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Stereo Turntables (Con't)

Pioneer PL-560
Pioneer PL-560

Pioneer PL-560

('78-'80)  $380 (pristine, shipping unavailable)

Pioneer's brochure for this magnificent PL-560 asked "Are you sure you want this much turntable?"  Probably because it's MSRP in 1978 was "only" around $300* and therefore aimed at the audiophile that wanted high end without the "high end" price.  At about 24 lbs, it's clearly one of Pioneer's best turntables.

This gorgeous PL-560 is a fully automatic turntable (near mint condition) that features quartz-PLL servo control plus their exclusive DC Hall direct-drive motor (the same drive and metered speed control as the PL-630...essentially the same motor as on their most expensive decks).  Technically, under this system, the waveform signals from a high-position reference oscillator, which incorporates a quartz oscillator, are compared with the output waveform signals of the frequency generator built into the rotor of the motor, and the rotation speed of Che motor is thus controlled. This system is free from both time and temperature drift, and it has an excellent response to changing load requirements. It also ensures that the platter rotates at a precise speed.  The motor is solid and dependable with an incredibly low 0.025% wow/flutter. 

A second motor handles the full-auto lead-in, return, shut-off and infinite repeat.  Technically, the lead-in and return of the tonearm are performed by a special precision geared motor mechanism which does not affect the speed of the platter at all. Furthermore, a speed detection-type auto-return mechanism controls the tonearm for accurate and stable operation every time it is returned to the arm rest.

The analog pitch meter, while more for the cool factor than for actual use by most, allows you to fine tune your your records to very fine tolerances if you need it.  The meter and lamp are activated when you switch off the quartz lock and go back to dark when in quartz mode. 

The static-balanced S-shape tonearm comes mounted with a very nice, gently used Ortofon FF15-XE MKii cartridge/stylus.  The arm itself has superb tracing and resistance to all forms of resonance. It is mounted on a stand base which employs large-mass aluminum diecast material for improved sound quality.

The silver MDF is veneered onto 40mm-thick particle board base that allows for low howl performance. It also features custom feet insulators and a special rubber decoupler for the S-shaped pipe arm and counterweight. The lightly tinted dust cover is in excellent condition as well.

(*$300 in 1978, with inflation, is equal to over $1200 today)

Pioneer PL-4
Pioneer PL-4

Pioneer PL-4

('81-'82)  $175

In good condition and fully working, this direct-drive Pioneer PL-4 is an auto-return turntable.

All its essential controls - speed, pitch control (with strobe), record size and cut - are grouped on the slanted front edge. 

At about 13 lbs, it's a typically, well-designed turntable that has the basic aluminum and plastic design of the 80's.  This was a departure from so many of the earlier tables that had plinths and bases made of wood.  However, advances in turntable technology permitted the use of Pioneer "borrowing" Technics' co-axial suspension system.  It mounts the motor and arm on a separate sub-chassis.  No vibrations are capable of affecting the arm because its base is isolated from the cabinet and suspended by four spring loaded feet.


Place the record on the platter and move the tonearm over to start is all you need to do...there's no need to physically touch the tonearm after that; the arm automatically returns to its rest when play is over.  The tonearm cueing is provided by an arm elevation device located at the base of the arm.

The PL-4 is driven by a coreless DC servo, stable hanging rotor, hall-type motor and the static-balanced, low mass polymer graphite, straight pipe tonearm comes mounted with a nice, slightly used Audio Technica AT-433e cartridge & stylus.


About Pioneer...

Not much needs to be said about Pioneer other then the simple fact that the name is known worldwide for above average quality and excellence in high fidelity component design.  They were the unchallenged leader in stereo advertising and marketing in the 70's.  Back in the day, Pioneer made it clear that if you didn't have a Pioneer stereo system in your house (or college dorm) you just didn't have the right stuff.


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Aurex Toshiba SR-230
Aurex Toshiba SR-230

Aurex Toshiba SR-230

(1976)  $275 

This Toshiba SR-230 is a high quality, very handsome and exceptionally clean turntable.  It comes with custom, adjustable chrome feet and an upgraded special compound anti-static platter mat.

