Why NOT to ship a PL-L1000 w/o orig packing screws & arm holder

Discussion in 'Packing & Shipping' started by Ed in Tx, Feb 16, 2010.

  1. Ed in Tx

    Ed in Tx Super Member

    Noticed a PL-L1000 on ebay for sale for parts. This is what happens when one gets shipped without the shipping bracket that goes up under the arm base and the 4 screws to secure it.

    Sad... very sad. :tears:


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  2. Wornears

    Wornears Age & Treachery

    North Carolina
    Crap! I feel your pain. The shipper didn't remove the headshell and cartridge either?
  3. Ed in Tx

    Ed in Tx Super Member

    Fortunately this is not mine. Just happened across this picture of a busted one which shows the results of what NOT to do. Every one I see for sale without original box shipping bracket and screws makes me cringe.
  4. koseltri

    koseltri Super Member

    Salem, OR USA
    That makes me want to bitch-slap someone--seriously :gigglemad:whip:. Does that someone care that they were responsible for destroying such a lovely piece of equipment?
  5. w1jim

    w1jim I can fix it but good... Subscriber

    Boston western 'burbs
    My buddy Ray just got one on ebay, came with a cracked dustcover. He got the seller to refund $70 due to poor packaging (after he gave specific instructions).
    He'll never find a replacement DC for that. I was lucky with mine, came in reasonable condition.
    Still, it is an especially fragile item.
  6. asoundhound

    asoundhound Definitely Low-fi

    hattiesburg, ms
    i cringed when i saw the title. i had the same thing happen to a pretty rare teac direct drive i bought on that auction site. i got a full refund, but it sure is a shame to lose a nice vintage piece.


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  7. Professor Bizzt

    Professor Bizzt Active Member

    Central Florida
    How to properly ship a Pioneer PL-L1000 & its close cousins

    Hi Everyone,

    I created these instructions for shipping a Pioneer PL-L1000, PL-L1000A, PL-L5, Phase Linear 8000, 8000A, etc. The following is written in a way I would communicate to someone sending me a PL-L1000. Feel free to copy, add, modify, and use this any way you want.

    Please print this out and check off the following points as they are accomplished. I highly recommend you read this one time first and then implement the packing procedures when reading it the second time. DO NOT allow a shipping store to do this for you. They do not understand what it takes to pack a turntable properly, especially one like this. Please make sure that you personally oversee that this turntable is packed this way with each and every point checked off. I sincerely ask your understanding and cooperation with this.

    Remove the black rubber mat.

    (PL-L1000) Remove the three small screws that hold the large aluminum platter to the motor spindle. Remove the platter, and re-thread the screws back into the motor spindle. (PL-L1000A) The PL-L1000A has three screw holes, but they are not used . Simply pull the platter upward from the two finger lift holes while applying pressure with your thumb on the center spindle as is common to most platters.

    Wrap the platter and mat to at least a 1" thickness with bubble wrap and tape securely.

    If there is a cartridge mounted on the headshell, make sure you lower the stylus guard and that it is locked in place so it cannot flip up to the unprotected position. If you do not have a stylus guard, you should consider removing the headshell and placing it properly into a plastic bottle (a prescription medicine bottle works well). To save space here, I won't go into the obvious details of how to conscientiously perform the above tasks so that the stylus is properly protected from damage.

    Unscrew the tonearm's counterweight, bubble wrap, and tape it.

    Move the tonearm arm rest lock bar over the arm to secure it.

    Securely tie down the tonearm to the arm rest with a bread bag tie (preferable) or a small tie wrap.

    Tighten gently (with a flat blade screw driver) the large 3/4” diameter shiny (knurled periphery) tonearm height slotted locking screw that faces to the outside of the turntable. Please do not over-tighten, just snug it up.

    Slide the tonearm all the way to the outside of the turntable and push the small black tonearm lock rod (it's about 1/4” in diameter) down to hold the arm to the outside. Gently attempt to push the tonearm to the inside to verify that the lock rod is not broken. If it locks the arm firmly to the outside you can proceed gently with the next steps with at least some confidence that the arm will not violently slide around. This movement during packing preparation is what needs to be avoided. If the arm is not securely held and there are broken pieces from the lock rod, please put those pieces in small plastic bag and include with the turntable and proceed cautiously with the following steps.
    Note: This is only a weak lightweight plastic lock rod and cannot be relied on to hold the arm for shipment or even rough handling during packing, and unfortunately, it is common for these lock rods to break.

