Pioneer PL-30-K Review

Likes:
  • Detachable dust cover.
  • Replaceable cartridge.
  • Rubber mat grips the vinyl.
  • Plays 33RPM and 45RPM without much need of adjustment.
  • Great aesthetics.
  • Looks classy.
  • Components feel high quality.
Dislikes:
  • Expensive price range.
  • Provided cables are very short.
  • No amplifier.

Pioneer PL-30-K Audiophile Stereo Turntable

Pioneer PL-30-K Audiophile Stereo Turntable

In this review, we look at the Pioneer PL-30-K model that has a black and silver design. It’s matched with a transparent dust cover and the purchase includes a range of accessories:

  • Power cord.
  • Lead wires.
  • Turntable sheet.
  • An EP record adapter.

Note that the dust cover’s hinges are removable for the consumer who prefers having full access to the unit during usage.

This is a Pioneer belt drive unit and on your tone arm, you get a high-performance MM cartridge. It’s an automatic set which will return the tone arm to its original position when the last track is done playing.

The chassis is dual-layered and comprises of a 4mm thick metal plate. Combined with that is a 5mm thick rubber mat. This is to add weight to the unit and counter vibrations.

Additional features include the phono equalizer with an On/Through selector so you can pick between using an amp without a phono terminal or an external phono equalizer.

Customization is possible since you can adjust overhang and you can even exchange the cartridge to upgrade the unit. It’s able to play both 33RPM and 45RPM records & the tone arm will automatically go to the correct starting point so you don’t have to manage it.

There’s an anti-skate dial so you can adjust the stylus tracking.

At 12.3lb you may find this Pioneer model a bit on the heavy side compared to other models. Its dimensions are 17” x 15” x 4”.

Performance

Pioneer provides a complete manual with the purchase. You need to assemble and install this unit so that is an essential item, especially for the beginner.

The brand’s attempts to provide stable, clear stereo audio include the belt drive to limit vibrations and the unit’s low center of gravity. The metal plate and rubber mat improve the sound as vibrations are kept to a minimum. The mat actually grips the record so the cartridge doesn’t lose contact with it during play.

This unit requires an amplifier since it’s not built-in. This requires some more equipment and some users may find it tricky to set up. Remember you need to use the Aux connection and jack to create an output to the amplifier or powered speakers.

You can manage the audio with the built in equalizers making it an excellent audiophile stereo turntable.

Note that the tone arm occasionally skips which will affect the listening pleasure of an audiophile. One solution is to add some weight to the arm. It also doesn’t maintain the exact same speed while playing. This can, of course, be adjusted manually but is frustrating for those listening to their favorite songs and then hearing a change of tempo.

Consumer reviews mention some pitch variations which is another thing the picky listener will find a problem.

Verdict

Pioneer-PL-30-KThis is a reasonable purchase for every day listening. Note that it’s not meant for professional use or if you’re in need of a turntable for DJ application. You’ll need to look for customer reviews on DJ equipment if that’s your goal.

Be prepared for a few problems although some of them can be countered with DIY solutions or manual adjustments from time to time. It looks good too so it will enhance your room wherever you place it.

Warning: Only get this if you already know something about record players as these problems may be too much for a beginner to handle.