Pioneer PL-41

Pioneer PL-41 Dustcover

This is one of Pioneer’s better contributions to the turntable market. Built in the late 60′ and early 70’s it’s the Pioneer PL-41. At the time it was their top of the line turntable. The Pl-61 and PL-71 were better but came out a few years later and were direct drive as opposed to the PL-41’s belt drive.

Pioneer PL-41 Platter

The PL-41 is built like a tank and, when set up properly, is a solid performer. Some stats:

Speeds: 33 and 45rpm
Wow and flutter: 0.08%
Rumble: 50dB
Platter: 310mm, 2.2kg, aluminium alloy diecast
Tonearm: static balance type
Cartridge: PL-C9 moving magnet
Stylus: PL-N9 0.65 mil radius diamond
Frequency response: 15 to 21,000Hz
Channel separation: more than 30dB
Output: 5mV
Stylus pressure: 2 to 3g
Dimensions: 508 x 406 x 191mm
Weight: 10.5kg

Pioneer PL-41 Tonearm

The PL-41 uses an SME style headshell and a number of cartridges will work well with it including the Audio Technica AT120 and AT95E as well as the Stanton 680EE. For more advanced users the Denon DL-110 and DL-160 are good choices. A vintage Shure M91ED and a new stylus will work well also.

Pioneer PL-41 Headshell

There are a couple common problems with the PL-41. First, the cueing mechanism can run dry causing the tonearm to drop quickly. Adding the correct can fix this. For a good reference on how to do it check out THIS thread. Another problem are the thrust plates which are located in the bottom portion of the bearing well. They have a tendency to crack or disintegrate over time causing the platter to sit incorrectly in the platter well. They are easy to replace, but it is difficult to find originals. Some have tried to fabricate them out of small pieces of plastic or plastic bottle caps. A long thread on this subject can be found HERE.

Pioneer PL-41 Speed

The Pioneer PL-41 really is a quality turntable. It’s big, it’s heavy and it’s built well. With the right maintenance and cartridge it can be a very good performer. You can find one in good working condition for anywhere from $150 to $300.

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28 thoughts on “Pioneer PL-41

  1. PL-41 I LOVE this table so much I have 14 of them. Aprox 6-7 for parts and the rest are ready to spin. I have found it to be a great table once it is set up properly. I purchased my first one in south east asia in 1969 and sent it home fast. I live in MA. and I have a large record collection. I LOVE MUSIC.

    1. I own just one PL-41 and have just restored it. I am looking around for a complete head shell and stylus. I live in South Africa and spare are hard to find. Any ideas or tips.

    2. Michael is there a chance you may have the larger set screw for th silver portion of the counterweight? oI also need one Ov two screws to adjust and secure VTA the table is a gift from my wife and I cannot set up the tone arm at all..Thsnks so much Randy.

    3. Hi, Michael. Not sure if you will pick up this reply to a 3 year old post. But I am looking for a tone arm elevator and arm rest for a Pioneer PL-41. I was wondering if you could point me in the right direction? Thanks so much – Mark

    4. I need counterweight assembly and dust cover hinges for the pioneer PL 41 if you have it

    5. Hi Michael,
      I purchased a Pioneer PL 41 from FB Marketplace. The unit was new and still in the box. Dates back to 1970. The gentleman was in the AF and bought two, one he sent home (mine) one he set up for his use. The one I purchased went into storage, until he finally came across it and sold it to me. It’s like a time machine. Anyhow, I’m a bit baffled as to how to properly set up the tone arm. I have it set up, but the tone arm weight is not something that I’m totally familiar with. The instructions are not super helpful, and I feel that I’m not doing it properly. Any chance you could walk me though this in layman’s terms? Thank you!

      1. If you haven’t tried already, you’re best bet might be YouTube. It’s better to see someone do it than read about it. Just type in ‘balance turntable tonearm’ or ‘setup tonearm’ in the YouTube search box and you’ll get quite a few videos showing how to do it. You could also try ‘pioneer pl-41’ and then you can see how others have theirs set up. Audiokarma.org is a good source of info as well.

    1. Hi, Steve. Just saw your note. I’d be happy to pay shipping on this. If you want to txt me at 202-256-8884 I can give you all the details and arrange shipping. Thanks so much!

  2. I have a Pioneer PL 41, does anyone know where to purchase the correct belt that will turn at the proper speed? Thanks!

  3. You can purchase a Pioneer PL-41 belt from Thakker.eu in Germany Belt is ID#104 flat belt 275,0×5,0x0,7 /circumference 864mm Taric code 40103900. I recently purchased one it works well not perfect speed but close. I did alot of research this belt is the closest you will find new to the original belt. Hope this helps!

  4. Hi I received a gift from my wife..pioneer PL 41 but have two issues Ivam missing one of two set screws to secure the arm for VTA adjustment..second I am missing the larger set screw for the first counterweight..not the black calibration ..so without these two set screws I cannot set up the arm at all rendering my table useless..would you have ANY ideas? Regards Randy. Thank You.

    1. Hi Randy,

      I own this table and absolutely love it. It regularly competes with my much “higher end” Kenwood KP-990.

      I purchased mine needing some work but, with a little effort, got it up and running beautifully.

      To your question: Parts for this table don’t come up often and, when they do, they seem to be pricier than I believe they should be. My opinion, of course. So, with that said, I would keep your eye out on EBay for a junker that has the parts you need. I’ve seen poor condition examples go for $100 or less. The only real pain is the expense of shipping (heavy table).

      I know that’s not an ideal solution but it may get you what you need sooner rather than later so you can start enjoying this excellent table. Also, you could get lucky and find one locally.

      Good luck!

    2. Bought my PL-41 at the insistence of a fellow forum member on AudioKarma. I already have a beautiful, fully restored Kenwood KP-990 but wanted to try something a little different (belt drive).

      After searching for the “right one” I settled on a good condition example off of eBay that needed some work.

      Had to do the following:

      Replace rca wiring harness with brand new set.

      Replace thrust plate and oil.

      Put a new and correct belt on.

      New cartridge (Denon DL103r).

      Replaced speed control plate with very clean example (super cheap at $8).

      Got it up and running and…

      It’s FANTASTIC. This table can be had for significantly less than other comparable table with the high end names and model numbers. I find myself gravitating to this table regularly over my “much better” Kenwood.

      Highly recommended picking one up as they are built like tanks and ridiculously easy to repair and refurbish. Just be sure to do your research and get the correct replacement belt. I’ve checked mine on a strobe and it’s nearly perfect holding the correct speed.

      Glad my friend pushed me into getting the PL-41. In my opinion, I could do no better, especially at my total investment which was in the neighborhood of $275 (shipping was a chunk of that).

      This Pioneer still wows me after a year of frequent use. I still love my KP-990 but they have such different personalities it’s fun matching music with a specific table.

      Get one. You won’t regret it!

  5. I’m looking to buy an original RCA cable for a PL-41. I’m restoring one (my first) and found that a mouse had made a nest inside and chewed on the grey RCA cable. Searches on Ebay and other places have been in vain. Anyone here have one to sell? Thanks! Peter

  6. HI Everyone this is michael and if you have any needs for your pl41 feel free to contact me. Be well and stay safe. I will come back here next week.

    1. Hi Michael, I have a PL-41D with a badly cracked “on off down” cover, I ordered one hastily on eBay not realizing it was the asymmetrical PL-41 cover with the s curved shorter top than bottom version. I would gladly trade you plus whatever you think is fair for a mint D version with the apltly D shaped cover. I don’t need any internals or lever, just the cover.

      How do we share email here? In the message body?

      stubotnyc@gmail.com

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