Pioneer PL-12D

chunky70

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Jan 4, 2009
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I've just bought one of these on ebay for 40 quid. It looks in decent nick (from the photos anyway), and hopefully it will give me good playback of my old vinyl (currently gathering dust in attic). How good were these decks? Is there anything i should do to improve sound, bare in mind the deck is from 1973! I've bought a new belt but am a bit unsure of what modern cartridges would be compatable with this deck, also should i be thinking of servicing eg oiling of bearings. Thanks in advance.
 

DIB

Well-known member
May 21, 2009
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I am not familiar with this turntable, but for £40 you've not exactly lost a fortune if it's a dud. In all likelihood it will be fine. I bought my Systemdek off Ebay, and that was a 1985ish model, but it was from the original owner and he'd looked after it very well and has been a great performer. If yours is the same then you should be OK.

As for technical information and assistance I would say ask the vinylistas on the Vinyl Engine website, they seem to know their stuff.

Update. Had a quick look on there and theres plenty of chat about suitable cartridges etc.

.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
The PL12D was a good budget deck in its day, and better than many currently available to-day. To my ears the deck can sound a bit too relaxed with some cartridges, so I'd be looking at one of the Audio Technica range - the AT95E is good, but if you can run to an AT440mla you won't regret it. An Ortofon 2M Red would also be OK.
 

Frank Harvey

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Jun 27, 2008
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Used one for many years when I was younger as my dad had one. Great sounding deck, and was extremely popular in the 70's as it was an excellent value budget deck - I suppose it was to the 70's what Dual were to the 80's.

A cartridge replacement, something in the £40-70 price bracket will improve things. Which cartridge is on their now? You could always pick up a replacement stylus if it's a decent one - the popular cart for it was the Shure M75ED, which replacement styli can be picked up on the 'bay.

A good clean of the main bearing and spindle and replacement oil would be a good start, maybe a belt if needed. I remember putting one of these up against a £1k CD player in the early 90's and preferring the PL12D! You may have paid what people paid for it in the 70's (pretty much going rate, give or take), but it's still a bargain.
 

chunky70

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Jan 4, 2009
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Thanks for the replies. Had a look at the photos on ebay and yes Frank it is the original shure M75ED. I'll try this before buying anything else. I'm getting quite excited about this deck now,can't wait till it arrives (should be friday). DIB, the vinyl engine website looks like a good resource thanks for that. Grottyash i'm sure the AT440mla is a great cart,but is spending £140 on a budget deck justifiable?
 
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Anonymous

Guest
It really isn't a bad deck, and I wouldn't think the AT440mla overkill, but I'd also look at the replacement stylus option as suggested. I'm not a major fan of Shure cartridges, which can be a bit laid back even for my taste, but they are by no means bad. Anyway a replacement stylus is about £20, so you can't really lose.
 

chunky70

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Jan 4, 2009
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It's just arrived and here it is! I'll let you all know how it sounds following some TLC!
 

chunky70

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Jan 4, 2009
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I've finally got this deck up and running and i'm absolutely blown away! I'm 41 so grew up with vinyl but like a lot of people havn't listened to it for 20 years. Totally forgot how good vinyl sounds,the massive soundstage the melifolous warm engaging depth,the foot tapping musicality! Done a bit of work to it, new belt,cartridge,phono leads,general clean of bearings and motor. The cartridge is only a buget audio technica at 2005 but will upgrade as soon as funds allow, probable a at440mla. The only problem i have is the deck seems to pick up either a MW or LW radio station late at night! At least it's in english (world service i think). Any ideas how to cure this strange problem?
 
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Anonymous

Guest
I ran my 70's PL115D in my spare room with bits of old hi fi I have replaced over the years, until my brother in law borrowed it to play his old lps It still sounds good with a decent cartridge. Recently I got styluses for my old N75 ed and N95 cartridge just out of fun. The PL 115D isnt very different from the 12. My other brother in law picked up a PL12 at a car boot for a fiver a few years ago but doesnt use it. I'll have to ask if he still wants it!
 

MajorFubar

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Mar 3, 2010
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Years ago What HiFi? had a article about 'gear that changed the world' (or similar) and I remember the PL12D was in it. So it must be a goodie.
 
