PLX 500 vs PLX 1000 is two direct-drive turntable with three speeds: 33, 45, and 78 RPM of Pioneer. PLX 500 vs PLX 100 all have different advantages and disadvantages. So in this article, we will give a more detailed look at the two direct-drive turntables.
Pioneer PLX 500 review
Speaking of you scratchy types, the PLX-500 doesn’t buckle under duress from full platter wobbling scratch maneuvers like drills, tears and hydroplaning (look them up). It ships with a slipmat, needle, and headshell, which are actually up to the job, but add a Shure M44-7 stylus and headshell to the mix and this deck approaches 1210 invincibility.
At first, the lance may be glimpsed in a darkened club, and the PLX-500 could easily be mistaken for a classic Technics turntable. It’s made for Pioneer by the Taiwan ODM specialist Hanpin, which manufactures a vast range of cheap and cheerful turntables. Hanpin turntables are often rebranded by companies that no longer have the expertise or resources to make them in-house.
Based on a Hanpin DJ-3560, the PLX-500 is a close cosmetic copy of the Technics, complete with the always-on speed strobe light in the left corner, pitch-control slider to the right, and distinctive S-shaped tonearm.
- Excellent sound design, just like the PLX-1000 the PLX-500 is built to produce a high-quality vinyl sound
- Easy digital recording by connecting the turntable to your PC or MAC via the USB out
- Use the PLX-500 to mix and scratch your vinyl record or combine the turntable with rekordbox dvs, a compatible DJ mixer and the RB-VS1-K Control Vinyl to play and perform your digital files.
- Cover Art Display - Put your record covers on display while listening to your vinyl thanks to the sleeve stand inside the dust cover
- Servo-type direct drive
- Motor: Direct
- Speeds: 33, 45, 78
- Pitch Control: ±8%
- Arm Style: S Shape
- Platter: Aluminum
- USB: 1 x Type B
- Analog Outputs: 2 x stereo RCA
- Digital Outputs: USB
- Height: 6.26″
- Depth: 14.5″
- Width: 17.72″
- Weight: 23.6 lbs.
The Pioneer is a direct drive turntable built with at least one eye on DJ use. To this end, the standard calling cards of such a device are present. Speed control is electronic and done at the touch of one of the speed buttons. Unusually, the Pioneer also supports 78rpm playback by holding down both buttons at once. There is then a +/- 10% speed control that is active on all three speeds – notionally meaning that the maximum rate the PLX-500 is capable of is an impressive 85rpm.
The motor that supplies this power is a three-phase brushless DC type that has the required attributes to hopefully avoid both cogging – the sense that the engine is moving in distinct stages – and vibration being sent back up through the bearing. The PLX-500 is servo controlled and has as an electronic brake when the stop button is pushed. Thanks to plenty of power, the Pioneer will hit 33rpm in less than a second and stop just as enthusiastically.
- Built for spinning, digitizing, and DJing
- Quality analog playback:
Smooth, dependable direct-drive motor
The short path from the stylus to the output
Includes headshell with cartridge and stylus
- Switchable Phono/Line output:
Phono out connects to a mixer
Line out connects directly to speakers
- USB output digitizes your vinyl while you enjoy
- Dust cover with stand shows off your latest release or what’s on deck
- Includes all you need to get started: slipmat, balance weights, stereo audio cables, USB cord, and rekordbox digital download
As has already been noted, the Pioneer looks more than a little like the Technics SL1200 but given that the Technics is a design icon and genuinely aspirational – especially in its latest iteration costing as it does, ten times the price of the PLX-500 – perhaps this should not be a huge surprise. It looks more like the Technics when finished in the traditional black than it does in the rather sudden white of the review sample – an object which has gone straight into my top ten list of tricky things to take photographs of.
There are some nice touches too. The controls are nicely weighted and feel substantial and well thought out. The hinged lid (something the more expensive PLX-1000 does without) is fitted with a pair of molded lumps that allow you to display a record when it is open. This is a handsome piece of equipment that works as happily in a domestic setting as it does in a professional one. It lacks the sheer elegance of the Elipson Omega 100, but it has the Elipson comfortably beaten in specification terms, even if we aren’t considering that unusual USB connection.
