Pioneer PL-514 Turntable Service – An Affordable Gem

There’s not much else to add here except to say watch the video and try to grab one if you find one for sale.

The Pioneer PL-514 is an excellent, high-quality belt-drive deck from one of the big Japanese manufacturers. It puts many other belt-drives to shame. Check out my video, below, and read on for more details.


The Pioneer PL-514 is a high-performance belt-driven turntable which employs an auto-return mechanism. Other features include an anti-skating force control, cueing device, detachable dust cover, insulator feet, plug-in type headshell and a 40mm thick particle board cabinet.

Specifications, courtesy of the Vinyl Engine:

Type: auto-return turntable
Drive method: belt drive
Motor: 4-pole synchronous
Speeds: 33 and 45rpm
Wow and flutter: 0.055% WRMS
Signal to noise ratio: 65dB
Platter: 320mm aluminium alloy die-cast
Tonearm: static balance type, pipe arm (s-shaped)
Effective length: 221mm
Overhang: 15.5mm
Usable cartridge weight: 4 to 10g
Dimensions: 440 x 365 x 140mm
Weight: 7.5kg

Service Work:

I just serviced and upgraded this one for her owner. I installed a Jelco HS-25 magnesium headshell, Ortofon 2M Red moving magnet cartridge, new belt and cleaned and lubed the motor, mechanism and spindle bearing.

This Pioneer PL-514 runs perfectly now and plays a record very nicely. I highly recommend you look for one of these if you need a good, solid record player that will likely last for another

Dirty deck as it came to me
Platter and chassis top-plate removed to reveal auto-return mechanism, spindle bearing access and motor.
Here you can see the oiling points on the motor, synthetic bearing oil is a good thing to use here.
I also lubricated each point of motion you see in this image
One screw releases the retainer, allowing access to the spindle bearing for cleaning and re-lubing.
Pioneer originally used grease here, but I removed all this and used a 30 weight synthetic bearing oil which seemed to work very nicely in this case.
You can see how dirty this bearing was
Steel thrust ball sits in the bottom of the bearing. I removed this and cleaned everything with a petroleum-based solvent before re-lubing the bearing.
Here she is all cleaned up and ready to go, with new Jelco HS-25 headshell and Ortofon 2M Red moving magnet cartridge.


2 thoughts on “Pioneer PL-514 Turntable Service – An Affordable Gem”

  1. Hi Mike
    Thanks for the great work on this turntable. It sounds amazing with the service plus new headshell and cartridge. Have owned this for close to 40 years so it was well overdue for a service. Looking forward to many more years of enjoyment.
    It’s nice to know there is someone who can service and fix these things rather than having to replace.

Thanks for reading, leave a comment and let me know what you think!