turntable test results

Discussion in 'Members' Systems' started by Fred Jr, Mar 12, 2019.

  1. Fred Jr

    Fred Jr New Member

    Messages:
    32
    So today my replacement stylus came in today (pioneer pl990)....slid cartridge in, dropped the needle to the vinyl and sounds like Dan Reynolds drank a gallon of Robitussin....it plays s-o---s-l-o-www.........it has been sitting on a shelf for about 15 years....not too happy right now
     

     

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  2. Comnoz

    Comnoz AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    33
    Location:
    Pueblo Colorado
    That turntable has a speed controlled servo motor. If the belt is intact I would check and or clean the speed adjustment potentiometer. Just adjusting it up and down a few times might cure the problem at least temporarily. If that brings it up to speed then I would get some deoxit and clean the pot. Jim
     
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  3. avionic

    avionic " Black Knights " F-15 Eagle Keeper Subscriber

    Messages:
    47,831
    Location:
    Fort Dodge, Iowa
    If it has a belt.Its probably shot.
     
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  4. Fred Jr

    Fred Jr New Member

    Messages:
    32
    I was suspicious of that, however the thought occurred that possibly the motor that spins the belt may be bad..... Is there any way to verify? I would probably rather buy a good used tt than waste money on this which most say is not very good to begin with...
     
  5. judsonw

    judsonw Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    867
    Location:
    Bellingham, WA, USA
    Replacement belts are generally less than $10 a pop. Belts are generally worth replacing on older equipment anyways. I would start there before assuming the motor has gone bad.
     
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  6. Fred Jr

    Fred Jr New Member

    Messages:
    32
    I need to get my hands on info to do this.... this unit barely had any use before it was disconnected and stored...worked fine before....thank you for your help... I will attempt to track that repair info down!
     

     

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  7. Fred Jr

    Fred Jr New Member

    Messages:
    32
    Yeah, I wish I could just go somewhere locally to buy one...now I am going to have to wait on Amazon truck again...not fun
     
  8. judsonw

    judsonw Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    867
    Location:
    Bellingham, WA, USA
    Waiting sucks, yes, but with luck it should fix your problem.

    Owners and Service Manuals can be found on VinylEngine. Like AudioKarma, it is free to sign up, and once you do you will have access to a wealth of info. It has been helpful to me with working on a Sony PS-LX510, Dual 1215, and Denon DP-300f. Here is the link to the page that you want (you will still need to sign up and log in to download the documents).

    https://www.vinylengine.com/library/pioneer/pl-990.shtml
     
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  9. judsonw

    judsonw Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    867
    Location:
    Bellingham, WA, USA
    Also, just for the sake of thoroughness, have you listened to this album on other turntables? Have you tried other albums on this turntable? I merely ask because I am assuming you were playing at 33 1/3 RPM, which the album most likely is. However, I have come across a few albums that are either not labeled with the speed or are mislabeled (CHVRCHES - Hansa Sessions EP is labeled as 45 rpm when it is actually 33 1/3, and Jeff Goldblum's album is labeled as 33 1/3 when it actually is 45...).

    Is there a chance it should be 45 RPM?

    I tried looking up and Amazon says all Imagine Dragons LPs are 33 RPM, but then again, Amazon even shows Jeff Goldblum's album as 33 when it is actually 45.

    If it turns out it should be 45 RPM, I still suggest replacing the belt. It will not hurt and may make some small improvements. Or, at the very least, it means you do not need to replace it later.
     
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  10. Fred Jr

    Fred Jr New Member

    Messages:
    32
    Yeah Imagine Dragons...plays at 33, only been played once... when I first bought it played on an ion usb tt....sounded ok but kind of hollowey...if that makes any sense.... plasticky I guess....not quiet like the PL10 we had back in late 70s....was hoping the pioneer didn't have the same plasticky sound as the ion since both are plastic... I personally never heard the pl990 play, was my mom's and it sat on shelf for at least20 years...
     
