Pioneer LP12D

Sale Results at Auction


Gramophones, 7" discs where manufactured as far back as 1894. From 1918 countless companies produce them and they over took the popularity of the cylinders. The play back speeds ranged from 60 to 120 rpm settling on 78 rpm in 1925. The discs where made of shellac from 1898 until being replaced by vinyl 33 1/3 and 45 rpm records in the late 1950s. The LP was invented in 1948 allowing up to 30 minutes playing time on a 12" disc. Vinyl dates back to 1931. The 7" single arrived in 1949.

The first stereo recordings where issued in 1958. These had to be compatible with mono systems which still dominated the sales into the early 1960s with record players developing into music centres from the likes of Dansette and Pye.

To reproduce the fidelity of the vinyl record people began to buy separate turntables, amplifiers and speakers. The thinking at the time considered that the speakers where of prime importance, then the amplifier and the source last. Magazines often recommended a budget divided three ways. Then, in 1972 Ivor Tiefenbrun of the Glasgow based scientific company threw out that thinking and set out to proof that the most important component was the source. Just as Rolls Royce made a better car simply by engineering the technology to the highest possible standards the LP12D utilises a suspended sub-chassis design and a patented single-point bearing machined to extremely tight tolerances.

Clearly taking advantage of the rave reviews on belt drive quality turntables Pioneer released the LP12D in 1972.

Solid, well built and one of those components that exceed by a clear margin the expected performance according to it's price bracket.


I purchased the Pioneer LP12D for my parents in 1974 from Lasky's Oxford Street along with a Sony TA88 amplifier matching ST88 FM/AM tuner and Technics cassette deck from Harrods. From the date it is possible that it was a Mark II, as some claim that was introduced 1-2 years earlier. I no longer have the deck to confirm on the label on the back and don't know the differences that might be elsewhere.

Lasky recommended an Empire 99 cartridge. Sometime later the needle was damaged and my parents where told that they needed a new cartridge and got the Shure M75ED. I replaced the needle. Hence one cartridge in the original headshell and one in the SME headshell.

The turntable came with a plug for 45rpm singles that have been used in juke boxes or otherwise have no centre. The dust brush was a common accessory recommended at the time and would be placed ahead, on the grove where the stylus was tracking.

Attention to detail also applied to the built in accessory for checking the overhang of the stylus - a small plastic column that could be pulled up to the height of the stylus.

Switching between 33 and 45 rpm is by the flip of a switch (bottom left).

Note the Euro plug in the photograph above. The system used a QED mains distribution block that was a row of six Euro sockets. Originally it was fitted with a US style two pin plug and had a European 2 pin style adapter supplied. There is a voltage selector for 110-127 and 220-240 volt operation. this required replacing the belt pulley.

The amplifier and FM tuner where replaced by an Alba receiver - of which two went up in smoke but where replaced by Comet. Then in 1982 by a Uher Miniline VG850 pre-amp, EG850 AM/FM tuner, Z140 power amplifier and CR240 portable cassette recorder and the original Sony speakers upgraded to JR149 with LPA and Super Woofer. The  Z140 power amplifier blows capacitors and was repaired only to fail again not long after. A Meridian MCA amplifier was then purchased with a matching FM tuner. And so from 1984 until 2006 was used by my father in this configuration with the turntable in a cabinet - protected from dust and sun light.

Through the changes and upgrades the Pioneer PL-12D continued to hold it's own. I did test it with an Ortofon VM30 cartridge which was a better choice cartridge than the ones in use.

There was a model PL-112D with a semi-automatic arm lift at the end of playing a record. My friend owned this turntable. I never had the chance to compare side by side but subjectively I wouldn't pick one over the other. The standing of the PL-12D is such that on sale now, 40 years later, it raises more interest and value than the more expensive and many newer releases from Pioneer.

The Pioneer PL-12D sells for anything from £28 to £130. With headshell and working cartridge more typically in the £60-80 range. Anyone wishing to transfer their vinyl collection to the computer or CD should consider getting a Pioneer PL-12D and a pre-amplifier with moving magnet input and a tape/cassette output to the computer. The turntable and amplifier can be resold later for little if any loss. Classic hi-fi like this is a league above the USB turntables seen on sale and a fraction of the cost of getting a new turntable at anything like this quality.  The same logic can be applied to temporary buying any number of classic hi-fi turntables and amplifiers but at an outlay several times higher.


