The Pioneer PL-10 was an entry level, manual, belt drive turntable released in the mid 1970s. Priced at $99, it was Pioneer’s most affordable turntable at the time, positioned below models like the $119 PL-12D. The PL-10 featured a simple, no-frills design that was built to last and makes a great entry level turntable today.
It’s very similar to the PL-12D, the biggest difference being the PL-10 doesn’t have a lateral weight on the tonearm.
The PL-10 utilizes a belt drive system with a 4-pole synchronous motor that provides stable rotation speed and improved signal-to-noise ratio compared to similarly priced models. The motor is unaffected by temperature and humidity changes. Wow and flutter is kept to less than 0.1% WRMS thanks to the reliable belt drive system. It has two speeds, 33 and 45.
The turntable came with a balanced, S-shaped tonearm that can handle a wide range of phono cartridges. The static-balanced tonearm pivots on a super hard alloy point for sensitive and stable tracking. An anti-skating control is included to cancel inward stylus force. The headshell allows easy cartridge swaps, while the oil-damped cueing device prevents stylus and record damage.
Cartridges that will work well with the PL-10 include the Shure M91ED or M95e as well as the newer Audio Technica AT95e. Other viable cartridges include the Audio Technica AT100E or Ortofon 2M Red.
The PL-10 features a die-cast aluminum alloy platter measuring 12 inch (30cm) in diameter. Its wooden cabinet came in a natural grain finish and incorporated aluminum foil on the inner surfaces to block noise from other electronics. The dust cover has a handle on the front to avoid fingerprints on the cover. At the time, the turntable provided good performance for the price due to its stable motor, quality tonearm, and noise reduction measures.
The original dust cover is labelled on both sides. The top says ‘Pioneer’ and the inside says ‘Stereo Turntable’ though I’ve seen a few the other way around as well.
I love the PL-10. Very simple, elegant, decent sounding record player. Grab it and enjoy it.
The best thing about the PL-10 is that it is extremely simple and easy to work on and maintain.
Overall, a well-executed table for that time even though it wasn’t one of the expensive ones from Pioneer.
Simple and easy to use with no frills. Built like a tank.
The underside of the PL-10 is very simple and there are really no adjustments required if your belt is good.
The Pioneer PL-10 is a very good, very basic turntable. If you’re looking for an entry level turntable that is very easy to use and very easy to maintain then the PL-10 is a good choice.