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Pioneer PL30 Turntable 

After the debacle with the Marantz 6150 turntable I decided that looking for another turntable locally was the only way to go. Not only would this eliminate the possibility of another shipping disaster it also meant that I could spend my entire budget on the turntable and nothing for shipping.

After looking for a few weeks and finding nothing locally, I realized that I needed to be more flexible and look beyond just Marantz equipment. I did some research on and decided that a Pioneer turntable was another good choice. Since I don't plan on becoming a vinyl fanatic and since I have added a pair of Pioneer HPM100 speakers into the mix, another Pioneer unit seemed right.

After looking on eBay locally I found a real nice PL30 turntable from a seller in Sunnyvale. It was listed as a 7 day auction with a real low starting price. The price moved up to $75.00 after two days and then just sat there until the final morning. I used my last minuet bidding tactic and won the PL30 for $142.00. The seller was very responsive and he was happy that he didn't have to ship it. I made arrangements to pick it up the following Sunday.

Since I now owned a quality turntable, I guess it would would make sense to have a few records to play on it. I did a search for record stores in the south bay and came up with Streetlight Records in San Jose. They have several locations, the San Jose store was very close to where the turntable was located.

To round out Sunday's adventure I used a cool app on my HTC Inspire from the Food Network and found a place for breakfast that was featured on Guy Fieri's DDD show called Naglee Park Garage.


My wife also has been wanting to stop by Physco Donuts and checkout their really unusual selection of donuts.

Sunday was dark and rainy. . . Off we went, maps in hand for another audio adventure. Breakfast at Naglee's Garage was very good but the coffee could have been better. It's a tiny place but there's also outside seating. Sunday's at Naglee's is breakfast only and the food was good. We will being going back to try out their lunch menu.

After breakfast it was off to Physco Donuts just a few blocks away. They feature oddly named donuts and the girl behind the counter was dress like a nurse in a phyco ward. A dozen donuts to go and a few pictures later we were off to pick up the PL30.













The seller of the PL30, Paul lived a cool neighborhood full of Eichler homes from the 1960's. There was even a Eichler Fire Station on the corner. Paul had the turntable ready for me and I got a short tour of his audio equipment. He has a nice pair tube amps and a set of Magnipan speakers along with all sort of other equipment. He buys items at local garage sales and resells them to fund his audio hobby. He told me that he bought the PL30 from its original owner for $25.00.

After a short drive back to San Jose we found Streetlight Records. It's on South Bascom avenue which is somewhat rundown. Streetlight is in a big, old warehouse building that just as rundown as the area. I would like to think it has an alternative grunge industrial funk going on inside, but it's just old and rundown. But, it's all about the music, right. They have a large selection of used albums, divided up by music type and artist. The prices are fair enough, they have a lot of records for $1.00. Most are between $7-9 while some unopened albums are $14-18. I came away with nice copies of Bad Company's Running with the Pack, Ted Nugget's Great Gonzos and an unopened The Cars Panorama.

The PL30 is in such nice condition it looks like it could be new. The dust cover has almost no scratched and is still shiny. The wood plinth is almost perfect with just two tiny dents on one edge.

Click on Image to view complete Owners Manual

The audio cables need to be replaced, the wire connection inside the RCA connectors seem worn and make a lot of static if you wiggle the wires. This looks like an easy repair.


The PL30 can with a Electro Voice 6000D cartage. I'll have to do some research into this and at least buy a new needle for it. Vinyl Engine is a great resource for this type of information.


The PL30 also came with the original owners manual so I read through it and followed the instructions for setting up the turntable. Almost everything was right on, I guess that's the benefit of being the second owner. I did notice that the turntable would not turn off at the end of the record every time. Something else to add to the to do list. I did remove the bottom cover and took a look. So many levers and springs, most of them are hard to see. A service manual may be the next thing to locate.

All in all, it was a successful and fun Sunday filled with all sorts of audio adventures.



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