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Thread: Pioneer PL-88FS turntable

  1. #1
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    Pioneer PL-88FS turntable

    Just bought one of these today, it was so unique and cool that I had to have it. Apparently back in the day (1982), it was Pioneers top of the line turntable, and retailed for about $1200 U.S. Its amazingly heavy! Doesn't match the rest of my set (vintage Akai Reference Master series), which is black, but one can't have everything. Has anyone out there seen one of these turntables before, and/or have some experience with them? Its even "programmable" like a CD player!
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  2. #2
    Senior Member MikeBrewster77's Avatar
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    Looks like a tangential tracking number. Standard pivot tonearms actually track across an arc while playing the full length of an LP; consequently, the stylus is in different positions throughout play, and not always in an optimum position to faithfully reproduce the information in the grooves (aka "tracking error" which can cause distortion.) The theory behind tangential (or linear) tracking turntables is that since the tonearm is always aligned at a 90 degree angle, they will track more consistently, and also follow the same path as the cutting head when the disc was first created.

    They can be quite good. I have a Phase Linear 8000 which is a BEAST (the largest footprint of any component I've ever owned) and the best sounding example of a linear tracking I've ever had the pleasure of listening to. I did a little research when I read your post, and it looks like Phase Linear was in fact bought by Pioneer in the late 70's, and the PL 8000 shares the platform of the Pioneer PL-L1000, so our tables might be counsins?

    All that being said, these tables can also be quite horrible. Exceptional care has to be taken in the design and producion process to ensure the various servos, motors, bearings, etc. operate flawlessly and smoothly, are balanced properly, etc. Time also does not seem to have treated these tables well due to the sheer mechanics that goes into them working properly. Most of the mass market models also used the "P-mount" cartridge style, which I've found leaves you less options in terms of a good cartridge because of their lower-end application over the more traditional standard mount. So while I've kept the Phase Linear, it is in storage and I keep going back to the Luxman standard table I have time and time again.

    As with any table, although there's a little geometry to worry about with a linear tracking model, proper cartridge and table setup, alignment, etc., are all critical to ensuring you get the best out of what you've got.

    Best of luck with your new purchase!

  3. #3
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    Pioneer PL88F

    I actually purchased this exact turntable brand new in 1982 in Tempe Arizona. The cost was nowhere near $1200, if my memory serves me well, sticker was about $400.00. I played is constantly and was actually very happy with its performance. I was robbed back in 1988 and there went my turntable. I still have an extensive LP collection and have a total of 3 turntables. Nothing comes close to my old Pioneer. I have been in search for another one and to date have come up short. If you are unhappy and are willing to part with it I would be happy to entertain the purchase. Let me know what you think?

    Thanks

  4. #4
    Heather [Senorita member] hjames's Avatar
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    Interestingly enough the post that started this thread is a couple years old - 12-01-2008 10:38 PM

    Guess we'll see if he's kept that table for the last 2 1/2 years ...

    Quote Originally Posted by hockeywolf14 View Post
    I actually purchased this exact turntable brand new in 1982 in Tempe Arizona. The cost was nowhere near $1200, if my memory serves me well, sticker was about $400.00. I played is constantly and was actually very happy with its performance. I was robbed back in 1988 and there went my turntable. I still have an extensive LP collection and have a total of 3 turntables. Nothing comes close to my old Pioneer. I have been in search for another one and to date have come up short. If you are unhappy and are willing to part with it I would be happy to entertain the purchase. Let me know what you think?

    Thanks
    2ch - Oppo981, JoLida502, JBL L200+, KEF 105.4, Tympani-1D
    HT7- XDA-2, BDP93, B&K amps, Vandy 3A, 2Ce, VCC1, TF600 & JBL 4641

  5. #5
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    cartrage and arm skipping

    I bought a pl 88fs a few months ago. The cartridge was damaged and I was able to find an original model cartridge to fit. When the arm touches down on the record, it just skates across the record not staying in the grooves. It seems to do it more on records from the 70s and later. The thicker records of the 60's seems to not be affected as much. Is there some problem with the cartridge or is does the arm need adjustment. I really do not see any way to adjust it.

  6. #6
    Heather [Senorita member] hjames's Avatar
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    Google is your friend ...
    I did a search for the Owners manual for that turntable and found this

    http://www.vinylengine.com/library/pioneer/pl-88f.shtml

    Go to that site and register/create a free account and you can download the Owners manual for that table and find out how to adjust or set it up.



    Quote Originally Posted by fbj53 View Post
    I bought a pl 88fs a few months ago. The cartridge was damaged and I was able to find an original model cartridge to fit. When the arm touches down on the record, it just skates across the record not staying in the grooves. It seems to do it more on records from the 70s and later. The thicker records of the 60's seems to not be affected as much. Is there some problem with the cartridge or is does the arm need adjustment. I really do not see any way to adjust it.
    2ch - Oppo981, JoLida502, JBL L200+, KEF 105.4, Tympani-1D
    HT7- XDA-2, BDP93, B&K amps, Vandy 3A, 2Ce, VCC1, TF600 & JBL 4641

  7. #7
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    pl88FS-

    Quote Originally Posted by hjames View Post
    Interestingly enough the post that started this thread is a couple years old - 12-01-2008 10:38 PM

    Guess we'll see if he's kept that table for the last 2 1/2 years ...
    I have had one since 85 last used it in 87... somebody give me a bid

  8. #8
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    i have a black model.. give me a bid

    Quote Originally Posted by hockeywolf14 View Post
    I actually purchased this exact turntable brand new in 1982 in Tempe Arizona. The cost was nowhere near $1200, if my memory serves me well, sticker was about $400.00. I played is constantly and was actually very happy with its performance. I was robbed back in 1988 and there went my turntable. I still have an extensive LP collection and have a total of 3 turntables. Nothing comes close to my old Pioneer. I have been in search for another one and to date have come up short. If you are unhappy and are willing to part with it I would be happy to entertain the purchase. Let me know what you think?

    Thanks
    I bought it in Okinowa in 85 and has been in closet since 87. I just had it out and it works great... I no longer have original box (parents thought it took up to much room and tossed it when I went back over in 86) I picked it up at an electronics fair with a pair of AKAI GX-R66's also forsale.

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