I recently completed a comprehensive overhaul of a lovely old Pioneer PL-530 direct-drive turntable. This model is not especially common, but it has a great vintage look and some great features that I think make it one to keep an eye out for.
Pioneer made some great belt-drive and direct-drive decks and many of them have a highly sought after ‘vintage look’ – like the PL-530. This particular Pioneer PL-530 needed attention in a few areas though, it wasn’t very happy when it came to me.
Something was not quite right with the power supply and, as you will see, the problem was a common one. The tonearm and cartridge weren’t set up correctly, another very common problem. The deck also needed comprehensive cleaning and lubrication.
Part of the arm control mechanism was jammed solid. This occurs due to the volatile elements of the lubricants originally used vapourising, leaving behind a sticky grease-like solid. Rectification of this issue restored full automatic arm functionality.
Once all this work was attended to, we had a very nice and perfectly functional vintage direct-drive deck! You can read more about the Pioneer PL-530 at one of my favourite websites – Vinyl Engine. Specifications that follow are courtesy of the Vinyl Engine.
Type: direct drive Motor: brushless DC servo Hall motor Platter: 330mm aluminium alloy diecast Speeds: 33 and 45rpm Speed control range: +-2% Wow and flutter: 0.03% Rumble: 70dB Tonearm: static-balanced type, s-shaped pipe arm Effective length: 221mm Overhang: 15.5mm Cartridge weight range: 4 to 14.5g Dimensions: 480 x 390 x 170mm Weight: 10kg