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  11. Fred Jr

    Fred Jr New Member

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    32
    Thanks for the information!
     

     

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  12. Fred Jr

    Fred Jr New Member

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    32
    New question.... I am considering purchasing the Sony pslx300usb....any opinions on this unit... I want to play it through my laptop to make mp3 files of originals, however would also play through receiver....my question is this... when I use the headphone jack on laptop, it sounds like a transistor radio... doesn't matter if I use headphones or playing through receiver...has very poor sound quality....this is the only laptop that I've had that sounds bad through the receiver...all previous laptops sounded good when played through hp jack...any suggestions to improve the sounds??
     
  13. judsonw

    judsonw Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    867
    Location:
    Bellingham, WA, USA
    I am not familiar with that table or how close you keep your laptop to your system, but it may be possible to use the regular audio out from the turntable to the receiver while using the USB out to your laptop so you will not need to use your laptop's headphone jack to listen.

    As for improving quality of the audio from the laptop in general, a DAC could be a nice step. It would take digital audio from the USB of the laptop and convert it to a line level analog signal for the receiver. This will bypass the headphone jack which might not be great. (For example, at work, the desk tops have terribly noisy headphone jacks. I use a DAC/Headphone amp to give a significantly better sound quality. In your case, you do not need the headphone amp part, and there are tons of DACs out there ranging from the double digit price to the four or five digit price range).

    Lastly, I would ask if you need to convert to mp3? There are other codecs that generally are viewed as better, but then you can get into big debates about number of bits and sample rates and which is better and which is not as good. If it is a case of the you are using a portable media player that requires mp3 that is one thing, but if you are only using your laptop, it should be able to handle FLAC and other more high res codecs (which admittedly take more memory to store as well).

    I doubt the program that comes with that laptop can create FLAC files but Audacity is a free software that can has some add-ons that allow it to record FLAC and other lossless codecs.

    Additionally, it may not be necessary to buy a new turntable that has a USB out. There are a lot of ADCs (Analog to Digital Converters) that go to USB. I have a Behringer UCA-202 which is about $30. It works well with converting analog to digital, though it does not go as high res as some would like. Moreover, it has an analog out which serves as a DAC which might clean up your laptop's audio output issue too.

    Caveat is that your receiver will need a tape out or line out for best results. Failing that, you can probably use the headphone jack of the receiver but then you will not be listening in real time and the audio level will be dependent on the volume knob of the receiver.

    I have been rambling quite a bit now, and probably have provided more options that you wanted...
     
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  14. Fred Jr

    Fred Jr New Member

    Messages:
    32
    Thank you for your info, very helpful...
    Receiver is a VSX501 Pioneer....
    I want a vintage tt from the 70's, but unfortunately I have to wait for delivery without paying top dollar for overnight....so to kill two birds I went online to best buy to search for tt's I can walk in store and purchase today...from reviews I read, for the price, the Sony pslx300 usb seemed to be the best deal.... I want to hear my albums ASAP and I also want to convert them to be put on CD... however, qualgood soundity, both during playback and recorded on CD, is what I want to achieve...tried this before with an ION Profile and was not happy with the sound quality...during regular playback, nor after converted on computer... eventually I will acquire a vintage tt, such as a PL10 with a nice cartridge and stylus, but I am hoping this current setup will do until I can afford the appropriate upgrades...
     
  15. judsonw

    judsonw Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    867
    Location:
    Bellingham, WA, USA
    Are you still waiting on the belt for PL990 or did you decide to not order that?

    As for your receiver, it does have two tape loops, so if you wanted, you could try the Behringer UCA-202 connected to the tape in and tape out. With the turntable (whichever you wind up with) connected to the receiver, you can have it set to send out through the appropriate tape output and record while you listen. Then you would just need to switch the receiver to that tape input to hear from your laptop.