Belt driven, two-speed with a rock solid DC Servo motor for trouble free performance...the semi-automatic operation is effortless and liquid smooth. 

The plinth is a very nice light grey color with chrome accents running along  the top length of both sides which blends very well with the chrome controls, a well-designed layout.

About Toshiba...*(and Aurex)
Back in the day, some Toshiba, Sanyo, Hitachi (and other lesser known names) were associated with clock radios, and similar little devices that showed up in various stores that normally didn't sell HiFi gear.
For the dealer, Toshiba was aggressively priced so that there was better margin in their products, which translated to higher profits. This was because Toshiba didn't advertise or get product reviews from the audio magazines. Today, this explains why Toshiba is less known in general about the very good quality in their stereo equipment.
Today, when it comes to vintage HiFi, most recognize the name Toshiba primarily because of its monster class SA-7150 with its massive power at 150 watts per channel.  But, back in the early 70s, when HiFi dealers took on the Toshiba audio product lines, the salesmen considered them a second-level product line to the Marantz, Pioneer, Sony , etc. As time went on, more and more techs and curious salesmen began to open them up, check the build quality.  Guess what? Wow!  Great stuff!  *

The Aurex branded gear was designed as a premium addition to the standard Toshiba line-up.
In fact, even though Toshiba branded products were quite good and performed as good as the big-name gear and still does today, the Aurex was a nothch higher in quality.  Because of their low key marketing stance, it's doubtful their sales volumes were anywhere near those of Sony, Pioneer, etc.


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B
B

B&O SP-12 

cartridge & stylus only  $80  (low hours, excellent)

This is a genuine Bang & Olufsen SP-12 cartridge and stylus with about 20 hours use and in excellent condition. It was recently pulled from non-working Beogram 3000 Type 5321 turntable.  Price is firm.

Other parts from non-working B&O 3000 Type 5321 turntable are available: new belt, tonearm, platter, etc.

Or you can buy the complete non-working turntable (as is) for $100 including the SP-12.  Dust cover is missing back section with hinges.  Motor is good.


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Reference 620T
Reference 620T

Reference 620T

('78-'80) $250


Here's another of the very high quality Reference turntable models, the 620T...in excellent cosmetic and working condition, fairly rare and the expected elegant design.  

All of the Reference series units were sold by Pacific Stereo back in the day.  They were responsible for the great success of the Concept and Reference models, developed in the USA and built in Japan.

This 620T at about 23 lbs is a very heavy, DC direct drive, semi-automatic, premium deck with a massive die-cast platter. It features an ultra low-mass, straight pipe tonearm and satin black headshell.  The headshell contains a brand new Ortofon Omega.

The strobe and pitch controls are in a separate window in the middle of the front section.

The beautiful black satin finished plinth is complimented with real walnut side panels.  

This also has a new custom acrylic dust cover. 

Like all the Reference series components, this is a very nice, very solid, very good looking vintage turntable.

Reference 510-T
Reference 510-T

Reference 510-T 

(1978)  $200

The Reference 510-T turntable is a belt-drive and the sibling of the direct-drive 610-T but with the same elegant design that all the Reference units have (including their fine lineup of receivers and tape decks).

This 510T is a semi-automatic, great looking deck with a black anodized aluminum die-cast platter, ultra low-mass S-shape and a satin black tonearm.  One of the heavier belt-drive turntables from Japan (weight is about 20 lbs), the construction quality is obvious.

All of the Reference (by Quadraflex) series units were originally sold by Pacific Stereo.  They were responsible for the great success of the Concept and Reference models, developed in the USA and built in Japan.

The beautiful black satin finished plinth has nice blue silkscreen lettering and is complimented with real walnut side panels.  

The turntable is in excellent cosmetic and working condition, including the original dust cover.

Like all the Reference series components, this is a very nice, very well built and great looking vintage deck.

Reference 610-T
Reference 610-T

Reference 610T 

('78-'80) $250

This is a very high quality Reference 610T turntable in excellent cosmetic and working condition. These are somewhat rare and have an elegant design.  