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Anonymous

Guest

Pioneer PL-12D? Oooh, there's a name that brings back memories. I bought one from new in the early 70's coupled with a Shure M75 cartridge. It was at the time regarded as THE budget deck to buy, and with good reason. I had mine partnered with a Sansui AU505. I sometimes muse as to whether Pioneer planned the deck to be so good or it whether they got lucky. Either way for budding 70's audiophiles, it represented superb value for money. I had mine for 15 years and passed it on to my brother-in-law, who after replacing the belt, used it for at least another 10 years. So it represented phenominal value for money, considering the next step up would have been to decks like the LP12 or some of the AT direct drives with SME arms. The price differential was fairly forbidding and I don't think the difference in sonic value was worth paying. I eventually upgraded to a Rega RB2.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
The PL-12D was the first budget deck to outperform the BSR MP60's and Garrard sp25's of the 1970's. It has a decent arm fitted and belts are easily sourced. We occasionally get them in for a service and they can sound quite nice with modern magnetic cartridges-such as AT95E or 2M red.
 

chunky70

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Jan 4, 2009
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Can't praise this deck enough! Just want to say ,if anyone is interested in getting into vinyl,then getting one of these is highly recomended. Lots of them cheaply available and very tweekable. I'm now looking at 2500 cd's and thinking what a waste of money!
 

shropshire lad

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Feb 18, 2010
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I have a PL-112D sitting forlorn in its box . Were they really not as good as the PL-12D as so many people seem to think ?

Nick
 

chunky70

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Jan 4, 2009
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From what i can gather the PL-112D was a little off the pace compared to the PL-12D. I still think it's worth a go though. The only person who can judge is yourself. Go on,get it out that box!
 

Petherick

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Oct 29, 2008
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chunky70 said:
The only problem i have is the deck seems to pick up either a MW or LW radio station late at night! At least it's in english (world service i think). Any ideas how to cure this strange problem?
Check that everything is earthed (arm wiring etc.) and that the earth connection to the amp is also properly made. Also check nothing 'inside' the deck has stray wiring and that the signal leads don't get too close to any mains cables.

Glad you're getting back into vinyl - it's the future!
 

chunky70

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Jan 4, 2009
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Thanks for the feedback petherick. I was worried my soldering in off new phono leads was the problem,but i took your advice and moved the phonos away from the mains cable and it seems to have stopped my deck doubling up as a tuner!
 
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Anonymous

Guest
I hope someone here can help with my PL12D, just resurrected from the garage after I inherited it from my Dad. I am glad to hear all the praise as i remember it banging out Simon and Garfunkel many times back in the 70s! Straight from the garage, it powers up and the basic functions seem to work apart from the sound. Plugged into my Cambridge Audio amp, sound is there but very quite - i have to put the amp to full vol to get any decent sound. Any ideas what i need to do? I think it will need a new belt, oiling etc and maybe a replacement for the Shure M75ED but any views as to why its not amplifying? thanks
 
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Anonymous

Guest
er.....that is a very good point, and the answer is no! So, the search begins....many thanks for the enlightenment!
 
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Anonymous

Guest
I have a PL12D which has not been used for 20 years but seeing this thread has awakened my interest again.

Can anyone tell me what oil to use as I have no idea?
 

philipjohnwright

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Jun 26, 2009
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Snake oil ?


I have to say I used to have a PL12D first time round (ie the 70's - that's the decade, not my age) and wasn't that impressed with it. It was OK but nothing special. Or am I just being a party pooper?

To be fair £40 is nothing in the scheme of things and we all like to play. I bought myself an old Thorens 160 about a year ago but it's sadly now gathering dust upstairs as I've decide to focus on computer audio (not enough space in the lounge basically). Don't write me off as anti-analogue though; any format can sound great if done well, and having bought 2000 records in a very short space of time for about £200 analogue is a great way of getting content cheaply, particularly classical.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
adlogg said:
I have a PL12D which has not been used for 20 years but seeing this thread has awakened my interest again.

Can anyone tell me what oil to use as I have no idea?
After a bit of research following picking up a PL-12 myself it appears that sewing machine oil is regarded as best. Nice and cheap and free from your mother's/gran's sewing box or a couple of quid at your local sewing shop :)
 

RobinKidderminster

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May 27, 2009
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Thoughts of the 70's makes me want to resurect my Garrard 86SB I. Just wondered if the same cartridge choice applies to this deck. Need to get my 10cc vinyl dusted ...

cheers
 

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