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Pioneer PLX-1000 Wow and Flutter

i read the wow and flutter is 0.1 on the PLX-1000s, but then saw a post saying it is 0.01, which is it, i just bought them, they are great, but just wanted to know

John Morrison Answered

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The actual value is 0.01%; the old manual featured an incorrect value of 0.1%, but we had previously confirmed with engineers that the number should be 0.01% and that was changed in the online manual to reflect the true value.

Pulse

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brilliant, also, I always had to get my technics pitches callabrated and also had them replaced, what is the score with your pitches, is there an option to have them serviced?

John Morrison 0 votes
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BTW:  Mr Official Comment,  I am on my second brand new PLX-1000.  I Also have a brand new Audio Technica OC/9II and Van Alstine Vision Q Phono Pre.  The first PLX-1000 had defective threads on the tonearm so that it was imppossible to screw in the sub weight to balance the tone arm/headshell/cartridge.  Sent back got new one.  Love the sound except for the HUM I get when I turn the PLX-1000 on.  Worse in left speaker.  Of course having worked for 35 years in the HiEnd audio industry, I first checked my cables (Audio Quest which have never hummed before) and ground wire.  All snug & tight.  Also didn't experience this HUM on the first PLX-1000.  Also if I disconnect the headshell/cartrideg from the tonearm the Hum goes completely away.  I also have another cartridge mounted in another brand new headshell.  This one (an old, but brand new in the box Audio Quest Cross Coil) does the exact same thing.  While waiting for my new OC/9II, I used it in the first PLX-1000 and there was no hum.  Is it possible there is a wiring ground issue in the turntable?  Can I open it up to check and see if the ground hub on the PLX-1000 poorly connected.  Don't want to send another one back.  Really love the sound.

 

Mark Adams-Westin 0 votes
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Hi Mark, sorry to hear about that tonearm QC issue, but glad they were able to replace it for you.

I'm not sure why there would be a hum, as you note with the headshell being disconnected the hum stops, it could certainly be a crossed wire or possibly a ground loop (although with your description of your setup, I would expect you'd know how to troubleshoot that if you had one!)

Was the 2nd cart / headshell the same make / model, or a different brand?

Pulse 0 votes
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I actually wrote the same thing to Pioneer DJ support and Curtis wrote back saying, "It sounds like do have a ground hum in the PLX unit. I would recommend if you can returning it to the dealer for exchange, if you just received it."  I returned it to Guitar Center and brought another (my 3rd) PLX-1000 home.  Same exact problem.

When I turn on the the PLX-1000 power switch there is a sound (through my speakers) like a transformer going on (kind a like the sound you get when you first turn on a Florescent Light bulb) and then there is a steady quite audible hum, which, of course, goes up in volume as I turn up my stereo.

BTW the 2nd cartridge, you asked about, actually an ( one or two hour of usage) Adcom (not Audio Quest) Crosscoil, is mounted on the Pioneer PLX-1000 Headshell.  My OC/9II is mounted on a brand new Magnesium Jelco HS-20BR with higher quality litz wireleads.  Both exhibit the same turn on noise and hum.  I have tried different RCA cables (including the Pioneers included), and different (heavier) power plug. I have made sure the ground was was snug & tight both at the table and my Vision Q preamp.  I have also tried disconnecting the ground wire altogether, just in case it is creating a ground loop.  Nothing changes the situation.  

I must admit I am really bummed.  I so wanted this to work.  I read the glowing review and the "C" recommendation $$$ in Stereophile.  And though it was worth the risk.  I was replacing my 34 year old Belt Drive AR The Turntable, whose springs & motor were causing speed fluctuations even with a brand new belt.  It didn't hum nearly as much on my system.  So I got a great deal and purchased one...now three.  Do you have any thoughts or suggestions, because I love the sound (except for the hum) and I am convinced that I will have to spend quite a bit more $$$ to get comparable sound.   I haven't seen hum problems mentioned online.  But do DJs actually hear hum?

Mark Adams-Westin 0 votes
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It could certainly depend on the setup as to whether or not there was anything being heard, but I'd expect that if it happened with every single PLX-1000 that we'd have heard more complaints about it. That said, I'm surprised to hear 3 in a row have had this issue. I'm going to dig up the ticket you have with Curtis and link this forum topic to pass it along to the product team and see if they have any suggestions. Thanks for your patience while I dig into this a bit further.

Pulse 0 votes
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Thank you again for your quick responce and willingness to help me get to the bottom of this issue and keep my PLX-1000 (which is what I'd desperately like to do)  When you say,"if it happened with every single PLX-1000 that we'd have heard more complaints about it," doesn't that presuppose that you have had some (as opposed to more) complaints about this issue?  

