Pioneer PL 518

This is a very interesting unit from the middle of the Pioneer line back in 1978.

The Pioneer PL-518 is a direct drive turntable built to last, with no belt, it will keep playing non-stop for decades.
The similarities between the Pioneer PL 560, 540 and 518 are many, they shared the same structure and arm, in the case of the 540 and 560, they also had the same motor, with Quartz Lock, and the same platter, the most advanced model, the PL 560, being fully automatic.
S-shaped arm, Auto-Return and Quick-Start, the PL-518’s platter starts to rotate when you position the needle on top of the record. When the record is finished, the arm automatically lifts and returns to rest.
Very simple to use.
The controls of the Pioneer PL-518 are grouped on the right-hand side of the unit along with the strobe light, for easy operation.
Pioneer developed a 16 pole, 24 slot DC servo motor for the PL-518, which was later used in the PL-520. The magnetic circuit of this motor is twice as strong as conventional direct drive types, a fact that greatly contributes to its better resistance to torque ripple caused by uneven magnetic force.
Its switching frequency is also doubled, to 13.3Hz. Together, these mean improved loading characteristics, more accurate disc speeds at all times and, ultimately, better sound quality results.
At the time, few if any devices in this price range had such good performance specifications: the signal-to-noise ratio achieved by the super-quiet DC direct-drive servo motor is a high 73dB or less, while wow/flutter is an excellent 0.03% or less.
The defect, the rubber feet decompose over time which makes it very difficult to find one that still has the original feet.

Overall, the PL-518 is a good record player. Good sound, reliable and simple to use.


Type: direct drive
Motor: 16-pole, 24-slot, DC servo motor
Platter: 320mm aluminium alloy diecast
Speeds: 33 and 45rpm
Speed control range: +-2%
Wow and flutter: 0.03%
Rumble: 73dB
Tonearm: static-balanced type, s-shaped pipe arm
Effective length: 221mm
Overhang: 15.5mm
Cartridge weight range: 4 to 10g
Dimensions: 440 x 145 x 365mm
Weight: 9.5kg

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