This Pioneer PL-55X turntable was one of Pioneer’s offerings in the mid 70’s. It’s a very nice looking table though, as wood plinths go, I like the Dual CS-5000 the best. It is a direct drive, servo controlled, semi-automatic table which incorporates auto return. There are a number of different PL-55 versions including the PL-55, PL-55X, PL-55D, PL-55DX, PL-55DXF, and PL-55XF and others. All are very similar with only minor differences. I believe the later, early 80’s “F” designated tables are belt driven. I also believe that the “D” designation means the table was wired for use with the CD-4 Quadraphonic decoder. The “X” designation was the PL-55 table with slightly better specs such as a strobe light and a static balanced tone arm.
PL-55: Offered from 1973-1975 and retailed for about $260.00. Direct Drive, Semi-auto. Cartridge: PC-50.
PL-55D: Offered from 1973-1975 and retailed for about $270.00. Same as PL-55 except for cartridge. Cartridge: PC-Q1
PL-55DX: Same as Pl-55D except it has low capacitance wiring for quadraphonic play. Cartridge: PC-Q1.
PL-55X: 1974-1978. Similar to the PL-A58. Cartridge: PC-50.
Here are the specs for the PL-55X:
- Type: direct drive
- Motor: brushless DC servo motor
- Speeds: 33 and 45rpm
- Wow and flutter: 0.05% wrms
- Rumble: 58dB
- Platter: 310mm aluminium alloy
- Tonearm: static balance type, s-shaped, pipe arm
- Effective length: 221mm
- Cartridge weight: 4 to 14g
- Overhang: 15.5mm
- Dimensions: 480 x 410 x 185mm
- Weight: 11.3kg
The PL-55X utilizes a low mass S shaped tonearm as well as an anti-skating mechanism, built in strobe, damped tonearm cueing and variable pitch controls.
The Pioneer PL-55 line is pretty popular for mid range turntable users. You’ll commonly see the PL-55X and PL-55D up for sale. There have been some complaints about the cueing mechanism and auto return but not anything that can’t be overcome. Some prefer quartz lock tables as opposed to the PL-55X’s servo motor as well. Still, this is a good performing table when maintained properly. The PL-55X will sell from about $75.00 at the low end up to $400.00 for a fully restored unit.