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corduroy
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Help Needed in Fixing Old Turntable

Hi everyone! Newbie here.

I was wondering if anyone here knew anything on a Pioneer PL-320. I rescued it from my storeroom and had the needle/stylus fixed. However, the rotation speed behaves quite erratically as I can never get the strobe lights to stay constant. They're either always moving forwards or backwards. This makes listening to vinyls really irritating.

I sent it to a local electrical store and the guy there said that these models have some kind of chip that controls the RPM speeds, and he said that there wasn't any available in his shop. Unfortunately, his is the only shop in my area that knows anything about turntables.

I've searched the 'net for answers, but it seems that this model is not very popular. I would really like to get it up and running, and it's a shame 'cos the erratic RPM speed seems to be the only problem. Everything esle works fine as I can hear sounds from the speaker when I play any vinyls on it.

Is there anywhere I can get spare parts or something? Or maybe a tutorial on how to fix turntables. I wouldn't think it was a belt problem as it is a direct-drive turntable, but then again, I might be wrong.

Any help is very much appreciated.

Thanks!

Jim Tavegia
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Re: Help Needed in Fixing Old Turntable

Is this old table a belt drive model? If the belt is old and dry this could be part of the problem. This is the same problem that occurs on some older Sony CD players that have a belt drive disc drawer mechanism with a stepped plastic gear.

corduroy
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Re: Help Needed in Fixing Old Turntable

Cheers Jim!

The turntable is a direct-drive table. Well, at least it says so on the fascia. Actually, that's what kind of puzzled me. I thought that only belt-drives would have that kind of problem as the rubber would lose its elasticity over the years.

Buddha
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Re: Help Needed in Fixing Old Turntable

Welcome, Corduroy!

Yup, it's a direct drive. Same mechanism as the PL-4.

A good rule of thumb for direct drive tables is that if the motor works when you are trying to decide whether or not to resurrect it, proceed; if the motor isn't right, scrap it.

The cost of repair for that rig would give you very little value.

There are websites that stock parts in the same fashion as car parts yards where you go and buy used parts from wrecked cars, but there are no warrantees or guarantees.

I hate to say "uncle," but in this case, I'd recommend looking for a different turntable.

If you decide to do that, after you pick a budget, let us know and we'll try to help!

corduroy
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Re: Help Needed in Fixing Old Turntable

Cheers Buddha!

Well, that is a shame really.

I was looking forward to restoring the old 'table. Is there really no way I can save it?

The kind of turntable that I'd probably need is just a simple one, just for listening to vinyls. I've seen some DJ-oriented ones, but they seem to be on the steep side.

By the way, what mechanism does the PL-320 use? I was told that it was some sort of chip.

Buddha
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Re: Help Needed in Fixing Old Turntable

Hi,

I'm not sure about the mechanism question. I tried to look for a repair site for your model, but only found parts sites that cannibalize old tables and do not offer instructional or warrantee support. I bet you could get one on Ebay for not much money.

Here's a PL-4 that will probably end without bids...

Ebay PL-4

There is also a service manual for your table for sale...

Ebay service manual.

Before buying any DJ gear, look around at the turntables available at...

www.amusicdirect.com

Acoustic Sounds (You can Google, them, my current link is not working.)

www.needledoctor.com

www.elusivedisc.com

You can browse around and get a feel for whether or not anything is in your budget. I would say that any table at these sites that is the same price as a DJ table woulf give you better home sound than the DJ table.

corduroy
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Re: Help Needed in Fixing Old Turntable

Cheers Buddha!

Thanks for the links. Checked them out and found them quite insightful. I liked the designs of the Clearaudio turntables though they are a pretty expensive set of 'tables.

Anyway, thanks for the help guys!

JoeE SP9
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Re: Help Needed in Fixing Old Turntable

There is a possibility that the potentiometer that controls the speed adjustment is dirty. You may need to do some dis-assembly to gain access the the "pot". Spray the pot with contact cleaner (available at Rat Shack) making sure the cleaner gets inside the pot. Rotate the knob vigorously for a minute or so. Let it dry and see if there is any improvement. This is a low cost fix as the contact cleaner only costs a couple of bucks. Almost any potentiometer (variable resistor) will get dirty over time especially if it is not rotated periodically.

Lost935
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Re: Help Needed in Fixing Old Turntable

Hi

Easy one this, had exactly the same problem, all it is is that the rotary speed adjuster is dirty, open the case carefully and look inside with a torch until you see the back of the switch and soak spray liberally with switch cleaner/lubricant and then give the rotart switch a good workout with your thumb, then leave it for 10 mins, all should be fine then, done this myself and it works. Let me know how you get on.

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