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Pioneer PL-41 belt-drive turntable ranking

Posted: 29 Apr 2019 22:42
by Nnicola
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.

Re: Pioneer PL-41 belt-drive turntable ranking

Posted: 07 May 2019 00:53
by katana1100
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.

Re: Pioneer PL-41 belt-drive turntable ranking

Posted: 07 May 2019 22:23
by Nnicola
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.

Re: Pioneer PL-41 belt-drive turntable ranking

Posted: 08 May 2019 04:36
by katana1100
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!

Re: Pioneer PL-41 belt-drive turntable ranking

Posted: 08 May 2019 14:40
by lenjack
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.

Re: Pioneer PL-41 belt-drive turntable ranking

Posted: 10 May 2019 03:41
by katana1100
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.

Re: Pioneer PL-41 belt-drive turntable ranking

Posted: 10 May 2019 05:28
by Alec124c41
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

Re: Pioneer PL-41 belt-drive turntable ranking

Posted: 10 May 2019 12:44
by lenjack
I don't have one of these Alec, but I'm curious. Are permanent replacements available?

Re: Pioneer PL-41 belt-drive turntable ranking

Posted: 10 May 2019 13:44
by Alec124c41
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

Re: Pioneer PL-41 belt-drive turntable ranking

Posted: 10 May 2019 14:48
by katana1100
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.

Re: Pioneer PL-41 belt-drive turntable ranking

Posted: 02 Aug 2019 23:11
by rash
Nnicola wrote:
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.
I have Pioneer PL-41W two tonearms and MC trance ,nice machine

Re: Pioneer PL-41 belt-drive turntable ranking

Posted: 22 Aug 2019 20:48
by BillWojo
rash, do you have a picture of that? Never saw a PL-41 with two tonearms.

katana, my PL-41D does have a lever with a anti-skate weight.

Billwojo

Re: Pioneer PL-41 belt-drive turntable ranking

Posted: 22 Nov 2019 16:32
by BillWojo
I need to edit my above posting. The lever (rod) and weight are for the lateral balance. There is a dial at the bottom of the tonearm stem that is for anti-skate called "Bias" and has calibrated scale on it. Below that is a collar for raising or lowering the tonearm height.
Seems the PL-41D has an improved tonearm over the original PL-41.

BillWojo

Re: Pioneer PL-41 belt-drive turntable ranking

Posted: 30 Nov 2019 18:43
by Squirrely
I am now a registered user of Vinyl Engine for the first time. I signed up just to respond to this thread. I have a Pioneer PL-41 and a Micro Seiki DD-40. I have only one cart so I have only one tt set up at a time. The cart is a Denon 110. I think there is likely a better cartridge choice for the Pioneer but it works great for the Micro Seiki. The Micro sounds more detailed when set up properly with the Denon cart. That being said, I love, love, love my Pioneer PL-41. There is something about using that TT that knocks my socks off! Everything about using it is a pleasure. The look of it, lifting the hood and placing the kick stand, and the simplicity of the design. Setting up and maintaining the TT is easy as pie. Eventually I will have both TT's running with one set up for my older collection of albums and the other set up for new thick vinyl. Both my TT's are awesome and I have tried to own only one. I have tried to separate myself from the Pioneer to finance other things. I tell myself, I can keep my Micro Seiki as it sounds fantastic with the Denon cart but I just can't separate from the Pioneer. I have contemplated this for years and have decided love is not a rational consideration. The Micro is the better TT without a doubt but I love the Pioneer. I like my Micro Seiki, but I'm hopelessly devoted to my Pioneer PL-41. Hope my wife doesn't read this.

Re: Pioneer PL-41 belt-drive turntable ranking

Posted: 30 Nov 2019 18:56
by lenjack
Welcome to our forum. We wont tell. By the way, most of us are half looney anyway. #-o :roll: :wink: :? 8)