    As for CD quality, I would recommend something that can handle FLAC or some other lossless codec. CD quality is 16 bit/44.1 kHz which is a more than pretty much any normal mp3 quality (there might be a niche one out there that tries to go higher, but I am not sure why...). I am having trouble finding what bitrate the ION and such use, but if they are specifically for mp3, I am not sure if they go that high. Then again, those USB turntables have their own software which might (or might not) be more intuitive than Audacity.
     
  16. Fred Jr

    Fred Jr New Member

    Messages:
    32
    New update...went to a stereo shop and was ready to buy an immaculate Pioneer PL10, however when I asked to hear the unit it didn't play any music...the owner wiggled the wires behind the receiverand it played somewhat.... I did not purchase the unit today, and the owner said he would repair it and have it ready for next Saturday....my question is this? Is the dollar amount worth it ($100.00)? I remember back in 70:s and 80's we had this unit and it sounded decent, however with many new units available is there much difference with regard to the quality of sound...
     
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  17. RemoWilliams

    RemoWilliams Active Member

    Messages:
    402
    Location:
    Burnaby, B.C., Canada
    Well they cost somewhere between 65 - 100.00 back in the day so if in very nice condition I would think it would be a great TT and 100.00 is not out of line, they certainly can go for more even if it was more of an entry level model. I have a PL15R ( semi auto ) basically the same , picked it up for 75.00 though it needed a new belt and I cleaned it up, oiled the shaft as well as motor bearings and it plays nicely. You might want to ask the Seller if they replaced the foam inserts at each spring under the metal plinth. If it jiggles too easily I would simply get some foam from those small rectangular sponges and cut them to size, worked nicely for me and firmed up the suspension perfectly.


    I also put one piece between each of the three rubber bushings, they isolate the motor from the plinth they are mounted to, I found it isolated it further, very quiet now. The bushings can crack or shrink with age. There was a gap between the top of each bushing and the plinth, about 1/2" and the foam filled it in nicely and firmed up the entire assembly, being held by three long screws.


    Loose interconnects can also deteriorate with age, possibly just a bad or loose solder joint inside where they are connected or inside at the connector where it plugs into a receiver or pre amplifier. Mine are still fine. Many owners really like their PL 10/12/15 turntables, with a good cartridge they can perform above their price, the consensus tends to be that one would have to spend around 500.00 today to achieve similar performance. A simple yet effective design that has held up well.


    I decided to add another Pioneer, this was the TOTL in 1979, the PL 630. Will be keeping the PL15, it is still a nice unit.





    pioneer_pl-630_direct-drive_turntable.jpg
     
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  18. Fred Jr

    Fred Jr New Member

    Messages:
    32
    Thank you for the information... I will definitely ask these questions and purchase the tt... wish I could get it tomorrow... getting impatient to play my albums
     
  19. RemoWilliams

    RemoWilliams Active Member

    Messages:
    402
    Location:
    Burnaby, B.C., Canada
    I don't blame you - I just decided to jump back into listening to vinyl again myself after 35 years and have been enjoying the records I bought ( mostly Value Village ) on the PL15, as an example the JVC QL A5 I also purchased (late '70's direct drive ) is a quite decent turntable as well but suffers from feedback in that it can resonate if not careful whereas the Pioneer is a lot better in that regard.

    Getting it isolated as much as possible is always a good thing and if you can mount it on a platform attached to a wall that is just about the best way to go about it.Otherwise doing some research on the various materials that have been used for a base can be helpful. Herbie's Audio Lab sells inexpensive but effective isolating feet, some also swear by the use of a clamp ( I bought an inexpensive Viborg ) and Herbie's also has a not too expensive turntable mat that supposedly helps, might get one of them eventually.


    At least with what I have suggested you can give some of these items a try if inclined without investing too much, especially if you are budget minded.
     
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  20. Fred Jr

    Fred Jr New Member

    Messages:
    32
    Definitely budget minded as illness has brought my employment to a screeching halt....the music will definitely be a well needed comfort while I try and come back from this illness.... don't like what's on the radio....tired of CDs
     
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