PL-115D - Suggestions - diyAudio
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Old 24th March 2004, 06:00 PM   #1
d.t. is offline d.t.  United States
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Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: the midwest
Question PL-115D - Suggestions

Hey, I'm a noob here. Just bought a Pioneer PL-115D off of EBay. It's pretty nice for a cheap old belt-drive. I took it a local repair shop, who cleaned and lubed it, replaced the belt, replaced the stylus (CHEAP A/T)for the included cartridge, and allegedly adjusted it.
I brought it home, and it sounded pretty awful, rolled off highs, muddy bass, and the arm jumped all over the place at the slightest provocation.
I realized quickly that the antiskating had been set to "0" and the tracking force had been set to "1.5". I checked on garage-a-records.com, which showed the recommended tracking force for my dirt cheap cartridge was 2.5-4 gr. I checked the calibration of the tonearm counterweight, set the tracking force to 3gr, and set the antitracking correctly, and found a 100% improvement. I went from "eewww" to "not so bad..."
SO, I've already decided I need to upgrade the cart, and so I seek recommendations.
ALSO, I seek recommendations on what I can do to tweak this TT to get the best sound/vibration isolation from it, on the cheap. It probably doesn't make sense to spend lots of $ on this TT, but I want to maximize what I've got. I saw this thread: http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=3837&highlight= , but there was no detail.
Thanks in advance for any help you can provide. I have strange feeling this purchase is going to lead to bigger ones down the road...

d.t.
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Old 24th March 2004, 11:47 PM   #2
sreten is offline sreten  United Kingdom
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Well I tuned up a PL-115D for a friend of mine 10 years
ago, turned out pretty decent from what I remember,
for a very cheap turntable.

But I can't remember all the details.
I'll post details of what I think I did tomorrow.

At the time a budget ADC cartridge was the best match,
decent performance and an ideal compliance for the arm.

Probably your best bet is a a Grado Black nowadays.

http://shopping.netsuite.com/s.nl/c....ategory.374/.f

sreten.
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Old 25th March 2004, 12:34 PM   #3
sreten is offline sreten  United Kingdom
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Well the problem here is getting the right cartridge for a start.

Compliance needs to be around 10cu, tracking force 2g to 2.5g.
More delicate cartridges simply won't work well in the PL115D.

Probably your best bet is the more delicate DJ cartridges,
e.g. the Grado DJ-100. Budget Audio Technica usually work
well but are not cheap for an elliptical tip in the States.
The Grado has a rich sound, the AT's much brighter.

For the AT's shortening the tonearm lead and playing with
capacitance loading has a surprising effect on treble levels.

Things I definitely did to the PL115D :

(I remember for the person involved I wanted to
keep all the automatic functions so they stayed in)

Oiled the motor.
Cleaned and reoiled the main bearing.
Greased all the automatic moving parts.

Tonearm :
Adjusted bearings for near zero play.
Discarded the rear balance wieght and its mounting arm
(useless and causes resonances)

Suspension :

Discard the foam damping in the suspension. It will now
work much better but needs finer adjustment. Frequency
of the suspension is somewhat higher than the usual 3 Hz
to 5Hz of normal subchassis decks which is why a low
compliance cartridge is needed.
A delicate high compliance cartridge will be all over the place.

The hieght must be carefully set for the same clearance
below and above. Level the turntable and set the suspension.
In use in situ level the whole deck, do not adjust the suspension.

Things I probably did :

(I used araldite at the time but now reccommend using
screwlocking compound as an easier alternative.
But two-part epoxy is best for the really serious.)

Undo the main bearing mounting and then replace glueing in place.

Undo and glue the the plastic arm mounting section to the subchassis.

Undo and glue the arm tube into the bearing housing joint.

Undo and glue the headshell carrier into the end of the armtube.

Things I can't remember or didn't do :

Damping the plinth - not needed.

Damping the subchassis - don't remember doing this - perhaps
there wasn't much space to do it. If you wan't to do this then :
Use very thin very cheap self adhesive floor tiles,
do not foul any of the mechanisms.
Use two layers maximum underneath
and one layer maximum above.
(If you add too much weight you will upset the springing)

Remove the rubber washer from the headshell, once everthing
is set up correctly use screwlocking compound on the mating
faces only of the joint to semipermantly lock the headshell
in place.

From what I remember the Pioneer headshell is quite heavy.
A lightwieght type would be better, magnesium best.

The turntable mat from what remember was decent
enough and I didn't change it.
Again a too heavy mat could upset the springing.

Results

The mods really cleaned up the sound and gave the PL115D
a more even and expressive character. Quite good really.

sreten.
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Old 27th March 2004, 04:47 AM   #4
d.t. is offline d.t.  United States
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Thanks, sreten! I appreciate the suggestions, and hope to implement at least some of them soon.

d.t.
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Old 2nd April 2005, 10:06 AM   #5
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Exclamation need help

i dont know how to get the audio out of my speakers from my PL 115-d...i just got a new styli and i can hear it like touching the record but I dont know how to get it to come out of my speakers....anything i can do to change this?
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