Setting the Pioneer up is reasonably straightforward and should not prove too challenging, especially if you have access to a stylus force gauge. Once up and running, the Pioneer does a fair amount right – but not everything. Listening to Biffy Clyro’s Only Revolutions, the PLX-500 has some traditional direct drive attributes. The sound has a rhythmically engaging and propulsive quality, and as you might expect, pitch stability is pretty much absolute.
No less impressive is the bass performance. The mass and general construction ethos of the Pioneer helps it to produce thick, clean and impactful low end that has excellent detail and texture to it. The problem the PLX-500 has in this out of the box configuration is that it doesn’t have the same assurance to the midrange and upper registers. The track Many of Horror, doesn’t open out in the way that it does on other turntables that have passed through the review process at a similar price.
Pioneer PLX 1000 review
Enter the Pioneer PLX-1000, the first new turntable released by a big brand that might replicate the classic. I was struck by how unexciting the design was—it looked more or less like a Technics clone—and it took a second for it to sink in that this might make it rather innovative.
A Pioneer turntable indeed isn’t a Technics deck, but the important similarities are present, and the additional features add extraordinary value to the package. The dimensions and proportions are nearly identical—the operating buttons are all right where you’d expect them—and the finish, though a bit shinier and more metallic than the black on a standard 1210, completes the familiar aesthetic.
- Drive Method: Quartz lock, servo-type, direct drive
- Platter: Aluminium, die-casting diameter: 332 mm
- Motor: 3-phase, brushless DC motor
- Braking System: Electronic brake
- Rotation Speed: 33⅓-45 rpm
- Rotation Adjustment Range: ±8, ±16, ±50 %
- Wow and Flutter: < 0.01 % (Measured by obtaining signal from built-in frequency generator of motor assembly.)
- Signal-to-Noise Ratio: 70 dB
- Starting Torque: > 4.5 kgf・cm
- Start Time: Within 0.3 sec (at 33⅓ rpm)
- Width: 453 mm
- Height: 159 mm
- Depth: 353 mm
- Weight: 14.6 kg
A simple potted history of DJ turntables, ‘post-1200’, goes like this – once the Technics 1200, designed as a hi-fi deck, was adopted wholesale by DJs worldwide, companies scrambled to produce alternatives. Manufacturers like Gemini made 1200 clones, which were often cheaper, but lacking the patented motor design of the Technics, always fell short on performance.
- TURN THE TABLES: The high-torque direct drive ensures stable rotation and exceptional control – and it reaches 33⅓ rpm in just 0.3 seconds thanks to a starting torque of 4.5kg/cm (or more).
- EXCELLENT SOUND DESIGN: The PLX-1000’s heavy-mass, die-cast zinc chassis prevents resonance and vibrations. The lower part of the unit is reinforced with 8mm-thick resin, plus 9mm-thick, vibration-damping material at the base. Plus the rubber-insulated tone arm reduces howling effects, while rubber and springs on the dampening parts of the insulator absorb external vibrations.
- PICK UP THE PACE: Multi-tempo control lets you instantly pick up or slow down the track to ±8%, ±16% and ±50%, while a simple reset button instantly reverts to ±0%.
- FLEXIBLE CONNECTIVITY: Interchangeable power and audio cables can be easily connected and replaced, and pro-grade gold-plated RCA jacks ensure low impedance and an amazing sound quality.
Compared to some other turntables under $1000, the PLX-1000 isn’t swimming in features, although it still boasts some high-end appointments that both gigging DJs and the casual home listener will appreciate. Most notably there’s a powerful and precise high-torque direct-drive motor, with an insulated and slightly recessed platter, reminiscent of the SL-1200. The controls are laid out in a simple, user-friendly way, which DJs will have no problem getting to grips with.
There’s a tempo control slider on the right side of the player, with a start/stop button on the left side, as well as a handy pop-up LED target light. At the back of the system, there’s a port for your included detachable power cable and pro-grade gold-plated RCA jacks, although no USB connectivity. Sadly at this price, no cartridge is involved either, although it still comes with a headshell and screw-in headshell weight, which is a blessing for club performances.
