Pioneer PL-400 Turntable Advertisement

Pioneer PL-400

Grundig PS-2000 Turntable

Sold for: $220


This turntable had been in storage for almost 20 years. It was sold by an English couple who had purchased it from Harrods in the early 1980s. When they immigrated to New Zealand in the 1990s, they never unpacked it. All of the Grundig gear I purchased from them still had the original English mains plugs, so the first task before any testing was to rewire to NZ 3-pin plugs. Donkey work, but some donkey has to do it.

While I generally prefer the aesthetics of the Japanese S-shaped tonearms, I grew to quite like the  straightline, slim Euro styling on display here. Also, the stylus force meter is a useful adition to any record player as it saves mucking round balancing the tonearm. This TT is an exact clone of a Philips model. Did Philips own Grundig?

The needle was broken, however, but I managed to find a NOS Philips 400III in Portugal of all places, for US$3, which was delivered in less than a week. God, I love EBay! Apart from that, overall condition was near mint. There were a few scratches and marks on the dustcover but some plastic polish restored this in no time.

Needle installed and time to test the TT out through the Pioneer SA-9800. This is perhaps the quietest turntable I’ve ever tried — I turned the volume up to full (with nothing playing) and there was very little noise. Maybe there is something to said for these well-isolated plastic TTs. Turning it back down, I whacked on some Robert Cray. Again, I was presently surprised. For a standard needle (not elliptical), there was no real weak spots in the soundstage. Solid mids and tops with just a little missing at the bottom, but really, for a relatively lightweight table, you can’t go wrong!