Last night I had two enlightening experiences with my PLX-1000.  My wife and I both sat in the sweet spot about 8.5' from the speakers and could hear both the turnon spike and the hum at the same volume as we'd found comfortable listening to LPs.  Not horrible but loud enough to be intrusive to the quite.  The hum in my left KEF Reference 3.2 (which is a mere 5" or 6" away from the PLX-1000 on/off switch) is louder than the right one.  The hum does increase in volume as I turn up my Adcom GFA-750 Pre Amp so it is indeed being picked up and amplified. I used to have a 1983 AR The Turntable.  I didn't ever notice the hum or turnon spike through that and my Van Alstine Vision Q Phono Pre amp.  Just a question I had.  Is it possible that the platter half of the DD motor could be generating the hum?  I kept that when I made the swap of PLX 2 for PLX 3, because there were a couple machining imperfections on 3's platter.  I can't honestly say whether the spike & hum were serious issues on PLX 1.  I never really noticed it.  The other enlightening experience occured when listening to my PLX 3 with my new AT OC/9II.  Pierre Boulez conducting the Cleveland Orchestra on my over 40 year old 3 LP collection of Claude Debussy selections.  Last night/early morning, I had the palpable illusion that the orchestra was in my room with me.  So I know the setup has the goods, if we can find a way to stifle the humers in the Orchestras, bands, and duets. 

Mark Adams-Westin 0 votes
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"...doesn't that presuppose that you have had some (as opposed to more) complaints about this issue?" 

What I meant was we may have had a few complaints of it as opposed to every unit that went out coming back with that issue. I would almost wish that were the case then we'd know what the problem was! Isolated cases like yours (apart from getting 3 in a row that are the same way), make it more difficult to know exactly where the issue lies.

"I know the setup has the goods, if we can find a way to stifle the humers in the Orchestras, bands, and duets."

LMAO - you made me feel like I was there listening and laughing at that - thank you! :D

To be perfectly honest, I don't know enough about the manufacturing or quality control tolerances being used on this product - I know it's not targeted as an audiophile turntable, as the main market for it is DJs who are going to beat them up transporting them back and forth to events, having them installed in clubs, or even scratching the heck out of records on them.

I've passed this along to our product team in hopes that I can get a bit more information, as soon as I get a response I'll let you know if they have any additional questions.

Pulse 0 votes
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How irritating that I am alerted to every response on my initial thread for a completely different issue...Maybe start your own ticket or buy a turntable with better isolation

John Morrison 0 votes
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@John > Sorry, some users will do that - not to worry, you can stop getting the notices by clicking the button at the top right:

Pulse 0 votes
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Dear DJ,

I was again experimenting with the hum from my PLX-1000.  Sadly it is still there and quite audible from 9 feet away.  2 things I experimented with (1) the second cartridge/headshell (which is a high output Moving Coil) does hum audibly but it does not seem quite as loud.  Bare in mind it is meant to have my phono pre amp set for Moving Magnet not Moving Coil and I have to unhook it, open it up and change several dip switchs which I haven't done but will do later.  Also, as I said before, the turn on spike and hum is louder in the left speaker than the right (which is barely audible) I reversed the L & R RCA cables on the turntable end and the hum changed to the right channel.  This would make me think that I have a bad cable.  But earlier I used two totally different cables pairs including the cables packed with the PLX-1000 to run from both the PLX to the Phono Pre and from the Phono Pre to my separate Pre and the hum was the same.  So it is not a cable problem.  I have also both used the ground wire and left it unconnected.  Same problem. Also remember there is no hum at all when the tone arm has no headshell/cartridge connected to it at all.  Dead silent.  Please help me as soon as you can.  Thank you.

Mark Adams-Westin 0 votes
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@Mark > I spoke with Curtis at Pioneer DJ Support and he said the first PLX issue was regarding the tonearm sub-weight, but no mention of hum, is that correct?

Re: the turn-on spike, I can't claim that this unit is supposed to be spike-free, as previously mentioned, it's not an audiophile turntable and wouldn't necessarily take those preventative measures into account as typically the turntable would already be turned-on, or the DJ mixer would have the channel levels down if the power is being switched on/off.

Another user recently posted a similar issue about the PLX-500 (different model, but I'd still like you to try this fix) - he said when he raised the tonearm by 3mm that the hum he experienced went away. Granted, this is not ideal or a proper solution, but if it does solve the issue, at least it gives us a step toward a solution.

