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Pioneer Turntable Model PL-512
Pioneer Turntable Model PL-512
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Old 21st August 2003, 09:14 PM   #1
Mag-Py is offline Mag-Py  United States
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Question Pioneer Turntable Model PL-512

Hi...I hope whoever reads this will bare with me.

I just purchased a Pioneer Turntable Model PL-512 for a friend's birthday that's coming up. The reason for this purchase is because my friend collects records (esp. Janis Joplin), however has never been able to listen to any of them. So I am taking it upon myself to supply her with the source that she is lacking...what I thought was just a simple record player. But now after searching through the different forums and reading all the different postings I feel like an idiot because I know nothing. I will say that I am now interested in learning, however right now I need one simple question answered. How do I hook it up to speakers? I know everyone's probably laughing right now and rightly so because I do feel very stupid. But this is the only place that I have found on the internet that looked promising for help. So please help me figure this out so I don't ruin this birthday present that I was so proud of to begin with.

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Old 22nd August 2003, 03:02 AM   #2
RogueAngel is offline RogueAngel  United States
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Besides the speakers and the Pioneer, what other audio equipment does she have? Brand and model 's would be helpful.

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Old 22nd August 2003, 05:44 AM   #3
Brett is offline Brett
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Cool idea for a gift.
I know nothing about this specific TT, except it's a budget belt drive, but all of them have a couple of things in common. The signal from the cartridge (aka needle or stylus) will only be very small, say 5mV (5 one-thousandths of a volt) or about 400x less than a CD player puts out. The signal also has a special equalisation built into it called the RIAA curve which compensates for some of the technical difficulties in recording sound onto vinyl.

The point of this little technical lesson is, that the amplifier you plug the TT into will need a "Phono" input or it won't work. Because almost all music sold now is on seedee, most amplifiers built after about 1990 don't have a phono input. What you'll need to do is take a look at her stereo / amplifier and see if the selector switch has a "phono" input, and if you can check on the back panel to see if there are a pair of connectors marked phono. If it does, you're OK. If it doesn't, you need a seperate little amplifier to boost the signal from the TT and apply the RIAA correction. Radio Shack sell one for about $20 but I forget what it's called.

Lets assume that your friend has a suitable amplifier. The cartridge, the device at the end of the arm that contacts the LP and picks up the signal needs to be in good condition and correctly aligned. If you don't know the condition of the cartridge, you either need to get it checked or replace it. A poor condition cart, and/or one badly set up will actually damage your friend's LPs, which isn't good.

Post again describing any marking or branding on the cartridge, as the stylus may be replaceable. Then we'll worry about alignment and other details. A pic would be good too.

Ideally there's someone in your area that would be willing to spend the hour or so it takes to set up the TT properly for you. It takes a bit of experience to do it properly and is hard to do over the net.

Turntables aren't a plug and play item like CD players.

HTH and ask for clarification if what I've said isn't clear to you.
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Old 22nd August 2003, 01:31 PM   #4
Mag-Py is offline Mag-Py  United States
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Hey Guys...Thanks for all the help, and not laughing at me.

I spent an hour at Hi-Fi Buys last night with one of the workers who knew a lot about this sort of thing. It turns out she does have the "phono" selection on her receiver (I hope I'm using the right terminology) and I was showed how to hook up the TT. I did however have to buy a new cartritdge (the thing that houses the needle right?) but it wasn't too expensive. So, pretty much everything worked out o.k. and I even got home last night, hooked it up, and listened to one of my LP's. It sounded great. I just hope she appreciates it!

So, thanks for all your help. I am excited to learn more, but I think I'll have to brush up on the terminology first!

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Old 23rd August 2003, 04:18 PM   #5
planet10 is offline planet10  Canada
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Pioneer Turntable Model PL-512
Originally posted by Brett
I know nothing about this specific TT, except it's a budget belt drive
The PL-512 is completely manual, and was the base model (514 was the auto-return version, and the full auto was probably the 516). This dates from about 1980 during the heyday of the Japanese Direct Drive -- properly set-up it outperformed its more expensive brethern.

IMO you couldn't have picked a better example from the myriads of simple belt-drives that flowed out of the CEC factory.

community sites t-linespeakers.org, frugal-horn.com, frugal-phile.com ........ commercial site planet10-HiFi
p10-hifi forum here at diyA
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Old 23rd August 2003, 07:00 PM   #6
Variac is offline Variac  Costa Rica
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Pioneer Turntable Model PL-512
I bought a PL-12 which was the low level Pioneer, in about 1973. It was surprisingly nice- well built , and must have been pretty good because the system sounded quite good. I suspect yours is similar, so you got a good deal. I'm sure we would tear our hair out at whatever cartridge you got (the thing with the needle). Better we don't know! For cheap cartridges, a lot of people seem to like the Grado brand, If you ever want to upgrade they range in price from $60 to about $2000 I think at online places such as Audio Advisor. Try to follow the instructions with the cartridge regarding getting it bolted in place and aligned corrrectly.
Nice present, since she collects records, I'm sure she'll love it!
"The geek shall inherit the earth"
2017 Burning Amp is November 12 in S.F. Thread here on diyAudio:
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Old 24th August 2003, 06:21 PM   #7
faustian bargin is offline faustian bargin  United States
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Default FYI :)

for anyone who's curious (i was so i figure someone else must be):

pl-512 currently on ebay ...good photo. (std. disclaimer - no affiliation w/ seller etc.)

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Old 24th August 2003, 06:33 PM   #8
stefanobilliani is offline stefanobilliani  Italy
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Nice foto Faustian, great present Mag-Py , congratulations for the choice.

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Old 24th August 2003, 08:32 PM   #9
Mag-Py is offline Mag-Py  United States
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She absolutely loved the present! I felt like an expert telling her how to hook it up and using the "language." We listened to her Janis Joplin records and she cried because she was so happy (and also a little drunk). I appreciate all the help so much!

Brett, if you ever find out the name of the RIAA connection that Radio Shack sells please let me know. Her roommate is the one with the receiver that has the phono selection so I just want to give her the info. for the amp. so whenever she moves out she can still use it.

Thanks again guys!

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Old 24th August 2003, 09:08 PM   #10
Netlist is offline Netlist  Belgium
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Originally posted by Mag-Py
She absolutely loved the present! I felt like an expert telling her how to hook it up and using the "language."
I almost whished I was your girlfriend.
You made this a very nice thread, Mag-Py.

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