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Author Topic: Pioneer PL 10 project  (Read 8130 times)

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Offline raymonda

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Pioneer PL 10 project
« on: December 17, 2013, 09:37:38 AM »
So, I am under going a new project. I will be modifying a vintage Pioneer Pl 10. Below is a picture of what the deck looks like. I am going to damp the tone arm with shrink tubing. This is something I've done with other arms like this with excellent results. The tone arm will also be rewired, with RCA and a ground connection added to the back of the plinth. This way I can decide on what cable I want to use. I've ordered a Denon DL 103......for that complete vintage take. I am hoping to have a custom. solid wood, cherry plinth made by a friend. If he can't do it I will remove the vinyl veneer and put real wood veneer on the plinth. I have already made a custom mat for the platter, which is made of shelf liner and leather. This is one of my favorite combinations. I'll finish it off with some new footers........I'm not sure if cones or rubber feet will be the best, so I'll need to experiment. I should have it completed by the beginning of the year and will post pictures and report on the sound.




Offline leehookem

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Re: Pioneer PL 10 project
« Reply #1 on: December 17, 2013, 05:03:08 PM »
That table is a beauty.  I wouldn't change a thing!
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Offline raymonda

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Re: Pioneer PL 10 project
« Reply #2 on: December 17, 2013, 08:14:52 PM »
The plinth has vinyl veneer, which screams out at you. A slight mod to this will add both to the sound and visual appeal. The basic platform of this table is good. It is belt drive and manual. All the stuff I like in a table. The arm is a bit of a compromise but I think I can squeeze a bit more out of it by damping it some more. Rewiring won't hurt, as well as new footers. I'm into it for the fun. It won't replace my Well Tempered Benz combo but it will be fun to tweak and work through it.

I'm not looking for a table, per say, but rather some cheap thrills. Then when I'm done Ill sell it for what I have into it.

I'll keep you posted. The cartridge is on the way.
« Last Edit: December 18, 2013, 02:11:29 PM by raymonda »

Offline Fried Chicken Boy

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Re: Pioneer PL 10 project
« Reply #3 on: December 18, 2013, 12:10:30 AM »
Looks like a cool project. ;D  Marking thread to watch the progress.

Offline rocksuitcase

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Re: Pioneer PL 10 project
« Reply #4 on: December 18, 2013, 06:30:27 PM »
raymonda, great ideas and I love it. I have an old Denon DR330 which should only need a cartridge to make it work. I wish I could motivate and do it so I could listen to some of the 1200 LPs I collected (and never sold!) in the 70s and 80s.
Thanks for sharing the project with us.
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Offline raymonda

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Re: Pioneer PL 10 project
« Reply #5 on: December 21, 2013, 08:05:56 PM »
Table arrived today. Working on it now. Should have it done by Xmas.

Offline raymonda

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Re: Pioneer PL 10 project
« Reply #6 on: December 27, 2013, 11:21:40 AM »
Now that x-mas is behind me I have a bit more time to post what has happened so far.

Plinth: When the table arrive the plinth was very weak and the left front/back corners had come unglued. Outside of this the table looked as described when purchased. Therefore, I had to re-glue and brace the plinth. After it was dried I beefed up the bracing by adding 8 (L) braces to the inside.....making the plinth much more ridged. I also dampened the plinth further by adding blue tack to all the corners and by adding 3/4 birch plywood to the bottom. Now the plinth is seriously ridged. The vinyl came off with a heat gun and under it was some wood veneer, which I put polyurethane over. The plinth looks much better but also has more mass and is more ridged. 

Platter: I took some steel wool and cleaned it up. Looks better but buffing it out would add to the look.

Matt: I bought green glove leather and shelf liner and made a matrix mat that starts with the liner touching the platter and the leather over it. This is a great combination that can do wonders.

Tonearm: clear shrink tubing was applied to the arm tube. This is another cheap tweak that can dampen resonance, thus cleaning up the sound. I also applied rubber damping material to parts of the tonearm to further control resonance issues. This is a budget tonearm, made to a price point and compromises were made in its construction.

Tonearm cable: The cable in the tone arm remains intact. I did rewire, from the tonearm wires, new cables that are now terminated to RCA jacks on the back. I used teflon/silver litz  cable and rhodium plated RCA's. Now I can run any cables I want from the table.

Turntable platform: Added rubber damping material to strategic places to dampen the platform.

