Which would you say is the better turntable and why: The Pioneer PL-518 or the Technics SL-Q3

Alter3go

Active Member
I have both of these and I can't choose one over the other. I don't have the space for 2 turntables right now. Which one should I choose and why? Or, should I sell both and get a better TT?
 

Mark.Yudkin

Distinguished Member
The Technics SL-Q3 is the better specified of the two and better specified that typical modern TTs. Both of these statements are of course rather meaningless in context. The current system performance, which is what you need to consider, is dependent on whether the PL-518 / SL-Q3 is performing to its original specification - or not. Also of critical importance are the questions of cartridge and stylus, neither of which will last forever (or ca. 40 years as in your case).

Since you have both, I suggest you set them up and test them. Only then will you know if they still sound as they should, or if the ravages of time mean you should consign them to the rubbish pile.
 

Alter3go

Active Member
I tested them and they are pretty close together in sound, enough where I could unconsciously add or subtract things and throw in my own biases. So that's why I asked for input. From at least a technical standpoint, which is the better of the two? Also, as anyone her tried both of them personally?

As far as carts, I simply moved the headshell with the cart from one to another.
 

Ugg10

Distinguished Member
Did you realign the cartridge when you moved it and rebalance, the Pioneer has an effective length is 221mm and the Technics 230mm so there will be a difference between the two which may account for the slight difference in sound.

You can find the specs for each on vinylengine, the Technics is marginally better in wow/flutter and rumble.
 

Alter3go

Active Member
No I did not. TBH, I need a good kit to realign it. Got any recommendations for a kit of tools of a TT? Also, I am hesitant to do so, because it was aligned for my 518 by a professional, and I'd hate to mess that up. Is the realignment gonna make a huge difference, or a minor one?
 

Mark.Yudkin

Distinguished Member
From a technical viewpoint - always assuming both TTs are working to original specification - the Technics is the better TT, being built to a higher standard of performance.

Alignment is important, and needs to be got right. OTOH, you ought to be able to hear the consequences of misalignment (esp. inner groove distortion). If they are both "pretty close together in sound", yet one has a cartridge misalignment, I'd be concerned that both TTs are not performing to specification, masking the cartridge alignment issue.

You should ask a qualified dealer for assistance, and be prepared to pay for his services.
 

Alter3go

Active Member
From a technical viewpoint - always assuming both TTs are working to original specification - the Technics is the better TT, being built to a higher standard of performance.

Alignment is important, and needs to be got right. OTOH, you ought to be able to hear the consequences of misalignment (esp. inner groove distortion). If they are both "pretty close together in sound", yet one has a cartridge misalignment, I'd be concerned that both TTs are not performing to specification, masking the cartridge alignment issue.

You should ask a qualified dealer for assistance, and be prepared to pay for his services.

I know an amazing dude who fixes up the whole TT for $35.

Just out of Curiosity, how much were you planning to spend on these Turntables?

Steve/bluewizard

I already own them.
 

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