the pl41 sounds better.
It’s a bargain, considering nice examples still sell for less than brand new made in China Hanpin junk tables.
Get a nice pl41 and I promise you’ll love it. Paired with a good conical cart, you’ll be surprised how quiet some of your older vinyls will be.

Nnicola
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Re: Pioneer PL-41 belt-drive turntable ranking

Post by Nnicola » 07 May 2019 22:23

Thanks for info, katana1100.

I almost stopped looking for replies to my post until I came across yours today.

The last PL-41 I saw on EBay looked to be in great condition and sold for $235. There are plenty of parts still available.

The Pl-41 seems to have all the things I want in a tt. It's belt driven, simply designed, and uses quality components. The fact that you say jazz sounds great on it helps too, because that's what I mostly listen to!

Do you have any expertise on the PL 514, and if so, what is your take on that tt?

Thanks.

katana1100
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Re: Pioneer PL-41 belt-drive turntable ranking

Post by katana1100 » 08 May 2019 04:36

Can’t speak about that one. Another thing about the pl41 is that it doesn’t have spring hinges - those things tend to break. Nope, it has a prop rod- gotta love it. Looks great when you apply some oil to it, followed with bees wax treatment.
Steely Dan and Chuck Mangione both sound happy on that tt!

lenjack
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Re: Pioneer PL-41 belt-drive turntable ranking

Post by lenjack » 08 May 2019 14:40

Nothing beats an XA if it's well maintained and working properly. Be aware that it's completely manual, and does not have anti skate.

katana1100
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Re: Pioneer PL-41 belt-drive turntable ranking

Post by katana1100 » 10 May 2019 03:41

I wouldn’t hold lack of antiskate against a table. I was a little leery about the pl41 not having it but there are some disadvantages of a/s, like not being dialed in right.

Alec124c41
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Re: Pioneer PL-41 belt-drive turntable ranking

Post by Alec124c41 » 10 May 2019 05:28

One thing about those old Pioneers to watch: they used a Delrin thrust-pad under the spindle, that would have deteriorated by now. If it has not been replaced, the platter will ride low, and perhaps scrape. A disc cut from a yoghurt lid will do, as a temporary replacement.

Cheers,
Alec

lenjack
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Re: Pioneer PL-41 belt-drive turntable ranking

Post by lenjack » 10 May 2019 12:44

I don't have one of these Alec, but I'm curious. Are permanent replacements available?

Alec124c41
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Re: Pioneer PL-41 belt-drive turntable ranking

Post by Alec124c41 » 10 May 2019 13:44

Replacement thrust pads have been made out of a number of materials, but I don't know if any are commercially available at this time.

Cheers,
Alec

katana1100
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Re: Pioneer PL-41 belt-drive turntable ranking

Post by katana1100 » 10 May 2019 14:48

I just checked the auction site- there are three different sellers of them, ranging from $8-$18 delivered .
Regular maintenance might extend their life( my replacement is going on 6 years and looks fine.)
Maintenance is keeping it oiled. Their is a little cap the bushing resides that needs to be filled with oil, maybe every three months if you use it a lot.
It’s very easy to do; the table is designed for easy maintenance.
I use 30w machine oil in it.

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