Springs: New foam was added within the springs, since the old foam had rotted.

Headshell and cartridge: I had ordered a Denon dL 103, which came with a headshell. It was advertised as having 150 hours on it but when it arrived it was damaged and looked to be abused. It was sent back for a refund. Thank god for paypal!

Headshell and cartridge part 2: Bought a cherry wood headshell, which should work well and look nice on the table. I also bought a Shure M97xe, which I was reluctant to do so at first. I would have rather had the Denon 103 but a new one would have cost me more than I wanted to put in the table and would not have went with the table, when and if I sold it. Feeling that a future buyer would want something that was "turn key" I opted for the Shure. I thought about a Denon 110 but it would have been only $40 less than the 103.....which means that I would have just spent the extra for the 103, thus leading me back to the resale turn key issue.

I expect these items to arrive next week.

Footers: I have some nice aircraft grade aluminum footers coming and should be here by the first of the year.

Stand/Shelf: I have a wall hanging shelf coming, which it will be placed on. Further isolating it from vibrations.

Record Clamp: I bought a Michell clamp, which is reasonably priced and creates a tight interface between the record and the platter. It eliminates warps in records.

Belt: Old belt was worn so a new belt was bought and installed.

After all the remaining items arrive I'll take some pictures and post them here.

Listening: Well, I can't wait to give the table a spin and hear what it can do. After it is complete I will give it a serious review and post the outcome here.

Offline Fried Chicken Boy

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Re: Pioneer PL 10 project
« Reply #7 on: December 27, 2013, 02:18:55 PM »
Thanks for the update, raymonda.  Looking forward to seeing the pictures!

Offline raymonda

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Re: Pioneer PL 10 project
« Reply #8 on: December 30, 2013, 08:05:26 PM »
Both cartridge and headshell arrived today and were installed. A few minutes of quick listening shows promise. Right out of the gate, and without any break in, I'm impressed with the sound of the shure m97ex. My fears were not well found but rather some reviews were mixed, which gave me caution. What I'm hearing is a nice sounding cartridge. Right now I'm listening to my Sheffield labs copy of terrapin station. With headphone all is well. Headphones can bring out the worst in vinyl. Sort of like a magnifying glass. I know I'll be tweaking the set up further. But it sounds like I'm about 85 percent there.

Tomorrow I'll post pictures.

Offline raymonda

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Re: Pioneer PL 10 project
« Reply #9 on: December 30, 2013, 10:23:56 PM »
Okay. so my kids are asleep and I've played a bit more with the table. I adjusted the over hang a bit more and dressed some internal wires to decrease hum. Sounds better and getting there. It sounds much better than the PL 512 and AT 440ML I worked on a few years back. Anyway here are a few shots, however, these are not graduation pictures yet, mind you.
« Last Edit: December 30, 2013, 10:26:00 PM by raymonda »

Offline kindms

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Re: Pioneer PL 10 project
« Reply #10 on: December 31, 2013, 09:26:16 AM »
Cool. looks nice.
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Offline twatts (pants are so over-rated...)

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Re: Pioneer PL 10 project
« Reply #11 on: December 31, 2013, 04:21:00 PM »
Beautiful!  Nice project!

Terry
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Offline rocksuitcase

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Re: Pioneer PL 10 project
« Reply #12 on: December 31, 2013, 04:38:41 PM »
Sweet! Nice eye for details. I like the looks of the cables/connectors. Thanks for sharing your project with us.    8)
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Offline raymonda

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Re: Pioneer PL 10 project
« Reply #13 on: December 31, 2013, 07:53:48 PM »
Thanks but it is not finished yet. I still have the footers to install and where I added the birch plywood to the plinth I'm going to trim the base in cherry to finish it off. It should be completed by next week.

At this time, sonically it is where it is going to be. Today I trimmed some of the internal tonearm cable and redressed all cables in order to make it as quiet as possible. Now it is completely hum free and whisper quiet.

I've listened to a lot of classic warhorse rock albums, Dire Straits, Pink Floyd and Grateful Dead. All of which have been on premium vinyl and, although, it doesn't match my wtrp/Benz combo it does a lot right. I think it might be a long term keeper unless I get the itch to take on another project.

Lots of fun!

Offline raymonda

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Re: Pioneer PL 10 project
« Reply #14 on: January 02, 2014, 08:46:34 PM »
Footers came in today and were installed. The trim goes on this weekend.

