Goin’ Analog: Spin the Black Circle, Part II

July of 2016 I’ve got myself a turntable. I was so happy like a new dad but minus the cigar. After almost two months, I upgraded. Or should I say downgraded?

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Yes, I’ve got myself a “new-old stock” turntable — Pioneer PL 1100D — a vintage from 1974 flower power era. There isn’t much info online but from the way it looks, she’s a work of art. Most importantly, she’s a steal — in mint condition and works perfectly fine given by its age. So, I took her home with a couple of new and pre owned records.

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Pioneer PL 1100D with dust cover

What made me purchased a vintage one when there are slew of new and better turntables out there? Charm. It’s what I saw with the Pioneer PL 1100D and it goes the same way too with the other vintage turntables from Denon, Yamaha, Lenco, Thorens to name a few. Is it about aesthetics? Yes, because I’m a designer. I want something nice to look at. I want something nice to display. Performance-wise? It’s equally good with the newer turntables available. Also, what my AT-LP60 lacks in key functions is what the PL 1100D makes up for, which is essential to any audiophile and turntable enthusiasts.

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Pioneer PL 1100D details: Counterweight and tracking force

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Pioneer PL 1100D details: Anti-skate dial

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Pioneer PL 1100D details: Pitch control

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Pioneer PL 1100D details: Speed selector

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Pioneer PL 1100D details: On/ off and tonearm up/ down switch

Based on my online research and late-night YouTube streaming, if I want to take the vintage audio setup path, turntables from the 70s and 80s are a good starting point, especially the Pioneer brand. Unless I’ve found the elusive and original Technics SL-1200, or the SL-1200MK2, then I got myself a gold mine.

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Pioneer PL 1100D details: Tonearm

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Pioneer PL 1100D details: Tonearm clip

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Pioneer PL 1100D details: Original Pioneer head-shell and cartridge

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Pioneer PL 1100D details: Platter and speed calibration pattern

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Pioneer PL 1100D details: Speed calibration strobe

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Pioneer PL 1100D details: Solid wooden plinth

Lastly, just the other day when I shared my Pioneer PL 1100D with Miles Davis’ Sketches of Spain spinning, one comment I’ve had from a senior audiophile was the Pioneer PL 1100D is beautiful. And it’s true, she really is. From the moment it was posted online for sale, I didn’t think twice. I kept thinking about it. So, I dragged my significant one on a weekend to purchase it. Since then, I have no regrets with the PL 1100D. Now, I’ll be upgrading the cartridge soon for better sound quality.

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Until my next upgrade, err, update.

About battlefield_man

Jocas A. See. Art director. Visual journalist. Visual communication designer. And a casual tourist

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