Hang on, isn’t this the Technics’ iconic SL-1200? It’s not – but the PLX-1000 has undoubtedly taken some style points from the legend. This modern machine is a real beast, built to withstand the rigors of a gigging environment. It features a heavy-mass zinc die-cast chassis on the top, reinforced with a thick resin bottom section. The base is made with the 9mm-thick vibration-damping material, which gives the PLX-1000 superb stability and durability.
Despite its sturdy construction, it’s still a pleasure to look at – sleek and simple, with a sophisticated all-black brushed metal finish and very minimal branding. There’s a gray rubber-insulated S-shaped tonearm, which contrasts nicely with the darker body, while the subtle blue lights accenting the controls look cool in darker environments. It’s also worth mentioning the weight, which is naturally going to be quite hefty, sitting at just under 23lbs.
The whole experience of the PLX-1000 is geared towards giving the performing DJ as smooth a ride as possible. And they deliver on everything they promise. For example, the system is excellent for scratching with no wobbling or skipping issues and – thanks to the insulation and vibration damping across the whole turntable – feedback issues are also sporadic, even at the highest volumes.
Everything feels sturdy and smooth to use, from the start/stop button to the recessed rubber-insulated S-shaped tonearm. As for sound, this will depend heavily on the cartridge you use, but from our experience, it is very pure and will please DJs, audiophiles and the more casual home user alike.
Compare pros and cons of PLX 500 vs PLX 1000
Frequently Asked Questions
The power does not turn on
- Is the power cord connected correctly? Connect the power cord to a power outlet. Refer to “Connections” in the Operating Instructions for details.
- Is the [POWER] switch set to [ON]? Set the [POWER] switch to [ON].
There is no sound, or the volume is very low
- Are the audio cables connected correctly? Set the PHONO/LINE switches correctly to match the input terminals to which devices are connected. Refer to “Connections” in the Operating Instructions for details.
- Are the terminals or plugs dirty? Wipe off the dirt from the terminals and plugs before connecting them. Wipe off the dust from the headshell and tonearm connection points before joining.
- Is the headshell attached correctly? Connect the headshell successfully. Refer to “Before you start” in the Operating Instructions for details.
The needle skips when I perform scratching
Possible reasons could be as follows.
- The tone arm and cartridge are not connected correctly: Refer to the Operating Instructions for information on how to connect.
- The tone arm and needle pressure are not adjusted correctly: Refer to the adjustment methods detailed in the Operating Instructions, and adjust the settings so that they are appropriate to the needle being used.
- The record is dirty, scratched, or worn: Clean records with a dedicated cleaner, and use records that are in good condition as much as possible.
- The tip of the needle is worn or broken: Replace the needle with a new one.
- The product is inclined: To the extent possible, use the product in a horizontal location where it is not affected by external vibrations.
Additionally, the insulators can be turned to make minor adjustments to move the unit to the horizontal.
The tonearm moves, even though anti-skating is set to 0
This is the efficiency of this unit. When adjusting needle pressure, adjust positioning so that the tone arm is balanced when still.
The TEMPO slider value does not match the actual rotation speed
The TEMPO slider value is approximate. Please use it as a guide when adjusting the tempo.
I cannot record in rekordbox
Please check the following.
(1) Is “USB REC” displayed in the recording source selection window of the rekordbox REC panel?
If not displayed: The computer has not recognized the device. Check if the USB cable is connected correctly to the computer.
(2) When playing a record, does the level meter on the rekordbox REC panel move?
If the level meter does not operate, or if the meter does not move: The recording level may be set low. Use the recording adjustment knob to set an appropriate recording level.
Strobe pattern does not stop even when the TEMPO slider is set to 0 when playing at 45 rpm.
The pattern display due to the strobe illuminator is an approximate display. For a 50 Hz power supply, and when set to 45 rpm, the pattern does not stop completely. This is in accordance with product specifications.
The volume is high (distortion)
Is the audio cable connected correctly? Set the PHONO/LINE switch to match the input terminals that devices are connected. Refer to “Connections” in the Operating Instructions for details.
Noise is generated in output sound
If a USB cable and audio cable from the unit are each used to connect to a different peripheral device and then those two peripheral devices are additionally connected together with a USB cable or other cable, noise may be generated in the output sound because the cables will form a loop.
In that case, disconnect any cable that is unnecessary depending on the purpose.