Offline raymonda

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Re: Pioneer PL 10 project
« Reply #15 on: January 04, 2014, 11:54:52 PM »
Okay, okay, I know I've posted enough pictures but these are of the final project....well 99%........but I'll stop here.

Beyond this, the sound is really impressive for what it started life as. Adding mass, dampinging, new parts and wiring sure pushed this project forward sonically. I might have to give it a spin with a bit nicer cartridge and see what it can further do. But, as it stands, it is what it is........a hot rodded Pl 10 that does not embarass its self at all.

Anyway, I'll listen to it for a month or so, I want to break the cartridge in. Reports say that after 50 hours the M97 really opens up. Right not I am please the wat it sounds. The rest will be bonus. After that 'll probably sell it. Anyone one in upsate NY interested give me a yell. I don't think I'm into mailing it.

« Last Edit: January 05, 2014, 06:37:01 PM by raymonda »

Offline raymonda

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Re: Pioneer PL 10 project
« Reply #16 on: January 16, 2014, 01:40:06 AM »
Just a quick update. I've undertaken another project so this got pushed to the side for a bit, but, now that I'm almost finished with mod'ing the other table I've been comparing them using the same cartridge, the Shure 97, as well as both against my wtrp/benz glider/ruby. Of course, the wtrp is my reference. First off, neither of the two project tables are going to sound as good as my wtrp, however, I can use the wtrp as a point of reference. Also, the two project tables really have afforded me an opportunity to better evaluate the Shure 97.

As for the 97...... it does some nice things and coupled with the pl10 sounds very good. There is a good synergy between the two. It has enough bottom end weight to keep you engaged. The high end gives enough air to the crash, ride and high hat to pass as real and the mid-range allows vocals to cut through. The sound stage width is moderate, with some depth, too. The cartridge is not going to assault your ears. Where it suffers is with vocal sibilance.  It can have some difficulties in this area, which may be due to a 2k boost it seems to have, which of course helps with putting the vocals up front a bit. I've tried everything to tame it but it is there on both tables. It also is not as refined as more expensive cartridges or MC's in general. But for $75 it is a great deal and as I said, mates well with the pl10.

Now for the pl10. Compared with my most recent project I'm liking the sound of the pl10 with the 97 more. It has better lows...."deeper and more defined"..... cleaner highs and a more organic and rounded sound. It sounds more like real music than my new project. However, this could be more of a synergy between table and cartridge than table vs table.

That being said, I have a Denon 110 coming and this should give me a better idea of which table sings better. I owned a 160 in the past and always liked it. Well, those have been dc'ed and all that remains are the 110's. They are suppose to sound close, if not the same. The 110 has a straight cantilever while the 160's was tapered. Finally, this will also give me the opportunity to see how much the pl10 can deliver with a MC. I'm hoping it takes it a step closer to the wtrp benz. What I am aiming for is trying to create champagne on a beer budget. So far the pl10 is stepping up. One caveat is that with the 97 it does produce some motor rumble at loud volumes, which is not a problem at low or moderate but certainly there between tracks at head banging volume. I have bought two in line, subsonic filters from D.B., which should take care of this small issue. I'll report on how well these work after receiving them.

I can't express enough how surprised I am with the pl10's presentation so far. The arm looks too simple and cheap to deliver as well as it does. Compared to the arm on my newest project it should not sound as good, but it does and with the 97 it sounds better.

I'll let you know what the newest project is after I'm done with tweaking it and getting the most out of it. If it falls short after the 110 shoot out I still have a couple of more tweaks for it. Mainly, it would be removing the transformer from the plinth and placing it in a stand alone project box. I did this to a Dual CS5000 I owned and it made a big improvement.

Anyway, if anyone cares, I'll report back after I've installed the 110 and have put in more listening hours.

Also, I put the finishing touches on the PL10's appearance, which I'll save for "yard sale" since I've posted too many pictures here already, if and when I decide to sell it. The bottom line is that it looks really great.

Ray
« Last Edit: January 16, 2014, 10:05:59 AM by raymonda »

Offline nickgregory

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Re: Pioneer PL 10 project
« Reply #17 on: January 16, 2014, 11:14:17 AM »
really is a gorgeous table...have me halfway thinking of making an offer (though I need another table like I need a well...you know...)

