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Pioneer PL-518 Reviews

displaying reviews 1 to 20 of 24

Pioneer PL-518

Pioneer PL-518

10/10 by slobrain

PIONEER PL-518 NOT FOR THE FAINT OF HEART!
That said its a rock solid built vintage turntable and better built than anything new in 2019. The construction is old school Japan made. Its got auto return which is a plus too. Heavy plinth. The only drawback are the original feet rot out and need replacing. Just buy some Penn feet off ebay and your good. Nuff said!

10/10 by aneumayr

Just a great overall TT. I've had 2 different ones as my second player, and it's just perfect. Very happy with everything about it!

7/10 by KentT

A classic, well built Pioneer DD semi automatic. Speed stability is excellent, excellent stock tonearm, isolated well, and nice looking and substantial plinth. A nice bargain when new. Hard to beat then, and still as fine now. Only real weakness is the rubber feet deteriorating with age. Sorbothane upgrades are out there. This PL 518 performs very well by any standard. I love mine. So fine I am on my second one.

5/10 by MrFizzbin

Ofrayray.. My only beef is with Goodwill or the donor for not including the dustcover. It's Goodwill!! You paid $10. bucks..seriously?!

9/10 by dhuss

I have refurbished about 8 of these TT's and run two of them at my home. I have run a number of other decks, including Dual and Thorens, and I have found these PL-518's to be the most stable and best performing. With a little help of cleaning, lubricating, new real wood veneer, new connectors and either some work polishing or a new dust cover, these decks outperform new budget decks (IMHO) and are near the top of vintage decks. They do lack tonearm height and azimuth adjustment but with the right cart (I use Ortofon 2M red and 2M Blue) mounted with the correct overhang, they can be dialed in. I have checked with a cartridge protactor and it is nearly perfect. Combine that with the direct drive system that provides .03% wow and flutter and you have a table that easily matches todays mid-level tables.

5/10 by richt3306

After a year looking and bidding on pioneer PL 518 turntable I finally able to win the bidding on a mint condition 518 and it sounds great and operates flawlessly. Also have a pioneer PL 514 in mint condition,love the pioneer.

8/10 by Oyster Black Pearl

Had mine a few years now - simply stunning! Docked 1 point due to no VTA or azimuth adjustment. Having said that, mate it with the right cartridge body (I use an AT440mlb) and you're laughing.

5/10 by ron13a

I have a pair of Pioneer PL-518 tables that I've been using for a few years with no issues. They run great! A true gem.

10/10 by scvol

I need to adjust the speed on my 518 as the fine speed adjustment on top of TT maxed out and speed is too slow.I noticed in service manual on page 9 there is an adjustment hole on bottom of unit but when I look through hole I see no way to adjust as there is no slot in whatever I am looking at. What tool is needed to make adjustment as I know I am looking through right hole as it states on outside + - 33. Help please as this is a great TT

10/10 by Bluzeman

I have owned my Pioneer PL-518 from brand new & out the door of the Stereo Store in the late 70s. I installed and set up a Grado Red cartridge about a year ago and am very happy with the sonic results. The PL-518 is running though a Yamaha surround system mated to 4 mid 70's Burhoe Blue 3 way speaker cabinets and a small powered sub-woofer. I use the straight stereo/mono amp settings, with speaker A/B settings on. The vinyl plays clean and as true to sources I could hope for without spending a Lot more $$$! The system can Rock n Roll when I want it too (when no-one else is home that is!) LOL. I find the auto return feature is a bit sticky and probably needs a good regrease. Over time the dust cover had become surfaced grazed, so I took the cover down to a local autobody refinisher and they ran the cover under their paint buffer for about a minute and a half - it came out looking like new! The business owner was keen on reviving vintage stuff himself and didn't charge me anything. Doesn't get any better than that!

The PL-518 speeds are spot on and it is now in near showroom appearance. No rumble, never any howl, and tracks flawlessly at 1.5 gm!.

10/10 by bellsjc

I purchased the PL-518 back in 1978. Used it till the world of digital took over. Fortunately for me I did not ditch it. I stored it away until a couple months ago. I decided to bring it back to life because a friend of mine gifted me an album from a local band that was together back in 1978. I of course had nothing to play it on so I decided to bring out the old PL-518. I also kept the SX-780 receiver and HPM-60 speakers that I purchased back in 1978. I remembered that the stylus on the Empire 2008 cartridge had broken off when I retired the turntable, so I ordered a replacement. I also decided to totally restore the TT. I took it completely apart and peeled off the metallic looking veneer that covered the plinth. I replaced it with cherry veneer, stained, and varnished it. I made a set of feet for it, reassembled it and crossed my fingers that it would work. It did. I restored the dust cover by sanding it with 1200 wet and then 2000 wet sand paper, then used a 3 part plastic polishing compound and that looks like new. I also re-veneered the receiver with the same cherry veneer. Connected the system up, and started playing vinyl again. The TT is a champ. After 35 years, it still operates like new. Holds its speed, auto return still works like it did back in 1978, and now it looks like a million bucks too. Smartest buy I could have made back when I was 19 years old.

10/10 by stuttgart stefan

I have had my PL-518 since the summer of 1978. It has performed flawlessly since. Glad that I never parted ways with this TT over the years.

9/10 by jaztech

Reliable, thats the keyword. Sound wise, excellent! My Ortofon OM10 Super rides on this one. Solid bass and precise sound image with just the right amount of depth. It has it's own nice and engaging sound which I like besides my other 4 tables that I have. It sounded much better when I replaced it's original mat to Rotel's mat.
Get it if you can get your hands on one. The autoreturn feature is very convenient to me.

5/10 by JeffR714

Just bought this turntable from local independent record store got it home used it and started to compare it with some of the newer turntables I've owned in the last couple of years and there's no comparison this table is excellent.I decided to put an AT-120E on when I did the Auto Return just started working which it didn't when I got the table home initially must of happened during the balancing or the previous owner disabled it Does anyone know how that could happen?

9/10 by cr_qc

Bought it at very cheap price (40$). Still maintaining speed very steady. No rumble. Cannot say nothing wrong with this turn table. Very good system to return the arm. Very impress.

10/10 by TRAX IN WAX

cant find a thing wrong with this one. works great!

10/10 by soundvision

Awesome turntable that will last decades. Direct drive means no belts to replace- just keep slapping on styluses. Still spinning after 30+ years!

10/10 by dunca123

This is an excellent TT. I used to have a Pl-115D. This is a huge step up.After going almost 3 years without my PL-115D. I needed something better than an ION TT... Don't ever get the ION TTs... This Pioneer PL-518 is outstanding!!! I broke down and bought this table for $190.00 I think every penny was well spent. I am not familiar with the cartridge that the previous owner installed, but I will be using a Shure M97xE. Unfortunately there are no feet... So any little bump=bad things. So I have a set of four on the way from Ebay. An extra $35.00 but I think it will be worth it. This is a very weighted table as well. About a good 20 Lbs.

All in all I highly recommend this to anyone who is looking for an inexpensive TT. I have always stuck with Pioneer for a legit TT. The older Pioneers at least.

9/10 by pvaudo

Got a PL518 in 1978 to replace a low-end Dual. Big jump in audio quality.. plus lots of bling and heft. Eventually the rubber in the foot pads disintegrated (who worried about ozone?) Unfortunately I sold it after things went digital.

I haven't found one used and am now considering an AT-LP120, having slightly inferior specs and no auto return.

10/10 by czmer1

excellent turntable !


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