Pioneer direct drive PL-200

Any Turntable is Better Than None!!

Griff;

I am not familiar with the PL-200, I know that of course, this is not an "audiophile quality" turntable for sure, but it definitely is a good place to start down the path of vinyl addiction.

There is really nothing damaging about playing vinyl on an inexpensive turntable, since your real area of concern is the cartridge. Here is where you can kill a LP if you go cheap. I have seen too many people spend a lot of many for a turntable and then blow it out the window with a cheap and nasty needle.

If the turntable is in working condition, get it out, clean up, have the bearings lubed and adjusted, to take out any slop. Then spend your money on a good cartridge, minimum of $100AU, you can always move that cartridge to a better turntable, but more importantly your are minimizing wear and tear on your LP's, not mention better sound quality. Sounds like a lot of money to spend for a cartridge(after you are truly addicted, you won't have second thoughts about spending tens times that amount) , but remember, that you can pick up about 5 LP's for the price of one CD, so it evens out very quickly.

A good choice for your turntable would the Garrott Bros. K-1 or K-2, locally made(Australian) cartridges that are very good quality for the price, and sell from about $130AU to $200AU. I have also used some of the Ortofon and Sumiko cartidge on these less expensive turntables with good results.

I have had a lot of fun with Technics turntables, they are very good value for money, and to get better, you need to move up to around the $600+ mark.

Get this turntabe into your system and you will have a blast not only listening to old vinyls, but all the fun that goes with finding them.

Cheers,

Surf, Sun & Sound
 
I know the feeling!!

griff,

I know how you feel, I absolutely flipped when I heard for the first time how much a good cartridge could cost, and thought people were nuts for paying that much. It can be a pill to swallow.

If you are having trouble finding the funds for such a purchase, I more than understand. But it is still important to get the best you can afford. But just as important to get the turntable into your system to see the value of vinyl and justify spending the money for a better cartridge.

So, get the turntable out, buy the best cartridge that your budget will allow, get it into your system, and start spinning vinyl. Just be a little more conscientious about keeping your LP's clean with a less expensive cartridge to prevent excessive groove damage.

Start listening to vinyl, and you understand the fatal attraction of those big black discs.

Cheers,

Surf, Sun & Sound
 
Hello Griff, The Pioneer that you have is perfectly fine enough.
Faults with this series included noisey speed switch contacts, and noisey speed adjustment pot.
If the switch pins are badly blackened/oxidised, you may need to replace it.
If it has original Audio Technica cartridge, these are quite fine with eliptycal stylus assembly.
Cheap mods are to bitumin coat/deaden the underside of the platter, and a telephone book on top of the perspex cover when playing loud.
Enjoy it .... for now !

Regards, Eric.
 
My Apologies

Griff,

I as normal seemed to have had a brain lapse and thought that you had a Technics turntable instead of a Pioneer. Not that it makes your turntable any less applicable to your purpose, it is still a very good starting point to enjoy vinyl. You will I am sure want to upgrade to a better turntable sooner or later, but till then with a bit of care, maintenance, and some tweaks, this turntable will do fine.

I am not as familiar with Pioneer turntables as I am Technics, so take the next few sentences with a grain of salt.

It is direct drive, so you have eliminated belt problems, which give you headaches on entry level units, but I do not think it is the very good direct drive system used in the Technics where the platter is part of the armature.

The tonearm bearing system is very servicable, much of the complaints of this mass produced tone arm are because no one keeps up with the bearings, by keeping them greased and the slack adjusted out. I have found that it is best if you use a very heavy grease, axle or wheel bearing grease works best, since it can act as a vibration isolator, something a thin oil cannot do.

Again spend as much as you can on a good cartridge, take a long look at the Garrott Bros line, extremely good value for money. the Ortofon OM Super series are also great for this type of turntable, I am sure that if you put out a plea for help there will be plenty of people with good recommendations.

