Pioneer PL-50 alignment

Discussion in 'Turntables' started by keithpgdrb, Jul 8, 2010.

  1. keithpgdrb

    keithpgdrb Super Member

    Messages:
    2,295
    Location:
    Bolingbrook, IL
    Does anyone have a recommendation on what method/protractor I should use on a Pioneer PL-50 turntable/S arm/Denon 110 cart. I've been having a horrible time dealing with mis-tracking and what sounds like un-even volume. Unless of course most albums are mixed favoring the right.

    example - was listening to van morrison's tupelo honey album, and his vocals distort all over the place on some tracks. really irritating. anyone want to have a cartridge set up party? I'll buy beer and pizza.
     
  2. catman

    catman Addicted Member

    Messages:
    7,620
    G'day mate, any good two point overhang protractor properly set up should work fine. I prefer to use Baerwald alignment which should work well with the Pioneer's tonearm.

    This page has some good general guidelines in regard to the proper use of a typical two point overhang protractor. http://www.mds975.co.uk/Content/vinyl07.html

    Suitable two point protractors can be downloaded from the alignment protractors link at the Vinyl Engine website (up near the top of the front page) or sometimes suitable two point overhang protractors are supplied free with cartridges, e.g the Shure M97xE. Regards, Felix aka catman.
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2010
  3. BrocLuno

    BrocLuno AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    11,647
    Location:
    Napa County, Calif
    If the TT and arm are stock, I believe the cartridge should be square in the headshell and positioned so the stylus tip is 49mm from the back of the collar. Have you downloaded the manual from Vinylengine.com? Any Pioneer TT owners manual should do unless the 50 is unique?
     
  4. catman

    catman Addicted Member

    Messages:
    7,620
    G'day all, yes the 'shortcut' value is a lot easier than using a protractor! Perhaps Howard can give us the difinitive answer? Regards, Felix aka catman.
     
  5. drknstrmyknight

    drknstrmyknight AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    5,740
    Location:
    Mount Clemens, MI
    Have you leveled the platter?
     
  6. keithpgdrb

    keithpgdrb Super Member

    Messages:
    2,295
    Location:
    Bolingbrook, IL
    Hey guys,

    the pioneer is fitted with a red tab as an overhang index. I've used that, centered it exactly on the guide, but I'm still not happy. I pulled out the "enjoy the music" two point baerwald (i believe) protractor, and my cart was not even close. so my question is, should I go ahead with the baerwald adjustment, or the stevenson? I feel like I read that pioneers like the stevenson.. I could be very wrong though.

    Yes, the table is level. or at least as level as I can get it.

    I would also love to hear from Howard! clearly a guru.
     
  7. finnbow

    finnbow The Dude Abides

    Messages:
    12,016
    Location:
    MoCo, MD
    As you say and per the manual available on Vinylengine, the PL-50 is provided with an overhang index stand. I would trust this more than any other method, in terms of ease and accuracy for setting overhang.

    That said, this turntable has both anti-skate and lateral balance adjustment. The lateral balance adjustment procedure is sorta interesting. Lifting the back of the turntable twenty degrees for adjustment, etc. This is done before anti-skate adjustment. I would ensure that these are set up IAW the manual and while you're at it, check azimuth and VTA.
     
  8. Frank Sol

    Frank Sol Addicted Member

    Messages:
    7,862
    Location:
    SoCal
    Personally I use the Baerwald on all vintage S-arm Pioneers
     
  9. keithpgdrb

    keithpgdrb Super Member

    Messages:
    2,295
    Location:
    Bolingbrook, IL
    Yeah, I've used the overhang adjustment and lateral balance adjustment as well. in fact, about twice a year, I just get frustrated and recheck everything. That is one of the reasons I'm asking for more advice. I'm no expert, thats for sure, but I just require better results then what I'm getting. As far as azimuth and vta, I'm just hoping I have eyeballed it well enough. I have no way to accurately measure those.
     
  10. Tarl Of Gor

    Tarl Of Gor AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    5,324
    Location:
    Shelbyville, IN
    Do all of your records sound the same way or just this one? It could be the record.
     
  11. keithpgdrb

    keithpgdrb Super Member

    Messages:
    2,295
    Location:
    Bolingbrook, IL
    my cart did come with a plastic overhang guage, but dont you have to set that to what your tonearm requires? also, you cant use the baerwald and the denon overhang guage. its one or the other right?
     
  12. Frank Sol

    Frank Sol Addicted Member

    Messages:
    7,862
    Location:
    SoCal
    Sometimes it's the little/simple things we overlook

    1) make sure the platter is level (not the TT necessarily)

    2) inspect the stylus under magnification and make sure it is really clean
     
  13. keithpgdrb

    keithpgdrb Super Member

    Messages:
    2,295
    Location:
    Bolingbrook, IL
    It was most noticeable on the morrison yesterday, but I have been questioning the setup for a while.
     
  14. keithpgdrb

    keithpgdrb Super Member

    Messages:
    2,295
    Location:
    Bolingbrook, IL
    I'll have to pick up a decent bubble level. I was using a small construction level. but I dont think its that far off.
     
  15. Tarl Of Gor

    Tarl Of Gor AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    5,324
    Location:
    Shelbyville, IN
    Before you go nuts over the setup try that record on another TT and see how it sounds.
     
  16. Balifly

    Balifly Listening Subscriber

    Messages:
    16,985
    Location:
    Vancouver, B.C., Canada
  17. aussiedan

    aussiedan Ambition beyond ability

    Messages:
    612
    Location:
    Victoria, Australia
    The 49mm setting really helped my PL-A45D/Ortofon. I had trouble with protractors and getting it right. This seemed to fix most issues, and with the inner groove distortion I was getting.

    I also made sure the cart was square to the centreline of the headshell. Good stereo now.

    Could it be an antiskate/ arm balance issue?
     
  18. hakaplan

    hakaplan Needs professional help

    Messages:
    10,727
    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA
    As aussiedan stated, the shortcut measurement is 49mm. It will not coincide with Baerwald or ETM so don't bother comparing. They use different null points. You use either the shortcut or a protractor, but not both.

    It comes down to personal preference and the length of your headshell/slots. Baerwald and ETM push the cartridge 2-3mm forward of Pioneer's method, so if you have an original or vintage grid headshell you might run out of room. If you want to use these protractors you might be better off using a longer headshell like a Technics or any DJ clone, like a Stanton. Stevenson is very close to Pioneer, so if you're going to use that, you might as well just use the 49mm shortcut and be done with it.
     
  19. tubed

    tubed Lunatic Member

    Messages:
    12,108
    Location:
    Aztlan
    I downloaded the two-point protractor that Enjoy the Music offers, secured the platter, centered the protractor and immediately found the cartridge was not centered properly within its' headshell. It didnt take more than two trys to adjust the overhang correctly on both points.
    Night and day musical difference on my Pioneer PL-51a:D
     
  20. keithpgdrb

    keithpgdrb Super Member

    Messages:
    2,295
    Location:
    Bolingbrook, IL
    so it seem you guys are suggesting setting the overhang at 49mm, centering the cart in the headshell, and not bothering with other adjustments? Done!! I'll try that for a week or so and see how it goes.
     

Share This Page