Pulse 0 votes
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DJ,

Yes that is correct.  I actually never listened for hum though I had it for about a week before I got my new Audio Technica OC/9II. So I can't honestly say whether PLX # 1 hummed or not.  I can honestly say I wasn't alert to enough hum to bother me. But I only heard it with my old AT OC/9 in the pioneer headshell, and then the Adcom high output Moving coil. I also know that the hum is coming from in front of the cables leading into my phono pre amp, otherwise it would not have changed speakers when I reversed those RCA cables.  If my second Adcom cartridge installed in the Pioneer Headshell hadn't spiked and hummed too, I might think the new OC/9II was the miscreant.

As per your request, I just tried raising the tone arm height from 1.5 to 4.5... still hummed, then to over 6 ... still hummed.  Today I also experimented with the AC power cord.  I used 3 different plugs, all hummed. Then looking for communal ground hums.  I unhooked the PLX power plug from my Adcom line conditioner and plugged it directly into the wall socket... still hummed.  I then inserted one of those handy little grey two prong ground lifters, between the PLX power cord and the wall socket ... till hummed.  Then went back to plugging into Adcom line conditioner... still hummed. With every power chord change, the spike & the hum remained at the same volume and tone.

So now I will take the PLX out of my system and put back my 35 year old AR Turntable and see if it hums.  I don't remember that ever being an issue, but it is the last thing I can think of to try to let the PLX off of the hook.  I'll let you know.  

This might be an issue Pioneer would want to deal with, as the PLX-1000 has gained some cachet & caution in the audophile community.  In no small measure because of Herb Reichert's sparkling review, and the PLX-1000's Class C Recommendation in Stereophile Magazine.  

If not for those two mentions I would have never even considered trying the PLX-1000.  And again I have loved the sound of My PLX/OC/9II and would not even consider returning it if not for the hum, regardless of the many comments I found about too loose tone arm bearings, and a bit loose quality control.  I really am looking for a way to keep this beauty. Thanks again for hanging in with me. 

Mark Adams-Westin 0 votes
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Dear DJ.  

FYI, I just replaced the PLX-1000 with my old AR The Turntable and my Adcom Cross Coil mounted & hooked up in my system.  Absolutely NO turn on spike and positively no hum in either the left or right speaker.  Even with the volume turned way louder than on my PLX-1000.  This is   So it has to be the PLX-1000 turntable humming from the left channel this is very illuminating and disappointing.  I am relieved and bummed.  Is there a fix for this?  I am thinking it's poor internal grounding, and maybe we're picking up the lights buzzing.  Is there any hope?  Do I try another PLX-1000 or chalk it up to a bit of a waste of time, but not a waste of money because I can return it for full credit to Guitar Center?

Mark Adams-Westin 0 votes
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Tried again twice last night trading out directional (as in ground lifted at one end) RCAs from PLX to Vision Q Phono Pre from phono pre to Adcom Pre.  Perhaps the hum was a bit less, but it was still there.  Wrote to the folks at Steve Hoffman Music Forum, where there has been a thread on the PLX-1000 for over 2 years (78 pages).  One guy mentioned 50z hum (mut be Brit) and better grounding (including the system pre) getting rid of it.  Others mentioned grounding from my Phono Pre to my Adcom GFP-750.  Well I just added a larger ground wire to the existing ground from the PLX to the phono pre and then from the phono pre to my Adcom GFP-750...still has turn on thump and Hum. Could there be a bad wire or headshell connector (Left channel) in the tone arm?  

Mark Adams-Westin 0 votes
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This is my unaltered (so far) thinking on this: My 34 year AR Turntable doesn't hum with the same cartridges placed into the same exact system beyond the wires to the Phono Preamp and no matter what I do the PLX-1000 does. That indicates that the problem isn't beyond the turntable or the cables from the TT to the Phono Pre. The fact that the hum still remains when completely changing out the cables and that the hum changes channels when I reverse the RCA cabled on the back of the PLX-1000 is simple & convincing evidence that the problem is within the turntable/headshell/or cartridge. The fact that when I exchange two different headshell/cartridge combinations the spike & hum remains or when I totally unplug either headshell/cartridge and the hum totally disappears is simple & convincing evidence that the problem lies within the PLX-1000. Open to any ideas.

 

Mark Adams-Westin 0 votes
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Dear DJ,

In one last ditch effort to see if I could eliminate the spike & hum I brought a table, a 10 gauge 12 foot Monster Cable speaker wire, and  a pair of quite decent 15 foot non directional RCA cables, and a totally different Monster Cable line conditioner.  