    Purchase from your local hardware store, four (two minimum) 4mm-0.7mm X 16mm long (4mm is the diameter and 0.7mm is the thread pitch in millimeters) metric screws and flat washers to use as transit screws for the tonearm. Also purchase three 5mm X 60mm long screws for the chassis transit screws. Any head style and material is fine. I would call the store first so you don't waste a trip. These screws and flat washers should be no more than $4.00 total. Don't use anything longer than 17mm or shorter than 13mm for the tonearm transit screws and don't use anything shorter than 55mm for the chassis transit screws. NOTE: It is not mandatory to use transit screws for the chassis, but it is ABSOLUTELY MANDATORY to use transit screws for the tonearm.

    Gently flip the turntable onto the side where gravity holds the tonearm to the outside and carefully thread the 4mm screws with flat washers into the bottom of the tonearm through the four holes in the bottom base without cross-threading them. Do not force anything. They should go in smoothly.

    DO NOT, I REPEAT, DO NOT FORCIBLY TIGHTEN THESE SCREWS DOWN WITH A SCREW DRIVER. YOU RISK BENDING THE IRREPLACEABLE GUIDE BARS IF YOU DO!! Just run them in softly by hand or by holding only the shaft (not the handle) of the screw driver. They should be run in so that the underside of the screw heads are JUST FLUSH to the bottom of the main base and no more. These thread into the tonearm when the tonearm is all the way to the outside and prevent the tonearm from moving during shipment. I am here to tell you, if the tonearm moves on a PL-L1000 during shipment; it is toast! I highly recommend using four screws, but if for some reason you only use two, please position them so they are diagonally across from each other.

    Pull the tonearm lock rod up to disengage it so that there is no chance of this delicate plastic part breaking in shipment.

    Insert the three 5mm chassis transit screws now if you have them.

    Place foam blocks (of equal thickness to the dustcover) underneath the dustcover to give the dust cover added strength in the event of something ugly happening during shipment. It is not advised to use polystyrene foam as it sheds foam debris. It is far better to use polyethylene foam to prevent shedding. If you must use polystyrene (the common snow white styrofoam), you will have to wrap it with Saran wrap or place the blocks in plastic bags.

    Wrap the whole turntable in at least a 3" thickness of bubble wrap and tape securely. If you don't use bubble wrap for some reason, please make sure you place the turntable into a plastic bag to prevent packing material from getting into the internals and use a generous amount of packing material.

    Place the bubble wrapped platter and counterweight into the bottom of the box you will use for shipping.

    Place the turntable over the bubble wrapped platter right side up in the box. NOTE: Never place the platter above the turntable as it WILL destroy everything!!! Always place it below the turntable.

    Tape the box (you did use a very generously sized box, right?) VERY THOROUGHLY and mark with arrows on all sides of the box the "Up Side" and mark fragile everywhere.

    This MUST be packed this way or the turntable WILL be damaged and I don't want that. Turntables (especially this one) are easily damaged during shipping.

    I appreciate your understanding the importance of this. Please let me know when you get all these points accomplished. If you have any questions at all, please ask.
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2011
    Pio1980 likes this.
  8. Ed in Tx

    Ed in Tx Super Member

    Thanks for detailing what is the minimum necessary to ship one of these. I would be careful with those packing peanuts though. I would only add those if the turntable was sealed in a plastic bag. I've spent many hours on other equipment shipped with styro peanuts picking bits and pieces of styrofoam from gears, grease, and other places they seem to get.

    I definitely like the idea of screwing down the arm. Thank you for specifying the screw size.

    There's also a shipping bracket which originally came with it that secures the arm bearings, held with two shipping screws. That would be hard to duplicate. And then there are the 3 chassis shipping screws.

