Pioneer made some good turntables during the vinyl heyday and this is one of their better ones. The Pioneer PL-630, produced in 1978 and 1979, is an excellent turntable. It is a quartz locked direct-drive turntable fitted with an S-shaped, static balance type tonearm and is fully automatic. It has two speeds, 45 and 33, and utilizes optical detection for the tonearm. Basically you just push the button and the tonearm lifts and swings over to the record and starts playing. When it’s done the tonearm lifts and goes back to the rest. The automatic feature can be turned off in case you need to drop the needle on a non-standard record.
Another nice feature of the PL-630 is that the dustcover does not cover the controls so that you can operate the turntable with the dustcover closed. The PL-630 basically had the same specs as Pioneer’s top of the line PL-C590 turntable and used the PA-5000 tonearm.
Some of the other features of the Pioneer PL-630 are:
- Direct drive
- Quartz PLL Hall motor
- Speeds: 33 and 45 rpm
- 330mm aluminium alloy diecast platter
- Rumble: 75dB
- Wow and flutter: 0.025%
- Cartridge weight range: 4 to 12.5g
- Tonearm: static-balanced type, s-shaped pipe arm
- Size: 470 x 148 x 418mm
- Weight: 26.5 pounds
The PL-630 is a very popular turntable and therefore sells for a premium for vintage turntables. One in excellent condition with a Stanton 681 eee cartridge (9-11-2011) sold for $555.00. If you’re looking to restore a PL-630 there is an excellent thread at AudioKarma.org covering a full resto.
Update: Sale for $1100 in June 2023 for a near mint unit.