Pioneer PL-1800

1 9 7 5 november 1975
1 9 7 8 1978

Rare Japan-only turntable available in integrated shape (PL-1800) or as a drive (MU-1800).

Despite its magnificent design making it one of the most elegant 1970s turntables (the Sony TTS-3000 is that for the 1960s), the 1800 isn't a PLC-590, nor an Exclusive P3 : it is a fair turntable worth its upper mid-end price.

The motor, equivalent in both versions, was finalized and tested on july 30, 1975, by Mr J. Kukuchi for a Japan Audio Fair launch in october.

It is a 3-Hall elements brushless DC servo with a 280kg/cm2 inertial mass and 1kg/cm torque.
Speed detection/correction is done with a printed circuit under the rotor and magnetically printed pulses, both compared by the servo and an AC feed.
The large power supply is current and temperature stabilized.

The strobe is located flat at the periphery of the platter : that's what makes it easily readable, that's what makes the platter reach for 34cm in diameter and that's what makes the 1800 beautiful, too, like a Sony TTS-3000 :)

The enclosure is basic 2cm slabs of compressed wood particles with a super-ultra glossy black finish added and height-adjustable feet.

The PL-1800 was most often delivered with Pioneer's own PA-1000 carbon-fiber tonearm.

Despite the looks, Pioneer sold very few 1800s, like it sold very few MU-3000, PLC-590 or EM-10...
Very rare but very elegant.

Two samples visible here and here.

Pioneer PL-1800, image 1 Pioneer PL-1800, image 2 Pioneer PL-1800, image 3
Pioneer PL-1800 specifications
Title Value
DRIVE (MU-1800) DRIVE (MU-1800)
Motor : Brushless DC with 3 Hall elements
Platter : Ø 34cm diecast aluminium
acrylic resin surround
Inertial mass : 280kg /cm2
Startup time : 1,5s (1/2 turn, 33 1/3rpm)
Wow & flutter : < 0,03% (WRMS)
Temperature drift : < 0,7% between 5°C and 35°C
Time drift : < 0,1% in 30 minutes
Speed switching : electronic
Pitch control : ± 6% (each speed independently)
S/N ratio : 63dB (JIS)
Type : static-balance, S-shaped
Wand : braided carbon with epoxy coating
Effective length : 23,7cm
Overhang : 15mm
Offset angle : 21°41'
Tracking force : 0g...3g
Cartridge weight : 4g...15,5g
VTA : +10mm...-5mm
Output cable : < 50pF /m
General General
Semiconductors : 3x Hall
42x transistors
19x diodes
PC : 5W
Dimensions : 49 x 19 x 39cm
Weight : 13kg.
List price : 90,000¥ (with PA-1000)
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