    I think if I was shipping one of these on top of all of the above, I would ship Next Day Air to minimize time exposed to handling. Anyway, Thanks again Professor Bizzt!
  9. Professor Bizzt

    Professor Bizzt Active Member

    Central Florida
    I too find it extremely troubling that rare vintage turntables are being destroyed all the time making them even more rare. Argh!!!

    I understand the caution regarding foam peanuts. I have picked and blown my share of this stuff out of stereo gear also. I wrote these packing instructions keeping in mind the typical mentality of seller/shippers, many of whom are inexperienced with turntables. I had to make sure that this was as simple and easy for them as possible. The request to use bubble wrap (if they use it properly) should theoretically serve to seal out at least most of the foam peanuts. Putting the component into a bag prior to bubble wrapping would help as well, but is one more step for the packer.

    Of course the original two tonearm shipping brackets, bracket screws, and transit screws are long gone by now in most cases. That is why I recommended an approach that is doable for most sellers (who will cooperate anyway).

    As picky as I am, I honestly don't really see the need for the three plinth transit screws on this particular turntable provided the plinth/dustcover is securely wrapped in bubble wrap and taped. I omitted this step to help keep the seller from wanting to kill me due to one more step in the process. And this brings up another point. When an instruction list like this is submitted to a seller/shipper, they are going to squirm so be prepared.

    I agree with you regarding air shipping versus ground shipping. A call to the post office will confirm this. What I would like to see however is some actual statistics for shipping damage between all the major shipping companies including the post office.

    Again, this packing list recommendation was intended to be only a start point guide here on Audio Karma. It should be modified as necessary to suit the buyer, but should also be as simple as possible for the seller.

    Best wishes, Professor Bizzt
  10. Arkay

    Arkay Lunatic Member

    Hong Kong
    Very sad to see that kind of needless damage. They aren't making any more of these TTs, and everyone that is ruined is one less for posterity (although a very resourceful repair person might be able to get that thing working right again, depending on how much damage there is beyond what we can see).

    Thank you for posting those instructions on proper packing. They should be saved and used by anyone even contemplating shipping one of these TTs!

    Interesting... that post on packing taught me one of the ways that Pioneer cut costs when they modified the PL-L1 to become a PL-L1000: it says the arm locking rod on the PL-L1000 is plastic, and breaks easily. On the PL-L1, it is solid machined metal (like just about everything else) with a really solid feel to the mechanism, and I could hardly imagine it breaking!
  11. jhaan92

    jhaan92 Carver fanatic. Subscriber

    Cottage Grove, MN
    I have to give credit to the guy I bought my PL-L1000A from last year. He not only had all of the original transport screws, but the plastic assembly that goes under the tone arm assembly to prevent someone from bending the rails if they twist the transport screws down too much.

    Professor Bzzt - I think that this guy actually read your posting on how to properly ship one of these turntables, as the packaging was first rate. I have been on the lookout for a replacement tone arm assembly for a PL-L1000A as of recent (due to someone not properly packaging it, this I am certain of), but if I have to bite the bullet and buy another complete table, I will be certain to email them this link with this set of extremely well written and specific set of directions for packaging up one of these turntables.

    Thanks for the great write-up!



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  12. Descartridge

    Descartridge "I hear, therefore I am" Subscriber

    Jim, The Professor is unfortunately only reachable via PM.
  13. audiomagnate

    audiomagnate Addicted Member

    I got one off ebay and sent the professor's instructions to the pack and ship company the seller was using. I'm listening to it now. BTW, I still need the lighter counterweight if anybody has one. I know about the professors substitute, but I want to keep mine stock. I will trade the heavy one for a light one.
  14. dave99

    dave99 New Member

    Good thread. I just received a PL-L1000A off ebay and told the seller specifically YOU MUST remove the platter and wrap it separately. Unfortunately it was not and the turntable was totaled when I got it. Tone arm damaged, the base scratched and gouged and the dust cover in pieces. Unbelievable the amount of damage this machine sustained. I did receive a full refund but the turntable was a beauty and now lost forever. So sad.
    w1jim likes this.
  15. Mark B

    Mark B Yamaha Fan Subscriber

    Another LAZY IDIOT seller destroys a turntable with crap packing.

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