Pioneer PL 50 runs too fast

Discussion in 'Turntables' started by keithpgdrb, Mar 13, 2012.

  1. keithpgdrb

    keithpgdrb AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Hey all,

    My PL-50 runs too fast. I have corrected all of the obvious culprits.

    1. oiled it with good sewing machine oil
    2. got the proper belt from vintage electronics (.net)
    3. cleaned up both the capstan and the platter to make sure there is no left over goo from the old belt. its looks great actually.
    4. verified that I have the correct capstan installed for the USA

    All of the above have done nothing for the speed. The only solution that I have come across outside of grinding down the capstan (which I'm not doing) was a passing mention of increasing the platter width with electrical tape. This was mentioned as working great, but no one really followed up with any other comments. I understand that there are speed issues with this table, and I believe the pl 41 as well. Its never been sure why though.

    SO, I come to you all once again to figure out a Final solution to this issue. if you have had this problem, what did you do to fix it? anyone else try the tape? is there another solution I should be looking into? would this have anything to do with house current? I wouldnt think so, but who knows. lets figure this out. :yes:
  2. Bucky Badger

    Bucky Badger AK Subscriber Subscriber

    #4 is what I would have suggested. Did you try the other one?
    If you did and it didn't work I hope that someone has an answer for ya.
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2012
  3. keithpgdrb

    keithpgdrb AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Thanks Bucky. I know there is an answer. I just know it. I've read all kinds of posts of this problem. but very few solutions.
  4. Bucky Badger

    Bucky Badger AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Great turntable btw. I sold mine but know that I will have one again. I am always lookin'.
  5. keithpgdrb

    keithpgdrb AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Yeah, I like it a lot, and its in good shape. Nice simple table. But I'm a musician, and this speed issue is driving me crazy. I have faith though. I will prevail.
  6. Junknewbian

    Junknewbian Well-Known Member

    In my opinion, I can't imagine loving a table with a chronic speed problem. I would get another turntable, for less (aggravation, money) than you might spend to try to perfect this one.
  7. keithpgdrb

    keithpgdrb AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Part of me agrees with you. But when you find a vintage table in good shape, the effort can be worth it. The table sounds good but for the speed issue.
  8. Bucky Badger

    Bucky Badger AK Subscriber Subscriber

    It really is a nice table Junknewbian. Heavy and well made. And, it might not be a very big problem to fix.
    I like your attitude keithpgdrb. Keep it up.
    To clarify, did you try both capstans?
  9. keithpgdrb

    keithpgdrb AK Subscriber Subscriber

    nope, I only have the one capstan. the one with the beveled bottom. supposed to be the right one. Never had a second one.
  10. gridleakrick

    gridleakrick Well-Known Member

    Change the belt. I've worked on a lot of turntable and, in my experience, 9 times out of 10 changing the belt will correct the speed problem. Small variations in belt diameter, width or thickness can cause the speed to be off. It helps to have a stock of belts available to try to find the one which works right. I have to do this on a regular basis. How wide is your replacement belt? Most Pioneer turntables want narrow belts (around 0.185") but many vendors sell ones of 0.2"-0.25" width and claim they are the right ones.
  11. Bucky Badger

    Bucky Badger AK Subscriber Subscriber

    I just looked at the manual and it does say that the 60hz capstan has the groove cut in the bottom so you should be right on. Do you have the manual?
    One is available on VE for free.
    Also, do your speed selector buttons work?
  12. keithpgdrb

    keithpgdrb AK Subscriber Subscriber

    I changed the belt twice. Speed remains the same amount off. I don't think it's the belt. How much speed variation would you get with the wrong belt? I have to find a way to measure how far off the speed is. It's obvious to me.
  13. keithpgdrb

    keithpgdrb AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Yes. I have all the manuals and the speed selector buttons work fine.
  14. boreas

    boreas AK Subscriber Subscriber

    VinylEngine has downloadable strobe discs. You'll want one for 60Hz. After downloading, print, cut out and put on the platter under a strong artificial (preferably fluorescent) light.

    I printed mine on heavy photo paper, laminated it to a piece of a manilla file folder and then coated it with spray lacquer. Been using it for years.

  15. keithpgdrb

    keithpgdrb AK Subscriber Subscriber

    I have strobe lines on my test records. All they do is confirm that I'm running fast. Not how much.
  16. boreas

    boreas AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Oh, okay. I don't think you mentioned anything other than your ears alerting you. So, how quickly are the hash marks moving, IOW how much time between one hash mark aligning with a fixed point and the next? You can use the arm as your reference.

    And you'd be surprised at how much you can do with different belts, different lengths, widths and thicknesses. You mentioned VintageElectronics. You might try your next one from Turntable Basics.

  17. epifanatic

    epifanatic acoustically suspended Subscriber

    Does this table have pitch control pots? If so, they probably need a good shot of Deoxit.
  18. GreatTone

    GreatTone AK Subscriber Subscriber

    My Ariston RD11S is a hair fast. By a hair, I mean it gains about one second per minute. Comparing the same song to a CD, I can definitely hear the vinyl being sharp, but it's extremely small. I'm a musician also, and I can't notice it unless I'm comparing the vinyl to something else. I guess I'm lucky I don't have perfect pitch, though I do have excellent relative pitch.

    I just put it down to PRAT and consider it a feature, not a bug.
  19. boreas

    boreas AK Subscriber Subscriber

    No, the PL-50 and PL-50A motors are AC synchronous. Motor speed is controlled by mains voltage and frequency only.
  20. KentTeffeteller

    KentTeffeteller Gimpus Stereophilus!

    Check and make sure your AC motor's rubber bushings are in good condition. Also, make sure your motor pulley is at correct height.

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