Offline raymonda

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Re: Pioneer PL 10 project
« Reply #18 on: January 16, 2014, 08:19:29 PM »
everything has a price but at this time I'm having too much fun with it. I would be reluctant to mail it if and when I do sell it. So, it would probably have to go to somebody who lives in upstate New York. Until then though, I'll keep tweaking it tell I'm happy.I would probably let it go for about what I have into it. Which believe it or not, is not a lot. The biggest price is actually the cartridge and the clamp. However, the table could be sold without both 4 about half price. Enough with that, when I'm ready to sell i will post it in the yard sale.
« Last Edit: January 16, 2014, 08:21:03 PM by raymonda »

Offline 2manyrocks

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Re: Pioneer PL 10 project
« Reply #19 on: January 16, 2014, 10:26:53 PM »
Is there anything worth seeing underneath/inside the PL10 that you modded?

Offline raymonda

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Re: Pioneer PL 10 project
« Reply #20 on: January 17, 2014, 12:03:29 AM »
Sure. The bracing, damping and rewiring. This is not a complex table but a shot of the inside is worth it. I'll try to get on posted in the next 24, or so. Btw, I got the SS filters today and it seems to reduce some motor rumble. At least with headphones on, however I'll have to give it a listen over speakers tomorrow.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2014, 03:15:21 PM by raymonda »

Offline raymonda

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Re: Pioneer PL 10 project
« Reply #21 on: January 17, 2014, 03:18:37 PM »
BTW, I forgot to add that a few days back I ordered a ceramic bearing to replace the steel one in the spindle. A bit over overboard but relatively inexpensive. Let see how it works!

Offline raymonda

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Re: Pioneer PL 10 project
« Reply #22 on: January 19, 2014, 04:26:09 PM »
Okay , this is definitely going up on the yard sale within the next 24 hours. Another project is coming this week and I need to free up some cash. I thought I'd give followers here a heads up first. I would like to sell without clamp and cartridge. The cherry headshell would go with it. I think I have about 150 into it. I'll post finished pics when I throw it into the ys.

Offline 2manyrocks

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Re: Pioneer PL 10 project
« Reply #23 on: January 19, 2014, 09:34:17 PM »
How did you learn how to do all these mods?  I happen to have a PL-10.  Never occurred to me to mod it. 

Offline raymonda

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Re: Pioneer PL 10 project
« Reply #24 on: January 19, 2014, 11:25:09 PM »
There is not anything very complicated going on here. The pl10 is as basic as they come.  There is a motor, plinth, platter and tonearm. All made to a affordable price point, so, the mods are inexpensive things that push the performance upward. Shrink tubing on a tonearm is something that audioquest did on their jelco arms back in the day. Stiffing up the plinth and adding mass and damping helps with resonance and putting in quality rca 's and wires is simple. Routing wires and isolating them from emi interference is learned. However most of what was done was swap out compromised parts and replacing them with parts of higher quality.

Tweak your pl10. You'll be happy.  The sonic improvement is significant. It is amazing what can come out of this box.
« Last Edit: January 19, 2014, 11:27:56 PM by raymonda »

Offline raymonda

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Re: Pioneer PL 10 project
« Reply #25 on: January 19, 2014, 11:31:22 PM »
How did you learn how to do all these mods?  I happen to have a PL-10.  Never occurred to me to mod it.

It always occurs to me how to improve anything I own. I was born a tweakster.

Offline twatts (pants are so over-rated...)

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Re: Pioneer PL 10 project
« Reply #26 on: January 19, 2014, 11:35:11 PM »
I'll probably sell it. Anyone one in upsate NY interested give me a yell. I don't think I'm into mailing it.

Let me know!  I have an Uncle in Albany that would love it...  And if not, he should buy it for me for Christmas next year!  LOL!

Beautiful beautiful beautiful work!   I'm stunned frankly at home great the new deck looks!  Props!

Terry

***Do you have PHISH, VIDA BLUE, JAZZ MANDOLIN PROJECT or any other Phish related DATs/Tapes/MDs that need to be transferred???  I can do them for you!!!***

I will return your DATs/Tapes/MDs.  I'll also provide Master FLAC files via DropBox.  PM me for details.

Sony PCM R500 > SPDIF > Tascam HD-P2
Nakamichi DR-3 > (Oade Advanced Concert Mod) Tascam HD-P2
Sony MDS-JE510 > Hosa ODL-276 > Tascam HD-P2

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