You should vist TNT Audio - http://www.tnt-audio.com/int.html - they have quite a large resource of tips and tweaks for improving your turntable. With some tweaks you will be amazed what you will get from this turntable.

Cheers,

Surf, Sun & Sound
 
The Dreaded Vinyl Virus

Griff,

Never say that you were not warned, it is a very fatal virus to be afflicted with!!

Yes, upgrading is great fun and, of course, a necessary treatment to put the virus into remission, but you are ultimately in control.

I unfortunately am not one of those people with an unlimited budget for my hobby, so I have had to learn to put my funds to the most use. One of the best ways to look at is, to remember that this is about music and listening to music. So as easy as it is to become a gear junkie, I try spend the majority of my money on new listening material. I know too many "audiophiles" with a $10,000 system to play $1,000 worth of music, to me that equation does not quite ring true. I will never be satisfied with my system, because I am too much of a perfectionist, so the best way for my to find more excitement in audio is buy a batch of new listening material. I know that does not fix the problem with gear, but I believe it gives more value for money than spending a $1000 for a possible .1% improvement. But than that is just me. Many people on this forum, would rather attack the situation from a different angle. So each to his own, just so you are happy with the path you are taking. That is all that matters.

Cheers,

Surf, Sun & Sound
 
Griff,

i feel i have to slightly object to advice given here.
The cartridge is not the most important thing you have to cinsider in this price range.

Please see that the tonearm has no slack, no backlash at all in its bearing at all.
It shall move freely but is ot emant to show any torsional play. Otherwise your cherished LPs get damaged.

If you fell the arm is ok or you are confident you can fix it yourself, go for that TT, it will be good enough to make you vinyl-addicted. Delay selling other cherished projects, my hint. And, it may become a real DIY TT finally having nothing left that the tonearm or evn not that, maybe only directdrive and platter albeit heavily modded. Would have some hints for you. Who knows how this ends .... :)

I do not think killing the backlash in the tonearm bearing with heavy grease is a good idea. It eats up µdynamics, it kills the live-feeling, yes, admitted, it reduces danger to the record.

Moving magnet cartridges of today are soo good even at $25 that you do not have to fear for your records, but cheaper cartridges last short, not more than 600 Hours (as the diamond stylus is ground arbritarily instead of crystal-oriented).
Yo may have to complain a bit resolution but musicality doesn't suffer even with cheap cartridges.

But, pleeeezzzz see the arm is well and alive. It must not bounce around in its bearings. Consider that the cartridge resolves nanometers, so we talk of µscopic bouncing here.

To cost roof, well, you are right, there is almost none. My most expensive cartridge is a Koetsu Urushi i bought used for more money than most of my fellows would pay for a complete TT or preamp/amp combination. But IMO it is possible to achieve marvelous sound dirt-cheap if there is some open mind, DIY enthiusiasm and the hands a bit skilled. :)
 
Hello Griff, welcome to audio, and to add to Lynn's thoughts, I can say that you can have your cake and eat it.
If you search garage sales, flea markets, classifieds, the good samaritan thrift stores etc, etc, you CAN find tons of great gear and records at near to giveaway prices, and when you get skilled enough to repair any and all broken gear, you can get it for vitually nothing.
But as Lynn and I strongly warn you " it is a very fatal virus (read - noble addiction) to be afflicted with!! " " ....... but you are ultimately in control. "
Hmmmmm ? ...... aren't they contradictory terms, by definition ! ..... LOL ...... :D
The trick is to make your gear run like factory new and and apply the right tweaks to make it sing - its easy and cheap and fun .
The first thing to do is 20 pair phone cable for speakers and okish type interconnects and contacts treatment.
Then you can hear more properly your tweaks and upgrades and tune your setup how you like it.
Most decent factory phono pickups are okish, and it definitely pays to add shunt loading capacitance to tune the HF and get it to how you like it.
The point of all this experimentation, is that when you understand how to fine tune a system, you can set your own sound at will.

Please enjoy your vinyl.

Regards, Eric.