All of the Reference series units were sold by Pacific Stereo back in the day.  They were responsible for the great success of the Concept and Reference models, developed in the USA and built in Japan.

This 610T at about 24 lbs is a very heavy, DC direct drive, semi-automatic, premium deck with a massive die-cast platter, ultra low-mass S-shape, satin black tonearm and satin black headshell.  The included cartridge/stylus is a brand new Ortofon Omega.  

The strobe and pitch controls are in a separate window in the middle of the front section.

The beautiful black satin finished plinth is complimented with real walnut side panels.  

This also has a new custom acrylic dust cover. 

Like all the Reference series components, this is a very nice, very solid, very good looking vintage turntable.

About CONCEPT AND REFERENCE... 

We had the good fortune to have worked at Pacific Stereo in the late 60's (back when they only had three stores!) Today, it's not commonly known but all the house brands like Concept, Reference, Quadraflex, and TransAudio along with all other well-known brands of the time were sold by Pacific Stereo.  As one of the largest stereo chain stores in the USA (especially in the West) they eventually faded away but not before they left behind a legacy of some very fine equipment they designed in-house but were made in Japan.  The Concept units, designed by Richard Schramm (now the  CEO of Parasound) were the top tier units followed closely behind in quality by the Reference series.  Below those two brands were the less costly Quadraflex and the budget TransAudio units. The Concept 16.5 stereo receiver (165 watts per channel) is considered by many to be one of the best of the "Holy Grail" of vintage receivers.

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Sony PS-X55
Sony PS-X55

Sony PS-X55

('80-'81)  $300

shipping unavailable for this unit

In excellent cosmetic and working condition, this Sony PS-X55 is a fully automatic, single play, two speed (33 and 45 rpm) computer controlled quartz crystal locked direct drive turntable. 

The topside infrared light senses the record size through slots in both the platter and the mat, then instructs the tonearm where to set down.  Interestingly, the platter motor shuts off at end of play and then the second motor gently returns the tonearm back to rest.  All this is done with complete silence, no clunk, no nothing.

It features a low mass, straight aluminum pipe arm with its own independent motor. Mounted on the arm is high quality Shure Hi-Track M95 and new stylus.

There is a servo control for speed monitoring and electrical input adjustment. Other features include a long -span pivot and overhang adjustment; stylus muting sensor; automatic 7" and 10" disc size selector; IC logic arm transport functions include right/left arm movement (for convenience the controls are accessible even when the dustcover is down) 

The base was designed using Sony's Bulk Molding Compound. This compound is a mixture of calcium carbonate, fiberglass and polyester binder.  The plinth itself, while part of the base, has a very faint hint of metallic specs to give it a "textured" look instead of just plain ol' black.

The most important specs are: wow and flutter 0.025% wrms; rumble - 78 dB 

Sony PS-5520
Sony PS-5520

Sony PS-5520

(1972) $150 (works, as is, modified for remote control)

A classic definition of a fine vintage, high quality turntable, the Sony model PS-5520 has become one of our personal favorite decks...we've had several in the last few years.  It is modified for *wireless remote control.

Included is the original Sony headshell fitted with a very nice Shure M91-ED cartridge and 70-EJ stylus.

*Although this Sony PS 5520 is a beautiful, well engineered and versatile turntable, please be aware that this particular unit has been modified to work as a remote-controlled, manual operation unit only.   The automatic function has been disabled.  Operation is accomplished using the wireless on/off key fob from up to 100' away. 

This model has many important features which contribute to the faithful reproduction of your records; a static balance tonearm, an effective anti-skating compensator and a reliable 4-pole hysteresis synchronous motor.

Built around a gorgeous walnut plinth, this "Gold Badge" edition Sony PS-5520 also has the great looking classic split design, perplex tinted dust cover with heavy duty hinges.  Nothing cheap here, tough as nails yet beautiful and simple...a pleasure to own, to admire and easy to operate.


About Sony...

Nothing to add here, Sony is one of the most famous and well known, global electronics companies in history.


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