I set the table up in the hall way on the other side of a wall 9 or 10  feet from my Phono Pre Amp and system Pre Amp and 6 feet away from and on the my left speaker. I then took my PLX-1000 off of the shelf it has been sitting, set it on the table, connected the RCAs & the red lead of the 10 gauge speaker wire from the Turntable.  I plugged the PLX's AC power cord into the Monster Line Conditioner.  As I stood in the room with the speaker, my wife switched on the the totally isolated PLX-1000 in the hallway... plain as day the turn on thump and then the hum.  We switched palces and I turned on the PLX and she heart the hum.  Switched again, she turned the PLX on and said from the hallway "I can hear that out here."  Par for the course, the hum was louder in the left speaker, until I reversed the RCA's in the back of the PLX then it was again louder in the right.  Tone arm wiring problem or a grounding problem that is allowing the buzz & hum from the lights to bleed into the signal.  

Mind you this was all with the platter not spinning.  When the platter start button was pushed you again heard a turn on thump, or buzz, or what ever the heck you'd call it, and then the hum remained quite musically the same.  I'm through.  Unless you folks can give me a quick fix.  PLX-1000 #3 goes back to Guitar Center.  Iv'e gone far beyond the call on this.

Mark Adams-Westin 0 votes
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@Mark > "I've gone far beyond the call on this."

Yeah, you certainly have made every effort -- some might say more than necessary! ;)

I'm still waiting to hear back from the product team (a ticket was created Friday, which was already into the weekend in Japan), so your patience is appreciated while they take the time to read through the topic, translate it all, and process the information. I've provided a short summary of the problem and hopefully they can give some detail.

Thanks for the link to the forum post - as you saw yourself, not many people complaining of hum issues - so it's entirely possible there were simply 2 units which had a similar issue (to be fair, the first one may not have had any hum, just the bad threading on the sub-weight).

Pulse 0 votes
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DJ,

  Thank you too.  Do you think I should try another one?  I have to admit I'm a bit of leary.  But you are right Hum was only mentioned on 2 post I've ever seen.  I admit I really like the PLX-1000: it sounds great with My OC/9II, it's easy to use, and quite attractive.  I'll let you know.  Thank you for all you've done.

 

Mark Adams-Westin 0 votes
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@Mark > At this point, it would be the easiest thing to try. I apologize for the inconvenience and troubles you've experienced with the PLX-1000 so far.

Pulse 0 votes
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Dear DJ,  

After much thought and hours of tinkering, (including finally running my in & out RCA cables through my EBteach Hum buster to no avail). I was tired of putzing with my system instead of enjoying music.  I realized that my choice was to either accept the hum and enjoy the many positives of the PLX-1000. But being a livelong professional musician & audiophile as well as audio salesman, I realize that hum (noise) always covers & and compromises wanted signal.  Neither I nor anyone else so far has come up with a viable path towards hum alleviation.  It is that simple. I returned PLX-1000 #3 to Guitar Center who graciously took it back no problem this morning.  Given my years in the business of unpacking demos and saving evcery twist tie and piece of paper I repackaged the PLX-1000 and returned it is pristine like new condition (which was duly noted and appreciated. The guy I returned it too shook his head as I relayed my epic PLX Trilogy.  He is a DJ and has two PLX-1000s and loves them as do his clients.  He was concerned about my turn on spike & hum.  He said was going to check his two out and see if they hum too.  I gave him my email and he said he would let me know what happened.  At this point I've decided to look elsewhere, which disappoints me, as I had such high hopes.  I gave this problem dozens of hours of my personal time.  Now, I would be willing to try again if Pioneer was willing to make me a really insane (as in really insane) price offer and thoroughly check out PLX-1000 for any and all hum or noises prior to shipping.  Personally I think it is in the tonearm wiring although another guy from a GC competitor and professional DJ who uses PLX-1000s 2 or 3 times a week thought it could be that the Female RCA Outs (especially the left) on the PLX weren't properly grounded from the factory.

Mark Adams-Westin 0 votes
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Dear DJ,

Thought I would share these last several exchanges from the Steve Hoffman thread I linked you to:

  1. Sorry for grammar & spelling errors. To clarify, I returned PLX-1000 #2, which I purchased from Guitar Center, and G.C. replaced it with my brand new and present PLX-1000 #3. Then when I wrote just above "(2) White both cartridge/headshell combinations." I meant "While both" not "White both."