Sale Results at auction

eBay (manual only 14/03/01 18GBP)

14/02/16 77GBP (Pickerng XV-15, instructions)
14/02/18 72GBP (spare belt)
14/02/22 89GBP (Ortofon f15e mkii)
14/02/23 34GBP (broken and damaged lid)
14/02/27 62GBP (MkII, original box, needs new belt)
14/03/02 72.13GBP (instructions, Shure cartridge)
14/03/07 134GBP (Goldring 900 cartridge, then relisted)
14/03/08 58GBP (Ortofon VMS 5E mkII , instructions)
14/03/08 33.25GBP (original box, no inserts, no cartridge and leads need solidering)
14/03/09 71.51GBP (Shure M75 ED Type II, original US style two pin mains plug, new belt, serviced)
14/03/09 35GBP (ORTOFON FF15 E mk 2 cartridge, needs new belt)
14/03/12 129.99GBP (Shure M75ED Type 2, new belt, fully serviced, new signal leads with gold plated plugs)
14/03/13 76GBP (MkII, cracked lid)
14/03/14 80GBP (Nagaoka MP11, new belt)
14/03/16 56.75GBP (new in boxed - only opened to photograph)
14/03/19 100GBP (Shure cartridge)
14/03/20 68.99GBP (boxed - no insets, SME head shell, Shure cartridges)
14/03/21 64GBP (boxed, dust arm, Shure cartridge)
14/03/22 99.99GBP (Shure MS6E stylus)
14/03/23 79.95GBP (Shure cartridge)
14/03/23 28GBP (Ortofon FF15E Mk2 - no reason bidding is so low)
14/03/23 41GBP (replacement felt mat, Goldring 900 cartridge, new belt)
14/03/24 62GBP (SHURE M97HE, cracked lid)
14/03/25 50GBP (tracking dust trap, spare Lustre cartridge fitted with Shure stylus V15 type III, 45 single knave adaptor and original American 2-pin power adaptor)
14/03/26 51.01GBP (Shure M91ED cartridge)
14/03/30 50GBP (SHURE M75ED)
14/03/30 41GBP (Mk II,)
14/03/31 55GBP (Mk II, SHURE M75ED)
14/04/06 51GBP (Ortofon Concorde DJ S)
14/04/06 56GBP (SHURE M75EJM TYPE 2)
14/04/06 73.51GBP (Shure M75 ED stylus)
14/04/08 85GBP (instructions)
14/04/08 129GBP (SME head shell, Shure M75ED Type 2, instructions, dust bug arm)
14/04/08 99.14GBP (Ortofon VMS 10E Mk II)
14/04/12 42GBP (Shure M 75ED Type 2, instructions)
14/04/13 129.99GBP (Shure M75EJ)
14/04/15 77.25GBP (Shure cartridge)
14/04/20 97GBP (SME head shell, Audio Technica AT110E)
14/04/21 60GBP (replacement head shell, JVC Z-1s cartridge)
14/04/23 36GBP (Shire cartridge and spare stylus)
14/04/24 50GBP (no hinges, hole in the back, 2 dents, brand new Shure N 75-6)
14/04/26 39.50GBP (original user manual, Shure cartridge and stylus, and 45 rpm adaptor)
14/04/27 185.89GBP (ADC cartridge, plus extras including; original Pioneer oiler (still contains some oil) extra screw in counterweight, 45 adaptor, dustbug and stylus cleaning brush)
14/04/27 64GBP (replacement head shell, relisted but sold privately)
14/04/27 104.51GBP (shure m75ed type 2 cartridge and shure ed t2 stylus, crack near hinge)
14/04/27 46.99GBP (with Tanberg TR1010 and Kef Choral SP1016 speakers)
14/04/27 92GBP (Recent Belt And Stanton Cartridge, no hinges and lid poor condition)
14/05/01 55GBP (Empire stylus, needs new belt and lubrication)
14/05/02 56GBP (SME head shell and instructions)
14/05/02 119.99GBP (instructions, Shure M75D MkII cartridge)
14/05/02 185GBP (Shure M74ED Type 2 cartridge, but relisted and then bid to 155GBP)
14/05/02 48.26GBP (no head shell, scratch in lid)
14/05/02 82GBP (cracked lid, new belt and new stylus)
14/05/07 75GBP (ORTOFON VMS10E MK 11, crack in the corner of the Perspex lid and a replacement mat)
14/05/08 92GBP (in nice condition)
14/05/10 62GBP (Shure cartridge)
14/05/10 49.85GBP (MkII)
14/05/10 135.88GBP (Shure M75EJ, instructions - no reason for bidding double on this)
14/05/11 133GBP (Shure M95ED - no reason for bidding double on this to all the other on offer)
14/05/11 57GBP (no headshell or cartridge)
14/05/11 65GBP (MkII,
Audio Technica cartridge, repaired base)
14/05/11 67.50GBP (
Audio Technica cartridge)
14/05/12 68.07GBP (missing 45 centre)
14/05/12 63GBP (Goldring cartridge)
14/05/12 53GBP (MkII, SME head shell)
14/05/17 137GBP (Instructions, box, Shure M75ED Mk2)
14/05/18 62GBP  (Pickering XV-15 cartridge)
14/05/18 72.99GBP (Grado FC+)
14/05/18 155GBP (Shure M75ED Mk2)
14/05/25 152GBP (Empire 2000E III Original receipt shows £41.50 on 75/04/04)
14/05/25 92.62GBP (
Ortofon FF15 cartridge, missing insert for 45)



Last updated 26th May 2014