    Tonight I tried again, twice, to replace my directional Audio Quest RCAs with non directional, grounded on both ends, RCAs (the stock Pioneer & Adcom) to see if the directional cables were picking up and amplifying the spike & hum. Perhaps the turnon spike & hum were bit less, but they were definitely still there. And with these clearly lower grade cables, the resulting sound was immediately, and noticably, inferior in every way.
    Try a MM cartridge. AT MC do produce slight hum even when earthing is optimised. Easy trick is remove head shell with cartridge and see if hum disappears. There is insufficient shielding on the power transformer on these but hum should be at a tolerable level and inaudible while music playing.
     
    'Me, I'm just a lawnmower - you can tell me by the way I walk'
     
  2. Bromo33333

     

    Indeed. This is a bit of a letdown for me.
    I'd like to see it measured. Spec sheet stuff can be unreliable (I hope in this case for sure!)!
     
     
  3. Mark E. Adams-Westin

    Mark E. Adams-WestinNew Member

    Location:
    St. Paul, MN
    Classicrock said:
    Try a MM cartridge. AT MC do produce slight hum even when earthing is optimised. Easy trick is remove head shell with cartridge and see if hum disappears. There is insufficient shielding on the power transformer on these but hum should be at a tolerable level and inaudible while music playing.
    I have two cartridges on headshells (MY AT )C/9II and my Adcom High Output MC Crosscoil. Both hummed but when I disconnected them the hum went away totally. What soes that mean? Should I have kept the PLX-1000? Will the Denon VL12 I just ordered likely have the same problem. You should know. I have a 1983 AR The Turntable on which I had my original OC/9 it never had the slightest hum. I remounted my Adacom cartirge in its headshell and plugged it in to the eaxact same system as the humming PLXs and it was dark absolute silence. So ig my MC cartridges tend to hum how come they were silent in my AR? Just wondering. Thank you for your input.
     
     
  4.  
    Mark E. Adams-Westin said:
    I have two cartridges on headshells (MY AT )C/9II and my Adcom High Output MC Crosscoil. Both hummed but when I disconnected them the hum went away totally. What soes that mean? Should I have kept the PLX-1000? Will the Denon VL12 I just ordered likely have the same problem. You should know. I have a 1983 AR The Turntable on which I had my original OC/9 it never had the slightest hum. I remounted my Adacom cartirge in its headshell and plugged it in to the eaxact same system as the humming PLXs and it was dark absolute silence. So ig my MC cartridges tend to hum how come they were silent in my AR? Just wondering. Thank you for your input.
    I told you above the cause of the hum. There is a frame transformer on the main control board that puts out a magnetic field that interacts with MCs. No problem if you use a MM cartridge. This is a problem with all but the best DD turntables.
     
  5. Mrtn77Forum Resident

    Location:
    Paris, France
    New
    Classicrock said:
    I told you above the cause of the hum. There is a frame transformer on the main control board that puts out a magnetic field that interacts with MCs. No problem if you use a MM cartridge. This is a problem with all but the best DD turntables.
    Yet it seems plenty of people have used MC carts on a PLX without issue.
     
     
  6. Mark E. Adams-WestinNew Member

    Location:
    St. Paul, MN
    Classicrock said:
    I told you above the cause of the hum. There is a frame transformer on the main control board that puts out a magnetic field that interacts with MCs. No problem if you use a MM cartridge. This is a problem with all but the best DD turntables.
    What is tolerable hum? How can hum be inaudible while the music is palying? Hum is unwanted noise and it will cover up wanted signal especially the low level detail that makes the OC9/MLII resolve more detail that its MM siblings. Not willing to give up my MC benies for the sake of poor shielding I guess. Hoepfully the Denon VL12 will not hum as they tout better S/N ratio. Perhaps it's a belt drive for me. Thank you for your knowledge and insights and sharing. I appreciate it. It confirms my returning the PLXs. Too bad Pioneer couldn't have told me this in the first place. It would have saved much wasted time and needless efforts.
Mark Adams-Westin 0 votes
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Dear DJ,  If it is true that the shielding has been economized due to the given knowledge that DJs never use either Moving coil or upscale Moving Magnet cartridges instead of their trusty Shure MM44-7 and Ortophon-mount models in rather noisy bass heavy environments.  Is it possible to use after market MuMetal shielding on the DD motor transformers to eliminate or greatly alleviate spikes & hum?   

Mark Adams-Westin 0 votes
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I don't have any information to answer those questions, but our engineering team is looking into this issue and will possibly answer those details as well.

Pulse 0 votes
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DJ,  Thanks again for staying in touch & concerned.  Please let me know what you find out.

Mark Adams-Westin 0 votes